Tuesday, February 05, 2013

RC Sproul : Self Existence - Defending Your Faith Part 20



As we look at various options to explain reality, this one has a bit of truth to it. Something indeed is self-existent; it's just not the universe. The best arguments for the self-existent universe are often too strong—they end up suggesting that the universe is more than self-existent, that it is also self-aware. At that point, we chuckle and welcome them to our side. That's what Christians have believed all along.


1. To review and critique the argument for the self-existence of the universe.
2. To be able to show how the Bible assumes God's self-existence.
3. To be introduced to key phrases and words in this ancient discussion.


Philosophy is saying what everyone knows in language no one can understand. (J.F. Taviner)
Good philosophy must exist, for bad philosophy needs to be answered. (C.S. Lewis)
Aseitas: Latin. Aseity, self-existence, or autotheos (Greek).


I. Explaining Reality

a) Illusion: Not an option
b) Self-created: Irrational
c) Self-existence: Something is self-existent, but not the universe
d) Created by self-existent being: True

II. Self-Existent and Eternal: Rational or Not?

a) Some philosophers have argued that if anything can be conceived of rationally, it must be real. This is rationality gone wild.
b) Illustration: Unicorns and Ducks and Deer
c) A self-existent being is not irrational. It is not contradictory to the law of causality, because a being is not an effect.
d) But just because we can conceive of such a being does not mean that it exists. It is also rationally conceivable that nothing exists now or ever—obviously, that is not true.
e) If something exists, the idea of the self-existent being becomes more than possible: it becomes necessary.

III. Self-Existence as Necessary (Aseity)

a) Self-existent beings do not grow from anything.
b) Ens Necessarium: That being whose being is necessary.
c) If there was a time when there was absolutely nothing, then there would still be nothing because ex nihilo, nihil fit. We are arguing that there must be something that has the power of being and always has been, or nothing else (or nothing at all) could exist.
d) Ontological Necessity: Ontology is the science of being. God exists by the necessity of His own being—by His very nature, He must exist, or else He is not God.
e) Moses: "Who are you?" God: "I AM."

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