I believe in God because the universe needs a creator.
The first reason I have for my own belief in God is that the universe needs a creator.
WARNING: I have a degree in philosophy and some of the concepts I use for my belief in God require the use of some technical terms. Here’s a quick glossary of the terms I will be using:
- contingent: anything that is contingent is something that depends on something else. My own existence is contingent on the existence of my parents. If my parents didn’t exist, neither would I. I am a contingent being.
- necessary: anything that is necessary is something that exists on its own merit. You might think that the fact 2+2=4 is a necessary truth. But it actually only exists as a fact of logic which means it is contingent upon the existence of logic.
- sufficient reason: since the realm of possibility is so much greater than the realm of reality, it’s easy to conclude that in order for anything to exist, there must be sufficient reason for it’s existence. Things by default do not exist therefore, there must always be “sufficient reason” for something to exist.
If something exists, it must be either necessary or contingent.
Philosophers have identified two different categories of existence. Anything that exists must be either contingent or necessary. In other words, whatever exists owes its existence to something else, or it exists on its own merit alone.
There really isn’t anything more to explain, because the two categories just described encompass what is called a tautology. It’s like saying that every whole number must be either odd or even. It covers all the bases. Things that exist either exist on their own (as necessary things) or they exist because of something else (contingent things).
If anything exists, then something necessary must also exist.
This is actually the most debated part of the proof for God’s existence because it seems to jump the gun to many people, but if we break it into smaller bits, it makes perfect sense.
Every contingent thing is preceded by a necessary or contingent thing.
- Assume we have an object Z.
- That object must be either contingent or necessary.
- If it is necessary, then something necessary exists.
- If it is contingent, then it must be contingent on another object we’ll call Y.
- Go back to step 2 with object Y leading to object X and so on.
Now, the only two options left are that this cycle goes on infinitely, or that this cycle eventually ends in a necessary object A.
There can be no infinite chain of contingent things.
If the cycle continues infinitely into the past then either this chain took an infinite amount of time or it took a finite amount of time.
Now, if the chain has taken an infinite amount of time, then we must conclude that the chain of contingencies has always existed and that the chain itself must be necessary.
If, however, the chain has taken a finite period of time, then there was a time before the chain began and the chain itself, therefore, must be a contingent thing owing its existence to something else.
In other words, an infinite chain of contingent things, must either be necessary in itself or owe its existence to a necessary being.
Something does exist
If you don’t believe that, you might as well stop reading right now because you don’t exist either!
Something necessary must exist
I call the necessary being God, and I use the personal pronoun “he” to refer to God. This necessary being exists completely by himself and for himself. He doesn’t owe his existence to anything or anyone else, but his existence is the reason that everything else exists.
God is necessary
Now, depending on your perspective, you may say this God is an impersonal force, an energy, quantum fluctuations, or a divine being as depicted in one of (or all of) the world’s many religions. I personally believe the God who exists is the one revealed in the Bible as Yahweh, Lord of Lords, the I AM.
Whatever you may think, you have to agree that there is something “necessary” that exists.
In my next post, I’ll address why the necessary being must be personal.
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