The Existence of God



The existence of God has long been unquestioned. Every culture has some form of worship of a God or many gods. Man has believed in the supernatural since his beginnings. Some might say that man has created God out of a need to feel importance or belonging. At many universities today, this philosophy is seen as the ultimate understanding of the nature of man, and thus, it is the responsibility of the university to instill this philosophy into the minds of all graduates. It is thought that man feels the existence of God because he wants to. But could it be that this awareness of God was put there by God Himself? I would contend that it was.

I believe that God exists. I would suggest that the existence of God is not a matter of blind faith in something that cannot be seen, but a logical conclusion based on rational thinking. To begin: the universe exists. If this point is not granted, then we might as well not even have this discussion. But if it is granted, then I think the existence of God can be logically assumed based on the following observations.

There are only three possible solutions to the question of where the universe came from:

1. The universe has always been.

If the universe has always been here, there is no need for a Creator. However, if the universe has always been here, you can't be reading this article. Consider the following line:



Let's say the left arrow represents negative infinity, or infinity past, and the right arrow represents positive infinity, or infinity future. If the universe has always been here, it did not have a beginning, and it will not have an end. Now, let's try an experiment. Let's put a point on this line of infinity:



How much time is before this point? Yes, infinity. How about after the point? Yes, infinity. No matter where you put the point on that line, there is an infinite amount of time before and after it. Let's put one more point on the line, though:



Now, how much time is before the first point? Infinity. After it? Infinity. What about the second point? Infinity before and after it. By definition, now, the first and second points are in the exact same location, because we have infinity going in not one but two directions. In other words, logic forces us to conclude that they are the same point in time. Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli put it this way:
If, in order to reach a certain end, infinitely many steps had to precede it, could the end ever be reached? Of course not--not even in an infinite time. For an infinite time would be unending, just as the steps would be. In other words, no end would be reached. The task would--could--never be completed.

...In fact, no step in the sequence could be reached, because an infinity of steps must always have preceded any step; must always have been gone through one by one before it. The problem comes from supposing that an infinite sequence could ever reach, by temporal succession, any point at all.

...if the universe...is infinitely old, then an infinite amount of time would have to have elapsed before (say) today. And so an infinite number of days must have been completed--one day succeeding another, one bit of time being added to what went before--in order for the present day to arrive. But this exactly parallels the problem of an infinite task. If the present day has been reached, then the actually infinite sequence of history has reached this present point: in fact, has been completed up to this point--for at any present point the whole past must already have happened. But an infinite sequence of steps could never have reached this present point--or any point before it.

So, either the present day has not been reached, or the process of reaching it was not infinite. But obviously the present day has been reached. So the process of reaching it was not infinite...1
That's why the universe can't be infinite: if time is infinite, then sequential events cannot occur. So option one is not an option, after all.

* For a much more scholarly look at this argument, please read Dr. William Lane Craig's article, The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe.

2. The universe created itself.

This is what many scientists believe today, but it fails the test of logic. The Big Bang theory tells us that the universe created itself: one moment there was nothing; the next moment the entire universe appeared. Most people can see the problem here. If there was ever nothing, then there could never be anything, because something can't come from nothing. As Dr. William Lane Craig put it:
Very simply...something cannot come out of absolutely nothing. A pure potentiality cannot actualize itself. In the case of the universe (including any boundary points), there was not anything physically prior to the initial singularity. The potentiality for the existence of the universe could not therefore have lain in itself, since it did not exist prior to the singularity...On the atheistic hypothesis, there did not even exist the potentiality for the existence of the universe. But then it seems inconceivable that the universe should become actual if there did not exist any potentiality for its existence. It seems to me therefore that a little reflection leads us to the conclusion that the origin of the universe had a cause.2
So number two is not an option either. There's only one left:

3. The universe was created.

The problems that plague the first two explanations do not plague the last. If the universe (space, time, matter) was created, then we do not have the problem of infinite time (the Creator is infinite, but time is not), nor the problem of something coming from nothing (since the Creator is infinite, He did not have a beginning, so there is no need to believe that He came from nothing). Since there are no other options, this is the only answer as to where the universe came from, and it's found in Genesis chapter 1 verse 1: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth."

Incidentally, there are a few deductions we can make based on these conclusions. Since the Creator is infinite, there can be only one. Infinity plus anything is still infinity. Therefore, we are wise to ascribe to theism rather than polytheism. Second, since the Creator must be outside of time and outside of the creation itself (otherwise we are left with the first or second faulty premise), we must choose theism over pantheism as well. We can further deduce that the Creator is all-knowing--if God created the universe then He must know all about it. He must also be almighty, because the God that created the universe must certainly possess all power therein. Furthermore, since He created personalities He must also have personality and be capable of interaction.

Would you like to know more about the infinite Creator God? Please read The Five Facts of Life by Dr. Robert C. Burch.



 

References

1. Kreeft, Peter and Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1994), 59. Buy it from Amazon.com
2. Craig, William Lane, http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/creation.html