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iApologize - Does God exist? Prove it!


iApologize

5.1.19

Reunion Community Church


Does God exist?


Cosmological Argument - What Is It?

The Cosmological Argument or First Cause Argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God which explains that everything has a cause, that there must have been a first cause, and that this first cause was itself uncaused. The Kalam Cosmological Argument is one of the variants of the argument which has been especially useful in defending the philosophical position of theistic worldviews. The word "kalam" is Arabic for "speaking" but more generally the word can be interpreted as "theological philosophy."


Cosmological Argument - Kalam Argument

Whatever begins to exist, has a cause of its existence.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.


Teleological Argument – Argument for Design

The Teleological Argument comes down to design. The appearance that the universe was designed to support life on earth is overwhelming. Secular scientists have observed that for physical life to be possible in the universe, many characteristics must take on specific values, as referenced below. In the secular scientific world, this circumstance of apparent fine-tuning in the universe is not disputed, and is referred to as “The Anthropic Principle.” Atheistic scientists have offered several unconvincing rationalizations for this having occurred without the involvement of a Divine Mind, but given the intricacy of the interrelationships between various features in the universe, the indication of divine "fine tuning" seems incontrovertible.


Moral Argument – Overview

The moral argument for the existence of God refers to the claim that God is needed to provide a coherent ontological foundation for the existence of objective moral values and duties. The argument can be summarised in the following syllogism:

Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.

Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.


Put forth your best personal apology for the existence of God.


Put forth your best philosophical apology for the existence of God.


Put forth your best biblical apology for the existence of God.



Cosmological Argument

https://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/cosmological-argument.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=53&v=6CulBuMCLg0


Cosmological Argument - What Is It?

The Cosmological Argument or First Cause Argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God which explains that everything has a cause, that there must have been a first cause, and that this first cause was itself uncaused. The Kalam Cosmological Argument is one of the variants of the argument which has been especially useful in defending the philosophical position of theistic worldviews. The word "kalam" is Arabic for "speaking" but more generally the word can be interpreted as "theological philosophy."


Cosmological Argument - History

'First cause arguments' were set forth by Plato and Aristotle in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. These arguments maintain that everything that exists or occurs must have had a cause. So if one would go back in time far enough, one would discover a first cause. Aristotle, a deist, posited that this first cause was the creator of the universe. Thomas Aquinas, a Christian, then expanded on Aristotle's ideas in the 13th century AD and molded the first cause-concept into a framework in which the cause of the universe itself is uncaused: the First Cause is God. Founded on similar reasoning, the Kalam Cosmological Argument was developed by Muslim philosophers in the Middle Ages, but has not lost any of its philosophical power over the centuries. In recent years, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig has brought the Kalam Cosmological Argument back into the spotlight.


Cosmological Argument - Kalam Argument

According to Craig, the Kalam Cosmological Argument is constructed as follows:


Whatever begins to exist, has a cause of its existence.

The universe began to exist.

Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.


The second of these premises requires some more explanation. With today's knowledge, we may think this is a given, but we should keep in mind that for the longest time secular scientists thought the universe itself was eternal. Now, most scientific models for the origin of the universe, such as the Big Bang model, support the view that the universe had a beginning, but the Kalam Cosmological Argument uses a philosophical approach towards the concept of 'infinity' to show that the universe indeed had a beginning. Two separate philosophical arguments are used in this approach:


The first argument states that an actual infinite cannot exist. A part of an infinite set is equal to the whole of the infinite set, because both the part and the whole are infinite. Imagine for example an infinite collection of red and black balls. The number of red balls in this set is equal to the total number of all balls in the set, because both are infinite. The same holds for the number of black balls in the collection. Thus, the number of red balls equals the number of black balls equals the sum of all red and black balls.


Obviously, the idea of an actual infinite collection leads to absurdities. This is also true for a set of historical events: it can be derived that the occurrence of a truly infinite set of events happening before a certain moment in time is impossible.


The second argument states that an actual infinite cannot be formed. History, or the collection of all events in time, is made up by sequentially adding one event after the other. It is always possible to add another event to history, which means the history of the universe is a potential infinite but can never be an actual infinite.


It is interesting that Craig also argues that the cause of the universe must be a personal Creator. In his words: "The only way to have an eternal cause but a temporal effect would seem to be if the cause is a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time."


Cosmological Argument - What Does The Bible Say?

The Bible tells us, from the very first verse, that God created the universe. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). "The LORD made the heavens" (1 Chronicles 16:26). We know that God is not Himself a physical part of the universe. 2 Chronicles 2:6 states: "...the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him". We also know that "the LORD, the everlasting God" (Genesis 21:33) is eternal and infinite. "His mighty power rules forever" (Psalm 66:7). The Bible teaches very clearly that God is the uncaused First Cause who created the universe by willing it into existence.


The Kalam Cosmological Argument is consistent with the biblical account of the beginning of the universe and of the 'First Cause'. However, it is only one of many indicators and evidences pointing to the existence of God the Creator as revealed by the Bible.


Teleological Argument

https://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/teleological-argument.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e9v_fsZB6A against

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0 for


Teleological Argument – Argument for Design

The Teleological Argument comes down to design. The appearance that the universe was designed to support life on earth is overwhelming. Secular scientists have observed that for physical life to be possible in the universe, many characteristics must take on specific values, as referenced below. In the secular scientific world, this circumstance of apparent fine-tuning in the universe is not disputed, and is referred to as “The Anthropic Principle.” Atheistic scientists have offered several unconvincing rationalizations for this having occurred without the involvement of a Divine Mind, but given the intricacy of the interrelationships between various features in the universe, the indication of divine "fine tuning" seems incontrovertible.


Teleological Argument – A Fine-Tuned Universe

The list supporting the Teleological Argument seems to be growing larger and larger as scientists discover more about the universe. Even now, this is a very long list, and who really likes lists? However, when I discuss these issues with atheists, they often ask for “details on this so-called fine-tuning,” so here’s the list:

Strong nuclear force constant

Weak nuclear force constant

Gravitational force constant

Electromagnetic force constant

Ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant

Ratio of proton to electron mass

Ratio of number of protons to number of electrons

Ratio of proton to electron charge

Expansion rate of the universe

Mass density of the universe

Baryon (proton and neutron) density of the universe

Space energy or dark energy density of the universe

Ratio of space energy density to mass density

Entropy level of the universe

Velocity of light

Age of the universe

Uniformity of radiation

Homogeneity of the universe

Average distance between galaxies

Average distance between galaxy clusters

Average distance between stars

Average size and distribution of galaxy clusters

Numbers, sizes, and locations of cosmic voids

Electromagnetic fine structure constant

Gravitational fine-structure constant

Decay rate of protons

Ground state energy level for helium-4

Carbon-12 to oxygen-16 nuclear energy level ratio

Decay rate for beryllium-8

Ratio of neutron mass to proton mass

Initial excess of nucleons over antinucleons

Polarity of the water molecule

Epoch for hypernova eruptions

Number and type of hypernova eruptions

Epoch for supernova eruptions

Number and types of supernova eruptions

Epoch for white dwarf binaries

Density of white dwarf binaries

Ratio of exotic matter to ordinary matter

Number of effective dimensions in the early universe

Number of effective dimensions in the present universe

Mass values for the active neutrinos

Number of different species of active neutrinos

Number of active neutrinos in the universe

Mass value for the sterile neutrino

Number of sterile neutrinos in the universe

Decay rates of exotic mass particles

Magnitude of the temperature ripples in cosmic background radiation

Size of the relativistic dilation factor

Magnitude of the Heisenberg uncertainty

Quantity of gas deposited into the deep intergalactic medium by the first supernovae

Positive nature of cosmic pressures

Positive nature of cosmic energy densities

Density of quasars

Decay rate of cold dark matter particles

Relative abundances of different exotic mass particles

Degree to which exotic matter self interacts

Epoch at which the first stars (metal-free pop III stars) begin to form

Epoch at which the first stars (metal-free pop III stars cease to form

Number density of metal-free pop III stars

Average mass of metal-free pop III stars

Epoch for the formation of the first galaxies

Epoch for the formation of the first quasars

Amount, rate, and epoch of decay of embedded defects

Ratio of warm exotic matter density to cold exotic matter density

Ratio of hot exotic matter density to cold exotic matter density

Level of quantization of the cosmic spacetime fabric

Flatness of universe's geometry

Average rate of increase in galaxy sizes

Change in average rate of increase in galaxy sizes throughout cosmic history

Constancy of dark energy factors

Epoch for star formation peak

Location of exotic matter relative to ordinary matter

Strength of primordial cosmic magnetic field

Level of primordial magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

Level of charge-parity violation

Number of galaxies in the observable universe

Polarization level of the cosmic background radiation

Date for completion of second reionization event of the universe

Date of subsidence of gamma-ray burst production

Relative density of intermediate mass stars in the early history of the universe

Water's temperature of maximum density

Water's heat of fusion

Water's heat of vaporization

Number density of clumpuscules (dense clouds of cold molecular hydrogen gas) in the universe

Average mass of clumpuscules in the universe

Location of clumpuscules in the universe

Dioxygen's kinetic oxidation rate of organic molecules

Level of paramagnetic behavior in dioxygen

Density of ultra-dwarf galaxies (or supermassive globular clusters) in the middle-aged universe

Degree of space-time warping and twisting by general relativistic factors

Percentage of the initial mass function of the universe made up of intermediate mass stars

Strength of the cosmic primordial magnetic field1


Teleological Argument – Mathematical Impossibility without a Designer

The Teleological Argument reflects one of three possibilities for the existence of this incredible fine-tuning: law, chance or design. Scientists have puzzled over it for years and have found no natural laws that can account for it. The odds against such a theory ever being discovered seem insurmountable. Even Stephen Hawking, who was originally a believer in a “Theory of Everything” that could possibly explain the fine-tuning as necessary by law, after considering Gödel's Theorem concluded that one was not obtainable. He states: “Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory, that can be formulated as a finite number of principles. I used to belong to that camp, but I have changed my mind.”2


Since the threshold of mathematical impossibility is 1 in 10 to the 50th power, and the odds of this fine-tuning coming into existence by chance are far, far beyond that, we can rule out chance. Only a transcendent Creator makes sense of this unbelievably complex order in the universe.


During the last 35 years or so, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life absolutely depends upon this very delicate and complex balance of initial conditions. It appears that “the deck was stacked” in the substances, constants and quantities of the Big Bang itself, to provide a life-permitting universe. We now know through modern science that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than any life-permitting universe like ours. How much more probable?


Well, the answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimally small as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe's expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball due to gravitational attraction.3 Physicist P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by at least a thousand billion billion zeroes!4 Davies also calculates that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by merely one part in 10 raised to the 100th power (!) would have prevented a life-permitting universe.5 As we saw in the previous lists, there are dozens and dozens of such constants and quantities present in the Big Bang which must be exquisitely fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. Moreover, it's not only each individual quantity or constant which must be finely tuned; their ratios to each other must also be exquisitely finely tuned. Therefore, vast improbability is multiplied by vast improbability, and yet again by vast improbability repeatedly until our minds are simply reeling in vanishingly small odds.


There is no plausible physical reason why these constants and quantities should have the values that they do. Reflecting on this, the once-agnostic physicist P.C.W. Davies comments, "Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact."6 Likewise, British Astrophysicist Sir Frederick Hoyle remarks, "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics."7 Robert Jastrow, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, refers to this as “the most powerful evidence for the existence of God ever to come out of science.”8


Teleological Argument – What’s More Reasonable, Design or Chance?

In the final analysis, it seems the Teleological Argument has strong scientific, philosophical, and theological legs. The view that Christian theists have historically held, that there is an intelligent Designer of the universe, seems to make so much more sense than the atheistic alternative: The universe, when it popped into being, without cause, out of nothing, just happened to be, by chance, fine-tuned for intelligent life with a mind-numbingly unlikely precision and delicacy. To call the odds against this fine-tuning occurring by chance “astronomical” would be a wild understatement.


Moral Argument

http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/moral-argument.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU for


Moral Argument – Overview

The moral argument for the existence of God refers to the claim that God is needed to provide a coherent ontological foundation for the existence of objective moral values and duties. The argument can be summarised in the following syllogism:


Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.

Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.


Since this is a logically valid syllogism, the atheist, in order to maintain his non-belief in God, must reject at least one of the two Premises. By “objective” morality we mean a system of ethics which universally pertains irrespective of the opinions or tastes of human persons: for example, the holocaust was morally wrong irrespective of what Hitler and the Nazis believed about it, and it would have remained morally wrong even if the Nazis had won World War II and compelled everyone into compliance with their values. This view, known in philosophy as “moral realism,” contrasts with “moral relativism” which maintains that no-one is objectively correct or incorrect with respect to their moral values and judgements.


Most people want to uphold premise 2 of the moral argument. After all, if there are no objective ethics, then who is to say that Hitler was objectively morally wrong? Humans have an intuitive sense of right and wrong. The moral argument requires only that at least some actions are objectively right or wrong (e.g. torturing children for pleasure is objectively morally wrong). Premise 1 relates to the perfect standard against which everything else is measured. God, being the only morally perfect being, is the standard against which all other things are judged. Moreover, in the absence of theism, nobody has been able to conceive of a defensible grounding for moral values.


Moral Argument – An Important Distinction

It is important to bear in mind that the moral argument pertains to the ultimate source of objective moral values and duties (moral ontology) and not how we know what is moral or immoral (moral epistemology) and not 'what we mean' by good/bad or right/wrong (moral semantics). The theistic ethicist maintains that moral values are grounded in the character and nature of God.


Those who are divine command theorists maintain that moral duties are based on what God commands. Philosopher William Lane Craig1 puts it this way:


“Duty arises in response to an imperative from a competent authority. For example, if some random person were to tell me to pull my car over, I would have absolutely no legal obligation to do so. But if a policeman were to issue such a command, I’d have a legal obligation to obey. The difference in the two cases lies in the persons who issued the commands: one is qualified to do so, while the other is not.”


Moral Argument – Euthyphro’s Dilemma

Plato, in his dialogue Euthyphro, presents a fictional dialogue between his philosophical mentor, Socrates, and a character by the name of Euthyphro. Euthyphro explains to Socrates that he has come to lay manslaughter charges against his father, because of his involvement in the death of a worker. This worker himself had killed a slave who had belonged to the family estate. This worker was found dead, gagged, and bound in a ditch. This gives rise to a lengthy dialogue between Euthyphro and Socrates, which eventually leads to the famous “Euthyphro’s Dilemma.” Socrates says, “But I will amend the definition so far as to say that what all the gods hate is impious, and what they love pious or holy; and what some of them love and others hate is both or neither. Shall this be our definition of piety and impiety?” Euthyphro goes on to say “Yes, I should say that what all the gods love is pious and holy, and the opposite which they all hate, impious.” Socrates subsequently inquires of him, “The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.”


The question is posed this way: Is x the right thing to do because God commands it, or does God command it because it is already the right thing to do? I take the former option. Normally, the problem with accepting the horn is that there is a presumption that the commands in question from God are arbitrary (i.e. God could have commanded that we ought to lie). But that's just false. The theist wants to say that God is essentially loving, honest etc., and therefore, in all worlds at which God exists, his commands are going to be consistent with his nature. And therefore, in all worlds, he will disapprove of lying.


Moral Argument – The Shortcomings of Utilitarianism

There are various nontheistic systems of ethics, none of which succeed in providing a robust ontological foundation or objective moral values and duties. One of these systems, popularised recently by Sam Harris in his book The Moral Landscape, is called utilitarianism, and (in its most common formulation) refers to the view that ethics are determined by what constitutes the greatest happiness for the greatest number. One difficulty lies in the fact that it attempts to balance two different scales employed to assess the moral virtue of an action (i.e. the amount of utility produced and the number of people affected). This can often lead to conflicting answers—in some cases an activity might be considered better for a greater number of individuals whereas a different activity might create a greater overall utility. Utilitarians try to maximize with their actions the utility of the long-term consequences of those actions. However, short of possession of omniscience, it is impossible to evaluate the respective long-term results of different activities. Utilitarianism also does not take into account the individual’s intent—Activity X could be done sincerely by an individual who believes that what he is doing will create the maximum utility. But if activity X turns out in the long-term not to produce the desired utility, then his action, under the philosophy of utilitarianism, would be considered less moral than an activity that created more utility.


Moral Argument – Conclusion

In conclusion, the moral argument is a robust argument for the existence of God. It is important to distinguish between moral ontology and epistemology when engaging in this debate since these categories are frequently conflated by atheist critics. Humans, being shaped in the image of God, have an intuitive sense of right and wrong. It is not at all clear how the atheist, except at the expense of moral realism, can maintain an objective standard of ethics without such a being as God as his ontological foundation.


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