Friday, December 16, 2016

THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD





This proof argues that the first Cause had to always exist or it too would have required a cause, and only God can fulfill the necessary requirements. Here’s what it looks like

1.     All things that have come into existence are caused to exist by other things.
2.     If there is no eternal uncaused Causer, then nothing can exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, there must be an eternal uncaused Causer - God.


PREMISE #1 All things that have come into existence are caused to exist by other things:

To deny this is absurd. To illustrate, if I tell you that my cup of coffee just appeared without any cause, you would think me crazy. This is because we never see uncaused things materialize out of nothing.

We reasonably assume that there are causes for any phenomena. That’s why we do science – to discover the causal relationships. Therefore, to deny that phenomena require causes is to reject the basic assumption of science – that everything has a reason or a cause.


PREMISE #2  If there is no eternal uncaused Causer, then nothing can exist:

It follows that something or Someone must be uncaused and therefore eternal in order to explain the existence of everything else. If this ultimate Causer is eternal, there is no need to explain its cause, because it always was.

However, the eternal can’t be a something – the universe or some part of it. Matter and space cannot exist apart from time, but time could not have been eternal. This would have required that an infinite number of years to have already passed to have arrived in the present – a logical impossibility. Why? Because only a finite number of years could possibility have been accomplished to bring us into this moment! It’s impossible for an infinite number of years to have already passed. Infinity knows no limits.

Big Bang cosmology also maintains that the universe – time, space, and matter – had a beginning in time. According to Stephen Hawking:

·       “Almost everyone now believes that the universe and time itself had a beginning in the Big Bang!”

Besides, the law of entropy argues against an eternal universe, since by now, after an infinite amount of time, everything in the universe would have dissipated. Besides, if the universe had been expanding infinitely, space and matter would also be infinite. However, modern science denies that any of these are infinite.


CONCLUSION: This leaves us face-to-face with a Being who transcends time, space, and materiality, a Being who has the causal power to produce everything else.

Challenges:

Many atheists argue that we know so little about cosmology that we should not come to any conclusions.

While they are correct about knowing so little, nevertheless, I think that the little we know points to God.

The skeptic will also raise the God-of-the-Gaps argument: “Because we don’t know, you assume that God did it.”

This however misrepresents theistic proofs. Here’s why:

1.    We can just as easily charge them with Naturalism-of-the-Gaps – Because we don’t know, natural unintelligent forces must have done it.

2.    There does not exist one shred of evidence that causal agents operate naturally and without intelligence or purpose.

3.    The theistic proofs do not conclude, “We don’t know, so God must have done it.” Instead, these proofs compare ID (supernaturalism) with naturalism and demonstrate that ID is the most reasonable conclusion.

Others charge that theistic proofs only make God seem probable and, therefore, are unable to serve as a basis for our faith and relationship with God.

Actually, I agree. Consequently, I do not invoke theistic proofs as a basis for faith but as a means to challenge the skeptical assaults against the faith. Besides, since I have a highly doubting disposition, I sometimes think about these proofs to silence my doubts, and they do.

2 comments:

  1. Denying premise # 1 is far from absurd. The only sense you could possibly have meant is the creation of matter from nothing, and THAT is the "begin to exist" stuff you are talking about.

    But we never see things "begin to exist" in the sense of making use of new matter. In all human experience, things only "come into existence" in the sense that pre-existing matter is merely rearranged to form new things. Babies come into existence, but the atomic substructure making them up used to be space dust and grass and everything else. The only "caused to exist" we have any scientific proof of, is the recycle sense. The container holding my drink at the restaurant came into existence, but only in the sense that somebody heated pre-existing sand and then formed it into the shape of a container.

    First law of thermodynamics, matter cannot be created or destroyed. Sure, you can insist God did it anyway, but the point is that you thereby leave the realm of reason and science and enter the realm of preaching to the choir, when in fact you are supposed to be playing by the rules here.

    By the way, creating something from nothing will never be solved, just like god summoning all his power would be insufficient to create a square circle. Creating something from nothing remains illogical, no matter how many deities you assign to the task.

    There are about 9 different schools of quantum theory. Some of them assert that creation from nothing can occur (Copenhagen school) but other models of quantum physics are deterministic no less than Newtonian Mechanics. So you cannot get over the illogical problem of creation from nothing by pretending one single school of quantum theory has said it is possible.

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    1. Barry, Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Yes, I do want to play by the rules. Therefore, I want to ask you to consider my ID hypothesis - an omnipotent God who created the rules. If He created them, He can also suspend or bypass His rules.

      Also, there is the question of what you raised - if matter/energy can neither be created or destroyed. Doesn't this strike you as amazing, even supernatural instead of natural, especially in light of the fact that matter has a highly organized and intricate struggle.

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