The “Who made God” objection

by Paul Buller

The Cosmological argument, in its various forms, is a common line of evidence that points to the existence of God. The idea is simple; the universe is the kind of thing that needs an explanation and God is the most plausible candidate to explain it. An incredibly common objection to hear is the idea that if the universe needs a cause then so does God! During William Lane Craig’s presentation on March 7 at the University of Calgary he made the claim, as he often has, that the explanation for one effect does not, itself, need an explanation. This claim was greeted, as it usually is, with snide chuckles. It sounds as though it is a diversion, I’ll grant that first impression, but the question is whether or not it truly is a diversion? Is it true that explanations do not need to be explained?

To end or not to end?

The assumption that explanations must have explanations rest on an assumption about explanations that deserves consideration; does the string of explanations have an end or not? To say that all explanations require an explanation assumes

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that there cannot possibly be an end to the string of explanations. Of course, if we were to answer that God was created by Uber-God the Atheists would still not be satisfied, it seems to me, because they would simply turn around and ask what made Uber-God.

But one of the very definitions of God is the “first cause.” Put another way, he is a “necessary being” that cannot have another cause. Put more bluntly, he’s the only guy who can rightly say, “the buck stops here.” Explanations need explanations right up to the point when you reach the very first explanation. That very first explanation, the one without any further explanation behind it, is what we call God.

However, Atheists don’t buy that. They keep asking for explanations. Why? Frankly, because they have already assumed that God does not exist. They refuse to accept a “buck stops here” explanation precisely because that explanation would be God and they refuse to accept the existence of God. When they ask for an explanation for God they are implicitly saying, “since God does not exist, give me an explanation of God.” They are, frankly, begging the question by assuming the very thing that they are trying to prove…

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