4 Good Reasons That God Is Real
This is a blog about miracles. "Miracles" apologetics are normally viewed as separate from "existence of God" apologetics. However, they are actually one and the same category. In both cases, you need to prove that an agent did something that 1) vastly exceeds human capabilities and 2) didn't happen by natural causes. These are the same criteria we use for miracles.
Here is a list of the existence of God arguments that I consider to be relatively strong.
#1 - Genetic Information
Biologists of all philosophical persuasions concede that DNA is "information." In fact, they use language-type terms to describe the process of copying DNA (transcription, translation, etc.). DNA actually has an enormous amount of information encased within it (about 3 Gigabytes) (1). This is not a small amount of information. Even 1 page of information we automatically conclude an "agent cause." Given this standard, we should definitely expect an agent to be the source of 3 gigabytes of data.
In fact, it might be circular for me to say that "all information is the product of an agent cause." It's hard for us to think of how the word "information" would even be meaningful if it didn't imply a mental origin. Therefore, the fact that biologists concede that DNA is a very large amount of information is very telling.
#2 - First Cause
With regard to the existence of the universe without God, we have two options. It either 1) burst into existence out of nothing or 2) the universe has always existed. Option 1 is very problematic. After all, if the universe can come into existence, for no reason, out of nothing, anything should be able to do this. In this case, we couldn't place preconditions on what "nothing" is allowed to produce in any given circumstance. For example, it would be no surprise for me to wake up and discover 400 machine guns sitting in my house, with no explanation. It seems option 1 is very far fetched.
Option 2 entails an infinite series of past events that lead up to the present circumstances. There are problems with this. First, an infinite succession of past events implies an eternal past. If past is eternal, it would have taken forever to arrive at the present moment. Furthermore, if we were to count all of the past events, we would find that all of the odd numbered events in the sequence would be the same amount as all of the events (because they are both infinite). In short, the entire set of past events would be equal to something that is clearly not the entire set of past events, which is a contradiction.
It seems to avoid these problems we need a First Event which was caused by something that has always been in existence.
#3 - Uniformity of Laws of Nature
#4 - Novelty in the Universe
This is a bit more technical, but bear with me. Consider this simple illustration: When we combine blue paint and yellow paint, it yields a completely novel color called "green." "Green" is not merely the sum of its parts. Green is an entirely new experience (that we have a new name for) that comes, out of nothing, from the combination of blue and yellow. Furthermore, people have completely brand new emotions when encountering a new experience or combination of experiences.
To summarize, there must be a source for everything that is new in the universe. If something hasn't existed before, then it simply cannot come to be out of nothing. There must be something that allows totally new things to come into existence, given certain conditions or combinations. God is the "reservoir" of ideas, concepts and experiences. (2) Given certain combinations of materials and feelings, he allows new experiences to come into being.*
A Very Good Supplement to the Resurrection
I think these are good reasons to believe in God. However, I left out my favorite evidence of God's existence. My favorite evidence of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus. By proving the resurrection of Jesus you prove the Christian God (Jesus), not just any God. You can demonstrate the truth of the resurrection independently of any extra evidence for the existence of God. I attempt to do this here and here.
However, in the words of Antony Flew:
"Certainly, given some beliefs about God, the resurrection becomes enormously more likely."
It is not necessary to know whether or not God exists in order to determine if Jesus rose from the dead. We can answer that question while being completely agnostic about His existence. However, if we do happen upon some evidence for the existence of God (such as what I have shown above), all that evidence for the resurrection becomes much stronger indeed.
- My philosophy professor, Dr. Richard W. Field, used the word "reservoir" when describing the theory that God is the source of all novelty in the world.
*If you are not Platonist or conceptualist, you may not be sympathetic towards this last point. For example, Aristotelians may not be as sympathetic to this argument.