A unique way of looking into the existence of God

The Argument from Self-Refuting Worldviews



While snowboarding in Japan I wore orange tinted goggles which coloured everything orange. But after a while I’d adjust to them and totally forget that I was wearing them.  Worldviews are just like this. Everyone has a worldview, but most of us are unaware of it and how this set of beliefs colours how we see the world. Even if you think you don’t have these beliefs, isn’t that a belief in itself?

The question is not whether or not you have a worldview but whether or not your worldview is the right one.  However, all non-biblical worldviews are self-refuting. They break laws of logic such as the law of non-contradiction which says that it is impossible for something to be 'A' and 'not A' at the same time and in the same way.

The biblical worldview is internally consistent and accounts for universal laws, such as the laws of logic, laws of nature, and laws of morality.  These laws exist because they are a reflection of the character and mind of God.  In contrast, other worldviews cannot account for these laws adequately. For example, if the evolutionary worldview is true and we just evolved by chance random processes, there would be no basis for any universal laws to exist. How would you even know that your brain had evolved the correct thinking processes in order to actually know anything?

Many Westerners these days hold to an atheistic or agnostic worldview that is based on empiricism. This says that true knowledge can only be known by the scientific method.  However, this view is self-refuting because it cannot be scientifically tested itself. You can't put an abstract belief into a test-tube to see if it is true. (I shared this with a very intellectual atheist recently and he said, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that.”)

Agnostic literally means 'Don't know'. But a good question here to the agnostic would be - do you know that you don't know about God? Many agnostics may not even be aware that they have an empirical mind-set and simply say 'I believe in what I can see.' But can that belief be seen? Of course it can't because beliefs are abstract concepts.
We all know instinctively that God exists, and to argue otherwise is like someone trying to argue that air doesn’t exist – and at the same time breathing!  Atheists have no good explanation for why laws of logic exist – but have to use them in order to try to argue against the Bible – so they are actually stealing constantly from the biblical worldview without realising it! 
Buddhism, attractive to many who are anxious to rid themselves of biblical morality, refutes itself by the teaching you should strive to have no desires, but this is a desire within itself.  This is clearly not a desirable state to be in.
Likewise, Hinduism is self-refuting because it says it is not possible to know knowledge, but that is knowledge within itself.  The belief that everything is just an illusion is an illusion itself. Many Westerners have unknowingly embraced this ‘knowledge’. They say, ‘there is no absolute truth’.  But is this absolutely true?
Islam refutes itself because Allah is so transcendent and unknowable that nothing in human experience is comparable to him. But laws of logic are part of human experience. So where do they come from if they are not a reflection of the mind of God?  In order, to refute the biblical worldview they have to use the biblical worldview which alone accounts for the laws of logic.

The Qur'an says that the Bible came from Allah (Surah 6:114) and that God's words cannot be changed (Surah 6:34, 6:115), but because of the many contradictions between the Qur'an and the Bible Muslims believe that the Bible has been changed. But the Bible could not have been changed because we have copies of the Bible that were written before the Qur'an and they are the same as the Bible we have today. Thus in trying to refute the Bible Islam refutes itself.

The biblical worldview is the only self-consistent worldview that does not refute itself. It explains why we have laws of logic, laws of nature, and laws of morality – they are a reflection of the creator God revealed to us in the Bible.

You might have read all of this and still be thinking you don’t accept it as true for you because ‘truth is just relative’. However, this is an absolute truth statement, so this too is self-refuting. Restated it is saying that 'there is no absolute truth.' But is that relatively true or absolutely true?
If only the skeptics would be skeptical about their skepticism!

All of this confirms that what the Bible teaches is true. When people reject the one true biblical worldview and adopt man-made ones the result is that their beliefs end up becoming absurd, irrational, and self-refuting.


The Argument from Transcendence


The Argument from Transcendence (or TAG) argues that we all know in our heart of hearts that God exists. The TAG proof is that this is true because if it were not true we could not prove anything.  The TAG says that the existence of a transcendent God – who is above and beyond the physical universe – is known to everyone by things like the basic reliability our minds, the laws of logic, absolute morality, and uniformity in nature. These things transcend the physical world and could not exist without God.



What would you think of someone arguing that words did not exist? You’d think that they were a fool right? In order for them to argue against the existence of words they’d have to use words! Additionally in order for someone to argue that God does not exist they have to use their minds and use logic - both of which presuppose the existence of God.


Why it’s an argument.


We can’t know that something is false without knowing what is true, just as we can’t know something is crooked if we don’t have something we know is straight to compare it with. If I were to say, “I got up this morning and had toast.” would I actually know that?

So what is truth? And how do you know that your reasoning is valid? Do you know anything for sure? How do you know that ‘the Matrix’ isn’t real and that everything isn’t just an illusion? And how do you avoid using circular reasoning of using your mind to verify that your mind is reliable? You could say that you know your mind is reliable because you took a test. But how do you know that you remember correctly that you did actually take the test?! (You’re using your mind again to check your mind!)

In the biblical worldview we can know that our minds are basically reliable and that everything isn’t just an illusion because we were created in the image of a transcendent God who is totally reliable and has revealed himself.  The Bible says that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) It also says that in Christ are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3).

The laws of logic cannot be adequately accounted for without the existence of the transcendent God of the Bible.  They cannot be man-made because then before people existed it would be possible for contradictions to happen such as for the universe to exist and not exist at the same time. Clearly laws of logic are more than just man-made.

As for laws of morality, we have a God-given conscience and we were created in the image of a moral God. We know that it is always wrong to do bad things like murdering (not to be confused with extreme exceptions like killing in self-defence). But if you think there is no God then what basis do you have to say that anything is wrong? It just becomes the personal preference of the individual or what the majority of people think. On that basis there would be no way to argue that Hitler was wrong, because the majority of Germans went along with him.

And then there’s the laws of nature and how they are always uniform. Why is it that we can do science? Real science is based on repeatable experiments (induction). Why is it that we know that the laws of physics and chemistry today will be the same tomorrow? We assume that they will be the same based on the fact that they have always been the same. But this is another case of circular reasoning. Just because something has happened a certain way in the past doesn’t mean that it will always be that way – and in a random, meaningless universe why should it?

In contrast, in the Christian worldview we know that the laws of physics and uniformity of nature will remain the same because God is a consistent God who has promised to maintain the universe in an orderly way. (Genesis 8:22)

Deep down all of us know in our heart that God is real because we have to use our mind, laws of logic, absolute morality, and laws of nature, in order to live and function in this world. However within all non-biblical worldviews you can’t account for these things.

In a nutshell.

Our day to day activities – relying on our minds, our judgements and so forth show that we must deep down presuppose that God exists.

The Argument from Ultimate Questions


Certain questions that are the cornerstone not only of all philosophical thought but all thought about ourselves and anything in the universe.  Ultimate questions play into the arena of philosophy and psychology.  Psychology in itself started out on biblical foundations studying what the Bible refers to as our souls (the psyche in Greek), through the logos (that is the word of God):  psyche (soul) + logos (word).

Ultimate questions are questions like:

Who am I?

What defines me?

Who am I when everything is stripped away from me and I am reduced to a naked lonely soul?

What is the ‘good’ life?

Is this all there is to life?
What is my calling?

How can I tell right from wrong?

Where do I belong? 

What is the point of striving when life is so short?

We all start out knowing we exist.  There is that ridiculous example of the self-defeating claim that shows that questioning our existence is ludicrous.

Student: “Professor, I’m not sure I even exist!”

Professor: “Who then, may I say is asking?”

The only thing now is to work out the point of our existence.


Why it’s an argument.

Carl Rogers, a famous American behavioural psychologist once said: “At the bottom of every person is a question: that question is who am I, really?”  The fact that we have ultimate questions at all shows us being made in the image of God.  We have this desire to ‘know’.  It’s not something that evolved over time, it’s something that is innate. 

It logically follows that all questions must have an answer.  God wants us to have answers, which is why we have the Bible.  You’ll find each of the ultimate questions answered in scripture.  People who don’t have answers to these questions are people who end up suffering poor self-esteem and depression.  It’s beneficial to have the right answers to these questions.  That’s one reason people of faith are said to live longer and happier – it’s because they have answers!  They know who they are and where they’re going.

“secularism is very maladaptive biologically.  We [secularists] are the ones who at best are having only two kids.  Religious people are the ones who…are living longer and having the health benefits.” said David Sloan Wilson in 2008.

Francis Schaeffer says not knowing who we are makes life difficult.  That man has a sense of greatness, but also of depravity and we are inherently selfish.  Man is at war with himself if he sees only his greatness, but equally at war with himself if he sees only his depravity.

What is man?  Pascal tells us we don’t know what we are.

Reality an Illusion?


In a nutshell.

The longing we have to know certain things means that these questions must be answerable.  There would be no transcendent meaning and purpose without God so God must necessarily exist.

The Argument from Unchanging Logic


One of the primary principles of logic is the law of non-contradiction meaning no statement (proposition, assertion, etc.) can be both true and not true at the same time.  Simple right?  The law of non-contradiction reflects a logical thought process. This is easy to demonstrate as follows:

We cannot imagine a square circle because it's a contradiction; our minds either flip to a square, or to a circle!

 

We refer to this non contradictory thought process as a law because it is universal and unchanging.  We somehow instinctively know that contradictions are always illogical.  For example, you can’t be reading this book and not reading it simultaneously.  If a person were to call a contradiction “logical” as the result of a brain mutation (i.e., a change in brain matter), we'd conclude they're nuts!

To claim a "logical contradiction" is equivalent to claiming that a car could be in the garage and not in the garage at the same time and in the same way.  So we can see from this that logic remains unchanged even when brain matter changes… that logic transcends the physical brain!

Ironically, critics of Christianity argue that there are contradictions in the Bible but even though they are appealing to the law of non-contradiction they don’t have any good reasons as to why the law of non-contradiction actually exists.   Even if they said “I can account for the laws of logic – they are observed to be true and accepted by the majority of people as being true” it is still begging the question as to why they exist.  If they are just decided on by majority opinion then what is to stop the majority of people from another group or culture saying that they don’t accept the law of non-contradiction?  

Why it’s an argument.

Unchanging logical thought processes rules out the theory of Darwinian evolution is true?  In the Darwinian theory our thought processes are the result of changing brain matter.  If brain matter produces thought processes and brain matter changes, then thought processes obviously change as well.  Yet this is simply not the case with unchanging logical thought processes that we see in human experience. 

So which is right?  The answer is a simple matter of trusting your own mind over the claims of evolution.  Again, a contradiction will never be logical.  We simply "know that we know" this is true.  There is a big contradiction with placing logic as evolved in the grand evolutionary story.  So is there a better explanation out there for the existence of unchanging logic?

There is!  The universe and matter is continually changing. However, things like absolute truth and laws of logic are universal, immaterial, and unchanging, so are transcendent beyond our minds and beyond our existence. Likewise God is universal, immaterial, and unchanging – the transcendent God of all Creation.


In a nutshell.

Logic means that things have order.  Order cannot come from chaos.  It is unchanging so it cannot evolved.  The best possible answer for the existence of logic is that God exists.

The Argument from Epistemology


This is the most basic of the basics.  What is knowledge and how can we truly know anything?  This is called the study of epistemology and it’s something that we often take for granted.  Everyone just accepts that they can think, they can discern the world around them and they can tell the general difference between the truth and a lie.  But is it all that easy?  Why should there be something that is so ingrained within us which gives us this ability?  How could such a mechanism have ‘evolved’ and how does it allow us to arrive at knowledge?

Stephen Hawking has claimed (nonsensically) that philosophy is dead.  But epistemology is the most basic of philosophical concepts and without it, it impossible to conceive that our thoughts can be trusted.  Just as the claim that believing in religion ‘just because’ is irrational, so too is believing that you can arrive at any truth ‘just because’.


Why it’s an argument.

How does this tie into believing in God?  As it’s such a basic tenet of life that we don’t even have a grasp on, it gives rise to the notion of there being a spiritual component to life.  Knowledge being merely derived by the senses does not explain how we can trust our senses.  We take for granted intrinsically that we can and that there is a deeper component to knowledge… yet then no one can seem to pinpoint what that deeper component is. 

Intelligence comes into play, if we are created by an intelligent force our ability to comprehend knowledge should be taken for granted.  Yet if we were created by random processes nothing in this world should be intelligible at all!  As Albert Einstein said, it’s “a miracle” that “the world of our sense experience is comprehensible”.  He noted that science couldn’t even be attempted without that “miracle” and “the setting up of a real external world would be senseless without this comprehensibility”.

Senseless!  This is the amazing thing, that the world isn’t senseless at all.  How do we get knowledge from non-knowledge?  God is the author of knowledge, it comes from his very nature (Proverbs 1:7, Colossians 2:3).  The Christian worldview gives us rational justification for using our minds and senses in determining truth.  If you have a different worldview you’re left scratching your head to why there should be knowledge at all.  In a chance universe, there is no reason to expect our senses to be trustworthy or for there to be laws at all – so using logic is out.

A lot of the non-theistic bases for epistemology talk about ‘intuition’ as a truth basis, which in turn begs the question of why we should be able to trust our intuition if it’s just a result of random processes.  If epistemology just ‘evolved’ then only pragmatism becomes our test for truth - it works so then it’s true.  But wait, isn’t that circular reasoning?

God gives us a reason for the universes' comprehensibility and for knowledge.  It’s not something we should take for granted but something that we should study about to understand.

In a nutshell.

You can’t even begin to answer the first epistemological questions without presupposing God exists – therefore God must exist.

The Argument from Why?


I’ve heard it said that “why?” is a question for philosophy and religion, while “how?” is a question for science.  But “why?” is an increasingly important question.  It is a question we gravitate towards asking.  Little children take very little time before learning how to ask "why?" and often they don't stop asking until adults have given up on attempting to answer!  Though every time there is a legitimate answer to these questions of "why?" whether the adults answering actually know the answer or not. 

When we were in China we found it almost impossible to get the teenagers we taught to answer “why?” to anything. 

"Why did you decide to eat McDonald’s?"

"No why."

"Why did you go left instead of right?"

"No why."

"No why" was one of their favorite things to say.  It was a Chinglish way to explain that causal relationships are not a big factor in their thinking.  Yet the one thing I wanted them to learn is that there is never "no why" in this universe - there is always a WHY.  It's a law (causation), there is a reason for everything.  And if there is a reason for EVERYTHING it would stand to reason that there is also a reason for us too – for our lives, our existence, our being. 

Why it’s an argument.

Yet God can be the only viable reason for a purposeful existence.  Atheists have to concede that in their view there can be no ultimate purpose for their existence, they live and die and it means nothing.  But this flies not only in the face of reason itself but it flies in the face of A REASON - an answer to that "why?" which we are born asking. 

And if you keep asking the question "why?" what does it lead back to?  God.  Which is WHY God is a necessary being (meaning a causeless, transcendent being must exist).  Every questioning of why about your life will lead to the big WHY do you exist and every existence must have a cause.  For example:

Why did you get up in the morning?
Because you fell asleep.
Why did you fall asleep?
Because people need to sleep.
Why do people need to sleep?
Their bodies were designed to need rest.
Why were their bodies designed to need rest?
Because people need to work.
Why do people need to work?
Because God works and people are made in God’s image.

The Atheist answer of "just because" is not adequate. It is not adequate for a parent to tell a querying child "just because" when they want to know why the sun rises and sets every day because there's a purpose involved and it's not adequate to ignore the question of why you exist with a "just because" either.  The logical answer is that you were created for a PURPOSE and if you deny purpose, you deny logic and you deny reason by pretending things have no ultimate reason.

In a nutshell.

Keep asking and answering why as far back as you can and you’re left either with a void or God.  Causation makes an eternal constant a necessity.