Existence of God

Topics: God, Ontology, Teleological argument Pages: 5 (1728 words) Published: November 28, 2011
Existence of God

The question as to the fact on whether or not God exists or ceases to exist has been one of the most debated. Human beings find it necessary to prove the existence of God so that we can give meaning to life. People that disprove his existence do so because they find meaning elsewhere, such as in evolution. A person can believe and have faith in God, but as to whether or not his existence can be proven lays the argument between theists and atheists. The philosophers discussed believe that faith and reason must be coherent with each other. St. Anselm with the Ontological argument, and Paley’s Teleological argument, all articulate proofs that provide an argument for God’s existence. In juxtaposition, Hume offers arguments against the existence of God. The first premise to prove the existence of God is Anselm's “The Ontological Argument,” which states that God is the perfect being. The formula Anselm comprises is that God is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. God is known as the spiritual infinity and because he is the most perfect, he must possess all perfections. He is the all good, all knowing, and all-powerful. His presence exists so truly, that it cannot be conceived not to exist. It is reasoned that God must exist because it is a contradiction to think he does not, therefore he truly does exist. Also, if God were a mere figment, he would not be perfect; as he is perfect he must subsist. He writes: “This [being] exists so truly that it cannot be thought not to exist. For it is possible to think that something exists that cannot be thought not to exist, and such a being is greater than one that can be thought not to exist. A being that could fail to exist is what we will call a contingent being. In our usual vocabulary, a contingency is something uncertain. A contingent being is one whose existence is uncertain.” Anselm is saying that a non-contingent being is greater than a contingent being. It is part of the concept of God that God's non-existence is inconceivable. Belief in God, then, is rationally necessary. According to Anselm, anyone who doesn't believe is deeply confused. Anselm therefore reasons that God’s pure essence solely equates to his existence. existence.

In accordance with Anselm, St Thomas Aquinas, establishes his five ways to prove the existence of God as well. First, is the argument for motion, which states that whatever is in motion is put in motion by another. God therefore is the First Mover and he gives us the will to move. Second, is the formality of efficient causation, which suggests that a thing can not be the efficient cause of itself. There has to be an order of efficient causation and something is always caused by another thing. Cause has to be created by an uncaused. In this case, God is the First Efficient Cause and it is because of him that all things exist. The third way is possibility and necessity, which says that some things are possible to be or not to be and things are given there necessity by a greater being. Both the second and third ways fall under the cosmological argument for God’s existence. The fourth way is the gradation of things and there is some more, some less good, true, noble, etc. Goodness had to come into the world somehow and this way is through God. The fifth way is the governance of the world and bestows that whatever lacks intelligence can not fulfill some purpose, unless it is directed by some being with intelligence and knowledge. This being that instills knowledge is to be known as God. All these ways are provided with the understanding that nothing can go on until infinity because if it did, then God would not be needed to exist.

Aquinas states, “The knowledge of God is naturally implanted in all”. (Introduction to World Philosophy page 537). That being said if the knowledge of God is implanted into human beings at birth, than God must exist, it is self-evident that he exist. This whether it is his main argument or...
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