I have friends who are atheists. There’s this mate of mine. He says, ‘It’s such rubbish. Come back to my flat and I’ll make a cup of tea and we’ll talk the whole thing through.’ So I go back with him and he puts the kettle on. ‘The thing is, Frank, the universe – it just happened. A big bang, an accident, no one made it happen. There’s no great designer, no thought went into it or planning, it just happened – do you get it? … Anyway, that cup of tea won’t make itself.’
I said, ‘Why not?’
What does it mean that our universe has a beginning?
Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist.
Conclusion: Therefore the universe has a cause.
And logically (because of what it caused to begin), we can say that this cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused and immeasurably powerful.
This argument doesn't conclude that God exists (much less that the Christian God exists), but simply that there must be a cause with these qualities.
I would add - If it's not God, it's something an awfully lot like him!!
1. If the conclusion of this argument is false, what's the alternative? How could our universe have come into existence UNCAUSED? Try answering that question without describing a CAUSE. It can't be done!
2. Some people say, "Quantum Physics has particles that spring into existence uncaused", but how can this really be "uncaused" if:
a) ...it's happening within the space-time universe where there's already space, time, matter and energy all over the place?
b) ..it's happening in a way that's repeatable by scientists setting up the experiments where these things happen?
If it's impossible to get something from nothing, then it's also impossible to get nothing now that there's something! In other words, how could we ever genuinely recreate the initial conditions of the universe at its beginning now that it's here? It's logically impossible!
3. Some people say, "Then who caused God?" But we know that our universe had a definite beginning in the finite past. That's why we're having this discussion in the first place. The point is, the first thing that began to exist must have a cause that didn't! How could anything have EVER existed unless there was something that ALWAYS existed?
4. Some people say, "This is a God of the gaps argument" and they'd rather say, "We just don't know what the cause was." But this admits there IS a cause. And besides, it's not an argument based on what we DON'T know but on what we DO know! We DO know our space-time universe had a definite beginning in the finite past. Try question 1 again!