Why atheists can believe in a virgin birth
Yesterday at the RZIM Summer school we heard from Vince Vitale on the cosmological argument. I outlined most of his presentation yesterday. In it he also discussed a fascinating proposal for atheists to consider concerning the virgin birth.
Atheists generally don’t believe in a virgin birth. Atheists claim a virgin birth is impossible because there is nothing to cause the birth to occur.
Yet playfully, Vitale pointed out that atheists believe that the universe came into existence without a cause. Atheists believe that the universe began from nothing and that self-replicating molecules formed by themselves in a primeval soup without any agent. Vitale quoted Quentin Smith who said, ‘we came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing’. In some respects this is a form of virgin birth!
So my question is, how can an atheists reject the virgin birth as without cause, yet also maintain rationally that the universe (and all matter and engergy) came into existence without cause?
I’m keen to hear how philosophically, these two events are different? Why is the origin of the universe different to the origin of a child?
For it seems that if an atheist can maintain that a universe can exist without caused, then so could a virgin give birth!