There usually comes a time, when pointing out that materialism is based on a self-contradiction and otherwise unsupported enough to be called a superstition, when some defenders of materialism drop the issue and start to complain that this doesn’t prove the existence of God.
I suppose that’s true, though it should be obvious that it is an important step in the reasoning that will get us there. One is left fighting the temptation to respond with “patience, Grasshopper”.
Though these complaints strike me as entirely weird non-sequiturs, they are probably the closest thing to a concession one is likely to get from a hostile debater. Therefore, I usually take that as my sign that it is time to move on to the cosmological argument for the existence of God.
There are actually several cosmological arguments, only one of which requires the beginning of the universe. As it is the easiest for modern people to understand, I’ll start there:
The Kalam Cosmological Argument takes the intuitively reasonable position the universe had a cause which brought it into existence. Traditionally, it has been dismissed on the grounds that the universe was simply eternal. Now that modern cosmology is closing off that route, many are trying to deny the principle that things require a cause in order to come into existence.
Of course, that last position is a denial of the very foundation of science (the idea that things have causes). If one is willing to go that route, simply denying cosmic expansion seems trivial.
I’m always surprised that some spend so much time arguing that there wasn’t a cause to the beginning of the universe. It is a reasonable conclusion, and we still need to examine what that cause is. Perhaps some have the sense that, in agreeing that there was a cause of the universe’s beginning, they are already starting to let their materialism slip away.
But, whatever the motivation, there’s no good reason to deny that the universe has a cause. And I’ll discuss what that cause might be next time.