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Hypothetical Conversation on the Who Made God Question

Think Christianly: Hypothetical Conversation on the Who Made God Question

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hypothetical Conversation on the Who Made God Question

In light of a recent comment on the previous blog, I thought this conversation would be helpful for everyone so I included it as a new post...

(HT - from www.whyfaith.com)

After my recent post re Peter Kreeft’s thoughts on “Who made God?” I’ve seen that same question come up in several places during my random web wanderings. As I was thinking about this question today in the shower (where all great philosophical thought occurs) I imagined a conversation like the following … hopefully this isn’t too contrived and doesn’t caricature the two imagined persons involved too much:

Christian: The cosmological argument is strong evidence that God exists. If the universe was made, it needs a maker; if it was created, it needs a creator. That creator is God.

Skeptic: Ah, but this merely raises the question “Who made God?” which Richard Dawkins himself asks in The God Delusion.* It just pushes the question back one step further.

Christian: This seems to me to be a category error; it confuses the uncreated creator with His created creation. God doesn’t need a maker because God was never made; He was and is eternally existing.

Skeptic: That’s special pleading at best, hypocritical at worst. Why is it okay for God to be “eternal, uncreated” but not the universe?

Christian: Because we have good reasons, both philosophical and scientific, that the universe is not eternal, whereas no such reasons exist to believe that God is so. God is not subject to the same limitations of the material world He created. The cosmological argument proposes not that everything requires a cause, but whatever begins to exist requires a cause; if God did not begin to exist (since there is no reason to believe He did, unlike the universe) He requires no cause.

Skeptic: Even if we agree that the universe is not eternal, why must its cause be God? Why not some other explanation?

Christian: Whatever created both time and space must transcend both time and space. Also, there are numerous other attributes which can be discerned about whatever created the universe that imply a personal entity (that is, it possesses volition among other things). So the creator of the universe is an entity which is beyond time and space yet still possesses certain attributes and is personal. This sounds to me a lot like God.

* In The God Delusion Dawkins is attempting to apply the question as a defeater to the design argument (p.109), not the cosmological argument (which Dawkins shockingly dismisses in less than a page). I’ve personally heard it applied more often to the cosmological argument, at least in the realm of Internet banter. (end of section from whyfaith.com)

Also, evolution and natural selection do not help the atheist / materialist here because they must act on something...they have nothing to say--no explanatory power or scope--about the origin of time, space, matter, and energy. The universe is not eternal...it had a beginning. So what is the best explanation of that beginning. Something popping into existence out of nothing??--the atheist position (and no, the hypothetical multi-verse doesn't help here...it just backs the question up a step).

Moreover, as philosopher Paul Copan has put it, "the state prior to the big bang was literally nothing [i.e., not empty space and air]--which implies not even the potential for something--and nothing can begin to exist without a cause. To claim that something can come from literally nothing is metaphysical nonsense."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Frank Dracman said...

God doesn’t need a maker because God was never made; He was and is eternally existing. Says who?

The legitimacy of this statement is based on the assumption that both parties agree on the existence of a deity.

You may as well state that the bible is the inerrant word of God because it says so in the bible.

A fundamentalist will nod his head in agreement at the logic but a clear thinker can certainly identify the circular fallacy.

April 20, 2009 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Morrow said...

Hello frank, actually the Bible and who made God question aren't analogous.

(I agree that some Christians fall into this when trying to use the Bible to prove the Bible - But I think there are better ways to have that conversation)

Regarding the origin of the universe, it is a category mistake to say that God must have a creator...(dawkins falls into this)...as if we are presenting a super human intelligence...

We seem to have two choices regarding origin of the universe.

An eternal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial Mind would neccesarily not be contingent. God is self-existing (if he exists). That is the burden of the Ontological argument for God's existence (the God delusion did not engage any conteporary defenders of this argument like Alvin Plantinga or William Lane Craig). So this isn't special pleading...we just need a being not contingent, personal, not made of matter and energy, not subject to time,...if one exists that would be God.

or an eternal universe (which there is no good philosophical or scientific evidence of).

So it doesn't depend on you agreeing there is a God.

Unless you are are arguing that the idea of God is logically incoherent (which no philosopher to my knowledge has been successful at), that is just what God would be like if one existed. So that is not circular or a trick...just which one has more explanatory power and scope.

April 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

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