The cosmological argument for God is that nothing causes itself so the universe is made by God

Former Atheist Antony Flew in There is a God - Refuted, How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, decided that a deistic God existed. Despite the fact that this God is far from a real God and has a few superficial resemblances to the Christian God, the Christian world used Flew's conversion as an excuse for declaring that their belief in God is plausible. Flew's God does not have the main trait the Christian one has - a capacity to enter into a relationship with his creatures.

Page 134 talks about the cosmological argument for the existence of God. It says nothing causes itself. God caused the universe and God has no cause. The page says that the argument starts with the fact that the universe is there. It works back to God.
This is the wrong way around. We should start with what God is or what God is not. Why? Because just because there is a universe does not mean that it had to have God as a creator. If it did there would be no need for the argument. So to show the universe had God as a creator we must correct our idea of God and make it our starting point.
So once we have sorted what God is and or isn't out, we should see if our idea of God is not refuted by say the existence of human evil and human and animal suffering. If we end up with an argument that condones what cannot be condoned then our argument is wicked and if we need the likes of it to prove God then we shouldn't be trying to prove God at all. The believers will fail to show that God and the existence of human suffering can be reconciled. So they can't go any further. The very fact that God lets us have so many unruly feelings against our will that make us weak and incline us to evil while others don't have these feelings proves that religion can only solve the problem of evil by callously turning a blind eye to many things.
If the problem of evil is solved, we should see then if this God can create. If creating out of nothing is logically impossible then it follows that God can still be God and not be able to do it. God can only do what is possible. Flew and the Christians can't prove God can create. They simply assume it. That is why their explanation for how things came to be is a deceit for it is not an explanation at all. To say the universe exists therefore God created it is to make an assumption. It is not an argument for God. It is not a reason to believe in God. The cosmological argument sneaks this assumption in so it is not an argument at all. So when they are guessing that God can create it follows that they are guessing that the creation is his work.
Until Christians know what it is like to be God and to create and how it is done they should not be using the cosmological argument.
The cosmological argument is no use without the thought that because there is an infinite distance between something and nothing only an infinite being can make the universe from nothing. But even if such a being existed it would not necessarily be God or like God. God has all power and there is no power but his - he is infinite like that. His power is unlimited and he has all power. But there is another kind of infinite. This power has no beginning and no end but it is not all power. Imagine infinite lines. It is possible for there to exist any number of infinitely long lines in the universe. These lines have infinite power but not unlimited and all power. There can be any number of infinite beings at the one time in this sense. There can only be one infinite and unlimited being who has all power. But there is no need to assume that there is such a being. An infinitely powerful being who is not God could make the universe if there is anything in the cosmological argument. There could be more than one maker! It is better to hold that there are and that many of the creators did a bad job. It makes sense. It means we don't have to coldly step over the body of a stranger who was tortured to death and flippantly say, "God let that happen to him for a justifiable purpose." Curiously, most people who talk about the cosmological argument being correct ignore the issue of infinity which means they are using tricks with facts to make us think there is a God.
If there was only one being made by God and that being was not God but felt like it was, that being could not work out that there must be a God who made it. How does God know he is God? He can't. So God can feel like he is not God. We know we exist but we don't know how we are and how we are made. God should be the same. The cosmological argument can't even help God see there is a God!
If God exists he needs nothing outside himself. He is not supreme if he has needs. The cosmological argument superficially looks like an explanation but it is not for it cannot explain how God can have a power he does not need, the power to create or if creating out of nothing is logically possible. It is a distraction from the real question which is why is there a God when there might have been nothing at all not even God? The question is not why is there something rather than nothing but why is there a God when there might have been no God at all?
The believers in the argument say that God is the reason for his own existence but they don't and can't prove this idea even makes sense. Do they mean God creates himself? Do they mean God causes himself? Do they mean he just is. If he just is then he has not chosen to exist and is not God or supreme. Something he had no control over causes his existence. Luck is more important than him than himself. If they are saying God made himself then that is an even more absurd miracle than creation out of nothing!
Page 140 mentions the argument of some that the cosmological argument for God is wrong on the basis that the alternative is absurd. The alternative is that you could be caused by causes that are caused by different causes that are caused by different causes again and so on and on . .. without end. The book approves of Conway stating that this leaves us with a pile of beings who do not need to exist or beings that might not have existed. This means that there is no explanation. The entire series needs an explanation (page 144) and none is given. And there has to be an explanation. An analogy is given: there is a million computers that get infected with a self-replicating virus. The number of viruses does not explain the existence of the virus. So the number of causes does not explain the causes. All this makes Flew decide that the cosmological argument is correct and that it may not prove God but makes it likely that he exists (page 145).
Page 162 in Appendix A written by Varghese states that the arguments for God says the arguments are not proof. Pages 163 and 183 say it is obvious that matter cannot produce life and life must have come from a living God. That is interesting for if the cosmological argument for God works then it is a proof!
Page 165 says that atheists say that the universe is inexplicable and we shouldn't try to explain but accept this inexplicability. Believers in God, and Varghese says on page 165 that he agrees, reject this logic and say that God is the explanation for the universe. But what about God who is inexplicable? Varghese answers that God is inexplicable to us but not to himself. The thrust of this is that it make some sense to believe in God for it explains things better. But God might be intelligent. God might be alive. But that does not mean that God is conscious or has understanding. He might not understand himself. We do not understand ourselves. We do not know how we know we are alive.
The atheist is criticised for saying the universe is inexplicable and they don't understand it.
The theist is praised for saying the universe is explained by a God they don't understand. So they are saying that the universe has an explicable God as the cause which is saying the universe is inexplicable just as much as the atheist is. They say God and creation are inexplicable to us but God understands them (page 165). So the theist is saying that God can explain the universe and on that ground deny that the universe is inexplicable.
The atheist does not deny that there is an explanation but only says that we don't have it and that is what he means by inexplicable. The believers are saying the same thing but that God has the explanation not us. So why then are the believers insulting atheists for saying the universe is inexplicable? They say it themselves. Both sides say that finding the explanation is possible in theory and both would agree we will never find it or be clever enough or psychic enough. If you believe in God you have to pretend that God is the explanation and insult those who disagree. You are saying that by implication when you believe in God. Belief in God is not as loving as it is made out to be.
The believers don't understand God so why can they say there are other possible explanations such as magic?
Believers say God is the explanation. This assertion has a nasty implication. It implies that if atheists can't explain how the universe came to be they should leave it alone. In other words, if you don't believe in God then shut up. Belief in God has so many vicious and uncharitable implications.
Page 169 and 170 say that atheists who think nothing is unstable and turned into creation are making no sense. They forget the fact that nothing is nothing and can't be unstable. They say these atheists are making no sense. This is true.

This argument ignores the fact that the universe cannot start unless something goes unstable.  If that something is God then God is not God as an organised being.  It is just a maker with flaws.

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