Who made God?

Hi Udo

My grandson asked me if God made everything, then who made Him? That I think was a very intelligent question! But I had no answer.

I once asked the same question on Google and a very good layout of the universe was given, but stupid me, didn’t save it. So if you have a good layout for a child like me at 60 and my grandson at 10, then would you be so kind as to send it to me or refer me to a site where I can go and read up.

Smithy

 

Hi Smithy

There are several aspects to consider when answering the question of ‘Who made God?’ I mention a few.

When someone asks, “If God made everything, then who made God?” then one should point out that the question already assumes the answer: there was nothing that made God. If God really did make everything (all that exists), then there can’t be something that would have been responsible for making God, since that ‘something’ would be included in the ‘everything’ that God had made.

You see, the problem is actually that we often don’t fully appreciate what it means to say that a being such as ‘God’ exists. For example, by definition God is a being that could create (he is all-powerful and thus able to create), not a being that was created. To therefore ask, ‘What created God?’ is to misunderstand and misapply what we mean with the word ‘God’. It’s like asking what the colour blue smells like. By definition blue is a colour and not a smell. Likewise, by definition God is the self-existing Creator, therefore uncreated, and not a creature.

Another way of explaining this is to realise that we need not claim that everything that exists has a cause. If that were true, then yes, God would need a cause. Rather the idea is that whatever begins to exist must have cause, but since God never began to exist, he doesn’t have a cause. The explanation for why God exists (which is different from asking what caused God) is found in the nature of his being. In other words, God exists by virtue of the necessity of his own nature. That means God is self-existent (which doesn’t mean he is self-caused – that would be illogical) and therefore not dependent on anything else for his existence. In other words, God is a being that cannot not exist. In contrast, human beings (and everything else the universe is made of) have a contingent nature, meaning that we are dependent on others for our existence and we might not have existed.

We can also approach the question by pointing out that it makes sense logically that God would exist as an uncreated (eternal) being, that is, without being caused and without having had a beginning. Consider the following lines of thought:

  • Imagine that absolutely nothing exists (not even God). Now consider the fact that the universe, and we as part of it, exists. But for something like the universe to have come into being (to have had a beginning as scientific theories point to) at least requires that something besides the universe would have had to exist. Why? Because out of absolute nothing, absolutely nothing comes. So it makes sense to think that rather than something coming from nothing, something must have always existed that is the cause for everything else. That something, which must be eternal, uncaused and therefore uncreated, is what we refer to as God.
  • All events must be the result of an ultimate first cause. Why think this? Well, events cannot have causes infinitely into the past; there must have been a first cause on which all events are dependent. It’s like stacking a pile of rocks: each rock in the pile is dependent on the one beneath it, and ultimately all of them are dependent on the bottom, first rock. If it wasn’t for that first rock, you couldn’t have a series of events in which you pile one rock on top of another. In other words, it makes sense that God is the First Cause of a universe like ours that had a beginning and unfolds in a series of events in time.

I’m not sure how easily these points would be grasped by your 10 year old grandson, but they are worth grappling with and not too difficult to understand. Also feel free to ask further questions when things are unclear.

Regards

Udo

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