THEIST: “There is so much complexity in the world, it must have been designed by an Intelligent Designer. The best explanation for our world is an Intelligent Designer.”
ATHEIST: “But then who designed the Designer?”
THEIST: “Nobody.” (Or perhaps: “I don’t know.”)
ATHEIST: “Well then you have explained nothing.”
The above question represents a common conversation between theists and atheists across all ages. We take a stab at it ourselves…
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Can something come from nothing?
- Science: Conservation of Mass/Energy
- In experiments everything must be accounted for
- Philosophy: Principle of Sufficient Reason
- Presupposition for all thinking and knowing
- Cannot prove- have to presume it to be true in order to do so
- In the real world things do not just appear or disappear
- To say the world appeared magically or without reason results in a nonsensical claim.
If God is the cause of our Universe, who/what caused God?
- Everything we experience in life has a cause
- If God were caused there would be an infinite regress
- God is first cause- without a first cause you cannot have a second cause, third cause, …
- God is
- necessary being
- exists by definition
- does not have existence added to his essence
- source and cause of existence of everything else
(Not quite correct to call God the cause of himself- implies prior existence)
Distinction between essence and existence and why they are distinct in us and not in God?
- Whatever a thing has besides its essence is caused either by that essence (from within) or by an exterior agent (from without).
- Essence associated with ‘What is man?’ (answered by a definition)
- Existence associated “Is there a man?” (not answered by a definition)
- If God’s essence is not his existence, then he would have to get it from within or without.
- Not from exterior agent then he wouldn’t be God.
- Not from his essence Would need to exist prior to existence
- Therefore, God’s essence is his existence