Tag Archives: Creation

First principles: The Principle of Sufficient Reason

I opened in my previous post with a question: why is there something rather than nothing? It is a fair question that emerges from the commonsensical notion that everything has a cause: nothing can come out of nothing. Philosophers refer to this as the principle of sufficient reason. We understand this intuitively because everything around us has a cause. Rain does not magically fall from the sky, but is the result of an atmospheric process that is dependent on many different factors from atmospheric pressure to temperature. These factors, in turn, depend upon other factors for their causation. However, we cannot follow the chain of causation ad infinitum. Something has to be the first cause; otherwise nothing would have come into existence because nothing can come from nothing.

Three of the great religions of the world, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, identified this first cause as God. As I discussed in my previous post, St. Thomas Aquinas, defines this first cause, as an uncaused cause. A cause that is completely independent of anything for his existence, an unconditioned reality. Any alternate explanation cannot violate the principle of sufficient reason.

In the upcoming post, I will discuss scientific evidence that indicates that our observable universe or any universe had a beginning; a point in time where everything began to exist. Some people may disagree about its cause or may hold judgment until new evidence arises, but the fact that our universe had a beginning begs the question what cause it into existence, one worth pondering about.

God Bless!

If you are interested in reading a far better explanation for first cause arguments, please read the following essay by Prof. Peter Kreeft: The First Cause Argument. 

Why is there something rather than nothing?


I remember, when I was a kid, I used to lie on my back and look at the night sky full of stars in awe and wonder. The vastness of it all has always captivated my imagination. Just thinking about it for a second. There are between 200 to 400 billion stars just in our galaxy and there are up to 200 billion galaxies in our universe. Some of these distant galaxies are so far away that it can take billions of years for their light to reach our eyes. And it the midst of it all there is our little blue planet dancing its way through space.

The vastness of the Universe begs the questions: why is there something rather than nothing? What caused the universe into existence? Why light instead of darkness? Why life instead of non-existence? I think these are profound questions that everyone should ask, especially those, who in all honesty, question the existence of God. These are important questions because their answers reveal much about who we are. Are we just a random cosmic accident manipulated by chemical reactions in our brains and doomed to non-existence when all is over? Or are we something more?

I believe that it is far more reasonable to believe that there is a Creator rather than to think that the Universe and life are the results of a “cosmic dance” of chance; that we were made for something more. We know from Aristotelian logic to Newtonian mechanics that for every effect there is a cause. Thus we also know that nothing cannot come out of nothing. It follows that every physical reality, most have a cause. The Universe could not have created itself out of nothing. So what caused the universe into existence? St. Thomas Aquinas, the great theologian of the Catholic Church, argued that it must be:

  1. Something that exists independent of space and time.
  2. Something that was not created, but is existence itself.

An uncaused cause, meaning something that is completely independent from any cause for its existence. Unlike our atoms that depend on the existence of protons, neutrons and electrons or space and time, which depends on the existence of matter and the rate upon which it changes, the uncaused cause simply exists. Alternative explanations must account for the creation of something out of nothing without invoking the principle of infinitive regression or violating the principle of parsimony.


Fr. Robert Spitzer makes precisely this point in his book: New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contribution of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy. I highly recommend this well research and articulated book. He argues that evidence from contemporary physics points toward a universe that had a beginning and that was designed by a supreme being and discusses philosophical proofs for the existence of God. I hope to unpack some of those arguments that appear in his book in future posts.


As Christians, we need to engage the culture through the vocation that God has given us. With the rise of new atheist and the aggressiveness that they pursue to change the culture, in their own image, we must be ready to do the best we can stand our ground. As St. Peter encourages in 1 Peter 3:15: “always be ready to give an answer to every man who ask you a reason for the hope that is in you”. This can seem daunting but it does not need to be. We really do not need a Ph.D. in physics or philosophy to make a defense of our belief, using science or philosophy against the arguments set forth by modern atheists but we cannot stand idle either and not do much to enrich our intellects. After all, the more we learn about the universe the more we learn about God.

God Bless!