Now that we have a better understanding of objective truth and can see that objective truth exists, we can apply this understanding to the different beliefs about God(s).
The major beliefs about God are:
1) There is one God,
2) There are many gods,
3) Everything is god, or
4) There is no god.
The following link will give you much greater detail about these options.
Four main beliefs about the nature of God
According to the Law of Non-Contradiction whichever teaching about God or gods is true, any belief or teaching contradictory to the true teaching is automatically false. As such, if one of these four beliefs are true then the other beliefs are automatically false, because they all contradict one another. Can you see that each of these beliefs contradict each of the others? If there truly is no God then the teaching of one God, many gods, or Everything is god are automatically false. The same is true for any of the other beliefs about God.
So which of these beliefs about is corroborated best by the evidence that exists?
What about the existence of the Universe? is one of the major evidences for the existence of God. The three major possibilities for the existence of the Universe are:
1. It has always existed
2. It created itself
3. It just happened
4. It was brought into existence by a being outside of time, space, and matter.
Einstein was one of the scientists within the last 100 years who proved conclusively that the Universe (time, space, matter), had an origination point at some time in the past. Einstein proved that the Universe had a beginning at some point in the past, and so it can’t have always existed. So the first option, that the Universe has always existed, that it is eternal, has been disproved.
The links below will give you an opportunity to go into more depth as to the reasons and evidences for the Universe not having always existed.
Is The Universe Eternal?
The Universe is Not Eternal, But Had A Beginning
Origin Of The Universe – Quotes from well-known scientists
The second option for the existence of the Universe, is that the Universe brought itself into existence. For the Universe to bring itself into existence the Universe would already need to exist first to then be able to bring itself into existence. Essentially, it would need to exist before it existed. Does that sound logical to you? To say that the Universe created itself is philosophically and logically impossible.
This also violates The Law of Cause and Effect, also called The Law of Causality. This is a law and not a theory, like the Law of Non Contradiction is a law and not a theory.
The Law of Cause and Effect states that:
For anything that has come into existence, (which is the effect), there must be a cause. As well, the cause must be adequate to bring the effect into existence, and the cause must exist independently of the effect.
* Notice that the law doesn't state, “For anything that exists must have a cause”. I will cover the importance of this shortly.
So, whatever was the cause of the Universe, (time, space, and matter), the Law of Cause and Effect requires that the cause of the Universe be adequate to bring the effect of the entire Universe (time, space, matter) into existence, and also be outside of the entire Universe (time, space, matter).
To get an idea of another aspect of how massive the Universe is let’s look at some of the facts about the Universe. Think of the mass and energy of all of the suns in the Universe which are contained in an estimated 100 billion galaxies, with each galaxy containing an average of 100 billion stars. The cause of the Universe is greater than this incomprehensible amount of energy and mass! Think about this very interesting fact illustrating the magnitude of these numbers. The human heart will beat about 2 billion times during an entire lifetime of approximately 80 years. There are an average of 100 billion stars in each of an estimated 100 billion galaxies.
Think about what would be necessary to cause the mass of just a single star and then multiply this times 100 billion (the average number of stars in each galaxy), then times 100 billion (the estimated galaxies in the Universe)! 100 billion times 100 billion is 1x1022. This means that there is an estimated incomprehensible 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 suns! It’s absolutely staggering to try to imagine a cause adequate for our Universe beginning to exist, isn’t it?
This is too much to try to comprehend, right? How about if we consider just one other sun besides our own. Our own sun is over 860,000 miles in diameter. That’s almost 1 million miles in diameter! Even at this size it is not one of the largest suns in our own galaxy. Think about what cause would be required to bring just our sun into existence.
Now think about one of the largest suns discovered in the Milky Way galaxy, VY Canis Majoris. It is “just a little bit bigger” than our sun. How big? Think about our sun being almost one million miles in diameter. Would 10 times that diameter be big, almost 10 million miles? Yes! What about 20 times, almost 20 million miles in diameter? Yes! What about 100 times the diameter of the Sun, or almost 100 million miles in diameter?! That would certainly be big, wouldn’t it?
Now think about the distance from the Earth to the Sun, 93,000,000 miles. At that distance the diameter of the orbit of the Earth around the Sun is 186 million miles. What if VY Canis Majoris was the size of the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, 186 million miles in diameter? That would be absolutely huge, wouldn’t it? Well VY Canis Majoris is even bigger than that! VY Canis Majoris is so huge its diameter is not just the same the diameter of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The diameter of VY Canis Majoris is approximately 7 times the diameter of the orbit of the Earth around the Sun! The diameter of VY Canis Majoris is almost as large as the diameter of the orbit of Saturn around the sun! Can you imagine a sun this immense?!
This one star is so incredibly massive, its diameter is larger than the diameter of the orbit of all of the inner planets inside the orbit of Saturn, including Jupiter! Since Jupiter is 493 million miles from the sun, the diameter of the orbit of Jupiter around the sun is double that, or almost 1 billion miles in diameter. That's 1,000,000,000 miles! VY Canis Majoris is 1,228,000,000 miles in diameter! It is so huge that if placed at the center of our galaxy it would swallow up every planet closer to the sun than Saturn!
The following link is a 3 minute video showing a size comparison between the Earth, the Sun, the star Rigel, then the star VY Canis Majoris. Absolutely stunning!
Scale of Earth, Sun, Rigel, and VY Canis Majoris
Now think about the Law of Cause and Effect again. Think about the cause necessary to bring our own Sun into existence, our Sun of 860,000 miles in diameter. Now think about the size of VY Canis Majoris. What cause would be necessary to bring the effect of the incredible mass and energy of this star into existence?! This is almost impossible to comprehend. And remember, VY Canis Majoris is only one star out of approximately 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy! And the Milky Way Galaxy is only one of an estimated 100 billion galaxies! Canis Majoris is only one star among 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars!
Mind Blowing! Earth Compared To The Rest Of The Universe
Scale of Earth, Sun, Rigel, and VY Canis Majoris
The largest star - VY Canis Majoris
Up until recently VY Canis Majoris was the largest known star in the Milky Way galaxy. Another star has taken its place now as the largest star discovered. It is UY Scuti. Remember that VY Canis Majoris is 1,228,000,000 miles in diameter. UY Scuti is 1,500,000,000 miles in diameter! 1,000,000 Earths could fit inside our own sun and UY Scuti is 5 billion times larger than our sun! That means that 5 billion times 1 million Earths could fit inside UY Scuti!
Now think about the Law of Cause and Effect again. Are you starting to get the idea how amazing the cause of this must be?
List of big stars-from our Sun to UY-Scuti
Sun Compared to UY Scuti - Zoom Out
The Light of Other Suns
One of the other two aspects of the universe which began to exist at some point in time in the past, is Space. Thinking about the universe with regards to space, it becomes immediately evident that there is an absolutely huge amount of space! When we consider the next closest star to our own sun, we start to get the smallest idea of the size of the universe.
That next closest star to our own sun is Alpha Centuri. It is 4.3 light years away. With the term Light Year having become as common as it is it is easy to loose sight of the actual distance of 4.3 light years. If you were to take a trip to Alpha Centuri, at 4.3 light years away, you would probably want the fastest space craft available. The Space Shuttle travels at 17,000 miles per hour. The Apollo Moon rockets traveled at 24,000 miles per hour. The fastest vehicle yet put into space is the New Horizon probe to Pluto. It travels at just over 36,000 miles per hour.
Think about traveling down a city street with a posted speed limit of 35mph, the New Horizon probe travels 1000 times the speed you are doing! So, if you took the New Horizon probe to go to Alpha Centuri, traveling at 36,000 miles per hour, it would only take you 78,000 years to get there! You might want to bring a deck of cards.
Remember, that is only going 4.3 light years to the next closest star. Our Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across and it is only one of an estimated 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) galaxies! Can you even imagine the expanse of our universe? So think about the Law of Cause and Effect again. Again, the cause of this immense space must be greater than this immense space!
You may be wondering how they discovered that there are an estimated 100,000,000,000 galaxies. The Hubble telescope was pointed for 10 days in 1995 at a very dark and small area of sky, an area seemingly empty of stars, so that the astronomers could see what was beyond our Milky Way Galaxy. They had no idea if they would actually see much more than just the darkness. Over the next 10 days, the picture that was revealed by Hubble became clear. The picture is called the Hubble Deep Field. Follow this link to see the Wikipedia article and a picture of the Hubble Deep Field in full size and detail:
Hubble Deep Field
What is amazing is to realize is that since the picture is looking beyond our galaxy, each speck of light in the picture is not an individual star but an actual galaxy! Astronomers estimate that that about 3000 galaxies can be counted in this picture! And remember, astronomers estimate that each galaxy has an estimated average of 100 billion stars! So 3000 galaxies times 100 billion stars = 3 trillion (3,000,000,000,000) stars!
Considering the amazing results, astronomers repeated the process over a 4 month period of time, from September 2003 to January 2004, to see how many more galaxies would be revealed. The picture is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and astronomers can count approximately 10,000 galaxies in this new picture! 10,000 galaxies times 100 billion stars = 10 trillion stars. Follow this link to see the Wikipedia article and the above picture in full size and detail:
Hubble Ultra-Deep Field
Click the following link to see an amazing 3D animation:
The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field in 3D
Now for something even more amazing, (unless you've already seen the 3D video above). What you probably haven’t thought of is the area of sky that the picture represents. The actual area of sky represented by the picture is approximately 1/10th the diameter of the visible moon! It is described as the same area of sky that would be covered by a grain of sand on your fingertip held at arm’s length! Isn’t that absolutely amazing!
Click this link to see the picture of the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. The picture is at the right and can be clicked on to enlarge. Click three times to enlarge to its full size. And remember, ever speck of light is an entire galaxy of on average 100 billion stars!
Hubble Ultra-Deep Field
This link shows you the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field picture, and in the 2nd half of the 4 minute video is an absolutely amazing 3D animation the scientists created to give a very small understanding of the distances between galaxies.
The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field in 3D
I can't help but stress again the distance between just our sun and the next closest star, Alpha Centuri, which would take us 78,000 years to reach, 150,000 if taking the space shuttle! The cause of this incomprehensible amount of space must be larger than the volume!
Now, this is approximately what the Astronomers did to come to the conclusion that there are over 100 billion galaxies in the known universe. Remember that the Hubble Deep Field is an area of sky that is covered by a grain of sand when that grain is put on the fingertip of an outstretched arm. The scientists then calculated how many grains of sand would be necessary to cover the sky and multiplied that number by the number of galaxies they were able to count in the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field picture!
Now think again about the Law of Cause and Effect and the cause necessary to bring the effect of 100 billion galaxies of 100 billion stars each into existence. Isn't it absolutely beyond our ability to grasp?!
When we consider the three possible explanations for the existence of the galaxy, the first two have been disproved. The Universe can’t have always existed nor brought itself into existence. Both of these options violate scientific discovery, as well as the Law of Cause and Effect. The third option becomes the only reasonable option remaining. This explanation, where the Universe was brought into existence by a being outside of time, space, and matter, who has power equivalent to or greater than all the power in the Universe, is the only logical option.
Greg Koukl, of Stand To Reason (www.str.org) states humorously,
“If there was a big bang, there must be a big banger!”
This also really put Psalm 19:1 into a perspective for me I never realized until learning of the Hubble Deep Field:
Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork."
If you are thinking, “I can’t possibly understand this, how can it be true?”, I completely understand. However, remember that one of the criteria of determining truth is not whether or not we understand something.
What I've covered really only shows that the most logical explanation for the existence of the universe is a being outside of time, space, and matter. I think it is reasonable to refer to this incomprehensible being as "God". But it doesn't prove that this is the God of the Bible who created the Universe. We will consider that option shortly.
Origins of the Universe. A Philosophical Perspective
I indicated earlier, that the definition of The Law of Cause and Effect specifies:
"For anything that come into existence," which could also be written
"For anything that begins to exist,"
It is really important to understand this point is because there seem to be more than a few people who have confused the meaning of this law. They think that the law states:
"For anything that exists, there must be a cause."
"For anything that has come into existence, there must be a cause."
Notice the difference? The wording of the first statement indicates "anything that exists" not "begins to exist". "Anything that exists" would have to include God also, because God exists. So when thinking about the cause of the universe, if someone raises the idea that God created the universe, they will ask,
“If God created the universe, then who created God?”
If we follow this misunderstanding of the law logically, you run into a cycle that has no beginning:
"If God created the universe, then who created God, and who created the who who created God, and who created the who who created the who who created God?"
Can you see that this goes on forever, that you never arrive at the beginning? Since an ultimate beginning can never be arrived at, this isn’t logical and also violates the Law of Cause and Effect. Remember, The Law of Cause and Effect states: "For everything that comes into existence". The idea that everything has a cause is a misreading and misunderstanding of the law. Everything includes God, that God has a cause. And whoever caused God has a cause too, and whoever caused the cause that caused God has a cause too. This continuous cycle has no beginning. It goes on forever. This is called an Infinite Regress. Again, this isn't logical and violates the Law of Cause and Effect.
Causation and Infinite Regress
What Caused God? (JP Moreland & Kalam Cosmological Argument)
Think about the scientific implications of the first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1:
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
“In the beginning” - time,
“God created the heavens” - space,
“and the earth” - matter.
This simple 10 word verse, the first verse in the Bible, is describing a cause outside of time, space, and matter; a cause more powerful than time, space, and matter; and a cause bringing time, space, and matter into existence. This fits the only logical explanation of the origin of the Universe. This is a scientifically accurate statement written 3500 years before science could confirm that the Universe actually had a beginning!
This first verse indicates that the God of the Bible is more powerful than the entire Universe (time, space, and matter), and also existing outside the Universe (time, space, and matter), all 100 billion galaxies of 100 billion stars each. This description of the Biblical God is fully compatible with science and shows that the Bible was scientifically accurate about the origin of the Universe 3500 years in advance of this confirmation by modern science.
Think now about just this information on the incredible size of the Universe.
It is comprised of an estimated 100 billion galaxies with an average 100 billion stars each.
The Law of Cause and Effect specifies that with any effect, the cause of the effect must be greater than the effect. With the Universe being the effect in this case, the cause of this universe coming into existence must be greater than the Universe!
Do you have a new and far greater perspective on God than you had before to reading this section? Or asked another way, how big was your God before and how big is your God now?
God of Wonders
If you haven’t believed in the existence of God, does this mean that you now have to accept the explanation that God it now? No. but you are left trying to explain where everything came from. This is actually the fourth explanation of the existence of the universe. This is where the universe just happened. Greg Koukl makes an effective observation about this in his article and video presentations at the following links, which are also included in the Worldview section,
Greg Koukl says,
“The ‘Nothing-Caused-the-Universe’ option is worse than magic. At least in magic, a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. In this case, though, there’s no hat and no magician. There’s just a rabbit (the universe, in our case) appearing out of nowhere.”
The Universe Just Happened?
Naturalism: Bumping into reality
Naturalism: Bumping into Reality - Greg Koukl’s video presentation
This description of the Universe having a beginning, and requiring a cause is called The Cosmological Argument. One way to remember this could be to think of the word Cause, as having the same sound as the first syllable in the word Cosmological.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument
The Fine-Tuning of the Universe
How Do I Know God Exists - Dinesh D'Souza
Another evidence is the existence of the soul. There is no evolutionary explanation for the existence of the soul. The only reasonable explanation is the existence of God.
1. The Case for the Soul (Neuroscience)
2. The Case for the Soul: Refuting Physicalist Objections
3. The Case for the Soul: Quantum Biology
4. The Case for the Soul (Near-Death Experiences)
Neuroscience and the Soul - Full Interview with J.P. Moreland
Sites on God:
The Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Greg Koukl effectively illustrates the difference between no evidence and evidence not accepted in this video.
Could God Be a Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Is God No Better Than the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or Special Computer? Or Whatever?
Dr. Craig - "The 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' & The Evidence For God"
Arguments For God's Existence
This is a site/author I’ve recently discovered. He is looking to build the largest apologetic video library on the Internet. The videos are very thought provoking and some may be difficult to understand just watching them once. Even so, they are great videos covering many different topics. I highly recommend them. He is looking to make an additional video every month!
Primary Arguments For The Existence of God
The Cosmological Argument
The Ontological Argument
The Teleological Argument (also called Argument from Design)
The Moral Argument
The Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, is the Cause and Effect argument we've already looked at briefly, of the Universe having a beginning and requiring a cause outside itself.
A Cosmological Argument Primer
The Teleological Argument for the existence of God is also referred to as the Argument From Design and the Fine Tuning Argument. The Universe shows amazing design, in that there are so many aspects of it which must to be absolutely incredibly fine-tuned to an amazing degree, before life could exist.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument - Dr. Craig Videos
The Moral Argument - Dr. Craig Videos
Leibniz’ Contingency Argument - Dr. Craig Videos
The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
A Universe From Nothing, Therefore God Exists!
The Fine-Tuning of the Universe - Dr. Craig Videos
The Teleological Argument (What it really says)
The Fine Tuning of the Universe
Incredible fine tuning – William Lane Craig “Fine Tuning
The Moral Argument for the existence of God states that if objective morality exists, then God exists. If objective values and obligations do not exist, then God doesn't exist. If God doesn't exist, then everything is relative – which means that there is no standard of right or wrong.
Richard Dawkins Confirms Moral Argument for God's Existence
Any Old God Won’t Do - Greg Koukl’s
God Exists - J.W. Wartick
Hitchens' Presumption of Meaning
What Skeptics Want Christians to Know
A Wallet A Dollar and the Existance of God – William Wallace
Professor John Lennox | God DOES exist
Also check these arguments for God at:
www.allaboutphilosophy.org – In the Matters of Thought section
The Truth Project
This is an excellent program to gain an understanding of the truths of the world around us, the Universe, and how we fit into it from a Biblical perspective. If you have the opportunity to attend these series of classes, I highly recommend doing so. Use the website below to find a group.
The Truth Project Website:
The description of The Truth Project indicates:
“Each lesson discusses in great detail the relevance and importance of living the Christian worldview in daily life.”
Truth Project list of the lessons:
1-What is Truth?
2-Philosophy and Ethics
9-Am I Alone?
10-The American Experiment,
11-Labor: Created to Create,
12-God Cares; Do I
The Truth Project - Informational and Instructions Videos
The Truth Project Leader Guide
The Truth Project - Find a Group
Next Page: Evil, Sufering, and Pain