Causes and Effects
Science is basically a study of causes and their effects: In simplest terms one event or action is the direct result of a previous event or action. Scientists must insure that their judgements are not compromised by errant thinking, particularly with respect to ultimate causes. For example, does God exist and did He create and design the characteristics present in our universe?
Scientific literature offers evidence that effects in the world of our everyday experience are produced by definite causes. Scientists have developed formal methods for accurately determining the chain of events sequence. When we determine the sequence we discover truths about the world of reality permeating our universe. Understanding causality demands a heavy dose of scientific knowledge gained from systematic study. The Creator of All Things has implanted in humans the ability to investigate cause and effect without error.
We speak of a fundamental pairing of phenomena we observe daily. Our ability to study causal relationships is a gift of the Creator. Consider the term for God we have used many times: the Creator of AllThings. This includes our ability to detect ever-present relationships in which we are immersed every moment of our lives. These relationships include (1) characteristics and behavior of the physical, material universe, (2) the characteristics and behavior of living things, and even (3) the phenomenon of human consciousness. Humans are unique in their consciousness of God—the ultimate “Cause.”
Very young children observe cause/effect phenomena when parents place action toys in their play pen. Older children identify these phenomena during their playground games. The same children become aware of human relationships when they are trained to obey and be respectful of others. They quickly learned causes and effects of their behavior—sometimes appropriate, sometimes inappropriate. As teenagers and young adults, they may have deep questions about how the universe began. Did the universe always exist, or did the universe have a beginning? Was there an omnipotent Beginner, an ultimate Cause to whom humans owe allegiance?Wise parents and church leaders are pleased to address young people’s deep, thoughtful questions about the existence of God as the ultimate Cause. This is an awesome responsibility for parents and youth leaders.
The cause/effect relationship is germane to the discussion about the existence and traits of God, the Creator. Is God the divine Cause of All Things? The famous Cosmological Argument proposes that God’s existence is proven by the fact that “things exist.” This is a heavy exercise in logic, perhaps too deep for most young people. In the absence of concrete proof for God’s divine existence, we must offer relevant evidence short of absolute proof.
We reference material from a blog we posted on June 1, 2010. The post refers to God as the Intelligent Designer, another way to describe God as the “Ultimate Cause.” The following excerpts are quotations concerning intuition, sometimes cited in the absence of concrete proof: Intuition is defined as “an immediate apprehension of truth…in the absence of conscious, rational processes.” Intuition is an excellent starting point for discussions of the real world, such as the topic of origins…As an evidentialist, I have confidence in the function of intuition, but only as a prelude to more formal investigative processes of science.
Fundamental questions about the existence of God and His workings in our world and in our lives are some of the most important questions we could ask. What provisions did the Creator make for our redemption? The issues of cause and effect are integrally related to these questions. They help us understand the broad dimensions of God’s loving character and His love for humanity.