The Universe: © God -- By: Tony Hines
CTJ 7:21 (August 03) p. 141
The Universe: © God
Books have title pages with the author’s name. Movies have ending credits naming the creators. Magazines have mastheads revealing the publisher. And so the ownership of original works in today’s society is easily verifiable.
But what of an original work built on a much grander scale than a mere film or periodical? Long before Universal Studios made its first feature, there was a literal Universal Studio of sorts—the mind of God, wherein all existence was created. Just as surely as a book’s title page reveals its author, the universe also reveals God as its author.
Over the centuries, in the never-ending debate between theism and atheism, many have presented arguments for God’s existence. While individual arguments have merits, perhaps the strongest case for God’s existence doesn’t rest on one argument. It rests on a collection of arguments: a cumulative case.
Why a cumulative case? A court of law will serve as an example. In this setting, a skillful attorney will present circumstantial evidence, eyewitness testimony, expert witnesses, a suggested motive, a reasonable reconstruction of the crime, and so on. In short, the attorney will use a variety of different approaches to convince a jury her case is sound. Why simply say “the accused had the motive,” and rest the case? It’s far more effective to present a number of “proofs” that the accused committed the crime.
The most effective proof of God’s existence should follow a similar line, presenting arguments from a number of different perspectives to form a cohesive case. In the end, a cumulative case doesn’t stand or fall on any one argument, but in the collective
CTJ 7:21 (August 03) p. 142
weight of all the arguments pieced together. In other words, a cumulative case isn’t just one brick; it’s a solid wall built of many bricks.
And so, to continue the court of law metaphor, it’s time to offer an opening statement. Let’s begin with some definitions. If the claim of this case is “God exists,” there are two terms to deal with: God, and existence. There are many definitions for God, but for current purposes, this case will only defend and discuss the God of theism. The God of theism is properly defined as the uncaused first cause of the universe, who is infinite, personal, transcendent, and immanent.1
The second term, existence, must be defined within the framework of reality. In effect, existence is the very essence of the correspondence theory of truth; simply put, ...
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