How are mules created?
You might be thinking, “What an odd question!” It is an odd question in some ways but is important for considering the next logical step in thinking about God in a reasonable manner. Here’s why:
Mules are created by breeding a horse and a donkey. The offspring (either a mule, which is born to a female horse, or a hinny, which is born to a female donkey) possesses characteristics of both of its parents. So mules are part horse and part donkey.
No part of a mule is considered cat, dog, turtle or whale.
Huh?!? Exactly. Logically, we understand that the effect must be present in the cause. A better way to put this is to return to what was said in Nothing Without A Cause. Every material effect must have an adequate cause. Therefore, an adequate cause for a mule is a horse and a donkey. A cat is not an adequate cause for a mule.
So if we think of the cause of the universe then we can legitimately ask the question “How can we understand the adequacy of the cause of the universe given the characteristics of the universe as we see them?”
If that was lost on you then just keep reading. You will see what I mean.
For example, the universe is contingent – it relies on this cause for its existence. Since it would be impossible to have an infinite series of causes there must be a cause which explains its own existence. Thus we have the “Uncaused Cause” or the “Unmoved Mover” of philosophy. This is not something we just make up in our imaginations. The existence of an Uncaused Cause is the best explanation for the existence of a universe full of contingent stuff.
Not only is the Cause of the universe self-existent but it must also exist outside of space and time. The reason for this is pretty simple: time and space were created with the universe. So before the creation of the universe there was no space and there was no time. Thus the Cause is self-existent, spaceless and timeless.
Consider the size, complexity and diversity within the universe. Whatever caused such a massive thing must itself possess great power. Is the Cause of the universe all-powerful? If it is not all-powerful then we would not know it. The reason is that our ‘power’ to create and bring stuff into being is considerably lower than this. If the Cause was lacking in power in some way would we be able to tell? No, I think not. For all practical purposes, the Cause of the universe can then be said to be all-powerful, self-existent, spaceless and timeless.
Here is the cool part: the Cause of the universe must also be personal.
WHAT?!? Nobody talks that way in a reasonable conversation…
Consider this quote from Dr. William Lane Craig:
The only way for the cause to be timeless and the effect to begin in time is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions. For example, a man sitting from eternity could freely will to stand up. Thus, we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its personal Creator.
Wow! So, in these thoughts, we have come, quite reasonably, to understand that the Cause of the Universe is self-existent, spaceless, timeless, all-powerful and personal.
Still think that does not sound like God?