The question as to whether there is a God or not can only be answered properly when we will be able to settle the matter regarding the age of our universe. Either our universe is infinitely old, in which case we will have to assume that it was always there. Or we will have to assume that it is not so old; rather it began to exist merely 13.8 billion years ago. Scientist Paul Davies in an article “Is the Universe a Free Lunch?” has explained very nicely as to why our universe cannot be infinitely old and that why it should have had a beginning:
“Some people dislike the notion that the Universe had a beginning. Why can’t it have existed for ever? The answer is simple. There are many physical processes that are irreversible; if the Universe were infinitely old, these processes would all have run their course. The Universe would already have reached its final state.
“An example will make this clear. The Sun cannot keep burning for ever. After a few billion years it will run out of fuel and die. So, too, will all stars. Though new stars are still forming, the stock of raw material is finite, and eventually it will be exhausted. So if the present state of the Universe cannot endure for eternity, it cannot have existed for eternity.”1
As the universe has a beginning, so the next question that will naturally come to our mind will be this: What was there before the beginning of the universe? Was there anything at all? Or, was there absolutely nothing?
So our query as to whether there is a God or not has ultimately brought us here: now we will have to seek an answer to the question as to what was there before the beginning of the universe. Let us suppose that before the beginning there was nothing. Now what is nothing? Nothing means non-existence of everything. If nothing is non-existence of everything, then we can further ask the following question: can non-existence of everything have any existence? If we say yes, then in that case nothing will not be proper nothing at all. This is because we have already seen that nothing means non-existence of everything. But if non-existence of everything exists, then in that case at least one thing will exist, namely non-existence of everything. If at least one thing exists, then how can it be proper nothing, because we already know that nothing is non-existence of everything? So for nothing to be proper nothing, this non-existence of everything must not have any existence. That means nothing can only be proper nothing by not existing at all. That will further mean that only something can exist and not nothing. So we arrive at the conclusion that before the beginning of the universe there was something, and not nothing, from which our universe has originated. If the universe has originated from something, then that will mean that before the origin of the universe there was nothing else other than that something: no space, no time, no matter and no energy. Space, time, matter and energy came into being only after the origin of the universe from that something. That means the initial something was neither in any space nor in any time. Being neither in space nor in time it will thus be spaceless and timeless. Being spaceless and timeless it will also be changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting and non-composite.2 Whether one will call this something God or not is purely her discretion. But one thing we should not forget here: we have arrived at this conclusion simply because we have found that our universe cannot be infinitely old and also because we have found that the existence of nothing is self-contradictory.
Our contention that before the beginning of the universe there was no space and no time is also supported by the following fact: Cosmologists say that the universe is expanding. But when it is asked what it is expanding into, we usually get the answer that it is not expanding into anything, because it is not embedded into any higher space-time.
The question why existence of nothing is self-contradictory has been elaborately discussed here3 and here4 by Peter Sas.