eternityA simple reflection tells us that something must be eternal.  After all, if you start with nothing, you’ll always end up with nothing.  But we ended up with something, which means we must have started with something.  Put another way, since something exists now something must have always existed.  There could never be a time when absolutely nothing existed.  Something must be eternal, but what is that something?

There are good scientific and philosophical reasons to conclude that physical reality has not always existed, so physical reality can’t be the eternal something.  Since things which begin to exist must be caused to exist by something else, physical reality had to be caused by something else, and perhaps the cause of the physical world is the eternal something we are looking for.  How would we know?

We can learn a bit about the nature of the cause of the universe by looking at the effect in question, and making inferences about what sort of cause would be necessary to produce the effect.  What sort of cause would be required to bring the universe into existence?

Time is part of physical reality, so whatever brought physical reality into existence also brought time into existence.  If the cause brought time into existence, it cannot itself be temporal.  It must be eternal by definition.  So there we have it!  Whatever caused the universe is the eternal something we’ve been looking for.  But what else can we know about the identity of this cause?

Space and matter are also part of physical reality, so whatever brought physical reality into existence also brought space and matter into existence.  If the cause brought space and matter into existence, it itself cannot be spatial or material.  It must be spaceless and immaterial.

The cause must be powerful and intelligent as well to explain the origin of massive amounts of energy and the complex organization of physical reality.

Finally, the cause must be a personal agent.  There are only two types of possible causes: natural events, personal agents.  Either a conscious mind (personal agent) causes a thing, or a mindless, natural process (natural events) causes a thing.  The origin of physical reality marks the first temporal event and the beginning of nature.  Since you can’t have an event prior to the first event, and there was no “nature” prior to the origin of physical reality, the cause of physical reality could not have been a natural event.  It must have been a personal agent.

A personal, intelligent, powerful, eternal, spaceless, and immaterial cause is a perfect description of God, and thus we conclude that God is the eternal something that exists.

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