Friday, July 15, 2005

On the reality of God

This excerpt is from the first volume of Thomas Oden's systematic theology, The Living God:

If purpose exists there must be a Purposer, if order, an Orderer. If we see design in the world, we must hypothesize a Designer of sufficient intelligence to produce an intelligible world. If mind exists in evolving history, some incomparable Mind must have enabled and created the possibility of our minds. If it is so difficult to be a human being without knowing something of God, then there must be a sufficient reason for this awareness being so persistent in human cultures and societies, even when supressed. If such wide consent exists in history to the existence of God, that fact must be accounted for with a sufficient reason. If the idea of God is intrinsic to human consciousness, then God must exist. from the fact of change we must hypothesize a change agent. If anything moves, something must have first moved everything. There must be a being that causes all causes and that moves all movement. If contingent beings exist, there must be a necessary being. If we experience moral obligation as relentlessly as we do, even against parents, against society, against superego constraints, then we must hypothesize a ground of moral obligation calling us to the highest good and possessed of weightiest moral authority. In addition to all this, it appears to be the case that the very idea of perfect being requires the existence of perfect being, otherwise that idea is less than the idea of perfect being.

From this we conclude that God, to whose existence these arguments point, exists more fully than we who are reasoning and arguing exist and that there is nothing so proper to God as to be. We have ample grounds upon which to say: God exists. In this way reason begins to confirm that to which Scripture attests, that God incomparably is.

1 comment:

Ryan Herr said...

Sounds alot like the first cause argument of Thomas Aquinas ... in my life, I think I've been a bit more persuaded by the argument from desire ... i dunno.