Why should we believe in something or someone who is greater than ourselves? In Peter Kreeft’s article “The Reasons to Believe,” one gets to explore the arguments that have been made throughout history in proving the existence of God and the arguments against. The first topic is that everything has a cause or an origin for them to exist in this world. When there is a creation, there must be a creator. Secondly, there is the idea that the human brain is “special” compared to other species who have survived just as long as humans have. Our brains function like a computer which contain millions of wires and signals sending messages through every second. Kreeft also introduces the argument from conscience. The conscience is an undeniable voice or feeling that guides one’s behaviour based on values and morals. He dives deeper into the contradiction that often occurs between the human instinct and conscience. In this study, the idea of faith will be explored with proofs from the article “The Reasons to Believe,” and with a little bit of my own personal interpretation.
The argument that keeps on being presented by Peter Kreeft states, “. . . where there’s design, there must be a designer.” This must be true if we look at everything that has ever existed, even us. The older precedes the younger and the creator is followed by its creation. In short, there must be a first force, action, or movement that started this whole chain reaction which began with the Big Bang Theory 14 billion years ago. Human beings are dependent on our causes, such that the first existence had to have existed at some point in time for there to have been a start. Well then, one may ask, who caused God then? Kreeft states that this being would have to be an uncaused cause. A thing where there is not anything above them, nor has an explanation behind. This perfect being must be God. If we describe God, we could answer “yes” to all of the statements above. Peter Kreeft refers to an alternate universe with no first cause like a train moving without an engine. The car’s motion is explained by the carbox that is in front of it and so forth. In reality, such a thing could not occur without the engine unless if it were in another parallel universe. A universe where there is no beginning or end; this is called an infinite regress. Newborns do not have the capability of taking care of themselves, this is taught by the parent. Even then, they do cause themselves. Saying that, the conception of God to cause the universe is more complex than what we see everyday as a cause to effect. The difference between an author writing a book and God creating the universe is that one could be seen, and the other is the unseen. No creation could be born without the creator, thus existence is explained by this premise. Every matter on earth goes through states, however only God is the one with no origin who is unchanged before time and space.
Design is created everyday by the very thing we often overlook: our brains. Unlike other species, we have yet to know other species who are capable of using metaphors and analogies. The human brain is a complex piece of design that is used everyday without us thinking. Kreeft questions the ability of the mind, if there was no greater intelligence behind it. If God is not the greater mind, then who is? How can we trust what the brain tells us if this ball of mass was just there by chance? The ability of thought and wonder is something that not all other species have evolved with. Kreeft turns what we know most and changes it to something that is categorical imperative; the brain comes with intelligence is either yes or no. Only God has the greatest knowledge of the universe, therefore minds are not coincidences. There must be a reason as to why we are who we are. Human brains are extraordinary things that have the capability of creating both good and evil. What we do with this intelligence is up to us. Although technology has advanced beyond what anyone has imagined, the one question that we will never truly figure out is our very own existence. We may go through our whole lives debating this question, however maybe certain things were created to remain a mystery forever. The only reasonable, predictable explanation for all of this is that the universe was created with having us in mind.
The argument from conscience first presents conscience as a journey of us finding the truth. By only finding the truth do we know what is right and wrong. At the same time, we slowly start losing our free will as we dive deeper into the topic of what this “inner voice” really means. To keep making the wrong choices, or start choosing the right ones because they are undoubtedly right. That is our first and foremost obligation. Humans tend to do the opposite of what we are told, for the primary reason that rebellion is part of instinct. Kreeft makes a point that no instinct should always be obeyed, however there are times when we have to do right. He uses the illustration of a mother who is unwilling to let her son go to war to exemplify this point. If the son does not go to defend, is it fair for the other mother’s son to face the injustices of the war alone? As humans, we are constantly fighting our morals with instincts. Nevertheless, conscience is more than just a feeling as this ties in with the absolute moral authority. This moral authority is based on the unchanging truths of this world. Something this powerful could only come from an absolute being. Conscience is described as the voice of the will of God and the protector of the soul. Only God has the absolute moral authority over us. Sometimes, humans choose to ignore or defy this in hopes of being their our own judge. Nevertheless, the maps have already been laid out for us to discover whenever we want to. At the end of this argument, Kreeft makes an important note that if someday our conscience starts to tell us to rebel, then we know for sure that it is not functioning properly as to what it was intended for, to get us home.
In the study of “The Reasons to Believe” by Peter Kreeft, the relationship that exists between humanity and the Divine Hand is deeply explored. God is the uncaused cause with no origin and is beholden to no one. If there was no first cause, then there is no human existence, however our existence contradicts this. Before the technological age, humans were already given the gift of intelligence to wonder and question the universe. No other species we know yet have this ability. Therefore, conscience works in part with the absolute moral authority to be that guidance and only by seeking the truth can we see the good and evil that occurs everyday in the world. At the end of the day, a wager has to be made. I believe the most notable issue today is not God, but it is the belief that we are “perfect” beings. God gave us free will not so we could do evil, but it’s a proposal for us to choose love. The result of that is faith, a testimony of true love and marriage to the Divine Will.