Why must the universe be accepted as deficient?


I went to a book store tonight and started reading a section from a book entitled Atheism: An Argument Against God by George Smith. I started in on the section that attempted to disprove the cosmological arguments for God. He didn’t convince me that he was right, but he did raise an interesting question. He asked why the universe must be accepted to be deficient. That is, he asked why someone must accept that the universe could not have existed forever. He concedes the point that man’s existence is contingent upon other things outside of man, but he says that matter’s existence does not seem to be contingent upon anything. He says that nothing is stopping us from accepting that matter could have existed forever.

This question does not need to be answered immediately, as I was not convinced by the argument presented, partially because Smith did not answer all of the arguments for God. I just wanted to know from a rational/philosophical perspective why the universe and matter cannot be seen as sufficient.

I realize that Pope John Paul II said that materialism is one of the greatest threats to Western Civilization, so I was just hoping for a good argument against it in case I should come up against such opposition.

Just as a side note, I ended up purchasing God and the World and Called to Communion by our new Holy Father (by the way, how am I supposed to say who wrote the books, as he now has a different name). I also got The Imitation of Christ. Mr. Smith’s arguments did not sway me much.


Dear C.

Because it IS deficient. Science cannot point to one thing and prove that it is infinite. Everything is limited. Everything has a beginning and an end. No matter how old a rock is, it broke off from another rock which came from something else. There is nothing in creation that has always been what it is—nothing! This goes for the whole universe which is expanding. To expand is to have limits.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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