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EVIDENCE FOR TRUTH EVIDENCE FOR GOD’S EXISTENCE Various World Views Arguments for God’s Existence Objections to God’s Existence EVIDENCE FOR MIRACLES EVIDENCE FROM HISTORY EVIDENCE FOR DEITY EVIDENCE FOR SCRIPTURE EVIDENCE FOR CHRISTIANITY
Arguments for God’s Existence
Everyone at some point wonders whether God exists. Among the reasons God fascinates us is that “all men by nature desire to know” (Aristotle, M, I, 1), and knowing the greatest truth commands our greatest desire. Consequently, as long as man desires to know, he will seek to know the truth about God. Those who believe in one God who intervenes in the world have proposed many arguments to demonstrate that such a God exists. Most of these arguments are variations on a few types of arguments for God’s existence. This chapter will not serve as a comprehensive survey of every argument but rather will concentrate on those classical arguments that historically have the most compelling presentations: the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, and the moral argument.1 I. Cosmological Argument A. General Summary There are two forms of the cosmological argument. One form argues for an Original Cause that caused the universe to come to be. This is the “horizontal” approach of the cosmological argument, better known as the Kalaam argument. Medieval Arab philosophers as well as St.
There are both classical arguments for God’s existence and experiential arguments. As the names suggest, classical arguments are those which have considerable precedent in the history of philosophy while experiential arguments are more recent formulations by existentialists that focus only on what is internal to man rather than including what is external as well. There are four classical arguments: the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the ontological argument, and the moral argument. I have chosen to omit the ontological argument because it does not prove anything about the existence of God but rather demonstrates certain verities about His nature. Concerning the experiential arguments, their greatest contribution lies not in proving that God exists but rather in persuading someone to know God once His existence has been proven. -11
Bonaventure presented and defended this view. The other form argues for an Operational Cause that causes the universe to continue to be. This “vertical” form of the cosmological argument has Thomas Aquinas as its chief historical proponent. Various contemporary philosophers defend versions of both types of the argument. The general form of the horizontal argument is as follows:
1. 2. 3. Every event that had a beginning had a cause. The universe had a beginning. Therefore, the universe had a Cause. (Geisler, ST1, 27)
The general form of the vertical argument is as follows:
1. 2. 3. Every effect has a cause. The universe is an effect. Therefore, the universe has a Cause. (Geisler, WA, 54)
B. Particular Arguments 1. Aristotle’s Argument for an Unmoved Mover Aristotle understands reality in terms of what actually is (actuality) and what potentially could be (potentiality). The movement from potentiality to actuality is (efficient) causality, which something purely potential cannot perform on itself. In other words, something cannot make itself exist. Therefore, something must exist which is not made to exist. Though Aristotle believed that there was a plurality of uncaused, self-existent actualities, his reasoning is an important first step that launched the thoughts of future philosophers concerning God.
The first principle or primary being is not movable either in itself or accidentally, but produces the primary eternal and single movement. And since that which is moved must be moved by something, and the first mover must be in itself unmovable, and eternal movement must be produced by something eternal and a single movement be a single thing, and since we see that besides the simple spatial movement of the universe, which we say the first and unmovable substance produces, there are other spatial movements— those of the planets—which are eternal. . . each of these movements also must be caused by a substance unmovable in itself and eternal. (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 12.8, 1073a24-34) But the primary essence has not matter; for it is fulfillment. So the unmovable first mover is one both in formula and in number; therefore also that which is moved always and continuously is one alone; therefore there is one heaven alone. (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 12.8, 1074a35-38)
2. Anselm’s Arguments Though better known for the ontological argument, Anselm did articulate a number of lesserknown cosmological type arguments. These a posteriori arguments begin with existing things and reason inductively to their cause, which he sees as God.
It follows, therefore, that all other goods are good through another being than that which they themselves are, and this being alone is good through itself. Hence, this alone is supremely good, which is alone good through itself. For it is supreme, in that it so surpasses other beings, that it is neither equaled nor excelled. But that which is supremely good is also supremely great. There is, therefore, some one being which is supremely good, and supremely great, that is, the highest of all existing beings. (Anselm, “M” in SABW, chap. 1) But whatever exists through another is less than that, through which all things are, and which alone exists
Avicenna was one such philosopher. If it has reason. 25) 4. Aquinas’ Five Ways to Prove God’s Existence Probably the most famous of the classical cosmological arguments for God’s existence come from Thomas Aquinas.e. Pt. consequently. whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. (Avicenna. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect. (Anselm. a. whatever has any existence—that must be supremely good. there is then a chain of contingents linked one to the other. in short. arguing from various effects we see in the world to their ultimate Cause. . . But this cannot go on to infinity. put in motion by no other. seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover. i. and that by another again. . In other words. (Aquinas. which is potentially hot. which is that God is the Present Cause sustaining the existence of all things in the world. then it is necessary in its being. The First Way: Argument from Motion The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. and. except by something in a state of actuality. to be actually hot. chap. These arguments illustrate the vertical form of the cosmological argument. whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another. as fire. that it should move itself. Thus that which is actually hot. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot. and. Therefore contingent beings end in a Necessary Being. a Necessary Being is existentially self-sufficient. Therefore. and evident to our senses. and this everyone understands to be God. 3) -3- .” of God’s existence. or God. and through which exists whatever is good or great. In his massive Summa Theologica. but it is simultaneously potentially cold. If on the other hand it has no reason for its being in any way whatsoever. (Avicenna. some one being which alone exists in the greatest and highest degree of all. 26) Following these assumptions. 2 Art. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion. and supremely great. If the reason is also contingent. It is certain. which is absurd. and the highest of all existing beings. Whatever has being must either have a reason for its being. There is. Avicenna’s First Cause A number of Muslim philosophers also argued for the existence of the theistic God. 3) 3. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover. and thereby moves and changes it. exists. it must exist. for this being which is the subject of our hypotheses cannot enter into being so long as it is not preceded by an infinite succession of beings. or have no reason for it. for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion. Aquinas supplies five demonstrations. . because then there would be no first mover. 25.through itself. “M” in SABW. then. or “ways. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved. . ST. A necessary being has no cause whatsoever. AT. but only in different respects. then this also must needs be put in motion by another. then it is contingent . that in the world some things are in motion. that which exists through itself exists in the greatest degree of all things. . Central to Avicenna’s cosmological argument is the notion that anything that comes into existence has a reason (meaning existential cause) for its existence. and there is no being at all. But that which is greatest of all. makes wood. no other mover. Therefore. Avicenna argues that a Necessary Being. as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. 1Q. AT.
if at one time nothing was in existence. 1. is the cause of all hot things. but rather causing in others their necessity. and this being we call -4- . neither will there be an ultimate effect. ii. it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity. true. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things. for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being. The Fourth Way: Argument from Goodness The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. or nearly always. Therefore. noble and the like. or only one. the first is the cause of the intermediate cause. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. and this is evident from their acting always. which is impossible. or not.b. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be. so as to obtain the best result. for so it would be prior to itself. ST. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another. (Aquinas. such as natural bodies. unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence. there will be no first efficient cause. even now there would be nothing in existence. as fire. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being. because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. something which is uttermost being. not all beings are merely possible. There is no case known (neither is it. The Fifth Way: Argument from Final Causality The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. nor any intermediate cause. if there be no first cause among efficient causes. This all men speak of as God. indeed. in the same way. ST. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously.3) d.3) c. 1. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus. since they are found to be generated. which is the maximum heat. according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum. The Third Way: Argument from Contingency The third way is taken from possibility and necessity. whether the intermediate cause be several. nor any intermediate efficient causes. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity. Therefore. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity. but designedly. Among beings there are some more and some less good. then at one time there could have been nothing in existence.3) e. (Aquinas. and runs thus.2. all of which is plainly false. as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. and to corrupt. ST. something best. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. there will be no ultimate. and every other perfection. as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. because in all efficient causes following in order. Therefore. and not receiving it from another.2. But it is impossible for these always to exist. We see that things which lack intelligence. but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. Therefore. (Aquinas. The Second Way: Argument from Efficient Causality The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. as it is written in Metaph. do they achieve their end. they are possible to be and not to be. for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. consequently. and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause. 1. to which everyone gives the name of God. Now if this were true. and this we call God. possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself. and consequently. act for an end. as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest. and thus even now nothing would be in existence—which is absurd. so that there is something which is truest. something noblest and.2. if everything is possible not to be. goodness. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end.
4. that it might without there being any explanation of its existence. 6. It is strange indeed. Therefore. Taylor’s Argument for God Richard Taylor explains in his argument for God’s existence the absurdity of something coming into existence from nothing. . This illustrates the fact that something that is mysterious ceases to seem so simply by its accustomed presence. and so on to infinity. If it were caused by itself. Taylor shows that something that comes to be must come to be from something. As he explains. CA. a necessary being (4) exists. The idea that it might have come from nothing at all. then. then upon finding a large rock in the woods one day you would be just as puzzled and mystified. about your own height. i. Now whatever else you might wonder about it. or (4) a non-contingent (necessary) being. . who states his case for God in terms of contingency and necessity. Therefore. 1. you one day came upon some quite unaccustomed object. “That no world should ever exist at all is perfectly comprehensible and seems to express not the slightest absurdity” (Taylor. this contingent being (2) is caused by another. that a world such as ours should exist. or (2) by another. that it is a large ball. stones. not nothing. Suppose. perfectly and mysterious. that which causes (provides the sufficient reason for) the existence of any contingent being must be either (5) an infinite series of contingent beings.2. (Reichenbach. This contingent being is caused either (1) by itself. Suppose. That which is contingent is dependent on something else for the explanation of its existence. it is no more inherently mysterious that such a thing should exist than that anything else should exist. which is impossible. If you were quite accustomed to finding such objects of various sizes around you most of the time. This illustrates a metaphysical belief that seems to be almost a part of reason -5- . depends on something else for its existence. If 3. 19-20) 2. certainly. there is one thing you would hardly question. we must appeal to the only remaining alternative. You might not have the remotest idea whence and how it came to be there.God. . 5. in addition to the sticks. namely that there exists a non-contingent (necessary) being which provides the sufficient reason for any contingent being. something not quite like what you had ever seen before and would never expect to find in such a place. then this contingent cause must itself be caused by another. Reichenbach’s Argument A more recent formulation of the cosmological argument comes from Bruce Reichenbach. As he summarizes.3) 5.. . is one that few people would consider worthy of entertaining. That which causes (provides the sufficient reason for) the existence of any contingent being must be either (3) another contingent being. . CA. Therefore. Central to Reichenbach’s argument is contingency. which is similar to Aquinas’ Third Way. and other accustomed litter of the forest floor. “MG” as cited in Burrill. Suppose you were strolling in the woods and. or (4) a necessary being. yet few men are very often struck by this strangeness. ST. but you would hardly doubt that there was an explanation. for example. but had never seen an ordinary rock. namely.e. But if an infinite series of contingent beings is incapable of yielding this. CASO. 3. (Reichenbach. (Aquinas. 18) We may summarize the detailed argument as follows: 1. for example. . An infinite series of contingent beings (5) is incapable of yielding a sufficient reason for the existence of any being. In his anecdotal manner. that it owes its existence to something. 6. but if one considers the matter. but simply take it for granted. it would have to precede itself in existence. 284). A contingent being exists. that it did not appear there all by itself. that you have found this translucent ball and are mystified by it.
Everything in the world is capable of perishing and nothing in it. but existence does. it is not quite so natural to ask why it should not be. however. (1) that the world depends for its existence upon something else.contains within itself the reason for its existence. In fact. ever so many things to suggest that it does not. whether long or short. but if one finds such a ball. or the need of any explanation eliminated. or is a necessarily existing thing.e. it repeatedly begs of giving a reason. Hackett’s Cosmological Argument Following the Thomistic tradition of arguing for the existence of God based on First -6- . for our question is not how it happens to be there but how it happens to exist at all. the belief. even though few men ever think upon it. This. is impossible.. everything in the world appears to be quite plainly the opposite. and at the same time to say that it comes into being or passes away. but by its own nature (Taylor. which is not to be confused with the passing out of existence of something. that it is a necessary being. which in turn depends on still another thing. For in the first place. Now we can hardly doubt that there must be an explanation for the existence of such a thing. some reason why it should exist rather than not. . is implausible. If it does not exist by its own nature. . and is the creator of heaven and earth. something that not only need not exist. never requires a reason. anything which exists by its very nature must necessarily be eternal and indestructible. leaving only this ball to constitute the entire physical universe. but depends instead upon something else. then.itself. or that its existence is suddenly rendered self-explanatory. “MG” as cited in Burrill. then we cannot for a moment suppose that its existence has thereby been explained. but at some time or other. . . namely. 282-93). Consider again the strange ball that we imagine has been found in the forest. however long it may already have existed and however long it may yet remain. It matters not in the least where it happens to be. namely. or that it could ever come into being or pass away. and so on. that the world . this depending upon still another. CASO. or (2) that the world derives as existence from something that exists by its own nature and which is accordingly eternal and imperishable. 7. if it depends upon anything at all. must depend upon something that is necessary and imperishable. and wonders why it is there. The first of these alternatives. in turn. and we do find. . It would seem. namely. as though existence should simply be taken for granted. past or future or both does not in fact exist. the totality of all things except God . The sheer nonexistence of anything. . and in fact everything else as well to vanish into nothingness. however. for it does not render a sufficient reason why anything should exist in the first place. that there is some explanation for the existence of anything whatever. Now then. If one were to look upon a barren plain and ask why there is not and never has been any large translucent ball there. on the contrary.i. we can say either of two things. and which accordingly exists. then it would seem that the world. that is. not in dependence upon something else. depends for its existence upon something else. Now if we suppose that the world . is contingent and thus dependent upon something other than itself for its existence. It would be a self-contradiction to say of anything that it exist by its own nature. the natural response would be to ask why there should be. Instead of supplying a reason why any world should exist. though we may have no notion what that explanation is. If we now imagine the field to be annihilated. we are supposing that it exists by its very nature. ad infinitum. exists by its own nature. . then it. Ultimately. Everything in the world seems to have a finite duration. for we find nothing about the world or anything in it to suggest that it exists by its own nature.
Further. . Stuart Hackett’s argument for God’s existence begins with the Law of Noncontradiction (which is a First Principle) and then shows why the existence of anything that has come into being implies the existence of God. though the actual existence of anything necessary is not here presupposed. Whatever exists must have an adequate explanatory ground which accounts for its existence and properties: “Nothing can exist unless it possesses an adequate explanatory ground. RCRC. Premise 2: Something (I. at least. it will be clear that these principles retain there objective status and validity independently of particular minds and objects. what the law of contradiction or the principle of causal connectedness means. principles. 93-98). nevertheless the principles provide no distinctive clue as to the positive nature of these objects and other analogous ones. it becomes reasonably clear that these principles are such that. either contingent or necessary. in religious language. God. Premise 1: If anything exists. as God is construed in my understanding of theism. in the sense that the adequate propositional or judgmental expression of them would remain true whether or not any finite minds and/or objects existed. On the other hand. it follows that a cosmos or world order is logically possible and conceivable only through the validity of those a priori principles of reason. in general. then that would mean that it contains the ground of its existence in its own nature. God. in one of his basic aspects.Principles. as partly defined by theism) exists (Hackett. logically prior to and independently of particular facts of experience. so that both the fact that it exists and the properties that it possesses are intrinsic to that nature. an absolutely necessary and transcendent being exists.e. This is perhaps the best example of the horizontal form of the cosmological argument (sometimes called the Kalaam argument). Now what follows from this. for those ultimate principles of reason constitute the very essence of the structure of mind in its capacity for thinking and consciousness. which reasons that there must -7- . is that there could be no world order. nature. . To be mind is precisely to be structurally constituted through those interpretive principles and categories which essentially characterize mind a priori. if the entity is self-existent and therefore self-explanatory. unless logically and ontologically (but not temporally. Such an entity would be precisely what I have previously defined as an absolutely necessary being—or. that is. But the situation is strikingly different in the case of thought as a function of mind. will be extraneous or external to the entity itself.. and relations. an absolutely necessary and transcendent being (i. who made it come into being. From this analysis. then the adequate cause. as a thinker) exists. Craig’s Kalaam Argument Perhaps the most influential cosmological argument of the day is William Lane Craig’s cosmological argument. of course) prior to that order there were also all those essences or natures which make the existence of the determinate types of entities which compose that order actually possible and logically conceivable—no metaphysically transcendent realm of essences.” Any existing entity must be either contingent (and have an external cause) or necessary (and be self-existent): Now if the entity in question is contingent (that is dependent in its existence). for example. If I understand. or categories which make thought and existence possible in general. 8. no world order (as clearly there is one)! If we reflect on those ultimate presuppositions. exists. Conclusion: Therefore. of its existence. while particular objects like trees and stones could only exist in conformity with them. something.
so in the case of contingent causes which must themselves in turn be construed as effects. Everything that begins to exist had a cause of its existence. 2. namely.be an original cause to the universe. Therefore. 57) That the universe began to exist is true enough. Therefore the universe had a cause of its existence. the notion that the universe began to exist requires by two kinds of evidence: philosophical and scientific. Then. Craig summarizes his argument as follows: 1. Was the beginning of the universe caused or uncaused? In this book I do not propose to construct an elaborate defense of this first premise. Hackett articulates a key ingredient to Craig’s argument. that in a series of causes. Craig first marshals the philosophical reasons why there must be a beginning to the universe. in such a case. it may. i. The universe began to exist. about which I am raising the intelligibility question. TABBC. be argued that no causal explanation of anything has actually been provided at all. TABBC. there could not be the present causes we observe. First. especially when applied to the universe. 4) The key to the above syllogism is the second premise. there must have been a beginning. are only intermediate and not ultimate units of explanation in the context of causality. by parallel reasoning. that probably no one in his right mind really believes it to be false. (Craig. (Hackett. RCRC. could pop into existence uncaused is so repugnant that most thinkers intuitively recognize that the universe’s beginning to exist entirely uncaused out of nothing is incapable of sincere affirmation. there must have been caused by something outside and independent of the universe. RCRC. (Craig. (Craig. and this cause is God. It would be analogous to writing a bank check to cover a debt and then writing another check to cover the first and so on indefinitely without ever involving any actual monetary deposit to cover any of the checks-just as. especially the whole universe. is certainly not the sort of indefinitely extended series which mathematicians refer to as infinite. the philosophical evidence shows that the universe cannot cause itself to exist. 3. it could be reasonably argued that no debt had actually been paid at all. otherwise. (1) Everything That Begins to Exist Had a Cause of its Existence Applied to the universe. and so the most attention needs to go to this premise. By its nature. 58) At this point. 99) I see clearly that the actually infinite series. Checks. TABBC. but that it should begin to exist utterly uncaused out of nothing is too incredible to be believed. Craig has an ally in Stuart Hackett. Indeed the idea that anything. after all. Even Hume himself confessed that his academic denial of the principle’s demonstrability could not eradicate his belief that it was nonetheless true. (Hackett. we are asking. he presents a weighty scientific case. For the first premise is so intuitively obvious. First Philosophical Argument -8- . 100) (2) The Universe Began to Exist In defending the notion that the universe began to exist.
An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite. Therefore an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist. 57) Kreeft echoes Craig’s point here with an observation. nor is the series formed by subtraction or division but by addition of one element after another. becomes useful. one can never arrive at infinity. TABBC. in order to reach a certain end. The argument may be exhibited in this way: 1. It is important to understand exactly why it is impossible to form an actual infinite by successive addition.not even in an infinite time. it cannot be translated from the mathematical world into the real world. For an infinite time would be unending. Can an infinite task ever be done or completed? If. infinitely many steps had to precede it. the scientific evidence. The collection in the first premise. . The task would . Astrophysicist -9- . one event following upon the heels of another. the argument from the impossibility of the formation of an actual infinite by successive addition. 30-31) (I) The Second Premise in the Second Philosophical Argument Sometimes this is described as the impossibility of counting to infinity. for this would involve counter-intuitive absurdities. for our argument does not contradict a single tenet of either. but creating cause. one can always add one more. . 2. the second type of evidence. . The reason is this: Cantor’s system and set theory are concerned exclusively with the mathematical world. For each new element added to the collection can be counted as it is added. Therefore. (Kreeft. (Craig. whereas our argument concerns the real world. Second Philosophical Argument We may now turn to our second philosophical argument in support of the premise that the universe began to exist. that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence. namely. What I shall argue is that while the actual infinite may be a fruitful and consistent concept in the mathematical realm. Secondly. 1. 3. We may present the argument in this way.. The reason is that for every element one adds. is not a collection whose members all coexist. Therefore the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite. 59) (II) Support for The Beginning of the Universe Via The Big Bang At this point. An actual infinite cannot exist.could . Rather it is a collection that is instantiated sequentially or successively in time. (Craig. Modern cosmology posits a beginning to the universe based on physical findings.Our first argument in support of the premise that the universe began to exist is based upon the impossibility of the existence of an actual infinite. 31) We may now return to a consideration of our first premise. In other words. Here I do not mean sustaining or conserving cause. It is usually alleged that this sort of argument has been invalidated by Cantor’s work on the actual infinite and by subsequent developments in set theory. no end would ever be reached. The phrase ‘cause of existence’ needs clarification. (Craig. A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite. . TABBC. TABBC.never be completed.. 2. (Craig. 3. just as the steps would be. The temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition. TABBC. 9) ii. could the end ever be reached? Of course not . But this allegation seriously misconstrues the nature of both Cantor’s system and modern set theory. HCA.
Confronted with the evidence that the galaxies are moving away from one another. or any other particular object in the sky. This disproves the Steady State Theory.) The fact that the universe is expanding implies that it was once denser and more compact – facts that support the beginning of the universe. The measurements showed that the earth itself could not be the origin of this radiation. is that the radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for the light and heat produced in a great explosion. but they have failed. since what is flying apart must have a cause for its moving apart. The clincher. when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. the sun. But in 1929. 14-16) (III) The Universe Is Not Static Jastrow continues to support Craig’s claim that the universe had a beginning based on the red shift of the galaxies that Edwin Hubble discovered in the early twentieth century. then sometime in the past it must have had a beginning. which has convinced almost the last doubting Thomas. . and the evidence shows that this cause is the Big Bang. In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of the Bell Laboratories discovered that the earth is bathed in a faint glow of radiation coming form every direction in the heavens. 50) Astronomer Robert Jastrow explains that the discovery of cosmic background radiation also confirms the universe had a beginning. . “Einstein gave grudging acceptance to ‘the necessity for a beginning’ and to ‘the presence of a superior reasoning power.” (Ross. 145) No theory of physics has been tested as rigorously and as comprehensively as general relativity. “AEPTG” as cited in Moreland. Edwin Hubble made the landmark observation that wherever you look. nor could the radiation come from the direction of the moon. (Ross. Hubble’s observation suggested that there was a time. . At the present time. 8. If it had a beginning.” 1. Our faith is and will remain securely rooted in factual reality. Subtracting one set of these equations from another yielded yet another equation. we can be confident in the conclusions. It gives us a remarkable degree of certainty that the biblical doctrine of creation and the Creator is true. 3) Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking explains how his own research and Hubble’s discoveries solidified Einstein’s conclusions about the beginning of the universe. No explanation other than the Big Bang has been found for the fireball radiation. But if the universe is the aftermath of an explosion. the Big Bang theory has no competitors. which says the universe is expanding while its average density remains constant.10 - . distant galaxies are moving. CH. BHT. (The red shift is a reading of electromagnetism indicating that the observed entity in the universe is moving away from the point of observation. (Hawking. . . Because general relativity has passed all its tests. The results were the ten equations of general relativity. The only physical phenomenon in which expansion and deceleration occur at the same time is an explosion. called the big bang. GA. whose solution led to another surprising result that everything in the universe is simultaneously expanding and decelerating. then through the principle of cause and effect this beginning implies the existence of a Beginner. Supporters of the Steady State theory have tried desperately to find an alternative explanation. The entire Universe seemed to be the source. which at last proved that there must have been a big bang singularity provided only that general relativity is correct and the universe contains as much matter as we observe. The triumph of special relativity gave Einstein the boldness to extend his theory beyond velocity effects and on to acceleration effects between observers.Hugh Ross provides some insight that backs Craig’s claim that the universe came to be. There must have been a moment at which the explosion began. The final result was a joint paper by Penrose and myself in 1970. . “SN. (Jastrow.
. 64-65) 9. for it means that transcending the entire universe there exists a cause which brought the universe into being ex nihilo. 9. My nonexistence is possible. TABBC.g. Geisler’s Cosmological Argument Another form of the vertical cosmological argument comes from philosopher Norman Geisler. He said. like animal bodies. what it will come to have then. the God described in the Bible exists. I cannot deny my own existence). and this points back to its cause. all-powerful. Apparently self-moving things. this conclusion ought to stagger us. Nothing changes itself. Of particular note is the beginning of the argument. 238-39) 10. 1. and the changing thing cannot have now. the universe does have a beginning.something other than mere molecules. 5. Geisler argues that God exists. There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes of existence. 7.. 6. 10. there must be an Ultimate Cause. . . all-knowing. 2. Because things change. but the body no longer moves because the desire or will is no longer present to move it. This infinitely perfect Being is appropriately called “God. but it needs to be acted on by other things outside of that potential is to be made actual. The result of change cannot actually exist before the change. looked through his telescope. 1. 48) (3) Conclusion: the Universe Had a Cause of its Existence Based on philosophical and scientific findings by both theists and nontheists (like Hawking and Jastrow). GA. ‘New observations by Hubble and Humanson concerning the red shift of light in distant nebulae make it appear likely that the general structure of the Universe is not static. God exists. We conclude. the Cause of change must reside independently of the change. that the universe has a cause of its existence. already. The changing thing begins with only the potential to change. We ought to ponder long and hard over this truly remarkable conclusion. Some things undeniably exist (e. but in the contemporary scene. CA.11 - . If our discussion has been more than a mere academic exercise. Since existential self-causation is impossible. Therefore. Therefore. and announced himself convinced. . . 2.’ (Jastrow.” Therefore. it cannot change. Whatever has the possibility not to exist is currently caused to exist by another. Aquinas and others assumed this to be true. (Craig. 3. . Because “I” exists. For it is no secret that one of the most important conceptions of what theists mean by ‘God’ is Creator of heaven and earth. Nothing can give itself what it does not have. And when the animal or human dies. This uncaused cause must be infinite. 4. therefore.He [Einstein] studied Hubble’s plates. Otherwise. 8. who is God. This God who exists is identical to the God described in the Christian Scriptures. are moved by desire or will . unchanging. ought to fill us with a sense of awe and wonder at the knowledge that our whole universe was caused to exist by something beyond it and greater than it. . which states in personal terms that some things exist. a first uncaused cause of my current existence exists. and all-perfect. Kreeft’s Argument from Change Peter Kreeft applies Aquinas’ First Way using the language of change and constancy. (Geisler. which is God. the molecules remain. philosophers do not universally agree upon such a common sense notion.
is inevitable. and designed its use. we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose . viz. 3-4. we think. Paley speaks plainly of the sense it makes to believe that a watch found in the forest has a watchmaker than to believe that it was assembled by natural causes. means suitable to an end. some real being transcendent to the universe. however many there are. Therefore. But we have already seen that change in any being requires an outside force to actualize it. But the universe is the sum total of all matter. The universe is the sum total of all these moving things. contrivance without a contriver. it had lain there for ever. Paley’s Watchmaker William Paley’s formulation of the argument is the most famous in the modern era. and executing their office in accomplishing that end. . the watch might have always been there. . Initial Argument In crossing a heath. Therefore this being outside the universe is outside matter. . there must be something in addition to the material universe. 2. and were asked how the stone came to be there. 54) 1. that. .’ (Kreeft. that. Therefore. an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer. or purpose evident in things. I might possible answer. that there must have existed. This mechanism being observed . But it does change. when we come to inspect the watch. who comprehended its construction. space and time. the inference. and at some place or other. the design of the universe and the things in it argue for a grand Designer. subserviency and relation to a purpose without that which could intend a purpose. perhaps. But suppose I found a watch upon the ground. . for anything I knew to the contrary.3. These three things depend on each other. Norman Geisler states the argument in its most basic form. the universe has a designer. nor would it. 50-51) II. Yet. order without choice. space and time. . it is the unchanging Source of change.that. at some time. In his initial argument. (Geisler. NT. then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. Every design has a designer. . Stated another way. The whole universe is in the process of change. and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place.. I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given . without the end ever having been contemplated or the means accommodated to it (Paley. suppose I pitched my foot against a stone. It is not a changing thing. Briefly. 8-9). arrangement without anything capable of arranging. . Although Aquinas’ Fifth Way is essentially teleological. . there is some force outside (in addition to) the universe. HCA. a. that the watch must have had a maker. be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. WA. 1. for design indicating intelligence cannot occur without an intelligent Designer. . 3. This is one of the things meant by ‘God. HCA. and for no other. if there is nothing outside the material universe. (Kreeft. There cannot be design without a designer. why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? Why is it not as admissible in the second case as in the first? For this reason. .12 - . the teleological argument found its prominent application in the modern age since it utilizes many scientific findings. The universe manifests design. points to a Cause able to give them such purpose. Therefore. 50-51). Teleological Argument The teleological argument for the existence of God argues that the teleology.
EG. of being greater and more. every manifestation of design. exists in the works of nature. EG. . 169) Every indication of contrivance.13 - . It is unreasonable to conclude that the faces carved in the side of Mount Rushmore came about by natural causes because of the nature of the features themselves as well as the inadequacy of any nonintelligent explanation to satisfy. (Paley. NT. 147) b. because its occurrence would be very improbable a priori. an artificer. The theist’s starting-point is not that we perceive order rather than disorder. I might plausibly answer that it was once laid down by water in layers which later solidified by chemical action. and that in a degree which exceeds all computations. that there existed in things a principle of order. This is an important point. accounted for. NT as cited in Hick. would any man in his senses think the existence of the watch. suggested. that it must have had. but that order rather than disorder is there. Maybe only if order is there can we know what is there. would it yield his inquiry more satisfaction to be answered. Nor. The conclusion which the . construction.In reflecting on the argument. The very success of science in showing us how deeply orderly the natural world is provides strong grounds for believing that there is an even deeper cause of that order. and designed its use. . as Kant would say. which had disposed the parts of the watch into their present form and situation. suppose I come upon a round stratified stone and were asked how it came to be such.examination of the watch. He never knew a watch made by the principle of order. . because it argues that the order in nature is not merely what someone subjectively and haphazardly wants it to be. In his argument. as cited in Burrill. Suppose then. Rather than explaining metaphysics with epistemology. 103) Richard Swinburne comments that the order of the world is not merely a subjective perception but an objective reality. who understood its mechanism. but rather that the world itself is an orderly system that can best be accounted for by an Intelligent Designer. In crossing a valley. of its works. (Swinburne. Swinburne reminds us that metaphysics is the basis of epistemology. upon walking further. for the cause and author of that construction. which existed in the watch. we see order in the world rather than. . CASO. with its various machinery. but that makes what is there no less extraordinary and in need of explanation. (Paley. on the side of nature. . would I not come immediately to believe it was an intelligent production and not the result of natural processes of erosion? . seeing how our mind organizes information from a world we can never actually know. I come upon Mount Rushmore where the forms of four human faces appear on a granite cliff. by being told that it was one out of possible combinations of material forms. . One day it broke from a larger section of rock and was subsequently rounded by the natural erosional processes of tumbling in water. Stated another way. as most modern philosophy attempts to do. I suggest that the order of the world is evidence of the existence of God . nor can he even form to himself and idea of what is meant by a principle of order. fourthly. Paley notes that thinking about what is reasonable to believe about making a watch reveals the answer. and movement. Updated Argument Norman Geisler provides a refinement of the teleological argument in the same style as Paley. with the difference. He uses the example of seeing Mount Rushmore and pondering its cause. Geisler says that only an intelligent cause can produce effects that display intelligent design. Nor. 68. Even if I knew nothing about the origin of the faces. . distinct from the intelligence of the watchmaker. 67. fifthly. was.
we would rightly conclude there must have existed at some time and at some place or other some intelligence that formed them.14 - . secondly. The stone has redundant patterns or strata easily explainable by the observed natural process of sedimentation. Nor. namely. weaken the conclusion if we had never seen such a face being chiseled in granite. Sixthly. Origin of Species (London: Dent. would it invalidate our conclusion that upon closer examination of the faces they turn out to be imperfectly formed. Neither. The faces. I apprehend. p. we would be surprised to hear that configurations like this on a mountainside were not proof of intelligent creation but were only to induce the mind to think so. demands intelligence. Nor would it. 7). All this is no more than what is true of some lost art or of some of the more curious productions of modern technology. that they convey specifically complex information. Still the managing of these forces. Natural selection is a principle known to be helpful in the conservation of existing organisms. have specially formed features. In fact. the natural powers of wind and rain erosion Even the principle of “natural selection” never produces an entirely new form of life (see chap. would it change our conclusion were we to discover that certain natural objects or powers were utilized in producing the faces. Neither. Darwinians admit that the famous peppered-moth “experiments beautifully demonstrate natural selection--or survival of the fittest--in action. or that we were wholly incapable of executing such a piece of workmanship ourselves.” Charles Darwin. but not in the production of totally new ones. nor can we even form an idea of what is meant by such a principle of order distinct from intelligence. Nor. however. all the moths remain from beginning to end biston betularia. the pointing and directing them to form such specific faces. would it make the slightest difference in our conclusion were we to discover these natural laws were set up by some intelligent being. Nor. that when we come to inspect the faces on the mountain we perceive-what we could not discover in the stone-that they manifest intelligent contrivance. Harrison Matthews. the faces resemble things known to be made by intelligent artisans. “Introduction. For nothing is added to the power of natural laws by positing an original designer for them. The faces. We never knew a sculpture made by such a principle of order. xi. and that this configuration might be exhibited as well as a different structure. not merely repeated lines. ninthly. we would still conclude it took intelligence to produce them. Even if we had never known of any such person portrayed. Nor. Designed or not. The stone has rounded features like those we observe to result from natural erosion. that we had never known an artisan capable of making one. For however the populations may alter in their content of light. Seventhly. It is not necessary that a representation be perfect in order to show it was designed. fourthly would any man in his senses think the existence of the faces on the rock was accounted for by being told that they were one out of many possible combinations or forms rocks may take. on the other hand.Yet why should a natural cause serve for the stone but not for the faces? For this reason. 1971). But they do not show evolution in progress. These differences being observed. have sharply defined features contrary to those made by erosion. thirdly would it bring any uncertainty in the argument if we were not able to recognize the identity of the faces. eighthly. fifthly.” L. would it change the matter were we to discover that behind the forehead of a stone face was a . intermediate. we would be not less surprised to be informed that the faces Nor. tenthly. or dark forms. would it yield our inquiry more satisfaction to be answered that there exists in granite a law or principle of order which had disposed it toward forming facial features.
Further.15 - . (Hick. nonbelievers tell us. would we not consider it strange if anyone suggested there was no need for an intelligent cause because there might be an infinite regress of computers designing computers? We know that increasing the number of computers in the series does not diminish the need for intelligence to program the whole series. For what is remote to us was near to those remote from us. . (Kreeft. As minds.computer capable of reproducing other faces on nearby cliffs by laser beams. As conscious minds we can accept the existence of purposive intelligence as an ultimate fact. Ultimately. Kreeft explores what a denial of an Intelligent Designer implies for the order of the universe as well as the reasonableness of accepting such a proposition. if all this order is not the product of blind.’ Alternatively. is ultimately explicable or intelligible it must be so in virtue of its dependence upon an eternal self-existent reality which is of the same order as conscious mind. Hick’s Argument John Hick. . 2. and the burden of proof is on believers to demonstrate why this could not be so by chance alone. the argument from information is an evidential support for the teleological argument. . a noted religious pluralist. it ‘just happened. Neither would we allow any limitation on our conclusion (that it takes intelligence to create such specific and complex information) by the claim that this principle applies only to events of the near past but not the most remote past. . we would have an even greater admiration for the intelligence it takes to create computers which can also create. This would only enhance our respect for the intelligence which designed such a computer. Hence it is both logically permissible and a very natural view that if the existence of the universe. it is indeed by chance and not by any design that the universe of our experience exists the way it does. Kreeft’s Teleological Argument Most of the teleological arguments up to this point have argued for an Intelligent Designer required by an orderly universe. Because information by its nature is communication from one intelligence to another. . 50) 3. neither requiring nor permitting explanation in terms of anything more ultimate than itself. If all this order is not in some way the product of intelligent design . That purpose can only be intelligent design. as an ordered cosmos. furthermore. OS. 55-56) 4. And. It is of course the third that is crucial. So the second stands. In fact. DNA and SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) assume that information discovered implies an Intelligent Designer. purposeless forces. (Geisler.’ Things just fell out that way ‘by chance. any information found in the universe argues for an intelligent origin. 159-61). Argument from Information In essence. has argued that the an Intelligent Designer is selfevident because an ordered world points to an Orderer of the world as its cause.then what? Obviously. HCA. AEG. . It just happens to have this order. we can rest in the thought of an eternal and infinite self-existent Mind behind the contingent phenomena of a physical universe within which our own finite minds have emerged. . were we to find that this computer was designed by another computer we would still not give up our belief in an intelligent cause. then it has resulted from some kind of purpose.
“IDM. We are not dealing with anything like a superficial resemblance between DNA and a written text. for it is much stronger than if the structures were merely similar. “IDM. electron transport. meaning that such phenomena cannot occur in incremental changes via evolution. . and more.. These functions are. The significance of this result lies in the security of it. (Dembski. . in its most critical components. . including aspects of DNA reduplication. no one at the National Institutes of Health. DBB. Thus what has been a longstanding philosophical intuition is now being cashed out as a scientific research program. no Nobel Prize winner – no one at all can give a detailed account of how the cilium. objects. 154). photosynthesis. irreducibly complex. or blood clotting. Intelligent Design is a theory of biological origins and development. telomere synthesis. True design thus returns to biology. slight modifications. clear piercing cry of ‘design!’ The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. Inferring that biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent is a humdrum process that requires no new principles of logic or science. the implication. according to the abductive method. “NDA. Scientists are now in a position to demonstrate this rigorously. Some Events in the Universe Can Be Explained Only by Intelligence The world contains events. [Hence. .” 24) b. they argue. (Yockey. . if not in a Darwinian fashion. is that intelligent cause produced DNA and protein. no member of the National Academy of Sciences. In a candid moment. “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous. Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex. 160. (Thaxton. (Dembski. We are not saying DNA is like a message. or any complex biochemical process might have developed in a Darwinian fashion. .” 25) In particular. is the product of intelligent activity. transcription regulation. The discovery rivals those of Newton and Einstein.” 19) Within biology. “NDA” as cited in CP. DNA Contains a Complex Message Charles Thaxton and William Dembski write about the complexity of DNA with regard to the amount of specified information just one strand contains. or vision.a. DBB. 6th ed.] the result of these requires no new efforts to investigate the cell – to investigate life at the molecular level – is a loud. [Thus. and that these causes are empirically detectable. A structural identity has been discovered between the genetic message on DNA and the written messages of a human language. Since we know by experience that intelligence produces written messages. But here we are. Charles Darwin admits. (Behe. as cited in Thaxton. DNA is a message.] life on earth at its most fundamental level. No one at Harvard University. then how? (Behe. my theory would absolutely break down” (Darwin. 193) The conclusion of intelligent design flows naturally from the data itself – not from sacred books or sectarian beliefs. 187) Other examples of irreducible complexity abound. JTB. successive. according to Behe. and structures which exhaust the explanatory resources of undirected natural causes. Rather. Molecular biology. provides evidence for an Intelligent Designer. 18) There is an identity of structure between DNA (and protein) and written linguistic messages. information-rich structures of biology. and no other cause is known. Michael Behe argues that there are no nonintelligent explanations for certain biological phenomena in the human body and other organisms. (Behe. All these things got here somehow. 232-233) Another piece of evidence for intelligent design comes from someone who would deny it. . and which can be adequately explained only by recourse to intelligent causes. OOS.16 - . DBB.
3. because the multi-universe scenario requires complete independence of universes. (Wickramasinghe. within a finite time-scale. If we received such a message we would deduce a civilization out there that was at lest fond of prime numbers. 138). C. man has been certain that life cannot come from inorganic material. that it is possible to survive technological adolescence. ISOAG. a profoundly hopeful sign. 23. that living systems could not have been generated by random processes. The receipt of a message from space is. as it were (not literally). that is. C. Evidence from Life Since the time of Louis Pasteur. as is the case when we observe it and consider its origins. Life itself has a very powerful testimony that it came from another living thing. provides strong evidence for an exceedingly great Designer of the world and of humans. surely the amount of information in the human brain. based the entire program on the premise that even one recognizable message from outer space would prove that there is life outside of earth. 5. quite apart from the contents of the message. The information content in the living system that we have on the earth is perhaps the hardest cosmological fact. the exception is that evolution is true. 19. that is accessible to us. even before we decode it. even granting this does not explain how these other civilizations originated. It is extremely unlikely that any natural physical process could transmit radio messages containing prime numbers only. It means that someone has learned to live with high technology. in the sense that the Universe has to in some way discover this arrangement. The only explanation left for how living organisms received their complex and ordered configurations is that an intelligent. I would put that datum above the cosmological datum in quality of information. The cause of life is something living. For example. 33) Can other universes explain the origin of life and complex information? No. 7. they cannot help resolve origin of life problems on Earth. one is driven to the conclusion. FG. I think the evidence from life is very hard. I think if you look at the structure of our living system. micro-organisms or ourselves under the microscope. transcendent Creator personally infused this information” (Ross. according to evolutionists. that is. if receiving a message as simple as ten prime numbers would prove an intelligent cause.17 - . for there has to be some way these other civilizations came into being. their space-time manifolds cannot overlap. Yet. founder of SETI. 278). It would be easy for extraterrestrials to make an unambiguously artificial interstellar message. if you investigate a living system that is before us. from the nature of a living system as you study it in the lab. The Anthropic Principle . there is no way for these universes to interact. 302. provides a powerful justification for the search for other civilizations. the first ten prime numbers – numbers divisible only by themselves and by one – are 1. Invoking other universes cannot solve the problem. (Sagan. in a finite universe. 17. which has “the equivalent of twenty million books” within us (Sagan. a hard fact. 13. inescapably. the same principle evident in the information discovered in the universe would argue for an Intelligence that created it. “SDOL” as cited in Varghese. 5. 6. which falls into the cosmological argument. Further. This alone.The late astronomer Carl Sagan. Hence. Therefore. 2. 314) Thus. You can’t get away from that. says Hugh Ross. All multi-universe models require that the additional universes remain totally out of contact with one another.
160. “AEPTG” as cited in Moreland. Recognition of that principle was prompted by the nagging suspicion that the universe may have after all been specifically tailored for the sake of man (Jaki. This result is called the Anthropic principle. Even slight variations in a very few things would make biological life impossible. to possess the necessary conditions to sustain life. In the early 1960s they recognized that only a certain kind of star with a planet just the right distance from that star would provide the necessary conditions for life. For if that cosmic soup had been slightly different. “It is this increasing amazement that has led many astronomers and physicists to change the Anthropic principle somewhat and announce with Sir Fred Hoyle that ‘there must be a God’“ (Varghese 1984. Carl Sagan. Frank Drake. according to the physicist and the astronomer. of our galaxy and of our solar system are so finely tuned to support life that the only reasonable explanation for this is the forethought of a personal. 169-170) Meithe similarly notes. 23-37). Shortly after the discovery of the 2. . . . DGE. pp. (Ross. Fred Hoyle. a track laid down so that ultimately man may appear on the scene. began to speak of the Anthropic Principle. The sun and the earth also reveal such evidence. ISOAG. the emergence of life on earth is. Bafflingly enough. is not consistent to the point of acting for a purpose? To speak of purpose may seem.a. No wonder Robert Rood and James Trefil. Astronomers have discovered that the characteristics of the universe. Even scientists who are not theists have acknowledged this point. Inert matter would have also been subject to an interaction different from the one required for the coagulation of large lumps of matter. Is it reasonable to assume that an Intelligence which produced a universe. since Darwin. It is not just the universe that bears evidence for design. would have failed to be formed. “AEPTG” as cited in Moreland. Hugh Ross explains how the universe shows that it has not randomly come together. It requires power and purpose. Robert Jastrow comments that the Anthropic Principle is the most obvious evidence of theism modern science has produced. from the purely scientific viewpoint. The universe began to appear to them more and more as if placed on an extremely narrow track. Astronomer Stanley Jaki provides many scientific observations that. At any rate. . CH. in my view. not only the chemical elements. . “AG” as cited in Varghese. They attempted to estimate the number of planets (in the universe) with environments favorable for life support. . . of which all organic bodies are made. It is the most theistic result ever to come out of science. (Miethe. Thus. 163-64) Considering that the observable universe contains less than a trillion galaxies. we can see that not even one planet would be expected. such as protostars and proto-solar systems. by natural processes alone. “FSCC” as cited in Varghese. it appears that the Universe was constructed within very narrow limits. No wonder that in view of this quite a few cosmologists. as well as with chemistry and biology’. argue very definitely for a Designer. CH. Modern Science Introduces the Anthropic Principle The Anthropic Principle states that the universe is fitted for life. each averaging a hundred billion stars. a totality of consistently interacting things. (Ross. viii. it is science in its most advanced and comprehensive form scientific cosmology which reinstates today references to purpose into scientific discourse. the most reprehensible procedure before the tribunal of science. in such a way that man could dwell in it.18 - . and Josef Shklovskii were among the first astronomers to make this point.7o K radiation cosmologists began to wonder at the extremely narrow margin allowed for cosmic evolution. 165). among others. including the founder of the Steady State theory of the universe. who are unwilling to sacrifice forever at the altar of blind chance. an outcome of immense improbability. when considered together. Fred Hoyle concluded in 1982 that ‘a superintellect has monkeyed with physics. have surmised that intelligent physical life exists only on the earth. (Jastrow. intelligent Creator whose involvement explains the degree of fine-tunedness. 71-72).
oxygen. . noting its irreducible complexity. 154) Hugh Ross echoes the same sentiment. 22 ) . like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. transcendent Creator must have designed the universe. 22) Stephen Hawking again notes that the conditions for life necessary at a subatomic level give evidence for design. even God. because all these are forever beyond the range of our observations. Nevertheless. that there must be an infinite number of universes. . It is hard to believe that the vastness and grandeur of nature is all a matter of chance. A personal. in an effort to avoid a theistic or teleological implication in their findings. is science pointing to an unknown God? Even the atheistic scientist rarely cracks a joke about what is behind nature. The laws of science. (Ross. If anything. However. A personal. In any case. .ISOAG. The motive behind such a suggestion is often to avoid the force of the Anthropic Principle in our universe. all the conditions necessary to be exactly accurate for life. (Clark. Anthropic Principle and Multiple Universes As introduced briefly above. in which life exists. the suggestion of multiple universes reinforced the teleological argument. 138) b. Robert Jastraw addresses multiple universes by saying that it is an unprovable untestable theory that serves only to distract scientists away from the evidence at hand supporting the universe’s intelligent design.a typical theorist’s solution. contain many fundamental numbers. as we know them at present. (Jastrow. ISOAG. But I find this to be a rather formal solution to the philosophical dilemma created for scientists by the anthropic principle . transcendent Creator must have designed life. 127) Gordon Clark writes that. One can take this either as evidence of a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science or as support for the strong Anthropic principle. Again we see that a personal.19 - . Are the properties of the chemical elements just a matter of chance too--carbon. and that our Universe is one of an infinitely small fraction. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life. representing all possible combinations of basic forces and conditions. This means that the initial state of the universe must have been very carefully chosen indeed if the hot big bang model was correct right back to the beginning of time. nitrogen. and common sense lead to the conclusion that God intelligently designed the universe. “AG” as cited in Varghese. . . except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us. it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life. . transcendent Creator must have brought the universe into existence. (Hawking. . and can never be seen. transcendent Creator must have designed planet Earth. A personal. Some scientists suggest. it is an untestable proposition. . in this great plentitude of universes. come have introduced the idea that our universe may not be the only one in existence. the flaw in such an approach is that it merely passes on the required explanation for a cause of intelligent design to not only explain our universe finely tuned for life but also others that may or may not support life. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way. they are outside the borders of the visible universe. . SC. 125. . BHT. FG. He even says that it is difficult to conceive of any other alternative than intelligent design for the universe once the evidence has been examined. and the rest? Are the remarkable properties of water and carbon dioxide again due to chance? Yet again. . . once we inspect the facts of the universe.
c. “SDOL” as cited in Varghese. their space-time manifolds cannot overlap. as cited in Begley.” 48) [Recent discoveries in cosmology reveal] a universe that fits religious views [. Whether that means anything much deeper than that those proportions have been controlled by an Intelligence. ISOAG. “How do you find the Anthropic Principle?” Wickramasinghe replies. transcendent Creator personally infused this information. I don’t know. they cannot help resolve origin of life problems on Earth. A personal. (Wickramasinghe. that] somehow intelligence must have been involved in the laws of the universe. All multi-universe models require that the additional universes remain totally out of contact with one another. (Davies. and from the infinite variety of initial conditions that could have characterized the primeval universe. A personal. Therefore. 36) Fred Heeren adds that since science can expect order and rationality in nature. I tend to think that they are. .within narrow parameters .” 52) The fact that these relations [fine-tuned universe] are necessary for our existence is one of the most fascinating discoveries of modern science. For clearly the universe is a very special place: exceedingly uniform on a large scale.Hugh Ross argues that multiple universes that support life only means that there must have been intelligent design for those universes. that is. from the infinite range of possible values that nature could have selected for the fundamental constants. ISOAG. I think it is certainly. The logically easiest way of beating the improbability is to say that an intelligence intervened. . and many more apparent accidents of fortune. transcendent Creator must have designed the universe. . Invoking other universes cannot solve the problem. that conspires to plant the idea that the universe did not just happen. as cited in Varghese. I think one is driven again to postulate an intelligence. FG.based on life’s need of them. . too. 111) In answering the question. “SFG. as Fred Holye did when he accurately predicted the . transcendent Creator must have designed life (Ross. A personal. (Townes.20 - . (Polkinghorne. as cited in Begley. values for the strengths of its forces that permit nuclei to exist. . 138). . “scientists have found that they can actually predict the values of certain constants . . When you realize that the laws of nature must be incredibly finely tuned to produce the universe we see . “AU” as cited in Plantinga. That is certainly true. objectively true that the number of carbon atoms and oxygen atoms and nitrogen atoms in the universe have an appropriate proportion for life to start on a planet like the earth. All this prompts the question of why. that they have been. 32) [Today] intellectuals are beginning to find it respectable [to talk about how physical law seems to favor life]. “SFG. The only explanation left for how living organisms received their complex and ordered configurations is that an intelligent. transcendent Creator must have designed planet Earth. . but that there must be a purpose behind it. yet do not burn up all the cosmic hydrogen. (Wickramasinghe. (Barbour. which does nothing for those who would object to the teleological argument. .” 49) . an expansion rate tuned to the energy content to unbelievable accuracy. yet not so precisely uniform that galaxies could not form. as cited in “CD. the actual values and conditions conspire to produce the particular range of very special features that we observe. Finely Tuned Natural Laws Imply Purpose The laws of nature operate with such regularity in maintaining the universe we see that intelligence rather than nonintelligence seems a more reasonable explanation of the origin of the universe. Again we see that a personal. transcendent Creator must have brought the universe into existence. “MN”. .specifically.
One matter atheists and Bible believers agree on is that our universe has been finely tuned. “MN”. The gradual formation of numerous irreducibly complex entities point to an Intelligence planning it all to come together as it has. after the big bang). reveals therefore its dependence on a choice beyond the universe. Fine Tuning of Events at the Time of the Big Bang The same reasoning regarding life can also be applied to the Bog Bang.” 39. . if there was no Creator. neither to fly apart into dying cinders nor collapse. that is. so many variables from the supercosmic to the subatomic had to occur just so in order for organisms to develop. . d. We know that there has to have been a very close balance between the competing events of explosive expansion and gravitational contraction which. the universe appears to be designed with the exact conditions to support life. 22) f. a choice which also gives the universe its actual existence. at the very earliest epoch about which we can even pretend to speak (called the Planck time. astrophysicists think. SC as cited in Plantinga.resonance of the carbon atom” (Heeren.” Margenau says. Since the probability is much higher for the conditions in the universe to not favor life than to favor it. how did the universe . .” 39). argues for a Designer. 71) g. Within the Anthropic Principle. which cannot be necessary. 1043 sec. “How much more plausible is belief in a Creator of the universe in the light of the advancement of modem science. against astronomical odds. the choice underlying that specificity. The actual specificity of the universe. A minute adjustment in any one of a multitude of factors would have imperiled the universe as we know it. (Sternglass. The Specificity of the Universe Must Involve a Supercosmic Intelligence Specified complexity. (Jaki. the best explanation appears to be that God made the our universe suitable for life. The conditions present at the Big Bang. “FSCCU” as cited in Varghese.by mere 1 part in 1060 . Creation Ex Nihilo (Out Of Nothing) Does Not Contradict Modern Science In answering the question. as cited in “CD. must involve an intelligence and power which is supercosmic. The actual specificity of the universe is a striking reminder of such a dependence. (Heeren. In the first place. 42) e. had to be exactly right for the universe to develop the way it did.” 52) Had the expansion rate at the beginning been faster or slower . it should be easy to see the possibility of an immensely large number of other specificities.21 - . “DMCPBC. “DMCPBC. Maybe there are two points I should make.life would not have been possible. (Polkinghorne. Precisely because the actual cosmos is so specific. beyond that cosmos which for science is the totality of consistently interacting things. as stated before. The Universe Designed for Life In particular. in a way that permits conscious beings to exist. Since the specificity of the universe is highly understandable. ISOAG. [The universe is] apparently designed for the development of life and destined to live forever. would have corresponded to the incredible degree of accuracy represented by a deviation in their ratio from unity by only one part in 10 to the sixtieth.
and so most . Dirac (a Nobel Prize winner) you find them all interested in religion. III. “MPBG” as cited in Varghese. is Mass times C2. Gravitational forces are attractive. . Wigner. . The energy. 43-44). what is its relation to the Creator? ‘There my argument is extremely simple. so far as I know. [Rather. 3. let’s say. the modern science] has definitively shown [the non-contradiction of Creation out of nothing]. Norman Geisler provides the following summary of the argument. Heisenberg. Therefore the Creation of the universe out of nothing is by no means contradictory to modem science. of radius. Einstein.but they were certainly not atheists. Purpose is determination of future events by a vision of the future. it turns out that if you put the equation. of Mass. It now happens. Thomas. (Margenau. . (Geisler. but its basic form recognizes two elements: the reality of objective morality and the source of laws in a lawmaker. Margenau was asked if the leading scientists opposed to religion. . purpose requires a mind’” (Margenau. ISOAG. you find very few atheists among them. the people who have made the contributions which has made science grow so vastly in the last fifty years. It is absolutely unreasonable [for someone to reject the notion of a Creator by appealing to science]. WA. the ball could spring into existence out of nothing and not violate the principle of conservation of energy. Therefore. etc. the Creation of the universe had to obey the Law of the Conservation of Energy. The question assumes that the Anthropic Principle has adequately demonstrated the truth of the teleological argument. Schroedinger. according to Einstein. In continuing. 2. the Anthropic Principle] is absolutely convincing to me. . Do you see Purpose in the universe and. that the Creation of the universe out of nothing does not contradict the laws of Nature. times the square of M divided by R plus MC2 minus the latter term. . 54) B. it’s a negative energy. if you take the outstanding physicists. Kant’s God Posited from Moral Necessity Immanuel Kant did not believe the preceding two arguments were valid. 1. Moral laws come from a moral lawgiver.come into being? I don’t believe. especially Heisenberg. are. the ones who have done the most to advance modem physics. G. [On other occasion Margenau said] . R and Mass M. you find the following. Numerous scientists are convinced and have become believers. a moral lawgiver exists. the first term minus the second term equals zero. “MPBG” as cited in Varghese. . MC2 . None of these men had any objection to religion. and this is not known to many people. Well. ISOAG. All these men were intensely interested in religion. This ball of matter also has gravitational energy. 41-42). if you take the topnotch scientists.22 - . That was St. So what I’m saying is that. Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have shown us that it isn’t. You can’t have a purpose unless you visualize what you want to do. What is the difference between cause and purpose? Cause is determination of future events by the past. Now if this difference was zero. I could simply not get myself to think that it all happened by accident. Therefore the gravitational energy has a negative sign. . There are objective moral laws. The leading scientists [Eccles. This is not widely known. . Moral Argument A.]. After all. . and so forth. They didn’t write about religion much Heisenberg did occasionally . you get almost exactly the condition of the black hole. showing that faith and reason can coexist in intermingled harmony. [Furthermore. Particular Arguments 1. . Therefore. if so. Schroedinger. If you write down the equation for the total energy of the mass of all matter. all religious in their beliefs. General Summary There are many versions of the moral argument. The total energy consists of two parts: MC2 and the second one happens to be Newton’s constant of universal gravitation.
EG. If the existence of God is not a postulate of all Morality. . or Law of Human Nature. connects the presupposition of the existence of God inseparably with duty. or whatever you call it. God exists. Further. Rashdall’s Argument from Rational Necessity In order to make morality a meaningful term. such a connection [between morality and the proportionate happiness] is postulated as necessary: we ought to strive to promote the highest good. The highest good in the world is possible only insofar as a supreme cause of nature having a causality in keeping with the moral disposition is assumed. “The Moral Law. I think we have to assume it is more like a mind that it is like anything else we know . MC. Lewis’ Expansion of the Moral Argument C. he makes an argument for God based on morality. or Law of Human Nature. it must postulate the existence of God as belonging necessarily to the possibility of the highest good. that somebody or something wants me to behave in a certain way” (Lewis.” This is a form of communication. is not simply a fact about human behavior in the same way as the Law of Gravitation is. In it. . Now. Therefore. . which. 34) . and the causality of such a being in accordance with this representation of laws is his will. for the behavior we call bad or unfair is not exactly the same as the behavior we find inconvenient. Moral duty. 150). 3. 104-5) 2. . Kant says.” (Lewis. it is a postulate of a sound Morality” (Rashdall. it was a duty for us to promote the highest good. . and that this law takes the form of a message: “You shall” or “You shall not. since it is possible only under the condition of the existence of God. 30) Second. And it is not simple a statement about how we should like men to behave for our own convenience. MC 34). 152). CPR. it is morally necessary to assume the existence of God. means that God exists. EG.23 - .consider him an agnostic. and most of the things we say and think about men would be reduced to nonsense if we did. “A Morality which is not absolute or unconditional is not Morality as it presents itself to the developed moral consciousness” (Rashdall. Happiness . MC. not made up by ourselves” (Lewis. in the practical task of pure reason. Rashdall says. that I am under a law. . “We may be able. for God is connected with the highest good and we in pursuing the highest good (moral duty) pursue God. which can only come from a Moral Intelligence who communicates right and wrong to us through the manifestations of the universal moral law. “[There is] Something which is directing the universe. . the rule of Right and Wrong. we must say that God exists. in his Critique of Practical Reason. or may be. to give some meaning to Morality without the postulate of God. . . that is. Consequently. a being capable of actions in accordance with the representation of laws is an intelligence (a rational being). “TGE” as cited in Hick.S. hence there is in us not merely the warrant but also the necessity. must lead to the supposition of the existence of a cause adequate to this effect. in the necessary pursuit of the highest good. he makes the claim that there is a universal moral law. First. and may even be the opposite. (Kant. Now. for we cannot get rid of the idea. “TGE” as cited in Hick. that is. must somehow or other be a real thing – a thing that is really there. it is not a mere fancy. “I find that I do not exist on m own. but not its true or full meaning. On the other hand. Lewis popularized the moral argument in the last century through his book Mere Christianity. Hence. . as a need connected with duty. that is. However.because after all the only other thing we know is matter and you can hardly imagine a bit of matter giving instructions. to presuppose the possibility of this highest good. and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong. . simply a fact about how heavy objects behave. perhaps.
The nineteenth century Russian novelist Dostoevsky made use of this method when he wrote in The Brothers Karamazov. You will show your love for humanity more simply and directly by that. . That’s the only thing that’s worrying me. There is no law for God. . .’ I answered him. the new man may well become the man-god. if necessary. If atheism is true then man is “the chief of the earth. what’s more. Magnificent! Only how is he going to be good without God? That’s the question. What’s more. By asking a series of rhetorical questions. but you. ‘all things are lawful’ and that’s the end of it (Dostoevsky. but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire. everything is permissible.that it’s an idea made up by men? Then if He doesn’t exist. . . Where God stands. the place is holy. 312) It’s God that’s worrying me. which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave’. [There are only four possibilities of the origin of the authority of the conscience:] 1.24 - . The Argument from Conscience Peter Kreeft explores the possibilities for the source of morality felt in the human conscience.. Below is his argument from the absurdity of atheistic morality. . BK. if it suits you. of the universe. 2. BK. 4. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life. . if atheism is true. . 345) 5. and everything will begin anew. even if he is the only one in the whole world. something equal to me. ‘You’d better think about the extension of civic rights. that’s how we have to set to work. or even of keeping down the price of meat. ‘But what will become of men then?’ . since there is anyway no God and no immortality. ‘Well. What if he doesn’t exist? What if Rakitin’s right . the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism. and. the old morality. Isn’t it remarkable that no one. Life’s easy for Rakitin. but only for joy and happiness in the present world.4. 3. .” If man is “the chief of the earth” then he can abandon absolute standards (i. . . there remains one moral absolute for everyone: never disobey your own conscience. even if this period [of destruction of the idea of God] never comes to pass. without God. For whom is man going to love then? To whom will he be thankful? To whom will he sing the hymn? Rakitin laughs. . Where I stand will be at once the foremost place . and promoted to his new position. As soon as men have all of them denied God . Kreeft concludes that reason reveals that God is the source of the morality in our conscience. Well. than by philosophy. From something less than me (nature). me. Men will unite to take from life all it can give. morality). Briefly stated. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man-god will appear. If man can abandon the absolute standards then “everything is permissible.” Therefore. and make a rouble on every copeck. they can do what they like?’ ‘Didn’t you know?’” (Dostoevsky. even the most consistent subjectivist believes that it is ever good for anyone to deliberately and knowingly disobey his or her conscience? Even if different people’s consciences tell them to do or avoid totally different things. he argues for the following: 1. Rakitin says that one can love humanity without God. .’ (Dostoevsky. that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man. . Dostoevsky’s Argument from the Consequences of Atheism One effective way of arguing for theism is to show the absurdity of the alternatives. 314) ‘I [devil in Ivan’s dream] maintain that nothing need be destroyed. ‘without God and immortal life? All things are lawful then. man is the chief of the earth. he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of the old slaveman. BK. . . or something greater than me. are more likely to raise the price of meat. . I always come back to that. He says that there are only four possibilities: something less than me. only a sniveling idiot can maintain that. .e.
Thus God. Through the teleological argument. 1. with rightful demands for complete obedience. Conscience is thus explainable only as the voice of God in the soul. Through the moral argument. we have seen that the nature of the things in the world testify to the fact that a Creator causes it to come to be and continue to be. by animal instinct or practical need for material survival? How can I obligate myself absolutely? Am I absolute? Do I have the right to demand absolute obedience from anyone. . 2. 3. From others equal to me (society). we have seen that the exquisite specified complexity along with the Anthropic Principle argue for an Intelligent Designer.25 - . From me (individual). Through the cosmological argument. I can also let myself out. Conclusion The question of whether God exists is one that human can answer. morally.” (Kreeft.for example. How can society obligate me? What right do my equals have to impose their values on me? Does quantity make quality? Do a million human beings make a relative into an absolute? Is ‘society’ God? The only source of absolute moral obligation left is something superior to me. or something like God. 74-75) 3. thus destroying the absoluteness of the obligation which we admitted as our premise. and to conclude against it rubs against reality itself. Let us consider each of these possibilities in order. 4. we have seen that the nature of morality is objective and prescriptive. even myself? And if I am the one who locked myself in this prison of obligation. HCA. 4. It is reasonable to conclude that God exists. is the only adequate source and ground for the absolute moral obligation we all feel to obey our conscience. We have the necessary information with which to reasonably conclude that God exists. How can I be absolutely obligated by something less than me .2. which points to the Moral Lawgiver. From something above me (God). This binds my will.
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