Does God Exist? Kindle Edition
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Materialism-- a false view
A few hundred years ago science and philosophy were on equal footing, but it seems that adherents of naturalistic materialism unjustifiably separated them. Webster’s defines materialism as “a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being, processes, and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter.”
Ever since the rise of the Intelligent Design movement, beginning with scientists such as Michael Denton (Evolution: a Theory in Crisis) and Charles Thaxton (The Mystery of Life’s Origin), the battle between these two worldviews has become more intense. Both books are available on Amazon.
In the Cosmos series, Carl Sagan opined:
The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.
How did he know? No atheist or agnostic can answer many of the basic questions concerning the origin of the universe. Atheists generally deny there is a supernatural realm and reject the possibility that the universe and life were masterfully designed by our all-knowing, all-powerful, creator God.
Thermodynamic Law Prohibits the Eternal Existence of the Universe
Part of William Lane Craig’s arguments are supported by physical laws. The Second Law of Thermodynamics plays strongly in the issue of whether or not the universe is eternal. The law is described by two expressions: 1) Heat transfer occurs spontaneously from higher- to-lower-temperature bodies but never spontaneously in the reverse direction, 2) In any system it is impossible to completely convert transferred heat to work in which the system returns to its initial state. There is always energy lost in real processes. Ultimately, entropy always increases in irreversible (real) processes. [College Physics by OpenStax College of Rice University, pp. 523-524, 2013. OpenStax publishes free textbooks.]
This seems fairly innocuous, but the problem is that all spontaneous processes proceeding in an isolated system, such as the universe, always lead to an increase in entropy. Entropy is a measure of the randomness or disorder of a system. “The amount of energy [in the universe] available for work is running out. Entropy is increasing to a maximum.” [Sarfati, J, “If God created the universe, then who created God?”Journal of Creation 12(1):20–22, April 1998]
If the universe were eternal, the availability of energy to do work would decrease as entropy increased until all the energy in the universe would dissipate and the universe would reach a state of maximum entropy referred to as the “heat death” of the universe. This is also referred to as thermodynamic equilibrium. What this means is that the entire universe will become cold and motionless. Stars will cease shining and black holes will dissipate.
Dr. Craig refers to the theorem of Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin. They stated that any universe that, on average, has been expanding throughout its history had an absolute beginning.
In their paper “Did the Universe Have a Beginning?” Alexander Vilenkin and Audrey Mithani discuss three possible scenarios which seem to allow the possibility that the universe could have existed forever.
1. A universe of eternal inflation
2. A universe of cyclic evolution
3. An emergent universe
Vilenkin and Mithani say that the first two of these scenarios cannot describe a universe without a beginning. The third, the emergent universe, can collapse and cannot have an eternal past.
Physicists of all stripes think the universe began to exist at some time in the past. Atheists say that a hypothetical subatomic-sized particle (known as a singularity), which had always existed, exploded as the big bang and created the universe as it is now, but no initial singularity could survive forever to produce the big bang.
Vilenkin and Mithani ask, “Did the universe have a beginning?”
They say that the answer to this question is probably yes. They carefully address the three scenarios that superficially offer a way to avoid having a beginning to the universe, but find that none of them can have an eternal past.
They also examine a simple emergent universe model, and conclude that it cannot escape collapse. They say that even considering more general emergent universe models, there do not seem to be any matter sources that admit solutions that are immune to collapse. [arXiv:1204.4658v1[hep-th] 20 Apr 2012 and arXiv:1110.4096v4 [hep-th] 16 Dec 2011 freely available online.] Finally, they admit,
"Even if the universe is initially perfectly fine-tuned, it will be destabilized by quantum fluctuations and will either start inflating or collapse to a singularity. Such a universe cannot survive for an infinite time."
Most secular physicists do not feel comfortable with the conclusion the physics and math lead to. Any scenario must stray from the known laws of physics to produce an eternal universe. They must propose some as yet unknown physical property to allow an eternal universe because they disallow the alternative: “…a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused, unimaginably powerful being—much like God!”
Why the Universe Cannot Be Eternal
In Does God Exist? Dr. Craig asks many probing questions about the origin of the universe and explains why the universe cannot be eternal, especially from a thermodynamic point of view.
Craig breaks down the atheistic misunderstanding that the universe is eternal into explanations we can easily grasp. Here’s three of his five arguments briefly:
1. The Cosmological Argument
2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument
3. The Moral Argument
The Cosmological Argument
1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
3. The universe exists.
4. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God.
Craig explains where atheists go wrong when they try to refute the Cosmological Argument. First, they affirm that premise 3 is sound. In order to refute the argument they must deny premise 1 or 2, but this is where they run into trouble.
Premise 1 requires that a thing exist by necessity or be caused by something. It would be absurd to say that God must have an explanation for existing, because that would require a being greater than God, which is impossible. There can be no greater being than an infinite, omnipotent God. God’s existence is necessary. It is impossible for God to have a cause. This premise is more plausibly true than false.
While the universe’s existence would be necessary if it had no cause, no known law of physics would allow it to exist eternally, which makes this idea more plausibly false than true.
Premise 2 is also more plausibly true than false. Dr. Craig says the typical atheist responds by saying A) if atheism is true, there is no explanation for the existence of the universe, and, B) if the universe has an explanation, then atheism is not true. One cannot affirm A and deny B. That would be a logical fallacy. He explains why it's a fallacy.
The three premises of the cosmological argument prove that “God is the explanation of the existence of the universe. Moreover, the argument implies that God is a necessary, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal Creator of the universe.” Of course, an atheist would hope that a law of physics will be discovered that permits the universe to be eternal.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Craig expertly explains the Kalam Cosmological Argument and how to defend it logically and scientifically. He has a 3-minute video on a popular website that succinctly explains the argument and he defends it more completely in Does God Exist.
In the video, "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," at a popular website, Dr. Craig cites well known scientists such as Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin to establish the idea that the universe has a beginning.
If you search the internet, you’ll find many atheists who attempt to refute Craig’s argument by referring to additional remarks by the three scientists above. What they do not do is refute Craig’s remarks concerning the thermodynamic equilibrium of the universe, also known as the “heat death” of the universe. Craig states,
"If, given enough time, the universe will inevitably stagnate in a state of heat death, then why, if it has existed forever, is it not now in a state of heat death? If in a finite amount of time, the universe will reach equilibrium, then, given infinite past time, it should by now already be in a state of equilibrium."
The Moral Argument
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.
Atheists might object to this argument many ways, but they cannot live practically without some kind of moral compass. Torturing an infant is clearly immoral to most people, but there are those who would allow that. We recently attended a lecture by a forensic dentist where he showed several photos of babies viciously bitten and murdered by an adult.
Craig includes two other arguments along with fully developed explanations: 1) The Teleological Argument, and 2) The Ontological Argument.
Oddly, the last argument gets short shrift. The Ontological argument holds the greatest promise, as it does not rely on observation; it is strictly deductive, while the Theological argument, for instance, flies in the face of the theory of evolution.
But don't fear. William Craig has a number of other books and videos on YouTube explaining rational arguments for G-d’s existence. So, if you read this book, and feel unsatisfied at its brevity, there is far more out there to explore.
the best? Here it is!
not sure or needs evidence that demonstrates the existence of God.