Is it wise to deny what we intuitively perceive?
Isn’t it interesting how some truths are just intuitive and any attempt to deny them is easily and summarily rejected? Like the principle of causation…if we find a package on our doorstep we know intuitively it requires a sender and a deliverer. We would rightly be thought delusional or crazy if we believed it simply appeared without explanation or cause. If we arrive home to find our front door lock broken and the house ransacked, we immediately know an intruder has been there. Can we even imagine being convinced that nothing and no one is responsible? And if we stumble upon a two-bedroom, one and a half bath tree house in the woods, we recognize without question that it didn’t just appear out of nowhere with no explanation. Someone, or someones, built it.
So when a naturalist asserts that the universe – all of natural reality – had no external cause whatsoever…we instinctively know he or she is mistaken. It can’t be. Nothing is more fundamental, it seems to me, than the truth that everything that begins to exist has a cause. And that everything that exists, even if it has existed from eternity past, has an explanation of its existence.
But because the cause of all space, time, and matter must be non-spatial, timeless, and immaterial, and be a personal being with the capability of choosing to create, atheists are forced to propose explanations for the existence of the universe that avoid this obvious conclusion of a God-like being. Some, like physicist Stephen Hawking and philosopher Daniel Dennett, assert that the universe created itself! Dennett calls it “the ultimate bootstrapping trick.” But this is another violation of an intuitive truth – nothing can create itself. That’s just nonsensical and no attempt to support such a proposition can avoid the obvious conclusion of incoherence.
Others, like physicist Sean Carroll, in a debate with philosopher William Lane Craig last year, try and avoid the problem of an explanation for the existence of the universe by arguing that a query for an explanation is not asking the right question. And some atheists assert that there simply is no explanation for it. But is that even a rational conclusion, especially when considering that science, upon which naturalists depend as the source of all truth, is at its core a search for explanations?
Though science has progressed in our understanding of how the universe works, it has yet to provide a coherent naturalistic explanation for why the universe exists at all. Christian philosophy and apologetics is enjoying a progression as well, and I’m excited as we enter 2015 to witness and even be a small part of how science and theism will continue to interact and engage with each other on the most fundamental questions of life. And I am convinced that if both those who champion naturalism and we who defend theism can so engage in an honest, respectful manner, we will see some real progress in ascertaining truth.
But no progress is possible as long as intelligent people are willing to deny fundamental, intuitive principles. You may think that this blog post has no value, but you would be irrational to suggest it has no cause or explanation.