The consequences of "nothing could exist" is basically what I'm asking for your opinion on. If nothing existed, and you can use whatever categorization of nothing you wish, would A=A still be a true statement?
1. If the statement A=A is true when there is nothing, then god is unnecessary for A=A being true.
2. If the statement A=A is not true when there is nothing, then you allow contradictions such as 'nothing'='not nothing' or 'logic doesn't function'='logic functions'.
A is A would be true if A existed. Miles is Miles is not possible if Miles does not exist—nor would it be true that Miles is Miles. But I will grant you that it would be true that Miles does not exist—but not in your worldview absent God. Rational reasoning is using the laws of logic to reason rationally and reach truths. Truth is a statement of reality. But you can’t have a statement of reality without reality and reality (abstract and physical) is not possible without God. Although I don’t accept your premise that absent God it would be TRUE that A is A or non-A even ifGod did not exist, let’s explore it further to see if it holds up.
We can pretend that Miles is a rock that exists and nothing else exists. Is it true that the rock exists? First, who would pose the question and who would answer if only the rock exists? Can the rock reason? Can the rock use logic? No. Logic is a description of the way God thinks—logically. But in the atheist’s worldview, God does not exist so there can be no description of the way He thinks; thus there can be no logic. And the killer conclusion is that neither can there be reasoning using logic to even consider the matter. Again, “nothing is what rocks dream about.” What you want, Miles, is to have logic, reasoning, morality, uniformity in nature (the physical laws will remain constant), and the abstracts such as dignity, liberty, justice, etc. in a worldview where only matter exists. If the atheist chooses to live in this materialistic worldview, then he must justify how the immaterial, invariant, and universal laws of logic, reason, morality, and the abstracts can come from this material world. As I said before I will not accept the premise that laws of logic and rational reasoning exist because they exist. I want the atheist materialist to justify and account for them in his worldview.
The transcendental argument for the existence of God is that the atheist must use God’s immaterial gifts to argue that only matter exists. This is tantamount to arguing that gravity does not exist while standing on the ground to make one’s argument. When he does this, he affirms the Christian’s worldview to be true and the atheist’s worldview false.
Arguing for the truth of logic does not justify it absent God. Can you do the same with morality? Let’s see. I will pretend that God does not exist. (Now this is absurd because if He did not exist eternally past, you nor I nor anything else could exist.) But for the sake of argument, I will pretend that God does not exist. Would it be it true that it is morally wrong for a man to violently rape and murder a woman? Absent a Moral Authority (God), what justification could the atheist present to justify the immorality of it? When it comes to morality, atheists are relativists. But then they sacrifice truth as well as morality. Just as a matter can’t be both true and false at the same time in the same way, so too a behavior can’t be both moral and immoral at the same time in the same way. If morality is relative, then it is true that it is morally wrong to rape a woman and it is also true that it is not morally wrong to rape a woman. Relativistic arguments always defeat themselves.
Laws of logic are not physical and are not part of the physical universe. Reasoning is not physical and not part of the physical universe. The laws of logic were not created by God and are not independent entities separate from God that came into existence at some point in time. But the laws of logic are contingent on God. They reflect the way God thinks. Thus, they can’t exist without Him any more than your reflection in your mirror can exist without you. Since God is a thinking Being and since He has always existed, the laws of logic have always reflected His thinking.
I would hold that the first option is correct and god has nothing to do with logic. Whether there's something or nothing, A=A would always be a true statement. If there were nothing the statement would simply apply to nothing.
Who would apply the statement to nothing?
Challenging argument. But you are using laws of logic which are not physical. If the atheist stayed consistent with his materialistic worldview, he could really know nothing. He could not reason because reasoning is not physical. He could not use laws of logic because they are not physical. That laws of logic are true or false does not justify them in a materialistic worldview.
To relate this back to your description of nothing, what prevents nothing from creating or producing something? If you say laws of anything (logic, conservation of matter, etc.), then you are acknowledging that these laws exist/function even when there's nothing. This would be consistent with option 1 and inconsistent with the idea that god is responsible for these laws.
Now you have transitioned from the non-physical to the physical. The physical laws are not material though. They are a description of the physical universe. Just as you reasoned using the truths of logic as justification for logic, you are now arguing that because the physical laws work, God is not needed. I need to remind you that the atheist lives in a random chemicals-to-man worldview.
The atheist (and the Christian) takes for granted that the universe is understandable, that it can be quantified in a way our minds can comprehend. We assume the universe is logical and orderly and that it obeys mathematical laws that are consistent over time and space. This regularity makes sense in a biblical creation worldview. The Christian creationist expects order and balance because God made all things (Gen. 1:1; John 1:3) and has imposed order on the universe. The Bible teaches that God upholds all things by His power (Heb. 1:3). God is consistent and can be trusted (1 Sam. 15:29; Num. 23:19). God has told us that there are things we can trust will not change (Gen. 8:22; Jer. 33:20-21). These are presuppositions of the Christian worldview. Your worldview should reflect what you encounter in reality. Our worldview should be able to rationally justify the uniformity of nature that we see around us.
The atheist is able to trust that these physical laws are constant and will not change only because he is inconsistent with his atheist materialistic worldview. He accepts Biblical principles such as uniformity in nature, while simultaneously denying the Bible from which these principles are derived. Such inconsistencies are common in secular thinking. Atheists argue that the universe is not designed but function as though it is designed and upheld by God in a uniform way. Atheists must rely on biblical creation assumptions (such as uniformity) which are contrary to their professed belief in materialism.
Now the atheist will argue that the nature of matter is such that it just behaves in a regular fashion—or uniformity is simply a property of the universe—(or it is what it is). First, it really does not answer the question of WHY? What would be the basis for such a property in an atheist worldview? Second, we must ask the atheist how he could KNOW that uniformity (unchangeable laws) is a property of the universe? His only answer is that in the past these laws have not changed. But he could not KNOW that they would not change tomorrow unless he could see into the future.
But you did ask, “What prevents nothing from producing something? The answer is “nothing.” Nothing prevents it because something can’t come from nothing. Now if you want a physical law that prevents it, it is the First Law of Thermodynamics or a simple version is that a rock can’t create itself from nothing. No new matter or energy has ever been observed coming into existence. What’s here is here. Matter or energy can’t be created or destroyed. And recall that I posited that if our worldview (set of presuppositions) does not comport with what we encounter in reality, then we should question whether or not our worldview is flawed. The Bible says that God created in six days and rested from all His creation on the seventh day. All over the world, people rest or take off from work the Sabbath. So that God created in six and rested on the seventh day agrees with what we see: No new matter or energy is coming into existence.
Now if the atheist argues that the universe was always here (even if as big as a period at the end of this sentence), the Second Law of Thermodynamics destroys this argument. A fire can’t burn for ever is the simple version. The useable amount of energy is ever decreasing and the universe is going from order to disorder. Atheist Asimov wrote, “You can’t even break even…”
So, if the universe could not have created itself from nothing, and it could not have always been here, what is your explanation for all that exists? Now when you posit “nothing” I must ask: Why do you summarily rule out a supernatural Creator in lieu of “nothing” creating something?
Now I have never had an atheist not deny the laws of thermodynamics and do illogical gymnastics to argue that we can’t accept them.