Last week in class, we learned about the philosophical and scientific evidence for God’s existence. The class was led by Impact 360’s Senior Associate Director and Faculty Chair, Ed Bort, and Director of Cultural Engagement and Student Discipleship, Jonathan Morrow. Fellows Class 18 wrestled with difficult questions about the universe, but it was so encouraging to see how the complexity of our existence points to God’s existence.
My (Logan Pinalto) favorite evidence for God that we talked about is called the Kalam Cosmological argument. This argument is deductive, meaning, the conclusion follows the premises necessarily. So, what are the premises?
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- The universe has a cause.
We have dissected these claims as a class and can now confidently converse with skeptics about them. Let’s walk through them!
Premise one, whatever begins to exist has a cause, makes logical sense because it is irrational to claim that “something came from nothing.” In class, we heard the example of a person walking through the woods and stumbling across a ball. That person doesn’t assume the ball appeared from nowhere. The right assumption is that someone created the ball, and another person left it in the woods. The object’s size does not matter—the universe’s existence in space has just as much of a need for explanation as a ball in the woods. Some would argue against the first premise, saying that God must also have a cause: if God exists, He must have a cause. What these skeptics fail to notice is that the premise specifies “whatever begins to exist.” We do not believe that God began to exist; we believe He is an eternal God and, therefore, exists by His nature.
Premise two, the universe began to exist, focuses on the false claim that the universe has existed for an infinite amount of time. We find discrepancies between potential and actual infinity when we break this claim down. In class, we focused on actual infinity because potential infinity is just that—potential. After analyzing the implication of actual infinities, we disregarded the idea because it’s like jumping into a bottomless pit. Al-Ghazali, a 10th-century Islamic philosopher, made a good point: if an infinite amount of time existed, we could never reach the present. Past events would be infinite, and the universe would not be logically possible to exist infinitely. Therefore, the universe must have a beginning.
This is where the ribbon ties a neat bow: if the universe began to exist and whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe must have a cause. Premises one and two are true. Therefore, there must be a cause! Jonathan Morrow taught us about two causes: event and agent. “Event” includes time, space, matter, and energy. However, these things make up a universe, so it would be irrational to argue that time, space, matter, and energy created time, space, matter, and energy. Therefore, the cause of the universe must be an “agent”– a divine God.
So, why are arguments like this so important to study? Because God commands us to use reason (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and the culture demands answers about our faith. At Impact 360, we firmly believe in knowing what we believe and why we believe it. Our faith coexists with reason, which helps keep us firm on our Foundation when storms come (Matthew 7:24-27).