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What is your favorite proof for God?


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Actually, my interpretation of the title of the thread led me to think that the proof referred to should have been

1 A proof of the existence of God or

2 Not in this thread.

It turns out not to be either.

 

Also, while we may differ on the absolute meaning of, for example, the word "complicated" I think we can probably agree that God is more complex than an atom. That's all it takes to make the atom the more plausible option.

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Everyone needs to believe something, I believe I'll have another beer...

If someone is skeptical to use a wider interpretation of evidence, it may be because "evidence" isn't something you can just "feel differently about" without repercussions. The evidence of fraud by a

If given eternity a monkey can re-create the complete works of Shakespeare on a type writer or so that's the theory. Daft theory really. Why a monkey ? Why not a snail ? Or an amoeba ? And why a ty

Actually, my interpretation of the title of the thread led me to think that the proof referred to should have been

1 A proof of the existence of God or

2 Not in this thread.

It turns out not to be either.

 

Also, while we may differ on the absolute meaning of, for example, the word "complicated" I think we can probably agree that God is more complex than an atom. That's all it takes to make the atom the more plausible option.

 

Naa!. "Holy cow poop"!!. Well, That's probably the tenth time today I've used that vernacular expression out of context. No, what I'm saying is, this guy was right on the money. You don't have to believe a damn word he says, other than the simplicity of its meaning. If you are so untrusting that you can't go there, eat spinach and learn to dig a ditch.

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What correct predictions has he made about the structure of the universe?

 

I can't honestly say he made a finite prediction of any kind. I just thought it was a good lecture and at the very end in explainng how our galaxy will appear after expansion has moved everything out of sight; made a lot of sense to me. As far as the complexity of God compared to an atom? I don't even know if was stated. Had it of been, I still wouldn't have known how to relate it.

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Before I get started, I'll describe what I mean by evidence:

 

Evidence is data, or an argument that distinguishes two or more positions from each other and removes at least one from the posibility of being true.

 

Thaty is "evidence" allows you to determins which arguments are true or false. If something does not do this, then it is not evidence.

 

Proofs:

 

- Shroud of Turin. One of the cool things is the bruise under the one eye, it just makes the Shroud feel really real!

The really big problem with the Shroud of Turin is that the "image" on it is not what you would get if it was actually used as a shroud. It is, in fact, the type of image you would get if it was a photograph, or a drawing/painting.

 

In computer graphics they commonly have to create an image (called a texture) to put on a face. To do this, they use something called a UV Map (there are plenty of resources on the web so you can see what these look life if you don't know - just google for it).

 

This proves that the image on the Shroud of Turin could not have been formed by wrapping it around the person's face. Therefore, if the image on the Shroud of Turin could not have been formed by its use as a shroud, then it clearly is not a real shroud, and therefore can also not be a real relic.

 

Of course, 700 years or so ago, when the shroud was "found" (or created), they didn't know about UV Maps, so it is not suprising that they made that kind of mistake.

 

- The love revealed by Jesus in His teaching, life, death and Resurrection...

This pre-supposed the existance of God (and that he loves us). If it is possible for such a God tyo exist, then it is equally possible that a God exists and He hates us).

 

As this "proof" assumes the conclusion of the proof, it makes no sense and therefore is not proof.

 

- Life

There is accepted proof that life can get started and develop without the need for a creator (or other God), so this does not provide evidence. This is because the existance of life does not distinguish whetehr life was created by a God or occured by natural processes because the existance of life does not eliminate one of thes posibilities.

 

On the other hand, if life can be shown to have started by purely non supernatural means, it does not mean that God doesn't exist, just that He/She/It/They had no direct influence in it.

 

- The second law of thermodynamics, Entropy law. That says in short, that the world tends to entropy. Every system will degrate, go to entropy, to chaos, if there is no any Ruler, to put the order. Looking carefully to the world processes, we see many proves of the world going to bad, but never collapsing. SOMEBODY takes care, that not to happen!

This is an incorrect useage of the thermodynamic principals. As this is a misrepresetnation of them it doesn't qualify as proof. The reason systems tend to degrade over time is that there are many more states that are "disordered" than Ordered (it is part of what defines ordered and disoredered). Also, this only applies for a closed system (that is a system that has no external inputs.

 

True, a God would act as an external input if a God existed, but for Earth, we have the Sun as an external input, and even gravity (so long as there are things to fall down that is) as an external input, so Earth, and Life on Earth are by no means a closed system. As there is an external input for us, it is possible to decrease entropy on Earth without ther need for a God to do so. This, also therefore, does not constitute as evidence.

 

- Historical proof: he entered time and space and left the marks of his passage.

So by this you mean that God has left proof that He exists. Well then, please give us some. remember, to count as evidence it has to remove the posibility that the Non existance of God is a valid posibility. If it doesn't then it is not evidence.

 

As you have stated that you believe this to be true, then you must have such evidence.

 

And to those befuddled atheists who don’t accept that reason alone can prove the existence of God, have not used their reason reasonably:

Antony Flew, the most notorious atheist, now attests to reason and is now a deist.

"I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence," he affirms. "I believe that this universe's intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source.

"Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than half a century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it that has emerged from modern science. Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature." (There Is a God, 2007, pp. 88-89).

Ignorance of facts is not proof. In this, Anton Flew, did not have knowledge about how life could have arrisen from matter, but now we know of at least 6 different ways for this to occur (the main problem is in working out which way was the way it started on Earth, not that it was possible) and he let this ignorance act as evidence for God. As ignorace is not evidence (because it does not distinguish between truth or falseity of the different posiblities), he has applied reason incorrectly.

 

Just saying "I don't know how it works" is not a good reason to believe in God. I don't know how the engine in a car works. Does this proove Gods existance, as "I don't know so only God could know and as only God could know and they exist, then God must exist" does not apply proper or correct reason (by it's very nature it disregards reason for ignorace).

 

Since your argument was that Athiests do not apply proper reason, and the example you put forth was a clar example of missapplied reason that lead to belief, then I think you need to either review your argument, or at least get a better example (one that actually shows someone using correct reason to arrive at belief).

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When it comes to human consciousness, there are two types of data. There are external experiences and internal experiences. We can watch a concert and all of us will see the same external data of the concept. But the music and visual effects, will affect each person, via internal data. If someone has a particular inner experience, that is a composite of feelings, images and sensations, and another did not, how could they transfer this internal data, to recreate this full experience. It is not easy, since we can't do a Mr Spock mind meld. There is a lot of data to transfer, yet there is no good way to transfer the data into the external sphere.

 

Since we can not transfer the data to prove this with hard data, it will not exist to science, even if it did exist as internal data. As an experiment try to transfer an inner experience, that you know is sound, to someone who has not had this experience. Even if you tell the truth, you will not be able to prove it. Science protocol is not designed for internal data, since the protocol will not be able to verify the internal data and therefore would conclude what did occur did not have sufficient proof to be real.

 

Religion is more about internal data. Faith is not from the outside but is based on verifiable internal data.

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The universe is the un-created source of all creation. The universe doesn't have a creator. This is why it is the universe. :D

 

Your point is completely arbitrary.

 

Isn't that what arbitrary means, to have a thought process different to another persons? Pardon my intrusion, but there was a slight misqote of his statement. He said: God is the un-created source of all creation. God doesn't have a creator. This is why He is God.

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God is the un-created source of all creation. God doesn't have a creator. This is why He is God. :D

 

Which God? There's more than one god with claims to have created the universe, you know. The Aztec gods have Christianity's god beat, having made 5 universes rather than just 1.

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Isn't that what arbitrary means, to have a thought process different to another persons? Pardon my intrusion, but there was a slight misqote of his statement. He said: God is the un-created source of all creation. God doesn't have a creator. This is why He is God.

 

No, it means it can change without restriction... Not different to another persons, that would be individual. I am aware that I changed what he said to something different, to show how meaningless it it, if I believe a rabbit created the universe 20mins ago I could replace god with "rabbit" and be as scientifically valid as him.

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Which God? There's more than one god with claims to have created the universe, you know. The Aztec gods have Christianity's god beat, having made 5 universes rather than just 1.

There is only one God. For example, Catholics and Muslims do worship the same God. Please allow me to take the liberty of adding this clarification:

 

In traditional Catholic teaching and philosophy the true God can be discovered by natural means without access to revelation. He is the non-contingent Creator. By it's very essence, such a being must exist and can only be one. Therefore any person or people who believed in and adore such a non-contingent being and Creator on which all else is contingent have always been deemed to have discovered the true God. Divine revelation is needed to know of the persons of God and other truths about Him, but knowledge of them is not necessary to have knowledge of God.

 

No one would argue that Jews worship a different God. Likewise, St. Paul says that the pagans in Acts 17:23 are also worshiping the same God even though they do not yet acknowledge the Trinity (in the same chapter he also cites pagan poets teaching about the true God).

 

Acts 17:23 For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written: To the unknown God. What therefore you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you:

 

Muslims may believe falsely alledged revelations about Him, but they definitely acknowledge Him. They do not seek to worship the creature rather than the Creator as idolotors and polytheists do (who often worship beings that do not exist, but which have a contingent essence). Here are some more examples demonstrating Catholic thought on this:

 

St. John Damascene in his "Founts of Knowledge"

 

These used to be idolaters and worshiped the morning star and Aphrodite, whom in their own language they called Khabár, which means great. And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy....He says that there is one God, creator of all things...

 

(notice, they are no longer idolators but are considered heretics)

 

Pope St. Gregory VII (11th century) to a Muslim prince: ‘Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. You and we owe this charity to ourselves especially because we believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way, and daily praise and venerate him, the creator of the world and ruler of this world.’

 

The famous counter-reformation Jesuit and expert on St. Thomas Aquinas, Suarez:

 

Thomas, however, rightly distinguishes two kinds of religious practices: there are those which go against reason and against God insofar as he can be recognized through nature and through the natural powers of the soul, e.g., the worship of idols, etc. Others are contrary to the Christian religion and to its commands not because they are evil in themselves or contrary to reason as, for example, the practices of Jews and even many of the customs of Mohammedans and such unbelievers who believe in one true God.

 

Suarez, Tract. de Fide Disp. 18 Sect. III

 

(Notice, the worship of idols is intrinsically evil because it goes against reason (the true God can be known by natural reason), yet many practices of the Muslims are not intrinsically evil in and of themselves since they are reasonable acts of worship directed to the one God.)

 

Catechism of Pope St. Pius X : 12 Q. Who are infidels?

A. Infidels are those who have not been baptised and do not believe in Jesus Christ, because they either believe in and worship false gods as idolaters do, or though admitting one true God, they do not believe in the Messiah, neither as already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, nor as to come; for instance, Mohammedans and the like.

 

(again, they are not idolators but are like Jews)

 

Catholic Encyclopedia: As in ecclesiastical language those who by baptism have received faith in Jesus Christ and have pledged Him their fidelity and called the faithful, so the name infidel is given to those who have not been baptized. The term applies not only to all who are ignorant of the true God, such as pagans of various kinds, but also to those who adore Him but do not recognize Jesus Christ, as Jews and MohammedansMohammedans..

 

Second Vatican Council: The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.

 

See also this chapter on Islam in Hillair Belloc's "Great Heresies."

http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY4.TXT

 

Muslims, like the pagans St. Paul met, worship the true God without knowing it, even though they have been misled as to truths about him by a false prophet.

 

(of course, a Muslim in good faith and good will who desires to solely humble and abandon himself to the way, truth, and life of God for love of God alone, implicitly desires Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life and may be saved. However, one who simply adores the one God while obstinately rejecting the Son of God--the way, the truth, and the life--has neither the Father nor the Son and cannot be saved.).

__________________

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There is only one God. For example, Catholics and Muslims do worship the same God. Please allow me to take the liberty of adding this clarification:

 

In traditional Catholic teaching and philosophy the true God can be discovered by natural means without access to revelation. He is the non-contingent Creator. By it's very essence, such a being must exist and can only be one. Therefore any person or people who believed in and adore such a non-contingent being and Creator on which all else is contingent have always been deemed to have discovered the true God. Divine revelation is needed to know of the persons of God and other truths about Him, but knowledge of them is not necessary to have knowledge of God.

 

No one would argue that Jews worship a different God. Likewise, St. Paul says that the pagans in Acts 17:23 are also worshiping the same God even though they do not yet acknowledge the Trinity (in the same chapter he also cites pagan poets teaching about the true God).

 

Acts 17:23 For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written: To the unknown God. What therefore you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you:

 

Muslims may believe falsely alledged revelations about Him, but they definitely acknowledge Him. They do not seek to worship the creature rather than the Creator as idolotors and polytheists do (who often worship beings that do not exist, but which have a contingent essence). Here are some more examples demonstrating Catholic thought on this:

 

St. John Damascene in his "Founts of Knowledge"

 

These used to be idolaters and worshiped the morning star and Aphrodite, whom in their own language they called Khabár, which means great. And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy....He says that there is one God, creator of all things...

 

(notice, they are no longer idolators but are considered heretics)

 

Pope St. Gregory VII (11th century) to a Muslim prince: ‘Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. You and we owe this charity to ourselves especially because we believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way, and daily praise and venerate him, the creator of the world and ruler of this world.’

 

The famous counter-reformation Jesuit and expert on St. Thomas Aquinas, Suarez:

 

Thomas, however, rightly distinguishes two kinds of religious practices: there are those which go against reason and against God insofar as he can be recognized through nature and through the natural powers of the soul, e.g., the worship of idols, etc. Others are contrary to the Christian religion and to its commands not because they are evil in themselves or contrary to reason as, for example, the practices of Jews and even many of the customs of Mohammedans and such unbelievers who believe in one true God.

 

Suarez, Tract. de Fide Disp. 18 Sect. III

 

(Notice, the worship of idols is intrinsically evil because it goes against reason (the true God can be known by natural reason), yet many practices of the Muslims are not intrinsically evil in and of themselves since they are reasonable acts of worship directed to the one God.)

 

Catechism of Pope St. Pius X : 12 Q. Who are infidels?

A. Infidels are those who have not been baptised and do not believe in Jesus Christ, because they either believe in and worship false gods as idolaters do, or though admitting one true God, they do not believe in the Messiah, neither as already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, nor as to come; for instance, Mohammedans and the like.

 

(again, they are not idolators but are like Jews)

 

Catholic Encyclopedia: As in ecclesiastical language those who by baptism have received faith in Jesus Christ and have pledged Him their fidelity and called the faithful, so the name infidel is given to those who have not been baptized. The term applies not only to all who are ignorant of the true God, such as pagans of various kinds, but also to those who adore Him but do not recognize Jesus Christ, as Jews and MohammedansMohammedans..

 

Second Vatican Council: The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.

 

See also this chapter on Islam in Hillair Belloc's "Great Heresies."

http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY4.TXT

 

Muslims, like the pagans St. Paul met, worship the true God without knowing it, even though they have been misled as to truths about him by a false prophet.

 

(of course, a Muslim in good faith and good will who desires to solely humble and abandon himself to the way, truth, and life of God for love of God alone, implicitly desires Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life and may be saved. However, one who simply adores the one God while obstinately rejecting the Son of God--the way, the truth, and the life--has neither the Father nor the Son and cannot be saved.).

__________________

 

 

This is nothing but pure proselytizing, isn't this against the rules even in the religious forum?

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Thor! No way, only a Goddess can give birth to the Universe, the very idea of a male supreme being is blasphemy!

 

it's not nice to deny Mother Nature!

 

aphrodite.jpg?attredirects=0

 

I don't know why the image failed to show.... Possibly the faeries and elves objected :doh:

 

Seriously, why didn't the image show up?

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I don't think so. If it is against the rules, forgive me, I simply responded to Mr Skeptic's question.

 

Actually you did not, you asserted special knowledge, with no evidence to support it, that you knew that the Catholic version of God is in fact the one true God, the Earth Mother Gaea is just as supportable as the Creator of the universe as your trinity..... as is any number of ideas about the nature of or even the lack there of God.

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I'll respond to the less preachy of these. Please note that your points make no sense to anyone unless that person knows and accepts the Catholic teachings.

 

There is only one God. For example, Catholics and Muslims do worship the same God. Please allow me to take the liberty of adding this clarification:

 

In traditional Catholic teaching and philosophy the true God can be discovered by natural means without access to revelation. He is the non-contingent Creator. By it's very essence, such a being must exist and can only be one.

 

So, I am God? I am the only thing that by its essence can be sure exists, and can be the only one. The proof of this is I think therefore I am, although I can't prove what manner of existence I have. There is nothing else I can prove exists. Note that some people think themselves gods.

 

The idea that God must exist because he's perfect makes no more sense than the idea that the perfect invisible pink unicorn must exist because it is perfect.

 

Therefore any person or people who believed in and adore such a non-contingent being and Creator on which all else is contingent have always been deemed to have discovered the true God. Divine revelation is needed to know of the persons of God and other truths about Him, but knowledge of them is not necessary to have knowledge of God.

 

Many religions believe in one or creators, and they have different properties than the God of the Bible. So who's right and who's wrong? Also, just because one person says the various gods are one and the same, that doesn't make it so. Others equally think that their god is different from the Pope's.

 

Catholic Encyclopedia: As in ecclesiastical language those who by baptism have received faith in Jesus Christ and have pledged Him their fidelity and called the faithful, so the name infidel is given to those who have not been baptized. The term applies not only to all who are ignorant of the true God, such as pagans of various kinds, but also to those who adore Him but do not recognize Jesus Christ, as Jews and MohammedansMohammedans..

 

So the branches of Christianity that do not baptize until they are old enough to make the decision themselves, during that time are infidels.

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So, I am God? I am the only thing that by its essence can be sure exists, and can be the only one. The proof of this is I think therefore I am, although I can't prove what manner of existence I have. There is nothing else I can prove exists. Note that some people think themselves gods.

 

 

And in a way they're right. Sometimes I think of us all as each being the god of our own universe of thought and perception. Even if external reality is, in fact, reality (and I think it is), we don't really live in it. And certainly, we're the gods of our own dreams, even if we only occasionally realize it.

 

...just thought I'd go ahead and sidetrack us.

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I think humans eventually evolve into beings so powerful they merge into a hive mind and become God, at the end of time they go back in time and create the universe so they can evolve, deny God's existence, and evolve into God..... and so it goes, what goes around eventually comes around... :doh:

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There are plenty of proofs for the existence of God. You can review the following:

A Proof of the Existence of God

 

By James Kidd

 

The First Vatican Council taught that the existence of God can be proven by our reason alone:

 

God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason, through the things that he created. (Dei Filius 2)

 

But the Church has never offered an actual proof of God; it has left that to the philosophers. Although many have attempted to prove God’s existence, what they end up with is mere arguments. They may be quite persuasive, but they lack the metaphysical certitude of a mathematical proof. They may presuppose some bit of knowledge, or they may leave room for possible doubt.

 

But the medieval understanding of God, which St. Thomas Aquinas espoused, does not allow for doubting his existence. The proof that follows is a paraphrasing of the Angelic Doctor’s many writings that dealt with this subject. It proves the existence of a being that is one, immutable, eternal, infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent.

 

In fact, you can be more certain that God exists than that you are reading this article right now.

 

A Brain in a Vat

 

Let’s start by taking a position of radical doubt. Suppose for a moment that you are not really a human being with an actual body. In reality, you are nothing more than a brain floating in a vat of fluids, with electrodes attached to various parts of your exterior that allow evil scientists to manipulate you into thinking that what you perceive is actually there, when in fact it is nothing more than an imaginary world constructed by the scientists. Right now, they are making you think that you are reading this article when in fact you are not.

 

From this point of extreme skepticism, we will prove beyond all possible doubt that God exists.

 

1. One cannot deny one’s own existence.

 

Cogito, ergo sum. Even if you’re just a brain in a vat, your own existence can be verified simply by the fact that you perceive—that is, you see, hear, smell, taste and touch things. Whether or not your perceptions are accurate is another question, but even if you doubt your own existence, you must exist, for it is impossible for a non-existent thing to doubt. In fact, the very act of doubting proves that you exist. Therefore, denying your own existence is a contradiction in terms. I can deny yours and you can deny mine, but I can’t doubt mine, nor can you doubt yours.

 

2. There is at least one thing that exists.

 

It is possible for you to be deceived in your perception. In fact, it’s conceivable that every one of your perceptions is a delusion. But even if that is the case—even if nothing you think exists actually exists—you still must exist.

 

Entity is the word we have for anything that exists. You exist, so you are an entity.

 

3. There is such a thing as existence.

 

You can know with certainty that there is at least one entity, at least one thing of which the term existence can be predicated. If there were no such thing as existence, nothing would exist, not even you. But, as we have seen already, that is impossible.

 

As Aquinas would say, there must be an "act of being" in which all entities participate. This act of being must itself exist; it must be an entity. Thomas calls this entity esse, which is Latin for "to be" or "to exist."

 

4. The nature of esse is actuality.

 

Now that we have established that esse is an entity, we must ask: What is the nature of this entity? What is its definition?

 

To answer these questions, we must consider existence by itself, apart from everything else.

 

What do we mean when we say that something exists? We mean that it is actual. For example, an acorn is actually an acorn and potentially a tree. A tree is actually a tree and potentially lumber. Lumber is actually lumber and potentially a desk. A desk is actually a desk and potentially firewood. Firewood is actually firewood and potentially ashes.

 

In other words, a thing is actually what it is right now; it is potentially what it might be in the future.

 

Now when we say that something exists, we normally refer to actuality rather than potentiality. For instance, if I held up an egg and said, "This egg exists," you would understand me, because what I am saying is "This egg is actual" or "This is actually an egg." But if I held up the egg and said, "This chicken exists," that would not make sense to you, because even though the egg is potentially a chicken (that is, the chicken exists potentially), the concept of existence applies primarily to the egg’s actual state and only secondarily to its potential state.

 

Now potentiality is still a form of existence, but we realize that it is, in some sense, inferior to actuality. In other words, potentiality is a "shade" of existence the same way that pink is a shade of red. Just as we would say that pink lemonade is red but not in the same way that Hawaiian punch is red, so we say that potentiality exists but not as much as actuality does. Actuality is the fullness of existence.

 

So, again, taking the brain-in-a-vat hypothesis, you know that you are actual, even if nothing else you perceive exists.

 

5. Esse is nothing but pure actuality.

 

Potentiality is a privation of actuality. That is, it is not a thing in itself but the absence of something. In the same way, darkness is not a substance itself but the absence (or privation) of light.

 

Now a thing considered in itself contains nothing but its fullness. The nature (or essence) of light consists of nothing but light itself; it does not contain darkness. Therefore, the essence of esse contains nothing but its fullness, actuality. There is no potentiality in the nature of esse. Thus, the essence of esse is pure actuality, just as the essence of light is pure light.

 

Thomas argues that all entities participate in esse insofar as they are actual. Therefore, that in which they participate—esse—must be actual. In fact, it cannot admit of any potentiality.

6. Esse not only does exist but must exist.

 

Existence itself is pure actuality, with no potentiality in it. This means that the essence of existence is nothing other than existence. Existence is its own essence.

 

From this it follows that esse itself must exist, for if it did not, it would violate its own essence, which is impossible.

 

7. Esse is distinct from everything else that exists.

 

You can know from step 1 that you exist, and we know from step 3 that esse exists. But we also know that the two are not identical.

 

Let’s say you’re just a brain in a vat, that everything you perceive is an illusion. You can still recognize that, while you are actual in some ways, you are potential in other ways. You actually perceive that you’re reading this article right now; you’re potentially perceiving something else. You are actually existing right now; you potentially exist five minutes from now. Moreover, anything else that may exist has the same attribute: Its essence is composed of both actuality and potentiality.

 

But, as we saw in step 5, esse is nothing but pure actuality. Thus, it must be distinct from any other entity.

 

8. Esse must be one.

 

If there were more than one esse, then there would be distinctions among them. But distinctions imply limitations, and limitations imply potentiality. But since esse is pure actuality, it has no limitations, which means there is no distinction in esse. Therefore, there is only one esse.

 

9. Esse must be immutable.

 

Change involves potentiality. In order for something to change, it must first have the potential to change; it must have a potentiality that is to be actualized. But since esse is purely actual, it has no potential to change. Therefore, esse is unchanging.

 

10. Esse must be eternal.

 

Time is nothing but the passing of the future into the present into the past. It is the changing of the not-yet into the now into the no-longer. But because esse does not change, it does not change from the future to the present to the past. It must be outside the realm of time, which means that there is no future, present, or past with esse. In other words, esse is non-temporal, or eternal.

11. Esse must be infinite.

 

Space is nothing but the changing of the over-here to the over-there. Anything that is actually here is potentially there. But because esse is immutable, it must be outside the realm of space. It has no spatial constraints—that is, esse is infinite.

12. Esse must be omniscient.

 

Even if you’re a brain in a vat, you can perceive that you have the capacity to know. Because you are only partly actual, and esse is purely actual, esse must know all there is to know. That is, esse is all-knowing, or omniscient.

13. Esse must be omnipotent.

 

You can perceive that you have the capacity to do some things that are logically possible. Since you are only partly actual, and esse is purely actual, esse must be able to do all things that are logically possible. That is, esse is all-powerful, or omnipotent.

 

We have thus proven the existence of a being (esse) that not only does exist but must exist and is one, unchanging, eternal, infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. This matches our definition of God that we stated at the beginning.

 

We can conclude, then, that even if all of your sense perceptions are false, even if you are nothing but a brain in a vat being manipulated by scientists into believing that you are reading this article right now when in fact you are not, there are two things you can know with absolute, 100 percent certainty: (1) You exist, and (2) God exists.

 

 

*****

Also there is St. Thomas Aquinas' five proofs.

 

 

*******

Philosophy professor Peter Kreeft also gives several "arguments for the existence of God" on his website (perhaps "arguments for" is a better choice of words than "proof"?):

 

http://www.peterkreeft.com/featured-writing.htm

 

He puts things in simple language and makes it easy to understand.

 

As for the notion of proving God's existence, I think that there is a disconnect in the way people use the word "proof" and what they think it means. Proof does not mean "100% certainty that will compel you to believe." Even in science, most things are only spoken of in terms of probability, not absolute certainty. Yes, of course we need faith, but real faith is informed, not blind. And that faith can be more or less reasonable. Is it reasonable to believe God exists? Absolutely! Will these "proofs" for God's existence ipso facto compel everyone to believe? Probably not. But I think they illustrate the fact that belief in God is eminently more reasonable than disbelief. And they raise questions that I haven't heard atheists adequately answer.

 

Many people also confuse "proof" with scientific proof as though the only legitimate means of coming to know anything is through the scientific method. Therefore, unless you can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste God, then you can't say anything about Him. However, reason is just as valid a means of coming to know things as science is (perhaps even more so). Hence we have philosophers speak of proofs for God's existence.

 

Even if proof for something was more or less 100%, this still would not mean that people would be compelled to believe. Proof does not negate free will. Thus you have things like the Flat Earth Societyarguing that the world is really flat. You have people believing that "The DaVinci Code" is good history. All this despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. If evidence truly had the effect of compelling people to believe, such things would not happen.

 

You could have all the evidence in the world that God exists, but people would still refuse to believe it because they don't want Him to make claims on their lives which would force them to change the way they live.

 

Just some things to think about!

Edited by needimprovement
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Out of curiosity, what distinguishes the "proof of God" as proposed in this thread versus say, "proof that something created the universe to eat us" theory? If we had started out with a premise that "I think we were put here to fatten up so something could eat us" and used all the proofs for God mentioned as proof towards the "eating us" claim, would they not support that just as equally?

 

We create conditions that are very rare in the wild. A cow might be surprised that water, shelter, and food are all really close by in an area without predators - would that be any different than our surprise that the forces of gravity, electromagnetism etc are all finely tuned* to our ability to exist? Humans remaining on very good and even friendly terms with their food before slaughtering it - could that not be the same with our own caring miracle working God?

 

Now, I don't think we are being fattened up to be eaten by some strange exo-universe farmer. My point is there is as much support for that theory in these "proofs" as there is for the idea that they are proofs of God.

 

When evidence is so shaky that it could point to a multitude of possibilities, is it really justifiable to claim it as proof for whatever pet theory you have?

 

 

*Personally I never liked the "improbable favorable conditions for life" argument for other reasons, but when those reasons are dismissed by opinion it's worth noting it is equally suggestive of alternative possibilities.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I have a cold, I don't need to see the bacteria, I see the symptoms that result from the bacteria creating the cold to know that the bacteria is there. So is the resurrection of Jesus, do i need to see Him resurrect to believe, or see the masses of followers of His time that believed it.

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