Simple but effective argument for God’s existence

Often times, Christians are intimidated by apologetics and philosophy. They don’t believe they can know enough to demonstrate God’s existence. While there are depths of knowledge and information that one would have to master to be able to debate atheistic philosophers, the average person on the street just honestly wants to know if it is rational to believe in God. Anyone can provide that type of evidence. One of the easiest to understand, yet very effective methods is called the Kalaam argument.

Photo by me, taken while driving down the road. Please don’t try this in your car!

Be very careful that you call it the Kalaam and not Kazaam. Kalaam demonstrates how believing in a Creator God is entirely rationale.  would be an argument against God’s existence. A wretched movie staring Shaquille O’Neal as a magic genie appearing from a boombox does not point to an intelligent designer.

The Kalaam argument a very simple, three-step argument. (Make sure you say Kalaam and not Kazaam. One is evidence for God’s existence. The other is a box-office bomb staring Shaquille O’Neal which could be used as evidence against God’s existence.) Kalaam is an argument that most people get intuitively which demonstrates the rational nature of a Creator God. The argument is as follows:

Whatever began to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Again, simple but effective. Most people understand, recognize and accept the two premises (whatever began to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist). However, some refuse to accept the conclusion (the universe has a cause) because they know that the cause would naturally be God.

Because most people cannot argue with either of the premises and thus cannot refute the conclusion, they try a simple diversion trick. Ever heard, “Oh yeah, well who created God?” To which you respond, “No one did. God is uncreated.” And then the skeptic retorts, “Well if God can be uncreated, so can the universe.”

Has the atheist defeated your argument? No, but they may have won the debate if you don’t know how to respond. So how do you respond to their assertion that if God can be uncreated the universe can, too?

Look at the first premise of your argument. “Everything that begins to exist has a cause.” What about that argument applies to the universe, but not to God? The universe began to exist. Science has shown us that the universe had a beginning. What about God, did He have a beginning? Not according to the Christian concept of God.  He is timeless and immaterial. That lines up with the type of cause that the universe would require.

No one caused God, but that does not violate or disprove your first premise because we understand God as having no beginning and therefore not needing a cause. Many atheists will still simply assert that the universe can be uncaused, if God can be uncause. However, at that point they have demonstrated that they are holding on to their belief system despite what logical evidence demonstrates.

The Kalaam argument cannot overcome someone’s faith in atheism. Only God working in their life can do that. However, the argument can remove a barrier and it can be part of process which God uses to bring someone to Him. Perhaps just as importantly, it can insulate Christian students facing difficult philosophical questions from teachers and professors.

In the past, the church could get by with not knowing philosophy and logical arguments for God’s existence. Not today. We live in a post-Christian culture that needs Christian who can articulate both biblically and philosophically about God. You do not have to know everything, but you do need to know something. The Kalaam argument is something that virtually any question can know and articulate.

2 Comments

  1. Woodystock

    First, I´d like to be a polite and respectful reply.
    Second, the first premise is false, as nothing ever began to exist (see further). We have never “made exist” anything, the laws of Newton refute that. Whatever you “create” is just a transformation of already existing matter, energy, etc.
    Third, the only “time” something may have began to exist was at the “beginning” (most probably the Big Bang and unknown period of time after it), but you cannot apply your rules based on afterwards experience at the moment the rules didn´t exist either. You start with a conclusion, or a statement that has to be veryfied, not a premise. The sentence “Whatever began to exist has a cause” is to be scrutinised first, it is not a premise that everyone agrees on and therefore it cannot be used as base for further valid conclusions. I short, this premise is what has to be proven, it is not based on any observation and can apply only upon the moment of creation (beginning of existence), which none of us experienced, none of us (or at least none of person I know of) can use it as a premise and say: “Of course, seconded, go no in arguing”. It is a problem that is a nightmare of the best minds in CERN, faculty of philosophy etc., so you cannot use it like that.
    I just want to kindly remind the fact that time didn´t exist before the BB, no causality applies or is being required (depends on what you call a “cause”). My humble view (not being a physicist) is that “before” the BB there weren´t any dimensions “yet”, which helps me grasping the crazy concept, for which our brain is not evolutionary designed to solve. The fact is that we don´t know what exactly happened, but there was no time in which the universe would not exist. It always existed, although it had a beginning.
    Plus, our logic stems from Aristotle. Possibly, he was the brightest mind ever lived (of which we know), but his works could not possible reflect mindblowing discoveries we made in the last century (yes, I know it seems dull and repetitive in creation discussion now, but I´m talking the Big Bang and quantum mechanics). Even if the logic was OK here, we may talk about it however we want, but the cosmos in super small and super big scale it does not really apply. You may disprove possibility of being at two places at once while still being one (singular), but electrons simply ignore the logical refutation. Our understanding of everything is shaken everyday by such discoveries.
    It may be that I talk about something completely different now than to what the article responded. I mean to say that our conventional logic is not made for solving these issues. But I may have shown that despite that, in this case the logic was not used properly anyway.
    Can I kindly ask a question? The debaters often say that God is “beyond” time and space. What do they mean actually?

  2. Woodystock

    Oh, one ore thing commenting the second premise, we do not even know what the universe began to do. Did it began to exist (nothing – Big Bang/creation – Universe)? Or did it began just to stretch, from something? We simply cannot say, it is, again, an unverified statement. The cosmic radiation (that you hear as a part of static) does not say anything about whether there was something or nothing before the BB.
    You may rightly object that I take the Big Bang for granted, and it is also a statement needed to be verified, not a premise. Well, you may see it in that way, but at the same time you cannot say “We know the universe began to exist”. It began to … something … It depends on what you mean “exist”, as stupid as it sounds.

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Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.