It Is Not „Special Pleading” to Say God Is Without A Cause and Has God Existed for an Infinite Number of Years?

English: This photo was taken by my wife durin...In 2011 Dr William Lane Craig spoke at the Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) in Hungary. While they he spoke on the topic, „Five Arguments for Theism” and took questions from the audience to accompany his lecture. In this clip, Dr Craig answers a question concerning how the Kalam Cosmological Argument concerns God. Is it ‘special pleading’ to say God is without a cause?

Why it is not ‘special pleading’

Very often, it will be said by people, „If everything has a cause, what is God’s cause?” This objection is based upon a confusion between the contingency argument and this cosmological argument. The contingency argument says that everything that exists  has an explanation of its existence. This argument says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. And by conflating these two together, people have come up with the idea that everything that exists  has a cause. And that’s just a confusion. It is everything that begins to exist has a cause. If something begins to exist, that means it comes into being. And, given that out of nothing, nothing comes. The things cannot pop into being from nonbeing. Anything that begins to exist must have a cause.

But, God doesn’t need to have a cause, because He never came into being. He’s an eternal reality. And, this isn’t special pleading for God. That is what the atheist has always said about the universe- that matter and energy are eternal. The universe has always existed, and therefore, the universe doesn’t need a cause. It’s just that in light of premise 2, that explanation has now been called into question.

So, all this argument requires is that anything that comes into being, or begins to exist needs a cause. It wouldn’t apply to an eternally existing thing. If you want to ask about eternally existing things, then go back to the contingency argument, which says that everything that exists has an explanation, either in a necessity of its own nature or in an external cause. And, I think this helps to clarify again why in that first argument in that contingency argument, I differentiate it between explanations and causes. God, on that first argument does have an explanation as to why He exists, but He doesn’t have a cause.

VIDEO by drcraigvideos

Has God Existed for an Infinite Number of Years?

Dr. William Lane Craig:

Doesn’t the eternity of God imply that God has existed for an infinite number of years? Or an infinite amount of past time? No, I don’t think it does. In fact, what I’ve argued is that God’s eternity means he’s timelessness, at least without the universe. That God is the Creator of time and space, transcends time and space, so that God existing alone, without the universe is timeless. And time had a beginning.

Time is only finite, according to modern cosmology. It’s about 13.7 billion years ago. And there simply is no such thing as 15 billion years ago, or 20 billion years ago. That’s pure imagination. But, there really is no such time because time began about 13.7 billion years ago. So, God existing alone without the universe would simply be timeless. He wouldn’t exist through an infinite number of years, or an infinite number of hours. And that’s why the question is meaningless. Why didn’t God create the world sooner? If God had existed through an infinite number of years prior to creation, we could meaningfully ask, „Well, why did he wait so long? Why didn’t God create the world sooner?

But, if time begins at the moment of creation, then I think you can see that’s a meaningless question. There is no point ‘sooner’ at which He could have created the universe. Time simply begins at the moment of creation. So, even eternity wouldn’t involve an actual infinity in God, given that He transcends time and created time.

Afterlife – Is this all there is? (Inspiring Philosophy)

photo http://www.peacechurch.org

Inspiring Philosophy: Why is it that when we look around us we constantly ask, „Is this all there is?” If this it it, and all that there ever has been, why bother even asking the question? It should be instinctively self evident for us. But, for some reason it isn’t. To say that this life is all there is is denying the fundamental question in us all, that never ceases to go away: Is there more to life than just this world? 

„Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.” C.S. Lewis

Theistic Thinker: The assumption here seems to be that size determines value. But, this seems to be grossly false. We don’t think that a grain of sand on a big beach is insignificant to the beach as a whole, because of its miniscule size, but rather, because the grain of sand does not contain any special potentiality that will make a difference to the beach as a whole.

The Cartesian Theist: Relative size does not determine value. If someone told you how incredibly tiny your newborn baby was compared to our entire galaxy, and that on this basis, he or she is insignificant, and therefore of no value, you would think that they were absolutely crazy. And, you would be right to think that way. And, there is no good reason to think that size determines value, and we know it most when we become parents for the first time, when we stare at that tiny little life which has just come into the world. It is for this reason, we should reject the suggestion that a human being, or humanity as a whole is analogous to a grain of sand.

Theistic Thinker: Now, what about the universe as a whole? Take the whole observable universe, which contains billions of galaxies, receding away from us in all directions, as a result of cosmic expansion. Do we have any potentiality that makes a difference for the universe? Yes, I think so. Not only do we, or any other similar species possess the structure to alter the potentiality of the universe for our future. But, arguably, of much more importance, we also bring an element missing in the universe. We bring in concepts such as love and compassion. The universe is not happy, and it is not sad. It is not even emotionally neutral. It is we, as human beings that introduce these concepts into the universe. This is indeed significant, in my opinion.

The Dutch Philosopher: It seems this life offers us opportunities that we will not be able to have in heaven. For example, the ability to be brave- to face one’s fears and overcome them. To express compassion- it can only be done if there is sorrow. But, most importantly, this life gives us the opportunity to uncoerced, choose God to be our Father, Savior, Teacher, and Mentor or to reject Him.

The Cartesian Theist: I think some atheists created the greatest ever psychological crutch, the idea that death is the end, the idea that there is no one other than myself, whom I am accountable to. The idea that I will not be judged. The idea that no one has the right to judge the way I live my life, other than myself. Must be some huge comfort- far from diminishing the idea of living your life well in this life, the idea of a judgment at the end of this life puts the greatest possible motivation on living well in the here and now. But, not out of fear and punishment, so much as a way of showing our appreciation to the Creator for all that He has given us. And, that every breath we take is thanks to Him.

Inspiring Philosophy: Some might say, „Knowing this life is all there is, really makes me want to do something good with it. But, I have to ask: Why? Why care about anything?” You know, in 70-80 years it’s all just going to end. Nothing you’ve done will matter at that point. No one can punish you for the wrongs you’re committed, no one can congratulate you for the good you’ve done. You can live a life of complete selfishness, with no other intention than to please yourself. And, once you die, it’s all over. So, if this life is all there is, why live a life of helping others, where in the end, everyone you’ve helped just passes away.

So let’s say that you can become a very influential person. The effects you had on the world will be remembered in 100 years. After 1000 years, the history books might still mention you. But after years, and years, no one will remember. So, why care, if this life is all there is? Everything you do will end up in the grave as well.

The Dutch Philosopher: In contrast to the non believer, who lives life on a sensual level, pleasing their desires and finds no satisfaction, because, eventually everything gets boring. Or, the nonbeliever that lives life on an ethical level, trying to do the good, but continues to fail. The christian believer that lives life on the God centered level, receives a personal relationship with their Creator, forgiveness of sin, and finds ultimate purpose that starts now. (5:00)

Published on Feb 22, 2013 InspiringPhilosophy

This is a Christian response to ‘Afterlife’ by „TheThinkingAtheist”. He refuses to accept this as a response video so far. The idea for this response video is owed to TheCartesianTheist. A link his channel and the channels of everyone involved are linked below:

The CartesianTheist:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCartes…

TheisticThinker:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheisticT…

The DutchPhilosopher:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDutchP…

Michael Easley – Don’t let the world teach you theology

Why we believe what we believe 

 Michael Easley

One of the best lectures I have heard a week ago on the radio (WMBI 90.1 Chicago) by one of the former  presidents of Moody Bible Institute Chicago, as he addresses students at Moody. This is a great lecture for students planning to attend college, those already attending and most especially for parents. The lecture  is only 23 minutes long (and is audio only). The complete CD set of this Moody Today in the Word series can be purchased here.

Dr. Michael Easley

Michael Easley is teaching pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tenn., and a former president of Moody Bible Institute. He and his wife, Cindy, have four children.

Link to the Outline/Notes in pdf  form Page 1  and Page 2 here.

“But my fear is that most believers in Jesus Christ have no biblical world theology. They have no clue what it means to live in a world with a biblical grid.”
“Why you believe what you believe must govern all that you do.”
“No fact of contemporary western life is more evident than its growing distrust of a final truth and that is implacable questioning of any sure word”. Karl Henry in God Revelation and Authority
“We fight fact, we fight truth is what he‟s saying.”

Click here to Listen Now (mp3 file) Dr. Michael Easley talks about the crucial importance of knowing why we believe what we believe and reminds us about the role daily Bible reading has in forming our biblical worldview. He talks about how every ivy league university in the US started as theology schools with a Biblical world view, and eventually turned liberal due to the presidents they had.

Is God Dead? Atheism vs Christianity. Debate (2 hours) at Wheaton College

April 2008 – Setting: Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, Cole Memorial Chapel- Cicero’s Podium, a Great Issues Debate Series (a  worthy 2 hour debate)

Peter Kreeft (Professor of Philosophy, Boston College) vs Michael Tooley, (Professor of Philosophy and College Professor of Distinction, University of Colorado, Boulder).

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