Catholic Doctrine


Does God really exist?

Since ancient times, Humanity has considered the problem of knowing whether a superior being exists.  Atheism answers in the negative, the different religions answer in the affirmative, which is it truly?

What do we notice in the reality which surrounds us?

With the help of our external senses, it is easy for us to note the existence of a universe composed of the most diverse things: mineral, vegetal, animal, etc.  Every science has an object specific to itself; astronomy studies the stars, botany studies the plants, zoology examines the animals, medicine tries to care for human beings, psychology seeks to explain mental phenomena, etc.  Thanks to each of these sciences, one can easily reach the conclusion that everywhere laws exist which govern the whole universe: a stone once thrown cannot but finally fall; a kind of plant gives naturally the same kind of flower.  Of course we do not know all these laws, the scholars and researchers spend all their strength and all their time to discover them.  The scientists however note that a certain number of things exist which, repeated regularly, normally produce such and such a result.  Everything has a precise place, a special function, an exact objective.  Take for example the case of the human body; the heart makes the blood circulate, the legs cause it to move, the eye allows it to see.  Without being a doctor, it is easy for us to establish that our body is an organised whole.  Nature offers a multitude of examples of the same sort, the entire universe is filled with examples of organisation and precision.  Everywhere one can find fine, delicate, complex mechanisms, and these concealed in the tiniest parts of plants, animals and human beings.

What is the origin of the order of the universe?

In looking at a car or a computer it would never occur to us that it was an ignorant person who had put them in working order.  Only men of the standard of Peugeot or Apple engineers could invent or manufacture such things.  Even the making of a dress requires the existence of a dressmaker, more or less well trained.

The story of Father Christmas, which one tells to children to explain to them why they receive presents on the 25th of December, cannot be of long duration.  A time will come when the small child will want to know where did such a thing come from, who made it, what rules did it follow, etc.  The entire universe from the planets to the insects, makes us put the same question:  where does it come from?  Who made it? Only a supreme intelligence could explain the order of the world.  Because the more a thing is complex the more it requires the existence of a qualified and capable inventor.  As the human being, on its own, could not concern the whole universe; he cannot even understand, at one go, the whole of its mechanisms.  From this flows the necessity of admitting the existence of a supreme intelligence to explain the order of the world.  Voltaire called it the great Watch-maker, Catholics call it God.

First Objection: Evolution and chance are sufficient to explain the order of the universe.

Reply: According to this opinion, life appears and perfects itself through an infinite number of favourable circumstances, thanks to a combination of blind forces, but which would coordinate and harmonize themselves to produce in the happiest way the precise movements of the planets or the beings which make up the world would, for example, be produced without a preconceived plan or order.  Now it seems paradoxical that chance should be explanatory when it is a sign of disorder: try to explain to a visitor in the Boeing factory that the aeroplanes are built by chance, without the well thought out and organised intervention of innumerable engineers and qualified workers!  It would be impossible; nobody would believe such a fairytale.  In one word, it would be order achieved through incoherence, contradiction installed everywhere.  Now, the universe is composed of mechanisms, all as precise as aeroplanes and this to a clearly greater scale.  Moreover, before the creating of the order of the universe, the most infinitesimal of the elements of which it is composed, has its own internal laws proper to itself and which could not exist without the prior intervention of an intelligent organiser: to produce a seed or an embryo is no less marvellous than to produce a tree or a human being.  The explanation attempted by evolution or chance is not even yet broached.

Second objection: Instead of admitting an intelligence outside of the universe, why not assume an in-dwelling intelligence, spread through all its parts, permitting it to construct itself and to direct itself all alone, and make its own way.

Reply: It is true that one can accept that the Divine Intelligence lives in the world in some sort of way by making it function, but It remains distinct from its work.  It would be in fact false to accept the existence of a divinity called "Life" which would be an integral part of the whole universe while at the same time having conceived it and ruling it.  The study of the natural mechanisms has not proven that human reason itself would be capable of controlling, in a well thought out way, the totality of the organisms of the human body themselves: the heart cannot take personal precaution against a heart attack nor the stomach against an ulcer.  The existence of a superior, distinct and exterior intelligence is therefore the only acceptable answer.


Third objection: You acknowledge an order in the Universe, but does it really exist when one sees so many biological monsters, cataclysms and misfortunes?

Reply: These evils simply indicate the limitations of an order which is, none the less, real and which must be explained, because one cannot speak of disorders except by reference to an order.  For example, a person is sick only in relation to the normal state which is health; shadows in a picture are only such in relation to the zones of light.  The failing, illness and death are no snags in the laws of nature but, on the contrary, the regular functioning of these laws.  A living being does not survive except by feeding itself i.e. by dissolving certain substances in order to incorporate them into itself; it destroys incessantly so as to build; that is its nature, its order, its law.  To try to imagine an animal which lives without eating away some plant or without killing one of its kind is an idle fancy.  This uninterrupted movement (cycle of assimilation and of disassimilation) is life itself.  To stop it would quite simply stop life in the world.

In short, the universe was not designed by its creator as an immobile dead system but like a group of forces always in conflict, the good emerging from the evil.  God could intervene miraculously to stop certain unfortunate effects but it would suspend the natural order by removing all activity and spontaneity: to save the grass from the tooth of the lamb is to favour the grass at the expense of the lamb.  Every change has thus two forces, it is at the same time production and destruction, the advantage of one is the damage of the other.

Conclusion: Thus, these objections do not remove anything from the well formed thesis of an Intelligence organising the world.  Analysed apart from the current preconceived scientific opinions, one discovers immediately that they are filled with difficulties and contain contradictions.  Only one hypothesis can be developed with coherence and clarity: it is that which seeks the explanation of the universe above and beyond it, in a Supreme Spirit.  To adopt it makes us therefore true to logic and to reason.



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