Ongoing creation

My friend is a deist. She thinks that some sort of intelligence put the universe into being, and then stepped back.

Are there any good arguments to show that God is causally active on the universe as a whole at every moment of its existence, holding it in being, so to speak? Could anybody explain one such argument to me?

What reason would an intelligence have for creating the universe and then leaving it to its own devices?

Are there any good arguments to show that God is causally active on the universe as a whole at every moment of its existence, holding it in being, so to speak?

The fact that it is not static but dynamic! By any standards the progressive development from the Big Bang to the richness and beauty of the universe presupposes that it is not only created but directed towards the ends for which it is created. Such an immensely complex process cannot be left to Chance any more than we leave machines unattended indefinitely…

Thank you for the reply. Do you know of any arguments that show why it is metaphysically impossible for the universe, or for any contingent thing, to exist without being continually sustained?

Learn about evidence for the resurrection of Jesus (ideally combined with evidence for his claims to divine authority).
You can find a couple short articles on Jesus and his Resurrection here.

A useful pop level book is Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ.

That is probably the best way.

Mystagogia:

Does your deist friend believe that ‘mother nature’ exists?

What does your deist friend think controls such things as overpopulation of species?

Does your deist friend understand that two hundred million starfish eggs - per Luidia starfish - is controlled and not left to blind chance or ‘mother nature?’

What does your deist friend think is causing the decline in human fertility in the world these days?

Does your deist friend believe that men and women are put here to live for 70 years, then simply die?

Are there any good arguments to show that God is causally active on the universe as a whole at every moment of its existence, holding it in being, so to speak? Could anybody explain one such argument to me?

God bless,
jd

I think an article on this site addresses your exact question:

arguingwithatheists.com/Pages/Vital_Moon.htm

God Bless

I see it as insane to think that God would just create and then let things run. I think if God were like that, you wouldn’t have consciousness and would just have things like the planets and the stars.You could also try and convince her that Christ was God and that miracles have happened.

Thanks for the replies, but I haven’t quite found what I need. My friend will not find psychological speculations about the creator persuasive.

I’m asking, does anybody know of a logical argument – I know I’ve seen some – that suggests that it is logically impossible for the universe to exist without God acting upon it at every point?

No.

It doesn’t sound like you read this article:

arguingwithatheists.com/Pages/Vital_Moon.htm

God Bless

The Church teaches that god sustains everything, of course, including ourselves.
"In Him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:28

And this is from the Catechism:
**302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created “in a state of journeying” (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:

By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, "reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well". For "all are open and laid bare to his eyes", even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.161**

The human mind, when it accepts for whatever reason, a premise, will marshal all data to conform to that premise. Mostly the mind accepts false or faulty premises, often built on or derived from simplistic observations. So, while the facts and relationships in the article concerning “timing” and the moon, etc, are correct, even accepting that God IS, it does not follow that “planing” or any such anthropomorphic thing is the reason why we are here under these circumstances. That article is a very unfortunate exercise in piety, imo.

The article does a very nice job of answering the original question you posed in post #1; “Are there any good arguments to show that God is causally active on the universe as a whole at every moment of its existence, holding it in being, so to speak?”

In post #12 you expand the inquiry to; Why are we here? That is where the Bible comes in. Miracles bring credence to the Bible. For example; the 1917 Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, the only Miracle in the history of the world given at an exact time and place, witnessed by over 75 thousand people.

God Bless

You have been given you the next best thing. (See below.) You can open the door to deist logic by asking these, and perhaps a number of other, questions. Think each of these through a little bit more. No doubt, your friend sees nature controlling its own excesses. Now, how could a mindless, purposeless, thoughtless process control its own excesses? It can’t. If your friend admits God, your friend should be able to discern the logic of this without any help.

Imagine if Luidia starfish were not controlled (by sufficient means). They would populate to the point that everything on earth would die out. So, either God is in control, or mother nature is! A believer in God cannot, at the same time, believe in mother nature. (Unless your friend is a child.)

Now, if you look up earth population growth, on the internet, you will notice a fairly straight line for most of its life, so that, at about the time that Christ was born, there was about 200,000,000 people on this planet. Now, there are nearly 7,000,000,000,000. That’s two hundred million compared to 7 billion! Now, we are seeing a human infertility problem? Is mother nature behind this? Worldwide, is contraception behind it? Is there something in the water all over the world? Is it the wind?

Finally, where does your friend think s/he will end up upon his/her death? If its Heaven, would God not want to be present to continuously pass out grace and maintain the world in such a state that it does not become the cause of its inhabitants deciding to hate God?

From my previous post:

  1. Does your deist friend believe that ‘mother nature’ exists?

  2. What does your deist friend think controls such things as overpopulation of species?

  3. Does your deist friend understand that two hundred million starfish eggs - per Luidia starfish - is controlled and not left to blind chance or ‘mother nature?’

  4. What does your deist friend think is causing the decline in human fertility in the world these days?

  5. Does your deist friend believe that men and women are put here to live for 70 years, then simply die?

There are others. Just think it through.

For example, “Why wasn’t the BP oil spill able to kill off the entire Gulf of Mexico and render it useless for many years to come? Do you really think the clean-up did it? Or, did good old mother nature do it?”

Think it through.

God bless,
jd

Yes, there are the metaphysical arguments of Thomas Aquinas, which have nothing to do with a vital moon or such (sorry, CathCrusader). The problem is I could not find a quick websource on that, but the argument is discussed and defended in Feser’s Aquinas, available dirt-cheap at Amazon. I recommend the book. One version of the argument is based on act and potency, another one on “esse” (Being itself – which is God) and “actus essendi” (act of being – belonging to creatures). Sorry that I cannot give you an efficient quick summary, my Thomistic metaphysics are currently a bit too rusty for that.

Actually, God gave us ‘mother nature’ in the form of physical laws of nature that govern and control all material creation, including the population density of starfish.

Probably the same ‘mysterious reasons’ this intelligence had for allowing massive amounts of evil.

But, more to the point. The reason a deist God makes much more sense than a theist God is found in God’s perfection an immutability.
A God that, from ‘time to time’ has to intervene in his creation is less perfect than one who made things perfect from the very beginning. If creation is as perfect as would be expected from a perfect God, then all God can possibly do is sit back and watch prefection unfold itself.

The fact that it is not static but dynamic! By any standards the progressive development from the Big Bang to the richness and beauty of the universe presupposes that it is not only created but directed towards the ends for which it is created

.

Or, more probably, that it was created so well that it would inevitably result in ‘the richess and beauty of the universe’.

Such an immensely complex process cannot be left to Chance any more than we leave machines unattended indefinitely…

I think it’s mistaken to think that a deist God would leave things to Chance. I we were able to develop a perfect machine, that could take care of its own maintainance etc, we could leave that machine unattended indefinitely.

There is nothing mysterious about the causes of evil or the fact that an earthly Utopia is wishful thinking…

But, more to the point. The reason a deist God makes much more sense than a theist God is found in God’s perfection an immutability.
A God that, from ‘time to time’ has to intervene in his creation is less perfect than one who made things perfect from the very beginning. If creation is as perfect as would be expected from a perfect God, then all God can possibly do is sit back and watch prefection unfold itself.

It would be fascinating to read a detailed description of a feasible state of “prefection” on this planet… Free lunches prepared for everyone in advance - with an infinite menu of delicious alternatives! I think we would die of starvation while we try to decide what to choose… :wink:

[quote]The fact that it is not static but dynamic! By any standards the progressive development from the Big Bang to the richness and beauty of the universe presupposes that it is not only created but directed towards the ends for which it is created.

Or, more probably, that it was created so well that it would inevitably result in ‘the richess and beauty of the universe’.

[/quote]

It would be fascinating to read a detailed description of a **feasible **state of “prefected perfection” throughout the entire universe… No collisions?

[quote]Such an immensely complex process cannot be left to Chance any more than we leave machines unattended indefinitely…

I think it’s mistaken to think that a deist God would leave things to Chance. I we were able to develop a perfect machine, that could take care of its own maintainance etc, we could leave that machine unattended indefinitely.
[/quote]

Do you regard yourself and other persons as machines? :confused:

Al:

What are the physical laws regarding two hundred million starfish eggs? Also, what’s your take on this decline in the expansion of the human population? I haven’t read but two accounts which said nothing about what factors were causative, or suspected.

(I was hoping “mother nature” would at least be attractive, not just some ink markings on paper! :eek: )

God bless,
jd

God IS Mother Nature. Why would you posit a God separate from Creation? Is not the alleged “separation” what is healed by “salvation?”

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