Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
I believe, in the ultimate analysis, with Pascal, that there are two classes of men, those who are afraid to find God, and those who are afraid to lose God. But, to spare you, I will admit that your fear that there might be a God may be perhaps unconscious. Of those who say that they are atheists some are merely unintelligent and do not think; others do think, but merely reject false ideas of God, without knowing how to replace them with the right idea. Since you are not unintelligent I rank you amongst the latter class. Will I accuse you of being morally evil? Of course, I maintain that atheism cannot exist without sin of some kind. If you do not deny God in order to be free from moral restraints, I would have to accuse you at least of a guilty neglect to examine the question as you should. That God exists is certain for everyone with a right conscience.
That is a sound argument, for as no individual thing in this universe is self-sufficient, the whole collection of individual things cannot be self-sufficient. If each separate atom is unable to explain itself, all together will be as inexplicable as each. Multiplication does not change the nature of things.
I admit that it would be possible for an Eternal Cause to produce eternally some basic created reality. We know from revelation that God did not create from eternity. But it would have been possible for Him to do so. However, you must note this. The appeal to the eternity of matter, which cannot be proved, does not exclude the necessity of an outside Cause. The mere duration of a thing does not explain its existence. You cannot explain a running train by saying innocently, "Why it was always running." In the universe we see a succession of causal mutations, each succeeding stage being caused by a preceding stage, and in turn causing a subsequent stage. Every element is dependent, and no one element can explain itself independently of the rest. And if each link in a chain is dependent, the whole chain is dependent. An eternal series of dependent and caused things can be reasonably explained only by One who is independent and uncaused, who exists with a complete self-sufficiency not to be found in finite things. In passing, let me call your attention to the problem of life. Even if matter be eternal, there was certainly a time when life did not exist on this earth, and certainly a time when it began to exist. Any belief that it began spontaneously, and without the creative power of God, is credulity, and unworthy of a reasonable man.
Such a request would be absurd. God, as He is in Himself, is immaterial, and experimental science deals with material things. You might as well offer to believe in the Archangel Gabriel provided I dig up his bones. Experimental science does not cover the whole field of reality. It abstracts from the spiritual field altogether, save indirectly at most.
By the use of their reason they can attain to a certain knowledge that God exists. The Vatican Council rightly defined as a dogma of Catholic Faith that natural human reason can know with certainty from the things which He has made that God exists.
Extrinsic evidence is certainly conclusive. I have no intrinsic evidence that Napoleon ever lived. I have the extrinsic evidence of a multitude of documents, and I am historically certain that he did live. Again, if I see the last car of a train disappearing into a tunnel, I have only extrinsic evidence of the existence of an engine at the other end of the train. Meantime, it is intrinsically evident that a thing which does not contain the ultimate reason of its existence within itself, has that ultimate reason in an outside being. That principle is self-evident, and cannot be refuted. On that principle, a being which obviously is not self-caused is evidence of a cause outside itself, and gives sound and certain knowledge of the fact.
That is true, but it is not to the point. I maintain that the conclusion is beyond all valid and reasonable argument, a very different thing. There is not a single argument against the existence of God which cannot be proved fallacious.