Why is there something rather than nothing? Why does anything exist?

universe, galaxy, existence

by Matt Slick
1/22/2018

The reason that anything exists and there is something rather than nothing, is because God made it. Without God creating, nothing would exist. Let me expand on this.

That which exists (like the universe and everything in it) has existed forever or it is not the case that it has existed forever. In other words, that which exists has either always existed in one form or another or it has not. There is no other option.

But the problem is that if the universe existed forever, then that would mean that in order for us to get to the present, an infinite amount of time would have to be crossed in order to get to now. But it's impossible to cross an infinite amount of time because, well, it wouldn't be infinite long if you could cross it. So it doesn't make sense to say that the universe is infinitely old. This means that the universe had to have a beginning.

But if someone says that something else caused the universe, then what caused that cause, and the one before that, etc.?We can't go back like that infinitely because we would still be left with the same problem that an infinite amount of time would have to be crossed in order to get to now. Again, that's not possible.. So it's not the case that the universe is infinitely old.

Nothing comes from nothing

Here's a second important point. Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing doesn't produce anything. Nothing is what rocks think of.

Something brought the universe into existence and it can't be "nothing" that did it. This is because nothing doesn't do anything. Nothing doesn't have any properties by which an action can be performed. Nothing doesn't have the ability to cause anything because nothing isn't anything at all. Sometimes when people ask me to define what is "nothing," I tell them that nothing is what rocks think of.  Its just.... nothing.

Personal Cause on Impersonal Cause

This means that whatever brought the universe into existence was either personal or not personal, alive or was not alive. If it was not alive, then it is a material thing without consciousness, without decision, without purpose. If that's the case, then we have a problem. Let me explain.

An event such as the beginning of the universe has to have a cause. But the cause has to possess the necessary and sufficient conditions to bring about the universe's existence.  In other words, the cause has to possess all the things necessary in order to bring the uuniverse into existence. But if it possessed these things, then it would have had to have possessed them naturally, as part of its nature. But if it possessed these things all the time, then the creation would have been immediate.  Why? Because there would never have been a decision to create.  There would be no delay.  But, that would mean the creation would have been done an infinitely long time ago because that which exists prior to the universe, had to exist infinitely in the past (otherwise we have to ask what brought it into existence and so on) while possessing the necessary conditions to bring the universe into existence. But since the universe is not infinitely old, then the idea that an immaterial, nonpersonal cause of the numbers does not work.

This leaves us only with a personal cause of the universe. That personal cause is God.

Conclusion

So, the reason there's something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. Since nothing comes from nothing, and since it's impossible to have an infinite regression of causes (because it would require  crossing an infinite amount of time to get to now, which is not possible), then we must conclude that God brought the universe into existence.

Of course, as a Christian I wholeheartedly affirm that it was the Christian God who brought the universe into existence and therefore that's why things exist and there something rather than nothing.

Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  

 

 

 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.