This is the working first chapter of a book I intend to publish one day entitled, “The Galt-Like God.” This chapter is my somewhat polemical argument for the existence of God presented to and for the admirer of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. However, one need not be familiar with Rand’s work in order to understand and appreciate the argument below.
The Immovable Mover
“The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power-that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He lived for himself.” | The Fountainhead
“In the beginning…”— stop. Beginning? Beginning of what? Beginning of existence? Impossible. If existence had a beginning, there would have been a time of non-existence before that — and existence can’t come from non-existence; something can’t come from absolutely nothing. If anything exists (and a lot does), then there has always been at least one thing that exists. Or, as any good student of Ayn Rand could tell you: “Existence exists.” So, existence, as such, has no beginning. But we don’t merely have “existence, as such” — we have a lot of different existents (things) which do begin, and are all moving and interacting with each other on a grand scale. There can’t be a beginning to existence, as such – but was there a beginning to the movement of existents? Something has always existed, but have things always been moving, or was there a beginning to the movement among things? And if there was a beginning, from what did it arise? How? And most interestingly — why?
The simple answer is: of course there was a beginning. The dream of the atheist, that actions in the universe ‘simply exist’ without any primary cause, is akin to the dream of the socialist who claims that wealth ‘simply exists’ without any primary cause. Incidentally, the motivation behind both dreamers is to desperately evade the reality and nature of those primary causes – the atheist wishes to evade God; the socialist wishes to evade the God-like producer. Despite the dreamy nature of these evasions though, many have become convinced of them, and therefore the ‘simple answer’ simply will not suffice. In the following few pages of this chapter, therefore, you will find the ‘slightly more complex answer’ – which is only complex to the extent that it must anticipate and dismiss the dreamy evasions described above.
If you’re tempted to check-out here because such thinking is “above your head”, or because “we can’t know such things”, or “that’s for the experts to decide”– don’t. You’ve been fed that lie by those who hate reality. They hate it because they fear it, and they want you to join them in their terror. Don’t give into them. It’s actually much simpler than they would have you believe, and contrary to the elitist mantras, you don’t need to be an expert in quantum physics or an aficionado of the most recent developments in string theory in order to grasp it. The only requirement is a mind devoted to the truth – and that is completely up to you; right here and right now.
The Slightly-More Complex Answer
For the sake of the dreamers, then, let us forget the simple answer, and pick up where we left off. (See below for a formal outline of the ensuing argument). As we attempt to discover the nature of the beginning of action (if there was one), where better to begin than a simple quote from the hero of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, John Galt, which summarizes the most basic rule of action? “An entity cannot act against its nature”. This is the negative of the law of causality: an entity (a thing) can only act according to its nature. This simply means that a thing can only do that which is in its nature to do. If it is not in the nature of a rock to fly, unaided, up into the clouds, then a rock will not fly, unaided, up into the clouds. If it is in the nature of a rock to fall to the ground when it is dropped, then when a rock is dropped, it will fall to the ground. All things obey their own natures.
In respect to the nature of the way a thing acts, there are only two possibilities: to act non-intentionally or to act intentionally. A thing acts non-intentionally when it does not intend to act in that way. A thing acts intentionally when it does intend to act in that way. A thing can either act because it is forced to act in that way, as an automatic result of the interaction of its nature with the nature of other things – or a thing can act because it chooses to act in that way (and therefore, implicitly possesses a nature which allows it to so choose). Any given action is either chosen or un-chosen, done out of freedom or force, intended or unintended, volitional or non-volitional, intentional or non-intentional.
Since experience would lead us to believe that only we humans are capable of intentional action, and since there was obviously action before we were around, let us consider the nature of non-intentional action in our attempt to arrive at a beginning. When a thing acts non-intentionally, it does so because that action is necessitated by the nature of its interaction with at least one other thing (and usually many other things). The action of the bowling pins falling is a result of the interaction between the bowling ball and bowling pins (as well as many other “inter-actors”, like the polished wood floor, the earth’s gravitational pull, etc). If a thing is only capable of non-intentional action, it will not act apart from a specific stimulus to its nature which causes it to act. The bowling pins will not fall apart from a bowling ball (or something with similar force) acting upon them – much less will the bowling pins fall (or do anything for that matter) if they are not acted upon by anything at all. Non-intentional (non-chosen) action is necessarily the result of some sort of interaction. This means that non-intentional action is necessarily a reaction; a reaction to what? To some prior action. Notice that this does not specify the nature of the prior action – only that some sort of prior action is a prerequisite for non-intentional action.
Now, if non-intentional action can only proceed from some sort of prior action, then wherever there is a non-intentional action, you know that it was preceded by at least one other action, to which it reacted. For example, if the bowling pins fall over (a non-intentional action), you know that some prior action occurred to cause this – whether it was a bowling ball colliding into them, or an earthquake up-heaving the ground upon which they were standing. Let’s say that this prior action (whatever it was) was also non-intentional – this means that yet another action preceded that one. And, if that one was also non-intentional, then still another action preceded that one – and so on, and so on “to infinity”… or not.
Can a series of non-intentional actions “reach back to infinity”? What does that even mean? When someone says that such a series “reaches back to infinity,” what they mean is that this series did not have a beginning (in this case, it is typically because that person wishes to evade the beginning). But if a sequential series does not have a beginning, then it does not exist. A series in which each event is contingent upon the one before it is a series which must have a beginning if it actually exists. No beginning event would mean no series of events. Obviously a series of non-intentional actions does exist (that’s what modern science studies) – and therefore it must have had a beginning. That beginning must have been an action (since all non-intentional action is the result of prior action) – and that beginning action could not, itself, have been non-intentional (else it would not be the beginning). If the only possible types of action are non-intentional and intentional, and if the beginning of action in the universe cannot have been non-intentional, then the beginning of action in the universe must have been an intentional action.
“Must have been!? Where’s the faith in that?” cries the modern Christian. “Intentional action!? That’s mystical faith-based nonsense!” cries the Objectivist. The Objectivist should listen to the Christian’s cry here: there is no faith in that (and there shouldn’t be). No mysticism, no subjective drivel, no emotional rhetoric, no arbitrary appeals to authority – no faith. Only a very plain and simple exposition of the law of causality in respect to action – specifically, the beginning of action.
The Immovable Mover
So, we’ve discovered (rather quickly – and without the need of consulting “experts”) that there indeed was a beginning to action in the universe and that this action was intentional – but is that all that we can know? Why stop short? This isn’t some trivial mental exercise. We’re not talking about some random event – we’re talking about the event; the event to which all other events owe their existence. Who, but an evasive coward, would feign interest in “the truth” concerning every other fact in the universe while turning a blind eye toward the fact undergirding those individual facts (or worse: yawning at it, as if the implications of it aren’t supremely significant to everything else). No. One with a mind genuinely devoted to the truth seeks the whole truth, in the fullest context, and in the proper hierarchical order. The non-evasive; the lover of truth – and therefore the lover of life – will desire to know as much truth as possible concerning this original intentional action, the nature of the actor, and perhaps most of all, the motivation for the action.
So, what can be known about it? We need only to pick up where we left off in order to find out. An intentional action is a volitional action, and volition presupposes consciousness and values. If this actor acted volitionally (willfully), then its will proceeded from a mind (consciousness) which apprehended two alternatives (to act or not to act), and from a preference (value) for one alternative over the other. Something with a mind, values, and volition is a person. Since this actor is a person, hereafter “it” will be referred to with personal pronouns (He, Him, His). If this person began all non-intentional action, then He can never be moved non-intentionally. He is Immovable. If He can never be moved non-intentionally, then He can never be affected by anything in a way that is not ultimately Him affecting Himself. He is Immutable. If He cannot be affected by anything other than Himself, then He can never be coerced by anything. He is absolutely Free. If He is not affected by anything, but He ultimately affects all other things, then He is in control of everything. He is Sovereign. If all possible action proceeds from Him, then all power (power being the ability to do something possible) belongs to Him. He is Omnipotent. If He cannot be affected by anything outside of Himself, then His knowledge cannot be affected by anything outside of Himself. He is Omniscient. He is Immovable, Immutable, Free, Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient. He is God.
God: The Egoist
He is God, but He is not just any God, and you are not morally free to plug whatever characteristics you wish into the concept of God. God, like everything else, has a very specific nature – and once again, if you value the truth, you will be eager to discover as much as you can about His nature and the nature of His relationship to that which He has created. To that end, it is best to discover what motive drove Him to execute that intentional action which originated all non-intentional action. An intentional or volitional action is a chosen action, and a choice is based on a desire. A desire is a subjective disposition or preference toward an object of one’s consciousness. If He cannot be affected by anything other than Himself, then the only original object of His consciousness could have been: Himself. He, in all of His greatness, is the only ultimate object of His knowledge. Therefore the only affection which could have given rise to any action of God is: pleasure in Himself.
Unfortunately, this is where the traditional Aristotelian conception of God stops. The assumption is that the only action God could take would be the action of self-contemplation, because to act on anything else would mean that He is conscious of less than Himself, which would be “below Him”. Because of this erroneous assumption (to be refuted shortly), most philosophical thinkers have concluded that God is therefore impotent or irrelevant in relation to the rest of the world. Blanking out the fact that the necessity of an “Immovable Mover” is what made us aware of this God to begin with, they conclude that such a God is not capable of moving anything. He’s a completely self-absorbed and self-contained being that has nothing at all to do with anything else in the universe; hence Deism and Atheism among philosophical thinkers. This is a view of God as an “Immovable Mover” which does not move – A God which moves and does not move at the same time and in the respect. He is a God of this world who is not God of this world.
Modern Christians, on the other hand, have accepted the same false premise (that a self-oriented God could not, and would not, interact with the world) and concluded that God is therefore not self-oriented, but others-oriented. They want (rightfully) to hold to a God who interacts with His creation, but because of the above erroneous premise, they blank out that the original mover must be entirely unmoved, Himself. Thus, they assume that an interactive God is necessarily an altruistic God (an others- oriented God); a God who looks to His creation for fulfillment in some way (to experience love, or to learn and grow, or to experience “service and sacrifice”, etc…). Hence, the rabid altruism in the Church and the gradual, but decisive, mutation of God into anything but divine among many Christian intellectuals. This is a view of God as a moved “Immovable Mover”; a God which is moved and unmoved at the same time and in the same respect – a God which is not God. Both conceptions of God are anti-God conceptions. Both are ultimately atheistic conceptions of God.
The modern view of God among philosophical thinkers turns Him into a distant and irrelevant anomaly, because philosophers rightly understand His divine self-orientation but wrongly negate his interaction with Creation. Meanwhile, the modern Christian view of God strips Him of His divinity because Christians rightly understand His original and continuous interaction with His creation, while wrongly negating His ultimate self-orientation. Both emphasize one truth, but erroneously assume that the two truths are irreconcilable.
Is it not possible, though, that God could act in a way that is ultimately self-contemplation, or self-enjoyment, while simultaneously involving other (lesser) things than Himself in His action? Not only is this completely possible, but it is necessarily the case. If God’s creation must be the result of His action and interaction with it (as seen above), then it is true that God does indeed act on, and interact with, His creation. And if God is God – if He is ultimately unmoved – then the ultimate motivation for His action and interaction with Creation must be the enjoyment of Himself. God thought of and created other (lesser) things with the ultimate goal of enjoying Himself in the creation of, and interaction with, those things. God is, and must be, absolutely interactive and sovereign over everything in His creation (against the philosophical deists and atheists) – and God is, and must be, relentlessly motivated by nothing but the ultimate enjoyment of Himself in all that He does (against modern altruistic Christian thought).
God, therefore, is the Chief Egoist – and He cannot be anything other. Contrary to Aristotle’s God, He did not create by accident; such an accident is impossible to God. He does all that He does with absolute divine purpose. Contrary to many modern ‘Christian’ notions of God, He did not create out of need- God is in need of nothing. He is utterly independent. He does all that He does out of an abundant enjoyment of Himself, and to the end that He will enjoy Himself in all that He does. The value which He places in anything in Creation is directly determined by the value of Himself as reflected in that thing, or the value of Himself as demonstrated through the use of that thing toward His end of enjoying Himself. God possesses no value which is not ultimately Him valuing Himself. He cannot. This does not mean that God does not value man in general, or some men in particular; it simply means that His value for man is ultimately an expression of His value for Himself – motivated by His love for Himself, achieved with the passion He has for Himself, to the end that He would enjoy Himself. Any conception of a god which values anything other than himself as ultimate is not only a false god, but an impossible god. Because God must be wholly self-existent, nothing about Him (especially His motives) can ultimately be founded in anything other than Himself. To claim otherwise is to claim that some other thing exists eternally apart from Him, to which He must conform in some way – making that other thing out to be the real God and making that which we call ‘God’ out to be no god at all. In other words, such a concept of “god” is an atheistic concept of god. It is a concept of God being not-God. God must place absolute and ultimate value in Himself, alone. God is either the ultimate Egoist or He is no God at all. Egoism is the essential moral quality of Deity.
Now, lest the Christian – or the atheist – say here, “but that is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is completely others-oriented,”, take heed — and read:
– “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you, in order not to cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.” – Isaiah 48:9-11
– “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in the temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” – Acts 17:24-25
– “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory” – John 17:24
– “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed” – 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
Despite what many modern altruistic Christians would have you believe, an honest reading of the Bible reveals that the God of the Bible is very openly and unapologetically driven by the singular and unrelenting passion for His own glory in all that He does. As Pastor John Piper put it in his message at Together for the Gospel in 2006, entitled Why Expositional Preaching is Particularly Glorifying to God:
“From beginning to end in the Bible, nothing is more ultimate in the mind and heart of God than the glory of God… read the whole Bible and every place that God makes explicit the ultimate reason for why He’s doing what He’s doing, the answer is always and without exception the same: For My Glory!— or For My Name!”
Let it not be thought, therefore, that the God of the Bible is a God of need — or a God to be helped, or pitied. He is, rather, the wholly self-sufficient One described above. He is the God who knows and values Himself as ultimate in everything. The God of the Bible is the God who Is — and He is the Chief Egoist.
Here, we must address a grave misconception among Objectivists concerning values – and by doing so, I hope to shine more light onto the greatness of the values of God. Rand holds that “Value is that which one acts to gain or to keep” (Virtue of Selfishness, 16). But, surely God has no need to act in order to “gain or keep” anything, ultimately – if He did, He wouldn’t be God. [More on this below, but first:] To flesh the problem out more, Rand continues:
Try to imagine an immortal, indestructible, robot, an entity which moves and acts, but which cannot be affected by anything, which cannot be changed in any respect, which cannot be damaged, injured, or destroyed. Such an entity would not be able to have any values; it would have nothing to gain or to lose; it could not regard anything as for or against it, as serving or threatening its welfare, as fulfilling or frustrating its interests. It could have no interests and no goals. – Virtue of Selfishness, 16.
Obviously, this ‘robot’ is a parody of God – and this very quote has been used by prominent Objectivist thinkers (such as Tara Smith) as an argument against the existence of God, on the basis that volition – and therefore value — requires negative alternatives.
Notice though, the assumptions in the above position: it is assumed that the ability to be “affected”, “changed”, “damaged”, “injured” or “destroyed” is essential to the ability to value; that the possibility of loss is necessary for gain, that the possibility of enemies is essential to the possibility of allies, that threats are essential to welfare, and frustration essential to the fulfillment of interests. It assumes that the negative (or at least the possibility of the negative) is essential to the positive, such that the positive is impossible apart from the [possibility of the] negative. If this is true, then the positive is defined by the negative (rather than the other way around) such that the essence of the positive is the absence of the negative. The essence of life is the absence of death. The essence of good is the absence of bad, the essence of pleasure is the absence of pain, the essence of wealth is the absence of poverty, the essence of virtue is the absence of vice, the essence of A is absence of non-A. This is a complete metaphysical reversal, which if taken to its logical conclusion, leads to nihilism – the primacy of the negative over the positive, of nothing over something, of non-existence over existence.
Ironically, the most eloquent and succinct refutation of such nihilistic beliefs in modern literature comes from Rand, herself (via John Galt):
Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Joy is not “the absence of pain,” intelligence is not “the absence of stupidity,” light is not “the absence of darkness,” an entity is not “the absence of a nonentity.” Building is not done by abstaining from demolition; centuries of sitting and waiting in such abstinence will not raise one single girder for you to abstain from demolishing. . . . Existence is not a negation of negatives… — Atlas Shrugged, 937
Likewise, the possibility of loss is not a prerequisite for gain, the possibility of frustration is not a prerequisite for fulfillment, the possibility of enemies is not a prerequisite for allies, the possibility of evil is not a prerequisite for good, and the possibility of death is not a prerequisite for life. No. Existence does just fine in the absence of non-existence. Life is enhanced, not diminished, apart from the possibility of death. Pleasure increases in the absence of pain, intelligence is sharper in the absence of stupidity, power is mightier in the absence of weakness, building thrives in the absence of demolition, and the good is ever-more exultantly good in the absence of evil. Why? Because: existence exists – even when non-existence doesn’t. Quite contrary to Rand’s intent in the robot parody, this entity – this God – is far more capable of love, value, joy, pleasure, life, power, and everything good because He is not capable of anything bad. It’s true that He is:
“…immortal, indestructible … an entity which moves and acts, but which cannot be affected by anything, which cannot be changed in any respect, which cannot be damaged, injured, or destroyed…”
Therefore, He has absolutely nothing to lose – and everything is His to gain! Nothing can be regarded as against Him – and everything is ultimately for Him! His welfare cannot be threatened – and everything ultimately serves Him! Nothing can frustrate His interests – and everything ultimately fulfills them! He is not capable of the negative; of non-existence; of deprivation – and is therefore more exultantly alive than anything else ever could be or will be. It is no credit to us that we are mortal, affected and changed in many respects by many things, damaged, injured, and capable of destruction. The ability to incur loss, to have enemies, to be threatened and frustrated is not something to boast about – at least not among men who value existence over non-existence, life over death, and good over evil.
But this whole issue arose from a more technical claim by Rand concerning values. She said that “values are that which one acts to gain or keep,” and I said “surely God has no need to gain or keep anything – otherwise, He wouldn’t be God”. But then I said that “everything is His to gain!” So, which is it? He gains or He doesn’t? He has values or He doesn’t? He needs to act in order to gain those values or He doesn’t? The key concept here is need. Rand may not have explicitly used the concept of need in her description of value, and her requisite objections concerning ‘God, the indestructible robot’ – but she did use it implicitly throughout. This is evidenced by her assumption that the positive is only intelligible in the context of the negative – i.e. in a context where one needs the positive in order to avoid the negative. It has been sufficiently shown above that, though we may exist in such a context, that context is not universally necessary, and more importantly, God does not exist in such a context. He does not need to gain anything because He does not need anything, period.
He doesn’t need, but He does value – otherwise He would not act. He “gains” through His action, but only secondarily. His gain is not like our gain. His gain is more like multiplication whereas ours is more like addition. We gain by acquiring something which we didn’t previously have. He gains by multiplying expressions of that which is already fully His. We gain by enjoying that which is extrinsic to us. He gains by enjoying that which is intrinsic to Him – reflected in a multiplicity of extrinsic manifestations. To flesh this out a little more, let’s take a closer look at Rand’s description of value in a context absent of need.
“Value is that which one acts to gain or keep.” Another way to say this is that actions are driven by desires. When one acts to gain or keep something, it is because one desires to have that thing. When one desires to have something, it is for some end. When one desires something for an end, he necessarily desires that end as well. That which one desires is his “value” – whether it is a means to an end, or the end itself. The value which is a means to an end (instrumental value) is simply a lesser value than the greater value which is the end (ultimate value). God does act to “gain or keep” instrumental values, but only as a means of multiplying the pleasure of His ultimate value, which He is never in danger of losing. He acts to create a physical world; His action yields a value of His – a physical world – and the action produces a type of gain: there is a physical world present which was not previously there. However, this physical world is only valuable to Him in that He intends to use it for the enjoyment of His chief value: Himself. In other words, the only reason He values the physical world is because He intends to enjoy Himself (which is His ultimate value) in it. And, as explained above, the “gaining” of the physical world, for Him, is not the same type of gaining as for us; for Him it is not an addition of something to Him from outside of Himself, but rather an expression of Him, flowing from Him and pointing back to Him in every respect. Likewise, in His sovereign providence, He acts to “keep” the physical world by “upholding it with the word of His power” (Heb1:3). However this “keeping” is not like our keeping. Rather than looking to, and obeying external laws of that which is being kept (like we must do), His “keeping” is simply a maintaining of His creational action: He keeps on speaking the world into existence, apart from which speaking, the world would cease to be.
So, Rand’s description of ‘value’ as “that which one acts to gain or keep” is not entirely complete. The action of gaining, and or keeping, a value may be done in a context in which the enjoyment of the value is threatened (whether by circumstance or time), but it is the enjoyment of the value – not the action of gaining or keeping it – which is ultimate. Enjoyment of that which one values is the end for which one acts to gain and keep a value – when necessary. And it is never necessary for God to act in order to gain or keep His ultimate value – which means that His joy is absolutely invincible.
Stop and think of the abundant pleasure of such a being. He is free from every obligation – save the happy “obligation” of being Himself, which is no obligation at all. His capacities for pleasure are without limit, and the object of His pleasure (Himself) is without limit; so that He is never bored in the slightest – either by exhausting His capacities, or by exhausting the object of pleasure which fills His capacities. He has perfect knowledge of Himself, and perfect joy in Himself. He knows nothing, ultimately, but His own glorious perfection. He feels nothing, ultimately, save the ecstasy of being Himself. He does nothing, ultimately, save reveling in His own glorious perfections.
Of course, He knows other, lesser things – He is omniscient. He feels other, lesser affections – His affections correspond accurately to that which He knows. He does other, lesser things – He created and upholds the world by the word of His power. But these are not ultimate. They are all inside of His ultimate knowledge, affection, and activity; they are all secondary – all secondary means to the great and holy end which is: Himself. These lesser things flow out of His omnipotent joy in Himself as comparatively parochial “side- effects”.
There is no emotion or disposition in God which is not ultimately God enjoying Himself, and there is no activity in the universe which is not ultimately God glorying in Himself. Yes — He experiences grief, and anger, and sorrow, and wrath, and patience – but all of these are in very specific contexts, and they are only in reference to the object of His invincible joy: Himself. He is grieved in His omnipotent joy because of a son or daughter who does not see and share in that joy. He is angered in His holy happiness because of children who have rebelled against that happiness. These negative dispositions, though, could never come close to touching or altering His great pleasure in Himself in any way. They are, only insofar as His happiness is – apart from His happiness, they would not be. All dispositions in God which appear to be contrary to His sublime happiness are merely contextual responses to events – events which, being inspired by that very happiness, He has ordained; and which, being expertly aimed to serve His purposes, are employed to maximize that very same happiness; so that from Him, through Him, and to Him (no matter what the context!) is all joy.
Such is the sovereign and invincible joy of God. Such is the greatness of His divine pleasure in being Himself – and in doing all that He desires. His is the pleasure to which none other can compare. Never has there been, and never will there be, one who tastes of greater delight than He. He does all that He pleases and all that He pleases is good and wise. He needs nothing from anyone and owes nothing to anyone. He is self-sufficient in every conceivable way. He will never be frustrated. He will never fail. He will never be mistaken. He will never be unhappy. To know that His happiness — His pleasure, His joy — is not only possible, but certain – invincibly certain! – is the great solace and comfort to the wearied lover of life who is overwhelmed by the horrific abundance of weakness, irrationality, suffering, and death in this life. The sheer knowledge of His holy and invincible pleasure calms the greatest storm and the most frantic heart. All the world could pass away, and all evil could prevail in every other way, but He is happy and His happiness can never be touched — so, therefore, neither can the happiness of the one whose happiness is in Him. All who enjoy His joy, all who take pleasure in His pleasure, all who value His value, have their treasure stored in an impenetrable fortress. Evil may abound, death may run rampant, poverty may enslave all, sorrow and pain may shackle men, but He is forever, wholly, and invincibly happy – and His happiness, when glimpsed, will swallow up all evil, triumph over all death, mock all poverty, discount all pain and drown all sorrow; revealing them to be as nothing in the vast and unending ocean of His glorious, all consuming, holy, invincible and passionate love for Himself.
Such is the fountain from which overflowed all of creation – and back to which points all of creation. Why did God create the universe? Why did He create Man? Why did He create you? Why does He do all that He does? Why is there evil in the world? Why did He send His Son to die on a cross? Why does He want anything to do with us? There are many varied (and accurate) answers – all to be explored in the following chapters – but to all of these, and to all other such questions, there is one ultimate, resounding, and final answer: God absolutely and irrevocably loves Himself.
Outline of the Argument:
- There are only two types of action: intentional and non-intentional. [Premise]
- Non-intentional action requires prior action. [Premise]
- There was non-intentional action not caused by human intentional action. [Premise]
- There cannot be an infinite regress of non-intentional action. [Premise]
- There had to be a beginning of action in the universe. [3 & 4]
- The beginning of action in the universe could not be non-intentional. [2 & 5]
- The beginning of action in the universe had to be intentional. [6 & 1]
- Intentional action requires a mind and will, which implies personhood. [Premise]
- A person is the source of all action in the universe. [7 & 8]
(This article is the sole property of Jacob Brunton, published here by special permission.)
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Bachelor of Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, MN. M.A. in Philosophy, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
Bachelor of Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, MN. M.A. in Philosophy, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.