Recently, I uploaded a video on my youtube channel which goes over three powerful arguments for God’s existence, here’s the transcript and I hope you enjoy. If you want to check the video out, please click here.
Growing up in a rather secular society, we are often told that science disproves God or that faith and reason are incompatible. But is this really true? Today, I’ll be presenting 3 simple arguments for the existence of God showing why you can be logically satisfied with your theistic worldview. Before we get into the video, I will like to remind you to like, subscribe and hit the bell notification, it is completely free and you can always change your mind.
So before we get into these arguments, I would like to make a quick disclaimer. These arguments should not be seen as the “only” three arguments for God’s existence or the strongest arguments for God’s existence. I just find these three to be the most persuasive and the ones which are the most easy to understand. Furthermore, I want to make it clear that these are only simple defences of the premises and there is a lot of literature out there about each of these arguments, so if you want more information, make sure you do some more research.
So let’s start with Argument 1, the Kalam Cosmological Argument. While this argument finds its roots in Islamic Philosophy, discussed by philosophers Al-Ghazali and al-Kindi. The argument’s most recognisable contemporary defender is the philosopher Dr William Lane Craig.
As laid out in his book “the Kalam Cosmological Argument”, the core syllogism can be summarised as follows.
Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence.
Since this argument is laid out in a deductive modus ponens, the conclusion must follow from the premises.
Premise 1 of the argument is supported by an important principle called the principle of temporal causation. This is the idea that everything or every state of affair which begins to exist owes its existence to another cause. This is one of the most fundamental principles in our understanding of the world and is supported by powerful empirical evidence.
A few examples:
If we see a news report of a murder, we know that someone must have caused it.
If you hear of a robbery, we know that there must have been a robber which is behind the disappearance of the stolen goods.
If we see water boiling, we know that there is a cause for the H2O molecules breaking down.
In any of the three cases, we can see that it would be unreasonable to suggest that those who were murdered did not have a cause for their murder, those who were robbed never had a cause for their robbery and the water which is boiling in the stove is boiling ex nihilo without a cause. In the same way, it would be unreasonable to deny the principle of temporal causation.
So how does this apply to the first premise of the Kalam (everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence)? Since we know that temporal causation is a real phenomenon, it follows that this premise is well supported.
That said, I would like to emphasise what this argument means when it says “everything that begins to exist”. Since we are currently discussing temporal causation, it follows that only objects which are past finite have causes. Those which are past eternal cannot have an event which existed prior to their existence, hence do not require a further cause. Please note that this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require an explanation, it just means that there does not need to be a further cause. (yet this is for a completely different video)
So let us turn to premise 2 of the argument, this is the idea that the universe began to exist. This is supported by contemporary cosmology and also by philosophical argumentation. To keep this brief, I will only use two scientific examples which would demonstrate the truth of this premise.
In science, we currently believe in a phenomenon called the Big Bang. This is the idea that around 13.7 billion years ago the universe came into existence, relatively prior to this point in time, the universe did not exist. So why do we believe in this model? Well the reason is twofold.
Firstly, we observe something called CMBR, this is the idea that we have low level microwave radiation throughout the universe. Scientists postulate that this microwave radiation is residual energy left over from the Big Bang and suggests that there was a previous high energy state.
Secondly, there exists a scientific law named the second law of thermodynamics, this essentially says that the entropy of a closed system is always increasing and never decreases. When a system reaches a state of maximum entropy, the universe reaches a thermodynamic equilibrium. This makes it impossible for any energy to be transferred, making it impossible for any action to be carried out. This means that the universe must have had a beginning, otherwise, we would currently be in this stage of heat death.
So it appears that the second premise of the kalam also is in concord with scientific evidence.
From which it follows, logically, that there exists a transcendent, eternal/ timeless, immensely powerful cause of the universe. While this is not exactly the God of Christianity, it does get you most of the way there.
The second argument that I would like to raise is an argument from morals. The argument goes as follows.
Premise 1: If atheism is true, objective morals do not exist.
Premise 2: objective morals do exist
Conclusion: atheism is false.
Like the previous argument, this is formatted in a deductive modus tollens way. If the premises are true, the conclusion logically follows.
When we turn to premise one of the argument, I feel that it is non-controversial. Despite the efforts of Sam Harris and his works on the Moral Landscape and other philosophers who have tried to provide atheistic groundings for objective morality, I find all of these concepts lackluster and insufficient.
While I would not go in depth with a criticism of Sam’s work, I would raise a few pointers and demonstrate why his view is wrong.
In his book the Moral Landscape, he suggests that human flourishing and well-being is the goal of mankind and anything which promotes such a goal would be objectively good. Of course, this is a reduction of his 300+ page book, but I feel that it is, nevertheless, an accurate one.
Even without turning to the practicality of such a worldview, we can already spot a few flaws in Harris’ reasoning. Why should human flourishing be good? Why not human suffering? What makes one objectively better than the other? Why not the flourishing of animals? Or the flourishing of nature? Humans do a lot of harm to the environment to benefit our own flourishing, what makes our flourishing objectively better than the flourishing of these other factors?
If we are just random stardust floating around as a result of the Big Bang? What makes some acts objectively better than others? Even the atheist Richard Dawkins admits that morality doesn’t exist. In his own words, “the universe we observe has… no evil no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
So it does appear that premise 1 of this argument is sound, if there is no God, then there is no objective morality. So we must turn to our second premise: does objective morality exist? Well this is the part of the argument where I feel that the atheist can just say, objective morality does not exist, and hence defeating this argument. And in some ways I am fine with that, because denying objective morals comes with a very high price tag.
This is the idea that the acceptance, or a rejection of a belief is so difficult and comes at a really high cost, making it very hard to live according to such a standard/ proposition.
When we turn to denying objective moral standards, it makes things like discrimination, rape, murder, all these horrible acts, morally subjective. In other words, one cannot really object to a bigot, rapist or a murderer on objective grounds. The opposition can just say, well I don’t think so.
Furthermore, a lot of atheists love to use moral arguments against the Bible. To demonstrate this, let me raise a few clips of atheist Hermat Mehta where he objects to Genesis on moral grounds.
As you can see, these criticisms of slavery and inequality in the Bible betrays a belief in objective morality. If objective morality didn’t exist, how can someone make any substantial moral criticism, the proponent of the immoral act can just say, well that’s your subjective opinion, case closed.
so it appears to me that premise two of the argument appears to be true. A lot of atheists believe in the objectivity of moral values and denying them does lead to extreme consequences. Since both of the premises are reasonably defended, the conclusion logically follows that atheism is false. That said, one can get out of this argument by denying the objectivity of morals, but they just have to recognise the implications of such a suggestion.
This brings us to the final argument that I would like to raise. This is an argument from meaning and purpose. While it is similar to another argument, namely the argument from desire, this one has slight variations. But before we get into it, let me explain why I chose this instead of another more well known argument.
While there are many other arguments which are perhaps more powerful than this one, this argument’s strength is found in its simplicity and profundity. Don’t ask me why I chose these two pictures, I just felt like it.
Now you might be thinking, don’t profoundness and simplicity contradict each other? Well, not if you look deeper about its applications to this argument. It is simple in its intuitive nature and profound in the sense that it comes with a deeper meaning, one which goes beyond just matter and motion. (not to say it isn’t scientific, but you sometimes do get that feeling when you listen to a beautiful piece of music which seems to bring you beyond the material world, into something special, something transcendent, whatever, I’m going on a tangent).
So how is this argument laid out?
Premise 1: We all experience meaning, value and purpose.
Premise 2: An atheistic worldview does not account for meaning, value or purpose. Premise 3: A theistic worldview provides the best explanation for our experience of meaning, value and purpose.
Conclusion: Theistic worldview is most likely true.
This argument is a form of abductive reasoning, this is the idea that one is arguing to the best explanation instead of a logically necessary conclusion, a feature of deductive arguments. This means that it is possible for one to just accept the premises and disagree with the conclusion. That said, I find this highly improbable as it appears that if these premises are true, atheism, at the very least is wrong. (however, we are going off too much on a tangent so let us get into the premises)
Turning to premise 1, we must ask ourselves whether meaning, value and purpose exists, or at the very least, do we experience that we have meaning, value and purpose?
I think we all experience meaning, value and purpose. Building upon our last argument, the reason why we treat people with respect, care for one another and love each other is due to a sense of meaning and value about those around us.
When we hear about slavey or forced labour or abuse, we feel shocked and disgusted. We feel that someone’s value, someone’s worth has been abused and violated.
when we hear that someone is going through a really tough time and may be contemplating suicide, you try to convince them of hope, meaning and purpose, to find that drive in their life to carry on, that light at the end of the tunnel.
From each of these experiences, reflecting on our own lives, it is clear that we all believe in some form of meaning, some form of purpose, some sort of intrinsic value found within each of us. There is this aspect about human nature which means something, an essence which goes beyond mere matter and motion. This suggests that Premise 1 of the argument is correct.
So what about premise 2? An atheistic worldview does not account for meaning, value or purpose.
I feel that this premise is similar to the argument raised in premise 1 of my moral argument. To illustrate this, let us return to Dawkins’ quote on “pitiless indifference”. As you can see from his approach, he is very nihilistic and pessimistic in regards to meaning, value and purpose in life. He rightfully says that the universe, on atheism, has no meaning and no value, everything is indifferent, everything is meaningless.
To illustrate this even further, let us return to our understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. If the universe is all that there is and matter and motion are the only things which exist, one day in the future, everything would ultimately reach maximum entropy, everything would reach a state of heat death, a universe where nothing can be done, a dull and pointless universe.
Finally, we are just residual stardust from the big bang. Apart from having different molecules and compositions from the chair you are sitting on, or the laptop that you are watching this video with, the same universe which led to a tree also led to you, the same universe which formed the mere insect also formed you, the same universe which formed the rock on the ground also formed you. On atheism, that is what humanity is. We are just stardust who luckily became humans instead of rocks, that is fundamentally what we are. It is hard to see how anyone can find purpose in such a worldview.
Of course, one can turn to the existentialist movement, this is the idea that man can create their own meanings. However, there is a fundamental problem with this idea. Not only is it difficult for someone to “synthesise” their own meaning, most people, not all (but most), just return to Judeo-Christian sentiments and say that everyone is equally meaningful and valuable, this form of existentialism fails in grounding any form of objective meaning. Sure, one can create their own meaning, but it doesn’t mean that their meaning is true or that it exists. It makes this meaning this form of brain construct instead of something which is actually real and valuable. (I can go on about this for longer, but I will refrain from doing so lest we stay here forever).
So let us turn to the final premise, this is the idea that religion (especially Christianity) provides the most sufficient explanation for our experience of meaning, purpose and value.
I feel that this premise is quite self explanatory. In the first few chapters of the Bible, we can already see that mankind is created in the image of God.
In the New Testament, we can see that God loved us so much that He sent His one and only son to die for us on the cross. This gives us a great sense of reassurance. No matter how far we have fallen, no matter how sinful we are, God sees that we have purpose and value, so much so that he stepped down from heaven to die for us on the cross.
So we can conclude that a theistic worldview, Christianity in this instance, provides the best explanation for our experience of meaning, value and purpose. From which it follows that a theistic worldview is most likely true.
So here we have it, three powerful and simple arguments for the existence of God. I hope you have enjoyed this video and found it insightful and profound. If you disagree with anything, or like anything in particular, let me know in the comments below, I’ll try to get to you as soon as possible. Have a great week, stay safe and god bless.