The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1
A Few Questions and Answers
A Few Questions and Answers.
Why do you believe in the existence of a Creator? There must have been a Creator to have created the world; * that is self-evident. But what I wish to get at is, Why do you believe in the existence of a Creator?
The world having been created is positive proof of the existence of a Creator, hence my belief.
Your belief is really no belief at all. Your taking for granted the world was created leaves you no choice. For instance, it is impossible for me to believe in a creator, as I do not believe in creation. While on the other hand, it is just as impossible for you to doubt the existence of one so long as you believe in creation.
You say you do not believe in creation. Then you must believe the world came by chance or that it created itself.
I do not believe in any such ridiculous nonsense as things coming by chance or making themselves.
Then how do you think the world came?
I do not think it came at all. I believe the world always existed. Never began to be, but always was.page 47
It is impossible the world with all its wonders could have existed unless it had been created.
Which would be the most wonderful a created world, or the creator of that world?
There can be no doubt, but the creator would be the most wonderful.
If so, there is greater reason to say he could not have existed unless he had been created, than to say the world could not have existed, unless it had been created.
It does not follow. The creator is self-existent.
So would anything else that had always existed. It is absurd to say that that which you believe has always existed, is self-existent. As no reason or cause can be given for the existence of that which always existed, all reasons and causes would come too late.
That which was always in existence did not and could not exist, in consequence of anything, and that which did not exist in consequence of anything, could not exist for any purpose.
There is a class of men (I will not mention their profession) who do not hesitate to pronounce every person a fool, who believes the world always existed, when, at the same time, they themselves believe that something far more wonderful always existed. They act like a person who after saying that one cubic foot cannot contain two cubic feet of space; would swear that it could contain three.
Is there any degree between something and nothing? No. Then the world could not have come into existence by degrees, and to come into existence without occupying time, it would have to be something and nothing at the same time.
It is more reasonable to believe the world always existed than to imagine the existence of some imaginable something and then to imagine that that imaginable something created the world out of nothing.
As man cannot conceive non-existence, it is impossible for him to conceive the world as being non-existent. Hence the world's existence is one reason for believing it has always existed, and as we cannot conceive the world as being non-existent, is a very good reason for believing it has always existed.page 48
No matter how difficult it may be to imagine the world without a beginning, it will be found still more so to imagine a time when the world began.
It is the same as to space, as difficult as it may be to imagine space without end, it will be found more difficult to imagine an end to space.
The same as to time, if it is difficult to imagine time without a beginning, it will be found far more so to imagine a time, when time began.
There is an old Dutch argument known at the present day as Paley's design argument, which I admit is quite argument enough for those who allow, and in some cases pay others to think for them. But the position of those who believe in a designer, is identical with those who believe in a creator.
Those who take for granted that the world was created, are thereby compelled to believe in a creator—as creation implies a creator. Just so with those who take for granted that the world exhibits marks of design, are in like manner compelled to believe in a designer.
So it will be seen the creator a man believes in is of his own creating. Also the designer a man believes in is of his own designing.
The designer of the world always makes his appearance where the knowledge of man ends.
H. R. Woods and Co., Printers, 13 Bridge-street, Sydney.
* The word world is intended to mean all existence and all phenomena.