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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Truth About God And The Bible
By Robert Roberts



Commonsense may be defined as that faculty of receiving impressions of truth which may dimly see a conclusion without being able to formulate the reasons out of which it arises, and of roughly discerning a fact without knowing the foundation on which the fact stands.

It may be illustrated by the case of gravitation. The commonest man has a correct sense of the action of gravitation, though he may not know it as gravitation. He knows that a stone pushed over a hill side will go crashing into the valley beneath, though he is unaware that the occurrence is due to the action of a universal law by which bodies in space attract each other. He has a correct appreciation of the value of fresh air, though he may not be aware that its necessity arises from the constant combustion of oxygen that goes on in confined places, where living lungs are breathing. So in this matter. He has an intuitive conviction that things in general have had a Maker, without knowing why he holds this.

For these impressions of commonsense there is in all cases a reason that can be seen and stated.

When we look into the causes of the feeling that the universe has had a Maker, we discover reasons for the answer that there is a God. Critical analysis says there is a God, because there must be one, as a necessary conclusion from the facts which roughly impress commonsense with that conviction.

First, looking at the earth, it has not always existed; so also concerning the sun, moon, and stars. Now, if they have not always existed, there must have been a time when they commenced to exist. When we go back to that time we have to face the question, "Why did they begin to exist then and not ages before?" If there was nothing but unintelligent, blind force in space before that time, it could have no more power to begin to work then than it had a hundred millions of years earlier. If it began to stir then, something must have stirred it. What was this ?

It was something extra to its former passiveness and immobility. It was intelligence and power that began to stir it, for the work done was wise work and stupendous work. We are shut up to the conclusion that power possessing intelligence came upon the scene at that time. It is a mathematical necessity, for if there is one conclusion more firmly established by the investigations of science in modern times than another, it is that no effect can take place without an efficient cause operating before it. Power possessing intelligence is God, irrespective of other elements of truth in the case. Power possessing intelligence began to work when the universe passed from chaos to order. Consequently, the answer of common sense is supported by what may be called the philosophy of the case.

When we look at matters of detail, the answer is greatly strengthened. Intention is manifest in every department of nature. If this is a fact, then the power that formed nature must be an intelligent, conscious power, for it is inconceivable that blind, elementary forces could form an intention. As soon as intention is admitted, God is recognised. Now, that intention is indicated in the constitution of nature must be allowed, when we consider the power of every plant and animal to reproduce itself. Here is the reflex of a purpose, that the various species of life shall be perpetuated.

The existence of living creatures at all is a proof of the existence in the universe of a contriving power of superb wisdom and power, in view of the amount of contrivance -- mechanical, chemical and dynamical -- necessary to produce it. The meanest creature is a mechanism on which the impress of the highest contriving intelligence is stamped. The wing of a bird is a masterpiece of contrivance in all its parts, to accomplish the traversing of the air. Man's own organisation is the standing proof of a master's power, when we consider the adjustment of his frame to give him graceful locomotion -- the ball and socket insertion of his limbs -- the leverage of the bones of his arm under a system of pulleys and contracting ligaments the exact construction of the foot to give power to bear weight with grace of form -- especially when we consider the power of self renewal of every part of the body by the action of the blood vessels, and above all, the perfect chemistry of that wonderful organ, the stomach, in which an acrid fluid is generated, with power to dissolve the food without dissolving the stomach, and which yet possesses that terrific strength, that if a single drop of it escape through some accidental perforation of the stomach, it means death.

But none of these things can compare in inductive force with the fact that every creature is endowed with a mechanism contrived to work the daily miracle of reproduction. All other powers and faculties are for the creatures' own use, but the capacity for reproduction points to futurity alone. It is not essential to the individual life of plant or animal; it is only essential to secure that its own sort shall be continued. It is a provision to secure the perpetuation of species. Can this be the arrangement of blind, unintelligent force? It is the manifest arrangement of intention. If blind force can exercise intention, then does it cease to be what men mean by that; and if the works and arrangements of intention can be performed without any intention, then is an intentionless and God-lacking universe a greater miracle than the miracle of a wisely-made universe, coming from the hands of a wise and eternal Creator; and then is the credulity of the faith of God-rejecters much greater than the faith entertained by God-believers.

Consider the case of the common hen's egg. All eggs come from hens and all hens come from eggs. No man ever ate a hen's egg that was not laid by a hen, and no man ever knew of a hen that was not hatched from an egg. Now, the curious question is this, "Which was first, the hen or the egg?" It matters not which it was; here is the difficulty: the first hen or the first egg must have been made. If you say: No, the first hen or the first egg came into existence of itself, then you are unscientific or unpractical. You ask us to believe in a thing happening that never happens now, and a thing contrary to all present known experience and truth -- viz. that nothing happens and that nothing occurs outside the laws of nature without efficient cause. The first hen or the first egg must have had efficient cause. To produce a clever thing requires cleverness. What more clever than to make an egg that would produce a hen, or a hen that would produce an egg? Therefore, the power that produced the first egg or the first hen must have been a wise power -- that is, God.

The same argument applies to a thousand other matters. Consider the case of instinct. All manner of creatures perform, without knowledge, actions requiring the most intimate knowledge of physical and physiological laws, and even in some cases knowledge of the mental qualities and dispositions of other animals. But where is the knowledge that knew the facts, and bestowed the gift? The gift is genital, innate, and wholly independent of experience. How do we account for it? It cannot be accounted for by experience, for it is independent of all experience. The young dipper that has never seen the water dives and swims with perfect ease." The youngest chick knows a hawk, and the dreadful form fills it with instant terror," though it had never seen it before. The newly-fledged merganser escapes peril when man or beast is near by a maneuvre suitable only to the young, and not to the parent bird. The newly-hatched chick pecks corn. The working bees go to work with perfect architectural skill as soon as they issue from the comb. It would be a manifest absurdity to attribute the knowledge on which these instincts are based to the creatures themselves, for they show instinct before they have had opportunity of acquiring it by any kind of experience. To say it is acquired by "heredity" is only a convenient way of evading the issue, for heredity itself is as great a mystery as instinct; and even if there was evidence of the operation of heredity it would not help the difficulty, because the evidence goes to show that instinct of every kind, from the lowes
to the highest forms of organisation, has been the same from the beginning, as far as knowledge can be traced. Nothing has been done by heredity except to hand down the same instinct by the wonderful law of reproduction already noticed.

Considering all these things as effects which must have had a cause equal to their production, we are bound to endorse the verdict of commonsense, and to say, -- Yes, there is -- there must be -- a Being in the universe possessing the wonderful wisdom and power shown in the construction of the system of Nature in which we live."

CHAPTER 2: The Answer of Science