Christian Theology, Biblical Theology

"You are no longer under law but grace; therefore, sin shall not have dominion over you" "The grace of God has appeared teaching men to say no to sin"

God is Logically Necessary

A Godless Universe is Logically Impossible

God is a logically necessary being and I believe this is easy to prove. We first have to agree on a few things if we are to have any rational debate or discussions; and in keeping these ground rules brief I will put forth that we must agree 1. There is an extended world and something(s) exist 2. Our mind which is immaterial has one connection to the extended world which are the fallible senses. So we must rely on our senses and acknowledge that they are fallible but this does not imply that they cannot transmit truth to our minds. 3. We must agree on 1 of the 3 laws of logic namely the law of non-contradiction (the other 2 laws are mere extensions of this law). This law states that something such as a proposition or concept or “thing” cannot coexist with its contrary. Stated in logic the state of (P and –P) cannot actualize. This is quite intuitive to all of us. For example I cannot be a bachelor and a married man at the same time, it can not be the case that my car is in my garage and at the same time my car is not in the garage. So if we stay with these 3 ground rules we can precede. If one wants to argue against the law of non-contradiction, then we have no grounds for discussion; and I may add that that individual cannot live in her world where non-contradictions are acceptable and survive for more than a day!

Let’s begin with the following statement: If anything exists then something has to exist which is eternal, has the power of self movement, and self existence.

You might ask why? Well for starters if there was ever a time when nothing existed, what could possibly exist today? Yes you answered correctly: nothing! Secondly if there was a time when nothing existed and then something existed, this something would have to have created itself; but to create itself it would first have to ante-date itself (exist before it existed). Do you see the circularity with this view? Self-creation is logically impossible! Philosophers and scientists have as a primary axiom ex nihilo nihilo fit which is Latin for from nothing, nothing can come. Another way of looking at this is that self-creation violates the law of non-contradiction in that something would have to exist and not exist (P and -P) at the same time and this is irrational and illogical. So in virtue of the premise that something exists; it is then a necessary proposition (or truth) that something must have existed for all eternity. This "something" must have the qualities of self existence, self movement, pure existence in that it is not becoming or mutating, or changing , or increasing or decreasing; but exists in eternal perfection. This perfection meaning there is nothing that can be added to this eternal being that can make it any greater than it always has been. So we can say with logical certainty that something has had to eternally exist. QED.

Now that This Infinite Being is Logically Necessary It is Also Ontologically Necessary

The reasoning behind this last condition (pure being) dates back to the days of the pre-Socratic philosophers whose goals were (as with most science and physics today) the search for ultimate reality, the study of motion, and understanding existence or ontology. In searching for ultimate reality they were looking for what constituent entity or element that is common to the diversity and unity that we observe in the universe? In today's language we would say they were searching for the base elements that make up sub-atomic matter and energy; the "stuff" that makes up reality (not just what we perceive with our senses to be reality). These pre-Socratic positions could be defined into two extreme views as we will briefly discuss. The extremes were that something is true and real if it is immutable, changeless - then it manifestly exists. This was the view of Parmenides, the other view was that nothing is constant, we don’t even have identities and everything is in a state of flux. This was the view of Heraclitus. He is noted for saying “you cannot put your foot in the same river twice” while Parmenides coined the phrase that on the surface sounds vacuous and tautological “What is is”.

Heraclites’ view is quite evident in that the river is always moving and the water molecules are moving and in flux, our bodies, minds, knowledge, are in a state of constant change, in a sense we are not the same person today that we were yesterday. Rocks, energy, light, everything that we see in the extended world is in a state of flux and is mutable. This mutability is also a primary quality of contingent beings or items. So Heraclitus even denied that people lacked any identity due to their mutability. Heraclitus is correct on several issues in that because something is mutable or as Aristotle would have said “something has potential” it is not ultimately real because it is “on it’s way" to becoming something else. Sometimes this something else is growth, increase, or decay but it is quite evident that mutable or contingent items or beings cannot be the ultimate reality that these philosophers and physicists of today are searching for. But again for Heraclitus his view of existence is that everything exists contingently and is always changing opposed to Parmenides’ claims that for something to have real being it must be what it is and not have any change or it will lose it’s identity and cease to be what it is.

Now for Parmenides Pure existence (what is is) meant that an item or being is not gaining or losing any power or any capacity of existence. This by the way is the demarcation between we contingent human beings and God who is an infinite being; for God to be infinite He must be immutable or else he is not pure existence and would lack His ontological necessity which states that it is impossible for Him to not exist. And we humans are contingent beings in that we are not eternal, we are mutable, and there could have been a time and was a time when we didn't exist and there will be a time when we die and our existence will change from one of a human body to that of a resurrected body (according to the bible).

Obviously both positions of these philosophers are not completely accurate in that we can say that a mutable item or being does have an identity despite that certain aspects of these items or beings are mutable. If this were not so, then we could not even classify rocks, minerals, and animals. These two views are also similar to the 2 theories of time today - but I don't believe that time even exists. I am not the same person today that I was 30 years ago, I have more knowledge, I have aged, I see things differently, but my identity is still the same.

I believe this issue of pure being as a requisite quality for and infinite being; if God is learning from creaturely free will decisions, then He is not immutable and fails to be an infinite being. If God is learning things about His free will agents then He is not infinitely pure being, Hes is not stable but rather in a state of becoming and not pure being (again mutability is a quality that distinguishes a contingent being from and infinite being) and couldn't be the ultimate core of being. If God doesn't know the future because it ostensibly doesn't exist (But He has a strong inductive guess), then He is not pure existence since something will be added to His ontology as He learns or confirms His hunches about the future.

These two philosophers Parmenides and Heraclitus also represent two schools of thought with regards to the two theories of time. I will not address this issue but only comment that time does not exist. All that exists is a necessary infinite being and contingent beings that are in constant change. And this is how God revealed Himself to Moses in the wilderness as “I AM” which was a statement of His pure absolute being and existence where He is not becoming; He has no potential, He is not in process, nor is He learning anything new. Furthermore without whose being, nothing else could be or exist. So as we can see the philosophy behind a necessary being is a logically valid and true argument; and is how the God of the bible reveals Himself. If God were in process (again a primary feature of contingent beings) He would not be eternal, He would not be an eternally a pure being because something that is eternal must be perfect where He has always maintained this perfection and this perfection in being includes His knowledge of all things. An infinite being by its very definition is is infinite in all respects and again this infinite being is not becoming or decaying but exists with perfect (mature if I may) qualities that have been constituent aspects of its or His ontological makeup from and through all eternity. If I sound overly repetitious I am doing so on purpose to drive home these basic distinctions between contingent beings and infinite beings and also the logical and ontological impossibility of self-creation.

I believe up to this point I have demonstrated that it is irrational and logically impossible to believe in a universe that created itself or even a God who created Himself since self-creation is an impossibility. Additionally it has been demonstrated that in light of the fact that things exist today, there must have always been something in existence which had the power of self-existence, self-movement, and pure existence whereby it is impossible for this being or thing to not exist. But what is this self existent being or thing? Could it be the universe itself?

Is This Infinite Thing An Impersonal Force or Personal Being

Another question that has tugged at the trouser of the scientist is “Why is there something instead of nothing?” As these arguments for the existence of God were put forth by the philosophers (especially those of the Middle Ages) one argument for God had been a thorn in the side of the Churches two arch enemies viz. David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Hume was an outright atheist and British Empiricist that was said to have sent philosophy to the graveyard of skepticism and Kant was ostensibly a Christian but didn't believe any of the arguments for God were indefeasible. As a side note any argument aside from conclusions drawn from pure reason are not philosophically certain. But the one argument that Hume and Kant could never get over was the argument from design also known as the Teleological Argument. Kant also struggled with the universal moral law that he experienced in his soul and that of every man, and later proved the existence of God through his famous Moral Argument.

Both Hume and Kant could not escape the exquisite design of the universe, and knew that where there is design, there is intention. In philosophy something can occur by accident or intention and these two positions are contrary as well in that they both cannot be the case; something exists or is created by accident or intention and intention carries the implication of having a purpose, free will, and personality. So both men conceded that the designer of the universe had personality because this intentionality is the equivalent of free will and something that only rational beings possess.

So now we have an infinite personal being with free will which would also shed some light on the question of “Why is there something rather than nothing?” The answer is that creation was of the will of the infinite being (we can now assume that the infinite thing is a being since it has personality). So know we have arrived at Aristotle’s un-moved mover only in his thinking his unmoved mover had no volition and what we have deduced is that the unmoved mover does have volition. Another point would be that the laws of inertia demand that if something is at rest some outside force must move upon it to put it into motion; hence this infinite being with the power of self-existence also possess the power of self-movement (Aristotle understood this as well in his unmoved mover that there must be an origin to movement). If the Big Bang theory is true and that the entire universe at some point was one infinitesimally small compacted orderly micro-dot of mass and energy which was organized and inert in eternity past; something would have to move on it to cause it to move, become rather unstable and explode. The theory does teach that this micro dot was orderly and as the universe expands it is moving disorder. The argument that the law of inertia wouldn't apply to creation because time didn't exist is bunk. I have already explained that time doesn't exist any more than chance exists. Time is a concept that we use to order our lives. Consider for a moment living in a remote civilization that kept no time, I really doubt that you would look at life as past present and future in a linear sense as we do today. You would see change and mutable things changing, you would observe motion but you would have no concept of time; and at best time can not be explained apart from it being relative to something else; just like the scientist cannot explain what light or energy is (intrinsically). In fact cause and effect relationships aren't even dependent on time. We think they are because these events appear to our senses this way but a physicist will tell you that a cause must be spatially and temporally local to its event. In other words they must occur at the same time. But here is a quagmire to think upon: how can two objects collide when there is a infinite number of points in space between any two given points (or objects). This again can be answered by Christianity in that it is the invisible God who holds all things together, for the bible tells us that it is Christ who hold all things in place, I believe it is the invisible force of God that subsumes atomic particles which give us what we call reality.

Well Could The Universe Be Eternal?

First off this is really self-creation complicated back into eternity. Many have argued that the universe is an infinite regress of events. But infinite regresses cannot exist in space because we cannot transverse infinity, hence we could never see an effect today; but we do see effects. Secondly atheists such as Gordon Clark have asked “Why does the universe require a cause?” This again is stupidity a la PhD because what he is arguing for is self-creation only complicated back into infinity; his statement precludes any causal event for the universe therefore his only option is an eternal universe. And we will see that "if" the universe is indeed eternal, there must be a portion of this universe that transcends all of the contingent elements such as energy, matter, light and furthermore this "boiler-room" must possess a will, intelligence, and every quality that we see in the universe today. This "boiler-room" must have the power of self existence, self movement, and it must be impossible for this "boiler-room" to not exist". But Stein in his broad-brush statement overlooks quite a bit. He would like to close his eyes and pretend that cause and event relationships don't exist but we know that they do and that maybe his eternal universe didn't have a cause (his un-moved-mover) every event subsequent to it does.

Well I think I have made a pretty good argument for the necessity for an eternal being, definitely something being eternally existent that is responsible for the universe today. If one wishes to contend with the teleological argument and argue for an eternal universe and deny a personal agent is the eternal being; they must still identify a transcendent aspect of the universe that is immutable and eternal with the power of self existence and self movement. We know that matter or energy or light will not qualify as this substance because all of these are contingent and mutable so if the atheist can demonstrate or find this part of the universe we might discover that what they are really talking about is what we call God. Because even if the atheist denies the personal agency of the unmoved mover as a conclusion of the design argument, they must grapple with the fact that an effect cannot possess more than its cause. And if we observe reasonable and rational beings, personal beings with emotion and consciousness, when we observe the order of things, we know that the cause of these had to possess these same attributes. So this un-moved-mover is starting to sound like a personal being that we cannot rationally escape. I could also wax on with other arguments but I think for brevity sake I have sufficiently demonstrated an un-moved-mover that is different from Aristotle's movers in that this un-moved mover has personality and free will. So then this begs the question of well which God are we talking about? I will get to this in the next section but I first shall digress with one more statement about Kant. Kant while kicking God out the front door with his belief that one could not prove the existence of God philosophically; let Him back in through the kitchen door with his Moral Argument. Kant could not ignore the universal phenomenon that all men have consciences except for a very few sociopaths and even they to an extent have a conscience. All men and women deal with guilt because we have a sense of "oughtness" and this moral imperative as Kant called it is described in the Book of Romans as God revealing Himself through nature (design) and our consciences. Civilizations cannot exist without an objective sense of right and wrong or else this leads to Barbarism or Anarchy where every man does what is right in his own eyes; but most often Barbarism whereby those with the might declare what is right. So the atheist wants moral absolutes but wants to cut God out of the equation and this doesn't work; actually what the atheist wants are her selfish desires protected but this can't be possible since not everyone has the same needs and wants nor can relative laws appeal to all men and women. Do you want to live by the Golden Rule that Christ taught "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" or the Golden Rule of subjective morality "Those who have the Gold make the rules"?

OK You Concede That I Win But How Do We Know This Infinite Being Is The God of The Bible?

The question we have to ask ourselves is not does the God of philosophy exclusively identify himself as the God of the bible rather is the God of the bible disqualified by logic and philosophy? Logic cannot proves that anything is true; all it can do is tell us that something is invalid in that it's propositions or premises do not support the conclusion. There are many religions that would not stand up to the scrutiny of logic such as Shintoism, polytheism, the Native American God, and many elements the Hindu Gods who claim that all of what we see is illusion, and we can go down the list but the God of the bible is not disqualified by logic in fact He declares Himself to Moses using His memorial name "I AM" meaning I am the eternal being with the power of self existence and pure existence who is immutable and it is impossible that I not exist. Now I suppose the Muslim could argue something similar so now to decipher which God is the true God we need to move from logic into Epistemology and look at the justification for why we believe that the God of the bible is the true God.

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that is used to demarcate between knowledge and an educated guesses. Most often all theories of epistemology boil down to the tripartite view which is also known as JTB or a Justified True Belief. All knowledge including knowledge of science, rational knowledge of logic and mathematics, any and all knowledge claims of the extended empirical realm has an element of belief or faith. And all knowledge that is not grounded in rationalism is fallible and therefore not indefeasible. So not only does our knowledge of God require faith but our knowledge of the atomic world, our knowledge of causal relationship all require faith that since we cannot see the sub-atomic world nor causality, we must place faith in these as being real.

The point I am trying to make here is that every person puts faith in the unseen world on a daily basis, yet when the question of God comes up, they dispute the Christians deducing that there is a God from the effects of creation from the material world; but have no problem with deducing the from the effects of invisible electricity, or magnetic fields that there are atomic particles, electricity, and magnet fields? The reasons for this is obvious in that if they were to acknowledge the God of the bible, they would not be able to have their sin and enjoy it for the bible teaches us that men don't reject God because of lack of evidence (which there is no shortage) but rather because they loved the darkness (sinful deeds) and hated the light (righteousness). When an anthropologist is at a dig and finds a broken piece of pottery (simple clay made from the soil it was found in) she exclaims "Look I have just found some evidence of an earlier intelligent civilization" She does this on the basis of the design of the broken piece of pottery. But when a Christian points to the design of the universe, the fact that one DNA molecule has more information in it than a public library, scientists will say that this happened by accident and not some intelligence. What's wrong with this picture?

So since we have demonstrated that there must be of necessity an infinite being that has the power of self-movement and intentionality or free will how can we prove that He is the God of the bible vs the Spaghetti Monster? I get this question all the time and my answer is: If you can convince me of your evidence that the Spaghetti Monster is this infinite being I might believe you so let's hear your justification for your beliefs Mr. College Student?

I will take this short moment to explain that the third element of the tripartite view of knowledge is not so easy to prove for any instance of knowledge and here is why. We know propositions are true because they correspond with reality. But the problem is "Who's reality?" This correspondence theory of truth is horribly circular because let's take the proposition "The sun is a hot star at the solar system because I can observe it and see it and believe what the scientists tell me." Well this is very circular because the conclusion is buried in the premises and secondly how do we know that there is even a sun? How can we be sure that what we see is really there and not an illusion or some sort of strange phenomenon? Our senses that are enhanced by our instruments are not indefeasible truth detectors and NO scientist is absolutely objective. All scientists or physicists have their worldviews through which they interpret data, include or exclude this data as well. So proving something is true is philosophically impossible and requires faith, just as proving God exists. Do you know how much faith it takes to believe that this universe is eternal and by accident men of intelligence, morality, and emotions evolved? I should say that based on this issue alone I would find it more reasonable to believe in a personal God as the infinite un-moved mover.

So the reasons I believe that the God of the bible is the infinite being are these:
1. Over 1,000 prophecies in the bible have been fulfilled, 21 of them while Christ hung on the cross
2. We have empirical evidence transmitted through authority of the miracles such as the parting of the Red Sea, and the many other miracles mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments.
3. The bible was written by over 40 authors over 2,000 years and has an amazing coherence as if each book was written by the same person.
4. Jesus claimed to be God Almighty and said this would be proved by His Resurrection.
5. Over 500 people witnessed seeing Christ after He rose from the dead - empirical evidence.
6. We have over 24,000 manuscripts of the bible that have a coherency of nearly 98% which validate that the bible we have today is the same bible written 2,000 years ago.
7. We have never seen one man (Christ) have such an impact on the world as any other.
8. We have the testimony of those who have been saved by Christ and they are all the same.

This is how any and everything is proven, through a belief, justification for that belief and the truthfulness of the object of belief. By the way I think we have more reason to believe in God than we do that George Washington existed. Understand that again I will point out that ALL knowledge claims of science, physics, knowledge claims of anything whatsoever have the same hurdle to overcome viz. do you believe the justification for the claim! I do and believe that a Godless universe is impossible based on the logic of the impossibility of there not being an eternal being that has free will, personality, moral character, and the evidences presented in the bible which is not only an historical recount of God's intervention in the world but letters written by the Holy Spirit Himself.

The End

Is A Godless Universe Possible | Impossible

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