Post Author: Bill Pratt
See if you can follow this argument, which is one form of the cosmological argument.
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore the universe has a cause.
The first premise should be uncontroversial. If something begins to exist, it needs a cause of its existence.
The second premise draws upon the findings of science in the last century. We have Einstein’s theory of relativity dictating a beginning to space, time, and matter. We have enormous evidence for the Big Bang, which is the moment the universe exploded into existence about 13. 7 billion years ago. We also have the second law of thermodynamics, which says that the amount of energy available for work is decreasing in the universe – a universe that is decaying cannot be infinitely old because it would have run out of usable energy by now.
To sum up the last paragraph, science seems to have shown that the universe did indeed have a beginning. All of time, space, and matter came into existence 13.7 billion years ago. If that is the case, then the universe needs a cause, and that cause cannot be a part of the universe, because nothing can cause itself to exist.
So what kind of cause are we talking about? Based on the cosmological argument, we can deduce that this cause of the universe has the following properties: self-existence, timelessness, nonspatiality, immateriality, unimaginable power, and personhood.
Self-existence because whatever is the cause of the universe must ultimately be uncaused. If it is not, then the argument just moves back one step. There has to be a first uncaused cause.
This cause cannot exist in the time/space/material universe because then it would exist within the very universe it created. That is impossible.
The cause must be incredibly powerful to have created the entire universe and all of its physical laws.
The cause must be personal because an impersonal force would be deterministic and mechanistic, not possessing free will. A mechanistic being only operates according to the programming it received from something else. But if the cause of the universe received programming from something else, then we have again not provided the answer to the cause of the universe. We have just found a middle-man. The cause had to make a choice to create and only beings who are personal can make choices.
All of these are attributes of the God of Christianity. That is not to say we have proven the exact God of Christianity exists, but we have certainly made a persuasive argument that a being with some of his qualities exists.
Now that’s something to think about.