The Big Bang is a Big Problem for Atheism

Neither lunches nor universes come for free. One of the biggest problems for atheists is that the universe had a beginning. We know that you can’t get something from nothing, so where did the universe come from?  This is a big problem for anyone who thinks the universe is all that exists.

Philosophers will frame this type of argument this way:

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

2) The universe began to exist.

3) Therefore the universe has a cause.

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

As we said above, there is no such thing as a free lunch. If something could come from nothing, why doesn’t just anything pop into existence out of nothing? Why only universes, why only once? All of our experience favors this premise, so it certainly seems more reasonable to believe it than to reject it.  

Some may try to say that we only know that things inside our universe need a cause, so how can we know that the universe needs a cause?  We might ask in reply, what’s the relevant difference that would exempt the universe?

The universe began to exist.

Not too many people are likely to doubt this one. Think about what it would mean if the universe never began to exist. Time would just stretch out forever in the past. If so, then there have been events infinitely far in the past. But how can that be? If there were events infinitely far in the past, we would never reach “now.” There would always be more time that had to pass first. But it is now! This gives us good reason to think that there is no moment infinitely far in the past, that time hasn’t been running forever. Time itself must have had a beginning, which means the universe began to exist.

Even if someone suggested some higher realm of existence that created our universe (like the multiverse), time still had an absolute beginning. Time still could not have been running forever. This would apply to the multiverse as well. There is no getting away from it; the universe had an absolute beginning.

Therefore the universe has a cause.

You might ask, what does any of this have to do with God? Keep in mind that whatever cause brought the universe into existence has to transcend the universe. It can’t very well be made of the stuff it brings into existence. It must have been timeless, too, since it brought time into existence. This means that it had to be supernatural (beyond nature as we know it). Since we can infer logically that an immaterial, timeless, supernatural creator brought the universe into existence, then it seems reasonable to believe in God. He would certainly fit the bill.

If you liked this post, check out Wes Morriston vs. the Cosmological Argument.

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