The Hitch wrote:Its not an argument as much as a rebuttal. The righteous say that they cant fathom how the world can create itself from nothing ergo creator did it. I, or we say that we can't fathom how a creator can create himself from nothing.
The idea that a creator created himself is what's weak.
Its far more likely that nothingness slowly produce something which produced more something and over an imeasurable ammount of time created atoms and matter, and eventually life.
The alternative - that God created himself, does not involve billions of trillions of millenia, but rather a instantaneous moment.
The religious often use this boeing 747 argument, related to Aquinus watch argument, which is worth mentioning because Dawkins book, "the blind watchmaker" is a clever rebuttal in 3 words.
The idea, as you no doubt know, goes that, the world creating itself from nothing is as probable as a wind sweeping across a scrap yard and putting together a Boeing 747 plane.
So I propose, using the Boeing analogy that the 2 choices are the following.
1 if you give the wind and the scrapyard billions and billions of centuries, eventually it will put together a boeing 747 plane. - Our universe was slowly created from nothing.
2 You give the wind 1 chance to put together the plane. - God created himself and all his magical powers, from nothing.
Here is an argument made by Anselmus of Canterbury. It's quite famous.
That God truly exists
Therefore, Lord, you who give knowledge of the faith, give me as much knowledge as you know to be fitting for me, because you are as we believe and that which we believe. And indeed we believe you are something greater than which cannot be thought. Or is there no such kind of thing, for "the fool said in his heart, 'there is no God'" (Ps. 13:1, 52:1)? But certainly that same fool, having heard what I just said, "something greater than which cannot be thought," understands what he heard, and what he understands is in his thought, even if he does not think it exists. For it is one thing for something to exist in a person's thought and quite another for the person to think that thing exists. For when a painter thinks ahead to what he will paint, he has that picture in his thought, but he does not yet think it exists, because he has not done it yet. Once he has painted it he has it in his thought and thinks it exists because he has done it. Thus even the fool is compelled to grant that something greater than which cannot be thought exists in thought, because he understands what he hears, and whatever is understood exists in thought. And certainly that greater than which cannot be understood cannot exist only in thought, for if it exists only in thought it could also be thought of as existing in reality as well, which is greater. If, therefore, that than which greater cannot be thought exists in thought alone, then that than which greater cannot be thought turns out to be that than which something greater actually can be thought, but that is obviously impossible. Therefore something than which greater cannot be thought undoubtedly exists both in thought and in reality.