A Logical Argument for God's Existence



Lecture notes by CHARLIE H. CAMPBELL
Director of The Always Be Ready Apologetics Ministry
© Copyright 2000–2017


(I heard the premises below in Dr. Norman Geisler's opening argument in a debate many years ago on the existence of God)



Is it reasonable to believe that God exists? I think it is. Allow me to lay out a logical argument for God's existence.

1. Something exists.

Can we agree this first premise is true, that something exists? This seems to be undeniably true. Anyone who would disagree and say, “No. Nothing exists” would have to exist to say that, in which case he would defeat his own statement.

My second premise is this:

2. Nothing does not produce something.

Of course, this statement is true as well. Think about it. It would be absurd to say nothing could create or produce something. Nothing is no thing. No thing does not have the power to do any thing at all, does it?

One of the oldest laws of science is Ex nihilo nihil fit ("Out of nothing, nothing comes"). Even David Hume one of the most zealous skeptics of Christianity ever, agreed to the truth of this second premise. He said, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.” (Feb. 1754).

So, if the first two premises are true, that 1. Something exists and 2. Nothing does not produce something, then a rather astounding conclusion logically follows...

3. Something or someone must have always existed.

Why's that? Why must something have always existed? To have brought the “something” that now exists (in premise 1) into existence. Why? Because premise number two is true (Nothing does not produce something).

Skeptic: “Why does that something or someone have to be eternal? Aren’t you just assuming the eternality of that something that brought something into existence?"

Not at all. Stay with me on this. There is a reason why that something (in premise no. 3) must be eternal. To say that the thing (in premise no. 3) did not always exist would be to say that it was finite. Right?

If that thing (in premise no. 3) was finite, that means it had a beginning. If it had a beginning we are back at the start. How did that thing (premise no. 3) begin? Did nothing create something? No, that’s impossible. Nothing can’t do anything.

Anything that begins to exist must have a cause. If we deny this we are saying that nothing produced something from nothing and by nothing. But this is absurd. So, we are left with the only other option and that is that thing or creative agent in point no. 3 must have always existed.

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4. The universe has not always existed.

Numerous evidences from the field of astronomy now overwhelmingly point to the fact that the universe began to exist a finite time ago in an event when all the physical space, time, matter, and energy
in the universe came into being.

Interestingly, this is in perfect harmony with what the Bible affirmed in the very first verse:

Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Let me share with you just 2 facts of science that deal a fatal deathblow to the theory of an eternal universe. The first blow to this theory that universe is eternal is…

A. THE MOTION OF THE GALAXIES

Prior to the 1920’s, scientists had always assumed that the universe as a whole was static (stationary).

But in 1929 an alarming thing happened. An astronomer named Edwin Hubble discovered that the light from distant galaxies appeared to be redder than it should. The startling conclusion to which Hubble was led was that the light is redder because the universe is growing apart; it is expanding! When the source of incoming light is moving away from an object the light that you see is shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. The light of the galaxies was redder because they are moving away from us. But here is the interesting part: Hubble not only showed that the universe is expanding, but that it is expanding the same in all directions. Scientists have concluded that the galaxies in the universe are not stationary but are expanding further and further away from each other from what appears to be some stationary point.

Imagine that I was to draw a bunch of dots on a balloon that represented galaxies and then blow up the balloon. If you were to suck the air back out, or let’s say rewind the film, go back in time—what would happen? The dots would converge, i.e. get closer to one another. The same is true with our universe. If you go back in time scientists say that the stars would converge into a singular space, where they exploded into being:

This explosion or beginning of the universe is often referred to as "the Big Bang." We call it Genesis 1:1!! It’s incredible that the scientific evidence that helps establish Big Bang theory also helps verify what the Christian theist has always believed, that the universe had a beginning!!

Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning, God created the heavens..."

A second blow to the theory that the universe is eternal comes from the facts behind...

B. THE SECOND LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of the best, most established laws in all of science. In fact, there is no recorded experiment in the history of science that contradicts it. It states that the amount of useable energy in any closed system (which the universe is) is decreasing. In other words, the useable energy in the universe is dying out like the batteries in a flashlight.

Scientists acknowledge that the sun cannot burn forever, and that even our galaxy itself will one day, if left to itself, burn up and die out. So, we reason that if the Second Law of Thermodynamics is true for all closed systems, then it is true for the universe as a whole. The universe according to the atheist is a gigantic closed system, since to them it is all there is and there is nothing outside it. This means that the universe is currently running out of useable energy.

If it is running out of useable energy, then it cannot be eternal, for a finite amount of energy (no matter how large the quantity) could never have brought the universe through an eternity of time.

Imagine stumbling upon a lit flashlight. Curious about how long it has been on, you do a little investigation. Through your investigation, you discover that the batteries are going downhill. They are running out of energy. You turn to a scientist standing nearby and ask him: “How long do you think the flashlight’s been burning?” Now, what if he was to tell you, “It’s always been on. It’s been lit like this and burning like this forever.” Would you believe that? Of course not. There’s a problem with that isn’t there?

Batteries with a finite amount of energy (seen in the fact that they are steadily running out of energy) could never have kept the light burning for an eternal amount of time. It would have run out of batteries trillions of years ago! So it is with the universe. The amount of useable energy is steadily decreasing, thus proving it impossible that it has been burning for all eternity.

So, it is the motion of the galaxies, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and other discoveries like the background radiation echo discovered by Penzias and Wilson, that have led astronomers to conclude that the universe has not always existed.

Now, if these premises are all true:

1. Something exists
2. Nothing does not produce something
3. Something must have always existed
4. The universe has not always existed

...then a conclusion can be validly drawn from these premises.

5. There must be an eternal power beyond the universe that caused the universe to come into existence.

Do you think this is a sound argument thus far? I believe it is! The whole argument could come crashing down, if even just one of the premises could be proven to be false. Causing the argument to crash wouldn’t prove that God doesn’t exist, it would just prove that the argument is not valid.

But let’s take it a bit further.

God Evidence Apologetics

6. Intelligent life exists in the universe.

I take this to be self-evident. This also seems to be undeniable. Anyone who would say, "There is not intelligent life in the universe," would prove there is intelligent life in the universe, at least enough intelligence to piece together those eight words. To understand any of this article (even if you disagree with it) would also prove that this sixth premise is true, for it has taken a great degree of intelligence to understand the hundreds of combinations of syllables I have used.

So this premise is undeniably true as well.

Let’s take the argument further...

7. It takes an intelligent living being to create an intelligent living being.

How could a material, inanimate, unintelligent, unconscious force produce an intelligent, living, breathing being? It takes a living, intelligent being to create a living, intelligent being. Non-life does not produce life. You could leave the barren side of a mountain exposed to wind, rain, the forces of nature, chance and millions of years of time and you would never get a Mount Rushmore, let alone a living, breathing human being with 206 bones, 640 muscles, and hearts that beat over 100,000 times a day.


8. Therefore there must be an intelligent, living, eternal power, beyond the universe, that created the universe.

That intelligent, living, eternal power, beyond the universe who created the universe is God.

SHARING THIS WITH YOUR NON-CHRISTIAN FRIEND...

Now all this may sound too complex, or like too much information to try and share in a conversation with your non-Christian friend. I agree. But let me show you an easy way to implement the kind of argumentation above into a conversation. I simply turn the premises into questions.

Skeptic: "How do you know God exists? I don’t understand how you can believe in something you can’t see."

Christian: "Well, can I ask you a few questions."

Skeptic: "Okay."

Christian: "Can we agree that something exists?" [Premise 1]

Skeptic: "Sure. Yes."

Christian: "Can we agree that nothing does not produce something?" [Premise 2]

Skeptic: "Let me think about that."

Christian: "It's not a trick question. Nothing can’t do anything, right? What is nothing? No thing. No thing can't eat, breathe, think, move, let alone create something. Nothing is nothing."

Skeptic: "That makes sense. I agree with that."

Christian:  "Well, if something exists, and nothing does not produce something, then can we agree that something must have always existed?" [Premise 3]

Skeptic: "Hunh?"

Christian: Something must have always existed to have brought into being the things that exist, for as you just agreed: Nothing cannot produce something.

Skeptic: "Yeah, that sounds right."

Christian: "Now, there are only two options as to what that thing that has always existed might be: The universe or something outside the universe. Well amazingly, scientists have discovered that the universe has not always existed [Premise 4]. The motion of the galaxies, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and the Background Radiation Echo all point to the fact that the universe began to exist. If the universe has not always existed, and something must have always existed, then something or someone outside of the universe must have always existed, I propose to you that that person is an intelligent, living, powerful being, God [conclusion].

Skeptic: "Interesting. No one’s ever explained it to me that way."

For more evidence for God, click here.

Charlie-Campbell

CHARLIE H. CAMPBELL (Twitter: @charlieabready)
Charlie Campbell is the Director of the Always Be Ready Apologetics Ministry and a popular guest speaker at churches and conferences. He is the author of numerous articles, books, and DVDs, including:

•  Scrolls & Stones: Compelling Evidence the Bible Can Be Trusted
•  Evidence for the Existence of God
•  One Minute Answers to Skeptics
•  Archaeological Evidence for the Bible
•  The End Times: Ten Upcoming Events in Bible Prophecy
•  The Case for the Resurrection

•  Teaching and Preaching God's Word

His DVDs and books have been endorsed by Norman Geisler, Charles Colson, Chuck Smith, Ed Hindson, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Jeremy Camp, and many others.

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