Sunday, April 18, 2010

Part 2 of 10 Non-Biblical Proofs of Christianity

This is the second installment in our series:
10 Non-Biblical Proofs of Christianity in which we examine 10 solid areas of evidence that support the unique claims of Christianity.

To read part 1 CLICK HERE

Let's move on to reason #2:
2. A Personal, Intelligent Creator is mandated by logic.
After considering the overwhelming evidence for a finite (non-eternal) universe, most will concede that there must have been a Creator of some type. But just what or who is that Creator, and what are His/Her/It's characteristics? Good questions. Where do we look for some of the answers? That answer may surprise you---science and logic.

Science and logic?

Absolutely. There is a principle of both logic and observational experience, to which there has never been a known exception. That concept is called the Law or the Principle of Cause and Effect. Simply stated, the Law of Cause of Effect mandates that every effect (event) is the result of (or preceded by) some cause. We are exposed to this principle so often that, most of the time, we do not even consider just how fundamental it is.

A baseball goes flying through the air (effect or event). But it did not suddenly jump off the ground by itself, something caused that motion, perhaps the swing of the bat or a skilled pitcher. The law of cause and effect is the foundational concept behind forensics (the science of studying crime scenes). Forensics is based upon the fact that things happen, because other things caused them to happen. It's like a row of dominoes, once you push one domino down (or it tips over due to the table shaking or a strong breeze) then it leads to a chain reaction, a series of causes and effects. Let's stay with the domino example. There must be a first cause to lead to all of those other dominoes falling. The first fall starts the second, the second causes the third, and so on. But the entire chain of events of dominoes falling all began with a FIRST CAUSE.

This same concept or principle applies to the universe. As we go back in time (careful-this could cause your head to hurt!) all of life and time is a long series of causes and events. Keep going further and further back in time and eventually (as required by logic) you must arrive at the VERY FIRST CAUSE. This is the ultimate cause that led to everything in existence today. We calls this the Original or the First Cause.

There is something very special about the First Cause.

According to logic, the first cause itself must be eternal, in other words, it could not have been caused by something before it. We call that an Uncaused Cause. Logic demands that as we trace all events back earlier and earlier, we must ultimately arrive at something that always was, something that did not need to be created or caused. It is the Uncaused Cause.

Hold that thought.

Now, there is another related concept involving Causes and Effects, and it is this: No effect can be greater than it's cause. Now that sounds obvious, but think about how important that really is. This is primarily due to the laws of physics, but it's importance in this argument cannot be overstated.

To write this out would look like this: Cause>=Effect(the cause must be greater than or equal to the effect)

You can't yell with the unaided human voice and have that sound knock over a large building. Why? The energy involved in the wave of sound (the cause) is not strong enough to push over a building (the effect). To knock over a building (the effect) you need something much stronger, like a bomb (the cause). Similarly, a small child cannot push a stopped freight train and make it move down the tracks at 60 miles per hour on a level track. That would be illogical, it violates the principle of cause and effect. If the child did push the train at that speed, then obviously other factors are at work, and not merely the child's strength.

No effect can be greater than the cause. Now, think about the universe. Mentally step back, and think about the universe itself as one giant effect. Due to the Law of Cause and Effect, the universe (the effect) cannot be greater than whatever caused it. Therefore, logically speaking, whatever led to (or created) the universe must be GREATER than the universe. Wow, something even greater than the universe existed BEFORE the universe. It's inescapable logic.

Also, since each Cause must be (at least equal to or) greater than it's Effect, the cause (Creator) must be equal to or (most-likely) greater than any particular aspect of the Effect.

To get a better grasp on this, think about a mathematics example, using a simple equation.

10 >= 5+2+3. Think of "10" as the "Cause", and "5+2+3" as 3 particular parts of the "Effect". The equation works as long as the numbers on the right add up to 10 or something less than 10.  But what if the equation said:

10 >= 5+2+27

This is obviously false, since 10 is not greater than or equal to 34. The problem with the equation is that the number 27 throws everything off. Whatever that third number is, it can't be greater than 3 or the whole logic of the equation is invalid. The third number can be 1, or 2, or -1000, but it can't be greater than 3.

Now think about this equation: Cause >= The Universe

Since the entire universe is the Effect, no particular aspect within that universe can be greater than the Cause. So---what is the universe? Cosmologists say that it is the combination of (1) Time, (2) Space, and (3) Matter/Energy. So, now we can rewrite this as:

Cause >= Time+Space+Matter/Energy (and, by the way, you can't have a negative number for any of those three things--it's illogical to have a negative "reality")

Since no individual aspect of an effect can be greater than the cause (Creator), then: the Creator must be greater than (1) Time (remember, you can't get around it by randomly assigning a negative value to one of the other aspects). What do we call something greater than time, something that has no beginning or end?


Next, the Creator (cause) must be greater than (2) Space. What do we call something that is not bound by space, without limits?

INFINITE (and omnipresent by implication)

Also, the Creator must be greater than (3) Matter (or energy). We call matter "physical". What do we usually call something that is of substance that is real, and yet not physical within this universe?

We often call that SPIRITUAL or metaphysical.

Now, here is where it really gets good. Since no Effect can be greater than the Cause, and since we find INTELLIGENCE in the universe (people) which is a subset of the effect called the universe, then the Cause, or Creator, must be at least equal in intelligence or greater, most-likely a super-intellect. When you think about DNA, and that it took us 20 years with super computers to crack the code, you can see that the Causal agent must be a super-intellect.

Since no Effect can be greater that the Cause, and since people have individuality or personality, which is a subset of the effect called the universe, then the Creator must be at least a "person" in the sense of an individual with the qualities of self-awareness. This is different than saying that "Since there are flowers, that means the Creator must be at least equal to or greater than a flower" (which is still true), because our discussion is not about physical attributes, so to speak. It is about transcendent qualities, such as personality and intelligence, which must logically be inferred in the Creator (causal agent), to have created both of these transcendent qualities. It is illogical that an IMPERSONAL force could create PERSONAL beings. It is illogical that a mindless, unintelligent cause could create INTELLIGENCE.

So what can we understand about the Creator, just using logic and inference? We see that the causal agent, (Creator/God) is:

1. Outside the universe (He/she/it created it)
2. Eternal
3. Infinite (omnipresent)
4. Spiritual
5. Intelligent
6. Qualities of an individual "person" or greater

Now, what do we read in the Bible? We see that the God of the Bible claims to be the creator of the universe, eternal, infinite, a spirit, intelligent, and is a person that is knowable, and who seeks for us to know Him. Therefore, the God of the Bible is a logical candidate for the Creator of the Universe.

We now have established two non-Biblical evidences for the truth of Christianity:

1. Known Universal Laws require a Creator consistent with the type of God the Bible describes.

2. A Personal, Intelligent Creator is mandated by logic.

Next time we will look at our third non-Biblical evidence for the truth of Christianity, and you can get an early glimpse of reason #3, simply by looking into the mirror. Hint: you.

To move on to PART 3, CLICK HERE

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