Your Mind Matters: Objections to God’s Existence
By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – Dec. 20, 2015) -- In the last Your Mind Matters article , I discussed the reality of the miraculous within the Christmas narrative, focusing in on the conception of Christ as a miraculous event. One of the larger points made in the article is that if there is a God, miracles are possible. But for many, God is a fairy tale, a concept concocted by humans, creating a crutch for living.
In this article, I’ll focus in on answering some objections to God’s existence, making brief comments. I’ve chosen to tackle these objections using the three major delineations based upon the evidence for God’s existence (teleological—order and purpose; cosmological—beginnings; and philosophical and moral arguments). Much could be said in each area, but I’ll highlight only a few to help generate some thoughts. I’d recommend Dr. Norman Geisler’s book, The Big of Christian Apologetics, for more information .
The first objection regards chance. It is argued that things could have happened by chance, not by design. A clear response to this argument can be summarized as: the probability for chance is virtually zero. Why? Science is not based on chance, but on regularity, demanding a regular cause for life. There are two causes to life: natural or intelligent, finite or infinite. And chance is neither intelligent nor natural. And since chance is not a cause, chance has never caused a thing. Only an uncaused cause—God—can create and design life.
The second teleological objection concerns natural selection. This, too, is argued that it could be a product of chance. My response is that natural selection could not cause first life. It can only explain the survival of the old, not the arrival of the new. Furthermore, natural selection has never been observed to produce life from chemicals. And science is based on observation and repeatability—natural selection fails.
Another teleological objection is the argument that there could be endless designs and no first Designer—God. My response is that every cause does not need a cause; only every effect needs a cause. Every designer does not need cause, only every design does.
It begs the question to claim that every designer needs a designer. It’s a search without any proof.
A common question people have regarding the beginning is that if all things have a beginning, who made God? Response: No one. God is the unmade Maker and the uncaused Cause. There has to be a first cause—God. In another article, I write about the existence of God from the argument of being .
Someone could follow up with the question—couldn’t the universe have a cause without God? There seems to be only three possibilities. They are: 1. The world is uncaused (but science show us there was a beginning, known as the Big Bang), 2. The world is self-caused (which is impossible, a contradiction), 3. Caused by another (the most logical). In short, the universe was either: God-caused, self-caused (contradiction), or uncaused (can’t be, it’s here; we live in it; nothing can’t cause something). Furthermore, we know that something exists—I do, creation does. Which leads to something necessary and eternal exists—a Creator and Designer.
But then someone may argue if everything needs a cause, then so does God. Our response can be as follows: Everything does not need a cause. Only what begins (is contingent or finite) needs a cause. The world is all of these (finite, etc.), but God is none of these (He’s infinite, etc.) Hence, God does not need a cause, but the universe does. Only design needs a designer.
Someone may then suggest that things can happen without a cause. Our response is that this proposition is absurd. Even the skeptic David Hume said so. It is absurd to affirm that nothing can produce something. Science is searching for causes; it’s fundamental to scientific inquiry.
Concerning the moral aspects of God’s existence, someone may suggest that the God of philosophy (one aspect that is dealt with in philosophy is with morals) is not the God of the Bible. My response to that question is that they must be the same since: They are both infinite Beings, and there cannot be two infinite Beings. They are both absolutely perfect, and there cannot be two absolutely perfect beings. There is more than one-way to approach the same object: Objectively—philosophically and scientifically (what John Warwick Montgomery calls, tough minded) and subjectively—religiously and emotionally (tender-minded). Though not all philosophy is correct, it can contain characteristics of God’s truth.
Some people may propose that the moral law is merely herd instinct. My response would be to say that this is not it’s not so. Moral duty sometimes sides with weaker instinct. Dr. Geisler, give the example of a baby in a fire. Our moral instinct would be to save the child, going against the natural instinct to run from fire. Or, as Francis Schaeffer suggests, if we saw a small child in the street with an oncoming car, our moral instinct is to save the child, opposed to the natural instinct of running from the danger of an oncoming car.
Others may say that the moral law is the law of nature. I’d respond that nature’s laws are descriptive, not prescriptive; they describe not what ought to happen, but what is happening. In some situations things are factually more inconvenient but are sometimes morally desirable: why would someone lay down their life for a loved one? Or give something to someone (such as food in times of hunger), choosing someone else’s life over your own? Furthermore, things deemed naturally convenient can be condemned by moral duty: betraying someone for money. The moral law is not always equitable to the natural law; at times it transcends it, tethering it to God’s larger moral truths. In short, any value judgment is meaningless without a moral law—which points to a Law Giver.
So, contrary to the quip that a belief in God is a concept created by humans, a crutch for survival, the evidence and arguments for God’s existence are overwhelming, leading not to doubt but to decisive determination that there is a God and He, like Francis Schaeffer reminded us, is not silent .
2) Most of these arguments were presented by Dr. Norman Geilser at Veritas Evangelical Seminary http://www.ves.edu/) as found in his book, The Big Book of Christians Apologetics. I’ve gleaned much of the responses from my classroom notes.
4) He is There and He is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer.
Photo captions: 1) Big Book of Christian Apologetics. 2) Veritas Evangelical Seminary. 3) Brian Nixon.
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About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). As a published author, editor, radio host, recording artist, and visual artist, Brian spends his free time with his three children and wife, painting, writing music, reading, and visiting art museums. To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon