What if, instead of God, we start with the matter that existed when the Big Bang apparently occured, the singularity that apparently expanded rapidly?
Could that have "existed" on it's own, with nothing else? Could it be differentiated, since there would be nothing to compare it with?
I'm not trying to argue the point; I'm just trying to understand whether it might apply only to God.
I understand what you are saying and I'd be happy to go with it!
Would you grant that there is a signficant difference between an Eternal Intelligent Person and mere matter drifting in a vacuum?
If so, the argument has changed in magnitude rather dramatically.
Already existing "stuff" would--let's say--be what we now call Hydrogen atoms. These elements are neither organized nor disorganized. They just "exist".
Only possible things happen. Only existing things exist. That's what I'd call a "Duh" sentence. But, it is useful.
A hydrogen atom is differentiated in kind from the "nothing" of the vacuum.
It is differentiated in place because other hydrogen molecules are somewhere relative to one and the other.
It is differentiated in time only if there is "change". Then, whatever event disrupts the non-happening starts the clock between events.
A hydrogen atom is differentiated from other hydrogen atoms by quantity (if there are more or many, etc.)
So, the IDENTITY law is satisfied. To exist these hydrogen atoms are something as opposed to nothing. They are separate, together, apart, bonded--whatever configuration that happens and commensurable.
The period table (which comes billions of years later :) describes the combination of hydrogen atoms with more and more protons and electrons as differentiated elements of greater and greater complexity. Everything that exists is found on the Periodic Table as elements. Just like all english sentences contain letters (in some combination) from the fixed alphabet.
There is no problem starting with ingredients and arriving at a cake.
But, when you start with cake and insist it baked itself? That is several orders of magnitude above assumption!
A simple minded argument starts: GOD always existed and needed no origin but the matter, energy and time MUST have had an origin. That is an artificially imposed
(rigged) game. Occam's Razor would allow simple elements without intelligence or configuration to exist without purpose or cause long before it would posit
the eternal existence of an Almighty intelligent, Powerful, all-knowing, Morally superior, Creative Being both insuperable and ineluctable.
It is the difference between stepping outside your jurisdiction as one who argues facts to begin with God as "unknowable" and yet present "known" facts about Him.