The video is entitled "who created God?" and aims to overcome this (often argued by atheists) objection. The title ends with a rather ambitious phrase "the end of atheism". Curiously, the video fails to even address the objection, let alone rebut it. But more on this later.
A preliminary note on Causality
One more crucial matter to address is the Law of Causation. This is essential as all KCA arguments rely on it and our video is no exception. The premise is that "everything that has a beginning, has a cause". There are two points to be made about the Law of Causation.
Firstly, we derive the Law from our observations of what we see WITHIN our Universe. And what we observe is matter and energy changing states. We see matter and energy reacting and we observe that each reaction CAUSES a further reaction. These reactions always operate on PRE-EXISTING matter and energy. They NEVER (in our observations) involve the "creation of everything that exists". In fact, they never involve the creation of matter/energy that previously did not exist. We have observed that all these effects always seem to have causes. Since the Law of Causation (derived from empirical observation) is ALWAYS observed on pre-existing matter/energy, there is absolutely no reason to extrapolate it to apply to the GENERATION of matter and energy that did not previously exist.
The second objection is even more powerful. For us to say that the Law of Causation applied to the generation of "all that exist", we would have to first assume that The Law of Causation itself pre-existed everything else that exists. Thus, we would be making an assumption that "In the beginning, there was The Law of Causation (imagine a scripture starting with those words!)". And yet, there is absolutely no valid reason to make such an assumption. If, prior to the existence of the Universe (or the Multiverse, if that's the case), NOTHING existed, why would we assume that Causality did? The answer is: we can't.
This is crucial as, unless we first establish that Causality pre-existed everything else, there is no basis at all to claim that everything that begins to exist has a cause. And without this premise, all KCA arguments fail...including our video.
What follows is that the argument in the video fails before it even begins. What theists invariably take for granted is nothing but an unjustified assumption (surprised?).
On to the argument
Let’s now turn to the central premises of the argument in the video:
The argument attempts to arrive at this conclusion by eliminating “the alternative” (ie chance). The narrator tells us that chance is “random selection of an outcome from a set of possibilities”. He then goes on to say “When however there are no possibilities because nothing yet exists then how can there be a selection of them?”
Let's pause here for a brief moment. The author has just proposed that "nothing yet exists". He objects that since nothing exists, there are no possibilities and therefore no random selection is possible. But if he assumes that nothing exists, how can there be a design? There can't. Clearly then, whatever the author is saying, he can't be saying that nothing exists. Perhaps what he means is "nothing material exists (as in matter/energy)"? I will proceed on the basis that this is what he means. Thus, we'll assume he's saying no MATTER/ENERGY (as we know them) exists but some type of entities/objects/things may indeed exist.
Having eliminated chance (or so he thinks), the author then concludes that design is all that’s left. Here are the problems with this section of the argument:
It’s intellectually dishonest to propose one unexplained process while arbitrarily excluding the possibility of other unexplained processes (where there's no evidence for any of the processes at all).
It must be concluded that “random chance OR Designer” is a false dichotomy; a logical fallacy.
By claiming that nothing existed, the argument is contradicting its own conclusion (ie that there was a god).
Is it really far-fetched to propose that a universe was a possible outcome? Clearly not, because we KNOW that a universe IS AN ACTUAL OUTCOME. If the Universe were not a possible outcome, it WOULDN’T EXIST AT ALL. Is it far-fetched to propose that THE Universe was not the ONLY possible outcome? It wouldn't seem so either. There may well have been other possible outcomes, including other configurations of universes and perhaps other entities that couldn't be called universes at all.
To claim that an actual outcome is not a possible outcome is entirely irrational, if not dishonest.
The only way to overcome this objection would be to posit that the Universe was a possible outcome ONLY FOR GOD. But that’s a fallacy. It’s called Special Pleading. Given that we have no evidence as to what process God would undertake to create a universe, we can’t claim that God is the only possible initiator of that process. Nor is there any evidence that this process and this result were the only possible processes and results. The simple truth is WE DON’T KNOW.
It follows that the claim that the Universe could not be created by chance not only lacks a basis but is in fact contradictory to the observable facts: THE UNIVERSE EXISTS and therefore MUST HAVE BEEN a possible outcome.
It is at this point that we need to take a breather. Why? Because THIS IS THE REAL ASNWER TO THE QUESTION that the video proposes to address. Remember, the video is entitled “Who Created God?”
But before we congratulate the author on his “win”, we need to turn our mind to yet another fatal flaw here! This time the Logical Fallacy is: Strawman.
You see, the question “who created god?” is posed by atheists and sceptics IN RESPONSE TO a Teleological Argument. Teleological Arguments are arguments that theists pose, relying on the apparent complexity/design/organisation of the Universe/life/nature. Atheist response is “if, as you claim (in a Teleological Argument), an organised Universe requires a designer, God can’t be the answer unless he himself was designed”.
But our narrator at the very start of the video already told us he’s not interested in pursuing a Teleological Argument. Instead, he opts for a Cosmological Argument. And “who created god?” is not an answer to Cosmological Arguments. He’s responding to a criticism that doesn’t apply in the first place!
KCA does not EXCLUDE that an uncaused god may have existed. The only argument that does (on the atheist objection, in any event) exclude that is the Teleological Argument; one that the video cleverly (or dishonestly?) ignores!
Our video then goes on to discuss what philosophers call “Infinite Regression” (IR). Infinite Regression is the concept of a backward infinity of causes and effects. If IR is true, there may have been an infinite number of causes, each having its own cause, all the way into backward infinity.
Theists have a real problem with Infinite Regression. Why? Simply put, if IR is true, then the Universe’s Cause (let’s assume here that the Universe DID have a cause) may have had its own cause, preceded by an infinite number or previous causes. This would destroy their concept of God. God, by definition, must be the First Cause, the ultimate cause of everything, The Prime Mover. Theists hate Infinite Regression. Our video’s author is no exception. And indeed, the argument he uses to attempt to defeat Infinite Regression is one of the most common theist arguments around.
Essentially, it goes like this: “If there had been an infinite number of causes-and-effects in the past then we would have never gotten to where we are now”. There are two major problems with the theist approach to this issue.
Firstly, the argument is logically flawed as it ASSUMES a beginning and therefore fails to address Infinite Regression to start with. Secondly, the argument itself eliminates the possibility of a god existing. Let’s turn to these two problems in more detail.
A. Believe in an Uncaused Cause
B. “Believe that nothing – including yourself has a beginning”
C. Disbelieve in everything that exists
While I’m not too sure about the above (it appears to be a false dilemma as well; one could imagine SOME BUT NOT ALL things having no beginning but there being no “Uncaused Cause” in the sense of a creator of everything that exists), let’s give this part of the argument limited credibility. I say “limited” because it has to be qualified by all that’s been said above. Thus, what we would end up with is this:
(I) everything that begins to exists must have a cause (ie causality applies outside the Universe and was the first thing to exist); AND
(II) Infinite Regression is impossible,
then the only three options are:
A. To believe in an Uncaused Cause
B. To believe nothing has a beginning
C. To disbelieve everything that exists
Where do we end up? Well, clearly we don’t believe B or C. We therefore must accept A. But the Uncaused Cause in A cannot be an eternal entity such as God, as that would contradict (II), as discussed in “h” above.
Therefore, if we grant the above premises (I and II) – and there’s no reason to grant them, as discussed throughout this article – we can only conclude a First Cause (“Uncaused Cause”). This doesn’t entitle us to conclude that this First Cause is sentient or intelligent. And it can't be eternal, due to Infinite Regression. And of course if FC is not eternal then it's something that "begins to exist" and therefore (on the theist argument) must have a cause.