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The Existance of God
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By G. Brady Lenardos

In August   of  1993,  my friend, Jeff McCain,  and I  participated in a 
                                    debate  at the Orange County Regional Gathering of Mensa.   The topic 
                                    was the existence of God. Jeff and I took the affirmative position,  an 
                                    Agnostic and an  Atheist took  the negative   position.   Jeff presented 
                                    an inductive,  historical argument for the existence   of God,  and I 
                                    presented a  deductive argument for   the existence of  God.   As I was 
                                    developing the  material   for the debate,   I began  testing it by 
                                    arguing  some  points  with  a number of Atheists  and Agnostics   on   
                                    the Internet.  To my surprise, in every case, my opponent either outright 
                                    rejected logic, or tenaciously held on to a logical fallacy, even after 
                                    knowing it was a fallacy.
                                    
                                    The version you have   before   you is   an   updated version of the 
                                    argument.  There are  more   diagrams and charts,  and several new 
                                    sections have been added to answer objections that I   have encountered 
                                    in my debates.   I hope you will  enjoy this new version.  My thanks to 
                                    all who took the time and thought to enter into debate with me.
                                    
                                    Let's Begin - 
                                    
                                    A common phrase that I hear  from would  be philosophers   is:  "No one 
                                    can prove that God exists."  This is usually followed by  someone else  
                                    saying: "Oh yeah!  Well,   no   one can prove He   doesn't!"   This is  
                                    not a  very well   thought out assertion by  the unbeliever,  but  the 
                                    response  of the believer is even worse! 
                                    
                                    For the unbeliever  to  make the assertion   "No one can prove  that God  
                                    exists"   requires  one  of  two  possibilities  to  be  true  on  the 
                                    unbeliever's part.
                                    
                                    1) The unbeliever has examined and found all possible  arguments 
                                    (inductive and deductive)   for the existence of God that have   ever 
                                    been offered  and could ever be  offered to  be  wanting, 
                                    
                                    2) The unbeliever  has some  way of knowing without  examining any 
                                    arguments that  it  is  not possible  to  prove that God exists.   
                                    
                                    I personally have never found an  unbeliever  who has claimed to 
                                    have examined all possible arguments for the existence of God,  nor have 
                                    I found one who could give an apriori reason why it is  impossible to 
                                    prove that God exists.  This would not mean that  one of  these two 
                                    possibilities could not be the case;   But the fact that I am offering a  
                                    logically valid demonstration that God does exist,  would suggest that 
                                    neither is the case.
                                    
                                    Let's go   back   to the believer.   The burden of proof does  fall  to 
                                    the person  making  the affirmative  statement.   This  means  that  the 
                                    person stating   that  God exists  must  show his  position to be  true. 
                                    The statement by the believer, " No one can prove God doesn't exist," is 
                                    quite unacceptable.  In other words,   he must show that his position 
                                    accurately reflects  reality;  that there is a correspondence between 
                                    what  the believer says,  and  what  really  is the   case.   Luckily  
                                    for the believer,  we can demonstrate that God does exist.  The  person 
                                    who believes in God does  not have  to   use  such   lame   comebacks as 
                                    "Nobody can   prove   that  God  doesn't exist." However, the believer
                                    must take the time to  study and research  the issues that are  being 
                                    discussed. After  you finish  studying  this  paper,   when someone  
                                    says:  "You can't demonstrate that God exists!",   you can respond:  
                                    "Sure I can. Let me show you!"   
                                    
                                    Absolute certainty -
                                    
                                    Throughout history theologians and philosophers have  presented  
                                    cosmological,   or  causal arguments   for  the existence of  God.  Such 
                                    well known names  as St. Augustine (5th cent. AD),   Rene Descartes 
                                    (17th cent. AD),  and Norman Geisler (20th Cent. AD), as well as many 
                                    others, hold to the logical validity of such arguments.   The advantage 
                                    that  Augustine,  Descartes,  and Geisler have  is  that they start from  
                                    a point of  certainty.   After  this they went   into different 
                                    directions.   We will also start with   these thinkers, and then we will 
                                    go our separate way. 
                                    
                                    The  point of  certainty we  will  begin with  is our self.  Rene 
                                    Descartes, the  French,  rationalist, philosopher is  famous  for the 
                                    expression "I think,  therefore I am."  Although  he never put  it in 
                                    those exact   words,  the thought can be found is his book "The  
                                    Meditations"  (I suggest reading at least the first three chapters   of  
                                    "The Meditations"). Descartes'   idea is  that this expression  is   the 
                                    first  thing that  we  can  know  with certainty. Briefly,  his argument  
                                    runs something like this:   Let us take   a philosophical journey.  We  
                                    will  only  affirm as   true   everything  that  we  can know with 
                                    certitude.  Everything else we will doubt,  until we can build a case 
                                    based upon the  thing(s)  we  can know   for  certain.   We   should  
                                    doubt our   senses;  for our senses may deceive us,   as with optical 
                                    illusions.   We should doubt our  idea of the world around us,  for even 
                                    the idea of our own bodies may be false, as in a dream.  But, the one 
                                    thing we can't doubt is that we are doubting; for if we doubt that, we 
                                    are still doubting.   And if you are doubting,  then you are thinking;   
                                    for doubting  is thinking.   If you are thinking you must exist; for 
                                    only existing beings can think. 
                                    
                                    Another way of   putting it  is:  If you can say "I  exist,"  then you 
                                    know with certainty that you exist,  for you must exist to state  "I 
                                    exist." If one does not exist,   then that person would not  be around 
                                    to  make the statement. Norman  Geisler   calls this   statement   an   
                                    "existentially  undeniable" statement  (See  Geisler's   "Philosophy of  
                                    Religion").   Even if a person tries to   deny his own existence,   it 
                                    can  easily  be  proven  that their denial is false.  The very denial 
                                    creates a contradiction.   For the person must exist  to   deny that  
                                    the person   exists.  If the person did not exist,  then the person 
                                    wouldn't be around to make the denial.   So, we are forced to a position 
                                    of certainty.   The statement "I  exist,"  is necessarily  true  every  
                                    time I uttered it.   The only other alternative is  to reject logic.  
                                    The reason  is that     this    premise    is   firmly   grounded    in    
                                    the    law   of non-contradiction.  Without this  law no  communication 
                                    would  be possible. Without this law there is no meaning at all.  A 
                                    logician would define  this law by saying:   'A'   cannot equal non-'A'.  
                                    That is to say that something cannot be both wet and dry,   in   the 
                                    same   way,  at  the same  time,  in the   same sense. Therefore,  I 
                                    cannot exist and not exist in the same way, at the same time,  in the 
                                    same  sense.   It is this basic law that  must be rejected in order  to 
                                    reject our premise, and that leads to absurdity.  
                                    
                                    We  have   reached  a point of   certainty:   I exist.   If  I exist,  
                                    then something exists, for I fall into the category of something.    
                                    
                                    Here is our starting point, our first and undeniable premise:    
                                    
                                    Something exists.  
                                    
                                    I also   ask,   for the sake  of  argument  and available space,  that  
                                    you grant something that you probably already affirm as true: That the 
                                    universe around  us  also exists:   That is our  dimensions of time  and 
                                    space,  and energy and matter,  and all that   are   inherent  to  them.  
                                    If you really have  a problem   with this,  please write to me,   and I 
                                    will  be happy to discuss it  with you individually. Due to the limited 
                                    space we have, I will ask for your indulgence. 
                                    
                                    So, here we are with something that exists. 
                                    
                                    Let's take a moment to diagram what we have agreed on.
                                    
                                    		Everything existing
                                    -----------------------------------
                                    |                                 | 
                                    |                                 |
                                    |   I                             |
                                    |                                 |
                                    |                                 |
                                    |   Universe                      |
                                    |                                 |
                                    |                                 |
                                    |                                 |
                                    |                                 |
                                    |                                 |
                                    -----------------------------------
                                    
                                    Diagram 1.1
                                    
                                    In the   above diagram we  see the category  of everything that  exists. 
                                    In that  category  we  see the  two  "somethings"  that  we  have  
                                    agreed upon existing: "I" and "the universe", and actually, I am part of 
                                    the universe.  At this point in the argument this is all that we know.
                                    
                                    The next question that comes to mind is:   Given that something exists 
                                    now, did something always exist? We may also ask whether we can know the 
                                    answer?
                                    
                                    Fortunately   there are a limited number   of   explanations,   and  we 
                                    can readily  exclude  several  of  them.   Here  is  a  list  of  all  
                                    possible explanations  for this something that exists: 
                                    
                                    1)   Something   always   existed.  In  other words,  either this 
                                    something (the universe) always existed,   or there was something  else  
                                    that  always  existed  from which this something is derived. 
                                    
                                    2) There was a point when nothing existed.  
                                    
                                    Let's begin a chart that  will  help  us visualize the  relationship of 
                                    the option.
                                    
                                    CHART 1.1 
                                    
                                    Something exists 
                                    |  
                                    | 
                                    ------------------------------- 
                                    |                             | 
                                    |                             | 
                                    |                             | 
                                    A point when there                Something always 
                                    was non-existence                 existed 
                                    
                                    
                                    We have set up what is known in logic as a disjunct.  That means that 
                                    there are  two options available,  and if one  is false, then the  other 
                                    is necessarily true.
                                    
                                    Allow me to digress for a moment to explain how it works. 
                                    
                                    Let's say that you and your friend  Fred are going  to play a little  
                                    game. You  have a  penny and Fred  has a quarter.   These two coins  are 
                                    the only coins in the room.  The way to play the game is: First, you 
                                    turn your back. Next, Fred places one coin in his pants pocket,  and the 
                                    other in his hand, and  then closes his hand.  The object is for you to 
                                    guess which coin is in his hand.  (You must lead a very dull life  if 
                                    you are  playing this game). So,   with this being done,  you turn and 
                                    are about to make your guess when you   notice the  edge  of   the  
                                    quarter  protruding   from   Fred's pants pocket.   Given that there are 
                                    two and   only two coins  in  the room,  you have disproven that   the 
                                    coin  in Fred's hand  is the quarter.  Therefore, you conclude that the 
                                    coin in Fred's hand  is necessarily (meaning: it must be) the penny. 
                                    You are right. 
                                    
                                    If we were to write it out long hand, it would go something like this: 
                                    
                                    1) Either the Penny or the Quarter is in Fred's hand. 
                                    2) It's not the Quarter (I see that in his pocket). 
                                    3) Therefore, it's the Penny in his hand. 
                                    
                                    In logical notation it would look something like this: 
                                    
                                    Let P = Penny, Let Q = Quarter 
                                    
                                    1) P or Q (Premise) 
                                    2) Not Q (Premise) 
                                    3) Therefore P (Conclusion) 
                                    
                                    The  upshot  of all  this is, if  we can demonstrate  one of the  
                                    options in our disjunct to be false, then we know that the other option 
                                    is true.
                                    
                                    To make matters more interesting  there are  three options that  come 
                                    under the leg of "a point when there was non-existence":
                                    
                                    a) Everything is an illusion, and nothing really exists. 
                                    
                                    b) Something created itself. The "something" is self-caused. 
                                    
                                    c)   Something  that  now exists  is  derived,   or  caused,  or  came 
                                    from nonexistence (i.e. something came from nothing). 
                                    
                                    Let's add these to our chart:
                                    
                                    CHART 1.2
                                    
                                    Something exists 
                                    |  
                                    | 
                                    ------------------------------- 
                                    |                             | 
                                    |                             | 
                                    |                             | 
                                    A point when there                Something always 
                                    was non-existence                 existed 
                                    ------------------------------                       
                                    |             |              |               
                                    |             |              |                     
                                    |             |              |                
                                    All is      Self-caused     Something           
                                    illusion                    came from           
                                    non-existence       
                                    
                                    
                                    Let's   examine  "a   point when there   was non-existence,"  and its 
                                    three options first.
                                    
                                    Option   (a)  is easy  to  exclude as a  real possibility.  Option (a) 
                                    says that  nothing exists;  that everything  is  an  illusion.  We  have 
                                    already determined that something exists,   and we know that to be 
                                    undeniably true. If something  exists,  then everything   cannot be an  
                                    illusion.  But,  for the  sake  of  argument,  let's  assume  that  
                                    everything  is  an illusion. Wouldn't something have to exist  to be 
                                    having an  illusion?  Non-existence can't have illusions,  only 
                                    something that exists can have an illusion. Not only that, but the 
                                    something having the illusion must be a cognitive something. So this  
                                    possibility  is  self   contradictory.  It  is  logically impossible. 
                                    Scratch the first one. 
                                    
                                    Option  (b)   asserts that something (this something - our universe,  or 
                                    perhaps something else from which this universe  is derived)   created 
                                    itself.   However, in order to create itself,  it would have to  be 
                                    prior  to its own  existence. In other words it would have to be before 
                                    it was;  it would have to be,  and not be, at the same  time,  and   in   
                                    the   same   sense.   This  is  a  flat  out violation   of   the   law   
                                    of non-contradiction.  A logical contradiction forces us to reject this 
                                    option.   
                                    
                                    Option (c)  says that  something  is  derived  from  nothing.  Let's 
                                    define 'Nothing.'  Nothing is what we find when we look into an empty  
                                    cookie jar, there  is  nothing there,   or no  -   thing  there.   By  
                                    nothing  we mean non-existence,  or a complete lack of all attributes:  
                                    No color,  no shape, no size, no substance whatsoever, no attributes at 
                                    all.  If something could come from nothing,  this nothing would have to 
                                    at least  have the attribute of being able   to have  something   come  
                                    from  it.   If  nothing has that attribute,   nothing is not 'nothing'.  
                                    This is because the  definition  of 'nothing'   is a complete lack   of 
                                    ALL  attributes, and that which  we are calling  'nothing'  would have 
                                    an attribute.  The person who claims that something can come from   
                                    nothing is equivocating on   the terms.  That person is using the same 
                                    term in two different ways.  The word 'nothing' means one thing at the 
                                    beginning of the argument (it means  a   complete lack of  all 
                                    attributes), later it  means something  else  (it  means  something  
                                    with  at  least one attribute). In other  words this person is  cheating  
                                    us  with  a semantic trick. But, we will not be fooled. Thus this third 
                                    option fails, and with it so does the entire point. 
                                    
                                    Given our above inferences, let's see what conclusion we can draw: 
                                    
                                    1)   If there ever was a point when there was   nothing (no existence)  
                                    and as we  have  already   seen there would   be no way to   get 
                                    something from nothing, then there would be nothing now. 
                                    
                                    2) There is something now. 
                                    
                                    3)  Therefore,  there  never  was  a  point  when  there  was  nothing  
                                    (no existence). 
                                    
                                    Our conclusion is just  another   way of stating the second   point  of 
                                    our disjunct: Something always existed. 
                                    
                                    By   examining our conclusion   a   little  closer  we  are  also  able  
                                    to derive additional information from it.   If something always existed,  
                                    then it does not have a cause that brought it into existence (if it  did 
                                    have  a cause,   then it did not always exist).  If this something had 
                                    no cause, it is uncaused.  If it is uncaused,   it is infinite in its  
                                    existence.  These are  some   things that can be readily deduced,  or 
                                    unpacked from  the term "always existed."  It may not be  all that  we 
                                    may know   about that  which always   exists,   but it does give us  
                                    enough information  to continue our quest.   We now know that  there is 
                                    something that exists  that has  always existed,  that is uncaused, and 
                                    infinite in its existence. There  is  nothing   inherently    
                                    contradictory   about  something  always existing.  It is 
                                    philosophically sound.  In fact it is held by most  of the worlds  
                                    cosmologies,  including  Naturalism.  The  traditional Naturalistic 
                                    cosmology  maintains that  the universe is,   in some way  or another,  
                                    the always existing  something from  which anything   and everything  
                                    else  is derived.   Theism (Christianity,  Judaism,  and Islam)  also 
                                    maintains that there is an  always existent.  The difference is that  
                                    the Theist maintains that the always existent is external to, or outside 
                                    of, or transcendent  to the universe   in which   we find ourselves,   
                                    yet this original  being can somehow still directly work inside the 
                                    derived universe. 
                                    
                                    Let's add the always existent something  to our diagram:
                                    
                                    		Everything existing
                                    -----------------------------------------
                                    |                                       | 
                                    |                 -----------------     |
                                    |   I             |               |     |
                                    |                 |  always       |     |
                                    |                 |  existing     |     |
                                    |  Universe       |               |     |
                                    |                 |               |     |
                                    |                 -----------------     |
                                    |                                       |
                                    |                                       |
                                    |                                       |
                                    -----------------------------------------
                                    Diagram 1.2
                                    
                                    
                                    We now know that the membership  of  the category of "Everything"  
                                    includes The  universe,   and I (as part  of  the universe),  and a 
                                    subcategory of  "Always existed."   As  stated  above it is possible  
                                    that the universe  belongs to the category of "Always existed."  At this 
                                    point we do not know   that to be  the   case.   So, we  leave it  
                                    outside the category until we  can determine if it belongs there. 
                                    
                                    Is the universe the always existent? - 
                                    
                                    Given that something has always existed,   then either  this universe 
                                    has always existed, or it is not. Again, we have set up a disjunct.
                                    
                                    		CHART 1.3
                                    
                                    Something exists 
                                    |  
                                    | 
                                    ------------------------------- 
                                    |                             | 
                                    |                             | 
                                    |                             | 
                                    A point when there                Something always 
                                    was non-existence                 existed 
                                    ------------------------------              |         
                                    |             |              |              | 
                                    |             |              |              |       
                                    |             |              |              |  
                                    All is      Self-caused     Something          | 
                                    illusion                    came from          | 
                                    non-existence      | 
                                    | 
                                    | 
                                    | 
                                    |       
                                    |        
                                    | 
                                    -------------------------------------- 
                                    |                                    | 
                                    |                                    | 
                                    |                                    | 
                                    |                             The universe has 
                                    |                             not always existed 
                                    |                                     
                                    |                                     
                                    The universe has                            
                                    always existed                              
                                    
                                    
                                    If we   can prove  the leg   that  asserts  "The  universe  has always 
                                    existed"  is false,  then we have demonstrated that the other leg is 
                                    true (again by disjunctive syllogism). 
                                    
                                    The  attribute of 'always existent  being'  that  we will focus  on is 
                                    infinity.  As we discussed above,   an always existent being  would have 
                                    to be  infinite in its existence.  Since the attribute of infinity is 
                                    inherent to always existing,  if we can demonstrate that the universe 
                                    does  not have this  attribute, then we have demonstrated  that the 
                                    universe does not fall into the category of "Always existed."
                                    
                                    There  are three   possibilities   that   are offered  under  the  leg 
                                    "The universe has always existed," : 
                                    
                                    1)   It  is  possible  that  the substance,   or stuff,   or being  of 
                                    this universe is infinite in existence.
                                    
                                    2) It is possible that there was an infinite regress of finite events.
                                    
                                    3)   It is possible that the universe   existed in  some form prior to  
                                    the first  motion   event,   outside of   a  dimension of   time,   and   
                                    in  a completely static condition.
                                    
                                    If  we  can  demonstrate that these three  possibilities  are  false,   
                                    then  we have demonstrated that the leg is false.  As we will see, these 
                                    three cover all possibilities.
                                    
                                    Let's add the  three possibilities for an  always existing universe  to 
                                    the chart:
                                    CHART 1.4
                                    
                                    Something exists 
                                    |  
                                    | 
                                    ------------------------------- 
                                    |                             | 
                                    A point when there                Something always 
                                    was non-existence                 existed 
                                    ------------------------------              |         
                                    |             |              |              |  
                                    All is      Self-caused     Something          | 
                                    illusion                    came from          | 
                                    non-existence      | 
                                    | 
                                    -------------------------------------- 
                                    |                                    | 
                                    |                             The universe has 
                                    |                             not always existed 
                                    |                                    | 
                                    The universe has                           | 
                                    always existed                             | 
                                    --------------------------------              There is something 
                                    |              |                |             transcendent to our 
                                    |              |                |             universe that always 
                                    |              |                |             existed, is uncaused, 
                                    The substance of   an infinite    The universe       and infinite. 
                                    the universe is    regress of     existed timeless   
                                    infinite           finite events  and static prior  
                                    to 1st motion  
                                    event 
                                    
                                    
                                    Let's examine the  first two historical  options available under this  leg. 
                                    The  first   one says   that the   nature,  or stuff,  or substance of this 
                                    universe is infinite;   it always existed.   The changes we see are changes 
                                    in appearance not in substance.  The second option says that the nature, or 
                                    stuff  of  the universe  is finite,   but there was an infinite  regress of 
                                    connected events.  Although, no thing or event could be considered infinite 
                                    in itself,   the universe as a whole would have always existed  though this 
                                    infinite, endless chain of cause and effect events.
                                    
                                    These two views are different in  fundamental points,  but  they  do  share 
                                    one point that   is  vulnerable to criticism,  and shows them  to be false. 
                                    Both views maintain  that  an infinite number  of events have  preceded the 
                                    present event,  the  event we  are experiencing  right now.  They say  that 
                                    an infinite series   of  events  that  stretch out into  the past has  been 
                                    traversed  or  crossed to  bring   us  to  the current event we   are now 
                                    experiencing.   If   we  can disprove  this  point,  then  both options are 
                                    shown to be false.
                                    
                                    The above position is vulnerable when it claims that  an infinite  number  
                                    of  events  have  been completely traversed.   In other words,  all 
                                    members of the  set we can  call `the past   events'  have been crossed,   
                                    and  there are no  events   that   can be  called  `past events' that have  
                                    not  been  crossed. The position  also  maintains that  there is no 
                                    beginning to  the series,  thus the claim that the series is infinite. 
                                    
                                    To show the problem let's try a little theoretical experiment.   Let's  say 
                                    we can reverse the logical order of events. So, we would begin going 
                                    backward, crossing all events in the logical order except reversed. 
                                    
                                    The infinite  universe  models say that all past events  have been 
                                    traversed coming forward. So, we should be able  to traverse all events  
                                    going backwards.   After all,  there are no more events going backward,  
                                    than are coming forward;   there are the exact same number of events.   
                                    But,  if we can traverse all   past events going backwards,   we   will 
                                    have come to   a point when   there are no more events to cross.  Thus,  
                                    all  events  would be  traversed.  If all events have been traversed 
                                    going backwards,  and no events remain to be traversed, then we will have 
                                    come to an  end.   If we come to  an end,   then the series is finite.  You 
                                    see,   an end  going  backward  would  be  a  beginning coming forward,   
                                    and if it had a beginning it must be finite.  If it is finite it is not 
                                    infinite.
                                    
                                    What if we never   get to an end going backwards?  It  would mean  that all 
                                    past events could not be  traversed;   and if all past  events cannot  be 
                                    traversed going backwards,  then  they  could not  be  traversed coming 
                                    forwards. The same number of events are  involved.  If the series of events 
                                    could not be traversed coming  forward,   then we would never  be able to 
                                    get   to the current event  we  are experiencing  right now.  Yet,  we  are 
                                    at   the   present  event.  Therefore,  there are not an infinite number of 
                                    events. 
                                    
                                    To summarize:  If all past  events could be traversed,  then the  past is 
                                    not infinite.  If the past is  infinite then all past  events  could not be 
                                    traversed to get us to the present event.   Since the  latter is patently 
                                    false (we   are at the current event),   and   the former  denies  the main 
                                    premise  of the infinite universe,  which  makes the proposition false,  we 
                                    can conclude   that   the two options that  maintain an infinite  series of 
                                    past events are both false. 
                                    
                                    This brings us to the third  option. It  goes   something  like  this:   
                                    The  universe  that  is currently in motion existed in some form  logically 
                                    prior to  it's being in motion.   At that  point it   was in   a state 
                                    absolutely  static  (without motion,   or   event)  and  absolutely   
                                    timeless  (without  a dimension of time).  
                                    
                                    This option tries to  avoid the error   of attempting to   traverse an 
                                    actual infinite series of  events.   If there were   no events and no  time 
                                    prior to the first   motion  event (presumably the big bang),  it  would be 
                                    possible for the universe  to   be  placed  in   the  category   of "always 
                                    existed."   This is because it could have existed without  a beginning, and 
                                    prior to the first motion event. 
                                    
                                    For the above to  be  a real  possibility the following  two  premises must 
                                    both be possible at the same time.
                                    
                                    1) There was a point logically prior to the first event.
                                    
                                    2)   Whatever  form  the universe   was in,   it was absolutely  static and 
                                    timeless prior to the first event.
                                    
                                    Let's   examine the proposed first event a little  more  carefully and see 
                                    what  we can deduce given the premises. 
                                    
                                    There   are   three   possibilities   concerning   any   event.  Either  an 
                                    event is necessary (which means it must  happen,   and cannot not  happen), 
                                    the event is contingent (it can happen   or   not happen  depending on  
                                    conditions),  or the event is impossible (it cannot happen).
Let's say that given the above
                                    scenario the first  event was  contingent. 
                                    There would  be  a point where the conditions  needed  for the first  event 
                                    were not  present,   so there would be no first event until the conditions 
                                    came about for the first event.   This gives  us the "eternal"  point prior  
                                    to  the first event that  is  suggested.  But, this means  that  conditions  
                                    would have  to  change  in some way,   so that the conditions needed for   
                                    the first event could come about. But, this change would be an event in 
                                    itself. So, it would be necessary to have an event precede the first event.  
                                    This  would  mean that the  first event is  not the "first  event."  It 
                                    also  would deny  that the universe   was static   prior  to the   "first 
                                    event."  The idea that  this first event is  contingent  allows  for 
                                    premise 1,  but denies premise 2. 
                                    
                                    Let's say that the first event was necessary. This would mean that  if the 
                                    first event could occur,   it must  occur.  If all conditions needed for  
                                    the first event were always present    and there was no contingency,   then 
                                    the event would occur. This would save us from needing an event preceding 
                                    our first  event. However,  If  all   conditions necessary   for the first 
                                    event were present,  the event would have occurred without a point 
                                    logically prior  to it,   for there would be no point logically prior such 
                                    that  the conditions for the first  event were not present. This denies 
                                    premise 1. 
                                    
                                    So,   we see that  given the above scenario,  the  first  event  is neither 
                                    contingent,  nor necessary.  Therefore,  it  is an impossible  event, given 
                                    the  premises.   Since the universe  is  here,   we must conclude that this 
                                    third option is false.
                                    
                                    We  may derive  something else  from the fall of  the three above  options: 
                                    Any other   attempt to  maintain  that  the universe  always  existed would 
                                    have to present a scenario such that the universe  could not be  always  in 
                                    motion,  nor be motionless at some prior point.   Given the third law of 
                                    logic, the law of excluded middle,  there is no possibility of any other 
                                    rational scenario proposing an always existent universe.
                                    
                                    Since the three options available to  the   leg  that  maintains   that the 
                                    universe  has always existed   are shown to   be false,   the leg itself is 
                                    shown false.  If this  leg is  false,  then  the other leg of  the disjunct 
                                    must  be  true (via disjunctive syllogism).  The leg we find to be  true is 
                                    that  this universe has not always existed.   
                                    
                                    Although we   have found  that this universe  did not always  exist, we are 
                                    still stuck with the fact that there is something  in the  category  of  
                                    "always  existed."  We  also  know  that this `something' is infinite,  and 
                                    uncaused.  The  philosophical   term  for an  actual  always existent   
                                    that   is   other  than our universe   is  'transcendent.'  This argument   
                                    also   shows   that   if the universe is not infinite,  it had a beginning,  
                                    it is finite.  If it is finite, then it is derived.  That means it had to  
                                    come  from  something  else.   For,  as  we  have  already seen, something 
                                    cannot come from nothing.
                                    
                                    So, here is what we have learned through our discussion: 
                                    
                                    1: Since something exists, something has always existed. 
                                    
                                    2:  The  something  that  has  always  existed  is  uncaused,  infinite  in 
                                    its existence.
                                    
                                    3:  This always  existing  something is  transcendent  to  our universe  (a 
                                    universe that did not always exist, and is derived). 
                                    
                                    Our final version of chart 1 now looks like this:
                                    
                                    CHART 1.5
                                    
                                    Something exists 
                                    |  
                                    | 
                                    ------------------------------- 
                                    |                             | 
                                    A point when there                Something always 
                                    was non-existence                 existed 
                                    ------------------------------              |         
                                    |             |              |              | 
                                    |             |              |              |       
                                    |             |              |              |  
                                    All is      Self-caused     Something          | 
                                    illusion                    came from          | 
                                    non-existence      | 
                                    | 
                                    -------------------------------------- 
                                    |                                    | 
                                    |                             The universe has 
                                    |                             not always existed 
                                    The universe has                           | 
                                    always existed                             | 
                                    --------------------------------              There is something 
                                    |              |                |             transcendent to our 
                                    |              |                |             universe that always 
                                    |              |                |             existed, is uncaused, 
                                    The substance of   an infinite    The universe       and infinite. 
                                    the universe is    regress of     existed timeless   
                                    infinite           finite events  and static prior  
                                    to 1st motion  
                                    event 
                                    
                                    Although minimally so,   isn't the term 'God'  consistent with what we mean 
                                    when we  talk  about an  infinite,   uncaused,   always  existent,  that is 
                                    transcendent to our finite, derived (created) universe? 
                                    
                                    Is this argument a good argument?- 
                                    
                                    First,   in   examining  the argument   we   see  that   it   follows 
                                    standard disjunctive  syllogisms,  nothing fancy,  just straight forward 
                                    deductions. The form is   a valid form.   Which  means that  the form  of  
                                    the argument will yield  a true conclusion  provided all  the premises are  
                                    true.  Thus, we say, the conclusion follows necessarily.  
                                    
                                    Second,   we  must   examine  the truth of   the  premises.   The  argument 
                                    unfolds by examining  the  possibilities  that  come  from   unpacking   an 
                                    existentially  undeniable   premise  ("I exist").   By  `unpacking'  I mean 
                                    finding the necessary implications of the  idea.  For instance, if I exist, 
                                    then it necessarily follows that something exists.   If I know what  I mean 
                                    by `I'   and I know what I mean  by  `something,'   then I know for certain 
                                    that if I exist, then something exists. I unpacked `something exists'  from 
                                    the  statement  `I  exist.'  Where  there  was  more  than  one possibility 
                                    unpacked,   each was examined logically,  and those that did not  stand the 
                                    examination   were   discarded,  leaving  those  that  were shown logically 
                                    to be the case.   In other words the premises used to demonstrate  that God 
                                    exists are true premises.    
                                    
                                    Therefore,  since  the argument  is  valid,  and  the  premises  are  true, 
                                    the conclusion yielded is   a true   conclusion.   It is a  conclusion that 
                                    accurately describes reality. 
                                    
                                    Some objections -
                                    
                                    Even though the argument is  sound,   there have been some attempts  to get 
                                    around the   implication that   God  does   exist.   Allow me to share some
                                    attempts people have tried to use to get out of accepting the conclusion of
                                    the argument.
In the words of one gentleman whom  I debated on this point: 
                                    "What Mr.  Lenardos has not accounted for is  that  in   addition  to being 
                                    uncaused,    always  existent,   transcendent,    etc.,   `God'  is  almost 
                                    universally understood to be a conscious,  volitional  being.  From this it 
                                    follows  that  no  item   picked out   by  the term `God'  could lack these 
                                    properties and still be God." Here are a few examples of quotes from modern 
                                    day Atheist writers that were presented to me in that recent discussion:
                                    
                                    From Philosopher Paul Edwards:
                                    
                                    "It  has frequently  been  pointed out that  even   if this  argument  (the 
                                    classical  causal  argument)   were  sound  it   would  not  establish  the 
                                    existence   of  God. It would not show that the first cause is all-powerful 
                                    or all-good or   that it is in any sense personal.  Defenders of the causal 
                                    argument   usually concede this  and insist  that  the argument  is  not in 
                                    itself  meant to prove  the existence of God....Supplementary arguments are 
                                    required to show   that the   first cause must have attributes  assigned to 
                                    the deity."  (From his article  in The Rationalist Annual, 1959)
                                    
                                    From William Rowe:
                                    
                                    "(I)t might be objected that even  if   Aquinas'  arguments do prove beyond 
                                    doubt the existence of   an  unchanging changer,  an uncaused cause,  and a 
                                    being that could not have  failed to   exist,   the arguments fail to prove 
                                    the   existence  of the  theistic God."  (Philosophy of Religion, Wadsworth 
                                    Publishing Co., 1978)
                                    
                                    Apparently   these men,   and there   are  others  who  follow  them,  feel 
                                    it is necessary to demonstrate personality to demonstrate that what we have 
                                    in a real always existing,  uncaused,  infinite that is transcendent to our 
                                    finite,  caused,  derived universe can be termed as "God."  The question is 
                                    not  whether God is  a personal,  active,  volitional, conscious being, but 
                                    rather,  is it necessary to demonstrate that the always  existent that does 
                                    exist has these  qualities in order to refer to it(?) as God?
                                    
                                    I   happen to  believe  that  God  is  personal.   I  don't  believe  that 
                                    the  demonstration of  personality  is  needed  to  show  that   the always 
                                    existent is  God.   You  will  note  that  although  my  argument  does not 
                                    demonstrate that  the always   existent   is personal,   the argument in no 
                                    way  denies   that the always  existent  is  personal.  At  this  point the 
                                    question is open. 
                                    
                                    This objection seems   to me as  nothing more than a last  ditch effort  to 
                                    keep from   having to admit the obvious.   The idea   that one  must either 
                                    demonstrate personality,   or one cannot refer to  the always   existent as 
                                    "God"   is absurd.  One  reason  is  that  there are several  religions and 
                                    philosophies that  assert an impersonal God.  It is not true that volition, 
                                    action, consciousness, i.e., personality is universally held. Here are just 
                                    a couple of examples: 
                                    
                                    1)  Hinduism. The ultimate being (God) in Hinduism is Brahman. Here is what 
                                    John  B.   Noss,   author of  "Man's   Religions",   has  to say concerning 
                                    Brahman  in  the  Hindu  writings:   "Some  treatises,   the  earlier ones, 
                                    regularly  refer to  Brahman as  a neuter   something,   without  motion or 
                                    feeling,   the impersonal matrix from which the universe has issued  and to 
                                    which it   will in  time   return.  This  It,  this   One  Thing,   is  the 
                                    substratum   of   everything."  Further reading  in the Upanishads  (sacred 
                                    Hindu writings)  reveal that  there is  a personal  form of Brahman (called 
                                    the formed)   and   an   impersonal  form  (called  the formless). However, 
                                    it   is   the  impersonal   that   is   the ultimate and  real: "There are, 
                                    assuredly,  two  forms of  Brahman:  the formed and the  formless. Now that 
                                    which is formed is unreal;  that which is formless  is real"  (from "Maitri 
                                    Upanishad").  So we  find that the "real"   is the impersonal.   On further 
                                    reading we also find that this "formless" and real is also action less.
                                    
                                    2)   Plotinus.   Plotinus had a  huge neo-platonic following in   the third 
                                    century A.D. This next quotation is from Fredrick Copleston's "A History of 
                                    Philosophy."  It is  about Plotinus'   concept of God:   "God is absolutely 
                                    transcendent:  He is the One,   beyond all thought and all being...  God is 
                                    accordingly THE   GOOD rather than "good."   Moreover,  we can legitimately 
                                    ascribe to the One neither thought nor will nor activity."  
                                    
                                    3)   Furthermore,  we  find  that  not even  Theists historically  believed 
                                    that demonstrating personality was necessary to show that God  exists. Such 
                                    as  Thomas Aquinas,   Anselm,   Descartes, Leibniz, and many others offered 
                                    arguments for the   existence of God   that did not  include personality as 
                                    a  criteria  for demonstrating that  God existed.   Assuredly,  all of them 
                                    offered  other arguments at  different points   that   God  is   a personal 
                                    being,   but they  did not   find  it  necessary to  offer an  argument for 
                                    personality  to  demonstrate that  God existed.   So we   find   that  from 
                                    historical,  philosophical,  religious, and theistic stand  points,  it  is 
                                    not   necessary   to   demonstrate  that  God  is personal,  to demonstrate 
                                    that   God does   exist.  Allow me to offer  a list of  just  a few of  the 
                                    philosophers  who   argued  for the   existence of God  without an inherent 
                                    argument for personality in the argument presented:
                                    
                                    Plato (see "Laws" and "Phaedrus")
                                    
                                    Aristotle (see "Metaphysics")
                                    
                                    Anselm (see "Prologion" and "Monologion")
                                    
                                    Alfarabi (for easy references for this and the next see "A  History of 
                                    Medieval Philosophy" by Armand A. Maurer)
                                    
                                    Avicenna
                                    
                                    Thomas Aquinas (see "Summa Theologica")
                                    
                                    John Duns Scotus (see "Philosophical Writings" trans. Allan B. Wolter)
                                    
                                    Rene Descartes (see "Meditations" ch.5)
                                    
                                    Leibniz (see "Monadology")
                                    
                                    Spinoza (see "Ethics")
                                    
                                    Richard Taylor (see "The Cosmological Argument")
                                    
                                    Charles Hartshorne (see "The Ontological Argument")
                                    
                                    N. Malcolm (see "The Ontological Argument")
                                    
                                    Here   we   have   a  wide   range  of   philosophers from  many  different 
                                    viewpoints.  Represented  are Dualists,  Pantheists, Panentheists, Muslims, 
                                    and Christians.
                                    
                                    The  meaning of  a term  can be  drawn from   its  common  usage  within  a 
                                    community. The  community that  deals with  the type  of  argument  I  have 
                                    given   is the philosophical/religious community.  The common  usage within 
                                    this community for the last 2500   years refers to  an infinite,  uncaused, 
                                    always  existent  which is  transcendent  to  our  finite,  derived, caused 
                                    universe  as  God.  The conjunction of the above  examples demonstrate that 
                                    the premise that   says it is   necessary to show personality before we may 
                                    refer to the always existent as "God" is false. 
Another debater attempted to argue in this
                                    manner: 
"The article fails to carry out some crucial self-analysis on its conclusions.
                                    Doing so would reveal that the conclusions reached within the article disprove 
                                    the entity the article claims to prove exists. The same reasoning by which the 
                                    article 'disproves' an always existent universe also apply to the entity the 
                                    article proposes." 
What this debater is trying to say is that the same argument that is used
                                    to show 
                                    the universe is not always existent can be use to show the God is not always 
                                    existent. This debater would be correct given any type of God that existed
                                    sequentially or was trapped within our dimension of time. In Christianity at 
                                    least, God is not a sequential being and two other options have been offered
                                    concerning His existence. Christian theology has suggested that God is either
                                    timeless (outside of a dimension of time) or exists on multiple dimensions of time. 
                                    God is not trapped in our one single dimension of created time. If either of these 
                                    options is the case, then the above objection fails. So, our friend has not shown 
                                    the existence of an always existent God to be impossible. He has shown that one type 
                                    of god would be impossible and type of god is not one that most religious philosophies 
                                    are interested in anyway.
Another debater reacted to the argument for the existence of God in
                                    this fashion:
"Although, the argument that our universe is not infinite looks good at first,
                                    we must remember that we don't know everything there is to know about infinity.
                                    We may even learn some new things in the future that would overturn what we 
                                    know now. But, I think it may just be that our minds are not able to grasp enough
                                    about infinity to make the conclusion drawn here."
There are actually three objections here:
1) We shouldn't accept that the universe is not infinite, because we don't know
                                    enough about infinity.
2) We shouldn't accept that the universe is not infinite, because we
                                    may learn
                                    more about infinity later that would change our views.
3)We shouldn't accept that the universe
                                    is not infinite, because our minds cannot
                                    grasp enough about infinity make that conclusion.
Regarding the first two, they are forms of
                                    the logical fallacy Argumentum ad
                                    Ignorantiam. This is because the conclusion they seek to draw is not based on
                                    what we do know, but based on what we don't know. The reason they are fallacious
                                    is because they can be use for or against anything. For instance, we shouldn't
                                    accept the theory of relativity or the laws of thermodynamics because we just
                                    don't know enough about them and we may even learn some new things in the future 
                                    that would overturn what we think we know now. Consider this one, we shouldn't
                                    reject the existence of unicorns or leprechauns because we just don't know enough 
                                    about them and we may even learn some new things in the future that would overturn 
                                    what we think we know now. One could also argue, we shouldn't accept that the 
                                    universe is infinite because we just don't know enough about it and we may even 
                                    learn some new things in the future that would overturn what we think we know now.
                                    This is just bad reasoning and is to be avoided at all cost.
In the third objection, I guess
                                    our critic is at least willing to accept that
                                    something is finite, our minds. Although this objection is similar to the first
                                    two, it differs slightly. The first two merely claim a lack of knowledge. This
                                    claims a lack of capability to know. But the problem that this critic has just 
                                    run in to is not based on what we don't know about infinity, but what we do know.
                                    Let's take an example, If the only thing a person knew about a cat is that it 
                                    is a mammal, that person could easily conclude that his goldfish was not a cat.
                                    He need not know everything about either the cat or the fish. He just needs 
                                    to know one clearly identifying feature to draw this basic conclusion. The one 
                                    thing he does know about the cat, clearly and distinctly, does not fit with what
                                    he knows about the fish. No matter how much more information he gathers about 
                                    the cat and the fish, that disparity will never be closed. The fish will never
                                    be though a cat, because our person knows that a cat is a mammal and he knows 
                                    the fish is not a mammal.
That is the problem our objector has here. When ever we compare the
                                    clear and
                                    distinct things we do know about infinity to our universe, we never have a 
                                    correspondence, in fact just the opposite is true, we see a disparity each and 
                                    every time. No matter how much more capable our minds could become or how much 
                                    more information we could get about infinity, this basic and primary disparity 
                                    can never be expunged.
                                    
                                    Last thoughts -
                                    
                                    The argument I have given rest firmly and solidly on the laws of logic;  in 
                                    other words, rational thought. If someone would like to get around  this 
                                    argument there is  only  one way to  do it: simply reject  rational  
                                    thought.   You  see,   at   the very   beginning  of  the argument   we had   
                                    to make a choice:   If we   would deal  with our  topic rationally,   or 
                                    irrationally.  If we chose the irrational,  my argument is cut off at  the 
                                    root.  I  can't even  make  my  first  point,   because all communication 
                                    assumes rational  thought. If, however, we chose to deal with the subject 
                                    rationally, then the conclusion is clear: God exists! 
                                    
                                    You may find some who don't mind taking the irrational route   when dealing 
                                    with the existence of  God.  But,  there can be  no  real reason to  reject 
                                    rational thought when  it  concerns God,  and accept it in other areas.  It 
                                    is the  same rational thought that  tells a person  to   chew on the steak, 
                                    and  not   the steak knife.   So,   if   a person  would be  consistent  in 
                                    really   giving up rational thought,   it would be a toss up  as to whether 
                                    the  person chews on the  edge of the knife,  or the steak presented on the 
                                    plate.   But,  since we find few people who  reject  the existence of  God, 
                                    who are chewing on  steak knives,  we must assume  that  either  they  have 
                                    not   examined    this   argument,  or  they  are selectively rejecting the 
                                    argument   despite its validity,  and soundness. Each person must choose 
                                    the way he  will  go.   My  only  problem is  with the person who   rejects 
                                    the argument   and insists he  is  being rational.  The  person who rejects 
                                    the argument, and rational thought,  has a right to do so,  but should at 
                                    least be honest about it. 
                                     
                                    Suggested reading: 
                                     * R. Descartes, Meditations, Chapters 1-3 
                                     * N. Geisler, Philosophy of Religion, Chapters 8 & 9 
                                     * R.C. Sproul, Reason to Believe, Chapter 7 
                                     * William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, Chapter 3
                                     * J.P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City, Chapter 1 

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