On the Necessity of Religion in the Modern World

In the beginning, there was nothing. And then without cause, the universe ballooned out of nonexistence, containing proto-particles ruled by the four main forces of the Universe (gravity, electromagnetism, Strong, and Weak atomic forces, in case you were wondering). These particles cooled as the universe expanded and there was more space for the heat to spread out. Cooling down resulted in the particles joining together using the forces to make atoms, which made molecules, which made nebulae. In turn, the plasmatic particles of the nebulae cooled sufficiently to form stars. The remainder formed planets, and got stuck in gravity wells of the stars, and because of their own momentum interacting with the gravity, formed orbits. These planets cooled, and on one tiny insignificant planet, conditions were just right for the volcanic activity to spew hydrogen and oxygen, making vast seas. In these vast seas life suddenly came from non-living, without any explanation (most frequently cited as evolving on the backs of crystals, or the effects of random electrical strikes on primordial soup). Anyway, the life gradually got more complex and eventually spawned eukaryotic cells, which evolved into plankton, then fish, then reptiles then– Wait, what?

*sound effect*

It seems to me, as it should to any thinking person, that this explanation for our existence as we know it is really far-fetched. First off, you can’t have something come from nothing. This knowledge goes all the way back to Aristotle, for Pete’s sake, whose argument for a Prime Mover goes something like this:

  1. Everything in existence is the result of something else causing it’s existence or current state
  2. This implies an infinite regression of a causal chain.
  3. Something caused the beginning of the universe, which triggered everything else, like a domino chain.
  4. You can’t have infinite causes, since the universe has not been in existence forever. The universe cannot have been in existence forever, since we have scientifically proven it’s age.
  5. Therefore, something needs to have caused the Universe to Be.
  6. This Prime cause would need to be outside of everything, including  space, time, and the Universe.
  7. Therefore, the Universe could only have been brought into existence from a Prime Mover.

Now there’s a reason Aristotle is still studied a good 2300 years after he died. The guy was a genius, the kind who came up with stuff that nobody else could have, but people would always see the truth of when they learned of it. His philosophy (well, most of it) still is relevant to us today. Is it any wonder that Aristotle hit the proverbial nail on the head here too? Certainly it makes a lot more sense than the “it happened by chance” theory. For the universe is far too ordered. I mean, what are the odds that out of all the possible ways the universe could have developed, and of all the possible combinations of atoms, that out of billions of stars and billions of planets, that life form on one insignificant blue ball. And that on that blue ball, that complex life developed, and even within that, what are the odds of this life gaining the ability to reason for itself? The odds are impossible that it could happen by chance! And yet here we are.

So if we use logic, the universe, in it’s vastly ordered state, could have only have been created by a Prime Mover that exists outside of everything. It all fits, since all the goodness and beauty of creation, and the intricate structuring, and how everything has a specific purpose couldn’t have arisen by pure accident. It all make sense that it was by design. Furthermore, it makes us humans special, that we were designed as we are for a purpose.

Funnily enough, this idea of a Creator fits with a good 100% of world religions. These religions, from simple paganism all the way up to the complexities of the Abrahamic faiths, all share this. Were they on to something? This idea is particularily embarrassing for modern scientists, because it means that the idea of reality they have promoted since the Enlightenment has been disproved in favor of the “outdated, primitive” ideas of religion! Therefore, reason falls by the wayside in favor of keeping the ideas alive, and basing all belief on the assumption that they are infallable truths about the nature of reality. It all stems from the Enlightenment idea that “we can do it without God”. For the existence of God is the implictation of the Prime Mover argument, which is that which the Atheists who dominate  the scientific community deny. They don’t believe that science and religion can coexist. As a Catholic, I believe that they can. After all, what is science but the study of physical reality? And what is religion, but filling in the gaps of reason in things that we cannot understand, with beliefs held by faith? So in fact religion and science not only coexist, they actually fulfill one another!

I further believe that someday soon, the scientific community will come to the conclusion that religion has some pretty darn good explanations for those things they cannot understand. Heck, even the Genesis account of creation isn’t that far off from what we know, just stated in a way that people 3000 years ago could understand. They will find that there are some things reason alone cannot solve, and they need to turn to a tried-and-true source of knowledge to answer the Big Questions. Hopefully, this will result in a successful integration of science and religion on this subject. With advanced scientific knowledge, we can understand old beliefs as simplified versions of what we can understand today, and treat religious cosmological beliefs as early science! It’s broading our view of the past, and seeing it not as primitive outdated beliefs, but as a simpler way of understanding the same Truths. Look no further, scientists, for the answer has been right in front of your face for centuries!