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The Cosmological Argument For The Existence Of God

“Ex nihilo nihil fit.” In other words, something can't come from nothing. (Not Hawking’s or Krauss’ mendacious pseudo-definition of “nothing” (“The Grand Design”/ ”A Universe From Nothing“) but the concept that describes the absence of anything; the state of nonexistence: http://bit.ly/14Ff2hg) If it could, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence and crushing us as they fall from the sky? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? Conspicuously, then, such an argument is laid bare as nothing more than fallacious special pleading.   


 Furthermore, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom, empiricism and discovery we’ve distilled other self-evident, irrefragable truths such as:   

  - A posteriori causality
  - Being does not arise from nonbeing
  - Whatever begins to exist has a cause 
  - Information does not spring from chaos
  - Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness  


Given these unshakable abecedarian truths, the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain requisite properties.


Therefore -    


(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.   
(2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.   
(3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.    


(4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.  
(5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
(6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.    



 Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the premisses of this elegant syllogism. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes has no basis in reality; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2W2vduP22Q)

Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.   

Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.   

Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time. 

Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.   

Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own. 


So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.     



But we're not done for there are two more properties of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we observe of the universe. Before we get to these, though, we first need to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here's what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak; you can't have one without the other. 


Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY)


The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually brought the universe into being, why hasn't the universe always been? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless. 

The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.   

So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving: http://bit.ly/15mmyNx.

This is the very definition - of God :)    
maxximiliann maxximiliann 36-40, M 12 Responses Oct 29, 2012

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@Dattarac

Looks like you missed my allusion to the Fermi Paradox, still yet to be resolved, btw :)

"Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil"

You presuppose that objective morals must exist, and that the only choice is to respect them or disrespect them. It is your presupposition that requires a greater being exist to define those morals, not your argument. A being is neither "good" nor "evil" unless you define them to exist within the context of a moral system. There is no evidence that this is the case and so your conclusion is faulty.

Incorrect, I presuppose nothing. The existence of our conscience testifies to the reality of objective moral values and duties. This necessarily requires them to be ontologically grounded in an objective moral source, to wit, God.

It is presupposition by definition. You can make it not-presupposition by adding these bits to your narrative, either as axioms/assumptions up front, or as part of your comprehensive treatise on the existence of God. If you just list it as an axiom that means we can ignore the rest of the document if we disagree with the axiom (saving everyone a lot of time). If you prefer instead to incorporate it into your line of reasoning, we can have a chat about what other presuppositions you're making by doing that.

Point take, thanks! :)

I've modified this essay and fleshed out the issue of God's goodness in this essay here: http://bit.ly/15mmyNx

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" - Fine-tuning does not emanate from randomness"

Are you suggesting that random perturbation can not improve a system?

An example if you would.

1. You can "fine-tune" the flavor of a candy by making small random perturbations to the recipe and studying reactions.
2. You can randomly mutate computer code and, in doing so, occasionally find a variation on your original algorithm that is "fine-tuned". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithm
3. You can randomly mutate the DNA of fruit flies, and kill the fruit flies that do not improve according to your fitness function, ending up with fruit flies that are "fine tuned" genetically.

@Dattarac

What it appears you describe is the refinement of something that's already been fine-tuned, yes?

Moving goal posts. So you're saying there's some subjective degree of "fine tunedness" that something must not possess for your assertion can be true? Can you elaborate on where that point is?

1. You could start with some pretty bad candy recipes and end up, through random perturbation, with something pretty tasty. You could even spontaneously add or remove random ingredients as part of your perturbation function. The further away you are in the process from your goal, the larger steps you'd have to take early on with perturbation, or the more time you'd have to spend on it.
2. You can literally start with the computer equivalent of "random soup" and still end up with functional computer programs "fined tuned" for a specific goal, albeit simplistic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_organism_simulator. All of these evolutionary concepts can be demonstrated in computer simulations.

@Dattarac

Allow me to clarify. You see, order is not the solitary issue. It's the conformity to an independently given pattern plus high improbability. It's what makes a distinct signal unmistakable from random white noise. This is the dead giveaway of design.

(Or, to put it another way, when you came across "Romeo and Juliet", did you think it was the work of an infinite number of monkeys working on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite number of years or did you simply think Shakespeare?)


This is why trying to use "poof" (blind chance) to explain the absurdly small compound probability of independent events giving us a life sustaining universe is just naked, irrational sophism.

What "independently given pattern"? Life does not evolve *toward* a specific goal. The rest of your argument smells of an argument from incredulity, which is not an argument at all.

The presence of life itself in our universe constitutes the "independently given pattern." Here's what I mean:

The number of seconds in the history of the universe, from the very beginning of the universe, is about 10 to the 17th power. That is a 1 followed by 17 zeroes. Just an incomprehensible number – but that is the number of seconds in the universe. The number of subatomic particles in the entire known universe is around 10 to the 80th power.

With those numbers in mind, consider the following. The atomic weak force which operates within the nucleus of the atom is so finely tuned that an alteration of even one part out of 10 to the 100 power would have rendered the universe life-prohibiting. In order to permit life, the weak force has to be fine tuned to one part out of 10 to the 100th power. Similarly, the so called cosmological constant, which drives the acceleration of the universe, has to be fine tuned to within one part out of 10 to the 120th power in order for the universe to be life- permitting. Here is a real corker: Roger Penrose of Oxford University has estimated that the initial entropy condition – the entropy level of the early universe – has to be fine tuned to one part out of 10 to the 10(123)rd power – a number which is so incomprehensible that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement.

It is not just one of these numbers that must be fine tuned but all of them. So you multiply these probabilities together until our minds are just reeling in incomprehensible numbers. Having an accuracy of even one part out of 10 to the 60th power would be like having a range the size of the entire visible universe – 20 billion light years across – and in order for life to exist, a randomly thrown dart would have to land in an area one inch square. And that is just one part in 10 to the 60th power! We are talking about numbers that are just unimaginably greater than that.

Therefore, to suggest that life is the denouement of "random perturbations" is casuistic.

Anthropic principle. I think we've already talked about this.

1. You presume there is some opportunity for selection and that these constants are separable. Possibly, they are derived mathematically from some undiscovered concept even more fundamental that is also inevitable, like asking what are the odds that Pi has the value that it does.

2. You presume that the manifestation of these physical constants is uniquely singular. Could there not be many universes, each with their own physical constants? The anthropic principle would have us asking these questions only from the universes that allow it to happen.

You presume that ours is part of a multiverse.

Regardless, your resorting to such a far-fetched supposition shows that the fine-tuning of our universe does in fact clamor for an explanation.

I presume nothing. I am merely pointing out that your appeal to incredulity is hinged on a presumption that you have not proven true, and could be false in these scenarios that are equally plausible with the idea of a multiverse. If you wish to advance these assertions (that the universe is singular and its physical constants selectable) in your proof of God, you should document these as additional assumptions.

I. I make no appeal to incredulity for I've made no comment on anyone's lack of imagination for anything.

II. What demonstrable, quantifiable, empirical, testable, replicable evidence is there establishing the veriidcality of M-Theory? We both know there isn't any. This is why your appeal to the Anthropic Principle is assumptive and has no purchase.

What do we know? The universe exists. The universe has physical constants, many of which cannot have values infinitesimally different from the ones they have for life (as we know it) to evolve.

We do not know how these constants arose. We don't know if they're even constants. We have no idea whether or not our universe is singular.

You assert that the probability of these constants being what they are is effectively impossible unless they were chosen by an intelligence (i.e., the premise of your statement itself is an appeal to incredulity). Therefore, an intelligence chose them.

This assumes (at the very least):

1. The constants are not inevitable (i.e., they could be related to each other mathematically and could not be anything other than what they are)
2. The universe is singular.

Since we don't know any of these things to be true, your proof is (at best) only proof with these assumptions documented along with it. It is not necessary for me to prove the assumptions wrong in order to prove that they're assumptions. It is sufficient for me to point out that what we know is not inconsistent with these alternative explanations, and if these explanations break your proof, that means your proof needs to account for them somehow, even if it just assumes things to be true that excludes the alternatives.

@Dattarac

We also know that our solar system is devoid of life. How does this factor into your critique?

1. No, we don't, actually. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
2. What does that have to do with us living in a universe capable of supporting life?

@Dattarac

I. What other planet aside from Earth is capable of sustaining life?

II. Well, think about it. If our universe is life-sustaining, why isn't it found everywhere?

I. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraterrestrial_life#Planetary_habitability_in_the_Solar_System

II. Because we haven't found it yet. Are you under the impression that we are capable of detecting life anywhere in the universe? We haven't even ruled out Mars yet.

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" - Information does not spring from chaos"

Could you define these terms a little better? Are you fundamentally saying that entropy never reverses?

Consider the following context: Which came first matter and energy or the laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy?

I do not believe this question is answerable. I believe you're under the impression that the laws must have existed before matter/energy existed, but there is no evidence that this is the case, and your intuition suggesting it must is biased by the belief that there is such a thing as 'time before time', much akin to your belief that the universe must have had a cause, despite the fact that causality can only exist within a system with a time-like dimension.

You object to such a question because you state, correctly, that time began with the Big Bang. But this conclusion follows only if we equate time with physical measures of time. This reductionistic view is clearly wrong. A sequence of mental events alone is sufficient to generate relations of earlier and later, wholly in the absence of any physical events. So there could be a time at which God created the initial cosmological singularity 13.70 billion years ago, even if that moment is not in physical time.

Even if God is timeless sans creation, His creating the universe can be simultaneous with the cosmic singularity. Such an appeal to metaphysics is not illicit because Hawking makes the metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time, a reductionistic move which no theist should accept. In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe.

I don't understand what you mean by equating time with physical measures of time. I'm not doing anything of the sort so far as I am aware.

Sure, it's entirely possible that God "lives" in a universe that has its own independent time-like dimension, allowing our universe to have a "cause" within God's time, but that does not mean he must. There is no evidence to suggest any of this is true.

Could we get back to my original question though? What do you mean when you say "Information does not spring from chaos"? Are you talking about entropy?

I'm referring to something like DNA. That the stupendous number of instructions it contains is the happenstance of chaos defies all logic and reason. Follow?

If it defied all logic and reason, the theories advanced for abiogenesis would be disproven and everyone would go home. So either the scientists doing this research are all really bad at logic and reason and don't know when to give up attempting the impossible, or when you say something like "defies all logic and reason" you mean instead to argue that it's merely incredulous. An argument from incredulity is a fallacy.

You may want to rephrase your assertion to better match what you mean, something like "higher life forms can not arise from randomness". It's still wrong IMO but it's clearer.

Also, you cannot appeal to God when defining your assumptions, since your assumptions are being used as part of your argument that God exists. If any of your assumptions require gods to be true, your essay becomes circular.

Take the Miller-Urey experiment. If the elements and conditions of the experiment represent a pre-historic Earth, who does the scientist who prepared the experiment's precise conditions and elements represent?

The experimenter does not represent anything. Or, I suppose you could say that since the experimenter is setting up conditions similar to early earth, you could say he represents the entirety of earth's lifeless history up to that point. But that would be kind of a bizarre way to think of an experiment.

Are you trying to suggest that because the present-day experiment required someone to create it, that means the corresponding event in earth's history also had to have someone (presumably God) set it up?

The Miller-Urey experiment certainly wasn't the denouement of chance :)

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I. "Being does not arise from nonbeing"

Could you define these terms a little better? Are you specifically talking about humans or any chemical process capable of self-assembly?

The mere organization of inanimate matter does not generate life. Are computers alive?

OK, so by 'being' you mean 'life', and 'nonbeing' you mean 'inanimate matter'. An example of inanimate matter that is not alive is not evidence that life cannot arise from inanimate matter. I could just as easily offer our own existence as proof that it could happen.

You first need to define life, and identify the smallest, simplest example of it, and then prove that this tiny example of life could never have arisen through natural processes, in order for your assertion to be proven. Otherwise it is an assumption and should be described as such.

Didn't Pasteur decisively resolve this question? But then again, if he did why all the interest in Abiogenesis? Your thoughts?

Also, there's no such thing as simple life. Even viruses and prokaryotes are extraordinarily complex which is why they've never been successfully made in a lab from scratch.

Pasteur was testing the theory of "spontaneous generation" (higher forms of life immediately from sterile beginnings, which, at the time, involved experiments such as boiling soup and checking to see if things grew in it), not abiogenesis per se as we think of it today. The two are distinct. Re-reading the first paragraph of your essay, I think this is an important point for you to realize. Abiogenesis does not predict higher forms of life will pop up out of nowhere, and, indeed, now that higher forms of life exist, the spontaneous creation of precursors of life won't last long before they're metabolized by actual life. No working theories of abiogenesis are inconsistent with reality, so if you feel compelled to ask, "well if that's true, then why doesn't this absurd thing that clearly can't happen happen?" that suggests you don't understand the theory, not that the theory is wrong.

While your statement "life does not arise from non-life" is technically accurate, you use it as though it says "life can not arise from non-life", which would be an assertion that I suspect you would be unable to prove. Because it does not today does not mean it can not (today, or billions of years ago).

Actually, "Life cannot arise from non-life" is perfectly accurate since all life is the product of Jehovah God's creative acts as the Source of all life.

Sorry, you cannot cite God in your proof that God exists. That makes your proof circular.

I do not. The premiss, "Being does not arise from nonbeing", is not a premiss in my cosmological argument for God's existence.

Ah, sorry. So why is it in your story? Just an "extra bonus fact"?

As an example of an irrefragable truth like "whatever begins to exist has a cause."

So you want to be sure your reader knows what an irrefragable truth is by presenting them with religious "truths"? I suppose that's a reasonable way of warning people that what comes next will probably only be believable to someone that already believes in God, but I imagine you'd prefer that the heathens take your story seriously.

You're making a distinction without a difference. All truths are true the same way all lies are lies.

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You are attempting to apply the rules that govern our universe--most notably causality--to the universe itself. You acknowledge that your idea of a creator must be spaceless and timeless, but still cling to the notion that the universe must have a cause. Causality is very much a part of our notion of space and time. Without space and time, you don't have causality.

Are you suggesting that our universe came from nothing by nothing for nothing 13.70 billion years ago?

No. You're just substituting "came from" in place of "was caused by". My point is that our notion of causality is a product *of* the universe, but you are trying to apply it *to* the universe. There is no reason to believe that this is possible or even meaningful.

It's like living inside a book and theorizing about the existence of pages that must be on the outside of its cover, without realizing that your own sense of history and causality have no meaning outside of the framework in which they exist.

I wouldn't even say the universe was created 13.70 billion years ago. The thing we perceive as time started 13.70 billion years ago. You can't have time without a universe, and you can't have causation without time. Ergo, there is no reason to require that the universe have a cause.

I have no reason to believe the universe "came from nothing", only that the universe *exists*.

The premise that the universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious declaration nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, proves that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater than one ** must ** have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself invalidate and impugn beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)

As Physicist and Mathematician James Clerk Maxwell put it, “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”

As such, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.

This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause. After all, something cannot come from nothing as I've already shared. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

This reply was copy-pasted to another story, but it seems appropriate to have the discussion here. The point I was making was not that the universe didn't begin to exist 13.7 billion years ago, but that I reject that it must have had a "cause". If time is a property of our universe, that means it does not exist outside of our universe. Talking about what happened "before" our universe is sort of like asking "what's south of the south pole". And without a "before", you can't have causality as we know it, and so to say that the universe must have a cause because things inside the universe have a cause presupposes some time-like dimension that the universe exists within, which there is no evidence for. You can't, consequently, base any sort of proof upon it.

Another analogy is that of a book: if the characters in a book were self-aware and sentient, they might perceive the passage of time as the turning of pages in a book. We may share in that experience by turning through the pages, but we are not limited in this way and can go forward and backward at will. The characters can not. Is it meaningful for them to inquire about "what pages came before the first" in talking about when their book was created? It's non-sensical. The creation of their book had nothing to do with the events that unfold within its pages. Similarly, there is no reason to tie the "creation" of our universe with our sense of time and causality perceived within it. It's just what we know.

Of course, our universe very well may have a cause, but it's just that we don't have evidence one way or the other, and that which we believe we have evidence for only exists *within* the universe and cannot be applied *to* it. So if this is a necessary part of your proof that God exists, it must be described as an assumption.

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All things are from God..nuff said...hugs sweetie.

Youuuuu said it! :) <>

I don't have any intention of getting involved in the discussion below about whether said god is "human like" or even exists. I'm not in the mood.
I just wanted to comment that I think that you wrote this out beautifully. I agree with all that you put forth here but I don't think I ever could have articulated it the way you have. You made your points and stated facts to support them with a lovely confidence that I found intriguing, almost as if you know that some people might take issue with some of the things that you suggest but you are ready for them. You're insistent without being arrogant. I like that.
Great for you. It is a good way to be, especially when discussing something like this.
I loved every word of this story. You had me with "Ex nihilo nihil fit."

You humble me with your kind words doll, thank you :*

‘Give praise to Jehovah, for to time indefinite is his loving-kindness.’” (2 Chronicles 20:21) It is He who has placed His "spirit is upon me [] to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release.” (Luke 4:18)

And …. I might add to my previous comments. Even if your proof of God is irrefutable you have not shown what Gods intentions are. Is it benevolent, does it have a goal we would understand and support? Or are we just rats in its maze?

Excellent questions. Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that an evil Creator/Designer exists. Since this being is evil, that implies that he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil god have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil god and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness Himself. As such, if god is evil then there must necessarily exist a supreme God who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.

Reasonable arguments but not complete I think. Socrates showed in “Plato’s Republic” just how hard it is to determine what the moral right and wrong are. Actions that appear to be wrong can upon careful analysis be shown to be right and visa-versa. So the only being that could determine in an absolute way what is right and wrong is God and to some extent since God created free will then it would be responsible ultimately responsible for all of the wrong I may do since it could have prevented them.

Or it is an abuse of the free will granted to us:

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
(2) Evil exists
(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist
(4) Therefore, God exists
(5) Therefore, God is the loci of all objective moral values and duties

To put it another way:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
7. God is defined as being a maximally great being.
8. Therefore, God exists.

9. It is greater to be the paradigm of goodness than to conform to it.
10. Moral values are not contingent but hold in every possible world.
11. Therefore, God is morally perfect.
12. Therefore, God is the loci of all morally perfect values and duties.

As you can see, God doesn’t have moral duties to fulfill, since He doesn’t issue commands to Himself. So we don’t praise Him for doing His duty. Rather He is to be adored for His moral character because He is essentially loving, just, kind, etc. It is because God is that way that these qualities count as virtues in the first place. Essentially, God is good the same way water is wet, diamonds are hard, a photon moves at the speed of light and stars are hot. So if we think of God’s goodness in terms of His possessing certain virtues rather than fulfilling certain duties, we have a more exalted and more adequate concept of God.

I do believe in God, but I don’t make assumptions about him. I question your premise number 2 above stating evil exists. All humans from what I can tell extend the definition of evil to be anything they don’t like. In a war, each side labels the other as evil. To the British crown Robin Hood was evil to the poor he was a gift from God. You cannot assume evil exits without a proof. The problem is one man’s evil is another man’s good. And without that premise the rest of your argument is not effective. I want your position to be the correct one, but I just can’t prove it logically and I have yet to meet anyone who could.

Thing is, mankind doesn't see acts like ped0philia, the gunning down of innocent children, genocide, gang rape and serial murder as just socially unacceptable behavior, like, say, picking your nose at the dinner table. Rather, these acts are perceived as a moral abominations - acts of evil. On the flip side, love, equality and self-sacrifice are not just perceived as socially advantageous, like, say, bringing a girl flowers on a first date, but, instead are treated as things that are truly good.

Now, animals don't have **objective** morals. When a lion savagely kills another lion it doesn't think it's committing murder. When a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another it doesn't feel it's stealing. When primates violently force themselves onto females they’re not tried and convicted of rape. Obviously, then, we certainly didn't “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from them.

**Objective** morals do not come from science either because science, by it's very nature, is morally nihilistic. Where, then, do we get our **universal objective morals** from?

Great questions!

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Perhaps not as eloquently, but I reached your same conclusions quite a while ago. The one thing I have trouble with is the nature of God. I believe it exists but is it self-aware and does it guide, interfere or control the events in our lives? Does it, at some point, intend to set wrongs right?

If God is a person how could he not be self aware?

Since He created man with free will that necessarily limits his interference with our lives.

Finally, because God is the very paradigm of good (see my reply to your later post) his sense of justice obligates him to rid the world of evil once and for all in the very near future.

I liked your argument proving the existance of God but the answer to your question, "if God is a person" in my mind remains unproven. I agree God is a being not necessarily a person until proven. On your second sentance reguarding free will... the fact that God exists does not necessarly prove we have free will. We need another proof for that.

If a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak. You can't have one without the other.   

Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY)  

The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually caused the universe, why hasn't the universe always been around? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.   

The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.   So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent … and personal.    

Err, sorry, I meant I can't agree with premise 2.

The premise that the universe began to exist is not a religious statement nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem, for instance, clearly states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater one must have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself refute beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube while proving that our universe had to have a finite beginning.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)

Moreover, Quentin Smith, a philosopher of science at the University of Western Michigan reinforces this further when he states, "It belongs analytically to the concept of the cosmological singularity that it is not the effect of prior physical events. The definition of a singularity entails that it is impossible to extend the spacetime manifold beyond the singularity. This effectively rules out the idea that the singularity is the effect of some prior natural process." ("Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology")


As such, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.

This creates the necessity for there to exist a first uncaused-cause for something cannot come from nothing as I've already shared. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent and personal. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

Try this one:<br />
(1) Time exists.<br />
(2) For something to "begin" to exist, there must be at least two moments: one prior to its existence and one in which it begins to exist.<br />
(3) If time did not exist, then there would be no future moment for anything to begin to exist in.<br />
(from 1, 2, 3) Time did not begin to exist.<br />
<br />
This is one of the reasons I cannot accept the first premise of the cosmological argument.

"What happened before the Big Bang?" You object to such a question because you state, correctly, that time began with the Big Bang. But this conclusion follows only if we equate time with physical measures of time. This reductionistic view is clearly wrong. A sequence of mental events alone is sufficient to generate relations of earlier and later, wholly in the absence of any physical events. So there could be a time at which God created the initial cosmological singularity, even if that moment is not in physical time. Even if God is timeless sans creation, His creating the universe can be simultaneous with the cosmic singularity. Such an appeal to metaphysics is not illicit because Hawking makes the metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time, a reductionistic move which no theist should accept. In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe.

I do not really understand your response because I am doing the opposite of what you said, which refutes your argument. I mean metaphysical time, not time as is described by physics (which is basically change of state). I consider "the universe" to mean everything that exists including any non-physical objects, and this is also what it has to mean for the cosmological argument to work.

You say that appealing to metaphysical time should not be accepted by theists, yet this is necessary for the cosmological argument to not be refuted by my argument posted above. But if you do the opposite, and reject the notion of metaphysical time, then you must also reject the notion that "physical time" began with the big bang, because the universe exists at all.

Unless you meant that a theist shouldn't accepting the appeal to metaphysical time because god would not need to exist within physical time and could exist instead within metaphysical time which I agree with... but if you agree with this too, then the point of the argument disappears, because metaphysical time would be an aspect or property of the universe, despite it not having any of the physical contents we now know before the big bang. It also means that you agree that there is "open" time before the big bang in which other things (physical or non-physical) could have existed, and there is no reason why those things are limited to just being God.

Here's what I actually said: "So **there could be** a time at which God created the initial cosmological singularity, **even if that moment is not in physical time**. Even if God is timeless sans creation, His creating the universe can be simultaneous with the cosmic singularity. Such an appeal to metaphysics is **not illicit** because Hawking makes the metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time, a reductionistic move which no theist should accept." In essence, this is an argument **in favor of** metaphysical time.

Next, the univserse is the space-time universe we live in which came into existence 13.70 billion years ago. God cannot exist within the universe for he did not begin to exist with the existence of the universe. Since He is the cause of the space-time universe he must, necessarily, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless and eternal.