5-Part Series on Why One Must Be Catholic (Part 1: The Existence of an Eternal God and His Attributes)

Series Introduction

This 5-parts series will explain why one should be Catholic. The series will prove God’s existence and Jesus Christ’s historical presence on earth. It will move on to explain that Jesus established the Catholic Church and will illustrate problems with Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Ultimately, this series will demonstrate why the Catholic Church is the only Church for the genuine Christian. The Catholic Church is the only entity on earth with the entire unadulterated God-given truth. No other church has Christ’s preeminent authority, unity of teaching, succession, history and worldwide presence of the Catholic Church. One rejects the Catholic Church at one’s own peril. For it is the one and only true Church of Christ.

Article Introduction

Most of us grew up being taught God exists, but we were never taught how to know by reason He exists.  Many accept God’s existence by faith but never use God-given reason to meditate on this matter.  St. Paul briefly touches on our ability to know God exists via reason alone in Romans 1:18-20 which states, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them.  Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse….”  Essentially, our universe is literally filled with causes and effects, yet these causes and effects cannot extend to the infinite past.  If this were so, we would never arrive at today.  Therefore, there must be an uncaused Cause; One who creates but is not created.  This article explains how we can know God exists by way of a common syllogism, which is simply a structured argument containing at least two premises and one conclusion.

The Kalam Argument

This syllogism is called the Kalam Argument.  Kalam is the Arabic word for “speech” but later came to denote a type of philosophical theology.  The syllogism is this: 1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause for its coming into being; 2) The universe began to exist; 3) Therefore, the universe has a cause for its coming into being.  There are other excellent arguments, especially St. Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs for the existence of God, but this article will focus on the Kalam syllogism.

Premise 1 – Whatever begins to exist has a cause for its coming into being.  Take a moment and think about your existence.  You had a beginning and a cause for your beginning; your parents.  Your parents had a cause, your grandparents had a cause and so on.  Apply this to animals, plants and all other living organisms and continue working backward in time until there is no matter, energy or space.  If you continue working backward in your mind, you will arrive at absolute nothingness.  Note: The earth is about 4.6 billion years old and the universe is about 14 billion years old (http://www.ips-planetarium.org/?age).  Scientifically, this means the universe had a beginning. 

Premise 2 – The universe began to exist (Better yet; matter, energy and space began to exist).  How did the universe come into being?  Our best theory is the Big Bang.  Big Bang Theory was developed because certain physicists discovered that objects in space are constantly moving away from one another.  By moving backward in time, the objects move closer and closer together until they become a single, extremely dense mass called a “singularity.”  Due to immense pressure, the singularity either exploded or rapidly expanded and, over millions of years, the matter, along with heat released from the explosion, formed planets and stars.  How could the matter, pressure, energy and space come into existence without a being creating them? 

Conclusion – Therefore the universe has a cause for its coming into being.  We call this “cause” God.  When there is absolutely nothing, something must act in order to create the first “something.”  In a state of absolute nothingness, there is no potential for something to come into being unless acted upon by an outside entity.  This entity cannot be subject to time because the cause/effect relationships would continue into the infinite past, which, as stated above, cannot be the case.  There are multiple arguments atheists propose in an attempt to refute this syllogism.  However, they all rely infinite cause/effect relationships.

God’s Attributes

God is infinite (limitless) – If God were finite, he would be limited by something or some being, could gain or lose power and would, therefore, be subject to time.  God is one – If God has no limits, there cannot be other gods.  If there were other gods, there would have to be some difference between them, and this would involve non-being (meaning something within in them is deficient); the one could not be what or where the other is.  Note: Through Divine revelation from Christ, we know God is Trinitarian (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  He is One God in three persons.  God is eternal – If He were not eternal, He would have been created by another entity.  God is transcendent – He cannot be a part of the universe because the universe is created (and material) and God is the creator.  Rather, He is immanent in that He is present within his creation without being part of it.  God is omniscient (all-knowing) – If he were not omniscient, he would have to learn (another limit).  Since He is all-knowing, he is completely and perfectly aware of himself and of all activity within His creation.  He is omnipotent (all-powerful) – If He were not omnipotent, He would be limited by the power of another being or by his own deficiency.  If He were deficient in even one thing, He would have to be created.  God is omnibenevolent (all-good/loving) – Evil is the result of a failed or absent good according to one’s nature.  God is not evil, because that would mean he is deficient in good.  Deficiency in good would mean lack of perfection.