Proofs For The Existence Of God
Proofs of the Existence of God:
First Way: The Argument From Motion
St. Thomas Aquinas, studying the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, concluded from common observation that an object that is in motion (e.g. the planets, a rolling stone) is put in motion by some other object or force. From this, Aquinas believes that ultimately there must have been an UNMOVED MOVER (GOD) who first put things in motion. Follow the argument this way:
1) Nothing can move itself.
2) If every object in motion had a mover, then the first object in motion needed a mover.
3) This first mover is the Unmoved Mover, called God.
Second Way: Causation Of Existence
This Way deals with the issue of existence. Aquinas concluded that common sense observation tells us that no object creates itself. In other words, some previous object had to create it.
Aquinas believed that ultimately there must have been an UNCAUSED FIRST CAUSE (GOD) who began the chain of existence for all things. Follow the argument this way:
1) There exists things that are caused (created) by other things.
2) Nothing can be the cause of itself (nothing can create itself.)
3) There can not be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist.
4) Therefore, there must be an uncaused first cause called God.
Third Way: Contingent and Necessary Objects
This Way defines two types of objects in the universe: contingent beings and necessary beings. A contingent being is an object that can not exist without a necessary being causing its existence.
Aquinas believed that the existence of contingent beings would ultimately necessitate a being which must exist for all of the contingent beings to exist. This being, called a necessary being, is what we call God. Follow the argument this way:
1) Contingent beings are caused.
2) Not every being can be contingent.
3) There must exist a being which is necessary to cause contingent beings.
4) This necessary being is God.
Fourth Way: The Argument From Degrees And Perfection
St. Thomas formulated this Way from a very interesting observation about the qualities of things. For example one may say that of two marble sculptures one is more beautiful than the other.
So for these two objects, one has a greater degree of beauty than the next. This is referred to as degrees or gradation of a quality.
From this fact Aquinas concluded that for any given quality (e.g. goodness, beauty, knowledge) there must be an perfect standard by which all such qualities are measured. These perfections are contained in God.
( a person who really likes any form of art should understand this one)
Fifth Way: The Argument From Intelligent Design
The final Way that St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of has to do with the observable universe and the order of nature. Aquinas states that common sense tells us that the universe works in such a way, that one can conclude that is was designed by an intelligent designer, God.
In other words, all physical laws and the order of nature and life were designed and ordered by God, the intelligent designer.
i.)The basic premise, of all teleological arguments for the existence of God, is that the world exhibits an intelligent purpose based on experience from nature such as its order, unity, coherency, design and complexity. Hence, there must be an intelligent designer to account for the observed intelligent purpose and order that we can observe.
ii.)Paley's teleological argument is based on an analogy: Watchmaker is to watch as God is to universe. Just as a watch, with its intelligent design and complex function must have been created by an intelligent maker: a watchmaker, the universe, with all its complexity and greatness, must have been created by an intelligent and powerful creator. Therefore a watchmaker is to watch as God is to universe.
II)Paley's Teleological Argument:
1.)Human artifacts are products of intelligent design.
2.)The universe resembles human artifacts.
3.)Therefore the universe is a product of intelligent design.
4.) But the universe is complex and gigantic, in comparison to human artifacts.
5.)Therefore, there probably is a powerful and vastly intelligent designer who created the universe.
Follow St. Anselm's Argument Point By Point:
1) God is defined as the being in which none greater is possible.
2) It is true that the notion of God exists in the understanding (your mind.)
3) And that God may exist in reality (God is a possible being.)
4) If God only exists in the mind, and may have existed, then God might have been greater than He is.
5) Then, God might have been greater than He is (if He existed in reality.)
6) Therefore, God is a being which a greater is possible.
7) This is not possible, for God is a being in which a greater is impossible.
8) Therefore God exists in reality as well as the mind.
Everywhere in our daily life we encounter artifacts that intrigue us. When something is obviously man-made, we automatically assume that there was a designer. You would never dream that your computer "just happened" by a random combination of silica and plastic. Nor would you assume that the programming was accomplished by dropping marbles on a keyboard. Yet, even my hamster's brain is more complicated then the most sophisticated computers. To assume that hamster brains are no more than a random mix of chemicals is considerably less reasonable than the dropping of marbles. This proof also includes an important twist: if you believe that your brain is the result of random combinations of chemicals, how can you trust your reasoning? Since there is no design to your brain you cannot assume that it is capable of determining the truth.
Of course, an atheists' denial of God has little to do with reason. He knows that if he accepts that there is a God, and that that God has given certain precepts for living life on this earth, then he will be responsible for his actions at the end of his life. Many find it easier to deny that God exists than to change their lifestyles.They have created a god in their own image and everyone elses image of God is not theirs, so they reject it, but deify their own image of god which they also reject. But I think they have really rejected themselves first, and denial of God is just an elaborate excuse to justify self worship, or self hatred.
“There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.”
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen