Ontological Inertia


I affirm the dogma of the Catholic Church that God created everything out of nothing and maintains Creation in existence. What I don’t understand is why God must actively keep creatures in existence in order for them to continue to exist, as opposed to their continued existence being a result of the act that brought them into being. While I acknowledge that Conservation of Energy exists by the sovereign decree of God, I don’t understand why a created thing would not remain in existence unless actively destroyed.


The analogy that I hear most commonly is the following.

When a carpenter makes a chair and walks away, the chair remains. It remains as the carpenter made it because it retains the properties of whatever material it was made from.

When God created, the material he used was nothing. Therefore if he was to “walk away”, creation would retain the properties it was made from, which is nothing. It would cease to exist.


I suppose that makes sense. I mean, quantum mechanics allows for particles to pop into existence out of nothing, but unless they obtain enough energy to become real, they quickly return to nothing. The Universe, therefore, needs at a minimum God’s sovereign decree to prevent it from returning to nothing.


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