I shall always be convinced that a watch proves a watchmaker, and that a universe proves a God. – Voltaire
Here we have the saying of an great influential thinker, who was by no means a Christian. Multitudes of great minds have believed and do believe in God’s existence, but today some would have us think that belief in God is illogical, foolish and incompatible with observable facts.
Obviously the question is important. If there is a God to whom I owe allegiance, honor and respect, I would be a fool to ignore Him. If such a God does not exist, this will affect everything also – even more so if the Christian Bible correctly describes God. It is worth taking some time to consider the question.
I don’t believe that anyone can give a mathematical proof of the existence of God. But we can show that God’s existence is far more likely to be a reality than his non-existence. Unless the atheist can show that a Supreme Being is a logical impossibility and prove all their premises, the case for atheism remains very weak. Atheists claim we can know that God does not exist.
What follows now are several arguments for the existence of God which I believe are very strong.
The Cosmological Argument
Where does the Universe come from? Atheists have generally claimed that it always existed. But this would mean that an infinite number of events have already taken place until now. In mathematics, however, infinite numbers lead to a contradiction. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? No infinite number can therefore exist in reality. Hence the Universe cannot be infinitely old.
The best astronomical evidence we have today indicates the age of the Universe to be around 15 billion years, give or take a few billion. This is pretty embarrassing for atheists, since it means that the Physical Universe has not always existed. So how did the Universe come into being? Did it all just pop into existence out of nothing for no reason whatsoever? Is that plausible? Would you believe me, for example, if I told you that my computer just appeared out of nothing? The most plausible solution is that an all-powerful entity that has existence also outside of space and time was the First Cause for our Universe. This First Cause is what we refer to as God.
But Who Made God?
Some argue that the cosmological argument proves nothing, for if the existence of complexity and order in the Universe proves the existence of God, then the existence of God proves that there must have been someone even greater who made God. Not necessarily, because God’s existence is not rooted firstly in the material universe. He existed outside of it in another realm before the Physical Universe existed. The laws of that realm we have no knowledge about and we cannot impose the rules of our natural realm on that other realm. Christians, as well as practitioners of many other religions, believe in the existence of a real spiritual world which may interact with the natural world. We believe this on the basis of personal experience, as well as faith. Since our physical universe is not eternal, there must be something else beyond it that is.
Actually, something had to exist for all eternity. Theists believe that God always existed. Materialists would like to believe that the physical universe always existed. Materialists argue that the “hypothesis of God” is unnecessary – you may as well just believe that the Universe always existed. But this idea, as we have seen, has both logical and scientific problems.
The Teleological Argument – the Argument from Design
The idea here is that the existence of the Universe, in all its complexity and order, could not exist unless there was someone so great that was able to design and create it. We cannot put down to chance all the amazing things that we find in the Universe. There is too much order there, at every level. And not just order, but complexity. An ice cube is very ordered, but not complex. The genetic code is so vast and complex that only now are our best scientists getting to the point where they can accurately describe it, let alone create it from scratch. Yet atheistic philosophers are asking us to believe that all this came about as a result of pure chance, and that it has no meaning, unless we arbitrarily assign one to it. Why should we believe them?
Life of any kind is only possible in a physical universe which has physical constants such as ours. If any of physical constants like the speed of light, the mass of an electron, the gravitational and nuclear force constants were even slightly tampered with, we could not have molecules which form the basis of physical life. If the earth was a little closer to the Sun, or a little further away, life could not exist here.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that a closed physical system tends towards increasing disorder. If there is nothing outside the Universe to provide a source of energy to it, (such as a Creator), and if the Universe is infinitely old, then one would expect the entropy of the Universe to be infinite. But this is clearly not so. Information theory tells us that random noise won’t give us any more useful information. Could the genetic code have come into existence through random activity then, without any guidance from a Creator?
No one has come up with models to show how the irreducibly complex systems in biology could have been constructed one step at a time by means of random genetic mutations. Its like a mousetrap. If you remove just one component of the mousetrap, it can’t catch mice, and has no functional or survival value. So if a mousetrap “evolved”, how did it get to the step just before having a useful function?
Too many things in the Universe are “just right” for the existence of life. Has Someone tampered with the physical constants of the Universe, as Paul Davies suggests in one of his books, or is it just an accident that had to happen?
The theory of evolution, is in fact, a philosophy, an a priori commitment to naturalist philosophy. For proponents of evolution, the fact that all its most critical mechanisms are still unknown is not a problem. They simply must exist, because the only alternative would be believe in some sort of Creator which even Science itself must then depend on for its existence. To speak against evolution is tantamount to blasphemy in today’s temples of naturalistic philosophy.
I find it more reasonable to believe that Order, Purpose and Design have always existed in the mind of God, rather than to believe that they never existed, or that they came out of nothing.
Further Considerations that Demonstrate the Likelihood of God’s Existence
The Existence of Abstract Entities
Abstract entities include things like the number “2” – it includes the whole world of ideas. We haven’t thought of every idea yet, but that doesn’t mean that those ideas don’t exist. They do, and many of them are waiting to be discovered. But if abstract entities – ideas, numbers and so on, do exist, how did they come into existence? Their existence points strongly to the existence of a Pre-Existent Mind which gave birth to the whole world of ideas.
The Existence of Morality
Most people believe that there is such a thing as “right” and “wrong”. For example, some people believe it is morally wrong to impose your point of view on someone else. Most people believe it is wrong to kill people because you don’t like the color of their skin. Is this sense of “right and wrong” that people have a product of education, or a mechanism of survival, or does there really exist “right” and “wrong”? Is there anything wrong with rape, murder, child abuse? If so, why? Where do these objective moral laws come from, if not from God? How can there be a moral law without a moral lawgiver? If men are the lawgivers, then which men are the ones to decide what is right? On what basis can the rightness or wrongness of an action be determined?
Materialists would like to believe that the whole activity of the Universe can be described by certain mechanistic laws. If these laws really do describe and predict everything that happens and will happen – then obviously freedom of choice is an illusion – because everything happening in our brain is simply the result of mechanistic cause and effect processes. If this is true then nothing is right and nothing is wrong. Those things are just arbitrary categories. Even our talking about such things is just an outcome of the laws of physics.
There are millions of people that claim amazing answers to prayer. Philosophers such as Hume have told us that we are not allowed to believe such reports, but not everyone has been obedient to Hume. I’ve had lots of answered prayer. Divine healing takes place. Lots of things. I’ve got stacks of testimonies from people with similar experiences on my website.
If God does not exist, how come prayer seems to make such a difference? The existence of answered prayer seems to give the lie to atheistic views of the way things are.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead
No one has come up with a really good natural explanation for the events surrounding the alleged resurrection of Jesus Nazareth from the dead. Roman history bears witness to the fact that he was crucified, and that the early Christians proclaimed He was risen. The grave was close to Jerusalem for all to see, but it was empty. The romans guarding the tomb claimed the body of Jesus was stolen by the disciples. But if so, why did the disciples go on to die for their faith? And if the roman guards saw the disciples do it, why didn’t they stop them?
Jesus made the extraordinary claim of divinity and predicted his own death and resurrection. Unless skeptics can up with a reasonable explanation for the facts, the evidence points us to the conclusion that Jesus was who He said He was. Unless atheists can show why this is logically impossible, we have yet another powerful reason to not only believe in the existence of God, but also to seek God through Jesus Christ.
You can read more about the evidence for the resurrection here.
Millions of people talk about their personal experiences with God. By what higher principle can we immediately reject all these testimonies, if not by the principle of having a closed mind, the principle that everything that contradicts our assumptions about the way things just simply must be wrong. Have a look at some of these testimonies here.
If materialism – the idea that everything is nothing but combinations of time, matter, chance and energy – is true, then your decisions are just products of the laws of physics. There is then nothing really significant about you – your struggles, hopes, dreams, achievements. It is all ultimately meaningless. Can you live believing that?
Who or What are We? The Problem of Being a Consistent Atheist/Materialist
About every seven years every cell in our body is replaced. None of the material that composed our physical body 7 years ago is in the same form today, and we are constantly changing. Is our identity based only on physical matter, or is there something more?
A big question is this: what is behind the existence of our personalities, and our consciousness? If the answer is: ‘Nothing but time, chance, matter and energy’ then our personalities, our feelings, our thoughts and desires have no real ultimate value. They are nothing more than an accident. If someone hurts you, and you are a materialist, you should just accept that this was just an outcome of the laws of physics, and could not have happened any other way. Justice, ethics, love and meaning are all arbitrary concepts – rooted only in superstitious religious ideas or interesting patterns in the neural networks which form our brains. Everything is just a meaningless collection of molecules bumping around. We make what we want out of it (except that concepts like ‘we’ and ‘want’ are very hard to define in materialist, physicalist terms).
Theists (those who believe in God) believe that our personality and consciousness is derived from God’s. We can think, feel, and choose because our Creator designed us with those capacities. This means that people have value, and must be treated with respect.
The Social Consequences of Evolutionary Doctrine
Evolution implies that everything is building itself up out of nothing into increasingly complex forms. Ruthlessness, cruelty, vicious competition – all these things are unavoidable and part of the necessary struggle towards a higher, more advanced state. Darwin justified and promoted racism in his book “The Origin of Species”. He believed that white people were more evolved than those with colored skin.
It is no accident that both Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx made much of evolution in their social theories. For Hitler, it was the reason that Jews had to be exterminated – so the human race could continue its upward evolutionary path without being contaminated by so-called “unclean elements”. For Marx, it was part of the justification for an economic and political system which made all men into slaves of the state, for their own good. So much so that Marx dedicated his work “Das Kapital” to Charles Darwin, to whom he felt he owed an enormous debt. When man believes he is an animal, he starts to behave worse than an animal. Any kind of cruelty and oppressive political system can be justified by an appeal to the ‘survival of the fittest’.
The present slaughter of unborn babies through abortion can only be justified by appealing to the idea that “we” have the right to decide who or what lives and who or what dies. This can only be true if there is no God who demands that we respect human life. The unborn baby is not a part of its mother. It has a different genetic code and different identity. The end can never justify the means in a world which belongs to a holy, righteous God.
Many atheists ignore evidence that doesn’t fit into their world view. Science only deals in physical reality describable by mathematical laws and statistics. If then a secular humanist assumes that science can give all the answers, he is also assuming that God and spiritual things do not exist. It is only an assumption though. No proof has been offered. Contradictory evidence is then dismissed because he thinks he already knows the answer. Its called a closed mind. The lack of evidence or even plausible models for biological evolutionary theory is no problem also, because the assumptions imply that real evidence for the viewpoint has to be discovered sooner or later. We are still waiting to see that hard evidence.
Dramatic Answers to Prayer Adequately Prove that God Exists
It has been argued that in a world made up of random, chance occurrences, we are likely to remember the unusual coincidences and make something of them. The normal, everyday occurences tend to be forgotten and pass unnoticed, while we tend to feel that the unusual co-incidences point to the existence of supernatural factors.
In this way, many atheists and agnostics wish to deny the evidence of answered prayer.
I have personally witnessed miracles of healing taking place under my nose as I have prayed with faith in Jesus’ name! In India, a deaf mute girl was healed on the last night of some meetings I did. On the second last night I prayed for the same girl without result. So on the last night both I and the people knew it was a miracle. Many of my friends have also witnessed these kinds of phenomenon. We could add to this the thousands of “co-incidences” that happen when we pray fervently that just don’t seem to happen otherwise.
The fact that unusual things also take place through non-Christian religionists in no way invalidates the argument. Rather, it is further evidence that the physicalist-materialist world view is faulty, because it refuses to even consider the possibility of the existence of spirit as a real ontological category (i.e. something that actually exists).
God has provided in a special way for his people, who trust Him and pray to Him. Just as sheep have been protected by God down through the years before men were here to protect them from wolves and other predators, so God has been protecting His people and His Word the Bible from the vicious persecutions and attacks which have always existed against them in the history of the world. This demonstrates the principle, not of ‘survival of the fittest’, but of ‘survival of those who put their trust in God’.
Much more could be said in defense of the idea of God’s existence. I leave you to search the internet further on this subject – or write to me if you so desire. These questions are of the utmost importance and one day you will face the reality of these issues, whether you want to or not.
I heartily recommend reading the debates between Dr William Lane Craig and noted atheists on this and related subjects. You can find them on youtube. I think Bill Craig argues better than I can, and I am indebted to him for some of the ideas contained in this page.
Also recommended for the technically inclined is the website of Dr. Hugh Ross – Reasons to Believe. I also highly recommend the writings of Dr William Dembski, a qualified mathematician and one of the key players in the Intelligent Design movement. Dembski and his friends have rattled the Church of Materialistic Science with their studies on tests for the kinds of information systems which strongly suggest the presence of an originating intelligence.