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Does God exist??? Here is the PROOF!!!

Updated on February 22, 2011

The arguments for the existence of God are an attempt to prove (or justify) God's existence by rational means. The arguments for the existence of God are often based on general revelation and are termed under natural theology. This is the belief that there is evidence for God's existence from the way things are in the world. In the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas outlined five proofs for the existence of God. Aquinas believed that it was possible to discern truths about God based on reason and revelation. The chief ideas of Aquinas were harvested from Aristotle’s philosophy.

The most popular arguments for the existence of God are:

  • Cosmological arguments
  • Moral arguments
  • Teleological arguments

Aquinas explored variations of the theme in the first three of his proofs, and these were subsequently developed as cosmological arguments for the existence of God. The fourth proof has connections with moral arguments for the existence of God, whilst the fifth way is related to teleological arguments for the existence of God .

The Cosmological Argument

The cosmological arguments seek to argue for the existence of God based on what we experience of the world and universe we live in. The central aim of cosmological arguments is to establish what caused everything to be here, or how the world and the universe began.

Cosmological arguments are attempting to address the problem of an infinite regress. This occurs when we have no starting-point for something. This can be understood with an example; in terms of the origin of the world we might ask where everything came from. If we are told that everything came from x, we would then ask where x came from. If x came from y, then we would logically want to know where y came from, and so on and so on. Therefore, in order to stop this never-ending sequence we would need to find the uncaused-cause of everything else.

St. Thomas Aquinas proposed several cosmological arguments. In one he argued that things only move because they are moved by something else, which leads us to seek the first mover of everything. In another version he argued that every event has a cause, and that this leads us to seek the first cause of everything. In the third version he argued that contingent things exist, and that if there would only be contingent things then there would be a time at which nothing exists, but as the world is existing, it means that there is a non-contingent being. Aquinas’ cosmological arguments were basically intended to show that in order for anything else to be here, it required the presence of something that existed before anything else did. And that something is God.

The first way: The way of Motion

According to Aquinas, the Unmoved First Mover accounts for the motion of the physical universe. This First Mover is not self-moved, since this would violate the potentiality/actuality principle. The First Mover, therefore must be both Unmoved and Pure Motion. In addition, he also concludes that God is not a physical body for at least two reasons. First, all bodies are in some way moved (or changed) by causing movement; but the First Mover is by definition Unmoved, thereby requiring the conclusion that the First Mover is not a body. Second, whereas every body possesses some potentiality (for motion), the First Mover as Pure Actual Motion cannot possibly be a body. The first way proves only that God is an immaterial Unmoved First Mover in relation to the physical motion of the universe.

I would like to set Aquinas’ proof against the background of Aristotle’s discussion of astronomy. Aristotle argued that planetary motion, which he believed caused the seasons to change, required an unmoved mover who would maintain the order of things in the midst of this. Therefore, Aquinas used this notion to speak of the sustaining work of God. God made sure the world and the universe remained the same, but was also behind the changes which led to the years passing by without any problem.

The second way: The way of Causation

The second way continues to parallel the first by its argument against the possibility of an infinite regress of efficient causes. Aquinas specifically mentions that the number of intermediate efficient causes is irrelevant. Therefore, whether there be one or several, for all practical purposes, intermediate causes may be considered a single whole. This characteristic of intermediate causes, makes even an infinite number of them inadequate to support any effect in and of themselves. From this and the preceding line of argumentation, Aquinas concludes that we must necessarily agree to the existence of an Uncaused First Efficient Cause from which the existence and movement of all other beings is ultimately derived, and this is what we understand to be God.

The third way: The way of Contingency

There was a time when certain things existed, and there will be a time when they no longer exist. There must also have been a time when nothing existed. This means that objects have contingent existence, which means they could or  could not exist. For Aquinas, the only thing which has always existed is God (who would therefore have necessary existence). Furthermore, Aquinas saw no way to explain how anything was here, unless something was already in existence prior to it. Thus if God did not exist, nothing else would exist. To clarify this argument further, I would like to explain the argument on contingency in detail. Some beings, e.g., the flowers of spring, are contingent; that is to say, they come into existence and perish. They are not necessary beings; they do not exist of themselves; they are dependent upon other flowers and seeds for their existence. All beings, however, cannot be contingent beings. If all beings were contingent beings, if there were no necessary being which exists without dependence upon other beings, there would be nothing at all. There must be a necessary being to explain why contingent beings come into existence.

Moral Argument

Aquinas’ fourth way of demonstrating the existence of God proceeds from the gradation which is found in the things of this world.

The fourth way: The way of Gradation

We can see in the world degrees of perfection and goodness (i.e. some things are bad, some not so bad, some are better than others etc.). Now for Aquinas, things are ‘degrees of  x’ when comparing them to the best in any genus. Now as humans have the capacity for both good and bad deeds, they cannot be the source of goodness (i.e. the most Good thing). Therefore, the maximum in the genus of morality must be something non-human and not in the world, which leaves us with God as the most perfect being, and the first cause (or source) of all goodness and perfection.

I feel that this is not so much an argument for the existence of God, but for the existence of some standard of morality, or for humans to be aware of it if they are to speak meaningfully about things being good or bad, or not. The argument seems to be Platonic in origin and presupposes the idea of participation. Thomas uses the illustration from fire and heat because it is more vivid to the senses.

Teleological Argument

The word telos in Greek means ‘purpose’, and so teleological arguments suggest that there is evidence of purpose (or intentional design), in the way the world is. Teleological arguments suggest that the world has been set up and ordered in such a precise way, that this could not have happened by chance but must have been done by some higher reality, God. For example, eyes and ears are said to have been precisely designed for seeing and hearing, the seasons are ordered so as to cause plants to grow year after year, and the ozone layer is set up at the correct distance from the earth so as to protect us from harmful U.V. rays. Inherent in all teleological arguments is the notion that the world and the universe are complex, yet everything seems to fit together in a precise and ordered way, and that this could not have happened by chance.

The fifth way: The way of Design (or teleology)

Aquinas’ design argument basically suggests that the inanimate objects (e.g. Planets), could not have ordered themselves (i.e. got themselves into the orbits they have), because they lack the intelligence to do so. Yet as the planets are aligned so perfectly, this means it must have been done so by a Being with the intelligence to do so. Now although humans are intelligent, they cannot move planets, so that leaves us with God. Nature suggests a realm of order, in that things seem to have an innate sense of purpose. For Aquinas, anything which has in it a sense of purpose, requires the aid of a ‘guiding hand’. For instance, an arrow only hits the target, because it has been fired by an archer. Thus if nature appears ordered, it must have a guiding hand, God.

Final Words

Science, using various modern amenities, tells us how life began. It denies the need to bring God into this discussion. But it cannot explain why life began, in the first place. So, I suggest that maybe this is where God is needed (and why God must exist).

I feel that Aquinas’ first two ways present a successful argument for the existence of God. No doubt, the arguments have weak points which are subjected to criticism but nonetheless, in my opinion, the propositions by Aquinas accomplish their purpose in establishing the existence of a Greatest Conceivable Being that is the unmoved mover and uncaused cause. I believe that this ultimate Being is unchanging and started the universe, time and all matter and concepts of existence. In my view, this Being is what we understand to be God.

St. Thomas Aquinas recognized that there were some people who doubted the existence of God because, to them, logic did not allow for or explain God’s existence. His first two ways are two proofs based on logic and observation of nature in proving God’s existence to those who could not accept or believe God on faith alone.

The third way recognizes that nothing in the world is sufficient in itself to answer all the questions we might have about it – so some of our questions will always take us beyond the object in question. And it recognizes that the world itself is insufficient to answer all our questions about it. The world leaves us asking, Why is there something rather than nothing? – and the world does not seem capable of providing any answer to that question.

William Paley’s ‘watch analogy’ suggests that complex and ordered things do not occur by chance. Instead, rather like the complex mechanism of a watch they have to have been made by someone, and for a specific reason. Thus I can conclude that because the world is complex and ordered (like a watch), that it could not have come about by chance, but must be the product of intelligent design, of God.

Are these proofs sufficient to prove the existance of God?

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    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 2 years ago from Irvine

      "William Paley’s ‘watch analogy’ suggests that complex and ordered things do not occur by chance. Instead, rather like the complex mechanism of a watch they have to have been made by someone, and for a specific reason. Thus I can conclude that because the world is complex and ordered (like a watch), that it could not have come about by chance, but must be the product of intelligent design, of God."

      Eh. What make anyone believe the universe is ordered? There is at least as much chaos as order in the perceivable universe. The universe does not operate as orderly as a clock. It is filled with unimaginable discontinuity, calamity and destruction. Our planet has undergone several mass extinctions, and there is no reason to assume that human beings will be better suited to put off its own survival. Is that order? If we are superceded by really intelligent cockroaches, maybe they will have a better chance of keeping their species alive by navigating to other planets.

      Like AKA Wisdom suggested "There is no need for a first cause or a prime mover. It is only the limited view of man that establishes things like beginnings and ends, design, and the thought that there must be necessity for a first cause."

      Our rather desperate need to understand the universe but not having the brain power to do so shouldn't push us into positions of mere faith or speculation. As horrid as it may seem to many "believers," there may be no reason whatsoever for our development and ability to question the machinations of the universe. The questions we ask may very well be assinine. We want our individual lives to "mean" something, and we shrink inwardly at the suggestion that there is no meaning whatsoever. The universe could be nothing more than a light switch that had no beginning. How can anything not have a beginning you may ask. Perhaps the process was/is the fundamental mechanism of one near eternity after another. I still think the "Big Crunch" theory is probably the most valid explanation for a re-duplicating universe -- one that expands upon ultimate condensation and triggers another Big Bang. You want to know, well, okay, if that's how the universe is arranged, "who" arranged it. This is where you just have to let go of your anthropormofic take on the universe. The universe may have gone through these convulsions three billion times -- it doesn't matter. What bakes my cookes is the thought -- why is there anything at all? Why have this process of beginning, end, beginning, end, etc.? As much as it irks me, I have to admit there may be no reason at all. The whole thing is just a process -- maybe spun off from an extra dimension or nothing at all. Since time is an irrelevant, man-made construct, a "beginning" may simply have no meaning. Perhaps "time" has a circular motion, in which case no one can say when time began ... that is to say this process of universe creation and construction is just part of an endless loop.

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 6 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hi Hoshihiko, If I believe in a religion then that does not mean that I will feel that other religions are fake. There is truth in every religion, but the path is different. Let me give you an example. If a group of people stand in a circle and point to the center, every person knows that he is pointing to the center. But that does not mean that others aren't. Though every person is pointing to the center, each one may feel that the others are not, because every person's direction is different. A similar thing happens in terms of religious beliefs. So we need to study other religions as well, to know the truth in a different perspective.

    • profile image

      Hoshihiko Ajinomoto 7 years ago

      hello all im from japan and here we follow Shinto and Buddhism but most of our population does not belive in god, my question is here we have a saying that if u belive in one religion or god then automatically you show that the other religions are fake. please explain

    • profile image

      rodrigues xyinge 7 years ago

      happy that u replying ..hope this is not a showoff to the self or to others..haha..

      whatevr u told Jaaifal..or jaaifal told question remains the same...i repeat,

      "So medonca.marvin, you THINK that it is a 'concept of God' and not 'God'.. which was introduced and it did not exist bfore that??"...or you going to be giving the same philosophy that both is the same thing.

      I accept i am a bad reader..its morality.

      Again, you say..

      Morality stems forth from Spirituality !!


      Spirituality stems forth from Morality ??

      (please revisit your logics)

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hi rodrigues xyinge, it seems that you have not understood my comment. Let me clarify. When I used the term 'concept of God', I was only answering Jaaifal in his own words (Kindly refer to his comment).

      Another thing is that you confused the term Morality with Mortality. If you look at my comment, properly, you will notice that I have not used the term Mortality; because Mortality means to be susceptible to death. I wrote Morality, which is a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct.

      To answer your question about the connection between Morality and Spirituality, I feel that Morality is connected to Spirituality as Spirituality is the quest for the deepest values and meanings by which we must live. Thus Morality stems forth from Spirituality.

    • profile image

      rodrigues xyinge 7 years ago

      So medonca.marvin, you THINK that it is a 'concept of God' and not 'God'.. which was introduced and it did not exist bfore that??

      Why would there be there be any of confusion between mortality and spirituality?? ..when they are not complimenting to each other in any sense? How is Mortality and Spirituality connected as per you "thinking" (in your thoughts) ? Are you referring mortal(human) and spiritual(God) ?

      I do not understand "mortality and spirituality".. please explain in simple words as you have intend to in your earlier posts.. if possible in One Sentence.

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hi Jaaifal, I don't think that the concept of God was introduced to keep humans away from bad deeds. Agreeing to this would mean confusing between morality and spirituality. Society has always managed to check the bad deeds by means of social and moral norms. Thus the concept of God wouldn't be a necessity for this task.

    • profile image

      jaaifal  7 years ago

      Hi Mendonca is the concept of god introduce to humans just to keep them away from bad deeds (fear of god) or to cover up things which are unexplainable.

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Yes Bharamiamvala, there is always the possibility of tales being altered and modified according to the needs or demands of the recipients. That is why you must search in a number of books regarding the topic of your choice. Also, the internet lacks the authenticity given by books. Lot of data on the internet is not authentic. So you must be careful regarding the selection of source of the information that you are searching.

    • Bharamiamvala profile image

      Bharamiamvala 7 years ago

      hey marvin thanks for the comment and your views, but i doubt that if internet is not true, so would be the books??

      down the years the tales must be adulterated, so are the people ??? plzz comment

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hey Bharamiamvala, most of the knowledge that we have about Jesus Christ is from the gospels which are recorded in the Bible. Jesus is one of the most influential personalities in history. So it is obvious that many have tried to search the missing link in Jesus' life; ie., where was he from age 13 to 30. Well I personally believe that he was in Nazareth, his home town, with his parents. But at the same time, I suggest that you search more about this in books and journals rather than on the internet.

    • Bharamiamvala profile image

      Bharamiamvala 7 years ago

      Hey Marvin as per your huge experience about gods existence and creation, can you please spread some light on these links, as i cant find any relevance in them,As all these question just make me restless and i dont get any definite answer.please help

      I am a great believer in Esha massi !!amen

    • profile image

      mata ki chowki 7 years ago

      how come any one deny the ram bridge ..from india to srilanka .... marvelous piece of engineering ... hindu gods are pioneers of creation........

      jai alha ji ki!!!

      Anything that can be killed should be killed and deserves to be destroyed

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Well said, AntonOfTheNorth..

    • profile image

      AntonOfTheNorth 7 years ago

      Hey Everyone.

      I'm enjoying this debate too! Thanks for the hub mendonca.marvin

      To the 'why is there something rather than nothing?', classic philosphy could respond 'why not?'

      In an infinite reality, something that happens only once in a trillion times is still inevitable.

      I agree with AKA Winston in that there is no reason why matter could not always have been.

      However, that notion does not rule out the possibility that the universe is an artifact. Maybe matter has always been, but has it always been organized this way?

      Just because we don't have a theory that explains something does not mean it does not exist.

      What you believe depends on your viewpoint.

      The truth does not. The truth is what it is. Our opinions don't matter a bit. (Unless we define 'truth' differently, but another topic perhaps).

      I am not a quantum physicist. If I choose to believe the math that is way over my head, that is an act of trust, respect or faith in what I am told by those who have conducted the experiment or formulated the theory.(or those that wrote the book, or first taught it to me or however I learned of it.)

      The actual truth of the universe is something we seem to be keen to determine. No one way appears satisfactory in this search. Science can't answer anything it cannot observe or measure (and doesn't Heisenberg get in the way of that even?).

      Faith cannot state anything to a certainty because by definition, faith is a position that cannot be proved.

      If I could define the worlds based solely on my belief system, wouldn't that make me god?

      And if god really wanted me to know for certain. . .wouldn't I?

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Well Pierre, that depends on your view point. My question is from a deterministic viewpoint where causality plays the key role. You may say that there is often no reason for something to happen. But if you dig deeper into an event that took place, u will find a cause (or reason) at the root of it.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 7 years ago from Canada

      We must avoid anthropomorphic biases. There is often no reason for something happening.

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Well said abhi332..there are some fundamental questions for which science does not have any answer. These questions need to be looked at philosophically.

      For example, Why is there something rather than nothing?

    • abhi332 profile image

      abhi332 7 years ago from USA

      There are many things which science does not know

      1) What is dark matter in universe

      2)Why gravitational field exists, which is the main reason for the existence of universe.

      3)Why Life is there.

      God is not a physical entity is is everything. it is the ultimate truth!

    • profile image

      AKA Winston 7 years ago

      As soon as one posits that an immaterial spirit (a thought) can interact and be the physical mediator that affects matter, one is arguing magical explanations as a default position. Thunder caused by Thor's hammer would be a similar claim.

      The real default position is this: existence exists. From that starting point, it is up to the claimant to establish without magical thinking how everything came to be.

      Without irrational, magical explanations, like creation ex nihilo, the clear explanation is that matter is eternal. There is no need for a first cause or a prime mover. It is only the limited view of man that establishes things like beginnings and ends, design, and the thought that there must be necessity for a first cause.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 7 years ago from Canada

      You're trying to win both ways. If we have a perfect organ, Allahu Akbar! But if an organ has flaws, we are smart enough to realize it IS flawed but NOT smart enough to realize God's incredibly clever reasons for being so klutzy, and Allahu Akbar again!

      Show us a way to win, that maybe things are NOT like you are thinking, if flaws exist.

    • profile image

      SnowRose 7 years ago

      Your hub makes an excellent point: there is a pattern and maker to everything. Rationally speaking, nothing just happens without a cause and effect, without a designer, even if we may find His work to be imperfect, or without an established scale of values. Who is to say man was meant to have perfect eyes or that comets should not collide with other planets? Scientists who disagree with the idea of a higher being reject their own logical rationale.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 7 years ago from Canada

      The orbits of the planets are not even totally firmly established. The planets and other bodies MOSTLY don't interfere with each other, they don't collide any more like they used to, but we have seen evidence of past collisions. Why does the Moon have craters? If all orbiting bodies were set up with perfect wisdom, the Moon would be smooth now! Why would things have collided if they were placed in a "perfect order" by a Creator? Why did the Shoemaker-Levy comet collide into Jupiter? Didn't God set their orbits perfectly so they wouldn't interfere? Why do comets exist at all? They're a constant threat to us and to the other planets, their orbits impossible to figure out exactly. Was God setting a "perfect alignment" that would fail later?

      And don't tell me that "human sin" or "the fall of Man" reached out with its mighty claws and started disturbing the planets. That would be the height of stupidity, especially since the Bible says Satan fell to Earth and stays there.

      No, the "perfection" of the Solar System is a Medieval idea that didn't last when we developed telescopes and measurements and found out there were craters on the Moon and comets crashing into planets like Jupiter...

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 7 years ago from Canada

      The more I read it, the more I see you may get in trouble when you mention real objects and their "perfection". Airy abstract philosophical arguments are troublesome enough, but where do you get the idea the planets are "aligned so perfectly"? They are not even in the same plane, not exactly. The planets we have are there as a result of the accumulation of gases. They follow certain orbits that have a certain a harmonic ratio, albeit a subtle relationship. Any stray bit of gas, any asteroid not following that relationship, would have been pulled out of its orbit and crashed into one of the other worlds or the Sun. The planets are not a remarkable symmetric arrangement, they are merely "what's left", the gas that found safe orbits and have stayed there.

      And eyes and ears "precisely designed for seeing and hearing"? We humans are supposed to be God's favorite -- yet we don't receive the audio-frequency range of a bat, a cat or even a dog. We don't have the fine resolution of an eagle's vision, why not?

      Plus, I've got a shocker for you: our retinas are inside-out. A properly designed set of sensing-cells would have nerves going OUT through the BACK of the eye, but in fact what happens is that the nerves connected to the light-sensing cells, the "rods" and "cones", go up INTO the path of oncoming light, forming a film of nerves on top. We don't see as clearly as we could. The nerves collect to form the Optic Nerve and exit through the Blind Spot -- a spot in each eye where there can be no sensing-cells since the nerves are exiting there. This is a flaw -- but if you believe in a God then it's a Design Flaw. No first-year engineering student would make such a mistake.

      And if you suggest that there is some as-yet unknown reason for this God to gift us with imperfect eyes, I have to ask, why didn't God give the same "gift" to molluscs: snails, squids and octopuses? THEIR eyes have nerves which exit out the back-surface of the eye, out of the way of incoming light, with no fuss. Clearly eyes evolved randomly; our eyes evolved one way, the molluscs' eyes evolving another way. It wasn't conscious design, because a smart designer would stay with ONE smart design.

      Don't argue for perfection of the universe, or of the human body, until you actually study those things scientifically. Doctors study a lot of biology and anatomy and they have higher numbers of Atheists than even scientists, so that should tell you something. No actual researcher is constantly talking about God's intervention or God's action or a mysterious "God factor", they find more plausible reasons for what exists.

    • Pagelift profile image

      Pagelift 7 years ago

      Agreed. This is far from proof.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 7 years ago from Canada

      ...also, the Watchmaker argument runs into a fallacy. If a person finds a watch on the beach, it might be reasonable to conclude that a watchmaker made it. But if you walk along the beach further and find a drain-pipe connected to a nuclear reactor, do you say the watchmaker made the reactor as well? Of course not.

      Furthermore, watches evolved as much as were made. The form of our watches evolved from sundials, sundials evolved from sticks thrust in the sand to measure shadows -- and a stick in the sand can result from a random gust of wind embedding a stick by chance, without any conscious designer.

      No scientist goes around saying anything in the universe, not even matter, needs a conscious designer. People who argue that way are trying to make their ignorance of science or inability to understand possible alternatives to "intelligent design" into a valid point of argument. It isn't.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 7 years ago from Canada

      Naaah, this is unsatisfying. Aquinian arguments from centuries ago don't work. Philosophy was developed even before they had a good understanding of the nature of matter. We now know there are events going on at the quantum level which make cause and effect interchangeable or meaningless, or impossible to establish simultaneity because of special relativity. But scientific information was not able to inform philosophical speculations.

    • profile image

      Jake 7 years ago

      Awwwwwwsome man.....philosophy and reasoning to core!!!

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      One more thing, Namrata, people generally attempt to rationalize every possible thing. In the process they end up reasoning the divine, thinking that the spiritual is non-rational. So I have attempted to bring to light the exitence of the spiritual by using pure philosophy and logical reasoning.

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Yes Namrata, you understood the essence of this article. No matter how much science tries to answer every possible question, when it comes to the ultimate truth, it has to remain silent. This silence only affirms the existence of God.

    • profile image

      namrata 7 years ago

      it was really good to read ths piece of information as in this highly scientific world wer even love,emotions n stress has a scientific reason ...... many unanswered questions demands an explanation even science cudn't answer..... n those thngs r miracles of god does exists n nw v also hv a proof..........thanx

    • mendonca.marvin profile image

      mendonca.marvin 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Hey Geet, thanks for your comment. Feel free to ask questions, I'll try to answer your queries.

    • profile image

      Geet 7 years ago

      Wow... Good one!!! Helped me a lot


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