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Argument from Necessity - How an Atheist may try to avoid its implications

I will deal with the Argument from Necessity.

Nothing in the universe needs to exist. For example, if the sun did not exist that would not matter. The other things in the universe could still exist.

There could have been nothing at all.

There is something.

Some power is holding all things in existence because they don’t need to exist. That is the reason the universe exists. To grasp this you must grasp that creation means not making something out of something but causing something to be when there is nothing. This is creation out of nothing.

This power is God. God is the reason for his own existence. He does not cause himself to exist but he is self-sufficient. God is that which is real but has no materiality or parts or physical elements. So God is spirit and depends on nothing to exist. In other words, God is the necessary being. He cannot not exist.

This argument must not confused with the first cause argument. Atheists sometimes tend to think it is just another version of that argument. The first cause argument can be misunderstood as saying that you need God to explain the start of the universe but once its started you don’t need him as an explanation any more.

The argument from necessity says that God is creating every moment afresh. He is continually creating and keeping all things from reverting to nothing. It is not once for all creation you have but continuous creation.

The Atheist may not understand that even the present moment is being created. This moment does not have to happen. God could withdraw his sustenance from the creation and then there will be nothing. The present moment shows God did not create in the past but only started to create in the past and he creates the universe continually.

The Atheist may say that even if some power is necessary to keep the universe from becoming the nothing it came from that we can’t necessarily conclude that this power is God. He may say an impersonal and non-physical intelligence could do it. But this overlooks the fact that we are personal and our consciousness for example is non-physical. There is no difference between a body that is alive and one that has just died yet the consciousness is gone. The consciousness is non-physical. Thus it becomes easy to surmise that the creator is a personal and non-physical intelligence.

The Atheist may say that there could be more than one creator. The universe exists and does not need to. There is no necessity for it so whatever made it made it out of choice. It takes unlimited and complete power to bring something out of nothing or to keep something in existence when it could be nothing. Thus the creator is infinite.

But you cannot have two infinites. Infinite means possessing all power. Thus there is only one creator.

Atheists tend to believe in creation out of nothing but hold that it was spontaneous and God is unnecessary. This overlooks the fact that if I make a bicycle, some designing agency has to maintain that bicycle and keep it in existence and the way I made it. Thus it is short-sighted to think I made a bicycle and that is all there is to it. After I step back, somebody else has taken over to keep the design going. Thus there is no getting away from the fact that a conscious intelligent God is sustaining all things.

The Atheist sometimes thinks the idea of God being non-physical is an example of reification. That is mistaking abstract ideas for real things. That is why it is so important that we confirm the existence of real but non-physical entities by thinking about our intangible thoughts and our intangible awareness or consciousness. Non-physical essences exist and are not to be equated with abstracts.

In conclusion, the Atheist does not have any well thought out objections to the Argument from Necessity. The claim of some Atheists that the argument is really a form of Anselm’s alleged idea, “God really exists for he is too great not to exist” is really a cheap shot.

Response: The Atheist does have well thought out objections - Christians simply pretend they do not exist. Alarmingly, the objections are extremely simple.

If creation needs a sustainer, the sustainer need not be God. There is no need to say the sustainer is God. This means the sustainer is not God for God by definition is that which is needed most by you to be good and serve good.

Imagine if all toys have to be plastic. Plastic can be used as a sustainer for making toys in the sense that there will be no toys without it. It can become a fabulous intricate toy but it does not follow that the plastic is intelligent or capable of designing the toy. Thus if creation needs a sustainer, that sustainer does not even need to be intelligent.

Believers then say that if the sustainer has nothing to do with intelligence, then we must ask where intelligence comes from?

It is extremely unlikely for a random universe to produce a calculator by chance. But theoretically it is slightly possible. It can happen. It does not follow that any intelligence was needed to build the calculator.

Also, if there is no power but God, then all things are made of God and creation is nonsense. It would be evil to worship a transcendent God. I am God so I can do what I want. That would be the law.

Believers look at design and say design proves a designer. That is not what you do. You prove first of all that God can be intelligent. Then you decide if design shows he exists. You do not look at design and then conclude that God is intelligent. If God cannot be intelligent then your argument that design proves a designer is simply wrong.

The necessary being argument is about a theoretical God. It does not help with the relationship God - the God who is so attractive and wonderful that he should be your ultimate and sole concern. It would be cruel to ask people to give such a high place to God without proof of his love. And there is no proof.