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OzSpen

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In my sharing the Gospel in my secular Australian culture, I sometimes meet this objection when I begin discussing God: ‘You claim that there is eternal life for all who believe. Who on earth made God? There's no point in going any further unless we can get a satisfactory answer to this question'.

I'm coming at this from a view that these people have no respect for the Bible. To quote the Bible will get an automatic rebuff.

Leading Christian apologist Norman Geisler, in the book Who Made God? And Answers to over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith (Zacharias & Geisler 2003), addressed the title of the book, Who Made God? (Zacharias & Geisler 2003) this way:

Who Made God?

“No one did,” he wrote. “He was not made. He has always existed” (2003:23).

But, wait! Is this credible? If the universe has a beginning (and modern science has concluded that it indeed DID have a beginning), then wouldn’t God need a beginning as well?

According to Geisler, “Only things that had a beginning – like the world – need a maker. God had no beginning, so God did not need to be made” (2003:23)

Sounds a little like a cop-out, doesn’t it? Not so, says Geisler. Here is more of his answer:

“Traditionally, most atheists who deny the existence of God believe that the universe was not made; it was just “there” forever. They appeal to the first law of thermodynamics for support: “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed,” they insist. Several things must be observed in response.

“First, this way of stating the first law is not scientific; rather, it is a philosophical assertion. Science is based on observation, and there is no observational evidence that can support the dogmatic “can” and “cannot” implicit in this statement. It should read, “[As far as we have observed,] the amount of actual energy in the universe remains constant.” That is, no one had observed any actual new energy either coming into existence or going out of existence. Once the first law is understood properly, it says nothing about the universe being eternal or having no beginning” (2003:24, emphasis added).​

In other words, the first law of thermodynamics does not require a cause or creator for God.

Moreover, if God IS, then He has supernatural power. And the very definition of ‘supernatural’ means that He stands OUTSIDE of nature. If God is God, then God needs no Creator.

As Geisler explained: “It is absurd to ask ‘Who made God?’ It is a category mistake to ask, ‘Who made the Unmade?’ or ‘Who created the Uncreated?'” (2003: 24).

Is this a reasonable approach to answering the question or do you have another and better approach to answering this question from secularists?

Oz

Works consulted
Zacharias, R & Geisler, N (gen eds.) 2003. Who made God? and answers to over 100 other tough questions of faith. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
 
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Not_Now.Soon

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It wouldn't be an approach on it's own. But it might be something to add for whatever approach you find suitable to this question and challenges like it.

After you give your answer, whatever answer that might be, add to it a challenge of your own. Something along the lines of, "Don't just examine what I say though, or it could all come down to arguments of what one person says verses another on says, and which one sounds more resonable or has more wit. Even if all arguments have it wrong or fail to explain it the correct way, the truth is still the same. God is real. (Or if you want to address their current understanding, say the truth stays the same. God either exists or doesn't exist). The best thing for you to do is to search for God and find out for yourself. If you find Him you've found the most wonderful treasure anyone can hope for. If you can't find Him, then though you'll miss out, at least you'll add to your position of belief because you searched for Him and didn't find the answers."

This is an answer I'm trying to be more comfortable with because many people who step out to argue against God's existiance seem to not look for Him. Instead want proof of His existiance before wasting their time looking for God. If that's an underlying condition to their stance against seeking God and believing in Him, then this is something
I'd add to the answer that I'd give them concerning their question.
 

OzSpen

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It wouldn't be an approach on it's own. But it might be something to add for whatever approach you find suitable to this question and challenges like it.

After you give your answer, whatever answer that might be, add to it a challenge of your own. Something along the lines of, "Don't just examine what I say though, or it could all come down to arguments of what one person says verses another on says, and which one sounds more resonable or has more wit. Even if all arguments have it wrong or fail to explain it the correct way, the truth is still the same. God is real. (Or if you want to address their current understanding, say the truth stays the same. God either exists or doesn't exist). The best thing for you to do is to search for God and find out for yourself. If you find Him you've found the most wonderful treasure anyone can hope for. If you can't find Him, then though you'll miss out, at least you'll add to your position of belief because you searched for Him and didn't find the answers."

This is an answer I'm trying to be more comfortable with because many people who step out to argue against God's existiance seem to not look for Him. Instead want proof of His existiance before wasting their time looking for God. If that's an underlying condition to their stance against seeking God and believing in Him, then this is something
I'd add to the answer that I'd give them concerning their question.

NNS,

Even if somebody does believe in the possibility of God's existence, I'm raising the objection: If your God exists, who created him/her? Where did he/she come from?

Oz
 

Not_Now.Soon

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NNS,

Even if somebody does believe in the possibility of God's existence, I'm raising the objection: If your God exists, who created him/her? Where did he/she come from?

Oz

I understand what you're saying Oz. I agree with your approach to say God doesn't need to be created. He is the creator of everything and is greater then the things of our universe. Another way to say it in an unscientific way is that a man can work at his workbench to create any number of things, but that none of the man's projects would be able to say "which one of us created the man?" Neither woodworking, metalworking, glassblowing, pottery, brick layering, electronics, or any other craft would produce something that can be counted as the maker of the man. From perspective of the things the man made, there's no need to question if the man was created. And likely no way to come to an answer based on how they were created.

That would probabley be more in line of my answer, because I don't know the science described in your post well enough to explain it and answer any faults people might give. But it agrees with the conclusion even if the reason is explained differently.

I also think though that adding an encouragement for them to seek God out on their own would be a great thing to add after giving them your answer. That's all I meant to offer by what I said earlier.
 

OzSpen

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A spin off of this question in discussions with a secularist is: Why couldn't the world have existed always? What explanations would you give to demonstrate that the world in which we live is not eternal?

That is, how do we know from the evidence in creation that the universe was created? I'm not asking for Bible verses because I'm talking to an Aussie atheist who has chucked the Bible out long ago.

Oz
 

calvin

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That is, how do we know from the evidence in creation that the universe was created? I'm not asking for Bible verses because I'm talking to an Aussie atheist who has chucked the Bible out long ago.
Hello calvin here,
Are you saying that the Bible is not sufficient for bringing man and the Lord face to face?(metaphorically speaking)
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Kjv
 
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reba

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reba,

Could you please summarise what this person states as I'm not on Facebook and can't gain access to the link?

Thanks,
Oz
I will listen again and try he talks fast.... . we have been busy around here just saw your post :)

It is a debate and the Christian guy gets cut off and interrupted often.. he basically says God is not limited by time space and matter..
 
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Probably the Ontological and Cosmological "proofs" of the existence of God are the best you are going to do ... said "proofs" probably not being very convincing to an atheist who persists with this question, since such atheists typically aren't really interested in your answer anyway.

If one tosses in the Teleological "proof," I think there is a pretty good argument that the universe has a designer external to itself. One response to an atheist is: "The one who created this universe is God as far as those of us in this universe are concerned. If there is a cause above that God, this really isn't our concern at this point." Admittedly, this does potentially water-down the Christian concept of God.

The point Geisler makes is the standard response, but it really isn't convincing apart from philosophical arguments like the Ontological and Cosmological "proofs." To define God as the un-caused Cause and then chide atheists as making a "category mistake" seems to me no different from what atheists do to believers: they simply assume an entirely naturalistic universe, thereby eliminating any evidence or argument for God from the discussion. When you try to argue Intelligent Design to a diehard evolutionist like Dawkins, you are informed that you have simply made a "category mistake" because his framework does not allow any evidence of the supernatural. It's difficult for me to see much difference between this and telling an atheist that God is, by definition, the un-caused cause.

Geisler's argument about the "law of thermodynamics" supports the universe having a cause external to itself, but it really doesn't seem to address why that cause could not have had a cause external to itself. Ergo, the philosophical "proofs" seem to me to be better options.
 

Not_Now.Soon

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There's at least one or two other theories concerning the universe's origins outside of the Big Bang. I think at least one theory proposes that the universe is infinite in space and in time. But that's the universe, not earth. If The question came my way I'd apply some understanding of the intricacies of earth. Including the anatomy of the human body being put together in the way that it is, (or any other animal for that matter). The ecosystems that plants and animals get along in and survive because of other elements in the ecosystems. Perhaps counter evolunatornary observations that show life multiplies more of it's own kind, and that no single cell organisms have shown any signs of developing into a new organism as far as I'm aware.

And finally the best part that I'm aware of is the part of chaos theory (or was it a theory on entropy) that states that the more complex a system is the more likely it will eventually break down and fall apart. If that theory holds weight with scientific observations, then life itself wouldn't get more complex. Moving from single cell life froms to multi-cell, multi tissue, and multiple organs life forms wouldn't happen. Life happening on it's own wouldn't last without some assistance. God being the designer and the caretaker of our world has to have kept us from wiping ourselves off the face of the planet in order for earth to still have any life left on it and not be a barren rock orbiting the sun.

If the universe is too big to observe and test theories of it's origin, then Earth deffinately is not. Focus on earth for how a design makes more sence then that it just all naturally happened.
 

OzSpen

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Hello calvin here,
Are you saying that the Bible is not sufficient for bringing man and the Lord face to face?(metaphorically speaking)
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Kjv

That's a straw man fallacy.

That was not my topic. Please learn to read carefully what I wrote before coming with this false description of what I stated.
 

OzSpen

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Probably the Ontological and Cosmological "proofs" of the existence of God are the best you are going to do ... said "proofs" probably not being very convincing to an atheist who persists with this question, since such atheists typically aren't really interested in your answer anyway.

If one tosses in the Teleological "proof," I think there is a pretty good argument that the universe has a designer external to itself. One response to an atheist is: "The one who created this universe is God as far as those of us in this universe are concerned. If there is a cause above that God, this really isn't our concern at this point." Admittedly, this does potentially water-down the Christian concept of God.

The point Geisler makes is the standard response, but it really isn't convincing apart from philosophical arguments like the Ontological and Cosmological "proofs." To define God as the un-caused Cause and then chide atheists as making a "category mistake" seems to me no different from what atheists do to believers: they simply assume an entirely naturalistic universe, thereby eliminating any evidence or argument for God from the discussion. When you try to argue Intelligent Design to a diehard evolutionist like Dawkins, you are informed that you have simply made a "category mistake" because his framework does not allow any evidence of the supernatural. It's difficult for me to see much difference between this and telling an atheist that God is, by definition, the un-caused cause.

Geisler's argument about the "law of thermodynamics" supports the universe having a cause external to itself, but it really doesn't seem to address why that cause could not have had a cause external to itself. Ergo, the philosophical "proofs" seem to me to be better options.

Runner,

You are giving arguments for the existence of God. That is not the OP I raised. It has to do with the question, 'Who made God?'

How about giving us the philosophical proofs of who made God?

Oz
 
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Runner

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Runner,

You are giving arguments for the existence of God. That is not the OP I raised. It has to do with the question, 'Who made God?'

How about giving us the philosophical proofs of who made God?

Oz
The Cosmological "proof" is the theological argument that God is the First Cause. The Ontological "proof" is the theological argument that God is the Greatest of All Possible Beings. Both relate directly to whether God could have a cause, and both answer "No, He could not." A First Cause has no other cause. The Greatest of All Possible Beings can have no higher being. Both "proofs" in their most sophisticated forms are beyond the ability of most non-philosophers to fully grasp, but even in their rudimentary forms they are sound responses to an atheist who is willing to put forth the effort to understand them.

You characterize them as "arguments for the existence of God." However, another way of saying they are arguments for the existence of God is to say they are "arguments for a Creator who himself has no cause or creator." I understood your OP to be asking, "What would be a convincing response to an atheist who asks 'Who made God?'" One answer: the Cosmological and Ontological "proofs" for the existence of God, because they deal with a God who is indeed the first and highest of all causes and beings. The Teleological "proof," in contrast, does not; it merely tries to show (from evidence of design) that the universe had a Creator.

What Geisler is doing is called "begging the question." Instead of addressing the actual question ("Who made God?"), he shifts to a characterization of the questioner (atheist) as "someone who believes the universe was not created" - which may or may not be what the atheist who asks "Who made God?" believes at all. It would be entirely possible to believe the universe had a Creator but to question whether that Creator himself also had a cause or creator. An atheist might well ask, "I believe the universe was created, but why should I believe its creator was not likewise caused or created?" (Indeed, I have friends who actually do ask this.) Instead of answering this question, Geisler claims the atheist is making a "category mistake" because God by definition had no cause or creator. This is true if one accepts the Christian definition of God, but the atheist obviously does not and is in effect asking why we should believe the Christian definition is true.

Your characterization of Geisler's reasoning likewise begs the question. You state:

In other words, the first law of thermodynamics does not require a cause or creator for God. Moreover, if God IS, then He has supernatural power. And the very definition of ‘supernatural’ means that He stands OUTSIDE of nature. If God is God, then God needs no Creator.

But the question is not whether the universe "requires" a cause for God, or whether God "needs" a creator. The question is, "What reason is there for believing the Creator of this universe himself had no cause or creator?" You have merely explained away the question by relying on the Christian definition of God, which is not likely to convince an atheist. OK, God is "supernatural" and "outside nature" - why is this any reason for supposing He didn't have a cause or creator? The Cosmological and Ontological "proofs" actually do attempt to come to grips with the real question the atheist is asking. (If the atheist were simply asking, "Why should I believe this universe had a cause or creator?", as Geisler seems to think, then the most convincing response would likely be the Teleological "proof," including all the best evidence from the Intelligent Design movement.)

How about giving us the philosophical proofs of who made God?

If I could give you "philosophical proofs of who made God" I would scarcely be a Christian, right? The Cosmological and Ontological arguments are "proofs" of who didn't make God, which is what I thought you were after.
 

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Noone can believe that God "always was", until they come to the true realization that God actually exists.
You have to come to that place in your understanding, first, and once you do, then all the dots connect like magic.
And, following that prime ascension....... its easy then to backtrace God into the "always was" position.
For example........think of it like this..
Can a book write itself?
Can a song create itself.>?
Can a Rose begin TO EXIST= from nothing. ??? ????? ????????
So, what all that means, is...... that you cant have creation, without a creator.
A book.
A song.
A rose.
A thought.
A message.
The 1st Human.
The 2nd Adam.
Therefore, you cant have a universe, you cant have a multitude of universe(s), that have been discovered, without them being Originally CREATED.
So, the ONE who HAS created a universe (all of them) from NOTHING but HIS imagination and words....... Is it a hard stretch of mentality to then realize that such a Amazing One, certainly COULD have always been. = ???
And it fact, HE has, He Is, He was, and He always shall be.

It really simple to figure this out, as long as you start at the right place.
The right place is to realize that yes, there is a GOD who IS THE Creator.
 
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calvin

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That's a straw man fallacy.

That was not my topic. Please learn to read carefully what I wrote before coming with this false description of what I stated.
calvin here,
I quoted from your post.
If you think that quote from your post is not a true representation of what you posted then I suggest you do something about your eyes.........rescued any seals lately?:hysterical
Isa 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god Esv.
I'm coming at this from a view that these people have no respect for the Bible. To quote the Bible will get an automatic rebuff.
Pity, because the Lord is a Christian's strength and light. His word is a lamp for our souls.
 
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calvin

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calvin here,
To others that might be interested:
If I were placed in a hypothetical position where I was afraid to offer the Bible up front, I might say.
"My God is the only true God and beside Him there is no other"
or perhaps
"My God just is, He exists, and there is no other known to exist apart from Him"..(I am that I am)
"I am confident and I believe that if there was one such other god, he would have been revealed to me."
 

Free

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calvin here,
I quoted from your post.
If you think that quote from your post is not a true representation of what you posted then I suggest you do something about your eyes.........rescued any seals lately?:hysterical
Isa 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god Esv.

Pity, because the Lord is a Christian's strength and light. His word is a lamp for our souls.
His point is that your answer didn't address what he was asking.
 

Free

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calvin here,
To others that might be interested:
If I were placed in a hypothetical position where I was afraid to offer the Bible up front, I might say.
"My God is the only true God and beside Him there is no other"
or perhaps
"My God just is, He exists, and there is no other known to exist apart from Him"..(I am that I am)
"I am confident and I believe that if there was one such other god, he would have been revealed to me."
It has absolutely nothing to do with "being afraid to offer the Bible up front," but rather that secular people in secular countries don't care about the Bible; any answers one gives from it are irrelevant to them, as Oz stated in the OP.
 

OzSpen

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The Cosmological "proof" is the theological argument that God is the First Cause. The Ontological "proof" is the theological argument that God is the Greatest of All Possible Beings. Both relate directly to whether God could have a cause, and both answer "No, He could not." A First Cause has no other cause. The Greatest of All Possible Beings can have no higher being.

Runner,

Please present for our consideration the content of, (1) The Cosmological proof, and (2) The Ontological proof, so that we understand how you are seeing them as demonstrating who made God.

Thanks,
Oz
 
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