The logical error of materialists who try to disprove God
- This page is part of an ERW course: The ending of evil.
- By John Eagles. This article was written on September 16, 2009.
An argument that atheists and materialists frequently use against the existence of God is clearly not only factually wrong but it also violates the rules of logic.
- The argument they bring up, frequently against intelligent design advocates, is that it would not make sense to believe in God as the first cause of everything; as one could then ask the question who or what made God, and again, who or what is the cause of the God who made God. Therefore, they claim, it is not logical to believe in a God as first cause and creator of everything because it would not give us a final and satisfying answer.
What is wrong with this way of reasoning?
When one thinks of something being the cause of something else, there is presupposed the existence of the law of cause and effect. Because causes precede effects, there is also presupposed that time exists. Materialist thinkers do not deny the existence of the law of cause and effect as this makes up the essence of science. Science is based on the assumption that the law of cause and effect exists. Furthermore, the law of cause and effect only makes sense in a world in that time exists. There is a 'before' of the cause and an 'after' of the effect.
Scientists also believe that time is not an absolute factor but a variable dependent on for example gravity and the speed of light. They generally believe in the Big Bang that gives us a point in time for the first appearance of the known universe, now estimated to have been 13.7 billion years ago.
If there can be calculated the beginning of all existence, then that gives us the beginning of time. If there was a beginning of time, there has to be something beyond time and also something beyond cause and effect. It makes no sense to speak about 'before' the Big Bang because there simply was no before, as the cosmos' existence including time and space only started with the Big Bang.
All that we can say is that something that is beyond time and space and beyond the law of cause and effect must be there. This is what we call God. Because time and space had a beginning, there must be something that is higher and above time and space, something that is not subordinated to the limitations of time and space and therefore also not to the law of cause and effect.
It is therefore logically wrong to apply the law of cause and effect and to presume the existence of time before time itself came into existence. This is the error that such materialist thinkers are making when they try to disprove God with the argument as shown in the second paragraph of this note.
In fact they are putting up a strong argument for the existence of God. There has to be a God the Creator and there is nothing we can say about how God came into being because the Creator necessarily has to be understood in a realm outside of time and space and the law of cause and effect. This is because God created time and space and all the laws of the universe. The only thing we can know about God is by looking at all of creation and understanding about God's nature from what God created. God's nature is such, however, that we can not ask the question how God was created. That is a totally nonsense question.