It is always interesting to read or hear arguments by atheists and skeptics about what we feature in this column. One recent phone call said, “The creation is too complex for rational discussion. All I know is that God didn’t do it.” In response to that, we want to look at the simplified cosmological argument.
The mechanics of matter/energy interactions are indeed complex. However, it is an ignorant argument to suggest that since they are difficult to understand, you can reject God’s existence. Here is the simplified cosmological argument for God as the creator that anyone can understand, even without understanding scientific theories.
STEP 1: BELIEVE THAT YOU EXIST. If you don’t believe that you exist, then the whole discussion is untestable, can’t be falsified, and is beyond scientific investigation or debate.
STEP 2: BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS A BEGINNING TO THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE. All observations and the laws of physics demand a specific start to the creation – be it the “big bang” or some other description.
STEP 3. BELIEVE THAT THE BEGINNING WAS CAUSED. If there was a beginning to the physical creation, something or someone had to be the cause. Matter/energy can not create itself.
STEP 4: DECIDE WHAT THE NATURE OF THE CAUSE WAS. You have two choices here. Either the cause was an intelligence, or the cause was blind, mechanistic, opportunistic chance.
STEP 5: EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE. What does the evidence show? Is chance a statistically reasonable possibility? Is there evidence of design and purpose in the creation?
STEP 6: DEAL WITH THE QUESTION OF WHY THERE IS SOMETHING INSTEAD OF NOTHING. Philosophers can debate this as long as they wish, but if the cosmos is a product of blind chance, then there is no meaningful purpose to human existence. It also means that evil does not exist, and all events on the planet revolve around the survival of the fittest. If there is an intelligence that resides in a personal God, then evil exists, and the war between good and evil gives a purpose for all human existence.
The book of Job explores these points, and Jesus Christ clearly laid out our purpose in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 – 7. You are here for a reason. Not only do “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalms 19:1) but so does the Earth, and so do God’s people. That is the simplified cosmological argument.
— John N. Clayton © 2021