God D o e s Arguments For the Existence of T H R E E God The Arguments from Existence, Intelligence, and Morality
Two Rational Choices for Why We are Here • Natural Cause – there is nothing outside of this impersonal universe, which accidently brought forth mankind. • Supernatural/Intelligent Cause – ‘something’ outside of this universe acted with purpose to bring about the universe and mankind.
Three reasons to consider the existence of God • The argument from existence – the cosmological argument • The argument from intelligence – the teleological argument • The argument from morality – the moral argument These arguments not only prove God, but help tell us what He is like – all from General revelation and not Special revelation
The argument from Existence There are four possible options: • Everything is an illusion • Something came from nothing (not rational – self-creation) • Something came from an impersonal eternality • Something came from a personal eternality “Nothing can come into being from that which is not” - Demokritos, Greek Philosopher
The Kalam Cosmological Argument (originating cause) • Everything that begins to exist must have a cause • The universe began to exist • Therefore, the universe had a cause “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.” - David Hume, Scottish Skeptic
Did the universe have a beginning? Scientific Proof: S – U – R – G – E • Second Law of Thermodynamics – the universe is running down • Expanding Universe – confirmed through Hubble telescope • Radiation Echo – discovered in the 1930’s by Bell Lab scientists • Galaxy Seeds – discovered in the 1990’s by COBE explorer • Einstein’s theory of relativity – proves universe had a beginning “Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention.” – Stephen Hawking
A more involved form of the cosmological argument: • Some limited, changing being(s) exist • The present existence of these beings is caused by another • There cannot be an infinite regress of causes of being • Therefore, there is a first Cause of the present existence of these beings • The first Cause must be infinite, necessary, eternal, simple, and unchangeable • This first uncaused Cause is identical with the God of the Bible - Norman Geisler – The Philosophy of Religion
The Vertical Cosmological Argument (sustaining cause) • Everything in the universe is dependent (contingent) • If every part of the universe is dependent, then so is the whole • Therefore, the universe is dependent right now on some independent / Necessary Being for its present existence "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17 "And He ... upholds all things by the word of His power..." Hebrews 1:2-3
Objections to the cosmological argument • Who caused God? From Bertrand Russell – Category mistake – the argument says that everything that begins to exist must have a cause; God has no beginning so He doesn’t need a cause. • An eternal creator makes no sense, but an eternal universe does? • Collapsing universes? Not enough energy; disproven by COBE. • String theory? Still demands a beginning to everything. “Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?” - George Greenstein, Astronomer
The Teleological Argument (from Intelligence) The teleological (telos, from the Greek word which means “design”) argument says that the universe and mankind exhibit marks of intelligence and design. • Behind every complex design is a designer • The universe has a complex design • Therefore, the universe has a designer "...as I became exposed to the law and order of the universe, I was literally humbled by its unerring perfection. I became convinced that there must be a divine intent behind it all... My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?“ (Dr. Wernher von Braun, the father of rocket science)
The Teleological Argument (from Intelligence) Two types of causes – natural and intelligent VS.
The Teleological Argument (from Intelligence) Three primary factors speak to the argument from intelligence: • Anthropic Principle – the “Goldilocks effect” • Irreducible Complexity – argument against macroevolution • Specified Complexity – the distinguishing mark of intelligence “I think the origins of the laws of nature and of life and the Universe point clearly to an intelligent Source. The burden of proof is on those who argue to the contrary.” – Anthony Flew, former outspoken atheist
Anthropic Principle – Anticipatory Design The world is finely tuned to support life – in short, someone knew man was coming. Some examples: • Oxygen currently makes up 21 percent of the atmosphere. Were it 25 percent, fires would erupt everywhere and if it were 15 percent, humans would suffocate. • If gravity was altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, the sun would not exist and the moon would crash into earth. Further, if the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun. • If the universe was expanding at a rate one millionth more slowly than it is, the temperature on earth would be 10,000 degrees. • If Jupiter was not exactly where it is, earth would be bombarded by space material that would threaten life on the planet.
Anthropic Principle – Anticipatory Design More examples: • If the thickness of the earth’s crust was greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life, and if it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible. • The axis of the earth is set so carefully that, if it were altered ever so slightly, surface temperatures of the earth would be far too great. • If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise far too high on the planet – life would die out. And if they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth too cold to support life. “The initial configuration of the universe” appears to have been “very carefully chosen.” – Stephen Hawking, famed physicist and atheist
Anthropic Principle – Anticipatory Design What are the odds of the anthropic principle occurring by chance? Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated that the odds of all anthropic constants (122 at last count) to be in place for any planet in the universe by luck alone to be one chance in ten with 138 zeros after it. This number becomes even more incredible when one realizes there are only 1070 atoms in the entire universe. Finally, mathematicians point out that anything which exceeds 1050power is the exact same thing as zero chance. “In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” – Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate scientist
Irreducible Complexity – How low can you go? Charles Darwin admitted that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Scientists now know that many such entities exist. In Darwin’s time, scientists could not see into what biochemist Dr. Michael Behe calls “Darwin’s black box”, which is the cell. Darwin thought the cell to be a simple structure, however time and scientific advances have proven him wrong. Instead, there is advanced complexity all the way down. “. . . we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” – Frank Harold, Biochemist
Specified Complexity – The mark of intelligence Darwinist Richard Dawkins admits that the message found in just the cell nucleus of an amoeba is more than all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, with the entire amoeba itself having as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The important thing to understand is that the makeup of these entities is not random, but instead the information is highly organized. “It is important to understand that we are not reasoning by analogy. The sequence hypothesis applies directly to the protein and the genetic text as well as to written language and therefore the treatment is mathematically identical.” Herbert P. Yockey, Biologist
Specified Complexity One Design One by Chance?
Intelligence and/or randomness one step removed You may think that a car was built by humans but then discover it was instead fully constructed via an automated robotic plant with no human intervention whatsoever. Is it then reasonable to conclude that no intelligence is behind the car and that the factory made itself? Of course not – the intelligence is just one step removed. Even seemingly random operations can be built by intelligence. For example, you could create a software program that generates random numbers, but there is still intelligence behind the apparent random end result and operation.
Objections to the Teleological Argument • Evolution has buried God • The world is not perfect and has natural evils • We can’t recognize intelligence; we only know it by experience
Evolution has buried God Microevolution (changes within a type)? Sure. Survival of the fittest? Sure, in animal life. But, macroevolution? No. Evolution may explain survival of the fittest in cases, but not arrival of the fittest. • Darwin acknowledged 4-5 ‘created’ forms • Reproductive capabilities were already present (14th chapter of Origins) • Still doesn’t answer why we have something rather than nothing at all. • Explain ‘how’ something works doesn’t always explain ‘why’ something is there “Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy." (Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, 1887, Vol. 2, p. 229)
The world is not perfect; apparent flaws exist Argued by Bertrand Russell and Stephen Jay Gould. Two men are sitting under a large oak tree in a garden when one man says to the other, “How silly of God to support tiny acorns with the strength of this large oak tree, while the watermelons in this garden are held by flimsy and leafy plants low to the ground.” Just then an acorn fell from the tree and hit the first man on the head. After a brief pause, the second man said, “Aren’t you glad that wasn’t a watermelon?”
We can’t recognize design; only known by experience Initially argued by J. S. Mill. And yet, are there some things we “can’t not know?”
The Moral Argument The moral argument states that objective moral laws, which are laws whether anyone believe them or not, exist and come only from an unchanging moral source. • Moral laws imply a Moral Law Giver • There is an objective Moral Law • Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver Without an unchanging moral standard, everything reverts to opinion and becomes emotive (“I don’t like that”)
The Moral Argument The need for a standard Is this line crooked or straight? The standard “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” – C. S. Lewis
The Moral Argument Man cannot get rid of his sense of moral obligation, no matter how hard he tries Imagine you see someone in trouble; the situation requires risk on your part. A first voice tells you to run and help them (preservation of species). A second voice says, no, don’t help and protect yourself (self-preservation). But then a third voice comes into play and tells you that you should help. Where does that third voice come from? – Adapted from C. S. Lewis “We should not confuse our knowledge of ethical values (epistemology) with the basis for ethics (ontology).”– Paul Copan
The Moral Argument Can moral obligation come from an impersonal universe? A man said to the Universe, Sir, I exist! Nevertheless, replied the Universe, That fact has not created in me The slightest feeling of obligation. - Stephen Crane Immanuel Kant said that Morality necessitates God. Huxley (an agnostic) stated that man lives “better” when he posits there is a God.
The Moral Argument What intellectually honest atheists say about right and wrong: “When Darwin deduced the theory of natural selection to explain the adaptations in which he had previously seen the handiwork of God, he knew that he was committing cultural murder. He understood immediately that if natural selection explained adaptations, and evolution by descent were true, then the argument from design was dead and all that went with it, namely the existence of a personal god, free will, life after death, immutable moral laws, and ultimate meaning in life.” – William Provine, evolutionary biologist “Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life...life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA...life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”- Richard Dawkins “A society that flinches from the fact of evil will flinch from the act of punishment. It should not wonder why it does not feel safe.” – George Will
Objections to the Moral Argument • Morality is cultural • Morality is relative • The presence of Evil disproves a moral God • Morality either is arbitrarily imposed by God or is outside of Him
Morality is only cultural • Is/was “Widow burning” in India morally OK? • In some cultures they love their neighbors and in others they eat them; which do you prefer? • Does a land exist where murder is a virtue and thanksgiving a vice? • Were the Nazi’s justified in their actions given the culture/power in Germany OK’d their actions? • If the majority rule that rape is OK, does that make it right? • Is it OK for a culture to gratuitously torture innocent babies? • If none of the above is true, then what/who is mankind morally obligated to? Real moral obligation exists, but to whom? • Perhaps the relativist’s view has been influenced by their culture…? There is a difference in what a culture is doing and what it ought to do; a difference in descriptive and prescriptive
Morality is relative • Is it ever OK to torture babies, abuse children, or rape someone? • Just because we have a ‘twilight’ doesn’t mean we can’t recognize day and night. What if we did the same thing with mathematics we do with morals? • How does one gauge if the world is getting better or worse without absolutes? • How does one settle moral disagreements without absolutes? • “Ends” vs. “Means” are confused. For example, peace is desired, but how? This doesn’t dismiss the absolute. • How many spouses desire their spouse be relatively faithful to them, rather than absolutely faithful to them? Relativists can’t live what they preach. • The question is not “Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives?”, but “Do objective moral values exist without God?” “Why sir, if he really believes there is no distinction between virtue and vice, let us count our spoons before he leaves.” – Dr. Samuel Johnson
No moral God exists because Evil Exists Recognizing Good and Evil • To call something bad, you must know what ‘good’ is • But to call something good implies a moral framework/set of moral laws to distinguish between good and evil • The moral framework must be absolute or your standard of good/evil can change and you will never know good/evil • An absolute moral framework can only come from an absolute moral law giver who is changeless • But an absolute moral law giver is who the atheist is trying to disprove Rather than disproving God, the recognition of evil demands there be a God
Morality is arbitrary or must exist outside of God Faulty dilemma. • God’s nature is what grounds absolute moral right/wrong • God has no obligations to anything outside of Himself; He simply acts and what he naturally does is good because it comes from His nature • However marred, man has been made in the image of God and knows right/wrong • The Mind of God, not man, is the source of moral goodness “With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin
Two Worldviews, Two Choices • Natural Cause – “The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever shall be” – a statement of faith. • Supernatural/Intelligent Cause – “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” – a statement of faith.
The more reasonable choice? God. • Ockham’s Razor principle – the naturalist needs a billion little miracles to bring about the universe/world we know whereas the believer in God needs only one big miracle • The conclusion is supported by both philosophy and science – they arrive at the same conclusion • A personal “Beginner” is a much more rationale conclusion than a purposeless, meaningless, and impersonal universe accidently creating beings who are obsessed with purpose, meaning, and are full of personality.
Do these conclusions tell us anything about God? God may exist, but what kind of God are we dealing with?
What does the cosmological argument tell us of God? • He must be supernatural in nature. • He must be powerful (incredibly). • He must be eternal (self-existent; no infinite regress of causes). • He must be omnipresent (he created space and is not limited by it). • He must be timeless and changeless (He created time). • He must be immaterial (because it transcends space/physical). • He must be personal (impersonal can’t create personality). • He must be necessary (as everything else depends on it). • He must be infinite and singular as you cannot have two infinites • He must be diverse yet have unity
What do the teleological and moral arguments tell us of God? • He must be intelligent (supremely). Only cognitive being can produce cognitive being. • He must be purposeful as He deliberately created everything. • He must be moral (no moral law can be had without a giver). • He must be caring (or no moral laws would have been given).
So in summary, the God reached from these conclusions is: Supernatural, omnipresent, immaterial (spirit), very powerful, highly intelligent, immortal/eternal, immutable, infinite, singular, personal, purposeful, good/moral, caring, and possesses both unity and diversity.
What worldviews/faiths are affected by these conclusions? Agnosticism (Hard and Soft) Atheism Deism Finite Godism Pantheism (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.) Pluralism Polytheism Theism Agnosticism (Hard and Soft) Atheism Deism Finite Godism Pantheism (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.) Pluralism Polytheism Theism This leaves Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
One piece of life’s puzzle is in place • We know our origins – the universe and mankind came from the deliberate act of a supernatural creator.
God D o e s Arguments For the Existence of T H R E E God The Arguments from Existence, Intelligence, and Morality