The Existence of God
God reveals Himself in various ways: through the material world, by which we realize the necessity of a divine creator; through the moral law, which is written in the hearts of all men and must have been established by a higher power; and through public revelation, which is contained in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. However, through our reason alone, we can come arrive at the belief in the existence of God. Atheists, however, fail to arrive at this conclusion.
According to classical philosophy, there are five proofs for the existence of God. These include the need for: 1) a prime mover; 2) a first cause; 3) a necessary being; 4) a supremely perfect being; and 5) an intelligent designer. Since some of these proofs are very philosophical, only the arguments concerning the need for a first cause and an intelligent designer are worth using.
The first of the two arguments is the need for a First Cause. Everything that exists in this universe was preceded and caused by something that came before it. If we go back in this chain of causes and effects, we end up asking ourselves: "How did matter come into existence in the first place?" Since all matter must have a previous cause, and since no matter causes itself (no one has ever observed matter spontaneously coming into existence out of nothing), something outside the material world must have created matter in the first place. That original creator must be spirit, because that creator necessarily had to be outside the material world and therefore could not have been matter.
The second argument is the need for an intelligent designer. The universe (and everything in it) is a very complex system. If we were to discover a running automobile on an isolated island, we would never believe it spontaneously came into being. And yet, the universe and all things in it are much more complex. In fact, they are perfectly arranged. It is more unreasonable to think that it all came about by chance than to believe there is a God who created it all. If we consider the human body–the brain, the senses, the miracle of reproduction–as unbelievable as God is to some, it is more believable to think that an intelligent designer created it all, rather than to think it came about by chance.
Another proof for the existence of God is miracles. A miracle is an occurrence that is beyond the natural (supernatural), and therefore can only be done by a higher power. Some examples of miracles include: the miracle at Fatima, in 1917, where the sun was seen to whirl around in the sky, exuding rays of many colors; at Lourdes, in 1858, where a woman whose face was partly eaten away by disease, had her face restored to its original condition through the miraculous waters there; Padre Pio (d. 1968), who bled from the hands like Christ did (the stigmata), and levitated, just like St. Joseph of Cupertino did three centuries before him; many nuns, some from the 20th century, who lived many years by eating or drinking nothing except for the Eucharist; Lanciano, where the bread and wine at consecration turned into the body and blood of Christ in a way that made it visible (the blood is now in 5 coagulated balls, and no matter how many of the balls are weighed at the same time, they come out to the same weight); St. Januarius, whose blood is kept in a vile, and when it is displayed 18 times per year, it liquefies and bubbles; the Incorruptibles, the bodies of the saints that have not decayed, even after they have been dead for centuries, and many more. Many of these miracles can still be witnessed, so we cannot dismiss them all as hoaxes or legends.
Another argument to use against atheists is the proof for a spiritual human soul. Through their study of the material world, humans can produce what we call an "idea". For example, by observing a married couple–kissing and touching, laughing together, looking at each other–the person develops an idea of love. Since this idea of love cannot be touched, seen, or heard (nor can one take a measurement of it or make a physical description of it), it therefore has no material qualities. It is therefore immaterial, which is another word for "spiritual". Spiritual ideas must have its origin in a spiritual faculty, because the material cannot create the spiritual. This spiritual faculty is intellect, and the intellect requires a spiritual substance, which is the soul.
Atheists argue against the existence of God by saying: "If an all-loving and all-powerful God existed, He would not permit evil and suffering. Since there is much evil and suffering in the world, either God is not all-loving and all-powerful, or there is no God at all". There are many problems with this argument. First of all, evil and suffering do not disprove the philosophical proofs for the existence of God. Second, the reason there is evil and suffering in the world is because God has given all men the gift of free will. God would be violating the free will of men if he put an end to all the suffering in the world. Third, suffering can be a good thing. The old saying, "What does not kill me can only make me stronger", is certainly true, and can be applied to the suffering (although some suffering can not be explained thus).