Tough Questions Answered

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Who Made God?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

Nobody.  Christians hold that God has always existed and will always exist and is, therefore, uncaused.  Only things that begin to exist need a cause, and God never began to exist, so God needs no cause.  Nobody and no thing made God.

Something or someone had to have always existed, or else everything that exists now would have ultimately come from nothing.  Nothing causes nothing, so the fact that something exists today means that something or someone must have always existed.  Think about it.

An infinite regress of causes going backward in time not only doesn’t solve the problem, it makes the problem infinitely worse!  You are just adding an infinite number of effects that need a cause.

You have to stop somewhere with causation.  Atheists often claim that the universe needs no cause, but if it began to exist, then it does need a cause.  The atheist may respond that the universe never began to exist, and therefore does not need a cause.  But this is a statement of faith.

Ultimately, you either go with God or matter, personality or impersonality, rationality or non-rationality, intelligence or non-intelligence, as the source of everything.

What you decide says a lot about you.


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Comments

  • http://themasterstable.wordpress.com Clark Bunch

    I like the way you think.

    If one does not believe in God, that makes existence a tough issue to resolve. The big bang explains nothing, because where did the material come from the exploded? You either end up with it has always existed (which atheists don’t like for us to say about God) or that we do not know. Believing their is not God when we “don’t know” where the universe came from takes a lot of faith if you ask me.

    Science can neither prove nor disprove that God exists. That’s not within the realm of good science, and anyone tossing out evidence of what we can prove or disprove when it comes to God, faith and religion is suspect.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Bill Pratt

    Thanks for the encouragement, Clark. I appreciate it.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    Wait a minute…. First you say that the big bang explains nothing, then claim that the existence of a god or gods does? It explains exactly NOTHING! It is false certainty substituting for the intellectually honest statement “I don’t know.” If you can not say how some deity created the universe, you can not say that it did! Daniel Dennett has a perfect term for this – ‘premature curiosity satisfaction’.

    Nor does arbitrarily declaring this deity as always having existed allow you an escape. If you arbitrarily declare god to always have existed and that the universe came into existence at some point (this is a common misconception – the big bang hypothesis is about the expansion of an already existing universe, not its coming into existence). Why not just start with the universe having already existed? The First Cause Argument fails on many levels.

    Here’s another. Suppose I grant that there is a first cause, ignoring that there are natural phenomena which occur in the absence of any cause (radioactive decay, formation/annihilation of virtual particles, to name two) or reject self-causation. What does the FCA have to say about the nature of the cause? Nothing. You can call it ‘God’. You can equally call it ‘mashed potatoes’ or ‘pink unicorns’ for all it matters. You get no closer to any god, let alone the Abrahamic one.

    Science can not prove anything exists. But it certainly can disprove any particular god with well-defined attributes. Science is really, REALLY good at falsification of hypotheses. While we can not rule out all possible gods, the Abrahamic god is right out. For instance, Jehovah is said to answer prayer. Yet every properly designed experiment set up to test this fails to produce any effect (except one). When this happens, it is correct to reject the hypothesis and maintain the null hypothesis. This can be done for every attribute of any god. None has ever passed muster.

    Oh, yes. The exception. Well, there are two, actually. The first is the so-called Columbia Miracle Study which has since been shown to have been a complete fraud. The only reputable name in the author list has since had it removed from the paper and is getting as far away from it as he can. One of the other two is a lawyer(!?) with a ‘degree’ in parapsychology(!?!?) as if there actually is such a thing, and has been arrested for fraud unrelated to this one. The second exception was the so-called STEP study, the largest study ever done in medicine to study the effect of intercessory prayer. No effect was found except in one group – the group that was prayed for and knew they were being prayed for. They demonstrated a worse outcome from their surgery.

    Thus, if there is no evidence for the existence of any god, it is not rational to accept their existence. No faith required.

  • http://heatherispreggers.blogspot.com/ Heather

    I’ve honestly never heard it put as simply as that (in my Lutheran upbringing it was simply, “Don’t bother to try and figure it out because it’s impossible.”) but I like it.

    I always love reading your blog…

  • Greg

    Mr. Shameless,

    As I read your post i saw what i see in the posts of many atheists, ANGER. I’m always curious why you even care about what us dumb Christians believe and who we evangelize to. We are not like a cult that would damage the pshcological or physical aspects of a person and if we are wrong then there really is no penalty for what we believed other than we wasted some Wed nights and Sundays (and all that time reading our bibles). However, if YOU are wrong, GRAVE consequences exist. Ones that you will not be able to run from.

    That being said, I’m curious as to your “hypothesis” that the Big Bang Theory (i have never seen it refered to as a hypothesis) only explains how an already expanding universe (or possibly one at complete rest) further expanded. The question you and every other atheist fail to answer is WHERE did the univers come from in the first place. Please show me any scientific experiments that show any possibility of there being nothing in the beaker and suddenly something appears. Don’t waste your time looking because there aren’t any. And by the way, those three little laws of Thermodynamics also completely explain that an infinite universe is impossible. Annihilation of ANY matter is impossible but all matter is losing its usable energy. When you use the term “virtual particle” is this like Stephen Hawkings imaginary numbers/time proposals? You see the word that preceeds numbers? It’s imaginary, just like those pink unicorns you speak about. EVERYTHING that has come into existance had a cause and that cause was not nothing. If science can ever show Christians the opposite then you might have a case but don’t hold your breath.

  • Brad

    If the universe just “existed”, from the beginning, and the Big Bang simply expanded an already-existing universe (which you seem to be saying is your position) –

    How is that any different than a Christian saying that God (rather than the universe) always existed, and He created the universe? And, if Christians are criticized roundly for that from atheists for it being “non-scientific” and “unprovable”, then how is the notion that the universe just “existed” any MORE provable or scientific?

    It almost seems like your asking for your belief to be accepted, while decrying our belief, when they’re both based on someone/something already being in existence in the beginning, without having been caused to become existent. Doesn’t seem to make sense.

  • Bill Pratt

    I hate to pile on, since other commenters have already addressed some of your points, but…

    I never mentioned the big bang in my post, but you said I did. That tells me that you weren’t really reading my post, but thinking about how you would prove me wrong before even stopping to understand what I had written. I would appreciate it if you would slow down and read the posts, rather than jumping to conclusions about what I might be saying.

    Second, I found it incredible that you claimed there are natural phenomena that are uncaused. I don’t think you mean that. The law of causality is one of the most basic laws that undergirds science. I have read many scientists and philosphers and I have never heard anyone say that things in the natural world are uncaused.

    Radioactive decay is obviously caused. Just go read the wikipedia article on it. There’s a whole section that explains the cause of it.

    Anything that begins to exist has a cause. This is self-evidently true. If you are going to argue that the statement is not true, you have an extreme uphill battle. You are asking us to deny our most basic knowledge about how the universe works.

    Third, you grossly misunderstand prayer. Christians don’t believe that God grants every prayer request. God is a free person who answers some prayers “yes” and some “prayers “no.” It is silly to try to prove or disprove God using experiments such as the ones you mentioned. We don’t know, in advance, which prayers God will answer in the affirmative. Besides, the primary function of prayer is not to get things from God, but to build a relationship with him.

    In the end, you believe that the universe has always existed, a position of faith. You have no way of knowing, but you prefer that answer to God. That’s fine, but you might want to ask yourself why you prefer an irrational, impersonal, and unintelligent source to the alternative. We are rational, personal, and intelligent beings, so isn’t it reasonable that our source possess these same properties? You believe that countless atoms randomly banged together over 13.8 billion years and produced people. Why should we believe this?

  • aforcier

    this is what i would like you to do.

    god is omniscient. omnipresent. sees and hears everything and everyone.

    you are in direct communication with him. then please ask the mighty one to reply here on your blog. himself. in is own word.

    do not quote him. do not make excuses why he cannot. silence from the one you want all to believe in means absence. inexistence.

    http://www.ANaturalPhilosophy.com

  • Bill Pratt

    With all due respect, you don’t understand the Christian concept of God at all. God is a free being who can communicate whenever or however he wants. He has communicated many times in many ways throughout history (through the writers of the Bible, for example). I cannot “force” God to do anything, and if I could, he wouldn’t be God, but some weakling who wouldn’t be worth worshipping.

    Besides, even if he did respond in his own words on this blog, would you believe it, or would you come up with more requirements for him to prove himself? Would that list of requirements ever end?

  • God

    Aforcier,

    I see you’re looking for my response. Know that I do exist. Know also that there are those on here who do talk to me, and I to them. I speak to everyone, through my written Word, the Bible.

    I want you to know Me.

    God

  • aforcier

    bill,

    thanks for posting my request anyway.

    it would have been nice if the big guy took the time himself – (no substitute) – to acknowledge his and my existence. my request is still opened.

    http://www.ANaturalPhilosophy.com

  • James Rountree

    Aforcier,
    Establishing the existence of God is not a simple process, but if you will work with us, we can have confidence in anwering that God does exist.

    Why don’t we start our conversation with the need for a cause of the universe.

    Would you agree that the universe had a cause?
    Here is the argument:
    1-Everything that had a beginning had a cause
    2-The universe had a beginning
    3-Therefore, the universe had a Cause

    The first premise is self evident, in that the phrase “nothing produces something” is the alternative, and I believe we can all agree on that simple assertion.

    The second premise is argued both scientifically and philosophically. I will avoid the philosophy for now. A scientific example would be the big bang theory. There is plenty of evidence that does not wander from the scientific relm and clearly establishes that theory. Entropy, the universe is expanding, the radiation echo discovered by Penzias and Wilson, Einstein’s attempt to avoid this truth using his famous fudge factor that he later had to remove and admit his theory demanded a beginning of time (Heeren and Smoot, SMG,109).

    So, if we use logic, we can establish that the universe had a cause. Do you agree? If you do, we have a foundation and the basis to further answer the question, does God exist.

  • aforcier

    to god who anwered me a few posts ago. thanks dude.

    james,yes, if you work the trail of causes end effects backward, you get to a begining point. a cause, which you may name :god.

    however, what if time does not travel? what if time is not linear but instantaneous? what if all that exists simply unfolds and folds into itself, in this single moment?

    what if this instant was eternal? it has always been. is. and will always be. then there is no creator god.

    all simply is.

    http://www.ANaturalPhilosophy.com

  • James Rountree

    Dear Aforcier,
    Excellent, I am glad to hear that we have a foundation to begin a conversation, that their is an uncaused cause. I would not expect us to put labels on something so undefined.

    Now to address the what if questions. While it shows your intelligence, something that we will see is an important attribute later, demonstrating creativity does not help to identify the truth. I could otherwise invent any sort of reality in my creative mind and suggest that it is truth. I will avoid suggesting a creative alternative, I want to stick with just the truth.

    So, if I have included imagination as a requirement for establishing an uncaused cause, then we have a problem that would need to be removed from the process of establishing there is a God.

    So, unless you tell me that we have not established an uncaused cause, we can continue.

    The next thing that we need to establish is that the uncaused cause must be simple. Please note that I am using the word simple with the following definition: existing without division, absolutely one, without seams, one essence.

    First, why is this important? Because in order for us to establish an uncaused cause, it must not be able to be changed. It must exist prior to anything else and exist after everything else. This is a bit of a leap and I want to put a label on this concept, that label is “Pure Actuality”. What that means is just as I have said, that the uncaused cause must be without potential to change.

    So how do we argue that the uncaused cause is pure actuality?

    1- If everything were contingent, then it would be possible that nothing existed.
    2- But something does exist (e.g. I do), and its existence is undeniable, for I have to exist in order to be able to affirm that I do not exist.
    3- Thus, if some contingent being now exists, a Necessary Being must now exist, otherwise there would be no ground for the existence of this contingent being.

    Does this make sense? Should I present it another way?

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Problem with the infinite regress of causes argument is that it artificially divides something that was never meant to be divided in the first place.

    Eternity is not a “causation chain.”

  • James Rountree

    Seth,

    Perhaps you should re-read the two arguments in my comments.

    The first argument was establishing that the universe had a beginning and a cause. There was no “causation chain” involved.

    The second argument was establishing that contingent beings (us) do exist and that we need a cause (we are contingent beings).

    My statement about “division” was part of a definition of Pure Actuality, and defines it as having no division or seams (one essense).

    If we jump ahead, these arguments lay the ground work for understanding that not only does God exist, He is unlimited, unchanging and self-existent (Aseity).

    I am not sure how you jumped to dividing eternity.

    Do you agree that God exist? That is the point of establishing a necessary being and removing the silly notion that the Universe has always existed and that we are a random event within that universe.

  • aforcier

    i guess a few more words.

    why is it so important that a god exist? what is wrong with simply being part of a very large and magnificient universe.it does not diminish you.

    perhaps one day your uncaused cause will wipe out everything. including heaven. ah. ah.)

    the only thing that is “real” in your uncaused cause argument is your no 2) you exist. wonderful.that’s the beginning of the fact that something exists. you. and the world about you. that exists! no need to invent. no need to imagine, it is there.

    from this you can deduce “actuality”. no god is present.
    but how does it function? that’s where the fun begins. that is “one” of the purpose of our existence. to define ourself. to define the world.

    http://www.ANaturalPhilosophy.com

  • James Rountree

    aforcier,

    Excellent question, that is very important. The answer is that the truth matters. If you found a pocket watch, you would not think that it just jumped into existence, you would quickly realize that it was made. When you look at the world around you, do you not see evidence of a creator?

    If you take a few moments to think through those two simple arguments about actuality, you realize that our actuality does not answer how we gained that potential to exist. Hence the understanding that only an uncaused cause can logically explain actuality of a finite being.

    However, these two arguments only confirm that there is more to the truth of our existence than a simple, we just happen to exist.

    How close to the truth you come when you suggest that the uncaused cause might one day wipe out everything. While you suggest this act of destruction would include heaven, I can only tell you what is written in the Bible.

    For this world will indeed be renewed and all of the sin and unbelievers will be removed. Heaven and earth will become one, God will be with his children and “the old order of things has passed away.”

    This is the simple message of my God. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

    God is pure goodness and ask so little of us. He knows what is written in our hearts.

    Aforcier, I have and will continue to pray that you will look closely at what is written in your heart. If you seek God, you will find Him. It is because God created us with free will that we are able to choose to know Him or to turn away from Him.

    If you prefer to hide from the truth, nothing I say will convince you. Take that small step into the light and find the truth.

    God Bless.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGYTK2C66ZKBKBG5IAQDDUG44M Regg$ #35

    I THINK THE basic point that needs to be illustrated when someone says “why not stop at the universe as existing forever” is that it doesnt explain Design–which is the main reason all normal humans, within seconds, come to the conclusion there is a God.

    The second is that if the universe has always existed and is expanding…we would be the only galaxy visible–as all other light would have receded by now.

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