The Duties of the Heart
Gate One. “The Wholehearted Acceptance of the Oneness of G-d”
We laid out three rather complex premises last time that needed to be proven
if we're to affirm G-d's existence once and for all. One, that nothing
creates itself. Two, that since there's only a finite number of beginnings,
there must be one instance of beginning that preceded all the others. And
three, that all composites had to have been created.
But rather than relate each premise to G-d's existence in series, we'll cite
proofs for the fact that the world had to have been created, and that it had
to have been created by a Creator who is G-d. And we'll weave each premise
into the fiber of the arguments.
Ibn Pakudah describes the world as a complex composite of indispensable
parts. In fact, it's like a complete household with a roof (the sky),
flooring (the earth), lighting (stars), and an array of other furnishings.
Along with food, heating and cooling systems, and a plethora of wondrous
But not only is the world at large a composite of many parts; each item in it
is a composite as well. Each and every thing contains a myriad of elements
and details. Everything is a veritable universe onto itself.
Now, Ibn Pakudah points out, when we consider how independent and particular
each element of each larger whole is, and the ends to which we often have to
go in order to artificially combine them since they so often defy
combination, we're struck by something. How do things manage to remain intact
It occurs to us that someone had to have combined them Ibn Pakudah says.
And that the only being who could have combined them against their will and
nature was the one who formulated them. After all, only a thing's inventor
knows its secrets well enough to have it do things no one else can. Hence the
very fact that things remain in combination oftentimes against their own
natures indicates the existence of a Creator.
Also, since the world at large in all its complexity is a single composite
(the complete household we spoke of before); since we've already proven
that all composites were created (our third premise); and since it's also
true that it's impossible for something to have created itself (our first
premise), we're forced to conclude that the world was formed and fashioned by
a Creator. Since it's clear as well that there simply can't be an infinite
number of ultimate beginnings of anything (our second premise), we must say
that the world was formed and created at a particular instance by its
Startlingly enough, there are actually people who believe the world just
appeared out of the blue", if you will, without a Creator. The question to
ask such individuals is whether they believe that computers, for example,
appeared out of nowhere; or if works of literature write themselves. Surely
not. Anyone who would say otherwise would simply be blind to their nuances
and complexities. So if it's clear that computers and works of literature,
which after all are rather minor in the grand scheme of things, had to have
been created-- it of course stands to reason that the world in its entirety
had to have been created.
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