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February 20, 2013

How should one respond to the old schoolboy retort, “If everything needs a cause, who caused God?” 

First, philosophers and theologians do not maintain that whatever exists needs a cause. Instead, they propose that certain things need causes, such as things that have a beginning or things that don’t have to exist.

If something came into existence at a certain point in time—that is, if it had a beginning—then there needs to be a cause, an explanation, for why it came to be. But...