A popular argument for atheism - along with being a popular scientific rebuttal of intelligent design - is the notion of the infinite regress. Every action or being requires a cause, so if God exists, God must have a cause; that cause also had a cause, and so on, literally ad infinitum.
Christian theology (and some other religions as well) states that God is the "uncaused first cause"; that He is "eternally self-existent", or that He is "beyond time and space".
The first cause argument was presented by evangelical Christian philosopher T.Miethe in version resting on following premises:
- Some limited, changing being(s) exist.
- The present existence of every limited, changing being is caused by another.
- There cannot be an infinite regress of causes of being, because an infinite regress of finite beings would not cause the existence of anything.
- Therefore, there is a first Cause of the present existence of these beings.
- The first Cause must be infinite, necessary, eternal, and one.
- The first uncaused Cause is identical with the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
- Antony Flew (2008). There is a God, How the world's most notorious atheist changed his mind. HarperOne, 70-71. ISBN 978-0-06-133530-3.