Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does God exist?

*The following is a compilation of arguments and rationale from William Lane Craig and his Reasonable Faith website.*

Is this an important question?

I think so.

Here are some reasons why:

1) If God does not exist, life is ultimately meaningless. It does not matter how you live (it may matter relatively, as you influence others and even history, but not ultimately.) In the end, you are forgotten. Arguably, no one will remember Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr or even Hitler  in 10,000 years. Or in 10,000,000 years.

2) If God does not exist, there is no hope. There is no hope for suffering, aging, disease, or death. In the end, we will all end up the same. Worm food. Trampled on by future generations of who knows what kind of animals or people.

3) If God does exist, there is meaning and hope. Even better, you can know Him. That has BIG effects on you and on mankind.

It is for these reasons that I believe it makes a great difference whether God exists.

Reason #1 to believe in the existence of God:

God explains the origins of the universe

There is a simple saying that has an incredible amount of power in it. In it rests the fate of millions of souls. In it rests the hearts of many who truly don't understand the irrationality of such a statement. They argue that belief in a 'God' is irrational, yet their own trust and belief in this statement proves their ignorance of what faith and belief really is. The saying is: 'Something cannot come from nothing.'

It seems so elemental to say aloud that an object cannot not only appear, but come into existence from nothing at all.  I'm not sure how it can possibly be made any more simple. Matter, space, and time all could not have just popped into existence. There must have been something that caused them to be. A rock can only come from previously existing substances. An amoeba can only come from previously existing substances. A speck of dust can only come from previously existing substances. It is completely illogical to say that 0 + 0 = 1. Any math professor would fail you if you answered the question that way.

Next, we know that reality cannot be eternal. There can not exist an infinite amount of past events. If there were an actually infinite amount of past events, we would never really arrive at the present.

An actually infinite amount of things leads to self-contradictions. How would you answer the following: infinity + 1 = ? That equation simply can't be answered.

Infinity is merely an idea. Past events are real, therefore they are not infinite.

David Hilbert, perhaps the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century said,

The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea.
It is thus logical to conclude that the universe is not eternal, or in other words, it began to exist.

The previous statements can be summarized into the following argument known as the 
Kalam Cosmological Argument:

                                                    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
                                                    2. The universe began to exist
                                                    3. Therefore, the universe has a cause

Lastly, there are a few stipulations to be made regarding the 'cause.'

- The 'cause' must be uncaused. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes.
- The 'cause' must be timeless and changeless. The 'cause' created time.
- The 'cause' must be immaterial. The 'cause' created space.
- The 'cause' must be personal. The 'cause' must be separate from the 'effect.' It cannot be mechanical. It must have a 'will' to be able to act.

These necessities lead to the conclusion that it is God who is the 'cause.'  Many have tried to argue that it doesn't need to be God that is the cause, and they describe a random 'thing' that has the above properties; however what they end up describing is God - they merely give it a different name.

Take a look at this video as William Lane Craig addresses this very point:

The Kalam Cosmological Arugment is probably the most convincing argument I have found for the existence of God.

However, this does not bring us to a belief in a certain God (Christian, Islam, Hindu's many gods, etc.). It is merely moving us from a-theism to theism. But that is a beg, necessary step that often needs to be taken first for many people.  I will present at a later date reasons for the existence of the Christian God.

What do y'all think? Comments are not only welcome, but encouraged!

**This is the first of 5 arguments for the existence of God I will be posting from Reasonable Faith, William Lane Craig's ministry.

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