There is no God (as we knew him)

Yet I Still Want to be a Catholic.  Post One:  There is no God (as we knew him). a theological blog 15-iii-20

The classic Protestant argument for the existence of God was put forward by William Paley who was a parson living in Cumberland in the eighteenth century.  Suppose, wrote Paley, you were walking along a country road and came across a stone in your path.  It might well have got there by accident.  But suppose you came across a watch.  That too could have got there by accident but the watch itself couldn’t be the result of accident.  Its workings are so complicated they could only have been designed by somebody.  Yet the organic beings we see around us are far more complex still (Paley was a superb anatomist), so we can only conclude that they too must have been designed, and couldn’t be the result of natural accident.

William Paley: creatures happily disporting themselves under the benign eye of their creator

But Darwin (who ironically lived in the same rooms at Christ’s College Cambridge that Paley had lived in thirty years before) showed that they could indeed be the result of natural accident.  On top of that, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss (who wrote a book called A Universe from Nothing) now claim never mind frogs and llamas the universe itself didn’t need a designer either.  It just popped out of nothing because of a mathematical imbalance.  Since I’m not going to understand Krauss’s maths (I did have a go) till the moon fails, and I still can’t handle water flowing from two taps into a bath at such and such a volume and such and such a volume is pouring out through the exit pipe and how long will it take the bath to fill, I don’t suppose I will any time soon,  so I can only believe them.

As close as we can get to the universe emerging from nothing.

It is no longer feasible for a reasonably sane and intelligent citizen of the twenty first century to believe in a God who designed the universe and looks on approvingly from above to make sure it’s still all OK, which it manifestly isn’t.  So where does that leave us?

photo of picture of William Paley by Thomas Granger courtesy of WordPress

image of the beginning of the universe courtesy of  Unsplash.




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