You're over-simplifying the concept. The Universe isn't eternal, having a definable beginning; whether it exists indefinitely afterwards is irrelevant. Unless you really want to get into some existential philosophy, we can safely say that the Universe exists; that's a given, and for all intents and purposes, a provable fact. We have to accept that the Universe exists, regardless of how it got there.If we, for example, believe the Universe is not self-existent, then we need to fathom some way for it to have come into being; a deity being the usual rational. Aside from the fact this is, essentially by definition nigh unprovable, this raises the question: is the deity eternal and self-existent? If not, then the cycle repeats again ad infinitum. If otherwise, then we accept the ability of an object to be self-existent. And if we can accept the self-existence of a being of some description, why then can we not accept the self-existence of the Universe? Cut out the middle-man, as it were.For the most part, I think a majority of atheists very well understand the concept of an omnipotent being; most atheists were raised believing, only ceasing to do so later in life. It is not that they cannot fathom the existence of a deity; it’s that they do not see it as logically reasonable. I know I’m generalising here, and that a large portion will undoubtedly have emotional rationalisations (God cannot exist because of all the evil I see around etc.), however I think the primary consensus, among the scientific community at least, is simply the principle of Occam's Razor. It makes more sense to assume the universe is self-existent, than to invent some other entity which itself must be self-existent; which raises inconceivably more questions. At the end of the day, comparing the existence of a deity to the existence of the Universe is a foolish comparison, and a moot point; they are completely different concepts. Apples and oranges, to use a tired turn of phrase.
Anonymous:The point I was trying make is that atheists apply double standards to their logic. There are only 2 possibilities: either the Universe is created by some process or uncreated and self-existent. Self-existence of the Universe was scientifically accepted until Georges Lemaitre used Einstein's math and Hoyle's Red Shift observations to upset the apple cart.Obviously, self-existence was not considered illogical or impossible.Most atheists were not raised in religious households. That's also a statically demonstrated fact.
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