Tuesday, January 05, 2016

If God Made the Universe, What Made God?

I have had philosophy students ask me: "If God made the universe, then who or what made God?" How shall I respond to this? Here are some thoughts from J.P. Moreland's The God Question.

  • It is true that all events need explanatory causes. But God is not an "event." Therefore God does not need a cause. (Moreland, 63)
  • The question "What or who made God?" commits "the pointless category fallacy" ("the mistake of ascribing the wrong feature to the wrong thing")." It's like asking "What color is the note C?" Moreland says that "the question, what made x? can only be asked if x is makeable." (Ib.)
  • If God exists at all, then God is a necessary being. A necessary being is a being that could not not exist. Moreland correctly states: "This definition is what theists mean by "God" even if it turns out that no God exists. Atheists and theists typically agree about the definition of what god would be if He exists. They differ over whether or not anything exists that satisfies that definition. Now if that is what "God" means, then the question, what made God? turns out to be, what made an entity, God, who is by definition, unmakeable?" To ask that question is to ask a nonsense question. Therefore the question "Who or what made God? is, fundamentally (logically), incoherent.