Feburary 14, 2005
The Existence of God
Human beings have always been set apart from the rest of creation. They have many qualities that distinguish them. One of the greatest of which is to ask questions, some profound, some simple, and some that have no answer. The greatest of these concern something beyond creation, the Creator. It is the purpose of this paper to show how we may come to know God, to prove His existence and to show His perfection.
Before we discuss the proposed subject we must first define the two ways in which we may approach or rather the steps we must take. First is our reason and second is faith. Though the vast majority of any journey to knowledge is based on reason, both the first and last step to that knowledge is through faith.
The first step of faith consists of our faith in reason itself. We find here a seeming paradox, it is through faith that we arrive at reason. In the intermediate step we exhaust our reasoning capabilities. We at any time during our reasoning process may take a leap of faith. There are laws governing these leaps and they will be discussed within the body of the paper. Continouing, once we arrive at a reasonable conclusion we must than have faith in our own reasoning process and assume by faith that our seemingly reasonable conclusion is truth. Therebye we gain knowledge.
Up till now we have failed to mention that truthst that human reason can not reach without faith are not unreasonable but rather "supereasonable." By this term we mean that the reason that is required is of more dimensions than the human mind is capable of processing. The human mind is known to be atleast of 4 dimensions. What we mean by this, is that the mind has width, lenth, depth and is also subject to time. When we think of dimensions past these, we may not imagine them because our mind does not function within them. Certianly then those dimensions can not function within our own mind. Just like a larger box can not fit within a smaller one and even a smaller box of a diffrent shape cannot at times fit.
We find that thought about God is especially difficult because of our dimensionally limited reasoning minds. There may be one of two reasons for this , either God in his divine simplicity exists without dimensions or in his infinite self has an infinite number of dimensions. Maybe the two prospects mean the same thing, just as the sides of a circle may be thought of having both an infinite or non-existent number of sides. This concept also related to that of the eternity. This two will be discussed within the body of the paper.
Here we must discuss the afforementioned laws governing leaps of faith and their relation to truth. They are five in number and listed below.
1. There is onlly one truth discovered by reason or held by faith.
2. No doctrine of Faith can be opposed to reasonable truth.
3. A doctrine of Faith can yet not be discovered by reason but may still be objectivley true.
4. Beliefs held by Faith alone are of blind faith and dangerous because it may take the place and block truth. It may also compromise future reason.
5. Any reasonably immprobable belief may be held true because probability is based on varriables. The number variables known and the accuracy of probability are directly variant. By this we mean they increase and decrease, together but not neccesarly at the same rate. By this we know that to know truth for sure, just by probability we need 99.9 ,repeating, of information in the universe to get the last peace of information.
We may know turn to the sources of faith an reason. The ultimate source of each is God but the agents of knowledge are the human mind and divine revelation. Each serves its own purpose. The mind serves to lead us from and through faith to knowledge. Wisdom comes from knowing the process itself and havind the ability to foretell the outcome.
It is a common misconception that Wisdom can only come with time. Wisdom can only come from experiencing the process of reason. Some use this process more than others and may gain wisdom without age. It is only the lack of reasoning that prevents the coming of wisdom, not the speed of time.
More evidence is found in the expression of the purpose or reason of faith and Divine Revelation by St. Thomas Aquanis. He expresses four main reasons. They are listed below.
1. "No one tends with desire and zeal towards something that is already known to him. But...men are ordained by the Divine Providence than human fragility can experience in the present life. That is why it was necessary that the human mind to be called to something higher than the human reason here and now can reach, so that it would thus learn to...tend towards something that surpasses the whole state of the present life. " (Aquanis 69)
2. "It is also neccesary that such truths be proposed to men for beliefso that they may have a truer knowledge of God . For then only do we know God truly when we believ Him to be above everything that is possible for a man to think about Him...Hence, by the fact that some things about God are proposed to man that surpass his reason, there is strenthened in man the view that God is something above what he can think." (Aquanis 70)
3. "Another benefit..is the curbing of assumption, which is the mother of error. For there are some who have such a presumptious opinion of their own ability that they deam themselves able to measure the nature of everything; I mean to say that, in their estimation, everything is true that seems to them so,a and everything is false that does not. So that the human mind, therefore might be freed from this pressumption and come to a humble inquiry after truth, it was neccesary that some things should be proposed to manby God that would compleltley surpass his intelect." (Aquanis 70)
4. "Therefore, although the human reason cannot grasp the truths that are above it, yet, if it somehow holds these truths atleast by faith, it acquires great perfection for itself." (Aquanis 70)
St. Aquanis also mentioned two Bibele verses supporting his argument. They are listed below.
1. "For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of men"
2. "So the things that are of God no man knoweth but the Spirit of God. But to us God hath revealed them by His Spirit" (I Cor. 2:11,10)
Secondly we now have knowledge of how to gain knowledge of God, we must discuss Proofs for the Existence of God or rather the First Principle. By this term we mean the being that began all. We must call God by this term because the Five proofs of St. Aquanis prove the existence of this Principle rather than of God. The Perfection of this Principle is not self-evident, so before we may call this Principle God we must prove its perfection. This will be done within the next section of the paper. But as for the proofs themselves, they are divided into two categories, probability and definite. We will discusss them respectivley.
Probability deals with areas of knowledge that have more than one unknow variant or variableSuch proofs include the existence of human life. The human DNA sequence consists of 46 chromosones within each chromosones there are hundreds of millions of 'slots.' Each slot must be filled with one of the four codings. If even one of these is out of place, humans would not exist. The probability of this strand of DNA forming on its own, or by chance without an intelegent creator is calculated below. Also, the number of 'slots' in each chromosone pair is given in a chart.
(in base pairs)
(in base pairs)
The Probability may be calculated by combining the sequence length and multiplying by four and putting this under the one.
This expression means that there is a one in 11,388,000,000 chance that the human DNA strand could have beeen randomly generated. The expression also means there is a 11387999999 of 11388000000 chance that this intelegent creator exists.
If from this we assume the existence of an intelegent creator we must also accept that he is outside of time because such a being would have been multitudes smarter than the human race. This would mean that it's own DNA must have been longer than the humans, requiring more years to be generated than the universe has existed.
We may also assume that in all probability this being is not of matter but of light or energy or something altogether unknown to us.
Definite proofs for the First Principle do exist. These proofs are almost completly reason based. The amount of faith required to accept these are equal to that required for knowing the sky is blue, the grass green, and the ink you see before you black. There are five proofs by St. Aquanis. They are listed below. As mentioned they will also be utilized in the next section.
1. " The first and most obvious way is based on the existence of motion. It is certain and in fact evident to our senses that some things in the world are moved. Everything that is moved, however, is moved by something else, for a thing cannot be moved unless that movement is potentially within it. A thing moves something else insofar as it actually exists, for to move something is simply to actualize what is potentially within that thing. Something can be led thus from potentiality to actuality only by something else which is already actualized. For example, a fire, which is actually hot, causes the change or motion whereby wood, which is potentially hot, becomes actually hot. Now it is impossible that something should be potentially and actually the same thing at the same time, although it could be potentially and actually different things. For example, what is actually hot cannot at the same moment be actually cold, although it can be actually hot and potentially cold. Therefore it is impossible that a thing could move itself, for that would involve simultaneously moving and being moved in the same respect. Thus whatever is moved must be moved by something, else, etc. This cannot go on to infinity, however, for if it did there would be no first mover and consequently no other movers, because these other movers are such only insofar as they are moved by a first mover. For example, a stick moves only because it is moved by the hand. Thus it is necessary to proceed back to some prime mover which is moved by nothing else, and this is what everyone means by "God."" (Aquanis 12)
2. "The second way is based on the existence of efficient causality. We see in the world around us that there is an order of efficient causes. Nor is it ever found (in fact it is impossible) that something is its own efficient cause. If it were, it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Nevertheless, the order of efficient causes cannot proceed to infinity, for in any such order the first is cause of the middle (whether one or many) and the middle of the last. Without the cause, the effect does not follow. Thus, if the first cause did not exist, neither would the middle and last causes in the sequence. If, however, there were an infinite regression of efficient causes, there would be no first efficient cause and therefore no middle causes or final effects, which is obviously not the case. Thus it is necessary to posit some first efficient cause, which everyone calls "God."" (Aquanis 13)
3. "The third way is based on possibility and necessity. We find that some things can either exist or not exist, for we find them springing up and then disappearing, thus sometimes existing and sometimes not. It is impossible, however, that everything should be such, for what can possibly not exist does not do so at some time. If it is possible for every particular thing not to exist, there must have been a time when nothing at all existed. If this were true, however, then nothing would exist now, for something that does not exist can begin to do so only through something that already exists. If, therefore, there had been a time when nothing existed, then nothing could ever have begun to exist, and thus there would be nothing now, which is clearly false. Therefore all beings cannot be merely possible. There must be one being which is necessary. Any necessary being, however, either has or does not have something else as the cause of its necessity. If the former, then there cannot be an infinite series of such causes, any more than there can be an infinite series of efficient causes, as we have seen. Thus we must to posit the existence of something which is necessary and owes its necessity to no cause outside itself. That is what everyone calls "God."" (Aquanis 13)
4. "The fourth way is based on the gradations found in things. We find that things are more or less good, true, noble, etc.; yet when we apply terms like "more" and "less" to things we imply that they are closer to or farther from some maximum. For example, a thing is said to be hotter than something else because it comes closer to that which is hottest. Therefore something exists which is truest, greatest, noblest, and consequently most fully in being; for, as Aristotle says, the truest things are most fully in being. That which is considered greatest in any genus is the cause of everything is that genus, just as fire, the hottest thing, is the cause of all hot things, as Aristotle says. Thus there is something which is the cause of being, goodness, and every other perfection in all things, and we call that something "God."" (Aquanis 13)
5. "The fifth way is based on the governance of things. We see that some things lacking cognition, such as natural bodies, work toward an end, as is seen from the fact hat they always (or at least usually) act the same way and not accidentally, but by design. Things without knowledge tend toward a goal, however, only if they are guided in that direction by some knowing, understanding being, as is the case with an arrow and archer. Therefore, there is some intelligent being by whom all natural things are ordered to their end, and we call this being "God."" (Aquanis 13)
The next proof is also by St. Aquanis but the goal of this proof is to prove the non-existence of God immpossible. It is stated in logical format below.
P1. God by definition is a concept of which none is greater.
P2. If something exists in reality, it is greater than if it exists only in the mind.
P3. God exists as a concept in our mind
C4. It is impossible for God not to exist in reality.
Now we may discuss the afformentioned concept, that is the perfection of God. The Proof is stated below.
P1. The Laws of Physics apply everywhere and on everything within the universe.
P2. The unmoved mover defies the laws of Physics.
C1. The unmoved mover is not part of the universe.
C2. The mover exists outside the universe.
C3. Their is existence outside the universe.
P1. The only thing that the everything in the universe shares is imperfection. In other words nothing in the universe is perfect. (I'll explain this below)
P2. The Mover has an attribute that nothing else in the universe has by the fact that it alone moved itself.
C1. The mover is perfect.
Note on P1: The purpose of a living biological being is survival. No animal or human lives forever. Therefore they are not perfect. Non-living things have no will, concensioness, mind, or purpose. So without a purpose they can not perfectley fullfill it.
P1. Th monotheistic concept of God is perfection.
P2. The perfect mover exists.
C1. The monotheistic God exists.
In ending, we have come to know the means to God both through mind and faith, and we have come to know his Perfection. I do not propose to end the mystery that has always surrounded the questions of the divine but only to prove that this mystery exists and though we may attain greater fulfillment for ourselves by experiencing it, we may never solve it in this life, we may however, continoue to grow in our understanding of it . As long as, man breathes and his heart beats despite the number of answers, questions will outnumber them.