Over the past few months I have looked at the major arguments for the existence of God. My goal was not to go in depth on each argument but to lay out the basics and pique interest in you for further study. First I looked at the horizontal Cosmological or Kalam argument that ever finite think has a cause and since the universe is finite it also had a cause.
Next we looked at the vertical Cosmological argument that all finite things are contingent on something else. Next there was the Teleological proof or proof from design. This proof I broke into two parts. First we looked at design in the universe. This was the proof that caused Anthony Flew to change from atheism to deism. Then we looked at design in biological systems or intelligent design and how the complexity of cells cries out for a designer.
We looked at the proof from moral law and saw that there is a universal morality that all civilizations and societies try to adhere to. Lastly we looked at the argument from need. That every human need has a fulfillment and that humans have a need for a transcendent being, God.
What caused the most discussion was the first argument, the Kalam argument. This is not surprising as it is the strongest of the arguments and the one science has done the most to bring to the forefront. Science has proved that the universe had a beginning and it will have an end. Eventually there will be no more usable energy in the universe and it will expire. The effort to refute this argument came down to showing that there are finite things that are uncaused. The prime example being quantum fluctuations. That is a quantum particle coming into existence and the going out of existence with no cause.
The problem is that while quantum fluctuations are mathematical possible, they have never been observed. Also, I have not seen how the quantum fluctuations do not violate the first law of thermodynamics, that in a closed system energy can neither be created nor destroyed. For a particle to pop into existence uncaused would mean additional energy into the universe system. Of course a quantum fluctuation if it actually exists in nature could be caused by energy fluctuations within the universe.
I almost hesitate to mention the other uncaused event I was directed to but because my readers may also run into this example I will go into it. It involves the radioactive decay of elements. But not the decay itself but why an individual atom decayed at a specific time. Essentially, if you pick out one atom in a bar of uranium what caused that specific atom to decay at that time? This is a bit of a straw man argument because the cause does not change whether it is one atom ore a group of atoms. Radioactive elements decay because they are unstable and it is the individual atoms that are unstable. They will continue to decay until they reach a stable number of electrons. The cause is no mystery it is their inherent instability.
Bottom line, no finite thing in the universe has ever been observed that did not have a cause. Just because something is mathematically possible does not make it physically possible. For example, it is mathematically possible to turn a basketball inside out without tearing it. The catch, you need four spatial dimensions. The problem, we only have three. I love mathematics but at the high levels we are talking about so much is purely theoretical. Many times theory and reality just do not equate.
What can you take away from this series? First as a Christian you need to be versed in the various proof of God’s existence. Today when we talk to an unbeliever we cannot assume that they believe in the existence of any god much less the God of the universe. You also need to be able to answer their objections and always be ready to let them know that while you do not have a ready answer you will get back to them. There are many books out there to help you go deeper into this subject. I am particularly fond of Norman Geisler’s I don’t’ Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. But you can find other books by William Lane Craig, Geisler, Ravi Zacharias and others. Check out your local Christian bookstore under Apologetics and go on line. Also check out the blogs by my friends Glenn Smith’s Thomistic Bent or John Paine’s Veracity both are excellent blogs. I have links to both on the right hand side of this blog.
For the unbeliever, first thanks for dropping by. I hope I at least challenged you to think about Christianity and your own reasons for your beliefs. I would like to point out that there are multiple arguments for God’s existence and these argument have convinced people of greater intellect then I can ever hope to exhibit. These arguments have convinced Anthony Flew, C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell among others to move from atheism to belief in God and for the latter three to belief in the Christian God. Personally, I think for the agnostic or atheist the argument from design is the most powerful. I would recommend picking up a copy of Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box or something by William Dembski. And always feel free to leave me a comment. I enjoy being challenged and hope you feel the same.
As promised, my next series will be on how I came to be a firm believer in all things Darwin to a skeptic and believer in intelligent design. This will take a while to complete as I like to be as thorough l as I can. I imagine the first post will be in two or three weeks. As always I will post my weekday devotionals.
Thanks for reading my blog and have a blessed day