In examining the existence of God, the first question that should be asked is: "Why does anything exist?" Subsequent questions are: Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? In considering the question of God's existence, there are three popularly proposed answers as to why there is something rather than nothing: (1) The universe is all an illusion, nothing actually exists, (2) The universe has always existed, is self-existent (3) The universe was brought into existence by something/someone that is self-existent. Which is the most plausible solution?
The idea that reality is an illusion is primarily a tenet among Eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The "reality is an illusion" option was disproved by the philosopher Rene Descartes who argued that if he is thinking, then he must "be," "I think, therefore I am." In other words, "I think, therefore I cannot be an illusion." Illusions require something that is experiencing the illusion. If nothing exists, neither does the illusion. Philosophically, doubting your existence actually proves your existence. "Reality is an illusion" is a self-defeating argument.
There are then only two choices—an eternal universe or an eternal Creator. Something exists. Something cannot come from nothing. Therefore, something has always existed. If the existence of God is denied, an eternal universe is the only other option. To date, all key scientific and philosophical evidence points to the universe having had a beginning. Whatever has a beginning has a cause, and if the universe had a beginning, it had a cause. The fact that the universe had a beginning and is not eternal is demonstrated by evidence such as the second law of thermodynamics, the radiation echo of the big bang, the fact that the universe is expanding, and Einstein's theory of relativity.
Further, how could an impersonal, purposeless, meaningless, and amoral universe result in beings who are full of personality and obsessed with purpose, meaning, and morals. Only mind can create mind. Non-life cannot produce life. Unconsciousness cannot produce consciousness. The only logical and reasonable conclusion is that an eternal Creator is the one who is responsible for the creation of the universe. The concept of an eternal universe has been philosophically and scientifically disproven. Therefore, an eternal Creator exists.
With the clear evidence for the existence of God in mind, why are there so many atheists, and are there any grounds for atheism? No, there are not. The essential claim of atheism, "there is no god," is an invalid philosophical statement. Denying the existence of something cannot be proven. In order for it to be proven that God does not exist, someone would have to be in every location in the universe at the same time. In other words, to disprove the existence of God, one would have to be God. The need for an eternal and self-existent Creator can be proven. Atheism cannot be proven.
Another crucial issue to consider is the fact that the acceptance or rejection of the existence of God has more implications for life, action, and morality than any other issue. If atheism is wrong, it will result in unpleasant (to say the least) consequences. With this in view, atheists should produce conclusive and undeniable evidence for the non-existence of God. Atheism cannot accomplish this, and therefore, all atheists can do is hope that they are correct. Eternity is a very long time to be wrong.
So, does belief in the existence of God have intellectual warrant? Absolutely. While atheists claim that belief in the existence of God is a psychological crutch, it is in fact atheism that abandons reality in order to fulfill a psychological need. If there is no God, there is no morality, no accountability, and therefore no judgment. If God does not exist, we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whomever we want, with no eternal consequences. That is the true motivation behind atheism.
In opposition to atheism is the God of the Bible who affirms His existence and declares judgment on those who know within themselves the truth that He exists but suppress that truth (Romans 1:18-21). It is the fool who says in his heart "there is no God" (Psalm 14:1). Denying the existence of God is foolish—philosophically, scientifically, and most importantly, eternally!
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