The View From 1776

Proof of God’s Existence

      http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/proof_of_gods_existence/

Atheists and agnostics believe that inability to convince them of God’s existence is proof that God doesn’t exist.

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An emailer wrote:

“Saying the universe has a beginning or an end does not imply the existence of god. ?Your syllogism seems to be:

“All things finite are created by god.
“The universe is finite.
“Therefore, god created the universe.

“The predicate is assumed and not proved.

“Assuming the universe came into existence at some defined point in space time does not, and cannot, prove the existence of god, whether the judeo-christian god or otherwise.” ?


My Reply:

Your syllogism is nothing that I’ve said.

Let’s take the opposite position, which may be the view that you hold, that the universe is infinite and that it was not created by God.  I defy you to prove that.

It’s not enough to deny that God exists because it cannot be proved to atheists’ satisfactions.  If Christians are to be dismissed by that argument, then atheists must be able to prove that God does not exist.  No one can do that.  In fact, the vast preponderance of evidence is against it.

To repeat what I’ve written in prior posts, rational understanding of a Divine realm of existence outside of being is impossible.  We can understand only that which is within the realm of being, or existence.  God is outside of, precedes, and will outlast, being as we know it, yet God encompasses being.  God is simultaneously being and non-being.

As an analogy, there exist mathematical theorems that appear to be true in all practical uses, yet their logical proof has remained beyond the the capacity of human intellects to date.  Rational minds didn’t create the propositions of mathematics; they were discovered by spiritual intuition, or inspiration, if you prefer.  They exist “out there” in a realm beyond our physical world, in Plato’s Ideal world, and they have been there since before the creation of our cosmos.  Theorists working with the presumed expansion of all matter, after the Big Bang, into what has become our cosmos must work with the assumption that the mathematical, universal constants of physics existed from the get-go.

The propositions of geometry and mathematics deal with “things” that have no existence in any physical sense.  They exist only in the metaphysical realm, yet we know from the results derived by using such propositions that there is a reality to them.

In the same way, the empirical evidence of history proves that societies ordered by a belief in Divinity and personal morality have been far more decent and productive than those ordered by the collectivism of secular and materialistic socialism.  The one has produced the greatest gains in productivity and improvement in living standards ever recorded; the other, steadily deteriorating living standards and varying degrees of police-state politics.

The entirety of our cosmos, to the extent of our knowledge to date, conforms to the same set of rules everywhere, i.e., there is a definite design underlying all observable energy and matter.  Where did that universal set of natural laws come from?  The odds of its having happened, on so vast a scale, purely by accident are incalculable.

To illustrate how unlikely, as an example let’s take a much more limited case, the odds that life might have evolved spontaneously and by pure chance. 

Harold Morowitz is one of the world’s foremost biophysists, sufficiently well regarded to have been named to NASA’s planetary biology subcommittee for explorations of life on Mars, Mercury, and Venus.  Professor Morowitz spent decades pursuing one of the latest life-generation theories, the so-called metabolic theory.  Studying a single-cell life form, the intent is to determine the entire DNA structure, down to the numbers of atoms in the DNA, along with determinations of how many proteins each DNA strand could encode.  The hope was that analysis down to that level would provide sufficient clues to the presumed process of spontaneous generation of living tissue.

After several decades of intense study, he concluded that the odds of a single-cell life form being spontaneously assembled, even in a stable environmental equilibrium (which almost certainly never existed) were less than one in 10 to the 100 billionth power.  Even if chance creation of life could have occurred against such overwhelming odds, Morowitz calculated that the currently estimated five billion year age of the cosmos would have been far too short a time for the process to have produced living tissue.

What then are the odds that the entirety of the cosmos, with its incalculably greater numbers of interactions according to definable laws, came into existence purely by chance?

One alternative is to declare that the cosmos had no beginning and will have no end.  That will be, I believe, even more difficult for you to prove.

The proposition that the cosmos was created by a power (God) outside the realm of existence as humans know it, and that the cosmos was created ab initio with a master design determining the laws of nature, however, is far more probable.