Philosophical Enlightenment - Can people prove that God exists?
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Can God's Existence be Proven?
I can comprehend that God permitting evil to exist is part of his plan or system, and that in some way it leads to something good. I believe that you must have chaos in order to be able to define order or visa versa, and in the same respect you must have something bad or evil before you can define something good or the opposite. Which came first is a matter of endless speculation, and one could argue on the equality or superiority of each in relation to the other as easily. Of course, these are just definitions, which are dependant of understanding the terms used themselves. By the terms I mean good and evil, or chaos and order, which could vary widely depending on the individual defining them. I mean to say that without definition they don’t exist, they become just words, and the acts or happenings associated with them become undefined in terms of whether they were good or evil, or chaotic or orderly.
God the First Cause
The objection is that nature is on a path to a determined end, and that everything is traceable back to God as a first cause. This means that nothing can exist without a first cause, and that the first cause of everything is God. I see this as a possibility, but I could argue that the universe and everything in it is cyclonic, and we are a product of millions of coincidences that came together to allow our existence. I am a firm believer that all matter, including energy, that exists at this point has always existed and always will exist, it is only changed from one form to another through interaction with other matter. One could assume that this change of matter has been going on forever and will continue forever, which alleviates a need for a first cause. This point of view dismisses a need for God, but definitely not a possibility. If you look at it scientifically, for God to exist he must be out side of this system of matter that we call our universe. Perhaps, he exists on another plain or dimension that our senses are unable to detect or perceive. The rules of our universe may not apply to him and perhaps he is the first cause of everything within our dimension.
The Argument for Contingency in my opinion is faulted. I don’t believe that the idea that we are the product of a succession of dependent beings makes our existence impossible or even unlikely. I believe that it is possible for us to have gotten here through a succession of beings that were and are dependent only on their surroundings. That doesn’t mean that the cycle is infinite either. There could have been a beginning to life on Earth without a cause from an external source. The cause may have been simply possibility, and the determination of each of those beings to continue to exist in a changing environment. If God is directing it he must have a way of manipulating the very atomic structures that exist within our world. I see him as The Master Scientist of the universe. Honestly, I’m not convinced that Philosophy, or Science, or mankind in general can prove or disprove the existence of God, maybe it’s meant to be that way, it wouldn’t be faith if you could prove it, and it wouldn’t be an issue anymore if you could disprove it.
Finally, I will comment on An Examination of the Cosmological Argument. As I stated before, a series of dependent beings would not necessarily have to begin with anything more than the right combination of chemical compounds set in the proper environment to bring forth life. You wouldn’t necessarily have to have a first cause that is an intelligent motivated being at all; the first cause could have been a completely coincidental combination of the correct elemental compounds that found themselves in a situation that allowed them to develop from just compounds into a life form. I believe that every member of a collection of dependent beings has a cause or explanation, but their beginning didn’t necessarily have to be dependent upon another being, just the right circumstances. Therefore, I argue that both sides of the argument are somewhat flawed in that the series wouldn’t need to be infinite, nor would the first cause need to be intelligent. To look at nature would make one believe that it was designed, and planned by someone or something intelligent, but reason alone can’t say that it is absolutely necessary.
What is Philosophy?
The Pattern of Creation
I agree that the obvious design of a watch sets it apart from a stone, at least at first glance, but to look deeper it would become obvious that each was made of atomic structures. It is obvious that the watch has been carefully designed by a person, from which materials made of atomic structures were used, of which, that person could claim no part in creating. Only the manipulation of the matter that was necessary to make the pieces that were necessary to produce the watch. If, I were to agree that this does indicate that the very matter itself must have been created by an intelligent, motivated being, then I immediately see a pattern of creation. Would I assume that the creator of the matter too, had a creator, and that creator had a creator, and so on infinitively? Now I’m back to square one asking myself; can an infinitive number of events have occurred? The argument that the rock might have always been there doesn’t work unless you believe that an infinite number of instances could have transpired, than there would be no beginning, therefore; no need for a creator. Furthermore, if one were to say that man is now guilty of creating machine making machines, as proposed by Swinburne, it only adds to the probability that there might be an infinite number of creators each responsible for its creations. Then there’s the question of the type of creator that created our world, is he perfect, and all powerful, and inherently good, and infinite. For that matter, is he even a he, perhaps he is a she, or both, or neither. What in nature indicates that God is a male? Plenty of female figures are perfectly capable of creating machines, many have been known to do so, and I’m sure if you look hard enough you could find a hermaphrodite that created some sort of machine as well. It would seem to me that the indication that’s most likely in this light is that there are multiple Gods, being male, female, and perhaps even both. Don’t forget the machine making machines that we make, they are neither male nor female they are just machines. I do see how you might come to the conclusion that the creator of the world around us, including us, is infinite, because his creations seem to be infinite as well. I don’t mean to say that we are infinite, as a race or individually, but the matter that we are made of and everything else in our world seems to be so. Remember that every indication of matter suggests that all matter has always been here and always will be. New matter can’t be created, and existing matter can’t be destroyed, at least not by any means known to man. It can however, be changed through interaction with other matter. Keep in mind that by matter I mean all matter, every particle in our universe including energy, light, and everything else. So, we as people are not infinite, our machines are not infinite, the machines made by our machines are not infinite, but the matter that makes us all is, so the conclusion would be that their creator could be as well. When I ponder whether our creator is intelligent, I wonder about the idea of intelligence. Birds, and bees, and ants all make extravagant homes for themselves, but would you say that they are intelligent. In one regard they must be to construct such dwellings, on the other hand do they really think, are they even sentient, or do they just do what they do out of instinct. Intellect is a very complicated subject. One could argue that the machines that we make are intelligent. They do, after all, perform tasks and calculations that man himself could never do. Perhaps we are to God what our machines are to us, and our machines see us as their God. I realize that this statement seems absurd, but if intellect is as broad of an idea as it seems, it could be construed as such.
In summary, my view is that each idea expressed has been interesting and has caused me to engage in deep thought, but I still stand firm that to announce that you have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists or the contrary, displays that your philosophy has not considered every possibility.