I wanted to include a chapter from a book of Apologetics on the Catholic Faith concerning Creationism. As Christians we are constantly on the defense against many false theories of science, and in fact these theories (that are not even supported by complete scientific evidence), are crammed down our throats and that of our children in the education of the public schools (and even private), the curriculum of which our Godless nation gets to decide. A word about evolution, I do not know a Christian out there that denies that evolution is a process that happens in our lifetime constantly. However, it does not explain the start of the universe at all and merely supports the change of things over time. If evolution was such a complete process we wouldn’t be worried about extinction, monkeys would be asking to be let out of their cages and trying to find jobs, etc. but this is not the case. In fact all these “missing links” are fraudulent and lead scientists in circles along with the inaccuracies of radio carbon dating and so forth. I am hoping by presenting this chapter it will help one understand that Creationism is in fact the beginning and one true source of everything that we can perceive with our senses.
“False Theories About The Production of the World:
Here we discuss Materialism and Pantheism. Materialism teaches that nothing exists but bodily being or matter, and that the world, as we see it, is but a development of an original mass of matter. Pantheism (from the Greek words pan, “all,” and theos, “God”) teaches that the divine substance alone exists, and that the world and all things in it are outpourings or manifestations of this substance.
1. Materialism – Nothing exists but bodily matter. There is no spirit, no soul, no God. Matter is eternal and uncaused. Matter is composed of tiny particles (atoms) which have an indwelling force of motion. The motion of atoms goes on exerting itself according to changeless physical laws. As a result of this motion, the atoms are variously grouped and united, and thus different “kinds” of bodies emerge-minerals, plants, brutes, men. But there is no real diversity among these things; there is only apparent diversity, which is accounted for by atomic motion. All things in the world are as truly one in kind, and the product of an original and eternal mass of homogeneous matter, as a variety of differently shaped and differently cooked biscuits is the product of one original mass of dough.
Materialism cannot be true. If matter alone existed, then it would have to be self-existing. Now, as we have seen, a self-existing being must be necessary and not contingent; it must be infinite and not finite; it must be simple and not composed; it must be immutable and not full of change. But, as a fact, the world is contingent, finite, composed, and full of change. Therefore, matter cannot be self-existent, and it requires an efficient cause to account for its existence-a cause that is ultimately the First Cause, which is necessary, simple, infinite, and immutable. No one can doubt that the world is contingent, else it would have to exist, and there could be no change in it; it would have to be always just what it is unchanged and unchangeable. No one can doubt that the world is finite, for it is made up of mensurable, limited objects, and the sum of limited things is finite and cannot be infinite. No one can question the fact that the world is composed, for the world and things in it are made up of parts. No one can deny that the world is full of change, for it is clearly in motion (as the atomists themselves assert), and is full of births, deaths, renewals, physical change, chemical change, mechanical change.
If materialism were true, then mind and matter would be the same; or rather, mind would be but a phase or development of matter. But matter always has extension; and mind has no extension. Besides, mind can deal with things that transcend the limits of matter, things like unity, truth, goodness, honor, ideals, appreciation of poetry, music, art, etc. Further, if materialism were true, there could be no accounting for intellectual knowledge or free-will. Material objects are essentially individual, and intellectual knowledge is essentially founded upon universal ideas or concepts. Free-will is self-direction following intellectual judgement, and matter is essentially inert and not self-directive.
If materialism were true, then every one of the particles of matter (atoms) would be necessary, eternal, infinite! A thing made up of parts, as matter is made up of atoms, can only amount to the sum of its parts, and if these be finite (as parts must be!) then the whole sum of parts is finite. Yet matter is infinite, says the materialists, for it is eternal and uncaused. Therefore, infinity must belong to each and every particle of matter. This conclusion is obviously absurd and self-contradictory. Hence materialism cannot be true.
Finally, if materialism were true, each atom of matter would be necessarily endowed with force of motion. Yet, as we have seen, motion is essentially a thing given, communicated, received. Motion is not self-originating, but must be traced to a first mover, itself unmoved. How, then, does the atom get its necessary motion? If nothing but matter exists, motion in matter becomes an utter impossibility. For all these reasons we reject materialism as a theory wholly incapable of explaining the production of the world.
2. Pantheism – There is but one substance; this is God. The world and all things in the world are either outpourings (emanations) of the divine substance, or manifestations of God. In other words, the world is to God what inlets are to the sea, what sparks are to the fire from which they spring; or the world is a manifestation of God as a smile is a manifestation of mind, or as a ripple on a lake is a manifestation of a condition affecting water, or as wind is a manifestation of atmospheric disturbance. Pantheism of the first type is called Emanationism; pantheism of the second type is called Phenomenalism. There is a third type of pantheism called Idealistic, of which we need only say that it is a very vague and abstract doctrine of God as a kind of idea (called The Absolute) which comes gradually out of its abstract state into concreteness by realizing itself in things.
Pantheism, in whatever form presented, identifies the world with God. This doctrine cannot be true. Pantheism contradicts reason. Reason demonstrates the impossibility of a cause producing itself as its own effect; yet pantheism makes the First Cause and Necessary Being one with the world, which is a caused and contingent being. Further, pantheism teaches a kind of evolution in God (for He emits emanations, manifestations, or develops concrete realization of Himself), and thus posits change in the Necessary Being, growth in the Perfect Being, improvement in the Infinite Being!
Pantheism contradicts consciousness. Each of us recognize himself as an individual being distinct from all others. This consciousness must be altogether deceiving if pantheism be true, for then we are nothing but emanations, manifestations, or “parts” of God! And if consciousness so deceives us, we must not trust it at all; so we cannot be sure of anything that we perceive or reason out: hence all doctrines, including pantheism, become utterly uncertain and futile; there is nothing left but the absurd self-contradiction of universal scepticism.
Pantheism would lead to unthinkable consequences in practical life. Pantheism destroys personality in men and makes all men one with one another and one with God. Thus there can be no individual free-will, no individual responsibility. The murderer and his victim, the saint and the sinner, the patriot and the traitor, are all one, are all God! There can be no crime then, for all human action is God’s action, and God cannot commit crime. Thus there is no morality, and laws and governments become futile inanities.
For these reasons we are forced to reject pantheism as a theory wholly incapable of explaining the production of the world. Pantheism and Materialism are called monism (from the Greek word monos “one,” “alone”) because they teach that the universe is made of one single kind of substance, viz., either the divine substance, or matter.
The Fact of Creation:
With materialism amd pantheism rejected as utterly inadequate, we are left but one doctrine on the production of the world. This doctrine, therefore, must, by exclusion, be true. It is called the doctrine of Creationism, and it asserts that the world was produced by an act of God’s infinite will, which called it out of nothingness into real existence.
Creation is the production out of nothing of a thing in its entirety. It is, first of all, an act of production, of efficient causality. Further, creation is an act of efficient causality which produces the entire effect out of nothing. In this we notice that creation is different from all other acts of efficient production. A carpenter builds a house, but he does not create the house; his work is merely an adaptation and use of preexisting materials, and there is nothing preexistent for creation to deal with. A dressmaker may call the product of her art “a creation”; but it is obvious that her work is merely the arrangement and shaping of materials which she did not produce herself. A poet may call his latest sonnet “a creation,” but the poet does not create his thoughts and fancies: they are fundamentally drawn from a material world which the senses perceive, and which the poet did not produce or help to produce. A creation is a thing produced without preexisting materials. To create is to produce a thing, entirely and completely, out of nothing.
Now the world is a fact; it is here. In answering the question, “How did the world get here?” we must not say that it caused itself, for that would be to assert the absurdity that it existed as cause to give itself existence as an effect. Nor can we say that the world is an outpouring, a manifestation or realization of God, as pantheism teaches. Nor can we say that the world is eternal, uncaused, infinite, and necessary, as materialism asserts. There is only one answer left: the world was created. And thus, even now, we may say that the fact of creation stands proved by exclusion.
We offer also one direct or positive proof of the fact of creation. Whatever is found in a thing belongs to that thing of necessity, or is shared to that thing by another in which it is found of necessity. Thus if a piece of iron is hot, we know that, since iron is not of necessity hot, heat was communicated to the iron by that which is, of its nature, hot, viz., fire. Now, existence belongs of necessity only to that being which must exist and cannot be non-existent; in a word, existence belongs of necessity to God alone. Therefore, when other things are found in possession of existence, it follows that existence was communicated to them by that which has existence of necessity, i.e. by God. That is to say, the chain of communicated existences in things must ultimately lead to God, the First and Necessary Cause. Hence, existence in the world points to God as the Cause, the Producer of the world. Now, how did God produce the world? Not out of His own substance, for He is infinite and immutable. Not out of some other substance, for no substance exists which has not its existence from God, and if we say that God made the world out of pre-existing substance, our question merely shifts to this substance, and we ask, “How did God produce that?” Ultimately, we must reach the conclusion that God made substances out of no pre-existing substances at all. In other words, God made substances out of nothing, that is to say, He created substances. And whether the world were developed out of other substances into its present form, or was made just as we behold it, in any case the ultimate answer to the question of the world’s production is this: The world was created.
In Scripture we read that God made the world in six days. The Hebrew word “yom” is rendered by “day” in the English translation of the Bible. But “yom” really means a period of undetermined length. It matters not whether God willed (from eternity) that the world should develop slowly or quickly into its present form. In any case, there were six periods or stages of development in the work. This does not mean that the world “evolved” or that it did not; it merely means that six definite stages of creation are a revealed truth. We add, in passing, that it also means that man’s creation was a separate and distinct creation – a special act by which God breathed upon the face of man and man became a living soul.
The six days of creation are not solar or sun days, for the sun was not made until the fourth day of creation. Whether they were long or short periods we do not know. Experimental science seems to indicate that they were long, very long. Time, however, has nothing to do with the fact. Time, indeed, comes into existence with creatures, and is a measure affecting creatures only, and not God. The six days of creation are known as the Hexahemeron, a word derived from the Greek hex, “six,” and hemera, “day.”
God freely chooses to create, for, since He is all-perfect, He is utterly free and in no wise necessitated in His acts. God is not moved or motivated to create. Hence God has no motive, in the strict sense of that term. Still, God has an end and purpose in creating, for he is most wise, and to act without purpose would act unwisely. Hence, we rightly say that God has a purpose, an end in view, in creating, but that He is not stirred to create by any motive.
Now God cannot have made creatures for themselves; creatures are utterly contingent and cannot be an end to themselves; they have nothing of being, nothing of value, to serve as an end except what God gives them. It must be, then, that God, in creating, acts toward Himself as toward an end. Hence God is not only the First Efficient Cause of creatures; He is also the Last End or Final Cause of creatures; He is also the Last End or Final Cause for which creatures exist. Theologians prove the truth that God creates for His external formal and objective glory. In a word, God creates for Himself as the only end worthy of divine action.
In this bodily world the chief of creatures (i.e., of things created) is man. Man alone of worldly creatures has a spiritual and immortal soul and free will. Other creatures exist to help man maintain life and to achieve a measure of happiness here; they exist to help man to live his life on earth in a manner suitable to win him happiness for eternity. That man has a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will is proved in Rational Pschology, a department of Philosophy. Apologetics can give but the briefest of arguments-albeit the arguments are incontrovertible-for the existence of a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will in man.
1. Man has a spiritual soul. That which exercises spiritual (i.e., real but non-material) functions is itself spiritual, for the action of a thing manifests its nature, and no effect can exceed its cause in excellence or perfection. Now the soul of man exercises spiritual functions. The soul, thinks, reflects, reasons, is aware of such non-material things as beauty, goodness, truth, unity, honor, glory, ideals. It has self-consciousness by which it can perfectly bend back or reflect upon itself-a thing which no material or bodily thing can do: the eye does not see itself seeing, the ear does not hear itself hearing, but the soul can think of itself thinking, can know itself knowing, can make itself and its acts the object of its own study and inquiry. Therefore the soul, since it exercises spiritual functions, is itself spiritual.
2. Man has an immortal soul. Whatever is spiritual is simple, i.e., not made up of physical parts. Such parts are essentially the component elements of material things. Now the soul of man is spiritual; hence it is not made up of parts. But whatever is not made up of parts cannot be separated into parts. And whatever cannot be separated into parts cannot die-for death is precisely the breakimg up of a living thing into its essential physical parts. Therefore, man’s soul cannot die. In other words. it is immortal.
3. Man has free-will. Man is possessed of an indestructible conviction that he is the author of his own acts, and that he has freely chosen to do what he has done, but could have done otherwise. Man is inevitably conscious of his own proper responsibility for what he does: he reproaches himself for having done some things, he approves of his conduct in other instances. If this consciousness be deceiving, there is no truth to be had by human means at all, and there is no certainty in anything, no learning, no science. Again, if man be not free in his choice of individual human acts, then all laws, governments, courts, are absurdities. All human law is based upon the obvious fact of man’s freedom: laws are made to direct free choice lest it be hurtfully abused. Laws are not made for houses or trees or horses, but for man; for only the agent that can break a law is free to keep a law. The conviction of man’s freedom is obvious and universal as the conviction of the world’s existence. Deny this conviction, and you deny all validity in human knowledge. Man, therefore, has free-will.
Since man alone of all worldy creatures has the surpassing excellences of a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will, man is the most perfect, the chief, the most important, of creatures in THIS world.”
This chapter was transcribed by tradcat4christ from the book Apologetics by RT. REV MSGR. PAUL J. GLENN, Ph.D S.T.D
God Bless BJS!!