A Catholic Monthly Magazine

An Argument for the Existence of God

Bill Farrelly

by Bill Farrelly

Would life be worth living in the following circumstances?

Imagine never being able to express or feel or expect gratitude, never being able to say thank you; imagine someone saving your life and your not being able to respond. I don’t think the world could work.

We humans need to be able to express certain emotions otherwise we would be automatons.

God as God makes no sense really because what we believers are arguing is, in effect, that God created himself and yet, paradoxically, we go to extreme lengths to point out that God must exist because the world could not have created itself.

To support my belief in God, I have tried on occasion to use the following argument: where does our appreciation of beauty come from? I suppose I could just as easily have asked: where does empathy come from?Rose June MM

I once gave an atheist friend a rose. I said to him: “The rose is for your wife, the beauty of the rose is for you.”

I was being gently provocative and my gift started an exchange among the three of us (his wife, too was an atheist) in which they made philosophical arguments to explain our appreciation for beauty that made no sense to me while my “faith” arguments had a similar impact on them.

I felt an enormous sense of loss a few years later to learn that that young couple (as they then were) had taken drug overdoses and ended their lives – she after being unable to live with the loss of him.

There are times when my faith seems a cop-out; that is, I am too weak, too scared, too frightened to handle a given situation by myself. I have written before about how I wish I did not call so much on God, how I wish I could be more self-reliant.

But let’s go back to the point I raised. Think about never being able to say thank you; think of the innumerable times you have said it. How could you express your love and gratitude fully without including thank you? Equally, without being able to say “I am sorry”.

The point for me is that I cannot look at a flower or a sunset or a rainbow or a night sky without gratitude welling in my heart and soul. We have to, repeat have to, I would argue, have someone or something to thank. Railway platform

Think about it. You are on the edge of a crowded railway platform, an express train approaches at fifty, sixty, seventy kilometres an hour. You suddenly feel faint and begin to collapse; you are almost certainly going to die. The person next to you reaches out and pulls you to safety. You do not thank her and she, because she too cannot express gratitude, does not expect you to.

Which perhaps raises another question: why would she care enough to save you?

The fact that she does is obviously another argument for the existence of God. She cares because it is innate. She cannot not care. Likewise, assuming we are not in some way damaged human beings, we must express our gratitude (once we have gotten over the shock, perhaps) to our saviour.

The point is, because we are human, because we love and share our humanity with one another, we have to be able to express our emotions including, I argue, our thanks to our creator.Thanks



Tagged as: , , ,

Comments are closed.