shnarkle

  • **
  • 12 Posts
    • View Profile
I have this idea on how to prove to atheists the existence of God,

I'm not an atheist so I hope it is okay to respond to this post anyways.  There was a note recommending that this be posted as a new topic.  Due to my technological ineptitude and the fact that this is my first post, I can only hope that I'm doing this correctly.

Quote
1. Tell atheists that for Christians, God in concept is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

This first point seems to be pointing out an obvious problem in that God can only be referred to conceptually as there is no referent for God.  Isn't this an implicit admission that God doesn't exist?  If we mean "by whom are all things" then we're talking about the actual cause, but for Paul this isn't referring to the father God, but to Christ (1 Cor.8:6)  The reason I bring this up is because existence seems an obvious prerequisite to things existing.  I think this is what the second point is referring to.

Quote
2. Tell them that the default status of things in the totality of reality is existence.

I agree with this as well, but Paul doesn't associate existence with God.  The means of creation is associated   with Christ.  I think this is also the case with the introduction to John's gospel where he says "In the beginning was the word'.  He doesn't say "In the beginning was God".  The word already existed, but the word isn't a "what" or a "thing".  I don't think it's even accurate to say that the word existed because there is no time before the beginning of time therefore the word is just simply eternal existence.  Therefore the word  exists as existence.  Here again the word is distinguished from God e.g. "the word was with God", and apart from the word God cannot exist, hence it is the word that "is God", i.e. be-ings God into existence.. 

John would never say that God was existence, (e.g. "God was the word"), and Paul would agree.  I think we would agree as well as existence is an attribute of God.  However, if God is the origin of existence, apart from existence, God can't exist.  This would create an infinite regression in that if God exists, then God isn't the origin of existence.  Therefore the term "God" is synonymous with the origin of existence, and cannot exist apart from existence, i.e. "the word".

Quote
3.  Tell them that existence is divided into two kinds:
(a) Necessary existence, for example, God in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning, such an entity cannot not exist at all.

I don't think this is necessarily the case.  I don't see the necessity of an entity or a concept of God, but rather just existence; eternal existence.  The necessity of a concept of God is only necessary in order to carry on this discussion, and spotlights the fact that we aren't talking about God, but ideas or concept about this term "God".

Quote
(b) Contingent existence which depends on other entities to come into existence, for example, babies and roses

Here again, the immediate prerequisite is  eternal existence.  However, I'm assuming that the above sentence is a mistaken construction as existence is NOT dependent upon the things created.  I'm assuming that they meant to say that the things which came into existence are dependent upon contingent existence.

Quote
4. The existence of contingent entities like babies and roses are ultimately  the evidence to the existence of God,in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

I think the created world necessarily points to the fact that these things exist and existence is the immediate requirement.  However, I can also see that our dualistic thinking requires a counterbalance to existence, which wouldn't be God, but instead would be non existence.  I see this as a logical requirement rather than evidence for non existence.  Even logically we run into a violation of the law of non contradiction in that we can't really talk of non existence existing.  We look into an empty vessel and ask ourselves what is in there.  The answer is nothing, but we can't meaningfully say that nothing is (i.e. exists).   I can see this contingency as a representation which is equivalent to "the word" in John's introduction, and Paul's "by whom are all things created".  I've also noticed that looking at these terms this way has a tendency to force the discussion into a theological version of Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" skit.  This is an unfortunate consequence, and not my intention.

Quote
5. Wherefore God exists,

I would agree with this, but not to the extent that we're equating existence with the origin of existence which in Paul's mind is the father, God.

Quote
in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning, and the proof is the evidence of everything with a beginning which are contingent, like for example, Babies and roses,

From a biblical standpoint, this doesn't work because the created world isn't contingent.  It is "the image" which is contingent.  Contingent is what John means by "the word", and Paul means by "the image (Greek "εἰκὼν") of the invisible God".  By definition, an Icon can't be what it represents.  Only Idols are worshipped as God.  We all know that Idols aren't God or gods, therefore Paul is correct in referring to Christ as the "Icon", but this can't be God unless we redefine the meaning of Icon.  Therefore God isn't necessary as a cause for the created world, but only as the origin of the created world, and if God is the origin of existence, God can't exist apart from this attribute.  The problem is that God is not an attribute.  God is the origin of that attribute.  Conceptually , the term God is synonomous with transcendence, and transcendence necessarily transcends existence.  Therefore God cannot exist; at least apart from this attribute. 

So what I see here is that existence is contingent between transcendence and the created world.  This is "the word"; "the mediator"; "the εἰκὼν"; Christ "slain from the foundations of the world"; "the Eternal", and none of these terms is equivalent with the origin of these terms or God.