Friday, October 22, 2010

The heavens declare...

This morning just thinking about the vastness of space I was reminded what the psalmist wrote when he said, "The heavens declare the glory of God..." -Psalms 19:1 ASV 

But what might this mean exactly? I mean can't the universe explain its own-self just fine? We don't need to look at the galaxies and posit the glory of God, we can see the glory of naturalism!

Sadly, this is how most people are taught in universities and school campuses around the country. The universe is eternal (even though modern cosmology has resounded that the universe had a beginning a finite time ago), even if its not eternal, the universe could have caused itself to come into being. This statement is mind numbingly absurd. It would raise a few questions that must then be answered by the person claiming this position:

1. Can nothing cause something?
2. What was causally prior to the universe?
3. How could something immaterial (the pre-existing universe) become material (the current universe)?
4. Is the universe itself all-powerful and personal?

There are surely more questions for the naturalist raising these points about the universe’s "ultimate bootstrapping trick"[1] as Daniel Dennett pointed out, but they can wait until we hear them respond to these first.

The hard part about positing the universe as the cause for itself is that you would have to answer the question why anything or everything doesn’t just pop into existence out of nothing. Why for example hasn’t an elephant popped into being right now out of nothing to smash my computer? By the way if this happens, I will be converted immediately!

The truth is this sort of thing has never happened in all of history so why should the universe be any different?

Instead I think it highly probable and logical to posit an external first cause of the universe. Well what should the nature of the first cause look like? I will let the professionals answer this one for us, Dr. Craig take it away:
“This transcendent cause must therefore be changeless and immaterial, ... such a cause must be beginningless and uncaused ... this entity must be unimaginably powerful ... Finally, and most remarkably, such a transcendent cause is plausibly to be taken to be personal.”[2]

As Craig points out the nature of this cause must embody a varying amount of traits all of which we know do not exist when speaking in reference to the known universe, therefore positing the universe as the cause for itself continues to remain an absurdity to those who seriously consider the question on the origins of the universe.

As I stated in the beginning here, “the heavens declare the glory of God” and in the description given by Craig one can certainly see the glory of this first cause loud and clear in the very nature of what most perceive God to be.

[1] Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell (New York: Viking, 2006), 244.
[2] William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2008), 152.

No comments:

Post a Comment