Episode 11: The God Question
The question that lies at the foundation of everything else that we talk about at Bible Feed – Is there a God? Paul Davenport and Sam Day explore three of the classic arguments for the existence of God and the common objections to them. Do you find them compelling? Which do you think is the most powerful? Listen and enjoy!
Paul and Sam start by setting some guidelines about how to approach this question. In the context of Christianity, it can be tempting to immediately turn to the Bible to answer the question, but this risks creating a circular argument. So, putting the Bible to one side for the moment, they get into three arguments that are typically used to support the idea that there is a God out there.
The Cosmological Argument
The first classic argument for the existence of God goes right to the beginning and asks “why is there something rather than nothing?” The fact that the universe began means that it must have been caused by something. Because, as the argument goes, everything that begins to exist has a cause.
The cosmological argument shows that the first cause of everything must be a personal agent that exists timelessly. Which is very much how God is described in the Bible.
The Teleological Argument
Paul and Sam move on to an answer to the God question that looks at purpose and coherency in the natural world. The world is very much fine tuned to allowing life to exist – indeed fine tuned to allow the world to remain in existence. This begs the question; is everything in the universe simply a huge cosmic accident or has it been deliberately fixed that way?
The Moral Argument
The third line of thinking is a little different. This looks at the fact that humans believe there to be objective morality. Many different cultures across time and across the world believe in the existence of right and wrong. They may disagree on some of the details, but they agree that some actions are right and wrong irrespective of the circumstances. This means that there is some objective standard of right and wrong that lies outside of humanity and the moral argument suggests that a divine being best explains this feature of human life.
The God of the Bible
Paul and Sam recognise that none of these arguments prove the existence of God by themselves and none of them lead directly to the Christian God. However, together they provide a compelling description of something that sounds very much like God, which makes it well worth investigating the claims of the Bible further.
More resources that deal with the God question
We have a series of short thought-provoking videos that deal with questions around the existence of God, including why we cannot see God, the cosmological argument, and why God might want to remain hidden.
You may also be interested in our podcast episode Founding a Faith.