Philosophical Evidence that God Created the Universe
by David Black
Today, there is no serious debate about whether the universe is eternal or whether it had a beginning. This was not always the case. For centuries the Jews, Christians, and Muslims have held that God created the universe. The first verse of the Bible says “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). However, others held that the universe was eternal. This debate was a big deal. You may be reading this thinking, why does it matter? It matters because if the universe is eternal, then there is no need for a universal creator but if the universe began to exist at some point, then it would need a cause which made it begin. It was certainly more attractive for atheists to think the universe was eternal as God would not be necessary.
Before some of the amazing discoveries of the twentieth century, this debate was mainly waged on philosophical grounds involving some pretty notable scholars like Aristotle, al-Ghazali, and Thomas Aquinas. The principle philosophical argument that the universe had a beginning is known as the “kalam cosmological argument”. William Lane Craig is currently one of the world’s foremost scholars on this argument and sums it up like this:
1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
The implication is that there is a “First Cause” that is outside of the created universe that caused it to begin.
Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The first statement of the argument above should not be at all controversial, after all, we all acknowledge that the things that happen around us have causes. If you came out of Target and walked up to your car in the parking lot and noticed a big dent in the side, you would assume that the dent had a cause. You would not assume that the dent just happened on its own without a cause. Some call this the law or theory of causality or cause and effect. This law of causality is actually foundational to scientific exploration. We observe something in nature and conduct research or experiments to determine why it happens. Scientists know they have found a cause when they are able to reproduce its effects in an experiment. It is self-evident that whatever begins to exist has a cause…