A Cosmological Argument for God:
- If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause
- The universe began to exist
- Therefore, the universe had a cause
To suppose that something sprang into being, uncaused out of nothing is worse than believing in magic, according to Dr. William Lane Craig. If a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least you start with the magician, as well as the hat. Magicians, rabbits and hats combine to trick our minds with illusion, but we know it is an illusion. We know the reality is belied by what we think we see.
Call it intuition. Call it something else. Our observation fails sometimes to provide us the complete picture, but we “know” the reality nevertheless.
Lawrence Krauss makes the case for the universe arising out of nothing. But, when he talks about nothing, he is not talking about absolutely nothing. His “nothing” is actually vacuums of energy. Something can hardly be nothing. David Albert, the philosopher of science, and Ph.D. in quantum physics, calls Krauss’s argument “wrong”, but I dare say it does not take a Ph.D. to know that Krauss cannot be right.
Krauss’s nothing, like the rabbit pulled out of a hat, simply begs the next question: where did the vacuums of energy come from? And, if the answer is simply other vacuums of energy (like other Big Bangs, or other universes, or aliens), you know what the next question will be. This reasoning is an infinite series of regress. It is an exercise in avoiding the only other plausible possibility.
The scientific evidence suggests that the reality we know had a beginning. The Big Bang theory, the expanding universe, the second law of thermodynamics, the radiation afterglow and other observations all suggest that the universe had a beginning. Tufts Professor, Alexander Vilenkin, claims to have discovered, after 35 years of tracing the universe back in time, that, prior to the beginning of the universe, there was not another universe, or aliens or anything; “there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.“
That, indeed is a tough pill to swallow for a scientific and intellectual community that desperately wants “something” to have always existed. Anything will do, as long as it provides an alternative to the conclusion that an uncaused Causer, an unmoved Mover got the ball rolling. That we are left with no satisfactory explanation but that some intelligence designed the universe (itself being infinite and outside of time, space and even matter) is inescapable.
Many an honest atheist concedes this point:
“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say “supernatural”) plan.”
(Nobel laureate Arno Penzias, “Cosmos, Bios, and Theos,” page 83)
“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”
(Dr. Francis Crick, biochemist, Nobel Prize winner, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, pg. 88)
“There are only two possibilities as to how life arose; one is spontaneous generation arising to evolution, the other is a supernatural creative act of God, there is no third possibility. Spontaneous generation that life arose from non-living matter was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with only one possible conclusion, that life arose as a creative act of God. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God, therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation arising to evolution.”
(Dr. George Wald, evolutionist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University at Harvard, Nobel Prize winner in Biology.)
“Darwin’s theory of evolution is the last of the great nineteenth-century mystery religions. And as we speak it is now following Freudians and Marxism into the Nether regions, and I’m quite sure that Freud, Marx and Darwin are commiserating one with the other in the dark dungeon where discarded gods gather.”
(Dr. David Berlinski, Ph.D from Princeton, Philosopher and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture – a self-described secular Jew)
As to the argument that there is no reason to endow the cause of the universe with any of the properties normally ascribed to God, this is the response:
What properties must the cause of the universe possess? According to Dr. William Lane Craig, the cause of the universe must have the following attributes:
- The cause of space and time must transcend space and time
- It must, therefore, be spaceless and timeless
- It must, therefore, be changeless and immaterial
- Anything that is timeless must be unchanging (anything that is material is always changing, at least at the atomic and molecular level)
- Such a cause must be beginningless and uncaused because there cannot be an infinite regress of causes
- It must be unimaginably powerful
- It must be personal (implied by timelessness and immateriality)
The only candidates are unembodied minds or abstract objects (like numbers), but abstract objects do not stand in causal relation to anything. The number 7, for instance, has no effect on anything. The cause must be, therefore, an unembodied mind. This is implied by the origin of an effect with a beginning from a beginningless cause.
How else could a timeless cause give effect to a temporal beginning? If the cause were a mechanical effect of necessary and sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without its effect. When the cause is given, the effect is given as well; they must exist together. The cause of water freezing is temperature below zero centigrade. If the temperate was always zero from eternity past, then any water existing would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to begin to freeze at any finite time in the past. If the cause is permanently present, the effect is permanently present as well.
In the case of the universe, how can the cause be timeless and permanent and the effects only begin a finite time ago? The only way is for the cause to be personal, endowed with freedom of the will who could spontaneously create a new effect without any prior conditions. Thus, not only is there a transcendent cause, but a personal creator.
Those are the characteristics of God.
This is taken from a “talk” that Dr. William Lane Craig gave at Oxford University in England. You can follow the link to hear the entire presentation given in a creative way.
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