Thursday, April 18, 2013


This morning I read an article about Stephen Hawking’s latest speech on the origin of the universe. The headline read: Stephen Hawking lays out case for Big Bang without God. Having just explained the ‘First Cause’ argument for the existence of God this past Sunday, I was naturally curious to see what counter-argument he is touting these days.

The article begins by describing the interest in Hawking’s speech. He spoke to a “packed house.” People had waited 12 hours to get their hands on the free tickets. The line to get into the lecture was about a quarter mile long. Another auditorium and an outdoor jumbotron were used to manage the masses. $1,000, apparently, wasn’t enough to take a ticket of someone’s hands. All that to say… people were excited to hear what Stephen Hawking had to say about the origin of the universe. People are interested in the big questions of life. Where did we come from? Why are we here?

After dismissing a number of outdated scientific theories, Hawking’s advocated M-Theory. What is M-Theory, you ask? It is the belief that there are lots of universes. These other universes exist in other dimensions that we don’t have access to. They are sometimes called parallel universes. The article states that, “Hawking sees that theory as the only big idea that really explains what he has observed” (He also feels quite lucky to have landed in one of the universes suitable for life).

So the case for a first cause (The Big Bang) without God is the belief in multiple parallel universes. You may be wondering WHY such a theory is put forward. Let me explain. Hawking admits that the universe appears to be designed (the ‘Design’ argument happens to be the second argument we discussed this past Sunday). Hawking knows it is a worthless endeavor to try to explain this appearance of design as a statistical anomaly. But how else can it be explained? If it is incredibly unlikely that the appearance of design in our universe may be explained by random chance… then why not posit an infinite number of universes? If there’s a near infinite number of universes, a few of them are bound to ‘appear’ designed!

Take a second to think about the move Hawking is making here. To avoid belief in an invisible God, Hawking is willing to believe in the existence of a near infinite amount of universes that he can’t see or observe. Not only does this, to my mind, require far more faith than most any religious system… it also doesn’t happen to explain the origin of the universe (which, I thought, was the whole purpose of the lecture)! Indeed, it multiplies the problem. If you thought it was hard to explain the origin of one universe… try explaining a billion or more!

What would motivate such an intelligent man to come up with such a faithful theory? What is it about G-theory (The God theory) that makes M-Theory so attractive? We find clues to this in the article as well. Early in the lecture, Hawking quipped, “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?” Hawking sounds like a person who has some issues with God from the outset. He’s an angry God. Let me say this… if I felt God was primarily characterized by anger, I’d be looking elsewhere too.

Later in the speech Hawking observed that Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy. He then joked, “I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition.” This reference to church history, once again, shows that Hawking may have less issue with the divine in concept that he does with religion in general. Based on these two quotes, in fact, I would suggest that Hawking’s atheism is motivated more by a distorted view of God and the downfalls of religion than by the scientific facts. He admits the evidence seems to point toward God, but he’d rather appeal to invisible universes than bow to invisible God.

I don’t claim to be nearly as smart as Stephen Hawking when it comes to the inner workings of the universe. I can, however, say this confidently: Belief in M-Theory is motivated more by an anti-God philosophy than it is by actual evidence. Such being the case, one could easily argue that Hawking is just as faithful, if not more so, than your average believer in God.

Friday, April 12, 2013

10 Arguments for the Existence of God

10 Arguments that God exists

#1 The First Cause Argument
Anything that begins to exist has a cause. Most people now agree that the universe at some point in the past began to exist. Therefore, the universe must have had a cause. We can rightfully label that cause the Creator.

#2 The Design Argument
Any careful observer recognizes that the universe displays a high degree of apparent order/design. This could be explained either by chance or by actual intelligence behind the design. But it is so statistically improbable that chance can account for the order/design we observe that intelligence becomes a superior explanation. That intelligent designer can be labeled as God.

#3 The Moral Argument
Throughout history human beings have shared a common sense of right and wrong. The atheistic view cannot adequately explain the source of our shared morality, let alone its existence to begin with. Theism can and does explain it. The source is God.

“The cosmological (first cause) argument shows that God is infinitely powerful; the teleological (design) argument reveals that he is intelligent; the moral argument demonstrates that he is moral.” (Norman Geisler)

“If I find myself with a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, I probably was made for another world.” (C.S. Lewis)

#4 The God-Shaped-Hole Argument
Our sense of need generally corresponds to known realities (hunger exists… so does food). A vast number of people (including many famous atheists) testify that without God they feel they are missing something they desperately need. A God-shaped-hole suggests there is a God.

#5 The Beauty Argument
The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach… A Beautiful sunset… The first breath of a newborn baby… When we recognize utter beauty in this world it points beyond itself to a cosmic artist: God.

#6 The Soul/Spirit Argument
The existence of our personalities...    The many reports of spirits/ghosts and/or out of body experiences. Such facts/reports serve as evidence of the immaterial realm. If such a realm exists, the existence of God becomes likely.

#7 The Miracles Argument
Throughout history, there have been numerous reports of miracles. Even if some miracle reports are false, it is unlikely that they are all illegitimate. Miracles, by definition, point to the existence of a deity.

#8 The Common Consent Argument
Almost all people in every era have believed in some form of deity. It is unlikely that the vast majority of people throughout history have been completely wrong about the existence of a higher power. Therefore, God is likely to exist.

#9 The Experience/Testimony Argument
Many people throughout human history claim to have had an experience with the divine. One could argue that it is highly improbable that all such people have been utterly mistaken. It is far more likely an explanation that a divine being exists and has been experienced.

#10 The Jesus Argument
Jesus Christ claimed to be God. He demonstrated his trustworthiness through his life & teachings and his claims were verified through miracles and his resurrection from the dead. Given these realities, it is far more likely that Jesus was who he claimed to be than any other option (the other options include that Jesus is just a legend… that he was a lunatic… or that he was a liar). If Jesus is who He claimed to be then there is a God: Jesus.

“Of course none of the clues we have been looking for actually proves God. Every one of them is rationally avoidable. However, their cumulative effect is, I think, provocative and potent.” (Timothy Keller)


“Though there cannot be irrefutable proof for the existence of God, many people have found strong clues for his reality—divine fingerprints—in many places.” (Keller)

“The atheist is not able to escape the inexplicability of an impersonal first cause.” (Zacharias)

“Perhaps the most popular and intuitively plausible argument for God’s existence is the so-called argument from design.” (former atheist Antony Flew)

“Virtually no major scientist today claims that the fine tuning was purely a result of chance factors at work in a single universe.” (Flew)

“Though we have been taught that all moral values are relative to individuals and cultures, we can’t live like that. In actual practice we inevitably treat some principles as absolute standards… what gives us the right to do that…? Nothing gives us the right. Yet we can’t stop it.” (Keller)

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Heffner.” (Muggeridge)
“The atheist uses a merely material thing to explain a spiritual thing. That is a far sillier version of the category mistake than the one the ancients made; for it is possible that the greater (Zeus, spirit) caused the lesser (lightning) and explains it; but it is not possible that the lesser (molecules) adequately caused and explains the greater (morality). A good will might create molecules, but how could molecules create a good will?” (Kreeft & Tacelli)

“If you insist on a secular view of the world and yet you continue to pronounce some things right and some things wrong, then I hope you see the deep disharmony between the world your intellect has devised and the real world (and God) that your heart knows exists. This leads to a crucial question. If a premise (there is no God) leads to a conclusion you know isn’t true (napalming babies is culturally relative) then why not change the premise?” (Keller)

“Sartre found atheism ‘cruel,’ Camus ‘dreadful,’ and Nietzsche ‘maddening.’ Atheists who consistently try to live without God tend to commit suicide or go insane. Those who are inconsistent live on the ethical or aesthetic shadow of Christian truth while they deny the reality that made the shadow. But believers and unbelievers evidence a definite need for God.” (Geisler)

“Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man” (Atheist Albert Camus)

“My life now consists in the wish that it [atheism] might be otherwise… and that somebody might make my ‘truth’s appear incredible to me.” (Nietzsche)

“I needed God… I reached out for religion, I long for it, it was the remedy. Had it been denied me, I would have invented it myself.” (Sartre)

“There are many reports of purported miracles, ancient and modern, some of them quite well documented.” (Swinburne)

“In the case of religious experiences, as in the case of all other experiences, the onus is on the skeptic to give reason for not believing what seems to be the case. The only way to defeat the claims of religious experience will be to show that the strong balance of evidence is that there is no God.” (Swinburne)

“Today’s atheist evangelists hardly even try to argue their case… Instead, they train their guns on well-known abuses in the history of the major world religions. But the excesses and atrocities of organized religion have no bearing whatsoever on the existence of God.” (Varghese)