Imagine for one minute the concept of absolute nothingness. There are no stars in the sky, no sun, no moon, no atmosphere, or stratosphere, there are no mountains or valleys, no beaches or oceans, no rivers or tributaries, no gravity or any physical laws. There is no oxygen, no hydrogen, methane, or matter. None of the things on which we rely to give us energy is present. There is no water, no fire, no wind or anything that our imaginations can conjure. The very concept of nothingness in itself is quite incredible. Think about it! Absolutely nothing exists… Then quite randomly, out of this vast sea of absolute nothingness, without any explanation, without any driving forces, the big bang occurs and from this the universe with all of its laws, precision and complexity is born. Intelligent people tell us that this is exactly what happened when the universe came into being in contradiction of everything that we know to be true (that everything which begins to exist has a cause). Scientists once believed that the universe was eternal so it was not necessary to explain its existence, but this premise is no longer held to be true in the scientific community. Since the universe is not eternal but indeed has a definite beginning point, we must ask the question what caused it to begin.
Though scientists generally agree and accept that the evidence strongly points to the univers having a beginning, they dispute that it has a cause. This unwillingness to accept that the it has a cause is not based on any observation that contradicts this idea, but quite simply on a philosophy that will not even consider the possibility, and stubbornly refuses to do so. There are two primary ingredients that are required in any discussion of cause in our world. One is material and the other is the ability to use the material for the end product, for example; in order to have bread one needs to have the ingredients to make bread (flour, yeast, water etc.). Having the ingredients alone is not enough to produce the bread though; a good baker will be necessary to bring it all together, put it in the oven and do all that is needed to yield the final product. This is true for everything around us. There is not a single thing that anyone can point to in our world that is the result of random chance or, just appearing out of thin air. Look all around the house, in the yard, streets, fields, playgrounds or anywhere, and anyone will be hard pressed to find one thing that is the result of a “poof” appearance”. There is no system or mechanism that is a result of random chance. The cars on the street, the planes in the air, the laptop on the desk, the iPhone in someone’s hand, the houses we live in, the schools we attend etc. all have a cause.
The staunchest atheist will agree that it is folly to even suggest that the TV in his living room that was not there when he left earlier in the day did not just appear there from nothing. That same atheist will refuse to apply the same logic to the universe with its vastly superior complexity. Despite his belief that the universe is the result of random chance, he cannot explain why it is impossible for a much simpler device like a TV to just appear for him to watch. He cannot answer why we do not have things popping out of nowhere in a consistent manner with the way the universe supposedly did? Why is there no evidence of this ever happening throughout the course of history? If in our everyday lives it is inconceivable that things would just appear from nothing, for no reason, then why would anyone even refuse to consider that this same principle applies to the universe? If nothingness had the power of production to give us the universe, then why has its power of production ceased?
The atheist has many reasons for not believing in God but the theist also has many solid reasons for believing that God does exist. Everything that we know about the world around us points to the idea that, that which has a beginning has a cause. The evidence is all around us. The arguments for the existence of God are powerful and many, and no one should be cowered or feel ashamed for believing in God. It is reasonable to do so, there is a sound intellectual foundation on which it stands, logic does not contradict, but points to God. People should not be afraid of science they should embrace it because science is not the enemy of faith, but it helps to solidify it.
In the coming weeks we will examine some of the arguments against and for the existence of God.