If Everything Needs a Creator, then Who or What Created God?


by Rob Lundberg

A couple of years ago, I had a fellow coworker, who embraces a pagan religion, who had a habit of trying to stump me with some basic questions.  It turns out that the questions he was dropping down were basically common questions coming from those who skeptical of the existence of God in general and biblical Christianity in particular.

My conversant  tried to make his case that the universe had always existed and questioned if it was expanding at a constant rate. In other words, he was promoting his understanding of a “steady state” universe.[1] This prompted him to question me with the following, “If you believe that God created the universe, then who created God?” This is the question that I would like to address in this post.  

Let me say from the onset that this is a popular objection presented by skeptics who do not understand the nature of God and the kinds of possibilities for existence. To understand this objection, one needs to understand four keys that unlock this objection to show the possibility that God exists and that He is the creator not needing to be created. If you master these keys, you are on your way to unlocking this objection.

Understand types of existence.  One of the issues, that is not often brought to the table in answering this objection, is the various possibilities of existence. Let us remember that anything that exists gets its existence from outside itself. Let me explain.

Key No. 1:  Non existence  We know that this is not what we see around us. I would not be typing this post if I did not exist, or the computer that I am using did not exist. In order for one to say that they do not exist, they have to affirm their existence in the process.  Enough said on this option. Let’s move to the second key.

Key No. 2:  Self caused cause Self causes or something causing itself to exist is really an impossibility.  The universe is shown to have a beginning.  But because it has a beginning it could not be self caused. It would have to exist prior to its cause. If that which has a beginning, existed before its causation then the universe would be __ __ __ . Does not make sense does it?  Let’s move on to the third key.

Key No. 3:  Contingent cause This type of cause is the reality of what we see around us. Everything you see around you, that exists, was caused to exist by another.  Someone built this laptop computer I am typing on. Your parents got together and there was a race to fertilize an ovum, you won and here you are!

Our existence was caused by another. Our caused existence was caused by another and on and on.  But you cannot have an infinite regress (going backwards) of going to prior causes.  There has to be a start to the first man, the first computer, the first table. . .  Looking for the cause of the first man, or there needs to be a first Cause, or an Uncaused cause.  If everything with a cause was a product of an infinite regression of the cause for that existence, (the question says that “everything needs a creator”) there wouldn’t be any uncaused cause.  This brings us to the final key.

Key No. 4:  The Uncaused Cause

This final key is where the atheist does not want to go.  The skeptic’s first inkling is from Carl Sagan who coined the phrase that “the universe is all that there is, and ever was.” But Hubble’s telescope and semi-recent findings confirming over the last several decades show that the universe has a beginning. This means, by way of review, that the universe has a contingent cause.

Like anything else that is a contingent cause, being cause by something or someone outside itself, you cannot have an infinite regression (going backwards in time) of current causes of existence. So if the universe began to exist, and was the first beginnings of the natural world, then something outside of the natural world, something supernatural must have caused the universe to begin to exist.  The endgame points to an “Uncaused Cause;” One that is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, all good, all knowing, and the First Uncaused Cause of the universe.

Therefore, there has not been an infinite regression of creations.[2]  There can’t be, because one of the reasons is the very fact that we, whose existence is contingent upon another will one day no longer exist.  

Conclusion.

So if everything needs a creator then who or what created God? No one created God and the question itself is reduced to absurdity.  This is clear when you understand that the God of the Christian faith, being eternal, has never come into existence. This means that God is the Uncaused Cause, who is infinite, spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, moral, personal, intelligent, sustainer, Creator and First Cause of the existence and design of the universe.  God is the only entity in existence, the reason for whose existence is in Himself. In other words, God never came into existence. He is the uncaused First Cause who has alway been in existence and the one who has created what we know as time, space and matter. This eliminates the problem of infinite regressions (causes).

Like my conversant, one might ask, “but who created God?” The answer is simple. By definition, God is uncreated. He is eternal. He is the One who brought time, space, and matter into existence. Since the law of causality[3] deals with space, time, and matter, the law of causality does not apply to God. This is because God existed before space, time, and matter, and the law of causality[4] does not apply to Him.

_____________________________
Notes

[1] A pretty good dictionary definition of the steady state theory is as follows: A cosmological theory stating that the universe has always expanded at a uniform rate with no beginning or end, that it will continue to expand and have constant  density, and that the distribution of old and new objects in the universe is basically even.
The Steady state theory was also discredited by the discovery of cosmic background radiation, which was predicted by the bang theory but not by the steady state theory. (See: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/steady-state-theory)

[2] Remember that my conversant was positing his belief in an infinite universe with no beginning. Even though he worshiped three deities, his understanding of the universe posits more of pantheistic view rather than an atheistic understanding despite the fact this is common with both of these worldviews. 

[3] Robert Jastrow, founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, wrote: “The Universe, and everything that has happened in it since the beginning of time, are a grand effect without a known cause. An effect without a known cause? That is not the world of science; it is a world of witchcraft, of wild events and the whims of demons, a medieval world that science has tried to banish. As scientists, what are we to make of this picture? I do not know. I would only like to present the evidence for the statement that the Universe, and man himself, originated in a moment when time began” (1977, p. 21).  See the article at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716

[4] The Law of Cause and Effect states that every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause. Leaning against a mountain will certainly not cause it to topple over. Jumping up and down on the ground will not cause an earthquake. If a chair is not placed in an empty room, the room will remain chairless. If matter was not made and placed in the Universe, we would not exist. There must be an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause for every material effect. Perhaps the Law of Cause and Effect seems intuitive to most, but common sense is foreign to many when God is brought into the discussion. See the article at:  http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=3716

2 comments

  1. I have found in most debates with the most supremely anointed of atheistic royalty, the constant use of this really tired argument. Dawkins has been answered repeatedly when he uses this in every debate you wonder if you could use a device to measure the rooms temperature and his IQ concerning his meaningless use of that argument. Yes that was sarcasm. That’s the other pathetic form of conducting a debate that many (Krauss particularly) use as a method of appearing like they’ve won all debates already, and sarcasm is a display of their status as the truly omnicient subject of this or any debate. It makes them look petty, childish, and unaware that ad hominem arguments are logical phallices.

    I had a feeling your conversation you mention in the article, is taking place with a Mormon. I could be wrong, but the hint was the 3 Gods comment.

    I grew up Mormon. Converted at 24 years of age. I’ve spent a lot of time talking with Mormons. My siblings are inactive but both parents, relatives on both sides, I am a descendant of the original Mormon settlers. The land/farm I live on has been in my family since the original 1847 settlers arrived here. A family reunion on one side of my mom’s family, is held at the local Morman church, and the fraction that attends is 300-500 people. My grandma was told me once that she was dating a boy and her mom told her she couldn’t date him because he was a cousin. My grandma replied to her, “But mom. That’s all there is.

    I bring it up just to give an idea of the frequency of interactions ive had with many Mormons. A few years ago, for a cousin of mine, I agreed to meet with him and missionaries weekly. It went on over a year and included reading the dullest book of my life. The Book of Mormon. Well he had been the church ward here, that I would belong to, their missions director for 8 years. I asked him the same type of question you did. Just as an aside I will point out they have 3 Gods for this planet. But there are, according to him, an infinite amount of Gods out there.

    I asked him where did they all start. He said they’ve existed forever. I pointed out that the science regarding a ex nihilo beginning and a heat death, are quite compelling. Also, as you pointed out, it’s not possible to traverse an infinite number of cause and effect chains. It’s a physical impossibility. Even if we had a God’s eye view-like vision, where we could see all cause and effects at once stretching into a physical infinity. We still couldn’t possibly do that. Just as some Christians make t error of saying God can do anything. The make a mountain so heavy he couldn’t lift it argument defeats their erroneous belief. The Bible is clear that God cannot lie. If they just said God can do anything logically possible to do. Well even a God’s eye-like view of an actual infinite series of cause and effects is logically impossible. If it’s infinite you can never reach the end, because one more can always have been added for an eternity.

    I had a massively hours and hours long discussion of Mormonism. My experience with Mormons is to get one of a handful of responses that are none very promising. Either they’ll flee from you to avoid it. They’ll call any writings, video, even just your talking anti-Mormon literature, or media, or an anti-Mormon person. I said if your standard is valid. The Book of Mormon started the whole practice of writing we can refer to as anti -Christian Literature. In the one of 4 or 5 versions Joseph Smith Wrote about his first Vision, that they picked for the intro to the Book of Mormon, all Christian denominations are referred to as an abomination and none are true. Seems It was their founding prophet who began this “anti” practice. Then the sound out their missionaries only to proselytize. No evengelisnm. why? Unless those they visit know the Christian story, even the basics, they can’t give their version of John lost the keys to the kingdom on Patmos and so without passing them on, nearly 2000 years of Mission work, evangelism, 10s of thousands of Martyrs, faithful serbants of the sick and poor, the educations they spread to the people, etc. all was for nothing. But God chose this humble, righteous, devout folk magic aided treasure digger, made money being paid digging for treasure for people, was arrested for it Gof chose to restore the true church and that’s us. Well you’d have to label that an anti-Christian person. I had one Mormon tell me that I was one of the evil that will persecute the Mormons in the last day. One of my closest friends started becoming a devout member. He didn’t talk to me for nearly ten years because he’d always ask me questions and he said or confused him. I asked him finally if his bishop told him to quit talking to me and he said yes. I finally tried to focus any materials I used on Mormon publications. They can’t call them anti-Mormon literature. So another teaction I got was an argument that my dad used over and over. So as a Christian I can say “Jesus save me. “ Then go murder, rape, and pillage.?” I said is that what you think we do on sundays for our survices? How many devout Christians do you see acting that way. Do you think our youth group trip to the orphanage in Mexico was for that purpose. Next time the Issue came up, he would say it again. Do you not even listen to a word I say. The last response I get is after showing like Brigham Young’s writings, in the Mormon published Journal of Discourses, and reading what he called “Blood Atonement” This was, he said, when some sin so severely their blood must be shed. They must be put to death to receive forgiveness. Spent quite about of time making an argument based on Mormon leader or scholar’s writings. Finally I’m told I don’t care what you can prove. I believe it’s all true. Later my friend told me this guys dead grandfather appeared to him “in spirit” and told him he must go on a mission.

    I finally told another ex-Mormon member of my church that I had got to the point where I thought atheists are easier to evangelize.

    If I got the Mormon issue wrong and then dumped all this on you, I am sorry. The thing I do like about deductive arguments like you have here, is that if your premises are either true or at least more true than its opposite, then the conclusion must follow. Thus leaving the burden on your opponent to show which premise is untrue and why. Thanks for listening.

    1. Thank you for your response and you make some great points. Actually the person I referenced was actually a Wiccan who was confused on the Christian view of God. Thanks again for checking out the Real Issue.

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