The Rational Believer

A Five Volume Series on Jewish Faith

Vol. 1, The Torah: G-d-Given or Man-Made?

Does G-d Exist?

Overview: A philosophical argument that determines the likelihood of there being an Infinite Existence from which all forms of existence and creations are derived.

From the beginning of mankind, the singular most fundamental question was whether or not G-d is a reality or is a dilusional human invention. This question has so many practical implications that effect our approach to meaning, purpose, morality, and even our day-to-day actions. We will answer this question using the classical philosophical approach, but with a deeper understanding to it.

One argument for the existence of a Creator is from the sophistication of the universe that couldn’t have happened “on its own.” A classic parable for this would be a painting, where if seen, one would surely conclude that it was painted by an artist and didn’t come-about by an accidental spillage of paint jars. The rationale is that the odds of chances don’t allow for sophistication and precision in the art. Similarly, the world, also incredibly sophisticated, is bound to have an artist—Creator of heaven and earth.

This argument was substantial up until recent times when the Evolution theory (only if including the multi-verse theory) can now substitute this conclusion for a G-d. More on the Evolution theory (and multi-verse theory) in Vol. 4 of The Rational Believer Series.

We will therefore adopt a different approach to demonstrate G-d’s existence. Even Evolution and the Big-Bang Theory must contain an original substance of mass (a singular particle or atom containing all elements) to which the Big Bang happened and the world came about. It’s called an atom, though we will use a stone for better imagination purposes.

Now, we have this stone in existence; the question is how it became into its existence? If it “became” into existence, then that would establish that there’s a G-d who “created” this being that came into existence. The logic is simple, nothing can create itself. [We cannot suggest that the stone was created by yet another stone or element, for the question would then go back to square A—what created that original stone.]

The only alternative of this stone coming into existence, is that it is eternal and was always in existence; thus, it’s not a “creation” and no “creator” is therefore needed.

While the notion of something going on forever is inconceivable, it’s no novel idea. The concept of space[3] is that it goes on forever; a never-ending, infinity in that sense. Although we cannot comprehend such an abstract idea that is so beyond the scope of our imagination, we are compelled to conclude its infinity. Seemingly, at first glance, we can apply this same concept of infinity to the eternal existence of the stone—even though we cannot lay our imagination on the idea of infinity, particularly for a mere stone. Hence, why the G-d?

Rather, the issue with the stone being eternal has nothing to do with whether we can grasp its infinity or not, but a far different reason.

Space—is mandatory; a stone—is not. This means to say that our mind perceives that space is a fundamental ingredient for physicality and there’s no alternative to it. Nothing physical can possibly substitute space. Therefore, its existence is self-needed, i.e. its very own existence isn’t dependent on any external force and is a “must” on its own. A stone, on the other hand, isn’t a fundamental ingredient for physicality which can manage just fine without it. The very mass of the stone, and most certainly its dimensions, size, color, and all its other limitations, are not a “must” as is “space.”

Accordingly, who or what decided that this stone should exist and yet alone with this-and-this specific dimension, color, and size etc. and not with a different dimension, color, and size? The only valid option is G-d.

“Nature” cannot randomly “decide” for the stone to exist and for it to be in a specific manner, for the whole idea of nature is that it follows a specific set of laws that are predetermined.[4] Thus, who designed those very laws of nature? For example, who decided that large mases should attract smaller mases and cause a gravitational pull and not vise-versa? So the question about the limitations of the stone would be applied to the rules of nature as well, leaving it as a bad option to replace the philosophical need for a G-d.

In simpler terms, every limitation (which by definition means that it has alternatives) requires a Limiter. Every creation (something that is a limited being) needs a Creator.

Now, what is the character of this “Creator”?

It would obviously have to be a self-sufficient and self-existing being that’s not dependent on anything else. Meaning, it always existed and nothing can stop it from existing. Additionally, it must be unlimited in all aspects, for if not, we return to square A—what “decided” for it to have these specific limitations? If one is scared of the word “G-d,” then they can call it whatever they want, but it’s an unlimited existence that creating all finite things.

This concept parallels the more common logic given for G-d, just adding a twist to solidify it. Here’s the more classical answer in short: The nature of this world is cause and effect (i.e. every movement of any object or energy is the direct result of another force which dictated that it move in that specific manner). Yet an obvious paradox is that this would be an endless chain with no beginning to have kicked off the first “reaction” or “effect.” This concludes (inconclusively) that there’s a First Existence who cannot be limited to the laws of cause and effect. This First Existence is certainly not within the boundaries of nature (i.e. cause and effect), since if we don’t say so, then we are back to the original question about the original cause and effect. Yet this classical argument fails to determine that He is unlimited in all aspects. It may just be that He is merely above the laws of cause and effect. This is why we prefer to use the logic brought in this chapter to prove the existence of G-d as it takes the conclusion a step further in describing the characteristic of this G-d—unlimited in all aspects.

Due to the philosophical approach to this argument for a G-d, many skeptics dismiss this conclusion by exclaiming “what business do we have in making conclusions from beyond the stratosphere of physicality and observable science.” Although there isn’t much substance to this objection, we will consider it by introducing tangible and comprehensible proofs. These upcoming proofs have the advantage of telling us more than just the existence of this infinite Creator—it lets us know His “how to live morally” manual that He provided for society. It is called the Torah.

[1] The conclusion of there being a G-d generally comes along with the idea of meaning in life and reward in the World to Come.

[2] Some rather live a free life without any authority or restrictions.

[3] Time as well, but we will use the concept of space throughout our discussion.

[4] Even when it does seem that nature does “choose,” e.g. in a raffle—it is only externally (i.e. to the drawer and the crowd) a “random choice,” but in essence it was predetermined and bound to happen, as is known to those familiar of this subject. This predetermined result is the result of another predetermination which is the result of another etc. In our case it would be the result of sophisticated brain-nerves and hormones that moved the hand to a specific area to choose that particular winning ticket. Consequently, at one point we are going to have to conclude that there’s a precedent being who surpasses the nature of predetermination and His existence is self-sustained. This First Existence is called G-d…

Leave a Reply

Theme by Anders Norén