It’s an illogical question
by Don Batten
This question is a major objection that atheists put forward to justify their disbelief. Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), a famous British philosopher, in his influential little essay, Why I am not a Christian, put this forward as his first objection.1 Today’s atheists repeat the objection, including Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Australia’s own Philip Adams at the 2010 Global Atheists’ Congress in Melbourne Australia, who said,
“The great argument for God was that there had to be a Creation, a beginning. … But my objection was simple. If God was the beginning who began God?”2
The universe had a beginning; almost no one disputes that, because the laws of thermodynamics demand it: the universe is running down and it cannot have been running down forever, or it would have already run down. No stars would be still churning out energy and we would not be here.
Some have proposed one universe giving birth to another, but again, there cannot be an infinite series of such births and deaths, as each cycle must have less energy available than the last and if this had been happening for eternity, the death of everything would have already happened.
There must have been a beginning.
One of the most established principles of logic / science / reality is the principle of causality: something that has a beginning has a sufficient cause. The principle is not, ‘Everything has a cause’; Bertrand Russell misstated it. No, the principle is, ‘Everything that has a beginning has a sufficient cause’. Just a moment’s thought confirms this—something which had no beginning has no need of a cause. Furthermore, a cause has to be sufficient, or adequate. ‘You were found in a cabbage patch’ is not a sufficient explanation for your existence….
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