The vastness of God’s power HOW CAN AN INFINITE BEING MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING? Aaron Joseph Hackett | Philosophy | 05/04/20
God speaks, things happen
Most of us know the story of Genesis. That God created everything in Six days and on the seventh day, he rested. Have you ever wondered to yourself, who is God? How much power does he have and how is it possible to create the universe? God is a being that is unique only to himself. No other outside forces aided him in the creation of the universe. Therefore, God is the sole creator of the known universe. Let us break down Genesis Chapter one.
Genesis 1:1-5 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day”.
The existence of a created being is “implanted naturally”. Deep down within our human intellect, we know that something is out there. We don’t know how “big” God is in terms of measurement, nor has anyone seen the face of God to give a description of him. We will only see God, once we get to heaven and enjoy him in the Beatific Vision. Now someone might say to you, “if I can’t see God, then he doesn’t exist”. Just because I can’t see my own DNA with my naked eye, doesn’t take away the fact, that I have a specific kind of DNA that is assigned to my created being. We come to understand God in a metaphysical sense. Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica that “The Apostle says: “The invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:20). But this would not be unless the existence of God could be demonstrated through the things that are made; for the first thing we must know of anything is whether it exists.
I answer that, Demonstration can be made in two ways: One is through the cause, and is called “a priori,” and this is to argue from what is prior absolutely. The other is through the effect, and is called a demonstration “a posteriori”; this is to argue from what is prior relatively only to us. When an effect is better known to us than its cause, from the effect we proceed to the knowledge of the cause. And from every effect the existence of its proper cause can be demonstrated, so long as its effects are better known to us; because since every effect depends upon its cause, if the effect exists, the cause must pre-exist. Hence the existence of God, in so far as it is not self-evident to us, can be demonstrated from those of His effects which are known to us. God to me is a being, so pure that my own mental reason can’t picture him, yet his prefect presence is all around us. He is also Pure essence. We define essence as a substance. This mean that God, is unique, one of a kind, he can’t be replicated. This is not the same compare to my body and soul, because both are very distinct forms of being, yet they work in union with each other to make me, me. My soul working in union with my physical body, because it gives power to my function in the physical sense, and without my soul, the physical matter of my body would have no movement and it would only be an empty shell of an organic tissue. My soul helps to give me the potential to move around, eat and function in day to day life. God doesn’t need a body to work, but with his words, the world itself can exist. One can only imagine how vast the mind of God is. Think about the Sun for example. Based on the research of Mr. Ron Kurtus, we know that the sun “consists of about 70% Hydrogen, 28% Helium and 2% of metals such as iron. Other characteristics are its rotation, temperature, and radiation.” We also know that the sun is 15,600,000 c at the center core of it. Okay so if science can prove certain mathematical formula to explain the function of the sun, then there must be no God. I assert that even if we can mathematical figure what the diameter of the sun is, or how much is the diameter of Sun compare to the earth, it doesn’t take away from the idea on why the shape of the sun was created the way it is, or why we need the sun in order for plants to grow, provide warmth to human beings. The sun didn’t just “pop out of nowhere”. I would argue that if the sun just popped out of nowhere, then why it didn’t come out as a shape of a bird, why is it hot or how do I know for certain that it is important to me?
The mere fascination of the earth having all the resources that we have come to depend on today is also not an “accident”. God separated the water and made the sky and the ocean. How can a being make a physical separation and make the Sky and the ocean? Astronomers have discovered that the universe was largely hydrogen and helium (helium hydride ion (HeH+), This molecule was the source of the energy in the universe. Based on how fast this molecule was moving, could it have pushed the molecule of the water apart by removing the oxygen out? H2O is the smallest of the molecules. So, you can possibly imagine how heavy liquid is, compare to gas. Since we cannot see the vapor, could this easily explain how it was naturally done? Was this the same energy that separated the heaven from the ocean? Philosopher David Hume would say that “As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one prove that there is not a God.
On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.” This would tell me that for something to just float around out there and just make things happen, is only a figment of my imagination. Science has just explained how this event occurred and prove that we don’t need a God to make the sky and the ocean and for dry land to appear. Everything happened quickly and the universal feel into place in its respective order. Because of a lack of enough reason, there’s no proof that God or any other being played a part in this event in the history of the universe.
I would refute David Hume and say that even this physical event occurred the way it did, and we do not see, it doesn’t mean that God wasn’t there to make happened. Just throwing around the “big-bang theory” as a reason for this physical event to take place is also not enough. What caused this even to even get started? Something just had to put this into motion. For the two bodies of water to just separate in its own, doesn’t stand on its own two feet. Saint Thomas Aquinas shares his answer to this question of an external cause that is always active.“The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”
What other forces made the universe? Was there another supreme being that worked along side God, like a twin brother or could there be a combination of natural and supernatural events that created the known universe as we know it? More specifically, the Big Bang can also refer to the birth of the observable universe itself — the moment something changed, kick-starting the events that led to today. George Lemaître, a contemporary Belgian physicist, used the data from Edwin Hubble to explain how the universe expanded. From the black-hole to the milky way, our universe is only one of many and scientist are still searching the deepness of our galaxy to other galaxies that may exist. These hot gases that form all these electrons, protons and atoms begin to form the earth, planet, air, water etc., this would back up the theory of evolution that something appeared out of nowhere and these uncontrolled events created our known existence. These atoms created the best host species (human, plants, stars, space) and everything just started to form into place. So, if you did believe in something, then really this event would be considered proof that God needed help or that this unknown event would be God. Since this event metaphysical would be consider another “being”, does that make God limited in his creative powers? The second proof of the existence of God, can be taken from the Summa Theologiae (Prima Pars Q.3) “The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.”
This theory seems to be supportive of Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher, because “We may never know of reality itself”. Since human beings were not present at the very beginning of the creation of time and space, this abstract theory of Dr. Lemaître, sound plausible since these things do affect us on our day to day lives. We need the sun to keep warm, grow food, help plant by getting the carbon dioxide from the environment and then using the sunlight to get its energy (photosynthesis). We have developed technologies to harness the power of the sun and are able to create electricity, i.e. solar panels. These sense experiences are felt by us, and this is how our intelligence process the information that is coming into our reasoning abilities. For myself, it doesn’t provide a solid foundation for me that another force is acting with God to make the known universe. I assert that in order to understand this “theory” to be true, then it would show a weakness of the God in the bible. It would mean that he is not, omnipresence, he is not all-knowing and all prefect. This would also deny that any study of metaphysics would be useless, because since it is not based on “solid, scientific facts”, the search for the truth would have to be based on our interpretation of our mental reasoning. The very nature of God’s existence is to act on the forces that he has already placed in motion. Since motion doesn’t being from nothing, something has to “push” it along to make everything move. “Newton’s first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.” If there was no wind to make the water move, can the ocean produce currents on its own? There can’t be motion if nothing acting upon it. Following the principle of sufficient reason, Fr. Clarke S.J in his book “The One and The Many” pg. 20 describes that “Every being that begins to exist requires a cause”. Our existence is based on the reason that God created us to share in his love and to enjoy the things in his created order. Being a pure being,
 Theology: the existence of God (First Part, q.2)
 Total Question: The Existence of God (First Part, q.3)