Wednesday, 29 April 2015
What is the evidence for God’s existence, apart from the Bible? by FR. LESLIE RUMBLE
What do you mean by evidence? Some people think that evidence must be seen and touched, as an animal sees a patch of grass and eats it. But men are not mere animals. They have reason, and can appreciate intellectual evidence. For example, the evidence of beauty in music or in painting is perceived by man’s mind, not by his senses. An animal could hear the same sounds, or see the same colors, without being impressed by their harmony and proportion. Apart from the Bible altogether, reason can detect sufficient evidence to guarantee the existence of God.
There are many indications, the chief of which I shall give you very briefly: The first is from causality. The universe, limited in all its details, could not be its own cause. It could no more come together with all its regulating laws than the Golden Gate Bridge could just happen, or a clock could assemble itself and keep perfect time without a clockmaker. On the same principle, if there were no God, there would be no you to dispute his existence. What is created supposes a Creator who is uncreated, or the problem goes on forever; the whole endless chain of dependent beings as unable to explain itself as each of its links. It is rational to argue to an uncreated clock-maker. It is not rational to ask, “Who created this uncreated clock-maker?” God was not created. If he were, he would be a creature and would have a creator. His creator would then be God, and not he himself. God always existed. He never began, and will never cease to be. He is eternal.
A second indication is drawn from the universal reasoning, or if you wish, intuition of men. The universal judgment of mankind can no more be wrong on this vital point than the intuition of an infant that food must be conveyed to the mouth. The stamp of God’s handiwork is so clearly impressed upon creation, and, above all, upon man, that all nations instinctively believe that there is a God. The truth is in possession. Men do not have to persuade themselves that there is a God. They have to try to persuade themselves that there is no God. And no one yet who has attained to such a temporary persuasion, has been able to find a valid reason for it. Men do not grow into the idea of a God; they endeavor to grow out of it.
The sense of moral obligation confirms these reasons. In every man there is a sense of right and wrong. A man knows interiorly when he is doing wrong. Something rebukes his conduct. He knows that he is going against an inward voice. It is the voice of conscience, dictating to us a law we did not make, and which no man could have made, for this voice protests whether other men know our conduct or not. This voice is often quite against what we wish to do, warning us beforehand, condemning us after its violation. The law dictated by this voice of conscience supposes a lawgiver who has written his law in our hearts. And as God alone could do this, it is certain that he exists.
Finally, justice demands that there be a God. The very sense of justice among men, resulting in courts of law, supposes a just God. We did not give ourselves our sense of justice. It comes from whoever made us, and no one can give what he does not possess himself. Yet justice cannot always be done by men in this world. Here the good often suffer, and the wicked prosper. And, even though human justice does not always succeed in balancing the scales, they will be balanced someday by a just God, who most certainly must exist.