A Rationale for Believing in God

The ability to come to the conclusion of the existence of God can be done in a logical and rational way. I believe using logic, science, and scripture a person should be able to come to the conclusion of the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, space-less, and time-less/eternal being (i.e. an Omnipotent God). Unfortunately, with the growth of the atheistic world-view, many people are told that believing in the existence of a higher power is “foolishness” or “un-scientific.” However; there are in fact many lines of reason for believing in the existence of God. For example, there is what has been named the “Cosmological Argument.”

The earliest formation of the Cosmological Argument is found in Plato’s laws, but the classical argument that is used now can be found in Aristotle’s Physics (Reichenbach). The argument deals with the origin of the universe and explains that there can only be three possible explanations (http://www.faithfacts.org):

  1. The universe emerged from nothing.
  2. The universe is eternal.
  3. The universe was created by an eternal being.

Going through these three possibilities one should be able to come to the rational possibility of a creator. For example; looking at the first possibility (the universe emerged from nothing), we know scientifically this cannot be, because nothing cannot produce something. Something cannot be created from nothing. The second possibility (the universe is eternal) is also not scientifically sound based upon many findings, namely, (a) the big bang theory, (b) the abundance of hydrogen, and (c) the irreversible decay of the universe (http://www.faithfacts.org). Therefore; by using the process of elimination the Cosmological Argument comes to the conclusion that the most logical origin of the universe is a creator (an omnipotent God).

Along with the “Cosmological Argument,” there are other arguments made to show the existence of God. I believe the “Big Bang Theory” is also a valid argument for a creator. Some people argue that the Big Bang is about the rearranging of matter that already existed, that a pre-universe existed with the materials able to create the universe. But this goes back to the argument that nothing created something, how did the “pre-universe” come into existence? The true Big Bang Theory is that everything known in the universe, matter, space, time, energy, arose from nothing by a specific cause, which points to the cause being supernatural. According to the article “Big Bang Evidence for God”, Frank Turek explains: “Why couldn’t natural forces have produced the universe? Because there was no nature and there were no natural forces ontologically prior to the Big Bang—nature itself was created at the Big Bang. That means the cause of the universe must be something beyond nature—something we would call supernatural.  It also means that the supernatural cause of the universe must at least be:

  • Spaceless because it created space
  • Timeless because it created time
  • Immaterial because it created matter
  • Powerful because it created out of nothing
  • Intelligent because the creation event and the universe was precisely designed
  • Personal because it made a choice to convert a state of nothing into something (impersonal forces don’t make choices).

These aspects all point to an omnipotent God, and are also the same attributes of the God of the Bible (Turek).

Looking at scripture we see verses like: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV). “Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,” (Isaiah 42:5). “He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.” (Jeremiah 10:12). These verses along with many others all point to God as being the creator. The other attributes needed for a creator are also given to God:

  • Spaceless/timeless/Immaterial:
    • John 4:24 “God is Spirit…” as a spirit he is immaterial and not confined by time or space.
    • Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in your sightare but as yesterday when it is past,or as a watch in the night.” God is timeless.
    • Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:” God is eternal.
    • Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth,or ever you had formed the earth and the world,from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
  • Powerful:
    • Psalm 62:11 “God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”
    • Job 26:14 “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”
    • Psalm 79:11 “Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power Preserve those who are appointed to die;”
    • 1 Corinthians 6:14 “And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.”
  • Intelligence:
    • Daniel 1:17, God gives intelligence, “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
    • Job 12:24, God can take away intelligence, “He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.”
    • 1 Corinthians 1:19 “For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’”
    • Isaiah 29:14 “Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”
  • Personal
    • Jeremiah 31:31-34 “…I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me…”
    • Isaiah 58:2 “Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God.”
    • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
    • Romans 8:14-15 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.””

I believe then that scripture clearly points to God not only being the creator, but that he displays all of the attributes needed to be the creator (spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, intelligent, and personal). However, along with the “Cosmological Argument,” and Scripture, there is even more evidence for God.

The “Teleological Argument” states that the design of the universe itself, because of its complexity, implies a creator. This argument can be expressed both scientifically and through logic. For example by logic; if you see an ant hill, you can conclude that ants made it. If you see a house or building, you can conclude that somebody designed and built it. If you use a cell phone or computer, you must conclude that somebody designed and created them, also that the creator must be intelligent since they were able to create something complex. Things are not made or built from nothing, information cannot be derived from no information, and intelligence does not come from non-intelligence, because we have creation we must have a creator (http://www.faithfacts.org). British theologian William Paley is known for developing the “Watchmaker” analogy in the eighteenth century that accompanies the teleological argument. Paley’s analogy states that if you are walking along a path and hit your foot against a stone and were asked how the stone got there, you may answer it has been there forever, and there would be no absurdity in your answer. However, if you walk along the same path and find a wrist-watch laying on the ground it would be absolutely absurd to say “It has been there forever.” Knowing that the wrist-watch is a complex device created for a specific purpose we know that it must have been created, he must have had a maker. Even more the maker would have had to see the need for such a creation, comprehended its construction, design it, and then built and/or got the parts necessary to build it. Therefore; Paley argues it is only logical to assume when we observe complexity and purpose to things in nature it warrants a designer (WhyIBelieve.Org). The “Intelligent Design” community backs up many of these theories and arguments today. While the Intelligent Design Theory does not try to identify the source of intelligence or argue that the creator is the God of the Bible, the vast majority of Intelligent Design theorists are theist. Looking at the intelligence in creation, namely the specific complex patterns that exist in nature, Intelligent Design theorist calm that creation points to a creator (www.gotquestions.org, What is the Intelligent Design Theory?).

Scientifically, the “Teleological Argument” is expressed with the “Anthropic Principle” or the “the Law of Human Existence.” This principle points to the fact that our existence in the universe depends on many diverse cosmological constants and parameters. The probability of many of these constants and parameters occurring are very slim, and if even a single variable was different we would not exist. Because of this extreme improbability the evidence points to a creator who had obviously have a specific design and place for everything in the universe. For example consider these scientific facts. Protons for example happen to be 1,836 times larger than electrons. If protons happened to be a little bit bigger or smaller atoms could not form the molecules we require and we could not exist. Why do protons happen to be exactly 1,836 times larger? Why not 10, 100, or 1,000,000 times larger? And why are they larger and not smaller? There are obviously many different possible variables but they are exactly the right size, 1,836 times bigger. Looking at the Earth’s place in the solar system we know that if we were any further from the sun, all the water on the planet would freeze, and if any closer it would boil. The Earth’s atmosphere and our solar system’s place in the galaxy both keep our planet from cosmic radiation. If the atmosphere had too much of just one of the many gases that make up the atmosphere our planet would suffer an irreversible greenhouse effect, if there were not enough, Earth would be devastated by cosmic radiation. If our solar system were too close to the center of our galaxy, to any of the spiral arms at its edge, or any cluster of stars, we would also be devastated by cosmic radiation, but we are in the exact perfect spot. The Earth’s magnetic field also happens to be perfect, much weaker we would suffer cosmic radiation, and if much stronger severe electromagnetic storms would devastate the Earth. The above examples are not the only factors; there are in fact many other variables in order for life on earth to exist. Along with the Earth, there are also many other variables and parameters through creation that are very specific and perfect. The question is then, with so many constants needing to be perfect in order for life to exist, is it possible that they just happened to fall within the extremely narrow range of possible values, each one turning out completely perfect? The only possible conclusion is that we are here by tremendous luck or the universe has been designed by an intelligent being (www.gotquestions.org, What is the Anthropic Principle?).

The last argument for God is the “Moral Argument.” The logic is as follows: If there is no creator with moral standards, there would be no moral standards in existence. Objective moral standards do exist and every human has them, deep down every human believes in some object moral standards. Therefore; a creator (God) who has moral standards must exist. If God did not exist and there was no moral standard everything would be permitted. So without God it is impossible to condemn wars based on aggression, rape, murder, stealing, or other crimes as wrong or evil. It is also not possible for these moral standards to come from nature or evolution. Observing nature we see one central principle, survival, which is carried out by violence, the strong against the weak. If our moral standard were evolutionary we would think this way as well, but instead it is contrary to nature. As human beings we can pronounce some things “right” and others “wrong”, where else could this come from if not from nature? The logic points to the existence of a creator who has moral values (http://www.faithfacts.org).

Objective moral values are not a new idea, in fact cultures from across the world and down through all of human history have affirmed many of the same moral values that we profess today. However, even more intriguing than objective moral values is the existence of altruism. Defined by evolutionary biologist Dr. Jerry Coyne, true altruism is: “behavior that will not even indirectly confer reproductive benefit to oneself or ones’ relatives.” Human society is the only place where true altruism takes place; people perform great acts of heroism such as giving up their life for a cause that will have no benefit to them, their family, or their reproductive fitness, acts like dying for a complete stranger or adopting and raising children from another race. Coyne says “we don’t know whether true altruism…has any genetic basis in human society. True altruism like that isn’t known in any other species, and I suspect that, to the extent it occurs in ours, it’s an epiphenomenon: a byproduct of our general social cooperativeness…In short, we know nothing about the evolution of true human altruism except that it probably didn’t evolve.” Richard Dawkins also agrees, seeing altruism as an accident of evolution. If the process of natural selection is true, wouldn’t altruistic acts have been weeded out of the human population by now (Shenvi)?

In conclusion, with the use of these and other theories/arguments the existence of God is something that can be believed, even with the use of science, logic, and reason, it is not only a “religious concept.” I believe many Christians today are told to just have “blind faith” while the scientific community is allowed to bash anyone who believes in God while pushing an evolutionary and godless worldview. Many other Christians are also discouraged to study science and/or logic, afraid that they may fall away from their belief in God if they do. My faith however has been strengthened by looking deeper into real scientific, logical, and philosophical theories for the existence of God. Even more encouraging is the fact that all the attributes needed for an omnipotent God are given to the God of the Bible. Like the title of Norman L. Geisler’s book, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist, and I hope you don’t either!

Works Cited

http://www.faithfacts.org. Is there rational evidence for the existence of God? August 2012 <http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/does-god-exist>.

Reichenbach, Bruce. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition). 2010. August 2012 <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2010/entries/cosmological-argumen>.

Shenvi, Neil. Do Objective Moral Values Exist? . 18 September 2012 <http://www.shenvi.org/Essays/ObjectiveMoralValues.htm>.

Turek, Frank. Big Bang Evidence for God. 14 January 2009. August 2012 <http://townhall.com/columnists/frankturek/2009/01/14/big_bang_evidence_for_god/page/full/>.

WhyIBelieve.Org. What is the “Divine Watchmaker” Argument? 2002. 18 September 2012 <http://www.whyibelieve.org/Apologetics/Creation/Divine%20Watchmaker.htm>.

www.gotquestions.org. What is the Anthropic Principle? 13 September 2012 <http://www.gotquestions.org/anthropic-principle.html>.

—. What is the Intelligent Design Theory? 2011. 18 September 2012 <http://www.gotquestions.org/intelligent-design.html>.

New King James Version employed for all Scripture citations.

 

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