Physical reality (all contiguous space, time, and matter) began to exist.
This article analyzes six evidences.
• [Big Bang] Gravity equations yield a past-bound singularity.
• [G.Relativity] General Relativity's singularity model is true.
• [BGV theorem] Any average-expanding space has a beginning.
• [2nd Law of Thermo.] Total entropic decay has not arrived yet.
• [General 2nd Law of Thermo.] Total generalized entropy is not maxed.
• [Philosophy] Logically, prior events cannot number to infinity.
This is relevant because if space, time, and matter began to exist, then the required cause of those three things obviously can't depend on those three things. (That would require self-causation.) So the cause is spaceless, timeless, and immaterial. Moreover, it must have both the ability and disposition to cause space, time, and matter to exist. This sounds very suspiciously like God, and functions as a powerfully fulfilled theistic prediction.1 By contrast, it is a uniquely awkward and surprising development for atheist thinkers; it “was not even remotely expected”2. (In fact, atheists largely hated it and labeled the idea unscientific.)3
• …a beginningless-cosmos model is true (e.g. emergent, pre-BigBang, cyclic).
• …the Schrödinger equation implies the past is eternal. [Forthcoming]
• …time does not truly exist. [Forthcoming]
• …there is no first point in time. [Forthcoming]
• …the singularity isn’t a first event (it is not in time). [Forthcoming]
Of all the known ways the Universe's physical laws, constants, and initial conditions could have been, few ways would ever allow any life to exist.1
This is a very awkward and shocking development for atheist cosmologists2 because it means for them that we got really lucky for no reason. If God exists, however, then the Universe’s ability to permit life is not nearly so surprising or improbable.3 A life-permitting universe is the kind of thing God would plausibly choose to create.4
But against the truth of that first claim, plausibly…
• Changes just yield different life forms
• Constants can't be different (T.O.E.)
• Life-friendly Universes are rare but probable[Forthcoming]
• One can't do probabilities with an infinite range[Forthcoming]
• New knowledge will eliminate fine-tuning
• Over 99.9% of the universe is hostile to life.
And against the relevance of that first claim, plausibly…
• Many universes exist or existed, and we won the universe lottery.5
• The Universe is equally fine-tuned to permit rocks, etc.[Forthcoming]
• God would need a fine-tuner, too.
• “God did it” is not an explanation.
• We wouldn't be here otherwise (Anthropic Principle).
Of all the known ways that a life-permitting universe could have been, few have initial conditions, laws, and physical constants which would ever allow its potential lifeforms to learn about it. (See paper cited here.) This is a uniquely awkward and shocking development for atheists because it means for them that we got really lucky for no reason. If God exists, however, then the Universe’s amenability to being discovered and known is not nearly so surprising or improbable. Such a universe is the kind of thing God would plausibly choose to create.[Note: these three links will lead to some quotes from experts and a paper, but the arguments are not developed on BeliefMap yet.]
Features of living organisms resemble the products of an intelligent mind intentionally arranging parts for a purpose.
This is relevant because if God did not exist, then the likelihood of this superficial appearance is very low. However, if God does exist, then life's existing and resembling intelligently designed objects is not nearly so unexpected—it was designed.
Actually it is not relevant. Plausibly…
• [Life evolved in an unguided way that mimics the pattern of intelligent design].[Forthcoming]
Our perception, memory, reason and so forth can justify beliefs, and have a propensity to recommend to us true beliefs rather than false ones.1
See this article for examples regarding the faculty of philosophical intuition (the most controversial): it justifies beliefs like…
• …x law of physics is constant.
• …x happened in the past.
• …x exists outside my mind.
• …x is conscious.
• …x is objectively morally wrong.
• …x could've occurred.
This is relevant because it is awkward and unexplained if atheism is true, whereas if theism is true, it is not nearly so unlikely or unexpected. After all, creating moral agents with generally reliable cognitive faculties able to interact with each other is the kind of thing a good God would plausibly choose to do.
Actually it's not relevant. Plausibly…
• Reliable faculties were selected for by an unguided evolutionary process.[Forthcoming]
Humans are innately inclined to believe in God or gods (contra naturalism), instinctively finding it commonsensical or intuitive, even if they and/or their culture ultimately resist it and are “educated” out of it.
See this article to analyze four evidences.
• Atheist scientists find theism intuitive. (Boston study, 2013)
• Atheists in general find theism intuitive. (Finland study, 2013)
• Humans are born believers. (Oxford study, 2011)
• Intuitive thinkers favor theism. (Harvard study, 2011)
By “intuitive” here, we mean that cognitively healthy humans from childhood into adulthood are innately predisposed to think atheism “seems” false or absurd. This is relevant because in the absence of a new belief which undercuts or rebuts it, it is rational to heed the suggestions of our philosophical intuitions. Doing otherwise runs one into severe worldview consequences, where one is suddenly unable to justify one's most basic beliefs.
But so what? Plausibly,
• The God intuition is a misleading evolutionary byproduct?
Some actions are morally wrong despite what anybody believes. This is relevant because the existence of such specifically personal facts in the world is unlikely if the world is, at bottom, impersonal (e.g. just particles and physics), and yet it is very much the kind of thing we would anticipate if a God exists who grounds the world and who could not fail to have been loving, honest, etc.
But so what? Plausibly… [All Forthcoming]
• X's net consequences are bad.
• X is done for bad reasons.
• X wouldn't be done by an “ideal observer”.
Some thing exists which is such that it could not have failed to exist; it could not be missing from any truly possible reality.
See this article to analyze seven evidences.
• Turri's Argument from Beginnings
• A “Sum-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
• A “Start-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
• Pruss's Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
• A Big Bang Argument from Beginnings
• Rasmussen's Modal Argument from Beginnings
• Weaver's Argument from Beginnings
That is to say, there is an entity/thing which, by its own nature, could not fail to exist. This is relevant because the entity in question will, by necessity, have a series of properties which strikingly resemble those of God.1
Genuine supernatural events have occurred within human history, ones which are plausibly imbued with spiritual significance.
This is relevant because it is highly unlikely that such supernatural events would occur unless God exists.
God's properties are incoherent or yield contradictions.
After all, it is incoherent to be…
• …all-powerful (e.g. able to lift unliftable rocks)!
• …free (will)
• …perfectly rational
• …both timeless and personal
• …both timeless and a creator
• …both omniscient and libertarianly free
• …both omnipotent and omnibenevolent
• …both all-just and all-loving
This is relevant because if God's properties are incoherent or impossible, then God is incoherent or impossible.
By way of response, however...
• …it is rather bearing the “maximally consistent set of knowledge, power, and benevolence” that must be incoherent.1
The idea of a God existing is extravagant and intrinsically improbable; the so-called prior probability of God’s existence—prior to looking at evidence for or against—seems very low. This is relevant because a low prior probability is functionally similar to having evidence against it. More complex and bold hypotheses have more ways/chances of being wrong. We expect them to be wrong in the absence of sufficient evidence.
• The God of bare theism is more simple than a single fundamental particle. God is a unified soul (an unbreakable thing with no parts)1, and its the simplest possible soul: it only has three fundamental properties (those necessary for being a soul), and in their simplest form—without limits.2
• Reason alone confirms theism (or something close). [Forthcoming]
Fundamental reality is mind-less (or mathematically describable). This is relevant because God is essentially a thinking-thing without limits, and God's nature cannot be captured by mathematical equation.
No, [All Forthcoming]
• Abstract objects exist (numbers, shapes, propositions, etc.).
• Mentalia exist (ideas, beliefs, desires, willings, etc.). • Moral facts exist (e.g. torturing a child for fun is wrong).
• Souls exist.
• An afterlife/heaven exists.
• The cause of physical/natural reality exists (since it is contingent).
Any good God who exists would've chosen to ensure less (or no) suffering occur.
This is relevant because so many today and throughout history have suffered, sometimes even through horrific pain.
• Plausibly, greater goods require, risk, or result in suffering. Like the conjunctive goods of…
• …free will in a choice arena
• …best forming our own character
• …God's atonement for people like Paul
• …worldly people turning to seek God
• …love-bonds forged in suffering
• …solidarity with Christ in suffering
• …true evil-conquering stories
• …a knowable unfolding natural order
• …sacrifices for good causes
• …being of use to those in need
• …appreciating heaven (no suffering)
Any loving God who exists would've chosen to ensure less (or no) disbelief occur.
This is relevant because there are so many today and throughout history who have inculpably remained in non-belief, persons who have obviously not had any God convincingly meet them or otherwise bring them to belief.
• Some would just immediately reject relationship.
• Some non-theists would just form a perpetually improper relationship.
• Some potential converts would abandon proper relationship later in life.
• Greater relationship goods obtain with God's silence.
• Greater goods in general obtain with God's silence.
• God can have relationships with non-theists.
Theistic explanation is illegitimate; real potential explanations cannot feature God.
This article analyzes eight evidences.
• “God-did-it” is just an appeal to ignorance-gaps.
• “God-did-it” is just an appeal to magic.
• Explanations don't compound the mystery.
• Explanations don't explain “too much”.
• Meaningful claims are verifiable (by senses).
• Meaningful claims are falsifiable/testable.
• Explanations cite effective mechanisms.
• Explanations are unificationist.
This is relevant because if God or God's activity cannot feature as part of a real explanation, then God cannot be accepted as the explanation for the Universe's existence. Insofar as God is defined as the creator of the universe, this would render theism irrational. (And so, presumably false?)
But no, God can theoretically feature in a real potential explanation…
• All agree: outlandish evidences for God could warrant theistic conclusions.
• Theism does best explain some facts.
• Theism can be rational.