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I believe I can prove to you that God exists. Well, I suppose "prove" is an uncompromising word
that doesn't allow any wiggle room, so let me amend that. I'll just say I think I can demonstrate to
your own satisfaction that God exists.
Some people are fortunate enough to have a firm conviction that God exists, and, having lived
what they consider to be an exemplary life, are convinced they are going to heaven. The other
ninety percent of us are not that secure regarding our destinies and have to live with nagging
doubts about God and the hereafter. Mankind is the only animal species that is aware of the
inevitability of death; because of this unwelcome knowledge, the positive rewards from being able
to use our superior minds to achieve a secure and comfortable life are eroded by the existential
anxiety that after four score or so years it may all be over.
Being human, you presumably have experienced this existential anxiety in greater or lesser
degree. Well, perhaps you've happened upon the right discussion forum. I have some thoughts for
you that should take the edge off your anxiety.
First, a little background so you'll know where I'm coming from. I spent most of my adult life as a
non-believer. Having been raised more or less as a Christian, the issue confronting me as I grew
into adulthood was whether or not I could accept the fundamentals of a Christian belief. For better
or worse, my literal mind found enough inconsistencies in Christianity to put it in the category of
"metaphor" rather than "revealed truth". Having concluded that Christianity couldn't be the basis
for my theological outlook, I decided that the universe must be entirely natural, with no need for a
For those who share this naturalistic "what you see is what you get" point of view, what is lost
when your worldview is lacking the comfort of a religious belief tends to be ameliorated by the self-
congratulatory feeling that whatever else, you haven't felt a need to fool yourself.
After years of viewing doctrinal Christianity as myth, which in turn led me to deny the possibility
that God could exist, I had what I considered to be an epiphany, although in retrospect it seems
pretty obvious: If Christianity is merely a metaphor or myth, all the other religions in the world are
also based on myth. But this doesn't prove God doesn't exist; it merely means that God, if there is
such an entity, is incomprehensible or inaccessible to our limited human understanding.
Furthermore, God, if he should exist, is the God of all religions and all humanity; no matter what
one's myth might be, every religion is worshiping the same ultimate reality.
It follows that the myth is unimportant. No matter how badly cast any particular myth might be, a
thinking person ought to recognize that an implausible myth shouldn't obviate a reasoned
consideration that there might be a creator, or some kind of ultimate reality, responsible for our
My realization that all religions are based on myth led me to consider the possibility that God
exists, but as an entity much different from that portrayed by traditional religions. A first step was
to recognize that the universe itself seems to point to the possibility of a creator, because (1) the
very existence of the universe suggests creation (pardon the oversimplification, but "the universe
had to come from somewhere"), and (2) the fact that the universe is alive with energy, from vast
galaxies down to subatomic particles, suggests that there had to be a source for this energy. Since
I was determined not to construct just another myth, even if it should be more plausible and more
appealing than the religious doctrine I had been exposed to, I decided that a description of God (if
God is a reality) as the "aliveness" of the universe would be as specific as one could get without
persuasive reasons to adopt a more developed concept.
However, while there is unquestionably aliveness in the universe, the question remains, is a
Creator necessary to explain this aliveness, or would a purely naturalistic explanation be
Theologians, philosophers and physicists who have considered the question of God's reality tend
to agree that the crucial first question is whether God (or a First Cause, or a Creator) is necessary
to explain the existence of the universe. If God is not necessary to explain why the universe exists,
then the universe has a purely naturalistic origin, and two questions present themselves: do we
have any further need for God as an explanation? And if God does exist, at what point does he
enter into human affairs? Unless God or some First Cause is responsible for the creation of the
universe, it's difficult to presume that there is a God who enters into our lives on earth and offers
us hope for eternal life.
Does The Universe Require A Creator?
Physicists agree that our universe had a beginning (the "Big Bang"), and Einstein and most other
physicists have concluded that prior to the Big Bang nothing existed - presumably not even the
laws of physics - because time itself did not exist. As a starting point, one has to wonder, if the
universe, the laws of physics, and time itself began with the Big Bang, did all this just spring into
existence out of nothingness? If the universe was just born out of nothingness, don't we have to
postulate some kind of First Cause or Creator?
Physicists marvel at the complexity, even the beauty, of the physical laws that govern the universe
with everything fitting together in a marvelous synchronicity. I used to think that this synchronicity
deceives us into an erroneous belief that something so marvelous in design must suggest the
need for a creator; I figured if the universe had come into existence randomly with different laws of
physics, it would merely be different, and we would still marvel at its apparent design and ascribe it
to the work of a creator. This turns out to be very much in error - in order for there to be a universe
at all, particularly one which is hospitable to the development of human life, the expansion after
the Big Bang had to proceed according to a very precise combination of physical conditions.
Different laws of physics would not have meant just a different kind of universe or different life
forms - there would have been no galaxies, no stars, no hydrogen, no carbon and no organic life,
which means we wouldn't be here.
In order for the universe to develop to the point where any kind of life was possible, there were
twenty or so awesomely precise physical conditions that had to exist, including the strength of the
forces of gravity and electromagnetism, the strength of the exploding thrust of the Big Bang, the
initial density of the universe in the first moment after the Big Bang and some others that are too
complex for us laymen to understand. Each of these had to be fine tuned within an infinitesimally
small percentage of deviation. Physicists agree that these conditions were all laid down within the
first fraction of a second after the Big Bang. If any one of these conditions had deviated by the
tiniest amount, the universe could not have come into existence.
For example, to put some dimension on the improbability of the universe as it exists today, the
matching of the outward exploding force and the restraining force of gravity had to be accurate
within one part in 10 to the sixtieth power - that's a 1 followed by 60 zeros. It has been pointed out
that this degree of accuracy is equivalent to firing a bullet and hitting a one inch target on the other
side of the universe, 14 billion light years away. This is just one of the conditions that had to exist.
The others required a similar degree of accuracy, and all of these conditions had to achieve a
perfect balance so that our universe could develop, eventually leading to stars and planets and the
carbon necessary for living organisms to exist, culminating in human life.
Stephen Hawking, the preeminent physicist of our time, has been quoted as saying:
"The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of
something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are
clearly religious implications."(1)
The religious implication that suggests itself, of course, is that God (or some other First Cause)
was the Creator of the universe. Naturally, this didn't seem to be a very good explanation to those
whose beliefs don't embrace the idea of a Creator, and so they came up with the idea of a series
of Big Bangs extending back in time almost endlessly. According to this theory, given enough
random trials, eventually just by chance all the forces and conditions necessary for the universe to
develop would achieve the perfect balance required.
This concept that the universe could have developed randomly is similar to the idea that a
chimpanzee randomly typing on a typewriter would eventually produce the complete works of
Shakespeare if given an infinite amount of time. Logically, this has to be true, but it is so highly
improbable that one has to believe a more reasonable explanation should be available.
Another possibility for the creation of our universe is that the universe developed according to
such amazingly precise and harmonious conditions because it was proceeding according to
preexisting physical laws. Our universe could be a solitary event, or it could be one of a series of
universes, all developing according to the same physical laws. But what about Einstein's
conclusion that time itself - and the laws of physics - began with the Big Bang? I think we resolve
this contradiction by suggesting that time and the laws of physics in this universe began with the
Big Bang. This doesn't preclude the existence of time and physical laws in universes that might
have existed prior to our own, or existing at the same time as our own in some kind of parallel
The conjecture that the laws of physics were in place prior to the Big Bang seems more probable
than supposing that the amazing congruence of physical laws in our universe just happened
randomly by chance. However, it leaves unanswered the question of how (and why) the physical
laws came into existence.
It's hard to conceive of the laws of physics being in place - presumably before any universe
existed on which these physical laws could operate - without assuming an entity which created
these laws. Without a creator, one has to ask why is there such a thing as a universe (or
universes)? And even if we somehow answer this question, why is this universe alive with energy
instead of static and motionless?
If we somehow satisfy ourselves that a universe alive with energy makes sense, why this universe
with its mind-boggling complexity based on extremely precise physical laws, culminating in the
creation of human intelligence? The odds against this happening by random chance are so
prohibitive that we have no choice but to rule out chance as an explanation for the universe.
God's Creation Or Eternal Physical Laws?
Regarding the laws that govern both the physics and the biology of the universe, it seems there
are only two reasonable choices: either it was created, which logically requires a God or some
other First Cause, or the set of physical laws which spawned our universe (and conceivably many
other universes prior to this one) has existed forever independent of the material world that it
creates. If we say God created the universe(s), we have just moved the problem one step
backward: How was God created? If we maintain that the physical laws are eternal and therefore
don't require a creator, how do we explain where the physical laws came from? And if we suggest
that God did not need to have a creator, why can't we stipulate the same thing regarding the
physical laws? Physicists and philosophers are still debating this, in language and concept which
tend to be very complex to say the least.
It occurs to me that something is missing from this debate. The physical laws alone cannot in
themselves account for the origin of the universe. The universe requires both a set of physical
laws and the energy to set these laws into motion. If God created the universe(s), we can presume
that he created both the physical laws and the energy. But if the physical laws have existed
forever, without God as a First Cause, where does energy come from? We have to stipulate that
both physical laws and energy have existed eternally, hand in glove, and it requires us to state
what organizing interdependence exists between the two.
Physicists often employ a principle called Occam's Razor, which says the simplest and most
economical explanation is generally the correct one. Concluding that there must have been a
Creator seems like a simpler and more economical explanation than believing that both the
extremely precise set of physical laws and the energy necessary to create the universe have
existed forever with no outside Creator to explain their existence. Where did God come from
seems like a more reasonable question to leave unanswered than where did the laws of physics
and the energy of the universe come from, even if we have to say that in either case it's a
God Or Physical Laws - A Proposed Resolution
I would like to go out on a limb and suggest a resolution to the God vs. eternal physical laws
debate. Simply stated, I maintain that it doesn't matter.
Before I explain this, I think we need to accept one irrefutable concept that can't be disregarded,
the concept of infinity. Most physicists and philosophers agree that "from nothing, nothing comes",
meaning that our universe couldn't have just sprung out of nothingness. Theists take this to mean
that a God was necessary to create a universe; atheists claim that the laws of physics have
forever been in place. Whatever your persuasion, it is logically necessary to accept that something
- God or the laws of physics - is eternal, not requiring a prior cause. If you don't accept this, then
you are in the position of having to hypothesize how God - or the laws of physics - came into
being, and whatever you stipulate will lead you back to an endless series of a priori causes.
As humans, we are locked into perceiving space as three dimensional (some physicists now
speculate that there may be as many as seven dimensions) and all objects in our experience have
boundaries. Similarly, with time, everything in our experience has a beginning and an end. But
clearly, infinity must exist, and it is only the limitations of our human thought processes that make
this an awkward concept.
I think we have to accept - even embrace - the idea that something is eternal. My proposal is to
suggest that if God exists, he is whatever is eternal - not requiring a beginning and capable of
causing the development of universes. If the laws of physics (along with energy) did not require a
First Cause, then we can justifiably conclude that the laws of physics and the accompanying
energy are eternal, and therefore must be God. On the other hand, if the laws of physics and
energy were created by a First Cause, then that First Cause must be God. God is that which is
I don't view the nature of God and the physical structure of the universe as two different kinds of
reality. Those who debate this issue obviously think of God as fundamentally different from the
natural world. I think the problem is that when they think of God they unconsciously
"anthropomorphize" (which means view as having human traits) and form a mental picture of God
as some kind of Puppeteer in the Sky. If we take a more naturalistic view of God, it doesn't matter
whether we refer to that which is eternal as "God the Creator" or "the timeless set of physical laws
and the energy that together are responsible for everything in our universe."
The most renowned theologian of the twentieth century, Paul Tillich, concluded that God should be
viewed as ultimate reality, which he defined as the "Ground of Being". This concept could apply to
either side of the debate, God as Creator or the timeless set of physical laws. It's admittedly a
fuzzy concept, but in the absence of any ability to perceive or infer God's attributes more
accurately, it's probably as good a definition as any.
A Plausible Alternative Concept Of God
Many religions are based on what is known as Dualism - there is a material sphere (the physical
universe) and a spiritual realm (God, or multiple gods). God is a spiritual being who manipulates
the physical world and life within it hands on. This sets science apart from religion, and raises two
difficult questions: where does God reside, and how does God interact with the physical world
(including, of great importance to ourselves, humankind)?
I don't find a very satisfactory explanation in Dualism. I think it makes much better sense to believe
that the spiritual realm and the physical world are a single entity. Some religions, such as
Hinduism, have come to a similar conclusion, believing that God exists within all humans and,
indeed, in all of nature. I carry this further and say that God is the combination of physical laws
and the energy which make up all animate and inanimate life. According to this view, there is no
dualism, there is a single entity which combines the physical energy of the universe with the
spirituality of God.
This concept of God proposes that God and the physical universe are a unity. Does this mean that
God is the universe, and that is the totality of what he is? No, I think God is more than this. In my
view, our universe (perhaps one of many) is God's physical manifestation, but since God created
the universe, his mind and soul preceded it and existed independently of it. Look at it this way: if
the universe someday were to end by collapsing on itself, should we conclude that God would also
have expired? I think we have to believe that God's physical manifestation in this universe would
have ended, but God's mind and soul would continue on eternally.
The view that God and the universe are a unity, incidentally, solves an important question that has
plagued religions since the dawn of man: If God exists, where is he, and why doesn't he reveal
himself? Look around you at the thriving natural world and consider your own existence - God, if
you accept my definition, could hardly have made his reality more obvious!
I think there's an elegant simplicity to this concept of God. God is not mysterious or existing in
some realm we can't really conceive of. God is all around us. God is the life force within us!
1. Stephen W. Hawking, quoted in Stephen Hawking's Universe, John Boslough, New York:
William Morrow, 1985, p.121.
Copyright Richard T. Hall, 2006
This article is based on my essay called God Discovered, which discusses whether or not God
answers prayers and goes on to explore the promise of eternal life for each of us. See
[http://www.god-discovered.com] for a thorough and compelling discussion leading to some
Proving God - Learn How to Prove the Bible to be 100% Fact Including the Acts of Jesus Christ!
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