5.Science and religion contradict
4.Who created God
3.You were raised that way
2.Religion is the source of the world’s problems
1.Jesus never existed
The number of those who claim to non-religious or atheist is ever increasing. We live in a time where anti-religious objections (specifically toward Christianity) have been frequently proposed. Naturally, not all objections have been sound ones. In this article, I will be going through some of these objections that I label the top 5 arguments atheists should stop using.
Number 5: "science and religion contradict"
This is a very common misconception I often hear made by skeptics and atheists when it comes scientific evidence. This is the issue that religion cannot be reconciled or be consistent with science. However, the contrary is true. Starting from my position as a Christian, this is not the case. Apologists such as John Lennox give a very well rounded and concise position concerning this falsehood. For example, the existence of a jet engine is explained by what? The parts that make it and the laws of internal combustion, or the engineer? It would be bizarre to suggest that both these explanations conflict with one another. Rather, they complement each other and give a coherent picture as to “why the jet engine.” Those who subscribe to a faith and believe in God, view him as the causal agent behind what makes up our physical world. Just as a programmer is the cause behind the code in a computer program. I also hear people say, "I don't believe in god, I believe in science", so are they suggesting because I'm a Christian I reject the theory of gravity? Or the laws of thermodynamics, and so on? This simply is not the case with religious belief.
Number 4: "Who created God?"
God's existence has always been in debate among theists and atheists, but this tends to be a common objection. This question is usually posed as a type of conversation stopper, rather than with sincerity. This just shows a lack in philosophical understanding of who God is. God, according to his properties, is not a created being, this question would assume that we are proposing created a God. God can be defined by the following: immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless, infinitely powerful, eternal, personal, unconditioned, and endowed with freedom of the will, or ontologically speaking, the highest conceivable being. With God outlined correctly, we no longer have any reason to assume God needs to be created, unless we want to be guilty of making a category error. Since God is a metaphysical being, God can also be viewed as an abstract concept just like abstract objects in philosophy. Mathematics, numbers, shapes, etc. exist entirely on their own with no external explanation but become very axiomatic like the laws of logic. Often, this is a response towards cosmological arguments. This fails due do to not properly understanding what the premises convey. Only things that begin to exist require causes, this follows logically that God would not need a cause due to his divine property of being eternal and timeless.
Number 3: "You were raised that way"
When skeptics try to undermine the validity of a person's testimony, this is usually the objection that is raised. While yes, many theists were born into environments where religion is practiced, this does not logically follow that anyone's sole belief in God is only grounded in the fact that they were introduced to it where they were born. This would make the objector guilty of the genetic fallacy. The logical form: The origin of the claim is presented. Therefore, the claim is true/false. Even if the sole reason for a belief in God was due to the brain washing of a specific person, this does not in any way disprove their belief. If God truly exists, then the brainwashed individual has arrived at the correct conclusion. Using myself as an example, I was raised into a religious home, but affirmed my faith through facts and evidence, even though I was born and raised to already believe it. Santa clause, the tooth fairy, and many other myths are usually abandoned at adolescence, but a belief in God holds true for millions at any age, giving us good reason to assume that theistic belief is much more than one’s origin.
Number 2: “Religion is the source of the world’s problems”
This position is usually taken by those who are anti-theists and see religious belief as hazardous. A claim that is typically stated is that all major wars were religiously motivated ones and the gruesome atrocities committed in humanity can be ascribed to religion. While yes, certain inhumane actions were rationalized by religious belief, it does not logically follow that inhumane actions can be traced to just that. I can easily look to the history of the 20th century and demonstrate the data. We have enough non-religious ideologies being pushed at the time leading to the death of millions. We have: Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, Chiang Kai-Shek, Vladimir Lenin, Hideki Tojo, Pol Pot, and on I can go. All together coming to a grand total of 122,064,000 lives lost. That’s almost 130 million lives lost by the hands of non-religious peoples. Professor R.J Rummel writes in his book "Death by Government" that, "Almost 170 million men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed or killed in any other of a myriad of ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners." In the light of this evidence, we can correctly conclude that religion cannot be the only responsible source for humanities atrocities and problems.
Number 1: “Jesus never existed”
The reason this is deemed as the worst argument on this list is because of its historically dishonest and scholarly inaccurate position. To claim Jesus of Nazareth never existed would be to deny historical consensus on the subject. It’s a scholarly debate whether Jesus rose from the dead, but to deny his existence is not scholarly. Josephus and Tacitus are often invoked on the matter writing about Jesus of Nazareth in their text. They were two ancient historians and scholars who affirmed the life of Jesus in their written accounts. Here is a link to the full discourse of listing sources: https://beliefmap.org/jesus-existed
Even non-believing New-Testament scholars such as Bart Ehrman attack this radical view that Jesus of Nazareth didn't exist. The bottom line is that only minority groups hold to this view of Jesus not existing and are seen by professional and academic circles as being dishonest in their work.
Tim runs Invoking Theism: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcXdCHoaSy0kNSv-KwjiSqQ
As a veteran believer, I’m going to give you my take on apologetics through my own personal experience. The story starts when I was young, real young. I accepted Jesus as a child. To the best of my memory, I was probably about three years old. I was presented with the gospel message in my before-bed Bible story time with my parents, I believed, and I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. Obviously, I had not gone through levels of evidence or thoroughly weighed out the arguments of the leading apologists of the day. I accepted the testimony of someone I trusted. It was definitely a case of childlike faith (Matt 18:2-4).
However, that childlike faith was challenged along the way as I encountered the history of life as it was presented in my science classes. As a sciency kind of kid, I was forced to walk solely by faith for several years. I didn’t have answers to the assertions of the atheistic scientific community. I remember the confidence and strength I felt as I learned the evidence and counter-arguments to the nagging claims that had left me speechless in the past. I knew the tables had been turned in my favor and I would not be left speechless again. Perhaps the best part was that I felt like my faith had been vindicated and therefore strengthened for the future, knowing that even though it may not look like it for a time, God always turns out to be right in the end!
When considering apologetics, one thing that needs to be established is that faith does not need evidence. We know this because by definition,”… faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Apologetics is an attempt to make the conviction seen. We take the evidence, analyze it, put it into a logical argument and connect all the dots. In this sense, are we weakening faith with our work? I believe in some instances, this may be the case. We all need to keep this in mind when presenting our arguments. Not everyone needs this evidence because they have the gift of faith (1 Cor 12:9). Even though they have not seen (the evidence and arguments), they believe. These people have a special blessing (Jn 20:29) and we should not discount their lack of interest or look at them as ignorant Christians. In reality, these people are probably way ahead of us. They are walking by faith while we are relying on sight.
In most cases, though, I believe apologetic arguments strengthen faith. For those who have questions, we are providing the boost to faith necessary to keep them spiritually alive. Even Jesus provided this boost to Thomas when his faith was failing. He did this by giving him more evidence to the resurrection (A lot more!). This idea is further strengthened by scripture in Ephesians 4:7-16 which talks about “equipping of the saints for the work of service” so that “we are no longer… tossed here and there by…deceitful scheming”. If you have a bent toward apologetics, it could very well be a gift from Jesus (vv. 7-8), and it is to be used “in love” (v.15), “for the equipping of the saints”(v.12) so they “are no longer… tossed… by waves”(v.14). Through this work, we are “building up the body of Christ” (v.12) and giving that boost to faith keeping our brothers and sisters from spiritual peril. The apologist supports the work of the evangelist and also equips the pastor and the encourager who strengthen those who are falling into doubt.
Apologetic arguments are also used to carry out the instruction in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. They are used for “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God”. The world throws these “speculations” and “lofty things” (v.5) at Christians on a regular basis. They are the challenges to our “knowledge of God” (v.5) which we receive from scripture. If they take root, they give rise to doubts, which can pull the believer down and prevent the unbeliever from coming to faith. When we use apologetic arguments we are engaging in spiritual warfare by “destroying speculations” and taking thoughts “captive”. These arguments can be the “weapons of our warfare” and “divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses”. I believe “divinely powerful” refers to how the Holy Spirit uses the truth of the arguments to bring powerful conviction to people (Jn 16:13). It is exciting to think about the Holy Spirit working through you to destroy the devil’s “fortress” in someone’s life so that they can move on with their relationship with the Lord in peace.
As I said earlier, I remember not having a defense against the assertions of the atheistic scientific community. When we do not have an answer, sometimes people want to make us look stupid, but in those moments, we are being “persecuted” for our faith and have a reward in heaven (Matt 5:10-12). If you have ever felt that way, think about the reward and be careful how you act when the shoe is on the other foot and your antagonist doesn’t have an answer. As you learn more and more apologetic arguments, the shoe will be on the other foot most of the time. Your graciousness in these situations will do more than all the arguments in world in getting them to come to faith.
Many times I have been strengthened by the work of apologists. I am thankful for those who have labored to bring the truth to me. Let me now encourage you to continue on your mission destroying the enemy’s fortresses and equipping the saints so that the body of Christ will be built up with the truth you have been given.
What is Apologetics?
Many confuse apologetics with the practice of apologizing. This is not an accurate definition of what the word apologetics actually means. Apologetics is giving a defense for the truth of something. Christian apologetics has to do with giving a defense for the truth of the Christian faith. Most Christians derive this branch of theology from 1 Peter 3:15: “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
Apologists like William Lane Craig and John Lennox will present a case for the truth of Christianity. Craig’s case for Christianity usually deals with five arguments, which include the cosmological argument, the fine tuning argument, the moral argument, the argument for the resurrection of Christ, and the argument from experience. We can call these Craig's five ways. Some atheists and agnostics have found these arguments convincing, while some challenge these five arguments. Apologetics is an essential part for a Christian to know what they believe and why they believe. Apologetics could be used for any worldview to defend why a particular worldview is objectively true. Christian apologetics is used to establish the objective truth of Christianity.
There are two types of apologetics in natural theology. These include positive and negative apologetics. Positive Christian apologetics is the “attacking position” which presents arguments for Christianity. These arguments can include the teleological argument or the ontological argument for the existence of God. They seek to prove the existence of God in objective reality. Negative Christian apologetics deals with answering criticism of Christianity. Examples of negative apologetics would be dealing with the problem of evil and answering supposed Bible contradictions. Both types of apologetics help make the case for the Christian faith. If Christians study apologetics, then Christianity will have more critical thinkers that will know what they believe and why they believe it (Craig 2010:13-26; A Brief History of Apologetics).
Why Should Christians Study Apologetics?
If someone is a Christian, then they are obligated by 1 Peter 3:15 to give an answer for the hope that is within. Early Christians were apologists or a least studied Christian apologetics. Paul was an apologist because he reasoned with the Jews in the temple to convert them to Christianity. Paul used his testimony and converted first century Jews to Christianity. Jesus Christ was an apologist himself, since he performed miracles to establish his deity. If early Christians like Paul and Peter were apologists, then Christians who believe in these men should reflect their ways. If the founder of Christianity himself was an apologist, then the people who believe in him should reflect his ways as well. Christians need to know what they believe and why they believe it. Atheists and agnostics have them beat when it comes to this question Christians need to evangelize through apologetics (Craig 2010:13-26; A Brief History of Apologetics).
Apologetics for Witnessing to Atheists and Agnostics
Many Christians fall from their beliefs because they don’t know answers to difficult questions about Christianity. Many will either become atheist or agnostic because they’re not convinced of Christianity and what it teaches. 75% of college students are non-religious due to most colleges have anti-religious thought. Only 1% of youth pastors will try to intersect faith and science to Generation Z (Teens who were born from 2001 to 2017)which will lead to belief that science and faith are compatible. Most Europeans are non-religious because of their beliefs in post-modernism which is post-religious thought. Most of these groups are sincere seekers of truth, but have failed at receiving a solid defense for the truth of Christianity. Christians seem to be living in a cloak of blind faith and suspend critical thinking. Christians need to apply philosophy to their theology if they want to reach out to critical thinkers like atheists and agnostics (Craig 2010:29-52; Mohler 2008:15-37).
The New Atheists” such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris challenge the truth of Christianity with ridicule and contempt. Apologists have countered New Atheist’s arguments and have participated in debates with all members of the New Atheist movement. Typically, atheists will know more about Christian apologetics than your average Christian. Christians need to know their theology and know why it corresponds with reality. If Christianity is just a belief system based on blind faith, then atheists have no reasons to listen to Christians. Christians should study apologetics because it helps with witnessing to other people such as atheists or agnostics. Atheists will ask questions that they want answers for, so Christians need to be able to answer those questions. Apologetics helps maintain a Christian’s own faith and possibly convert atheists and agnostics to Christianity. Many skeptics do not have good reasons to believe in Christianity, so skeptics just don’t believe. If Christians present good reasons for Christianity, then intellectually the atheist or agnostics will accept Christianity as true. If something is objective, then people can’t deny it (Mohler 2008:65-85; Zacharias & Vitale 2017:38-61). The question is rather: Is Christianity True? If so, then will Christians present a case for Christianity? Christian truth needs to be spread through Apologetics.
Craig, William Lane. On Guard. Colorado Springs: David Cook, 2010. Book
Mohler, Albert Jr. Atheism Remix. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. Book.
Ravi Zacharias, Vince Vitale. Jesus Among Secular Gods. New York: Faith Words, 2017. Book.
“3. A Brief History of Apologetics.” Bible.org, bible.org/seriespage/3-brief-history-apologetics. “Christian apologetics.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_apologetics.
This list’s standards are based mostly of my opinions and the impact these ministries have had overall on the defense of the Christian Faith. These great apologists have helped me as a young apologists and many other Christians as well. This is my personal list of the top ten modern day Christian apologists. Also, these apologists are the ones that I have come across, so if you have any other great apologists, then let me know. Finally, here are my top ten picks for the defenders of the Christian Faith.
#10: Dr. Frank Turek
Dr. Frank Turek has a Master’s degree in Public Administratives from George Washington University and a Doctorate in Philosophy of Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He’s written 4 books and co-authored more books as welled. He’s well known for his book I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist and Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God To Make Their Case. He’s debated Christopher Hitchens, David Silverman, and many other atheists. He hosts a TV show called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist and hosts a radio show called Cross-Examined. He Speaks at college campuses to give a case for the truth of the Gospel. Dr. Frank Turek is also the president of CrossExamined.org.
#9: Dr. Hugh Ross
Hugh Ross has a degree in Physics from the University of British Columbia and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Toronto. Hugh is the owner of Reasons to believe which is an organization that gives scientific reasons to believe in God and Christianity. He has defended the proposition that the age of the Earth is compatible with the Bible. He has written many scientific books for presenting the science for God. Improbable Planet was written by him to show that Earth’s origin is best explained by God. He’s debated many Young Earth Creationists like Kent Hovind and Ken Ham. He’s also debated atheists like Lewis Wolpert. He has truly demonstrated that faith and Science are compatible.
#8: James Warner Wallace
James Warner Wallace was an atheist for 35 years and turned Christian when applying his homicide detective skills to the claims of Christianity. He found the gospel accounts of Jesus of Nazareth to be reliable eyewitness accounts. He’s written three books for developing a solid case for the truth of Christianity. His book Forensic Faith, has shown that all Christians should make the case for Christianity since it’s a reasonable faith. God’s Crime Scene, makes the case for the existence of God and explains why we need to go outside the room to account for certain phenomena’s of our universe. Cold Case Christianity, makes the case for the reliability of the New Testament documents and the truth of the Christian faith. He has teamed up with Frank Turek on Fearless Faith Seminars to help spread the need for Apologetics. He shows what apologetics can do for an unbeliever.
#7: Dr. J.P Moreland
Dr. J.P Moreland is a Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Biola University. He holds four degrees which are B.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri, Th.M. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, M. A. in philosophy from the University of California-Riverside, and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California. He has written many book on apologetics and philosophy. The reason he is on my top ten list is how Dr. Moreland is the defender of the soul and dualism today. He’s written many books about consciousness, free will, and the soul. He is a colleague of apologists like Dr. William Lane Craig. Moreland has challenged skeptics to rethink their materialist worldview concerning the soul.
#6: Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel was a journal writer for the Chicago Tribune and wrote for other newspapers as well. He has two degrees which include a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri and his Master of Studies in Law at Yale Law School. He was an atheist writer who wanted to prove the gospels were wrong and that Jesus Christ did not rise from the Dead. He turned Christian when he investigated the claims of the gospels from using his journalism skills. Just like J Warner Wallace, he turned Christian while trying to prove Christianity to be false. He has written The Case for Christ, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Faith. These books have left in impact in the field of apologetics. Lee Strobel has made the case for Christianity through his extensive writings and commitments to the Gospel.
#5: Dr. Gary Habermas
Dr. Habermas is the chairman of the philosophy and theology at Liberty University. He has a PhD from Michigan State University in history and philosophy of religion and a master's degree from the University of Detroit in philosophical theology. He has made the case for the resurrection, the most important event of Jesus’ earthly ministries. He has debated Anthony Flew on the question of whether the resurrection actually happened. 4 of the seven judges voted that Gary won and the other four were undecided. He has co-authored over 35 books and written over 100 articles concerning his fields of study.
#4: Dr. Norman Geisler
Dr. Geisler has co-authored over 100 books and written hundreds of articles concerning Christian Apologetics. He has many degrees in theology and philosophy. Some refer to him as a cross between Thomas Aquinas and Billy Graham. He has also coauthored I don’t have enough Faith to be an Atheist with Frank Turek. He has taught people like Dr. William Lane Craig and Greg Koukl. Norman has participated in many debates and has sealed the deal with many concerning the truth of Christianity. Dr. Norman Geisler has set the foundation for modern day Christian Apologetics.
#3: Dr. John Lennox
John Lennox is a professor of Mathematics at Oxford University (same University that Richard Dawkins teaches at). John Lennox holds an MA and DPhil from Oxford University and an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. He was taught under the great C.S Lewis so he has some teaching experience from one of the best apologists. He’s written books like God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Another great book of his is Seven Days that Divide the World. This book gives John’s commentary of the controversy concerning the different interpretations of Genesis 1. Lennox has debated many of the New Atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Lawrence Krauss. The best of his debates are the two debates with the main horseman of the New Atheist movement. He’s debated Richard Dawkins twice and gave him a run for his money twice. These two debates are the closest we will get to see of a Richard Dawkins vs. William Lane Craig style debate. John Lennox has made science very compatible with the Faith of Christians.
#2: Ravi Zacharias
Almost on his deathbed at age 17, Ravi felt dead inside. He heard the gospel and came to Christ. Ever since then, he has defended the truth of the Christian Faith with grace and clarity. He started Ravi Zacharias International Ministries which has offices in many places on the globe. Their goal is to spread the Gospel to as many countries as possible and to give a defense for the Gospel. Ravi Zacharias has written many books concerning apologetics and the divinity of Jesus Christ. In Jesus among other Gods, Ravi compares the main differences between Christianity and other Religions. His most recent book Jesus Among Secular Gods, Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale compare the main differences between Jesus and new secular religions that have attacked the truth of Christianity. Ravi Zacharias has defended the truth of Christianity against those who deny the deity of Christ.
#1: Dr. William Lane Craig
Dr. William Lane Craig is perhaps one of the best defenders of the Christian Faith today. He has done over hundred of debates defending the Christian Faith against other Worldviews. He has debated most of the New Atheist Horsemen, excluding Dawkins of course. He has many degrees concerning philosophy and religion. He has a B.A from Wheaton College. He has a M.A from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham and University of Munich. William Lane Craig is currently a research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. Craig has defended his five-point case for Christianity which consist of the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Fine-Tuning of argument, the Moral argument, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the fact that we can experience God. He has written and coauthored over 30 books concerning Christian Philosophy and Apologetics. Dr. William Lane Craig has truly made the Christian Faith a Reasonable Faith.
Please share this article with someone.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-DExmWLVwye-pIQcnhA8A
In my studies of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, I’ve come across some interesting objections. Some of these objections are good objections and some are just held high among YouTube, atheist laymen. This article will deal with the good objections and a link will be given to Dr. Craig’s response to the online YouTube objections. I’ll give my opinions and refutations of ten good objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
Objection #1: What if the Big Bang Theory is wrong?
Big Bang Cosmology is accepted among the majority of cosmologists, physicists, and other scientists that deal with these fields of science. If this theory is proven wrong, then we must remain neutral on whether the universe had a beginning or not. Until a future model of science proves the universe is eternal, then we must withhold judgment about the universe origins. The Laws of Thermodynamics is proven science and is understood as fact. These laws would still prove the beginning of the universe and so would the philosophical arguments.
Objection #2: Quantum Vacuums have shown that something can come from nothing.
Quantum Vacuums are described by Lawrence Krauss as vacuums of empty space that subatomic particles pop into existence without of a cause. These vacuums are described as nothing. This commits the fallacy of equivocation because it switches the definition of nothing. Nothing is not anything, but a Quantum Vacuum is something. A Quantum Vacuum is a sea of fluctuation of energy that pop these particles into existence. A Quantum Vacuum is not nothing in the philosophical sense, but in the scientific sense which are two complete different definitions of nothing.
Objection #3: The first premise doesn’t apply to the universe, since time began at the Big Bang.
Time began at the universe, so A theory of time only applies to the universe. The first premise is everything that begins to exist has a cause. Either a material cause or a sufficient cause. Something cannot come from nothing because out of nothing, nothing comes. If you deny this, then you have a heavy burden of proof. Science lives by this rule and would be destroyed if something could come from nothing. Why doesn’t a desk, a copy of myself, or anything else pop into existence out of nothing at any time. We just don’t see this and it’s reasonable to conclude that the same applies to the universe. If this rule doesn’t apply to the universe, then why doesn’t a universe pop into existence by nothing in our universe? God, an unchanging and timeless being which could solve this objection at the end of the day.
Objection #4: The singularity is infinite and eternal of just matter.
When we trace the expansion of the universe backwards, we find that there was a singular moment when there was no time, space, or matter. This right of the back shows that there could not be a singular point with an eternal and infinite amount of matter. Also, general relativity would show this to be false as well because it shows that time, matter, and space are relative. If one comes into existence, then they all have to. If space didn’t exist, then where would matter be. If time didn’t exist, then when would matter be. The Big Bang theory shows at least time coming into existence, so it follows that matter and space do as well.
Objection #5: It’s a God of the Gaps argument.
Does this argument plug in God to explain something that we don’t understand? Is the argument just one big appeal to ignorance? At first glance, this objection may seem reasonable, but under cross-examination it just falls apart. I would refer you to my article on the appeal to ignorance fallacy to explain what this fallacy is. I’ll leave a link in this article. This is a philosophical argument that is not used to explain some sort of scientific phenomenon that we can’t explain. Science that we understand is actually used to help reinforce the second premise, that the universe began to exist. In fact, we are using God to explain something that we do understand such as the fact that the universe had a beginning and that everything that begins to exist has a cause. You would have to refute these premises to accuse the argument of explaining something that we don’t understand. Finally, if you claim that science will one day have an explanation, then you must state what the explanation is. Otherwise, you commit the appeal to ignorance fallacy because you are appealing to something that we don’t know anything about. This would be a future naturalistic explanation to explain the origin of the universe. It would also beg the question because you assume there will be a naturalistic explanation. This sounds like blind faith to me.
Objection #6: Why does the Cause have to be God?
Time, matter, and space had a beginning so the cause cannot be contained of these three things. To say otherwise would be begging the question. The cause would have to be uncaused because we have to stop at a certain point because otherwise we are left with an infinite regress. It’s not special pleading because atheists like David Hume have assumed that the universe had always existed. The cause would also be very powerful to be able to create a universe. This is what we mean by God, a timeless, space less, immaterial, powerful, uncaused, eternal being.
Objection #7: Why would the cause have to conscious/personal?
The wind causes a leaf to fall of a tree, so why would the cause not be an impersonal force like the wind. Would it not be special pleading to say the cause of the universe is a being of some sort. The person claiming this would be missing the point and would realize the special case. There are three reasons why the cause of the universe would have to be a mind. First, there are two main immaterial realities. Abstract objects like numbers or an unembodied mind. Minds have freewill capability and would be able to cause the universe. Abstract objects have no causing power, but an abstract mind like God could. Secondly, the cause would have to be a mind because if this cause was an unconscious object, then it’s effect would be eternal as well. Think of water freezing. If the cause of water freezing was eternal, then it’s effect like the cause would be eternal. A mind could make a choice and its effect would not be an eternal effect. Finally, the initial conditions set at the big bang are fine-tuned, such as the expansion rate of the universe after the big bang. This would imply rationality, which implies a type of mind. These are three main reasons for why the cause would be a mind.
Objection #8: Could the multiverse have caused our universe?
It’s possible that that there’s many universes that caused our universe, but it’s just not reasonable to believe. First of all, there’s no evidence for the multiverse at all. We also must remember that we could not access something physical like this because our universe is a closed system. It’s more of a metaphysical, philosophical question than a scientific question because it can’t be proved or disproved by the scientific method. Also, The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem help shows that any universe expanding is finite in the past. Essentially, the whole show of the multiverse would need a beginning. It also seems to push the problem back even more because the second law of thermodynamics would still apply to these other universes. The multiverse is also an objection to the fine-tuning argument, so I’ll give the rest of my critique of it in my future articles on the fine-tuning argument. At the end of the day, the multiverse is just highly speculative.
Objection #9: What about an oscillating universe model?
Even though it’s not accepted by most cosmologists, it’s still an objection that’s possible. Has the universe been contracting and expanding for eternity? First, this claim needs to be proved and it has not meant its burden of proof. However, I will give my arguments against this model’s existence. The second law of thermodynamics is highly understood and would refute this model. It would require more energy for the universe to expand and contract multiple times, so we would expect the universe to reach heat death eventually. Obviously, we are not in heat death. The philosophical arguments would help against this oscillating universe as well. This would have to be an infinite process, but we know we can’t have an actually infinite number of events. This oscillating universe would leave us with an infinite regression that destroys science. Going with Occam’s razor, it’s more simply to infer the universe had a beginning. Finally, the most disastrous thing to this model is our current law of gravity. If the universe crunched back on itself, then it would not be able to expand again.
Objection #10: Who created God?
If everything needs a cause, then what caused God? Every time I present this argument to my atheist friends, they always ask this question. The first premise is everything that begins to exist has a cause. Unless you can prove that an uncaused thing like God had a beginning, then this is a nonsensical question. Asking this question leads to an infinite regress which again, would destroy science. This is also another objection to the fine-tuning argument, so the design aspect will be dealt with in future articles. Why couldn’t the universe cause itself? The universe began to exist, so the cause must be something other than the universe. It would be like me saying that I gave birth to myself. It’s simply nonsensical and a question begging statement. This question is the biggest strawman of all arguments against the existence of God.
These questions and objections are worth the discussion. The Kalam Cosmological argument is a logically valid argument in its syllogistic form and has sound premises. It has withstood its scrutiny and objections. Since it’s a successful argument, we can infer that a theistic God is the cause of the universe. For extra resources, check out the links given below.
Kalam Cosmological Argument:
Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy:
Extra resources that deal with even more objections:
Dr. Craigs response to online laymen objections: