As promised, here are some preliminary thoughts on God’s existence, listed sequentially as they follow from each other. We begin with some basic ideas on how to think about what is true, and move on to Aristotelian metaphysics. From that, we move into a very Thomistic proof for God’s existence. It finishes with further personal speculation on the subject, which I am open to criticism on.
1. It IS possible for absolute, objective truth to be discovered by human reason and logic.
2. Truth is always discovered, never invented, for if one believes in something that is true, then it was already true before one believed it, and will remain true even if one ceases to believe it.
3. Empiricism, that all truth possible for the mind to conceive of is discoverable through the scientific method, is wholly self contradictory and thus false, for the very empiricist proposition cannot be proven by science.
4. The idea that religion is a response to feelings of the “heart” or a way to understand life with emotions is wholly false, as any true faith must be predicated by true reason, for faith is belief in the unfathomable that is reasonably revealed, not in the unreasonable that is unfathomably revealed.
5. Metaphysics is a valid source of information about our universe and it’s origin, and to even suggest otherwise requires an assertion predicated by metaphysical principles.
6. Things are neither constantly changing nor constantly static; all things exist in a certain matter with the ability to change in certain ways. How a thing exists materially is called it’s actuality, whereas the ways in which the thing has ability to change is called it’s potentiality. Note that how it exists materially does not refer to physical matter, but rather how it actually is at any given moment.
7. A thing can only be in a state of some actuality if it’s corresponding potentiality is actualized by something else which already has that actuality actualized. Something can not actualize in something else what is not already actualized in itself. For example, a lukewarm pan has the potentiality for heat, which is actualized by a flame, in which heat is already actualized. That potentiality will never be actualized by another lukewarm pan, in which heat is only a potentiality. This actualizing of something else’s potentialities can be termed “motion”.
8. Anything containing potentiality must have been preceded by something else that could have actualized the various potentialities that are now actual in the thing. If nothing is actualized in the thing, then the thing does not exist, for existence has not yet been actualized, and thus every existing thing contains actuality. Following, everything with potentiality that exists has actuality as well, and was preceded by something with the actuality necessary to activate the potentialities within it.
9. This precession would continue unto infinite regress, but that is mathematically impossible. Thus, there must be an essence of pure actuality, containing no potentiality at all. Everything is actualized in this essence, so by it’s nature it has no need of being actualized by a predecessor. This essence of pure actuality must be the first thing to exist, since it must precede everything else that exists, and since nothing could possibly exist before it or could possibly cause it. Thus the Pure Actuality moves all existence ex nihilo.
10. Everything that is in motion(according to the term in point 7) was either set in motion by an act of will or by something else that was already in motion. Since Pure Actuality never moves from potentiality to actuality, it can never be said to be in motion. Thus, it moves all of existence by an act of will.
11. The Pure Actuality’s act of will implies that it is an intellect, for a will presupposes an intellect, which is necessary to conceive of an object to present the will. Thus the Pure Actuality is an ultimate mind, with will and intellect, both supreme over all of existence, and immobile(i.e. unchangeable).
12. The Pure Actuality’s intellect must be omniscient, for if it has the potentiality to learn anything knew then it would not belong to pure actuality.
13. The Pure Actuality’s will must be omnipotent, for if there were anything in existence outside of it’s power, then it’s power would exist in a state of potentiality, and it could not be Pure Actuality.
14. The Pure Actuality’s form must be omnipresent, for to be in a physical place implies potentiality to be somewhere else, and that is a self contradiction for Pure Actuality.
15. Because the Pure Actuality cannot be in a physical location, then it is not composed of physical matter, and thus must either be an abstract form(like a number), or a spirit. Abstract forms and concepts cannot possibly have an intellect or will of their own, for they exist only within another intellect. This is impossible because the Pure Actuality necessarily precedes everything. Thus, the Pure Actuality must necessarily be a spirit.
16. Because the laws of change and constancy in the physical world necessitate the existence of an essence containing only Pure Actuality, and that must be a mind composed of omniscient intellect, omnipotent will, and omnipresent spiritual form, it can be concluded that the existence of God as traditional Western religion and classical Theism conceive of Him is a necessary fact.
Here is where the speculative syllogisms come in. Let me know what you think.
17. A) Beings with will and intellect have the potential for relationships with other persons
B) God has will and intellect
C) God has the potential for relationships with other persons
D) God has no potentiality, He is Pure Actuality
E) God’s ability to have relationship is actualized, not merely potential
F) God was Pure Actuality for all eternity, before any creatures were created.
G) God must have been in actual relationship for all eternity, before creatures were created.
H) Before creatures were created, nothing existed except God.
I) God must have actual relationship within himself between multiple persons
J) God is composed of multiple persons who exist as one and the same God.
18. (Predicated by Divine Simplicity and the convertibility of the three transcendentals)
A) God is the Actuality that holds everything THAT IS in place
B) Truth is WHAT IS
C) God holds truth in place, and truth proceeds from Him.
D) Pure Actuality is simple and fundamental in nature
E) God is fundamentally truth
F) Truth is inseparable from goodness, as Goodness is what is desirable, and Truth is what is
G) God’s intellect is fundamentally truth, and His Will is fundamentally goodness
H) Creation is a procession from God’s will, as proven in Point 10
I) Creation is fundamentally good, because God wills goodness into it
J) Love is willing goodness for another
K) God is fundamentally all loving
L) God’s fundamental nature preceded all creation
M) God’s “omni-lovingness” preceded all creation
N) Love can only exist between two or more persons
O) God must still necessarily be One due to the nature of Pure Actuality
P) God is the loving union of multiple persons united as truly One God