Tackling The Problem Of Evil - Part 6: Tipping The Scales In God's Favor

In this blog series, we've been addressing the atheist's argument from evil. In part 1, I tackled the logical version and established that the atheist has not and cannot affirm that God and evil are logically incompatible. In parts 2 through 5, I've been addressing the probabilistic version of the problem of evil. In Part 2, We've seen that there are good philosophical and biblical reasons to believe that God has given mankind free will, and therefore, the reason there's so much suffering in the world is because people abuse the free will God has given them. Even though God knew ahead of time that we would abuse our free will, He gave it to us anyway because only in a world of free will is love and moral accountability possible. It is very likely, also, that a possible world in which creatures are (A) free and (B) never go wrong was infeasible for God to actualize. Then in Part 3, we saw that given the dizzying complexities of life, the complex ways that events and choices interact with one another and have an impact on human history, that we are in no position to say with any confidence whether or not it's improbable for God to permit some instance of suffering. Every event that occurs sends a ripple effect through history. Every event affects the future. God may permit some evil in the present to bring about a greater good in the future. God is omniscient. We are not. So the only one who can judge whether some instance of suffering is unjustified is God! Additionally, Romans 8:28 actually teaches that God uses suffering to bring about a greater good. In part 4, we saw that one of the reasons God permits suffering is to draw as many people as He can into His Kingdom. The countless testimonies of many Christians attest to the fact that God has used suffering to bring about the conversions of His children. Given the Christian doctrine that the knowledge of God, not happiness, is the primary goal of life, this makes suffering probably in light of the Christian God. In part 5, we saw that The Bible teaches that God uses suffering to mold our character, to make us into better people. And we also saw that that there are good reasons to think that unless certain kinds of evils afflict out world (e.g danger), then certain moral virtues could not flourish (e.g courage).

In light of all this, I think the probabilistic version of the problem of suffering fails. We're not in a position to judge whether X is justifiably permitted, and in light of several Christian doctrines, evil becomes just what would you expect on the Christian worldview.

But there's more. I would also like to argue that relative to the full scope of the evidence, God's existence becomes probable. There are many sound arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Imagine a scale, as it were, with all of the arguments for God's existence on one side of the scale, and evil and suffering on the other side. When you take all of the evidence into account, God's existence becomes overwhelmingly more probable than His non-existence. In this blog post and the next, I'd like to do a brief overview of the arguments in favor of God.

Exhibit A: The Origin Of The Universe 




In this overview of the arguments for God's existence, I think a good place would be to begin at the beginning. The beginning of the universe that is. The origin of the universe has been a strong argument for a Creator since its original formulation by Al Ghazali in the 12th century. This argument is called The Kalam Cosmological Argument. 

The argument goes like this

1: Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2: The universe began to exist.
3: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

This is a logically valid syllogism. The conclusion follows from the premises by the logical rule Modus Ponens. In order to reach the conclusion, all one needs to do is to affirm the premises. So, are these premises true or are they false? Well, let’s look at them.

1: Whatever Begins To Exist Has A Cause

*Nothingness has no properties and therefore no causal ability.

To deny premise 1 of this argument is to assert that things can pop into being from nothing. This is impossible because nothingness has no properties. Nothingness is not a thing, but the complete absence of being. Given that nothingness has no properties whatsoever, it follows that it has no causal properties either. If it has no causal properties, then it follows that it cannot bring anything into existence.

*If something could come into being from nothing, we’d expect to see it more often.

No one has ever seen things come into being from nothing before. If it could happen, we ought to be seeing it happen all the time. For example, we should hear news reports of things like a woman who was jogging in a park being mauled to death because a tiger popped into being out of nothing and mauled her. Why don’t we see things popping into being more often? Maybe we don’t see it happening more often because it never happens. Maybe it never happens because it cannot happen.

*Common experience and scientific evidence constantly confirms this premise and never falsifies it.

Not only do we not have any examples of things coming into being without a cause, we have an ocean of examples of things coming into being via a cause. Whenever we see something coming into existence, be it a sandwich, a house, a skyscraper, a baby, a car, a computer, or whatever, we see people putting them together. If we see these things as they’re coming into being, we see causes at work. No one’s ever seen a sandwich, house, car, etc. simply poof into existence.

2: The Universe Began To Exist

*Scientific Confirmation 1: The Big Bang Theory

In 1915, the German scientist Albert Einstein formulated his theory of general relativity. This theory predicted that the universe should be in a state of either constant expansion or contraction, rather than being static. Einstein didn’t like that implication of his theory, so he added a “fudge factor” to keep the universe walking a tightrope between expansion and contraction. Later, George Lemaitre and Alexander Friedman independently formulated math models that predicted the universe’s expansion. The expansion of the universe was empirically verified by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble in 1929 when he noticed the red shift of the light coming from distant galaxies. Hubble concluded that the red shift is best explained by the light from the distant galaxies being stretched as they move away from us. This meant that the universe is expanding. The expansion entails the beginning of the universe because if the universe is getting bigger and bigger as it gets older and older, then if you rewind the clock, the universe gets smaller and smaller until the universe becomes smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Rewind it farther still, and the universe shrinks down to nothing. The universe began to exist in a rapid explosion-like expansion. This explosion has been dubbed by Fred Hoyle “The Big Bang.”

*Scientific Confirmation 2: The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics is the law of physics which is responsible for the transfer of heat from hot bodies to cold bodies, and it’s also responsible for things decaying over time. The second law of thermodynamics is the reason my bedroom stays warm in the winter. When I turn the ceramic heater on in my bedroom, the heat doesn’t stay confined to a small corner. The heat spreads all throughout the room. This is because the second law causes the heat to move from the hot body (i.e the ceramic heater) to the colder body (my bedroom). The second law is responsible for why your food cools a certain amount of time after you get it out of the oven. The heat travels from the hot body (i.e the food) to the cooler body (the room). This is why I sometimes smile when people say things like “Close the door! You’re letting the cold in!” I’m like “Dude, do you even science? The second law of thermodynamics causes heat to travel from hot bodies to cold bodies, not the other way around!” When you leave the door open in the winter, the heat escapes, the cold doesn’t get in.

The second law entails that the universe had a beginning. Why? Because the universe is continuously running out of usable energy as time goes on. The amount of usable energy is diminishing more and more as time goes on. If that’s the case, then if the universe has existed from eternity past, then the universe should have run out of usable energy from eternity past. Given that we still have usable energy (the sun being the most obvious example), that entails that the universe has not existed forever. There was a time that the universe came into being with 100% of its energy being usable.

3: Therefore, The Universe Has A Cause

Given the truth of the two premises, the conclusion logically and necessarily follows. Now, so far, we’ve concluded that the universe had a cause which brought it into existence, but just why should we conclude that the cause is God? This is where the conceptual analysis part of the argument comes into play.

The cause must be

Spaceless – Because space came into being and did not exist until this cause brought it into existence, the cause cannot be a spatial being. It must be spaceless or non-spatial. You cannot be inside of something if you are that something’s cause. You cannot be inside of something if that something did not exist until you brought it into existence.

Timeless – Since time did not exist until The Big Bang, the cause cannot be inside of time. It must be a timeless being.

Immaterial – The cause’s non-spatiality entails immateriality. How? Because material objects cannot exist unless space exists. Material objects occupy spatial dimensions. If there is no space, matter cannot exist. This means that because the cause is non-spatial, it is therefore non-material.

Unimaginably Powerful – Because it created all matter, energy, space, and time out of nothing!

Supernatural – “Nature” and “The universe” are synonyms. Nature did not begin to exist until The Big Bang. Therefore, a natural cause (a cause coming, by definition, from nature) cannot be responsible for the origin of nature. To say otherwise would be to spout incoherence. You’d basically be saying “Nature caused nature to come into being.”

Uncaused – Given that the cause of the universe is timeless, the cause cannot itself have a beginning. To have a beginning to one’s existence entails a before and after. There’s a time before one existed and a time after one came into existence. But a before and after of anything is impossible without time. Since the cause existed before time, the cause therefore cannot have a beginning. It’s beginning less. Disclaimer: When I said “existed before time”, I meant in the sense of logical priority, not temporal progression. If I meant the latter, I would have contradicted myself.

Personal – This is an entailment of the cause’s immateriality. There are two types of things recognized by philosophers that are immaterial: abstract objects (such as numbers, sets, or other mathematical entities) or unembodied minds. Philosophers realize that abstract objects, if they exist, they exist as non-physical entities. However, abstract objects cannot produce any effects. That’s part of what it means to be abstract. The number 3 isn’t going to be producing any effects anytime soon. Given that abstract objects are causally impotent, it therefore follows that an unembodied mind is the cause of the universe’ beginning.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause, given that the universe began to exist, if follows that the universe has a cause of its existence. The cause of the universe must be a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, supernatural, uncaused, personal Creator. 

Now, you don’t have to call this “God” if you don’t want to, but it certainly makes sense to call this cause by that name. After all, God is spaceless (see 1 Kings 8:27, 2 Chronicles 2:6), timeless (1 Corinthians 2:7, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2), immaterial (John 4:24, 1 Timothy 1:17, 1 Timothy 6:16), powerful (Psalm 62:11-12, Job 9:14, Matthew 19:26), uncaused (Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 57:15, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 1:8), supernatural, and is a personal being (John 1:12, James 4:8). Moreover, The Bible credits him with being the Creator of all physical reality (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3). 

Exhibit B: The Fine-Tuning Of The Universe 


Over the last 50 years scientists have discovered that the laws and the constants of physics surprisingly conspire in a shocking manner to make the universe habitable for life. If the laws of physics were to be tweaked in just the slightest marginal way, the universe would not be capable of supporting life of any kind. This is why it’s called the “fine tuning” of the universe. Just like on a radio, if you want a certain station to come in, you must tamper with the dial and tune it until the needle on the tuner is in the just right position. In the same way, the multiple different “dials” on multiple different “tuners” must be in very precise positions in order for life to be able to come into existence.

I want to first give you several examples of this fine tuning. Then when I’m done giving you examples of fine tuning, I’ll give a syllogism arguing for design as the best explanation of that fine tuning.

Examples Of Fine Tuning

1: The Strong Nuclear Force – This is the force which binds together protons and neutrons inside the center of every atom. If this force were any weaker, then it would not be strong enough to bind together protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus. In that case, hydrogen would be the only existing element in the universe. Why? Because the hydrogen atom has one proton and no neutrons in its nucleus. It also has only one electron orbiting its nucleus. It is the simplest atom there is. If the strong nuclear force were any weaker, the entire universe would be filled with atoms consisting of only a single proton. On the other hand, if the strong nuclear force were any stronger, protons and neutrons would stick together so efficiently that not one proton would remain by itself. They would find themselves attached to many other protons and neutrons. In this case, no hydrogen could exist at all. The universe would consist of only heavy elements. Life chemistry is impossible without hydrogen. It is also impossible if hydrogen is the only element.

2: The Weak Nuclear Force – is responsible for the radioactive decay of subatomic particles and it plays an essential role in nuclear fission. If this force were any stronger, matter would convert into heavy elements at a pace too rapid for life. Any weaker and matter would remain in the form of just the lightest elements. Either way, the elements crucial for life chemistry (such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorous) wouldn’t exist.

3: The Force Of Gravity -- If this force were slightly stronger, stars would burn too rapidly and too erratically for life. This is bad because a planet capable of sustaining life must orbit a star that is both stable and long burning. On the other hand, if gravity were slightly weaker, stars would never become hot enough to ignite nuclear fusion, and therefore, many of the elements required for life chemistry would never form. Since these elements are essentially “cooked” inside the cores of stars, it’s necessary that the stars be able to reach a certain temperature in order to synthesize them.

4: The Electromagnetic Force -- If it were stronger, the bonding between chemicals would be disrupted. No elements bigger than boron would be stable to fission. If electromagnetism were weaker, chemical bonding would be inadequate for life chemistry.

5: The Expansion Of The Universe – If the universe expanded too rapidly, gravity would never have the opportunity to collect gas and dust and condense them into galaxies, stars, and planets. In such a universe, life would never be possible. The universe would forever be nothing but disperse gas and dust. On the other hand, if the universe expanded too slowly, the universe would collapse in on itself. Why? Because in physics the gravitational pull of 2 massive bodies attract one another, and the larger those bodies are relative to one another and the closer they are together, the more powerfully they attract. And when the universe is young (and therefore small), all the pieces of matter in the universe will be tightly clustered together, and therefore gravity will cause the universe’s expansion to slow down. But as the universe gets older and older (and hence bigger and bigger), all of the matter will gradually grow farther and farther apart. As a result of the matter gradually growing farther apart, gravity will grow progressively insufficient in its ability to slow down the cosmic expansion, while dark energy grows progressively more efficient in its ability to expand the universe. We’ll talk about dark energy in a moment.

Anyway, if the universe expanded too quickly, no galaxies, stars, or planets would form, but if the universe expanded too slowly, the universe would collapse before galaxies, stars, and planets could form.

In either scenario, the universe would never develop galaxies, stars, and planets. This is obviously incompatible with the existence of life for if there are no galaxies, stars, or planets, then there’s no home for creatures to live on.

6: The Ratio Of Electrons To Protons – If there were either too many electrons or too many protons, electromagnetism would dominate gravity, preventing galaxy, star, and planet formation. Again, no galaxies, stars, and planets means no possible home for creatures to live on. A universe devoid of galaxies, stars, and planets is a universe devoid of life.

7: The Entropy Level Of The Early Universe -- Hugh Ross explains that “If the rate of decay were any lower, galactic systems would trap radiation in such a manner that stars could not form. Starless galaxies would fill the universe. On the other hand, if the decay rate were slightly higher, no galactic systems would form at all. In either case there would be no “terrestrial ball” to serve as a home for life.”1

An Argument For Design

The Fine Tuning is in need of explanation. I strongly believe that Intelligent Design is the best explanation for why the physical constants and quantities fell within the extremely narrow life permitting range. To make my case, I’ll employ a syllogism formulated by philosopher William Lane Craig that he uses in his books Reasonable Faith2 and On Guard.3

1: The Fine Tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.
2: It is not due to physical necessity, or chance.
3: Therefore, it is due to design.

This is a logically valid syllogism. The conclusion follows from the premises by the rules of logic. I know this because the argument form is disjunctive syllogism. In order for us to reach the conclusion, we’ll have to confirm that both of the initial premises are true. So are these premises true or are they false? Well, let’s look at them.

Premise 1: The Fine Tuning Is Due To Either Physical Necessity, Chance, Or Design

The fine tuning is in need of explanation. Of the explanations debated today in the scientific community, the three options are either physical necessity, chance, or design.

Physical Necessity = the constants and quantities mentioned above have to be the way that they are. There was no chance of a life prohibiting universe coming into being.

Chance = The laws of physics took the values that they did by accident.

Design = An intelligent Creator willed that the laws of physics took the values that they did.

This premise is uncontroversial because it’s simply a list of possible explanations. Of the two premises of this argument, this one shouldn’t be debatable. It is simply a list of possible explanations to account for the universe’s extraordinary fine tuning. If the skeptic can conjure up a 4th alternative, he’s more than welcome to add it to the list, and then we’ll consider it when we come to premise 2. However, in the 50 years since the fine tuning of physics was discovered, these 3 are the only ones ever advocated. Since this premise is simply a list of possible explanations, it shouldn’t be controversial.

Premise 2: The Fine Tuning Is Not Due To Physical Necessity Or Chance.

The Fine Tuning is not plausibly explained by physical necessity. There’s simply no good reason to think that the constants and quantities of physics couldn’t be different than what they are. Why couldn’t gravity be more attractive or less attractive? Why couldn’t the universe have expanded faster or slower than it did? Couldn’t there have been a different ratio of electrons to protons, or matter over anti-matter? Physical necessity is just conjecture.

The Fine Tuning is not plausibly explained by chance either. The odds of each individual constant coming together is extremely improbable on their own, but when you add them all together, improbability is multiplied by improbability by improbability by improbability until the mind gets sent reeling from the ocean of unfathomable numbers.

For example, gravity is finely tuned to 1 part in 1036 (that’s a 1 followed by 36 zeroes). In the film The Case For A Creator based on the book of the same name, Lee Strobel demonstrates this improbability by saying to imagine a ruler stretching from one end of the universe to another, and the ruler is separated by one inch increments. The number of inches represents the range of possible values that gravity could have taken. The odds that gravity should take the just right value would be if it fell on one specific inch out of 14 billion light years worth of inches.

The odds of the expansion rate of the universe being just right is 1 part in 1060. According to Strobel, this would be the same odds as flying hundreds of miles into space, turning around, throwing a dart at the Earth, and nailing a target a trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter!

In his book The Creator and The Cosmos4 Astrophysicist Hugh Ross said that the odds of the just right number of electrons to protons coming about was 1 in 1037. Ross said that that would be the same odds as covering one million continents the size of North America in dimes, stacked up to the height of the moon, then painting one dime red, mixing it in with the one million North American continents worth of dimes, and having a blindfolded friend pick out one red dime. The odds that your blindfolded friend would pick out the one red dime is 1 in 1037.

Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of the Big Bang's low entropy condition existing by chance are on the order of 1 out of 10 to the power of 10123. 

Such an incredibly huge number is impossible to appreciate without the aid of an analogy.

If you set a laptop computer in front of a 2-year-old toddler with Microsoft Word open and you told him to put his finger on the 0 key until he had 10123 zeroes typed after the number 1, how long would it take that child to type in 10123 zeroes? He would die as an old man before he got finished typing all the zeroes! In fact, if you replaced the old man with another 2 year old toddler and told him to type in zeroes in order to finish the work of his predecessor, he too would die as an old man before he got finished! In fact, you could go through 10 generations of men spending their entire lives typing in zeroes and they still wouldn’t be able to type this number out in full!

This isn't even counting the number of members in a collection of items that the written number is supposed to describe. The number of members in a collection of items always outnumbers the 0s in the numeral that’s describing the number of members in the collection. For example, the number 100 only has 2 zeros but there are far more members in a collection of 100 items than there are 0s in the numerical 100! If you had a stadium of 1,000 people, there would be far more people in the stadium than 0s in the numerical 1,000. There are only 2 zeroes in the numerical 100. There are 3 zeroes in the numeral 1,000, but in both cases, the number of members in the collection of items outnumbers the number of 0s in the numerals! So if there are 10123 zeroes in the number, what would a collection of 10 to the 10123 items look like?

It would be absolute madness to believe that the fine tuning of the laws of physics came about by sheer chance. Rationality demands that we reject the chance hypothesis.

Conclusion: Therefore, It Is Due To Design

Given the truth of the two premises, the conclusion follows logically and necessarily by the laws of logic. In this case, the law of logic that The Fine Tuning Argument goes by is known as “Disjunctive Syllogism”. The logic looks like this when symbolized

1: Either P, Q, or R.
2: Not P or Q.
3: Therefore, R.

Therefore, contrary to what atheists will say, this is not a “God Of The Gaps” argument. We don’t come to this conclusion on the basis of what we don’t know, we come to this conclusion on the basis of what we do know. We do know that the universe’s constants and quantities are finely tuned to an extraordinary precision. We know of only 3 possible explanations to account for this extraordinary fine tuning. We know that of those 3 possible explanations, we ruled out two, and left design as the only remaining alternative. Since it’s the only alternative left, and since it has adequate explanatory power, it therefore follows that this explanation is the most reasonable.

This is not “God Of The Gaps”. This is an inference to the best explanation. The syllogism follows the law of disjunctive syllogism and therefore cannot be rejected on the basis of invalid logic. The only way to escape the conclusion would be to show that one of the two premises is false. 

Physical Necessity, Chance, and Design were the options we examined. Since neither necessity nor chance are good explanations, it follows logically that the fine tuning must be due to design. 

Exhibit C: The Fine-Tuning Of Our Local Region


In addition to the laws of physics being finely tuned for the existence of life, there are also many parameters that need to come together in a particular region of the universe in order to make that particular region life permitting. This fine tuning differs from the fine tuning in Exhibit B because the fine tuning in Exhibit B affects the entire universe while the fine tuning in Exhibit C affects only a particular region of the universe. This is why I use the distinction between universal fine tuning and local fine tuning. 

Let’s look at a few of the parameters needed in order for our galaxy, solar system, and Earth-Moon planetary system to be capable of harboring advanced life. 

*If we had no moon, life couldn’t exist. The moon stabilizes Earth’s axial tilt, keeping it from wobbling too severely. It also slowed the Earth’s rotation down from its initial 5 hours per day to 24 hours per day, and the collision event (i.e a collision between a Mars sized planet named Theia and Earth) that produced the moon also blasted the majority of Earth’s primordial atmosphere into outer space. So much fine tuning went into this collision event. 

1: Theia’s Speed
If faster: Earth would have either been destroyed or ejected out of the solar system.
If slower: There wouldn’t have been enough dust and rocky fragments ejected from Earth’s surface, resulting in a moon too small for life. 
2: Theia’s Size
If larger: Earth would have either been destroyed, or would have become Theia’s moon (depending on how much larger).
If smaller: Not enough material would have been ejected into Earth’s orbit to make a big enough moon. 
3: Theia’s Angle
If it hit Earth head on, it would have destroyed Earth.
If it barely grazed Earth, there wouldn’t have been enough material ejected from the Earth’s surface to make a moon of sufficient size. 
4: Theia’s Material Constituents
Needed to ensure that the just right material melted into Earth’s core to produce a magnetic field strong enough to block solar radiation and radiation from other sources in the universe from reaching the surface. 
All of these things were needed to produce a moon of the just right size and ergo an atmosphere of the just right density and a rotation rate of the just right speed. 

5: Earth’s Rotation Rate
If faster: Surface wind velocities would be too severe for life to handle.
If slower: It would be far too hot in the day and far too cold at night for advanced life to exist. 
6: The Moon’s Size
If larger: The Earth’s rotation rate would have slowed down too much, resulting in day to night temperature extremes too severe for advanced life to handle.
If smaller: The Earth’s rotation rate would not have slowed down enough, resulting in surface wind velocities too severe for advanced life to handle.
7: Earth’s Atmospheric Density
If too thick: The Earth would have experienced a runaway greenhouse effect, resulting in temperatures of approx. 900 degrees of just like Venus. 
8: Jupiter Distance
If farther away: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth.
If closer: Earth’s orbit would become unstable: Jupiter’s presence would too radically disturb or prevent the formation of Earth.
9: Jupiter Mass
If greater: Earth’s orbit would become unstable: Jupiter’s presence would too radically disturb or prevent the formation of Earth.
If lesser: Too many asteroid collisions would occur on Earth. 
10: Saturn Distance 
If farther away: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth.
If closer: Earth’s orbit would become unstable. Saturn’s presence would too radically disturb or prevent the formation of Earth.
11: Saturn Mass
If greater: Earth’s orbit would become unstable: Saturn’s presence would disturb or prevent the formation of the Earth.
If lesser: Too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth.
12: Neptune Distance 
If farther away: It would be insufficient in shielding Earth from asteroids.
If closer: Earth’s orbit would be thrown out of whack.
13: Neptune Mass
If too small: Not enough Kuiper Belt Objects (i.e asteroids beyond Neptune) would be scattered out of the solar system. Moreover, too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth.
If too large: Chaotic resonances among the gas giant planets would occur. 
14: Uranus Distance (Stop laughing!)
If farther away: Too many asteroid collisions would occur on Earth.
If closer: Earth’s orbit would be thrown out of whack.
15: Uranus mass (I mean it! Stop laughing!)
If larger: Earth’s orbit would be too unstable.
If smaller: Its gravity would be insufficient to attract incoming asteroids and pull them into itself. More asteroids would strike Earth.
16: Oxygen Level Of Earth’s Atmosphere
If greater: Fires would erupt spontaneously across the planet. You could catch on fire from walking down the street due to the friction between your legs. 
If lesser: People would not have enough oxygen to breathe.
17: Thickness Of Earth’s Crust
If ticker: No tectonic processes could occur. Therefore, no land masses could ever form. Landmasses and tectonic processes are important for recycling nutrients back into the ocean.
If lesser: Tectonic processes would be so severe that building a civilization would be impossible. Severe Earthquakes would be happening everywhere all the time!
18: Earth’s Distance From The Sun
If closer: Earth would become too hot for liquid water to exist on the surface (i.e it would boil away).
If farther away: Earth would become too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface (i.e it would all be frozen). 
19: Just Right Star
If larger: Star would not burn long enough for advanced life to evolve.
If smaller: Earth would need to be closer to stay in the “Goldilocks Zone” and this would result in a tidally locked planet (i.e one side always facing toward, and one side always facing away from the sun). Remember, 24 hour rotation speed is required for advanced life.
20: Galaxy Cluster Type
If too rich: Galaxy collisions and mergers would disrupt solar orbit
If too sparse: insufficient infusion of gas to sustain star formation for a long enough time
21: Galaxy Size
If too large: infusion of gas and stars would disturb sun’s orbit and ignite too many galactic eruptions.
If too small: Insufficient infusion of gas to sustain star formation for long enough time. 

These are just 21 of over 400 different characteristics that need to be just right in order for advanced life to exist. The odds that they could come together by chance is on the order of 1 chance in 10^500. The most reasonable explanation is that a Creator made these parameters the way that they are.

Conclusion

These 3 arguments give us very powerful reasons to believe that God exists. The origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, and the fine-tuning of our localized region are all powerful evidence that our universe is not a cosmic accident, but was created and designed by a super-intelligent Creator. These 3 arguments, by themselves, tip the scales of probability in favor of God. 

This blog post, however, only gave a brief overview of these arguments for the sake of brevity. The atheist reading this blog post may have objections to them, "But what about this?" or "What about this?". To see an in depth treatment of each of these arguments, check out my book Inference To The One True God: Why I Believe In Jesus Instead Of Other Gods. In that book, I devote an entire 15-20 page chapter to each one of these arguments, defending their premises, and responding to various objections I've heard lodged against them over the years. 

In the next blog post, I will look at 3 more arguments for God's existence that will tip the scales of probability in His favor even further. 

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Footnotes

1: Hugh Ross, from the online article “Why A Decaying Universe?” /September 2008/ Reasons To Believe/ -- http://www.reasons.org/articles/why-a-decaying-universe

2: “Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition”, by William Lane Craig, Crossway / 2008 /. Chapter 4 “The Existence Of God (2)”, page 161. 

3: “On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason and Precision” by William Lane Craig, David C. Cook / 2010 / chapter 5 “Why is the universe finely tuned?”, page 111

4: Hugh Ross, “The Creator and The Cosmos: How The Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God”, Chapter 14, Page 115, NAVPRESS

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