Chet... I post once every two months.... and here I go on that kind of thread....
Well, first and foremost I'll answer the question about the big bang (sorry I only read half of the posts here and so maybe the answer was already given) : scientist can't give a reason for the big bang (well most scientist, some theories give "possible explanations") because that's imposhibible ! Due to the huge amount of energy released (what we now observe as the relic radiation) all previous information are inacessible (like a black/white hole if you are interested in astrophysics). As long as the actual theories is considered correct, it is (and will be) impossible to know the exact reasons behind the big bang. I'm quite a noob concerning all this, so if you want in depth explanation go search someone more reliable than me ;)
@Trev : The laws of thermodynamics declare the Greatest Being necessarily mortal, fallible, and limited in influence. >>>>>> would you please be king enough to expose me why ? limited in influence is a given but I'd like to see the mathematics reason behind the other two points.
@Chestnut_Rice I thought most Americans were Protestant. Where are all the "Unitarian" voters? D: >>>>>> protestant don't believe in the trinity ? didn't know.... I should check that out....
Well, about my point of view :
God exists but as an architect. He have no clear self-conscience and only act to set the laws of physics in a way most likely to create live at a large-scale (making it pretty much certains that there are extra-terrestrial lifeforms). He created matter out of nothing but don't do it anymore (either because he don't wanna or because he is unable to).
Being omniscient and immortal, time means nothing to him and thus he lets the world unfolds naturally, the evolution taking care of the stuff for him. He makes sure that every species which mets their dead end in the evolution dies slowly, allowing others creatures to take their places. In the long run, he lets the universe he create fall upon itself leading to a big crunch.
We are of no interest to him as he looks as life as a whole and thus we are not worse more than the monkeys from which we evolved. Once rotten the body serve as fertilizer for plants which are eaten making every living things the roots for future plants/animal and bacteria.
The soul is then given naturally to a newborn (what we call reincarnation).
Afterlife (as in breaking the reincarnation cycle) may exists but is twisted and non-natural (much like frozen water, which is thus not a part of the active water cycle), maybe taking form in ghost. No heaven nor hell, we are reincarnated indefinetely (and as memories are linked to the brain, there is no way we can remenber of our past lives).
One can actually see it (the architect) as a set of rules with no ability to actually act on someone life (what somes call the Nature (don't know if the meaning stays in english ?)).
Well no proof (that's a given, huh ?) but just a thought ^^
Much like Ecstasy I'm a bit appealed by buddhism (or shintoism but that's just cuz polytheist religions are cool :P)