Existence of God

The First-Cause Argument for God’s Existence

The first-cause argument for God’s existence, often called the “kalam cosmological argument,” says that God exists because the universe had a beginning. If the universe had a beginning, then the universe needs a first cause, and that cause is likely God. In fact, there have been many first-cause arguments made by philosophers in different cultures, such as Aristotle’s unmoved mover. Today, it is well established that everything that beings to exist has a cause; things don’t just pop into existence out of nothing. In addition, based on the evidence from many scientific discoveries, scientists almost unanimously agree that the universe had a beginning. This is based on Einstein’s general theory of relativity, Hubble’s discovery of the red shift through his telescope, cosmic background radiation, and other phenomena. Therefore, since everything that begins to exist has a cause, and the universe began to exist, then the universe must itself have a cause. But what is this cause? From the first-cause argument, we can infer that this cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, incredibly powerful, and intelligent – much like how God is described.


A Cabin in the Woods: Considering the Bayesian Fine-Tuning Argument

A Former Statistician Responds to a Critique of the Bayesian Fine-Tuning Argument for God

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Introduction

In the last few decades scientists have discovered numerous astonishing facts about our universe that seem to indicate it has been precisely fine-tuned for life. As engineers who design our spaceships to sustain human lives in space can attest, life can only exist if numerous factors are set to precise specifications. Similarly, our universe seems to have been finely tuned for intelligent life to exist and thrive. The fact that these laws of physics are set just so has led many to conclude that our universe was designed by a supreme being with an intelligent mind.


What Makes Something Morally Good or Bad?

Everyone seems to have an idea of right and wrong. We know that being loving and forgiving are good things to do. We know that it is wrong to murder or to rape. We all know about the existence of moral rules, such as "Thou shalt not steal" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." In philosophy, the study of these moral rules, of right and wrong, good and bad, is called ethics. So, what makes something good or bad? We might know what things are good and bad, but why is something good or bad? Who's to say that loving someone is good but hating them is bad? Where do right and wrong come from? In philosophy, this area of study is known as "metaethics," and in this series, Adam explores both theistic and atheistic theories of what makes something morally good or bad. Is God the foundation of morality, or is God not needed to explain the source of moral values and duties? What does it even mean to say that God is the "foundation" of morality?


A Trinitarian Moral Argument

Why Christianity’s Trinitarian God is a Better Explanation for Objective Morality than Islam’s Non-Trinitarian God

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Both Christians and Muslims affirm the following argument:

There are objective moral truths.God is the best explanation for objective moral truths.Therefore, God exists.

However, which understanding of God, the Christian’s or the Muslim’s, is a better explanation for objective morality? In this paper I argue that Christianity’s trinitarian God is a better explanation for objective morality than Islam’s God. As part of this argument, I propose a Trinitarian Metaethical Theory (TMT) which maintains that the ultimate ground of morality is God’s trinitarian nature.


Who Is Jesus?

Who was Jesus? Christians believe that Jesus was God incarnate, in other words, God in human form. But how can we really know who Jesus was? Did Jesus himself claim to be God? The Bible attempts to prove Jesus’ divinity by recording many miracles that He performed, but are miracles even possible? All the stories about Jesus are written in the first four books of the New Testament, but how do we know that what they say about Jesus is true? Did those things, even the miracles, actually happen? Christians stake their faith on the greatest miracle of all, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. But what evidence is there for this? Journey with Adam through this nine-part series where he explores the historical accounts of Jesus found in the New Testament and how we as Christians can trust that Jesus is really God.


Does God Exist?

God’s existence is a topic that undergirds all of Christian apologetics. If God does not exist, then Christianity cannot be true. However, God does exist, and there is much evidence of that fact in the world around us. In this lecture, Adam explains “The Big 3” arguments commonly put forward for God’s existence: the cosmological argument or the argument from the beginning of the universe, the teleological argument or the argument from the design in the universe, and the moral argument or the argument for a moral lawgiver.


Defusing the Euthyphro Dilemma

How a Concretist Position on Properties Salvages Divine Simplicity

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Why salvage divine simplicity? Consider the Euthyphro Dilemma, often presented as a rebuttal to the moral argument for God’s existence. In Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates asked “Is that which is holy loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved by the gods?”1 The dilemma can be restated in monotheistic terms as follows: Either 1. Morality is based on God’s commands; thus, He could have arbitrarily commanded any heinous act and it would be morally right, or 2. Morality is based on necessary truths that even God cannot change; thus morality is independent of God and out of His control.2

In order to avoid both horns of the dilemma, theists have proposed that morality is dependent upon God’s nature in such a way that He could not command something that violates His moral nature.3 Robert M.


Objective Morality and the Moral Argument

In this interview with Ratio Christi’s Truth Matters, Adam discusses the objectivity of morality and the moral argument for God. He gives an overview of Robert M. Adams’ metaethical model which posits that God is the best explanation for morality. What are some common objections to this model? Could evolution have produced morality? What is natural law and how does it relate to objective morality? Does morality come from God’s commands? Did morality change from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why do some of God’s commandments in the Old Testament seem so odd? Watch the interview to discover the answers to these questions and more.


Natural Law and Christian Apologetics

The 2014 movie Interstellar brought to the forefront the conflict between a modern way of thinking and a postmodern way of thinking. The modern way of thinking emphasizes science and the idea that the physical universe is all that exists, whereas a postmodern way of thinking focuses on trusting our feelings. Interstellar argues that love is more than physical, that it transcends the universe and should guide our decisions. Adam agrees that love is more than physical, but if so, we need an explanation for why love exists. Christians argue that we can know that goodness and love exist, and this is best explained by the fact that God exists. Love is good for human beings, and we can learn what’s good for humans by looking at human flourishing. We can learn moral principles from God’s creation. This is sometimes called “Natural Law,” the idea that God built objective moral principles into his created order that we can discover by considering creation. Adam discussed these topics on the “Theology Matters” podcast with Devin Pellew.