The question of how the universe got here is tied to the argument for the existence of God. Below is a variation of R.C. Sproul’s four options for the cause of the universe:
1) It is an Illusion (Hinduism, the Matrix)
> Problem: Something real must be causing the illusion. Even Hindus look both ways before crossing the street b/c they don’t really believe a bus is an illusion.
2) It is Self-created (Naturalism/Materialism)
> Problem: Self-creation is irrational; nothing can create itself. It would have to be before it was. This idea also violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics – in the natural world matter can neither be created or destroyed.
3) It is Self-existent and Eternal (Naturalism/Materialism until Big Bang theory in 1949)
> Problem: Self existence violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (above). Eternality violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – over time, matter tends toward disorder (disintegration). Nothing physical can last for eternity.
4) It was Created by Something that is Self-existent and Eternal (Christianity et al)
> Problem: This being is unseen, at least directly, so what evidence exists for it? We would argue that nothing complex and specified (either natural or artificial) ever comes about at random, therefore an intelligence outside the natural world must be the cause.
We will address the skeptic’s predictable response to these options next time.