This is a summary of the Self Improvement session lead of Sheikh Musharaf Husseini which take place at the Imam Ali Center on Tuesdays at 7:30pm.
The Self Improvement sessions will be an opportunity to learn about ourselves, our religion and our role in this universe in a relaxed environment. It is not necessarily a lecture or teacher student atmosphere, but more a discussion to find the truth and to add our collective knowledge so that we can all gain.
In order for everyone to gain, we must start at the very beginning, and that is why are we here?
Back to the Beginning
Many of us complete our daily prayers and religious activities, but have lost track of why we are doing these things and what benefit they have. In order to correct this, we must go right back to the beginning and appreciate our situation in this universe.
The beginning is looking at the human condition, why are we here? what should we do? How should we live?
The natural question one asks when thinking about such issues, is the existence of God. Many believe in the existence of God, but can we prove it rationally?
Proofs of the Existence of God
In this particular session we will examine the Cosmological argument, which is more commonly known as the cause and effect chain.
The word “Cosmological” comes from the word cosmology, which refers to the study of the universe. The nature of the universe is one of reason, we know things do not happen without cause. So when something changes, something must have caused that change. This idea of accountability for change is commonly referred to “Cause and effect”.
This may seem all very obvious and pointless, but consider this. If someone was to walk into a room, and the dominoes had already started knocking each other down, we would know that there is some cause for that. By tracing the dominoes back, we would be able to work out which domino was the first one to start the chain of events. The next question most people would then ask is “What about the first domino?”. That first domino must have been tipped by something or someone else, either way the chain of cause and effect must go back before the first domino.
If we apply this concept to that of the universe, we will see that as time has passed, it is like that domino effect, different chains of events are all put into motion. However, we know that this chain of events, if traced back must have a “first domino”, a beginning. Then the critical question arises, what struck that domino to start the universe? The answer is God. That is an outline of the Cosmological Argument, it has been refined by many over the centuries, but essentially remained unchanged.
Formal Cosmological Argument
If we were to write the principles from the above example in a more formal way, we would arrive with the following :
- Everything that comes into existence has a cause.
- The universe came into existence.
- Therefore the universe has a cause.
- We call this cause, God.
When something comes into existence, a change has occurred, or to sticky with the terminology used before, an effect has occurred. As we know, whenever there is an effect, there must be a cause. So there must be something that started all the subsequent chains of effects that we see in this universe now.