Because I have received tremendous response from the release of the book and in particular the first chapter which deals with John's declaration that Jesus created everything that exists, I thought I would post some of my ideas and research in the area of why believing in God makes sense to me. Ready to go deep? Let's go!
I will present this series in 4 parts over the next few weeks. Feel free to comment! Blessings.
Is believing in ‘God’ reasonable?—part 1
A theist is a person who believes there is a God
An atheist is a person who believes there is no God (a-theist—“a” is a negation of theism)
An antitheist does not believe that theistic thinking is rational or reasonable
What does the evidence suggest?
The Cosmological Evidence
(what can we deduce from the things that exist?)
The things that exist give strong evidence for a creator.
--Why is there something rather than nothing?
--We know that something cannot be created by nothing.
--We know that the “something” that we have is not self created—which is impossible.
The 2nd law of Thermodynamics states that ‘the amount of useable energy in the universe is decreasing’ and everything is moving toward increased randomness or entropy, i.e. everything is in a state of winding down tending toward disorder, not improving or even maintaining.
This means there is a constant decrease in useable energy in the universe and could someday lead to Total Heat Death (nothing but cold, dark, lifeless matter) implying that at some point in the past Someone or Something had to make the matter and give energy to it (Even a “Big Bang” would need a “Big Banger”!)
The 1st law of Thermodynamics is often stated ‘Energy can be neither created or destroyed’ and is used by atheists to say that the universe is eternal and there is no need for a God. A more accurate way of stating this law of conservation is ‘The amount of actual energy in the universe remains constant’. This says nothing about how the energy came to be in the universe.
This does not prove or disprove the idea that God at some point in past or future history did or could add energy to the universe but only that we do not observe any actual energy being added or leaving our universe at this point. This is also why the 2nd law does not contradict the 1st law but amplifies it.
1. The principal of existential causality—all things that begin to exist have a cause
Everything that begins to exist is:
Finite—limits on length of existence
Contingent—relies on something else for its creation
Dependent—relies on something else for its continued existence—air, food, sun, water
Changing—something that changes over time—i.e. decays, breaks down, is acted upon by physical forces
Everything like this has a cause—i.e. was brought into existence by something else
We know that 'nothing' cannot create something, and since something is here, the something that we have is; finite, contingent, dependent and changing.
Therefore the creator must be:
Eternal—has no limit on length of existence
Non-contingent—was not created by something else
Non-dependent—does not rely on anything for Its continued existence
Unchanging—has always been and always will be the same—not bound by space or time or the action of physical forces playing upon It.
This Being cannot be caused by something else but must be the causer of everything else
2. Principle of external creator—the creator is ‘outside’ the creation
Since there is something rather than nothing we are led to ask, “How did it get here?”
This is illustrated by taking all matter in the universe and putting it into the circle (all 'matter' is represented by the white space in the circle).
There are 4 possibilities:
1. Matter created itself. This can't be because it would need to precede itself to create itself, which is physically and logically impossible. Also, nowhere does life arise from non-life
2. Matter is eternal. 2nd Law of Therm. suggests that energy and matter had a beginning as usable energy is decreasing and matter can’t come from nothing
3. The creator (X) is within the circle. (or is “matter”) This cannot be because all matter inside the circle needs a Beginner to exist and therefore needs to be created, which would make ‘X’ part of the creation not the creator.
4. The creator (X) is outside the circle. If everything that begins to exist inside the circle is finite, contingent, dependent and changing, the creator must be separate from the creation and infinite, non-contingent, non-dependent, and unchanging and can create at will.
The statement ‘if God created everything, who/what created God?’ is not valid because God must necessarily exist for our reality to exist, therefore God cannot have a ‘creator’—God cannot not exist if we exist
John 1:3—Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.
3. The human regression evidence--what can we logically deduce from our existence?
Our cause and effect system gives strong evidence for an uncaused Causer.
1. Some things undeniably exist like myself—I cannot deny my existence without affirming it.
2. My non-existence is possible.
3. Whatever has the possibility not to exist (me), is currently caused to exist by another. (mother/father)
4. There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes of existence.
5. Therefore, a first uncaused cause of my current existence exists.
6. This uncaused cause must be infinite, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-perfect. (Nothing can impose limits on the cause of everything—whatever power/characteristics the Cause has, it has in totality)
7. This infinitely perfect being is appropriately called God.
8. Therefore God exists.
9. This God who exists is identical to the God described in the Christian Bible.
10. Therefore, the God described in the Bible exists.
(Excerpts from Geisler, Christian Apologetics)
Before we could see air molecules with machines, air still existed. People 1000 years ago would have been foolish to believe that air as an entity did not exist—but now we see it does. It’s the same with God. The evidence is there. Just like the people 1000 years ago, don’t think that because you don’t see/experience God now as a Person that it won’t happen some day!
Just because you cannot 'see' or experience something in the immediate physical world does not mean it does not exist (love, gravity, radio waves, light spectrum that cannot be seen with the eye, etc.)
You can choose to believe there is no air or love or gravity or radio waves because you can’t see it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it exists. You see, hear, and feel its effects in the world without observing the actual origination of the event. The evidence lets you know it is there. It’s the same with God. You can choose to believe there is no God but that doesn’t change the fact that there is. You can choose against the evidence but you would be a fool to do so.