FAQ: Why does matter need a cause?

FAQ: Why does matter need a cause?

It is part of our everyday experience that material things need causes. If you discovered an elephant in your sitting room, you would immediately ask yourself how it got to be there. You would not think, “Oh well, maybe it’s just here for no reason: elephants often just turn up like that.” Elephants need causing.

Science is the study of material things; it attempts to explain why they happen and why they exist. (It is part of our scientific knowledge that elephants need causing!) Thus, everywhere science applies, the things it describes need causing. Crucially, the universe as a whole: in other words, the whole of matter, can be studied successfully by science. That is the science of cosmology, and it is one of the major human achievements of the 20th century.

However, it follows from our argument above that the whole universe needs causing. Therefore matter needs a cause. It is worth noting that even Richard Dawkins basically accepts this fact. In The God Delusion (in the last section of chapter 4, p. 155 in the first edition) he admits that “there must have been a first cause of everything”, even if he is not prepared to call that cause God!

Faith Magazine

September-October 2016

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