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God is the Supreme Being who is to be worshiped and served (Dt. 6:4-5), and who, in the monotheistic tradition, is acknowledge as the personal, eternal, immutable, all-knowing and all powerful creator.1 In this definition of God, many people are asking, Does God really exist? If He is existing what is the proof of His existence? In our modern times, many believers are challenged to proof Gods existence. They are challenged by atheists with their belief of atheism. Atheism is the denial of Gods existence, in theory or in practice. The many forms of atheism range from tolerant indifference to the particular concept of God being rejected and the socio-ecclesiastical setting for the conflict. For a time it is possible to withhold assent to God, but to bracket off consistently the question of Gods existence is irresponsible and blameworthy.2 I, as a believer, would like to expose to you the proof of existence of God according to some different philosophers that studied, think and meditate in order to prove that God is really exist. From ancient time until modern times, the existence of God is a big issue that is why there are philosophers in ancient and modern time made their arguments in order that many unbelievers believe what is true.

1 2

OCollins Gerald, SJ and Farrugia Edward, G., SJ, A Concise Dictionary of Theology, p. 97 Ibid, p. 21

Chapter I:

St. Augustine of Hippos Proof of Gods Existence

At first, St. Augustine considered that the existence of God should simply be taken for granted. It was regarded as a matter so self-evident that a proof of God's existence would be entirely superfluous. He subsequently proposed an ontological argument to prove his case.3

Augustine began by proving that human reason exists, something with which no one could argue. He then asked his listener to accept that if he can prove there is something greater than human reason, that it must be God. This was a weak point in his argument and, unless the listener agreed, Augustine could not continue.4

Augustine would then point out the mathematical truth that seven plus three equals ten, arguing that this is true, whether or not human reason exists. Therefore there is something out there, some truth, which is greater than human reason. The statement is true, not because we say it is, but because it is a truth that exists in this world and that truth must come from somewhere. Since this truth is greater than human reason, and does not depend on us to be true, there must be a God.5

St. Augustine's Argument for the Existence of God

In order to prove anything, we must first start with a foundation that is accepted as truth. Augustine begins with the platform that we exist. We cannot argue this because if we do it is proving ourselves wrong. The mere fact that we can argue is a proof of our existence. Next he asks us if we are alive. We must also agree to this because in order to agree or to not agree we

3 4 Ibid 5

must be alive. Now he asks us if we understand these two steps to be true. If we do, then he has proven his next step, we have reason. For without reason, we could not understand these two basic concepts.6 He then puts all of existence in a hierarchy. The lowest form of existence is illustrated by a rock. It exists, and this is all it does. It has no concept of life, or even of it's own existence. One step up on Augustine's hierarchy is a tree. It is both alive, and it exists. It does not have understanding, nor does it have mobility. A dog is next on his list. A dog exists, lives, and is sensate. It can feel, taste, smell, hear, and touch. It has an understanding of life, and of survival. It has what he calls an inner animal sense. It can chose whether or not to eat a certain item, it can move freely, and respond freely, whereas nothing below a dog in the hierarchy can do any of that. Still higher than the dog, is the human, we exists, have life, are sensate, and have one thing that all the others lack, one things that sets us apart from all the others, we have reason. We are capable of understanding, and choosing. It alone gives us more power than any other being on this earth.7 This is where Augustine takes a jump. The pupil must now accept that if he can prove there is something greater than human reason, that it must be God. If, and only if the pupil accepts can the argument continue. If the pupil accepts, Augustine will point out the mathematical truth that seven plus three equals ten. He argues that this is true, whether or not we exist. It is not ten because we want it to be, because it should be, because it's supposed to be, because it could be, because it might be, it is because it is. And that fact alone demonstrates that there is something out there, some truth, which is greater than human reason. It is true, not because we, as humans, say it is, but because it is a truth that exists in this world and that truth

6 7 Ibid

must come from somewhere. Since this truth is greater than human reason, and does not depend on us, the greatest being in the hierarchy, to be true, then there must be a God.8 I think that this proof is very rational, and it makes a lot of sense. One thing I do not like about this proof is that it devalues God to a mathematical equation. There is also lots of room for people to argue that just because there is mathematical truth, there does not mean that there is a God. I can also understand how some people would have trouble understanding that God is math. If this proof is taken literally, then it is dependent much on faith to show that God is the truth of mathematics. I think that in order for a person to believe this argument, they already need to have some basis of a belief in God as a perfect being, otherwise there is a misconception that God is merely the truth of mathematics. For those who already have faith, this is a good proof to back up that faith.9

8 9 Ibid

Chapter II:

Ontological Argument of St. Anselm of Canterbury

The ontological argument was first proposed by Anselm of Canterbury (10331109) in chapter 2 of the Proslogion, even though he did not directly use the expression. He argued that there are necessary beingsthings that cannot not existand contingent beingsthings that may or may not exist, but whose existence is not necessary. He starts with his famous definition, or necessary assumption about the nature of God: "Now we believe that [the Lord] is something than which nothing greater can be imagined."10 Then Anselm asks: does God exist? In sum, he concludes that, whether one believes in God or not, she cannot avoid at least having the notion of that greatest possible being in her mind. Now Anselm introduces another assumption: "And certainly that than which a greater cannot be imagined cannot be in the understanding alone. For if it is at least in the understanding alone, it can be imagined to be in reality too, which is greater."11 It would therefore be contradictory to assume that the greatest possible being exists in the understanding alone, because then, it would always be possible to imagine an even greater beingthat which actually exists.12 From that contradiction, Anselm draws his conclusion: "There exists, therefore, beyond doubt something than which a greater cannot be imagined,,both in the understanding and in reality."13 In his Proslogon 3, Anselm made another a priori argument for God, this time based on the idea of necessary existence. He claimed that if God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived, it is better to be necessary than contingent. Therefore God must be necessary.14
10 11,_Arguments_for_the_Existence_of_God Ibid 12 Ibid 13 Ibid

Chapter III:

St. Thomas Aquinas Proof of Gods Existence

Five Ways Proof Of Gods Existence

First Way: Motion

The first and plainest is the method that proceeds from the point of view of motion. It is certain and in accord with experience, that things on earth undergo change. Now, everything that is moved is moved by something; nothing, indeed, is changed, except it is changed to something which it is in potentiality. Moreover, anything moves in accordance with something actually existing; change itself, is nothing else than to bring forth something from potentiality into actuality. Now, nothing can be brought from potentiality to actual existence except through something actually existing: thus heat in action, as fire, makes fire-wood, which is hot in potentiality, to be hot actually, and through this process, changes itself. The same thing cannot at the same time be actually and potentially the same thing, but only in regard to different things. What is actually hot cannot be at the same time potentially hot, but it is possible for it at the same time to be potentially cold. It is impossible, then, that anything should be both mover and the thing moved, in regard to the same thing and in the same way, or that it should move itself. Everything, therefore, is moved by something else. If, then, that by which it is moved, is also moved, this must be moved by something still different, and this, again, by something else. But this process cannot go on to infinity because there would not be any first mover, nor, because of this fact, anything else in motion, as the succeeding things would not move except because of what is moved by the first mover, just as a stick is not moved except through what is moved from



the hand. Therefore it is necessary to go back to some first mover, which is itself moved by nothing and this all men know as God.15 The Argument from Motion 1. 2. 3. 4. Our senses prove that some things are in motion. Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion. Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion. Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another). 5. 6. 7. 8. Therefore nothing can move itself. Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else. The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

Second Way:


The second proof is from the nature of the efficient cause. We find in our experience that there is a chain of causes: nor is it found possible for anything to be the efficient cause of itself, since it would have to exist before itself, which is impossible. Nor in the case of efficient causes can the chain go back indefinitely, because in all chains of efficient causes, the first is the cause of the middle, and these of the last, whether they be one or many. If the cause is removed, the effect is removed. Hence if there is not a first cause, there will not be a last, nor a middle. But if the chain were to go back infinitely, there would be no first cause, and thus no ultimate effect,


nor middle causes, which is admittedly false. Hence we must presuppose some first efficient cause which all calls God.16 Argument from Efficient Causes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. We perceive a series of efficient causes of things in the world. Nothing exists prior to itself. Therefore nothing is the efficient cause of itself. If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results. Therefore if the first thing in a series does not exist, nothing in the series exists. The series of efficient causes cannot extend ad infinitum into the past, for then there would be no things existing now. 7. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

Third Way:


The third proof is taken from the natures of the merely possible and necessary. We find that certain things either may or may not exist, since they are found to come into being and be destroyed, and in consequence potentially, either existent or non-existent. But it is impossible for all things that are of this character to exist eternally, because what may not exist, at length will not. If, then, all things were merely possible (mere accidents), eventually nothing among things would exist. If this is true, even now there would be nothing, because what does not exist, does not take its beginning except through something that does exist. If then nothing existed, it would be impossible for anything to begin, and there would now be nothing existing, which is admittedly false. Hence not all things are mere accidents, but there must be one necessarily


existing being. Now every necessary thing either has a cause of its necessary existence, or has not. In the case of necessary things that have a cause for their necessary existence, the chain of causes cannot go back infinitely, just as not in the case of efficient causes, as proved. Hence there must be presupposed something necessarily existing through its own nature, not having a cause elsewhere but being itself the cause of the necessary existence of other things which all call God.17 Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reduction Argument) 1. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, that come into being and go out of being i.e., contingent beings. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Assume that every being is a contingent being. For each contingent being, there is a time it does not exist. Therefore it is impossible for these always to exist. Therefore there could have been a time when no things existed. Therefore at that time there would have been nothing to bring the currently existing contingent beings into existence. 7. 8. Therefore, nothing would be in existence now. We have reached an absurd result from assuming that every being is a contingent being. 9. 10. Therefore not every being is a contingent being. Therefore some being exists of its own necessity, and does not receive its existence from another being, but rather causes them. This all men speak of as God.


Fourth Way:

Hierarchy of Being

The fourth proof arises from the degrees that are found in things. For there is found a greater and a less degree of goodness, truth, nobility, and the like. But more or less are terms spoken of various things as they approach in diverse ways toward something that is the greatest, just as in the case of hotter (more hot) which approaches nearer the greatest heat. There exists therefore something that is the truest, and best, and most noble, and in consequence, the greatest being. For what are the greatest truths are the greatest beings, as is said in the Metaphysics Bk. II. 2. What moreover is the greatest in its way, in another way is the cause of all things of its own kind (or genus); thus fire, which is the greatest heat, is the cause of all heat, as is said in the same book (cf. Plato and Aristotle). Therefore there exists something that is the cause of the existence of all things and of the goodness and of every perfection whatsoever and this we call God.18 Argument from Gradation of Being 1. 2. There is a gradation to be found in things: some are better or worse than others. Predications of degree require reference to the uttermost case (e.g., a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest). 3. 4. The maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

Fifth Way:


The fifth proof arises from the ordering of things for we see that some things which lack reason, such as natural bodies, are operated in accordance with a plan. It appears from this that they are operated always or the more frequently in this same way the closer they follow what is



the Highest; whence it is clear that they do not arrive at the result by chance but because of a purpose. The things, moreover, that do not have intelligence do not tend toward a result unless directed by someone knowing and intelligent; just as an arrow is sent by an archer. Therefore there is something intelligent by which all natural things are arranged in accordance with a plan and this we call God.19 Argument from Design 1. 2. 3. We see that natural bodies work toward some goal, and do not do so by chance. Most natural things lack knowledge. But as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligence. 4. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.



Chapter IV:

Immanuel Kants Arguments for the Existence of God: Pre-Critical Period

Kant's most focused treatment of these arguments for the existence of God can be found in The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God. He classifies arguments for God under just two headings, one that moves to the affirmation of God from a rational concept of the possible, the second that moves from experiential concepts of existent things. The ontological argument, as well as the argument Kant himself poses in this work as the only valid one, fall under the first heading. The cosmological and the physico-theological arguments fall under the second heading.20 With respect to the positions about the validity and value of theoretical arguments for the existence of God that Kant later espouses and which are considered his definitive views, there are three features worth noting from this earlier work: First, he has already formulated a central feature of the main objection that he will raise against the ontological argument in the Critique of Pure Reason, namely, that existence is not a predicate. Kant's objection is directed against rationalist accounts that took the judgment Something exists to predicate a property i.e., existence that is included in the concept of that thing. (An example of a property so predicated would be extension as a property of the concept physical object.) Fundamental to the ontological argument is the view that existence is necessarily a property of the concept of God. This then functions as the decisive consideration for the conclusion that God must exist. Against this, Kant argues that in no case even that of God can we predicate existence to be a property that is included in the concept of any object. He illustrates this by pointing out that the difference between the one-hundred dollars in my pocket and the one hundred dollars I imagine to be in my pocket is not a difference in the


concept of one hundred dollars. To say that something exists even in the case of God is not to predicate a property that its concept lacks if the thing did not exist.21 Second, at this earlier stage of his philosophical development he holds, in contrast to the position he takes in his critical philosophy, that there can be a theoretical argument that validly leads to the conclusion that God exists; of note about the argument he proposes, moreover, is that it falls under the same heading under which he has classified the ontological argument, namely an argument that starts from a concept of the possible.22 Third, he groups the cosmological and physico-theological arguments under a single heading as cosmological, inasmuch as he sees each making an inference to God from our experience of things as they exist in the world, but he already differentiates them from one another in terms of their relative cogency and persuasive power. One line of argument which he will designate in his later terminology as the cosmological argument moves in terms of a concept of causality to its conclusion that there must be a first necessary being. As in his later criticism of this argument in the first Critique, he sees it ultimately resting upon the same conceptual considerations that function within the ontological argument, most notably the claim that existence is a predicate. The other which he will designate is his later terminology as the physico-theological argument moves from observations of order and harmony in the world to its conclusion that there must be a wise creator of that order. This argument he also finds lacking in strict probative force; he nonetheless considers it an important marker of the dynamics of human reason to seek an explanatory totality, even though it does not thereby provide a sure demonstrative route to an affirmation of God.23

21 22 Ibid 23 Ibid


Chapter V:

Karl Rahners Proof of Gods Existence

The density of Rahner's work is rooted in the subject matter itself. God, Rahner insisted, is not and cannotbe an object for thought the way the things of our world are. But a person can know God by attending to the movement of knowing itself toward its objects, which reveals that human thinking always reaches beyond its immediate objects toward a further horizon. The movement of knowing, and the ultimate "goal" toward which it reaches, can be grasped only indirectly (or "transcendentally") as one's thinking turns back on itself reflexively. Rahner identified the elusive and final "term" of this dynamism of knowing with God, and argued that the same kind of movement toward God as "unobjectifiable" horizon is entailed in freedom and love.24 By conceiving God, who always exceeds human reach, as the horizon of the movement of knowing, freedom, and love, Rahner emphasized that God is a mysterya reality who is known and loved, but only reflexively and indirectly, as the ever-receding horizon of the human spirit. God remains a mystery in this sense even in self-communication to humanity through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. With this participation of God in an earthly history of human interconnectedness, something of God is anticipatedknown reflexively and indirectlyat least implicitly whenever we know, choose, or love a specific being, particularly a neighbor in need. Conversely, God is implicitly rejected in every refusal of truth, freedom, and love.25 Because it is often the good of a neighbor or the world, rather than God or Jesus which is directly affirmed or refused, it is quite possible that the one deciding will be unconscious or even deny that the act is a response to God. In either case, however, one turns toward or away from

24 25 Ibid


God and Jesus in turning one's mind and heart freely toward or away from the realities of the world.26 Death as a personal and spiritual phenomenon is not identical with the cessation of biological processes. For example, illness or medication can limit personal freedom well before the onset of clinically defined death. Moreover, insofar as all the engagements of one's life anticipate death, Rahner maintained that every moment of life participates in death. Hence he disputed the notion of death as a final decision if this is understood to be an occurrence only at the last moment.27 The Christian tradition has emphasized the definitive and perduring character of personal existence by affirming the soul's survival after death. Rahner warned that this way of conceiving of death can be misleading if one imagines that the separation of soul and body, entails a denial of their intrinsic unity. The contemporary appreciation of the bodily constitution of human reality was anticipated by the scholastic doctrine of the soul as the "form" of the body and thus intrinsically, not merely accidentally, related to it. Personal identity is shaped by one's embodied and historical engagement with the material world. So the culmination of freedom in death must entail some sort of connection with that embodiment. Rahner's notion of God as mystery, beyond objectification in space and time, provides a framework for affirming a definitive unity with God that does not imagine the unity as a place or as a continuation of temporal existence. In the early essays, Rahner addressed the problem of conceiving the connection to embodiment, particularly in the "intermediate state" before the resurrection of the dead on judgment day, with the hypothesis that death initiates a deeper and more comprehensive "pancosmic" relationship to the material universe. In later essays, he recognized that it was not necessary to postulate an

26 27 Ibid


intermediate state with notions such as purgatory if one adopts Gisbert Greshake's conception of "resurrection in death," through which bodily reality is interiorized and transformed into an abiding perfection of the person's unity with God and with a transformed creation.28 The Christian doctrine of death as the consequence and punishment of sin underscores its ambiguous duality and obscurity. If the integrity of human life were not wounded by sinfulness, perhaps death would be experienced as a peaceful culmination of each person's acceptance of God's self-communication in historical existence. But death can be a manifestation of a definitive "no" to truth and love, and so to God, the fullness of truth and love. Ironically, this results in a loss of self as well because it is unity with God's self-communication that makes definitive human fulfillment possible. In the "no," death becomes a manifestation of futile self-absorption and emptiness, and as such punishment of sin. Moreover, everyone experiences death as the manifestation of that possibility. As a consequence of sin, people experience death as a threat, loss, and limit, which impacts every moment of life. Because of this duality and ambiguity, even a "yes" to God involves surrender. Just as God's self-communication to humanity entailed fleshing out the divine in the humanity of Jesus, including surrender in death on the cross, so death-to-self is paradoxically intrinsic to each person's confrontation with biological death.29

28 29 Ibid


Chapter VI:

Doctrine of the Catholic Church on the Existence of God

The Possibility of the Natural Knowledge of God in the Light of Supernatural Revelation
Dogma God our creator and Lord, can be known with certainty, by the natural light of reason from created things. (De fide.) The Vatican Council defined: Sine quis dixerit, Deum unum et verum, creatorem et Dominum nostrum per ea, quae facta sunt, naturali rationis humanae lumine certo cognosci no pose, A. A. If anybody says that the one true God, Our Creator and Lord cannot be known certainty in the light of human reason by those things which have been made, anathema sit D 1806; cf. 1785, 1391.30 The Vatican definition stresses the following points: a) The object of our knowing is the one true God, our Creator and Lord, therefore an extra-mundane, personal God. b) The subject principle of knowledge is natural reason in the condition of fallen nature. c) The means of knowledge are created things. d) The knowledge is from its nature and manner a knowledge of certitude. e) Such knowledge of God is possible, but it is not the only way of knowing Him.31

Scriptural Proof According to the testimony of Holy Writ, the existence of God can be known: a) from nature: Wis. 13, 1-9. V. 5: For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the creator of them may be seen. Rom. 1, 20: For the invisible things of Him from the creation of

30 31

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 13 Ibid


the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power and His divinity also: so that they are inexcusable. The knowledge of God witnessed to in these two passages is natural, certain, immediate and easily achieved knowledge.32 b) From conscience: Rom. 2, 14 et seq: For when the Gentiles, who know not the (Mosaic) law do by nature these things that are of the law; these, having not the law, are a law to themselves. Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts. The heathens (that is) know naturally, without supernatural revelation, the essential content of the Old Testament law. In their hearts a law has been written whose binding power indicates a Supreme Lawgiver.33 c) From history: Acts 14, 14-16; 17, 26-29. St. Paul, in his discourses at Lystra and at the Areopagus in Athens, shows that God reveals Himself in beneficent works also to the heathens, and that it is easy to find Him, as He is near to each of us: For in him we live, and move and are (17-28)34

Proof from Tradition The Fathers, in referring to the assertions of Holy Scripture, stress the possibility and the facility of the natural knowledge of God. Cf. Tertullian, Apol. 17: O testimony of the soul, which by its nature Christian. (O testimonium animae naturaliter Christianae). The Greek Fathers preffered the psychological proofs which flow from inner experience. Cf. Theophilus of Antioch, ad Autolycum 1 4-5: God has called everything into existence from nothing, so that His greatness might be known and understood through His works. Just as the soul in man is not seen, as it is invisible, but is known but He is observed and known through the movement of the body, so God cannot be seen with human eyes; but he is observed and known through
32 33

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 13 Ibid, pp. 13-14 34 Ibid, p. 14


providence and His works. Just as one at the sight of a well-equipped ship which sweeps over the sea and steers towards a harbor, becomes aware that there is a helmsman on her, who directs her, so also one must be aware that God is the director of everything, even though He is not seen with bodily eyes, as He cannot be apprehended by them. Cf. St. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer, II, 9, I; St. John Chrysostom, in ep. Ad Rom. Hom. 3, 2 (to I, 19).35

Innate Idea of God Taking their stand on the authority of the Fathers, many Catholic theologians, for example, Ludwig Thomassinus, Heinrich Klee, Anton Staudenmaier, Johannes von Huhn, taught that the idea of God is not acquired by deductive thinking from the world of experience, but is innate in man (idea innata). Certainly many of the Fathers, for example, St. Justin (Apol. II, 6) and St. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. V. 14, 133, 7) characterized the knowledge of the existence of God as automatic not learned automatically learned implanted self-taught: or as a gift of the soul (animae dos: Tertullian, Adv. Marc I, 10). St. Damascus says: The knowledge of the existence of God is implanted (by Him) in all in their nature (De fide orth. II). But as the same Fathers teach that we must win the knowledge of God from the contemplation of Nature, therefore, according to their conception, what is innate is not the idea of God as such, but the ability easily and to a certain extent spontaneously to know the existence of God from His works. Cf. St. Thomas, In Boethium De Trinitate, q. I. a 3 ad 6: eus cognition nobis innata dicitur esse, in quantum per principia nobis innata de facili percipere possumus Deum esse. The knowledge of Him is said to be innate in us in so far as we can easily know the existence of God by means of principles which are innate in us.36

35 36

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 14 Ibid


Chapter VII:

A Meditation Argument by Sem. Marwil B. De Roxas on the Existence of God

As a son of God, I meditate on Him. First and foremost, I believed that He is existing, He is alive and He is always there. I live in a, somehow, quite place, the seminary. As I four years of my staying here, I prove that there is God. My proofs are: 1. Every day is a proof, an ordinary miracle. 2. Why I have life? Why there is everything in the world? It is simply because of God. 3. The problems that I encounter in my life, including the problem in the family, friends and relatives as well the problem in financial. I solve it with the help and mercy of God. 4. I committed every day. I am consistent in committing sin but every day also I received the grace from Him. 5. Through prayer, I talked to Him and every moment in my life, I believed that He is watching me through my guardian that He sent for me. 6. And many other experience because every day I experience the presence of God because He is eternal presence. Gods existence is not a matter of proving but it is a matter of faith, a faith that He gave to me. What you believe is what your life is.


Summary (Table Presentation)

Proof of Gods Existence
Name Goes back to Developed by Central point Basic argument The unchanging validity of truth and norms can have its ground only in some really existing truth and norm God God is the greatest thing conceivable. As such, God must exist, for otherwise something greater would be conceivable (that which is greater in our understanding and in reality) From the movement of the things in the world an unmoved prime mover is inferred. The dependent causes that we see require the existence of an uncaused first cause, since an infinite regress (regressus in infinitum) is not possible. Nonnecessary being is possible only if it owes its existence to necessary being. Truth, goodness, beauty, etc. are realized in the world to varying degrees. But then there must be a 21

Anthropological Argument


Eternal truth

Ontological Argument

Anselm (Proslogion)

Concept of a perfect being

Cosmological Argument (Five ways quinque viae) First way

Aristotles metaphysics 12

Thomas Aquinas (STh 1, q. 2, a. 3)


Second way

Aristotles metaphysics 2


Third way

Plato, Avicenna


Fourth way

Plato, Augustine, Anselm (Monologion)

Hierarchy of being

Fifth way

Plato, Stoicism


Ethico-theological (deontological) Argument

Kant, Newman

Practical reason/ conscience

Transcendental Argument

K. Rahner

God as condition of the possibility of conscious human existence

highest, perfect being that is the cause of these levels of being. From the experienced functionality and purposiveness in the world the existence of a supreme, ordering mind must be inferred. Coincidence explains nothing. To our moral actions and/or the promptings of our conscience a supreme moral authority must correspond. Without the harmonizing force that can be guaranteed only by God, the physical and moral worldorders would be contradictory. Humans always find themselves oriented toward an absolute. Their existence is meaningful only if that exists as the perpetual Mystery.



OCollins Gerald, SJ and Farrugia Edward, G., SJ, A Concise Dictionary of Theology, Paulist Press, New York/ Mahwah, N.J., 2000 Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois 61105

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