My wife had a friend from America round this morning. She hasn't seen her for a while. The friend had a young, shy daughter. I was about to head out, but the post had just arrived and I opened it in the kitchen just as I was saying hello.
I opened one exciting looking envelope to discover that it contained a copy of the Bookazine "Railways and the Holocaust". I had purchased it online as I thought it might work as stand up material, but no one would believe that the magazine (sorry bookazine) was real if I didn't show it to them. I was a bit worried that my wife's friend might see that I had bought this death pornography and assume I was some kind of despicable idiot. So I quickly put the envelope over the cover and backed out of the kitchen to find somewhere to hide the magazine so it wouldn't be found when I was out. But in a way being discovered hiding a copy of "Railways and the Holocaust" is worse than blatantly brandishing a copy. I wasn't sure it was worth all this shame - especially when later on the routine went down to few laughs at my gig that evening.
I had nothing to be ashamed of. I had a reasonable explanation. And anyway if I want to buy a bookazine dedicated to two strange and only tangentially connected topics then that is up to me. But I was still ashamed and I still hid it.
I went out for lunch with a friend that I hadn't seen for a few years (it was a day of reunions). We got talking about death and the afterlife. She disagreed with me that for pleasure to exist we must have pain - I was arguing that an eternity of pleasure would mean pleasure lost its meaning. But she said that her daughter was pretty much always happy and had never experienced pain. Which is a good point. I still think an eternity of bliss (or of pain if you went to Hell) would mean that those experiences lost their meanings.
But she also had some interesting theories about the start of the Universe. According to Andrei Linde, a Russian physicist, it could be be possible for a member of a civilisation not much more advanced than ours to create a universe in a laboratory. I've often thought that if there had to be a creator then there is no reason that he or she or it would be all-seeing or immortal or good. According to Linde, it only takes a 100,000th of a gram of matter to create a Universe. That's "enough to create a small chunk of vacuum that blows up into the billions and billions of galaxies we see around us." All the matter in the universe is created by the negative energy of the gravitational field. He says, "We can't rule out the possibility that our own universe was created by someone in another universe who just felt like doing it..... The new universe would expand into itself. Its space would be so curved that it would look as tiny as an elementary particle to its creator."
So maybe God doesn't intervene in anything because he or she or it doesn't know there's so much there. But it still doesn't answer the question "Who created God? And who created whoever created God? And so on to infinity."
I hope we are all part of an experiment or characters in a video game. It would at least mean we were here for some reason, if only a spurious or accidental one.
If that is how you make a Universe then I am absolutely certain that if a human being gets a chance to make one, he or she or it will. I know I would if I could only find a thousandth of a gram of matter I'd do it right now. And I would rule over my Universe like a tyrant and definitely when the inhabitants were least expecting it squash the entire thing between my fingers. It's my universe. I created it and I can do what I like to it. Worship me stupid creatures of my tiny Universe, believe me to be good and kind. But the reason bad things happen to good beings is cos I don't give a fuck about you really. Ha ha ha ha ha.