Does the Size of the Universe Lead to Atheism?

Take a look at this video posted by Randal Rauser, who argues that the size of the universe does not lead to atheism:

When I was in the throes of doubt in the early 90's I bought nearly a dozen poster pictures of galaxies, stars, various nebula, and the solar system itself. I hung them on the walls of my office. I was astounded by our universe and it's massive size. I read a few astronomy books too. Science tells us so much about our universe it was quite surprising as well.

I remember thinking to myself how God could be omnipresent in such a universe, how he could be a personal agent without a center for his personality in it, how he could be omniscient knowing what was going on at the far reaches of it, and how he could be omnipotent such that he could create and maintain it. I also wondered how he could care about life on this pale blue dot of ours that exists on one spiral arm in the Milky Way galaxy. What kind of God could exist given this universe? How could he interact with parts of it several billions of light years away when a light year is a measurement of both time and distance? I had already come to think God was located in time in some sense, ever since the creation. So how could such a God act in the present here on earth and also several billions of light years away in a different part of the universe? Does that even makes sense?

In the ancient world all civilizations that we know of thought their particular city or territory was the center of the earth, and so they built temples as earthly homes for their gods when they came down from the sky (heaven). Then when people learned of the size of the earth they believed it was the center of things. When people found that the sun was the center of the solar system the solar system was believed to be the center of things (not the sun, which would have been logical). When we found ourselves to be on a spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy things changed, especially with the fact that there is no center to the universe with billions of galaxies.

So what makes me think the size of the universe leads to atheism? Everything I just mentioned, all of it and more left unspecified, since this is just a brief post. I think it's even more damaging when it comes to an omnipotent God who supposedly created the universe for the specific purpose of gaining the affections of people on this lone planet of ours. If this is what he desired (for some irrational egotistical reason) he could have simply created us on a flat disk in a much smaller universe like the one the ancients believed existed. The size of the universe is even more damaging to the God we find in the Bible, a tribal deity with a body, one of the members of a pantheon of gods which included a wife and sons. Hey, we know he had sons, so we know he also had a wife.

To read more of my reasons see chapter 24 in my book Why I became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments.

I suspect many ex-believers asked the same questions I did upon thinking about the size of the universe, and that it was one of the reasons that caused them to doubt.

Your thoughts?


HeIsSailing said...

Thomas Paine made a similar argument in his pamphlet The Age of Reason. That was back in the late 18th century. Paine was considering the universe to be no bigger than the orbit of Saturn, and he still concluded a deity who would create such a vaste universe could not care us as insignificant as we are in the cosmos