Is There A God?
by Chris Plekenpol
Another fun question that children love to ask adults is, “Where do babies come from?”
Oh the joy of parenting.
Here is how this usually plays out.
“Where do babies come from?”
“A mommy and a daddy.”
“Where did their mommies and daddies come from?”
“Their mommies and daddies.”
“But where did they come from?”
And usually right here we veer to one of four answers.
- Mommies and daddies and all of our own reality is merely an illusion.
- Mommies and daddies and all of our own reality was self-created
- Mommies and daddies and all of our own reality is eternal or self-existent…no beginning or end
- Mommies and daddies and all of our own reality was created by God (or a self-existent being)Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/argument-existence-God.html#ixzz2TbvjpOAz
If you went with option one a strange look would come upon the child’s face and they might respond that they know they are here. They might even say something really philosophic like “I think, therefore I am.” Rene Descartes would be proud. A few Eastern religion types might dabble in the thought that we are figments of our own imagination, but I always pinch myself and realize it actually hurts.
Answer two is that the first human created himself. That seems a bit odd, for how could a man make himself if he didn’t exist in the first place. For those who have an evolutionary bent, how did the first amoeba make itself, or how did the first quark make itself. It is impossible logic to think that nothing can become something. For something to exist it must be created by something else. Or it is self-existent or eternal. Some might argue for something called spontaneous generation, but it goes back to the same argument that something arrived without a cause.
Your third answer would be that the universe is in a steady-state system meaning it has always been here and existed just as it is. Or some argue that the universe is constantly oscillating, expanding and contracting. Mommies and daddies have just always existed eternally. This is difficult, because this would mean that there was no beginning.
The evidence of our universe points to a beginning. Most scientists (atheist, agnostic, and theist) look at our universe as increasingly expanding. If one were to reverse time that expanse would come back to a point, which would lead us to a beginning. And if we get back to a beginning, how did that something begin?
What was the first cause? Is it more possible that something came from nothing due to nothing or that something came from nothing, because it was acted upon from an eternal being, namely God. Let’s take this one step further. Our universe has in it something those who believe in God would call design and those who don’t believe in God call “apparent design”. The very fact that you can put together words and form sentences and read this book points to a design. Our DNA is so complicated it points to a design. Now it might be just “apparent design.” It is possible that nothing not only produced something, but produced it in such incredible order and fine tuning that life as we know it could not exist without its current preciseness. Again, it’s possible that everything is randomness plus chance, but is it probable?
Former atheist Lee Strobel commented “Essentially, I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything; non-life produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non-reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simply too big for me to take, especially in light of the affirmative case for God’s existence.”
That brings us to the fourth answer which is that God created the universe. God is a self-existent being and started the universe at a certain point along the way. Some comment that it is hypocritical on the one hand to say that it is not possible for mommies, Daddies and amoebas to not have always existed, but then turn around and point at God and say He is in a different God category and therefore eternally exists.
What happens when the child asks the parent, “Where did God come from?”
This is where most of us get stumped. But God is in a different category. How many mommies, daddies, or amoebas do you know that have never died? The oldest people we know are in their 90s or some have past 100. There is no one 200 years old. So although the process of making mommies, daddies, and amoebas is one that might continue for a long time, they are created beings with a lifespan. And remember we just said that most scientists (atheist, agnostic, and theist) look at our universe as having a beginning.
Another term for God is the uncreated, eternal, self-existent one. To ask who or what created the un-creatable is not a valid question. It’s like asking, “What does the color burnt orange smell like?” We can look at mommies, daddies, and amoebas and see how they at one time were not, but now are. Different story with God. He stands outside of time eternally.
This is where we must take a hard look at what is possible and what is probable. It is possible that everything just began? That randomly from one event that no one caused that random chance plus time transformed matter, (quarks, protons, and electrons) into a mind that thinks rationally. It’s possible, but is it probable? It seems more probable that an exquisite mind made matter and fine-tuned it in such a way that it became the universe it is today. It makes more sense that mommies and daddies are a reflection of God and his mind as opposed to being the culmination of matter becoming more sophisticated randomly over time.
How do Legos know right from wrong?
I think that question puts at the right place to analyze the next portion of this chapter. Legos are matter without a mind. To make Legos one must take acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) Granules and inject them into a mold. The machine that does this melts and then molds the plastic granules into the classic Lego shape we have come to know and love. When it is done, we can build the Legos into anything we want: police stations, medieval castles, pirate ships, or spaceships. However, if the Legos were left for billions of years would they develop a conscience?
This is the assertion that many people make about our universe. Matter formed a mind. Mommies and daddies especially have the ability to choose right from wrong. In fact, we have unwritten moral codes that spark us into action. For example some of us get emotionally upset and feel violated when another person inadvertently cuts us off in traffic. There is a direct impulse in us to go and tell them that what they did was wrong. Why? How do we know that what they did was wrong? Because everyone of us agrees that cutting someone off in traffic is wrong. That is something called an objective moral standard.
There are subjective moral standards. Those are things that people value because they were taught to value those things. Examples of subjective moral standards are some people believe that you can have one wife and others believe you can have four, five, or seven wives. However, the objective moral standard would be is one just can’t have any wife he chooses. Other objective moral standards would be sex trafficking, murder, and theft.
Society can only develop subjective moral standards. Things like which type of government is best and opening the door for women are subjective to the culture. However, if we are to find just one moral standard that applies to all people everywhere then we must agree that something outside of all people everywhere gave it to them. For example every society everywhere values bravery and loyalty. I can’t think of one culture that rewards cowards or holds cheating in high esteem. But why do we value bravery or loyalty? If we are merely matter, animated Legos, and our existence is just survival, then why do we value such altruistic character traits?