Saturday, 18 February 2012


By careful observation of man's activities we have found his nature, what man is in himself, a rational being, composed of a body and an immortal soul, the masterpiece of this earth, a world in miniature. Now we shall look higher up and ask ourselves: Whence do I come? Whither am I going? We shall consider 1. Who made man? and 2. What kind of being is the author of man? PART I THERE IS AN ALMIGHTY BEING, WHO HAS CREATED ALL THINGS That there exists a First Cause, an Almighty Being, must be clear to every thinking man. The fact is clearly proved:- (a) By the very existence of beings that have received existence and are not self-existent.—There can be nothing without a sufficient reason for its existence. Again: nothing is made or begins to exist except by a cause. Now, man, a compound of matter and spirit, of body and soul, begins to exist; he has not always been, nor will he always be. He is one of the many contingent beings in this world, that is, beings which appear, disappear and change. But an object liable to change (from within or from without) has not within itself the cause of its being or the sufficient reason for it; it does not and cannot exist by itself. If it existed by itself, it would not be defective (change itself implies defectiveness); and the same holds for each and all contingent, i.e., not necessary, beings. Hence our formal argument: Principle: No contingent being, nor any sum or series of contingent beings, can find an adequate explanation for their existence either in themselves, in another contingent being, or in any sum or series of contingent beings. Application: The universe is a sum of contingent beings. Conclusion: Therefore, the universe can find its adequate explanation neither in itself, in any other contingent being, nor in any sum or series of contingent beings. The inference from this conclusion is inevitable. The action of the necessary Being, the self-existing Cause, alone can adequately explain the existence of the universe. The following evident facts serve as basis for this argument: The existence of the inorganic world, the existence of life, the existence of each human soul. (b) From the Laws of Motion—Matter is inert: it cannot itself change its state of rest or uniform motion. Still less can it exist of itself, for that which cannot do what is less cannot do what is more. Therefore, matter requires an extrinsic mover, the principles of the conservation of Matter and of Energy notwithstanding, for they do not deal with origins. But there cannot be an endless series of things both moved and moving or of intermediate motion, because such a series explains nothing. Therefore, there exists a supreme Immovable Prime Mover. (c) From the Laws of Life—As Science has established, Life comes only from Life. But Life began on earth. Therefore, there exists a supermundane source of Life, the first living Being. I say the first Being, because again an endless line of beings who merely receive and transmit life only prolongs the enquiry and explains nothing. This holds for all living bodies and more especially for our soul. This spiritual, rational substance cannot be due to generation, because generation is a material process, unable to produce a super-material effect. Therefore, the spiritual soul of man is due to the Supreme Spirit, the Creator, whom we call God, or the Prime Cause. (d) By the whole visible world with its wise arrangement which cannot be the result of mere chance.—There exists in the world a most wonderful order, or adaption of means to ends (of the eyes to see, of the ears to hear, of all the parts to the preservation of the whole). Now, such adaption, manifest all the world over, requires intelligence in its cause and an amount of intelligence proportionate to the vastness, the variety and the perfection of the order produced. Therefore, the first cause of the world must be intelligent beyond all our conception, and this can be none other than God, the supreme principle of direction, orientation or end of the Universe. As Pope has truly said (Epistle, IV): Order is heaven's first law, and this confessed,  One is and must be greater than the rest More rich, more wise; This who denies Denies all common sense. Or as Addison well says:- The spacious firmament on high, With all the blue ethereal sky, The spangled heavens, a shining frame,  Their great original proclaim, For ever singing as they shine, "The Hand that made us is Divine!" And Voltaire has said: "I cannot imagine that a timepiece tells the hours without the aid of a clock-maker. Then why should not the universe prove the existence of a supreme Intelligence?" (e) The voice of conscience also testifies there is a God. It points to an invisible Lawgiver, who has written his holy law in every man's soul, who sees our deeds and even our most secret thoughts and will one day award judgment to every man.—Man feels absolutely bound to do good and avoid evil. Now a command, a law, implies a Lawgiver and a subject (no one can impose a law on himself). Moreover, an absolute command which has the note of necessity implies a supreme and ultimate authority, which is the source and fountainhead of morality, the supreme arbiter of right and wrong. Therefore, there exists a supreme Lawgiver and Judge. This last argument from the absoluteness of moral obligation and the perfection of moral sanction is at least a striking confirmation of the preceding proofs. The existence of Moral Law in each one's conscience is a fact. As the Philosopher has said: "Those who doubt about divine worship and about love due to parents are in need of punishment, not of argument." (Topica, i, 9). We seek for a rational explanation of this fact and we find it only in the fact of a supreme Lawgiver. (f) Mankind and especially the best among men, explicitly affirm the existence of God.—Belief in the Divinity is universal, permanent, spontaneous, logically invincible and most salutary in its results. All nations, the most backward and the most advanced, act on the belief in a Supreme Being. The most intellectual classes of men, philosophers and scientists, affirm their belief in God. Now, it is impossible that a thing which all men affirm unanimously should be false. An erroneous opinion comes from intellectual weakness or defect, but not from the nature of the mind itself; such error is accidental, but what is accident can never be universal. "In questions of religion and morality, a judgment which all men agree to accept as true cannot in any way be false." (St. Thomas, Contra Gent. 2, 34). The arguments we have now given—metaphysical (a), physical (b, c, d) and moral (e and f)—amply prove for certain the existence of a Supreme Being. There are other arguments as well. In fact, both the imperfections and the perfections found in finite things postulate a First Cause for their very existence and for their relative degrees of goodness. General Conclusion. That self-existing Being that Creator and Prime Mover of the universe, that source of all life, that most intelligent Being, that supreme Law-giver —we call God. We love and worship Him as our sovereign Lord, kind Father and greatest Benefactor and we reverentially fear Him as the Judge of all mankind. A Question. Can a sincere inquirer come to the conclusion, erroneous, of course, that there is no God? Answer. You mean, are there sincere and convinced atheists? No doubt some people may for a time ignore God's existence (negative atheists) or be for a time misled by false arguments (positive atheists), but none can remain certain and convinced atheists if he seriously inquire into the matter. With practical atheists the fault is not with Logic or the mind but with their free will. Atheistic Communism in particular is not the fruit of reasoning but a blind revolt against social tyranny, wrongly ascribed to religion. (1) There cannot be, except perhaps for a short time, theoretical negative atheists, that is, men who are invincibly and inculpably ignorant of God, for the arguments for His existence, either popular or scientific, are such that they are bound to suggest themselves to a sound mind. Accordingly, we may call atheists foolish, vain, and inexcusable. And certainly it belongs to the Providence of God to see that no one is without the aids necessary for the attainment of his end, and the knowledge of God is absolutely necessary for salvation, as a means to that end. (2) There may be, at least for a time, men who are theoretical positive atheists, that is, men whose reason is deceived by sophisms or blinded by passion, and who in consequence doubt whether God exists. For the existence of God is not immediately evident, either to sense or to intellect, and accordingly it is possible for a depraved or diseased mind to be blind to this truth. (3) Sad experience sufficiently teaches us that there are 'practical atheists,' namely, men who take no pains to glorify or serve God. To this we may add that God will give to all men who have attained the use of reason, opportunities of knowing Him at some time or other in their lives. Those who do not attain the use of reason—and some adults whose minds are diseased or clouded by sophisms or passions may well be included in this category—may be likened to infants, and therefore are not responsible. Is there really a God? Many people still ask this question nowadays. Communists violently deny God's Existence. But why that anger if there is no God ?—Because it is hard to do away with the clear testimony of reason and the general consent of mankind, of all times. It is, however, possible for the human mind defiantly and illogically to deny even established truths, because the human will can freely and deliberately sin against the light. Hence the modern godless militant Communism of Russia. Hence the attempt of Freethinkers, young and old, to pick holes in the arguments that make for God's existence, and to pile up difficulties to, rather than ponder over, the cogency of the arguments. Here are a few of their objections. Objections Answered-1. Causes are not always known by their effects. Answer: But the existence of a cause can be known for certain; that suffices. Even its nature can be discovered, at least to some extent. 2. There is no proportion between a contingent and a necessary being.—Answer: There is no proportion of entity, but there is one of necessary dependence. 3. Science traces physical effects only to physical not to super-mundane causes. Answer: Physical science is concerned only with proximate or physical causes; mental science or Philosophy goes to the root of things and investigates the highest causes. 4. Evolution can account for all things physical.—Answer: Evolution does not even touch on the origin of things but only on their development. For matter to begin evolving it must first be made. 5. The universal consent of mankind springs from fear.—Answer: The fear of God presupposes the existence of God. That reverential fear is found in the greatest minds, not only in women and children. 6. Man came from uncreated matter through a series of evolutions.—Answer: Mere matter could not possibly be self-existent; it has been made, when we do not know. That the body of man has evolved from lower animals both science and philosophy hold to be possible yet most improbable. History traces the human race to one common origin, the primitive couple produced by the special intervention of God. Human souls, being spiritual, cannot originate except by .being created out of nothing. Each human soul begins to exist when God creates it in the fertilized fruit of the mother's womb. Modern biology has no other answer. 7. The souls of animals are generated, why not those of men? —Answer: Because animal souls are material and merely sentient but human souls are rational, intelligent, spiritual. They cannot emanate from matter, not even from the living matter of the fertilized ovum, because they are an altogether higher order of being. They cannot emanate from the spirit, e.g., from the souls of their parents, because a spirit is an essentially simple substance, without parts, a thinking principle, wholly superior to division or dispersion or emanation of any sort. 8. We are then sparks of the divinity! —Answer: Yes, by a beautiful metaphor. God has made our souls to His own image and likeness; spirits, immortal, free and destined to Heaven. 9. Do not parents bring forth children composed of body and soul?—Answer: Who denies this? But generation is a material process; it can produce the human body fit for the human soul, but God alone can make the latter, because it is spiritual