Written by: Christopher Sernaque
Has there ever been a point in your life where you were deeply affected by someone’s amazing personality? Perhaps, on a glum day, you were invigorated after interacting with an energetic friend. Could these day to day interactions be telling of the cosmos? Is there a grand personality that is responsible for the existence of the universe? This present author would like to express 5 different lines of evidence that prove that the cause of the universe is a personal creator, namely Jesus the Christ. To those who are skeptical, the author invites you to experience the same breathtaking journey that the American Reformer, William Miller, undertook. William Miller staunchly persisted in deism, which is essentially a belief in an impersonal creator, until he encountered startling lines of persuasive evidence that transformed him into a man after God’s own heart. While Miller was convinced of the Bible’s accuracy after an intense study of fulfilled Bible prophecies, the first line of evidence we will be considering today will come from logical reasoning. (Isaiah 1:18) The title of this article is a parody of Charles Darwin’s, “On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection; or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”, however this article will not be a refutation of Darwinian evolution, rather this article is a presentation of logical arguments to establish the fact that the cause of the universe must, in fact, be a Personal Creator. With that, we may begin:
Argument 1: Causal explanations, or explanations that indicate a cause, can either be scientific explanations, in terms of laws and initial conditions, or be personal explanations by which an agent and their volitions are signified. For instance, if I walk into the kitchen and see that a kettle is boiling, I might be prompted to inquire, “Why is this kettle boiling?” To which someone could respond in two manners. In their response, they could state that, “The copper bottom of the kettle is conducting the heat of the flame from the stove to the water inside the kettle, which in turn results in the water molecules violently vibrating, until they are hurled off as steam.” Or they could respond simply by saying, “The kettle is boiling because I put it on to make tea, would you care for some?” Even though one explanation is a scientific explanation and that other is a personal explanation, both explanations are equally legitimate and authentic causal explanations. Hopefully, the reader can see that in this context one of these explanations would be a more appropriate response! How does this analogy relate to why the universe must have a personal cause? Because there cannot be a scientific explanation in terms of initial conditions and natural laws for the first physical state of the universe. This is because prior to the first physical state of the universe there would be no natural laws based on prior conditions from which the first physical state of the universe could be deduced from! Thus, the only form of appropriate explanation for the first physical state of the universe would be in terms of a personal agent and their volitions, or a Personal Creator.
Argument 2: Time, space and matter came into existence at a certain point in the finite past. Since time, space and matter began to exist they had a cause. Therefore, whatever caused them was timeless (or eternal), spaceless (not subject to locality, or omnipresent) and matterless (supernatural). Since matter is subject to change, if the cause of the universe is not made of matter, then it would be changeless. To summarize the previous points, the cause of the universe must be timeless, and spaceless, and changeless and therefore immaterial. There are only two possible candidates that could fit that sort of description. Either, an abstract object, like a number, a mathematical entity, these are timeless, spaceless, changeless and immaterial, or an unembodied mind or consciousness, a mind without a material body. But therein lies the rub, abstract objects do not stand in causal relations. That’s definitive for what it is to be an abstract object. Therefore, abstract objects like the number 7, for example, have no causal effects upon anything, from which it follows therefore that the cause of the universe must be an unembodied mind or person.
Argument 3: How do you have an effect with a beginning from an eternal cause? If the cause is sufficient to produce its effect, then if the cause is always there and is permanent, then the effect should be always there as well. For example, if the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature being below zero degrees Celsius, then if the temperature were below zero degrees Celsius from eternity past, it would be impossible for the water just to begin to freeze a finite time ago, any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. If the cause is there, its effect must be there as well. So how do you get a cause which is permanent and eternal and an effect like the universe, which began to exist? The only answer to this conundrum is if the cause is a personal agent endowed with freedom of the will, who can, therefore, create a new effect spontaneously without any antecedent determining conditions. For example, a person who is sitting from eternity could freely will to stand up, and thus you would have an effect with a beginning arise from an eternal and permanent cause.
Conclusion: The cause of the universe is not an uncaused first cause, but a Personal Being, a Personal Agent, A Person Creator, who has freely chosen to create the universe. In totality, it is both reasonable and correct to believe in a personal God.