Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Natural Theology: Argument from Cause.

Back to natural theology.

On Tuesday I had my student debate intelligent design vs. theistic evolution (atheistic evolution, in light of the premise of the class, was not an option open to them).  

Anyways, one of them asked me (the sole non-religious girl in the class) when I said I thought that there was no contradiction between good science and good philosophy and Christian theism, asked me how I could say that.  I went back to natural theology and noted arguments from design and from cause.

Now came the typical question: "If you make the argument from cause, who caused God?"

I explained to her that first, one could not say that there was an infinite series of causes in the universe because that would mean that the universe was infinite (only an infinite universe could have an infinite series of causes).  We know very well from modern astronomy and physics that this isn't the case.

Secondly, God is not a casual agent like other casual agents, that is, a link on the change of cause.  Rather, he is the infinite and necessary cause the serves as the foundation of every cause.  
Similarly, every cause is not like every other cause.  Every cause is derived from a cause greater than itself.  My parents are great than I am.  The earth and it's environment which are the necessary conditions for my parents, as well as all other life to exist, are great than them as well.  Finally, the whole universe, which serve as a basis of the earth, its laws, its environment, etc. is great than it.  It is a cause in the sense that earth is dependent upon it. 

If this is the case, then the whole universe must be casually dependent upon something greater than itself.  If what it is dependent upon is great than itself, it must be an infinite and timeless being.  Why?  Because this being must be greater than time, in that he made time.  Therefore he must be timeless.  Similarly, he must be greater than space and the only thing greater than space is infinity.

So, logically, the universe must be casually dependent on an infinite and timeless being.

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