The existence of God is one of the most important questions that mankind can ever ask. Whole societies are built on belief in God, and whole societies are built on disbelief as well. For example, take Western Europe. In the 13th century, western civilization underwent a kind of “Big Bang”, with universities and cathedrals sprouting like mushrooms in the Christian-controlled parts of Europe. These beautiful buildings were built to study God and his creation, and to worship God, respectively. On the other hand, we have the fresh memories of the Soviet Union, or CCCP: no universities that taught the truth about God, no public worship, nothing except dialectical materialism. The buildings were poorly constructed and drab, not at all like their contemporary capitalist societies. People from the current communist or socialist countries will tell you that they are in the same circumstances still today. Communism and socialism are, I might add, necessarily atheistic.
Richard Dawkins probably thought that he killed and buried God with his book The God Delusion. However, false philosophies are the most dangerous things invented by the mind of man. A bomb kills a few hundred to a few thousand; bad philosophers can subvert people to eternal doom centuries after their death. One thing Dawkins forgot about was the army of theist philosophers ready to use the weapons of their minds to defend the Judeo-Christian monotheistic concept of God that he attacks.
In my last article on God’s existence, I proved the existence of God based on the events surrounding the purported resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In this article, we will look briefly at one of the main types of arguments against what I have dubbed the “Dawkins Delusion”: the Cosmological Arguments.
One of the claims of modern atheists, and oddly enough, one they share with Lenin, is that the universe comes from an infinite regress; that is, there is an infinite past of causal events. Besides the philosophical absurdities that arise from this theory, there are also absurdities that those familiar with math and physics might find, such as Hilbert’s Hotel. We will return to these mathematical and physical ideas later; for now, let’s examine the cosmological argument of Leibniz and the kalam cosmological argument.
Leibniz's Contingency Argument
We will begin with that of Leibniz. To understand Leibniz’s cosmological argument from contingency, we must first understand the principle of sufficient reason. “[T]he principle of causality does not entail that everything has a cause, [but] the principle of sufficient reason does entail that everything has a sufficient reason.” (1) This means that if the principle of sufficient reason is false (and it isn’t, for it is empirically true), the world would not function as we know it. (2)
Here is Leibniz’s contingency argument, as presented in an animated video from Reasonable Faith:
A) Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its nature, or in an external cause.
B) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
C) The universe exists.
D) The explanation of the universe’s existence is God. (3)
The fact that the universe exists is indisputable by any sincere seeker after truth. And, as we saw already with the principle of sufficient reason, anything has an explanation for its existence. Leibniz adds the two categories of beings: necessary and contingent. Only a necessary being can cause the existence of contingent beings. Leibniz puts God in the category of necessary being, as God caused the contingent universe. It is possible that the universe did not exist. Therefore, it is contingent.
However, can we prove that the universe could not have existed? That is, could we prove that the universe had a hard start? I believe we could, using the kalam cosmological argument.
Kalam Cosmological Argument
The Kalam Cosmological Argument could be expressed as follows:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause. (4)
Anybody should be able to accept the first premise; after all, if there is something where nothing once was, something else caused that something to be there. Again, this is the principle of sufficient reason. For example, say you were wandering through your host’s home at a dinner party, prior to the meal. Every time you pass the dining room, you notice that the table has no food on it. Gradually, as dinnertime approaches, you begin to see food on the table, though you do not see the cook place it there. Nevertheless, you would not assume that the food just randomly appeared on the table! Rather, you would reason that someone prepared it, and maybe someone else brought it to the table. Thus, even though you were not a witness to the process, you would reason that there must be a cause.
It is the same with the universe. Nobody witnessed the creation of the universe, and though our perceptions of the universe changed over time (flat earth to slightly pear-shaped earth, geocentric to heliocentric…), none but the most hardened and unreasonable atheist could say that there was no cause. If we came upon a ball in the middle of the desert, we would naturally wonder how it got there. Increase the ball to the size of the universe, and, according to the principle of sufficient reason, there must still be a cause.
What, then, is the cause for the beginning of the universe? “The physical evidence for the beginning of the universe comes from what is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and rapidly developing fields of science today: astronomy and astrophysics…The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth singularity theorem is now widely accepted within the physics community.” (5) Based on this theorem, we can demonstrate that "past-eternal inflation without a beginning is impossible." (6) The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem proves that the universe began to exist, about 13.7 billion years ago; thus, the second premise of the kalam is true. To cement the case, here are Vilenkin's own words: "With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe." (7) Vilenkin concludes: "There are no models [at this time] that provide a satisfactory model for a universe without a beginning." (8)
Al-Ghazali, the philosopher who first formulated the kalam, provided some philosophical proofs for the hard beginning of the universe. Rather than spelling out the quite lengthy allegory of Hilbert's Hotel, I encourage you to research it for yourself before continuing on to read this article. The summary of the allegory is that it shows the complete absurdity of the idea of the existence of an actual infinite. While Hilbert was not a contemporary of the medieval Ghazali, his allegory helps us comprehend Ghazali's first argument, as presented by Dr. Craig:
A) An actual infinite cannot exist.
B) An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite.
C) Therefore, and infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist. (9)
What is the main point of this syllogism? An idea of an infinite regress is completely foolish and wrong-headed.
Ghazali offers a second argument for the second premise of the kalam: "if you can't count to infinity, how could you count down from infinity?" (10) To put it in logical form, it would read as follows:
A) A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.
B) The temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition.
C) Therefore, the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite. (11)
Thus, the main atheist/naturalist objections to a hard beginning to space, time, and matter are dealt with by Ghazali. Each of Ghazali's arguments in favor of the second premise of the kalam is supported by either philosophical, scientific, or mathematical evidence.
We have studied here two of the most commonly used cosmological arguments for God's existence. Each is backed by empirical evidence; therefore, the atheist must ignore science in order to continue in his disbelief.
I hinted at something in the beginning (when I said that communism and socialism were necessarily atheistic) that I will return to now as a conclusion. What many do not know is that Lenin shared the view that the universe always existed; that is, he believed in an infinite regress. This is an essential part of Marxist dialectical materialism. Thus, as Dr. Craig says, the cosmological arguments, and especially the kalam, "[are] a dagger in the heart of dialectical materialism." (12) It is my heartfelt belief that if communists and socialists could be converted from their atheism, they would turn in their party cards. That is one reason that I am so passionate about defending God's existence.
There were many other physical and mathematical proofs for the cosmological arguments that I could have covered but didn't for lack of space and time. This will definitely be a topic, however, to which I shall return.
God love you!
1. Edward Feser, Five Proofs of the Existence of God, (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2017), 148.
2. Feser, Five Proofs, 148.
3. William Lane Craig, “Leibniz’ Contingency Argument”, YouTube video, from drcraigvideos, at youtube.com.
4. William Lane Craig, “Theistic Arguments and Marxist Dialectical Materialism”, at Reasonable Faith, at reasonablefaith.org.
5. William Lane Craig, “The Scientific Kalam Cosmological Argument”, at Reasonable Faith, at reasonablefaith.org.
6. Vilenkin, quoted in Craig, "The Scientific Kalam", at reasonablefaith.org.
7. Vilenkin, quoted in Craig, "The Scientific Kalam", at reasonablefaith.org.
8. A. Vilenkin, "Did the Universe Have a Beginning?", Cambridge University Lecture, 2012.
9. William Lane Craig, "The Kalam Cosmological Argument", at Reasonable Faith (2015), at reasonablefaith.org.
10. Craig, "The Kalam", at reasonablefaith.org.
11. Craig, "The Kalam", at reasonablefaith.org.
12. Craig, "Theistic Arguments", at reasonablefaith.org.