In class, we read The Reasons to Believe by Peter Kreeft. The Reasons to Believe is an article on the argument of God’s existence through cause, history and Pascal’s Wager and other theories. The article really makes you contemplate God’s existence and your current beliefs whether you’re of Catholic faith or you’re a hardcore Atheist.
Kreeft brings up specific points in his article that can relate back to the four primary questions mentioned in the begging of the article. These questions really make you ponder the existence of God and even the world itself. The first question being “Can something come from nothing?” You’d think immediately that something cannot come from nothing, but the more you think about it there are a few things in this world that come to mind. The galaxy coming into existence for example. This brings up The Principle of Causality. The Principle of Causality states that “you can’t get more in the effect then you had in the cause”. Yet, the galaxy is said to come from many different things, including nothing. As a Catholic, you’d say God created the world in which we live in out of nothing. As an atheist, you’d probably believe in the big bang. Both sides can be argued but there is no solid proof of either. On one side, God created everything, but that draws up the question, where did come from? God is like the big bang to where they both came from nothing. Therefore both go against the principle of causality. Though they both go against this principle, the arguments for either differ greatly. For the big bang to happen is one in a million alone, but for everything on earth to work perfectly in a cycle that could go on forever is a stretch. On the other hand, if God created the earth, it makes sense that everything has a design that harmonizes well. The cycle of the rain, for example, would not function if we didn’t have all the lakes and the oceans and the sun that perfectly circles the earth at a temperature that we can survive and that can evaporate the water. If all these specific details weren’t designed by a designer, it’d be a pretty big coincidence.
This leads us to the question, “does God exist?” This question is very controversial as we have no obsolete proof of this perfect beings existence. There are none the less arguments from each side. If you’re Athiest, you most likely don’t believe in God because you don’t have true confirmation. Whereas if you’re Catholic, you put your trust in the fact that God does indeed exist. If there was no God, who designed the Universe? Take your shirt for example. It wasn’t created by pure random chance. There wasn’t just some cotton or silk laying around that just randomly turned into the shirt you’re wearing right now. There was a designer, a creator, who came up with the design. If that creator didn’t exist, then that shirt wouldn’t exist, so can’t that concept be applied to the universe? The universe is so intricate that it’s almost impossible to have been created by chance. One of Gods many nicknames is the divine Designer, the Creator, all-perfect Being.
The third question is “Do human beings have an immortal soul?” This question is controversial among many. Depending on your religion, your opinion will be different. If your religion is of western origin, you believe the soul is created at the moment of conception and is immortal. This goes against the Principle of Causality since you’re getting something from nothing, but if God came from nothing and created earth he can create something out of nothing. So does he create the soul? Where there is design there must be a designer, so if not God, who could’ve created soul? Religions in the east, like Hinduism or Buddhism, believe your soul is reused and is not immortal. If their souls are reused, then no one is really themselves then. Are they than those who lived before them and only a piece of their current being?
The final question is “Do human beings have free will”? At first, you would think you do, you could do whatever you wanted, but if you know one plus one equals two, you can’t very well answer three because you know the answer is two. So you, therefore, have free will if you know wrong from right? Children have more free will as they have less of an understanding of the world, but is there a limit to that free will? To what extent does free will stretch before it becomes sin? The Trolley problem really makes you contemplate the extent of free will. You see a train moving straight towards five tied-up people on the tracks. You see a lever that controls the power to switch the train to move onto a different set of tracks. However on the other set of tracks, there is a single person tied up. Do you pull the lever or do you do nothing? You have either way killed one or five people indirectly through your choice, so does that make you a sinner?
David Hume once said, “The concept of cause is ambiguous and not applicable beyond the physical universe to God”. We argue that the concept of cause is analogical, it differs only a small amount but not completely. “The way an author conceives a book in his mind is not exactly the same as the way the woman conceives her child, but we call both causes.” They are still both examples of cause and effect yet there are two different creators and creations. So how is this not then applicable to go creating the universe as a man creates fire? “A cause is a sine qua non for an effect.” If there was no designer, there would be no design, if there was no god, there would be no universe.