A Traditional Proof for God Revisited

Copyright 2018 by Donald R. Tveter, don@dontveter.com

Alpha version from January 9, 2018

This document may be freely distributed provided it is complete and unchanged.


Atheists constantly complain that there is no evidence for God. This is simply bias on their part. It is not true. There is plenty of evidence for God. All you have to do is look around. This essay concerns one important piece of evidence. Consider these two quotes from the Bible. First, from Romans 1:19-20, the apostle Paul had this to say about people:
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (NLT)
So in looking at the things God made, you can clearly figure out that there is a Creator behind the whole world. If there was no Creator (no intelligence) behind the world you would have chaos or even nothing at all and so in Isaiah 45:18 we find this:
For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. "I am the LORD," he says, "and there is no other." (NLT)
Or in other words, the world is not a mess that happened at random. Instead, the world is organized in a way that makes life possible. Most people realize intuitively or instinctively that a very powerful Intelligence made the world.

The standard atheist response to this comes from the 19th century. In the 19th century understanding of the world, there are particles moving around according to the laws of physics. Only the present exists, the past is gone and the future is not out there yet. Philosophers call this worldview presentism. Sometimes this is also referred to as the three-dimensional (3-D) view of the world. The laws of physics describe forces that move things around. Somehow or other every particle in the universe knows about every other particle and every other force in the universe and each particle knows how to move around accordingly. There are nuclear forces to hold the nucleus of atoms together. There is the electromagnetic force to bring atoms together. Then there is the force of gravity to bring big things together. Then the atheist claim is that things happen at random based on the particles and the forces in the world. So then you get, of course, atoms, stars, planets, life and people. With this understanding of the world, it is easy for atheists to claim that there is no need for a Creator. The forces do the organizing of the particles. (Except, of course, when they claim this, they ignore the odds of life happening by chance. Life is too complicated to happen by chance. They also ignore quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics just does not fit in with presentism.)

But in the 20th century, science discovered that the 19th century understanding of the world was very, very wrong. The new understanding of the world is called eternalism in philosophy. In physics it is referred to as the block universe or blockworld or spacetime or the four-dimensional (4-D) view of the world or superdeterminism. In the block universe, the past, present and future of the universe all exist at once. The past, present and future are all equally real. You don't need forces to move particles around. Because there are no particles moving around. Every particle is just frozen in place forever and ever. Now you will find patterns in the blockworld that make it seem as if there are forces at work. We get the idea that things are moving around because our consciousness is moving through the block universe. As our consciousness moves, we get the impression that things are moving around.

Understanding the block universe takes some effort since it is at odds with presentism and presentism still dominates the world. Hardly anyone even knows that presentism has been disproved. A nice analogy to help understand the block universe is to look at an amusement park ride such as the haunted mansion ride at Disneyworld. First, some people created the ride. Then they decorated it so that it would be scary in a fun sort of way. Then people can get on the ride. When you get on at the beginning of the ride, everything you will see in the future is already out there, ready for you to see when you get there. When you're in the middle of the ride, the past that you've seen is still there and your future is still out there. At the end of the ride the whole past is still there.

Another helpful way to understand the block universe idea is to think about a movie. The movie consists of a series of frames with one picture in each frame. When you start looking at the movie, every frame you will ever see is already out there "in the future". As the movie progresses you only see where you are now, the frames out there in the future are still out there and the frames that you have already seen haven't gone away, they are still there.

Besides regular movies taken using cameras, there are animated movies. At first, animated movies were only done by human artists but now they are often done using computer programs. Either way, every frame of an animated movie needs to be explicitly created by the artist or artists involved. Something sensible must be present in each frame. You need objects that resemble things in the real world. You just can't leave an empty frame out there. Or fill each frame of the movie with random dots. Plus the whole sequence of frames has to be sensible. It has to be organized. It has to show events that are at least similar to events in the real world. You can't take one frame from a Mickey Mouse movie, follow it with a frame from Shrek and follow that with a frame where Wile E. Coyote is chasing the Roadrunner. Also, if in one frame of an animated movie, you've got the Roadrunner with one foot on the ground, then in the next frame you have to have the Roadrunner looking almost the same but with that foot starting to move off the ground and the other foot starting to move toward the ground. In the 3-D world of presentism you need forces to organize the world. In an animated movie you don't need forces to organize the world that you see. You need intelligence. You need intelligence to make recognizable objects that change their locations ever so slightly in frame after frame in (mostly) sensible ways.

The block universe is very much like an animated movie. Instead of small 2-D frames you have a series of HUGE 3-D "frames" which are put together to form the 4-D block universe. Then when your consciousness moves through the block universe you have the appearance of motion and the appearance of forces that are moving things around. In the 4-D block universe there are patterns that occur throughout the block universe. We call them the "laws" of physics. Given these patterns that exist in the block universe, using them consistently from frame to frame, we get atoms, molecules, stars, planets, life, disease and death. Also, once you know the patterns, you can exploit them to create interesting things. You can create light bulbs, radios, cell phones, computers, quantum computers, space ships and so on. Given the organization found in each "frame" of the block universe and the organization of the sequence of 3-D frames, it is clear that intelligence is involved. Given that there are patterns (the "laws" of physics) that are used consistently, it is clear that they are the product of intelligence as well. So now what the apostle Paul wrote:
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (NLT)
and what Isaiah wrote:
For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. "I am the LORD," he says, "and there is no other." (NLT)
are really excellent proofs for the existence of a Creator.