Saturday, September 28, 2013

Who made God?

Who or what made God?

This is a common question. There have been many solid responses to this question. Not only by sophisticated scholars, but by many sophisticated laypeople too. Many bloggers and commenters have likewise provided better responses than I can muster.

But, FWIW, if anything, here's my quick response:

  1. The truth is most thinkers believe there's some entity that's fundamental to the entire universe.

    For example, Carl Sagan famously said, "The cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be."

    Likewise, many scientists tell us it's ultimately all about mass-energy.

    Stephen Hawking said in The Grand Design:

    Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe going.

    Other scientists posit other fundamentals like quantum fluctuations or superstrings (e.g. M-theory).

    And these aren't all mutually exclusive to one another. They can overlap.

    But my point is these thinkers and scientists have in mind some fundamental entity or entities to explain the whole of existence. Yet, one could easily ask, if the cosmos is what's fundamental, then who or what made the cosmos? How did the cosmos make itself? How has it always just existed?

    If mass-energy is what's fundamental, then who or what made mass-energy? Where did mass-energy come from? How can mass-energy make itself? How has it always just existed?

    If a certain set of physical laws are what's fundamental, then who or what made these physical laws? From whence did they come? How have they always just existed?

    And so and so forth.

  2. As I mentioned above, others have better answers. For example, William Lane Craig has said (Reasonable Faith, 3rd edition):

    Something that exists eternally and, hence, without a beginning would not need to have a cause. This is not special pleading for God, since the atheist has always maintained the same thing about the universe: it is beginningless and uncaused. The difference between these two hypotheses is that the atheistic view has now been shown to be untenable.


    God didn't come from anywhere. He is eternal and has always existed. So he doesn't need a cause. But now let me ask you something. The universe has not always existed but had a beginning. So where did the universe come from?


  1. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

    Does he have a reason for why there is gravity?

    1. He does, and it's quite contradictory! William Lane Craig has a good take here.

    2. Thanks Patrick, I'll take a look at that!

  2. It is immediately obvious to anyone with the wit to be held responsible for their actions that the universe is an effect, that it must have had a cause, that there is nothing illogical or impossible about an uncaused Cause that is eternally self-existent, and that an effect (such as the universe) can't be eternally self-existent. That otherwise intelligent folk deny this, is an example of Romans 1 denial at work.

    1. Well said, Doc! Much better than I could have said it. :-)

  3. If one holds (like I do) to the classical theistic formulation that God is simple (lacking physical'
    ,metaphysical, temporal parts etc.) then God is his own existence. As the greatest being that can be conceived there is no distinction between the essence of God and his own Existence. If the definition is coherent then he exists necessarily. The difference between the creator and the creature is that we are composed if act and potency God is not.