The following is from I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, pages 92-93: In light of all the evidence for a beginning of the space-time universe, the Beginner must be outside the space-time universe. When God is suggested as the Beginner, atheists are quick to ask the age-old question, “Then who made God? If everything needs a cause, then God needs a cause too!“
As we have seen, the Law of Causality is the very foundation of science. Science is a search for causes, and that search is based on our consistent observation that everything that has a beginning has a cause. In fact, the question “Who made God?” points out how seriously we take the Law of Causality. It‘s taken for granted that virtually everything needs a cause.
So why then doesn‘t God need a cause? Because the atheist’s contention misunderstands the Law of Causality. The Law of Causality does not say that everything needs a cause. It says that everything that comes to be needs a cause. God did not come to be. No one made God. He is unmade. As an eternal being, God did not have a beginning, so he didn’t need a cause.
“But wait,” the atheist will protest, “if you can have an eternal God, then I can have an eternal universe! After all, if the universe is eternal, then it did not have a cause.“ Yes, it is logically possible that the universe is eternal and therefore didn’t have a cause. In fact, it is one of only two possibilities: either the universe, or something outside the universe, is eternal. (Since something undeniably exists today, then something must have always existed; we have only two choices: the universe, or something that caused the universe.)
The problem for the atheist is that while it is logically possible that the universe is eternal, it does not seem to be actually possible. For all the scientific and philosophical evidence (SURGE– Second Law, Universe is expanding, Radiation Afterglow, Great galaxy seeds, Einstein’s GR– radioactive decay, and the Kalam Cosmological Argument) tells us the universe cannot be eternal. So by ruling out one of the two options, we are left with the only other option—something outside the universe is eternal.
When you get right down to it, there are only two possibilities for anything that exists: either 1) it has always existed and is therefore uncaused, or 2) it had a beginning and was caused by something else (it can’t be self-caused, because it would have had to exist already in order to cause anything). According to overwhelming evidence, the universe had a beginning, so it must be caused by something else— by something outside itself. Notice that this conclusion is consistent with theistic religions, but it is not based on those religions— it is based on good reason and evidence.
So what is this First Cause like? One might think you need to rely on a Bible or some other so-called religious revelation to answer that question, but, again, we don’t need anyone‘s scripture to figure that out. Einstein was right when he said, “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.“ Religion can be informed and confirmed by science, as it is by the Cosmological Argument. Namely, we can discover some characteristics of the First Cause just from the evidence we‘ve discussed in this chapter. From that evidence alone, we know the First Cause must be:
* self-existent, timeless, nonspatial, and immaterial (since the First Cause created time, space, and matter, the First Cause must be outside of time, space, and matter). In other words, he is without limits, or infinite;
* unimaginably powerful, to create the entire universe out of nothing;
* supremely intelligent, to design the universe with such incredible precision (we=ll see more of this in the next chapter);
* personal, in order to choose to convert a state of nothingness into the time-space-material universe (an impersonal force has no ability to make choices).
These characteristics of the First Cause are exactly the characteristics theists ascribe to God. Again, these characteristics are not based on someone=s religion or subjective experience. They are drawn from the scientific evidence we have just reviewed, and they help us see a critically important section of the box top to this puzzle we call life.
(The book then goes on to build the case that this is the God of Christianity.)
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