The Cosmological Argument is one of many philosophical arguments for the existence of God. There are many ways to formulate it, but one way is as follows:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.
For a further discussion of this argument, see Dr William Lane Craig’s article “The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe“. (Craig is also the author of a book, The Kalam Cosmological Argument, on this topic.) The inference, as discussed at the end of Craig’s article, is that God is the best explanation as a cause for the universe.
Here I’d like to consider a possible objection to this argument. It can be phrased in many ways but the most simple is: Who made God? Let’s imagine a hypothetical conversation to explore this objection:
Christian: The cosmological argument is strong evidence that God exists.
Skeptic: This merely raises the question “Who made God?” It just pushes the question back one step further.
Christian: This seems to me to be a category error; it confuses the uncreated creator with His created creation. God doesn’t need a maker because God was never made; He was and is eternally existing.
Skeptic: That’s seems like a cop-out. Why is it okay for God to be eternal and uncreated, but not the universe?
Christian: We have good reasons, both philosophical and scientific, that the universe is not eternal, but no such reasons exist to believe that God is not eternal. God isn’t limited like the material world He created. The cosmological argument doesn’t say that that everything requires a cause, but whatever begins to exist requires a cause; if God did not begin to exist (and there is no reason to believe He did, unlike the universe) He requires no cause.
Skeptic: Even if we agree that the universe is not eternal, why must its cause be God?
Christian: Whatever created time and space must transcend time and space. Also, there are numerous other attributes which can be reasoned about whatever created the universe: It must have power, intelligence, volition, and so on. So the creator of the universe is an entity which is beyond time and space yet still possesses certain attributes and is personal. This sounds to me a lot like God.
Have you considered this argument before? Do you think it’s a good one for God’s existence? Why or why not?