Add this site to your Home Screen by opening it in Safari, tapping and selecting "Add to home screen"

Our panel of 89 professional philosophers has responded to

Question of the day

It's a philosophical question. No scientist, as such, will have any particular expertise for answering it.

If A created all things, then it follows that A created itself, since presumably only a thing (rather than literally nothing) can do any creating. But the notion that A created itself seems to me to be logically inconsistent: in order for A to do any creating, A must exist, and in order for A to be created (i.e., to be brought into existence) A can't yet exist. So I conclude that it's impossible for A to create all things.

However, if A created everything else, i.e., everything distinct from A, then I think it does follow that A is uncreated. Otherwise, A would have to create A's own creator(s), which seems to me to be logically impossible.

I myself think it's impossible for anything to create everything else, because I think that there are abstract objects (such as numbers, or the laws of logic) that exist necessarily and that are necessarily uncreated. So those things, at least, aren't created by anything.

Interestingly, the Bible (at least in the New Testament Gospel of John) seems torn about this: "All things were made by [God]; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3, KJV). As I've said, the first clause in that verse can't possibly be true. The second clause is at least possibly true, because it restricts itself to only those things that were made.