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In his criticism of atheism, Paul Fitzgerald writes: "Any reasonable person can clearly see that there must be some intelligence that existed for all time. We call it God" (December-January AD2000).
Mr Fitzgerald is here referring to the traditional argument of order in the world, from which order we can conclude to an orderer who is Himself unordered. However, his preceding statement, "Everything must have a cause", is not correct. God is not caused. He is the Uncaused Cause; all other causes are caused causes.
In his book Why I am not a Christian, the philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: "If everything must have a cause then God must have a cause."
The Catholic response is that everything that does not contain within itself sufficient reason to account for its own existence must have a cause apart from itself. The material universe is a collection of finite, dependent mutual elements. It is not self-explanatory and reason cannot find within it an explanation for why it is there. The universe must owe its existence to a self-existent Being who is the cause of all things other than Himself.
Readers interested in this topic can find an excellent exposition of the rational arguments for the existence of God in The Scope of Philosophy by John Young. (Editor: This book is available through Freedom Publishing).
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 25 No 2 (March 2012), p. 15
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