Home Media Why Jesus? & other issues. . Five arguments for God - 8

. Five arguments for God - 8

Article Index
. Five arguments for God
Page 2
3
4
5
6
7
8
All Pages

 

Endnotes

1 “Modernizing the Case for God,” Time (April 7, 1980), 65–66.

2 That the revolution is ongoing is evident from the appearance last year of The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (ed. William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), a compendious volume of scholarly articles written in defense of a wide variety of theistic arguments.

3 Richard Dawkins,The God Delusion (New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 2006).

4 Alexander Pruss, The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Timothy O’Connor, Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008); Stephen T. Davis, God, Reason, and Theistic Proofs (Reason and Religion; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997); Robert Koons, “A New Look at the Cosmological Argument,” American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1997): 193–211; Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God (2nd ed.; Oxford: Clarendon, 2004).

5 “In the Beginning: In Conversation with Paul Davies and Philip Adams” (January 17, 2002).

6 Alex Vilenkin, Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 176.

7Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Viking, 2006), 244.

8 For a discussion of the possibility of atemporal personhood, see my Time and Eternity: Exploring God’s Relationship to Time (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001), 77–113.

9 Such an exercise of causal power plausibly brings God into time at the very moment of creation.

10 Stuart Hackett, The Resurrection of Theism: Prolegomena to Christian Apology (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1982); David Oderberg, “Traversal of the Infinite, the ‘Big Bang,’ and the Kalam Cosmological Argument,” Philosophia Christi 4 (2002): 303–34; Mark Nowacki, The Kalam Cosmological Argument for God (Studies in Analytic Philosophy; Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2007); William Lane Craig and James Sinclair, “The Kalam Cosmological Argument,” in The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (ed. William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 101–201.

11 Dawkins, God Delusion, 77.

12 The argument’s proponent doesn’t arbitrarily conjure up a terminator to the infinite regress and give it a name. Rather, as we have seen, he presents philosophical and scientific arguments that the regress must terminate in a first member, arguments that Dawkins doesn’t discuss. Dawkins himself recognizes that many regresses cannot be infinitely extended (God Delusion, 78), but he insists it is by no means clear that God constitutes a natural terminator to the regress of causes. But proponents of the kalam argument provide justification for what properties such a terminator must possess, and no name need be given to the first cause: it is simply the personal Creator of the universe.

13 We needn’t be worried by Dawkins’s little argument that omniscience and omnipotence are logically incompatible (God Delusion, 78). The impossible task Dawkins envisions for God is just a replay of the old chestnut, “Can God make a rock too heavy for him to lift?” The fallacy of such puzzles is that the task described is logically impossible, and omnipotence doesn’t mean the ability to bring about the logically impossible.

14 Dawkins, God Delusion, 78.

15Robert Adams, Finite and Infinite Goods (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); William Alston, “What Euthyphro Should Have Said,” in Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide (ed. William Lane Craig; New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002), 283–98; Mark Linville, “The Moral Argument,” in Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (ed. William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland; Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), 391–448; Paul Copan, “God, Naturalism, and the Foundations of Morality,” in The Future of Atheism: Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett in Dialogue(ed. R. Stewart; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008), 141–61; John Hare, “Is Moral Goodness without Belief in God Rationally Stable?” in Is Goodness without God Good Enough? A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics(ed. Nathan King and Robert Garcia; Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008); C. Stephen Evans, Kierkegaard’s Ethic of Love: Divine Commands and Moral Obligations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

16 Cited in Lewis Wolpert, Six Impossible Things before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief (New York: Norton, 2006), 215. Unfortunately, Wolpert’s reference is mistaken. The quotation seems to be a pastiche from Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic, 1996), 133, and Richard Dawkins, “The Ultraviolet Garden,” Lecture 4 of 7 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (1992). (Thanks to my assistant Joe Gorra for tracking down this reference.)

17 Dawkins, God Delusion, 215.

18 Ibid., 221.

19 Ibid., 251.

20 Ibid., 23, 264, 313–17, 326, 328, 330.

21 Ibid., 78–9.

22 You might think that if the constants and quantities had assumed different values, then other forms of life might well have evolved. But this is not the case. By “life” scientists mean that property of organisms to take in food, extract energy from it, grow, adapt to their environment, and reproduce. The point is that in order for the universe to permit life so-defined, whatever form organisms might take, the constants and quantities have to be incomprehensibly fine-tuned. In the absence of fine-tuning, not even atomic matter or chemistry would exist, not to speak of planets where life might evolve!

23 Roger Penrose, “Time-Asymmetry and Quantum Gravity,” in Quantum Gravity 2 (ed. C. J. Isham, R. Penrose, and D. W. Sciama; Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), 249.

24 Dawkins, God Delusion, 144.

25 Ibid., 145.

26 Ibid., 147.

27 Ibid., 145.

28 Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time (The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.

29 See http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_mm/mr_limits.html.

30 Duane Dicus, et al., “Effects of Proton Decay on the Cosmological Future,” Astrophysical Journal 252 (1982): 1, 8.

31 Igor D. Novikov and Yakov B. Zel’dovich, “Physical Processes near Cosmological Singularities,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 11 (1973): 401–2.

32 Joseph Silk, The Big Bang (2d ed.; San Francisco: Freeman, 1989), 311–12.

33 Christopher Isham, “Creation of the Universe as a Quantum Process,” in Physics, Philosophy and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding (ed. R. J. Russell, W. R. Stoeger, and G. V. Coyne; Vatican City: Vatican Observatory, 1988), 378. Isham’s mentioning “continuous creation” is a reference to the defunct Steady State theory.

34 Dawkins, God Delusion, 146.

35 For a first-hand account see John Preskill’s website .

36 S. W. Hawking, “Information Loss in Black Holes,” (September 15, 2005): 4.

37 See Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality (New York: Knopf, 2005), 762–65.

38 Dawkins, God Delusion, 157–58.

39 Ibid., 158.

40 Ibid.

41 See his comments on Keith Ward in God Delusion, 150. Ward thinks that the hypothesis of a single cosmic designer is simple, even though he rejects the notion that God is simple in the sense that he doesn’t have distinct properties.

42 Dawkins, God Delusion, 149.

43 Ibid., 153. God’s simplicity has even been construed to mean that he lacks distinct properties, a most implausible doctrine. But the simplicity of an immaterial entity need not imply that that entity lacks distinct properties, like immateriality and self-consciousness.

44Robin Collins, The Well-Tempered Universe (forthcoming); John Leslie, Universes (London: Routledge, 1989); Paul Davies, Cosmic Jackpot (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007); William Dembski, The Design Revolution (Downers Grove: IVP, 2004); Michael Denton, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe (New York: Free Press, 1998); Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism (New York: Free Press, 2007).

45Alvin Plantinga, The Nature of Necessity (Oxford: Clarendon, 1974); Robert Maydole, “A Modal Model for Proving the Existence of God,” American Philosophical Quarterly 17 (1980): 135–42; Brian Leftow, “The Ontological Argument,” in The Oxford Handbook for Philosophy of Religion (ed. William J. Wainwright; Oxford University Press, 2005), 80–115.

46 Dawkins, God Delusion, 83.

47 Ibid., 84.

48 I discuss all five arguments in greater depth in my Reasonable Faith (3rd ed.; Wheaton: Crossway, 2008).