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Posts: 415/456
(18-Apr-2005 at 23:24)
Some proofs for the existence of god... or are they?

Iíve recently had the chance to study some logical proofs for the existence of god, and would like to hear some opinions besides mine on the subject. Iím primarily concerned with the ontological proof and the proof from contingency, which I feel are the most substantial. While Aquinasí five proofs may have carried some merit when they were initially formulated, in my opinion they pale in comparison to these two. To get this started, Iíll just briefly outline these two proofs.

St. Anselmís Ontological Proof

The proof begins by defining god as a being than which none greater can be conceived, and assumes that this is a definition even an atheist would subscribe to. Now, regardless of its existence in reality, this concept exists as an idea in all minds discussing the problem. A being which exists both in the material world as well as a cognitive one, however, is by default greater than one which exists simply as an idea. This leaves only one logical option open; if god is to be a being than which none greater can be conceived, he must then exist in reality if we are to avoid contradicting ourselves. In technical terms, the same predicate cannot be true and untrue for the same subject simultaneously; godís existence (the subject) cannot be both true (by the logical chain described) and untrue (what an atheist would claim) at the same time. Thus the atheist is forced to admit that god must necessarily exist, or risk contradicting himself and resorting to absurdities.

Proof from Contingency

There are several premises this argument is based on, but they proceed sequentially and are fairly easy to comprehend. To begin, the observation is made that objects in this world do not contain in themselves the reason for their existence; it is not part of their ďessenceĒ, if you will. As the world itself is nothing but a class formed of the totality of its constituents, i.e. objects, and has no distinct properties, it must follow that the world as a whole does not contain existence in its essence either. Hence, an external entity is required to explain our existence; viz. god.

There you are.... do you consider these proofs to be sufficient to render any doubt about godís existence unreasonable? Or, conversely, do you consider them adequate proof to positively affirm godís existence? Iím not interested in any other arguments, and donít want any to be drawn into the discussion; the deliberations ought to be based solely on these two proofs (or similar renderings of them). Iíll post my won thoughts a bit later on, but as I said, Iíd like to see what you guys think about this.
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(18-Apr-2005 at 23:53)


Being a Catholic I think they should have given us these things in our catechism classes....

It's a neat trick of logic.
Firstly it has the concept of, That Which Nothing Greater Can Be Concieved.

Not God, persee, but something we can all think and converse about.

When we do that, the "That Which Nothing Greater Can Be Concieved", becomes real in our minds.

But if it only exists in our minds, then we can concieve of something greater than that, something that also exists in reality.

Thusly if we accept the concept which we've already talked and thought about we MUST accept that it also exists in reality.


However, I believe an atheist could contend that this concept isn't necessarily a God entity.



_________________________

Proof from Contingency...

Just because science hasn't discovered something yet doesn't mean that it does not exist.

Perhaps objects DO contain the reason for their existence inside them.

"I KEEK A TOUCHDOWN!" - Garo Yepremian
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(19-Apr-2005 at 05:51)


these are hypotheses, not proofs. there is no evidence presented. one merely states it's possible to think this way, but doesn't give basis for it in reality. the other one assumes things exist for a reason, but you really can't say for certain.
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(19-Apr-2005 at 07:45)


exclamation mark

or... here's a hypothesis.

God doesn't really care about our philosophy that is just based on clever word use? It certainly doesn't explain anything now does it?

Where has my avatar gone?

The true meaning of silence
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(19-Apr-2005 at 09:10)


I dont think these proofs are really convincing really, as 'proofs'. They're interesting philosophically, but in terms of being proof that God exists, they dont really hold up very well.

I dont think God exists, I know he exists. - Carl Jung
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(19-Apr-2005 at 12:43)


Re: Some proofs for the existence of god... or are they?

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)

There you are.... do you consider these proofs to be sufficient to render any doubt about godís existence unreasonable? Or, conversely, do you consider them adequate proof to positively affirm godís existence? Iím not interested in any other arguments, and donít want any to be drawn into the discussion; the deliberations ought to be based solely on these two proofs (or similar renderings of them). Iíll post my won thoughts a bit later on, but as I said, Iíd like to see what you guys think about this.
For the first proof, either I have misunderstood it (which is very possible) or is based of a wrong assumption. That of : the same predicate cannot be true and untrue for the same subject simultaneously - agreed but the existance of God & concept/definition of God are not the same thing, else all things we concieve must be true (pink elephants, faeries e.t.c.)

The second proof assumes that existance requires an explanation - where as an athiest would say that there is no explaination, just a random chance.

So both these proofs are not sufficent for proving the existance of God.

This is what every PvP argument boils down to:
Dear Devs:
Rock is overpowered, please nerf. Paper is fine.
Yours, Scissors
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(19-Apr-2005 at 22:34)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Gus Mackay)

philosophy that is just based on clever word use? It certainly doesn't explain anything now does it?
Thatís exactly what I thought when I first saw the ontological proof. I had to read it over a couple times just to make sure anselm wasn't actually joking. Seems like he was serious however, so I took the time to really look at what he was saying. Despite my best efforts, I had the hardest time of pointing out just what it was that felt so wrong about the proof, just what was wrong with his clever word use. I think contingency is the more sensible of the two proofs, but thatís just because it deals with concepts we are much more familiar with. Would you care to elaborate a bit on just why you think these proofs are nothing but word (language) games?

Quote:
(Originally posted by Grashnak)

the first proof, either I have misunderstood it (which is very possible) or is based of a wrong assumption. That of : the same predicate cannot be true and untrue for the same subject simultaneously - agreed but the existance of God & concept/definition of God are not the same thing, else all things we concieve must be true (pink elephants, faeries e.t.c.)
Maybe I should clarify a few things; the proof states that the fact that god exists materially is inherent to the concept of a being than which none greater can be conceived. Thus holding this definition along with claiming that god does not exist would be paramount to claiming that the same predicate (godís existence) is both true and untrue for the same subject and thus logically fallacious.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Grashnak)

The second proof assumes that existance requires an explanation - where as an athiest would say that there is no explaination, just a random chance.
Itís a bit more complicated than that, as otherwise it would be no different from Aquinasí First Cause or First Mover proofs. Basically the question it poses is this: How do you explain the existence of a universe, which itself is nothing but the general term for a large amount of objects which do no contain the reason for their own existence (i.e. are contingent)? I completely agree with you should this be a First Cause proof, but there is a subtle difference as the proof from contingency offers a concrete logical (and rational?) reason for why the universe itself cannot be at the end of the ďchainĒ of causes and necessarily requires something beyond it.

Aletheia, I said from the beginning that these are logical proofs. Not hypotheses; proofs. The evidence presented relies on the logical procession of propositions and the application of several (axiomatic) laws. If youíre not familiar with the concept, take a closer look at the proofs. You will note that they contain the required proof in themselves. If you still feel that they are merely hypotheses, please go ahead and demonstrate just how they fail to justify their conclusions.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Sister Klon)

But if it only exists in our minds, then we can concieve of something greater than that, something that also exists in reality.
Yea, youíre definitely on the right track. Just think a bit about the part that I quoted; is that actually true? It seems like a reasonable assertion, but is it really so? Why should a material concept be regarded as greater than a purely conceptual one? It mathematics then a lesser endeavor than, say, physics, architecture or painting?

I believe that cognitive and material concepts present unique classes which we have no standards to compare, and thus one cannot be considered superior to the other in any way. Hence the being than which none greater can be conceived can remain the ďgreatestĒ even if it remains just a mirage.

Last edited by Simkin, 19-Apr-2005 at 22:38.
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(19-Apr-2005 at 23:28)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
Yea, youíre definitely on the right track. Just think a bit about the part that I quoted; is that actually true? It seems like a reasonable assertion, but is it really so? Why should a material concept be regarded as greater than a purely conceptual one? It mathematics then a lesser endeavor than, say, physics, architecture or painting?
Mathematics also exists in the physical. Its always used in a an attempt to understand and use the physical things around us.

I would say that all other things about it being equal, a thing that exists both physically and mentally, is superior because it exists in multiple aspects.

If it exists both in thought and reality it is greater than something that exists in either reality or thought alone.

"I KEEK A TOUCHDOWN!" - Garo Yepremian
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(20-Apr-2005 at 02:41)


Re: Some proofs for the existence of god... or are they?

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
The proof begins by defining god as a being than which none greater can be conceived, and assumes that this is a definition even an atheist would subscribe to.
The word 'greater' is too general a term to make this a solid proof. It can be said one thing is bigger, warmer, brighter or higher than another thing. However, the word greater is like the word prettier. It's not definate but changes with respect to perspective. Nothing can be definatively greater than another thing because it is opinion.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin) A being which exists both in the material world as well as a cognitive one, however, is by default greater than one which exists simply as an idea.
Says who? The realms of imagination and reality are not comparable, thus something that is real can not be thought of as "greater by default" than something imagined.

Note: It's already been established the word 'greater' is subjective anyway. See above.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
To begin, the observation is made that objects in this world do not contain in themselves the reason for their existence; it is not part of their ďessenceĒ, if you will.
To say that anything needs a meaning attached to it to exist is absurd. It's entirely possible that things have always existed in one form or another since eternity with no first cause. Whether it was in the form of energy, matter, or anti-matter, things just "are" and the idea of requiring a meaning to fulfill it's purpose in existence is a man-made concept.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
Hence, an external entity is required to explain our existence; viz. god.
God's meaning is to provide meaning to everything else? It's circular logic and a paradox.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')

Last edited by MAPS, 20-Apr-2005 at 02:45.
Edit reason: I'm just so awesome.
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Old a21
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(20-Apr-2005 at 05:33)
Re: Some proofs for the existence of god... or are they?

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)

Iíve recently had the chance to study some logical proofs for the existence of god, and would like to hear some opinions besides mine on the subject. Iím primarily concerned with the ontological proof and the proof from contingency, which I feel are the most substantial. While Aquinasí five proofs may have carried some merit when they were initially formulated, in my opinion they pale in comparison to these two. To get this started, Iíll just briefly outline these two proofs.

St. Anselmís Ontological Proof

The proof begins by defining god as a being than which none greater can be conceived, and assumes that this is a definition even an atheist would subscribe to. Now, regardless of its existence in reality, this concept exists as an idea in all minds discussing the problem. A being which exists both in the material world as well as a cognitive one, however, is by default greater than one which exists simply as an idea. This leaves only one logical option open; if god is to be a being than which none greater can be conceived, he must then exist in reality if we are to avoid contradicting ourselves. In technical terms, the same predicate cannot be true and untrue for the same subject simultaneously; godís existence (the subject) cannot be both true (by the logical chain described) and untrue (what an atheist would claim) at the same time. Thus the atheist is forced to admit that god must necessarily exist, or risk contradicting himself and resorting to absurdities.

Proof from Contingency

There are several premises this argument is based on, but they proceed sequentially and are fairly easy to comprehend. To begin, the observation is made that objects in this world do not contain in themselves the reason for their existence; it is not part of their ďessenceĒ, if you will. As the world itself is nothing but a class formed of the totality of its constituents, i.e. objects, and has no distinct properties, it must follow that the world as a whole does not contain existence in its essence either. Hence, an external entity is required to explain our existence; viz. god.

There you are.... do you consider these proofs to be sufficient to render any doubt about godís existence unreasonable? Or, conversely, do you consider them adequate proof to positively affirm godís existence? Iím not interested in any other arguments, and donít want any to be drawn into the discussion; the deliberations ought to be based solely on these two proofs (or similar renderings of them). Iíll post my won thoughts a bit later on, but as I said, Iíd like to see what you guys think about this.
No proof here... neither of them.

Onto:
One never leaves ones own head here.
Yes, the perfect being *would* be real.
Still there's no reason to assume there's one of them out there...

But you misunderstood Anselm. His point is:

We can imagine perfection. To imagine something you need to have a concept of it (to imagine a Yeti you need to have a concept of Yetiness).

He didn't think that "perfection" might just be an idea.
Because if it were only an idea you could imagine a "better" perfection (that would exist in reality as well as in imagination). That would contradict the hypothesis though (nothing can be better than perfection). Therefore the imagined entity *must* exist.

However it is still untrue ;-)
Mostly for the mixing of categories (grammar, ontology), but it has several holes.

Cont:
The proof bases on the division between stuff that is there for a reason (really more a cause, reason is a bad word here) and stuff that isn't.
It goes to claim that there must be a first cause and that this cause is god.
Several loopholes:
- No guarantee that the "first cause" is anything we would describe as "god".
- No guarantee that a first cause even exists (an eternal universe is plausible).
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(20-Apr-2005 at 05:53)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
Maybe I should clarify a few things; the proof states that the fact that god exists materially is inherent to the concept of a being than which none greater can be conceived. Thus holding this definition along with claiming that god does not exist would be paramount to claiming that the same predicate (godís existence) is both true and untrue for the same subject and thus logically fallacious.
Yeah, but you can't mix "existence" and "ideas" (AND be right). Two different things...
It's like mixing a hot chocolate and "capitalism".

And even if you attempt to do: You still end up with a thought that is *thought* to be true by you in YOUR head. Which is a good first step to madness... (or religion as some people call it ;-))

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
[...] but there is a subtle difference as the proof from contingency offers a concrete logical (and rational?) reason for why the universe itself cannot be at the end of the ďchainĒ of causes and necessarily requires something beyond it.
And why is that?

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)
If you still feel that they are merely hypotheses, please go ahead and demonstrate just how they fail to justify their conclusions.
Has been done ;-)
Kant with #1 and some scientist with #2 ("Max something" if I remember correctly).
But that's so boring...
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(20-Apr-2005 at 06:00)
I'm only going to comment on the Ontological argument, because it's the only one I've studied.

Simkin's description is of the argument is good, though somewhat vague. You should read the entire piece of work that Anselm did-- it's not very long, and it reveals a lot more important information.

Quote:
For the first proof, either I have misunderstood it (which is very possible) or is based of a wrong assumption. That of : the same predicate cannot be true and untrue for the same subject simultaneously - agreed but the existance of God & concept/definition of God are not the same thing, else all things we concieve must be true (pink elephants, faeries e.t.c.)
The fact that you conceived them makes the conception of such things true. If you're conceiving of something which exists only in your mind, then you have perfect power to define, within your mind, what such a thing is.

Quote:
Would you care to elaborate a bit on just why you think these proofs are nothing but word (language) games?
Well, I'll beat him to it. Anselm was very clever in his use of words. But Immanuel Kant might have been more clever. He asks if existence is predicate, and proceeds to determine that it's not.

For those of you who are confused as to predicate, it's basic form is this:

A is X. A is the subject, X is the predicate. Thus, "Fido is white" (if and only if Fido is white) is a true sentence, and demonstrates what predicate is. However, Kant asked if "Fido is existing" or if "Fido exists" is predicate. If it's not, the following happens: you can conceive of two seperate Gods, each of which has the same characteristics, except that one has the characteristic of "existing." If existence is not predicate, that trait is invalid. However, as you've conceived of a God that is greater than the God you're forced to choose if existence is not predicate, then Anselm's argument is not true. It's all simply word play, and logical relationships.

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(20-Apr-2005 at 06:55)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Sister Klon)

Mathematics also exists in the physical.
really? Iíve never seen a physical manifestation of a number, or a mathematical problem. Sure, Iíve seen pictures of numbers, but thatís a long shot from seeing an actual number.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Sister Klon)

Its always used in a an attempt to understand and use the physical things around us
.
Yea, definitely it is, but this by no means implies that it also exists in the physical world in-itself

[quote](Originally posted by Sister Klon)

thing that exists both physically and mentally, is superior because it exists in multiple aspects..[quote]

Why? Like I said in my previous post, I donít think we have any basis of comparing physical and mental objects in terms of their relative ďgreatnessĒ. I would argue that the two denote wholly different classes, and greatness in just one of them is sufficient to claim the title ďgreatestĒ. There is nothing to say that the concept of god cannot remain the greatest even if it remains just an idea. Or like MAPS said it:

Quote:
(Originally posted by MAPS)

Says who? The realms of imagination and reality are not comparable, thus something that is real can not be thought of as "greater by default" than something imagined.

Iíll write some more once I have more timeÖ seems odd that mostly everyone has just thrashed the proofs. I know a bunch of people who defend their faith primarily via proofs such as these. Donít take me wrong, thoughÖ I donít mind thrashing them one bit
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(20-Apr-2005 at 09:04)


I'm reminded of a quote in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "the Babel fish (a fish that's sorta liek a universal translator) is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. Q.E.D."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

So keep that in mind the next time you try to prove the existence of God
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(21-Apr-2005 at 05:28)


Re: Some proofs for the existence of god... or are they?

St. Anselmís Ontological Proof assumes that existence is greater than imagination. I would claim that it is quite the opposite; the real world tends to corrupt things, and it has far more limitations than my imagination does. So in fact, such a God cannot exist, except in my imagination (and my imagination alone), and thus it is the believers who must concede a lack of a physical God, lest they contradict themselves.

Proof from Contingency assumes that things must have a reason for existance.


After typing this, I read the posts, and I fail to see how this is different from the First Cause argument.

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and if it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
~Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
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(23-Apr-2005 at 07:37)


Re: Some proofs for the existence of god... or are they?

Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)

St. Anselmís Ontological Proof

The proof begins by defining god as a being than which none greater can be conceived, and assumes that this is a definition even an atheist would subscribe to. Now, regardless of its existence in reality, this concept exists as an idea in all minds discussing the problem. A being which exists both in the material world as well as a cognitive one, however, is by default greater than one which exists simply as an idea. This leaves only one logical option open; if god is to be a being than which none greater can be conceived, he must then exist in reality if we are to avoid contradicting ourselves. In technical terms, the same predicate cannot be true and untrue for the same subject simultaneously; godís existence (the subject) cannot be both true (by the logical chain described) and untrue (what an atheist would claim) at the same time. Thus the atheist is forced to admit that god must necessarily exist, or risk contradicting himself and resorting to absurdities.
If I read this right, then I could take this to mean that the Holocaust is greater than the idea of genocide merely because the Holocaust happened. I could also use this proof to force the existence of any god I can dream up. So it doesn't quite work. Besides, that first assumption is a doozy.

Quote:
Proof from Contingency

There are several premises this argument is based on, but they proceed sequentially and are fairly easy to comprehend. To begin, the observation is made that objects in this world do not contain in themselves the reason for their existence; it is not part of their ďessenceĒ, if you will. As the world itself is nothing but a class formed of the totality of its constituents, i.e. objects, and has no distinct properties, it must follow that the world as a whole does not contain existence in its essence either. Hence, an external entity is required to explain our existence; viz. god.
So the existence of an external entity is required to justify the existence of the universe (for now I'm going along with the assumptions that things have "essence" and their existence has to be justified). That's circular reasoning; or rather, spiral reasoning because it leads to an infinite chain of external entities, each one existing solely to justify the existence of the previous one.

Quote:
There you are.... do you consider these proofs to be sufficient to render any doubt about godís existence unreasonable? Or, conversely, do you consider them adequate proof to positively affirm godís existence? Iím not interested in any other arguments, and donít want any to be drawn into the discussion; the deliberations ought to be based solely on these two proofs (or similar renderings of them). Iíll post my won thoughts a bit later on, but as I said, Iíd like to see what you guys think about this.
In short, no. Both proofs make somewhat sound arguments but base them on some pretty badly contrived assumptions.

Fallen Christian
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(25-Apr-2005 at 05:18)


On a related note, I have recently discovered 300+ proofs of God's existance.
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm
350. The LOOK AT ALL THESE PROOFS ARGUMENT
(1) If God didn't exist, we couldn't come up with all these unique proofs.
(2) We have come up with these proofs.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and if it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
~Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
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(26-Apr-2005 at 20:32)


Prooves can be reasoned or make it look like real, even it is not. All prooves can be falsfied, all theories can be adjust to make sense...

We, eventually decide what we believe and once our mind is made, others will have hard time or impossible to change that.

I think its useless to debate about prooving or disprooving God, since there are no rock solid evidences either way.

Sooner or later philosophers will trap on their own cleverness. At the best, their theories are still unprooved theories.

God only requires faith on him... I've rather bet my faith on God than than sciences, odd's and physics. Since there is always a thing we cannot predict. Wether you call it faith, luck or devine intervention...

I'd still rather take my changes with God. No matter even there is no prooves for his exitence but there are not prooves against it either.

I just follow my heart, you rest should follow yours. In the path of heart, evidences are unnecessary...

Generalization is rhetorics of simpletons.
"Sages learn from history... idiots learn from experience" -Fairy Tail manga
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(27-Apr-2005 at 16:14)
Well, well...

Simkin, I'm sorry that your challenge in this thread is so little understood as it looks like. I must say that I respect you for daring into pure (or almost) reasoning and for bringing here these two "Proofs". It's not easy to understand their subtleties and few posts show a honest try to understand their full meaning. As for myself, I find them quite valid reasonings; as for Kant's predicate, I would say (with due respect for Kant's otherwise enormous intelectual capabilities) that he might have a prejudice to accept St.Anselm and so discarded the Oncological proof as word-playing leting aside the conceptual reasoning behind words.

But the "Proofs" are there for the taking, that who can understand them, do it.

Another question, a little off-topic (I apologize for that) but not completely is wheter there can be any proofs at all about the existence of God. I'm not going to argue about it here, since this has been discussed somewhere else and I have stated my opinion about it, but not as clearly as this:

Quote:
31 Created in God's image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God, not in the sense of proofs in the natural sciences, but rather in the sense of "converging and convincing arguments", which allow us to attain certainty about the truth. These "ways" of approaching God from creation have a twofold point of departure: the physical world, and the human person.
Quote:
35 Man's faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. The proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.
The interesting point here is not the statements in themselves, but who made them. What would you bet, a believer or an atheist?
Actually, they are part of the latest official compendium on the Catholic Church, the "Catechism of the Catholic Church"
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_cs.../p1s1c1.htm#II
So much for those who claim that Christians and/or the Church deny the value of reason...
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(28-Apr-2005 at 07:06)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Simkin)

really? Iíve never seen a physical manifestation of a number, or a mathematical problem. Sure, Iíve seen pictures of numbers, but thatís a long shot from seeing an actual number.

Yea, definitely it is, but this by no means implies that it also exists in the physical world in-itself
you've never seen two sheep?
The number two exists.

Have you ever pushed an object?
that's f=ma right there....
[quote]
Why? Like I said in my previous post, I donít think we have any basis of comparing physical and mental objects in terms of their relative ďgreatnessĒ. I would argue that the two denote wholly different classes, and greatness in just one of them is sufficient to claim the title ďgreatestĒ. There is nothing to say that the concept of god cannot remain the greatest even if it remains just an idea. Or like MAPS said it:

Quote:
(Originally posted by MAPS)

Says who? The realms of imagination and reality are not comparable, thus something that is real can not be thought of as "greater by default" than something imagined.
Now let's say the greatest thing possible to be concieved of is the mythological creature, the Unicorn. With magical powers that can ACTUALLY heal people - I would say it's ability to actually affect objects makes a greater being than a simply imagined unicorn.

Imagination and reality aren't being compared here MAPS.
We aren't saying that Reality is greater than imagination.

If I exist in imagination, one way to improve my "greatness" would be to exist in reality also.

It's like an album that isn't only on CD it's on Vinyl also.
It's ability to play in both a CD player, and a Record player make it greater than one that's only available on Vinyl.

"I KEEK A TOUCHDOWN!" - Garo Yepremian
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