Recently I had the opportunity to participate in an open worldview forum. There were three panels: Secular Humanists, Philosophy Club, and Christians. We presented our worldview on four subjects: The existence of God, the problem of evil, a basis for morality, and the impact of religion. I presented for the Christian perspective on The existence of God and the basis for morality. What follows is an adapted-for-web version of my speech on the existence of God.
A.J. Ayer, in his book, Language, Truth, and Logic, demonstrated that we cannot know anything to a full degree of certainty. It cannot be proven that the chair in which you are sitting will continue to hold you. We have a pretty good idea from our experience with chairs and nails that it will, but we cannot fully know.
Similarly, neither the existence nor the non-existence of God can be proven. The theist as well as the atheist must have faith in order to substantiate their belief, or lack thereof, in God.
Absolute certainty aside, throughout history, many inductive and logical proofs have been constructed which demonstrate the existence of God. Broadly categorized, these are:
- The cosmological arguments, which look at the causality of the universe, and of which my argument is a subset
- The teleological arguments, which look at the design of the universe and propose the necessity for a designer.
- The ontological arguments, which argues from the standpoint of existence, and
- The moral arguments, which begin with a view of necessary justice.
One of the many arguments is as follows.
Thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics are the most important in all of physics. The first law tells us that matter and energy cannot be created nor destroyed. This tells us that the matter and energy which surrounds and indeed composes our very bodies and the universe has either always existed, or itself has an origin.
Point of Infinity. Every person must believe in something infinite. Simply put: everyone must believe in a point of infinity because today something exists, and something cannot come from nothing. Many believe in the infinite existence of the universe. Either the universe has always existed in some form or another, or it was created. If it was created then the Creator is given the point of infinity.
Entropy. The second law of thermodynamics specifically states that the entropy of a closed system will tend to increase over time. In other words, it states that the disorder of a closed system is going to increase over time. The universe as a whole is a complete and closed system. By definition there is nowhere for energy or matter to go besides the universe. Since the universe is a closed system we can again apply the laws of thermodynamics: throughout time the overall amount of entropy, or disorder, in the universe is increasing – even though we can see observable order being created in localities, such as earth.
Duration of Entropy. Throughout the existence of matter, the second law of thermodynamics applies. If your point of infinity is the universe you give the existence of matter over to the term of infinity and you must also give the amount of entropy over to the same term: infinity. Given the infinite existence of matter and thus the infinite amount of entropy, no order could exist in the universe. No matter how big or old (or young) science proposes the universe to be, the amount of disorder in the universe would trump all order.
Since we have observable order in the universe, namely humans, we can see that entropy is not infinite and thus the existence of matter is also non-infinite. The only other option is that matter was created.
As indicated by the beginning of this writing, this is not a full and complete proof for the existence of God. To believe in the existence of God takes faith, as does not believing in the existence of God.