STUDY 1: THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
BELIEF in God’s existence is practically universal. While a few individuals have denied His existence, and while a few others claim to be in doubt as to God’s existence, that is, they do not know whether there is a God; these are so few as to warrant the statement that practically the entire human family believes that there is a Supreme Being – God. There has never been a nation that does not believe in a God. The belief in God’s existence may, therefore, be accepted as grounded in human nature, the few exceptions being explainable on the ground of mental unbalance, as the Scriptures teach: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14: 1).
Psychology teaches that it is a part of the soul’s powers to believe in, venerate, worship and desire fellowship with God, just as it is a part of the soul’s powers to love one’s fellows and to desire fellowship with them. From the above facts we may draw the conclusion that the existence of God is a necessary demand of human nature, just as man’s desire for food, water, property, the sublime, the beautiful, knowledge, companions, etc., imply the existence of these. Thus we infer God’s existence from the constitution and qualities of man’s brain and soul life. Those who deny God’s existence (atheists) or those who say they do not know that there is a God (agnostics), cannot explain this constitution of the brain and its resultant moral and religious sense of obligation Godward.
Cause and Effect
We may prove God’s existence from another standpoint – that of cause and effect. Universal experience teaches us that every event has a cause; therefore we reason that every event must have its cause. Therefore, reasoning back from many events to as many causes, we finally reach first events, which imply a first cause; and as such it must be causeless; hence is eternal. This first cause we call God, or as the Scriptures put it: “He that built [made] all things is God” (Hebrews 3: 4). Therefore the origins of things are events that must have had causes. Take, for example, the origin of trees: We ask ourselves, Whence did their origin come? We answer, From seeds or branches. Whence came the origin of these? From other trees. Whence came the origin of these? From other seeds or branches. Finally, in our reasoning, we come to the first kind of every tree, and ask ourselves, Whence came the origin of these? The answer must be, From the first seeds. Now we ask, Whence came the origin of the first seeds from which came the first trees? Thus there was a cause back of the origin of their firsts. We may use the same reasoning in the case of the rest of the vegetable kingdom.
If we take up creatures endowed with powers of locomotion: insects, fish, amphibians, fowl, reptiles and beasts, and apply the same kind of reasoning, we finally come to the first example of each species and are confronted with the same question, Whence came the origin of the first of each species? The same applies with the race of mankind. They could not have made themselves; for that would imply their existence before they existed. Who or what then made them? Our reasoning drives us to the conclusion that there is a first cause that is the origin of all firsts. If it is the first cause, it cannot be the effect of any other cause. It, therefore, must have been causeless and therefore eternal. We call this first cause, God; but materialists would call it an unconscious, blind force.
Order throughout Nature
Is this first cause blind force or an intelligent being – God? The order that we observe throughout nature proves that the first cause is not blind force, but is an intelligent being who uses the forces of nature as means of expressing His will in His chosen order of things. We see order in our solar system, with all of the planets revolving about the sun with each planet revolving on its axis and encircling its orbit. Most of the planets have moons which revolve around their planets in an orderly fashion. And doubtless there are billions of similar planetary systems with their own sun, planets and moons.
But order is observed in minute things as well as in the large things of the universe. Every blade of grass, every shrub, every bush, every tree, every vegetable, every plant, every blossom, every fruit, every flower, every insect, every creeping thing, every fish, every reptile, every fowl, every beast and every man is an example of the reign of law – order, and thus testifies to an intelligent first cause. The laws of gravity, attraction, repulsion, adhesion, centripetal and centrifugal forces, light, heat, motion, color, sound, etc., working harmoniously, display their activities in upholding the orderly course of nature; moreover these laws balance one another and make harmony in the universe, which proves an intelligent first cause as law executor. They also work along the lines of mathematical formulas with utmost precision and detail, which implies reasoning powers in the intelligent first cause of unapproachable ability. Every science manifests the reign of law – order. It is utterly incomprehensible that blind force could have made the universe in its almost infinity of orderly arrangements, adjustments, movements, harmonies and workings.
Those who deny that the first cause is an intelligent being who has marvelously ordered the universe in its vastness as well as in its minuteness are compelled to ascribe to matter and force powers that only a personal being could exercise. Reason thus forces us to believe that the order that everywhere prevails in the universe originated in the mind of a most extraordinary intelligent being. Thus reason forces us to the conclusion that there is an intelligent Creator.
(to be continued)
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