by Luke Wadel
God's existence is a matter not only of belief, but of proof by philosophical demonstration. One proof, well suited to the common knowledge of our time, is expounded here in common language without philosophical jargon. Beginning only with a basic experience of the physical universe and time, we seek to demonstrate that the universe was created long ago by a Being outside of time, whom we properly call God.
Thus, this is distinct from Aristotle's and Saint Thomas Aquinas' arguments, the moral arguments, the arguments based on religious experience, and the "ontological arguments" for God's existence. (That is not to say that these proofs fail. In fact, two of Thomas' commonly misunderstood arguments are so flawless that they have been put into non-Aristotelian language for you here for recommended reading.) See more on the demonstration from religious experience in my short essay on faith and reason.
Our argument now is summarized below. If you have a problem with any step of the argument, click on its number to see further explanations of or objections to it along with my replies.
1. "God" means "Creator of the Physical Universe."
2. Time passes, from the past, into the present, and on to the future.
3. The past was either finite or infinite in duration. That is, the amount of seconds, days, years, etc. before the present moment (day, year...) must have been either infinite or finite in number.
4. History has its end in the present. (The future is not history.) So if the past was of infinite duration, an infinity came to its end. But this is a self-contradiction.
5. Therefore, the universe did not have an infinitely long past; but a past of finite length. Therefore, it had a beginning.
6. The universe was created.
7. A Creator of the universe, God, exists.
Note: The objections are written just as I commonly hear them from others. Obviously, I must deal with them all, therefore those which may seem silly to you do not constitute "straw men." And since the force of certain objections unfortunately come from jeering and not reason, even this must sometimes be addressed. If any objection seems to be repeated against different steps of the proof, this is because certain common assumptions can be applied similarly to different situations.
Please e-mail me with any problems that I have not answered!
When you are satisfied that God exists, you are invited to read
my page on God's attributes, the Trinity, and the question of
evil; click here for it.
[The last modification to this page or to one of the premises' pages was July 10, 1997.]
© Copyright 1997, Luke Wadel. Written permission of the author is required for copying, electronically or otherwise.
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