Is there a God?

According to a recent Gallup Poll, more than 9 out of 10 Americans believe that there is a God. That means that the vast majority of people who will be reading this page will undoubtedly believe the same thing. But why do we believe in God, how do we know that he is real, and is this God some impersonal force or is he a God that is involved in the affairs of his creation?

Contrary to the opinions of some, Catholics believe in God not because the Bible tells us he is real. Nor is our belief in God based off of blind faith. Catholics believe that God has made himself known to humans through his creation (the physical universe and all that it contains) and through Divine Revelation. Catholics also believe that God, who created man and woman in his own image, has given mankind the gifts of intellect and free-will by which we may understand the inner-workings of the universe and reflect upon existential and complex questions such as, “Is there a God?”

By exercising the use of our intellect in the areas of the natural sciences and philosophy, Catholics have arrived at a place of certainty on the matter of the existence of God. Take for example Thomas Aquinas’ Quinque Viae or Five Ways (five proofs) for the existence of God (follow the links for an in depth explanation of what the arguments are and an explanation of what they mean):

    The Argument of Unmoved Mover

    The Argument of Uncaused Cause

    The Argument from Contingency

    The Argument from Degree

    The Teleological Argument

As an example from natural science, one needs look no further than physics to see proof that there must be a God. Take for example the Big Bang Theory (the earliest research done in support of this theory was done by a Jesuit Priest named Msgr. Georges Lemaitre who also formulated the theory). At its core, the Big Bang Theory states that all matter in the universe, even the universe itself, came into being billions of years ago as a result of a massive explosion. There is a great deal of evidence that has been collected over the last century to suggest that this is the most likely explanation for how the universe came into being. Catholics believe that the cause of this massive explosion that brought a great deal of something from absolute nothingness is God: The Uncaused Cause. Also as a result of Msgr. Lemaitre’s work, in 1951 Pope Pius XII declared that the Big Bang Theory is the most likely explanation for how God created the universe. (Many other physicists have come to the same conclusion. See this link for more on this subject.)

It is from the great work of philosophers and scientists throughout the centuries that Catholics base our belief in God. One does not need to merely have faith in God to know He exists but one may come to an understanding that He exists by exercising their intellects and observing the physical universe and its laws.

Other Links:

Gallup Poll: Americans Continue to Believe in God

Summary of the Quinque Viae

Matt Fradd’s Blog: The Five Ways of St. Thomas Aquinas

Summa Theologica

Biographical Information on Msgr. Georges Lemaitre

10 Phrases from Nobel Prize Winning Scientists that Believe Faith and Science are Compatible

Trent Horn: Arguments for and Against the Existence of God

Fr. Robert Spitzer: The Existence of God