Have you ever told a child we were created by God? While some might stare back at you in awe, others will ask, “Who created Him?” Did you ever have the question yourself?
The answer “He was always there” seems to be insufficient and incomprehensible. Yet, Christians adamantly believe He always was and always will be. Is a self-existent God really too difficult to believe?
The discussion has actually been around since the 3rd and 4th century. Aristotle suggested the idea of the Unmoved Mover, and Aquinas sought evidence for the Uncreated Creator. Once their idea was revised and tested, the Cosmological Argument was formed.
The argument’s asserts:
- Everything that exists came from a “first cause.”
- This First Cause was uncreated, independent and necessary.
- The universe has a finite past and single starting point from which time and space began.
Think about the question of who came first: the chicken or the egg? In this scenario, the chicken would come first. In the case of the cosmological argument, God would come before the creation of the universe, making Him the First cause.
There is a counter argument to this, though. Could the chicken and the egg never have had a beginning? Of course, this would imply that the universe goes infinitely back, but I’m not sure that’s quite believable. The concept of infinity does not seem make much sense, unless we check into Hilbert’s Hotel…
At Hilbert’s Hotel we begin with a hotel that has an infinite number of rooms. Furthermore, every room is occupied with a corresponding number of infinite guests.
Though the outside of the hotel clearly says “NO VACANCY,” a New Guest finds himself in the lobby asking to stay for the night. The clerk gladly says, “No problem! Let me get you a room.”
He then moves the guest in Room 1 to Room 2, the guest in Room 2 to Room 3, the guest in Room 3 to Room 4, and so on and so forth so that the New Guest is easily accommodated and placed into Room 1.
Even though the hotel was completely booked before the New Guest showed up, the New Guest still had a room to sleep in thanks to the helpful clerk.
Once again, the hotel is full.
Later that night, an infinite number of New Guests find themselves in the lobby needing a room each to stay in. Even though clearly the sign outside read “NO VACANCY,” the clerk gladly tells them “No problem! Let me get each of a room.”
He moves the guest in Room 1 to room 2, the guest in Room 2 to Room 4, the guest in Room 3 to Room 6, the guest in Room 4 to Room 8 and so on and so forth.
It is here where we notice that every Room with an even number will now be occupied while every room with an odd number will be unoccupied. The clerk then moves the infinite number of New Guests into the rooms with odd numbers so that every one is easily accommodated.
Due to the infinite nature of rooms we have encountered a paradox. Even though the hotel was already full before the New Guests arrived, the clerk was still able to book them rooms for the night. Is this really possible? Well, only at Hilbert’s Hotel.
Although the nature of infinity is intriguing, it is logically impossible for the universe to infinitely regress. Just like Hilbert’s Hotel, we would eventually be lead to absurdities.
The First Cause Is…
The Second Law of Thermodynamics also plays an important role in the claim of a finite universe. It states that our universe is actually running out of energy and is in a constant state of disorder.
If the universe had no beginning, we would have definitely run out of energy by now. But because it hasn’t, its more probable that an outside force has caused it.
Perhaps the idea of a First Cause could be more believable than what people might think.
Only God could meet the criteria of a First Cause. After all, He is timeless and spaceless, eternal and spiritual. He is not subject to the laws of the universe either.
“But isn’t God also subject to the absurdity of an infinite regression?” No, he isn’t. The nature of infinity requires a series of events in which one could actively trace back in a mathematical fashion.
God, on the other hand, is not and cannot be reduced to a logical math problem. Why? Because God is infinite in his nature. It is part of who He is and it exists as an attribute along side his other qualities.
I understand this may difficult to comprehend at first, but He really was always there.