Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The cosmological argument for God's existence

 In the previous post I tried to explain the ontological argument for the existence of God, as I understand it. Now for the cosmological argument.

In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)
In the following, and in the coming posts on the moral and teleological arguments, I make no claims to original thinking. These arguments have been conceived and written about by Jews, Muslims and Christians for centuries.
 A web search will yield a large harvest and I do not have the academic credentials to recommend the most scholarly and reputable sources with any authority. If you contact me I will try to point you in the right direction so you can make your own investigations.

The following applies to the universe or multiverse in which we exist:

(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause


(2) The universe began to exist

(3) Therefore the universe has a cause

(4) A self existent uncaused being must be the first cause: God.


To deny premise (1) would be to say that an entity can come into existence without any cause. This defies reason.  

Something cannot come from nothing. Even elementary particles come from a fluctuating vacuum energy. Even empty space is something – space, along with time, were created by the Big Bang. If something can come from nothing then anything could come from nothing at any time – a flying spaghetti monster or a bag of peanuts could materialise from nothing. Could it be that the universe itself exists eternally and essentially? No, because nothing inside the universe exists eternally and essentially- everything we see, from a spark to a galaxy, has a cause.

God is by definition an uncaused first cause that is self existing from beyond space and time. The fact that there must be such a being says something about the transcendental nature of reality and the inner being of the humans created in God’s image. God cannot be observed, or investigated or communicated with by scientific methods.

Premise (2) can only be rejected if you believe that the universe is eternal; but eternity means an infinite amount of time. No quantity can be infinite in extent because infinity is merely a mathematical concept. Moreover, an eternal universe should by now be formless and chaotic because from the 2nd law of thermodynamics it should be in a state of maximum entropy. If that was the case we would not exist. See also Infinity, eternity and thermodynamics  and
Eternity and thermodynamics.

If premises (1) and (2) are valid the rest follows.

 G.W.Leibniz (1646-1716, co-inventor of the differential calculus with Isaac Newton)  advanced a similar argument, attempting to ask why anything exists at all. He concluded that it could only be God.

This does not tell us much about  the personhood of God. It does, however, say that a creative timeless, spaceless causative entity with a will does exist, since he/she/it made the decision to create the universe. 

Since we now know how fine tuned for life is this universe God must have had living beings as his ultimate objective.
For an academic exposition by W.L.Craig (a brillliant Christian philosopher who is also an expert on cosmology) on the existence of God to a class of students listen to the podcasts on this website. He deals with searching questions from the students.

Author, 2077 AD
Reach me at cosmik.jo@gmail.com
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