5Questions. [How Do I Know What s True?]

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1 5Questions [How Do I Know What s True?]

2

3 More consequences for thought and action follow the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question. Mortimer Adler

4 THREE MAIN WORLD VIEWS Where did we come from? Who are we? Why are we here? How should we live? Where are we going? THEISM PANTHEISM ATHEISM (God made all) (God is all) (No God at all)

5 Aristotle & Thomas Aquinas Aristotelian-Thomism Aquinas s arguments for God s existence show how certain Aristotelian metaphysical ideas that might seem at first glance too abstruse to have any practical relevance in fact have the most dramatic consequences for the debate between religion and atheism. Edward Feser, The Last Superstition

6 Aristotle & Thomas Aquinas Aristotelian-Thomism It isn't arguing for God's existence that's hard. It's clearing away the gigantic pile of modern intellectual rubbish that keeps people from properly understanding the arguments that's hard. Edward Feser

7 Exists Through Itself Exists Through Another Causes Itself to Exist

8 1. An apple exists 2. Whatever is true of this apple is due to its essence or not 3. Is existence part of what it means to be an apple? 4. This apple is being caused to exist 5. Whatever is causing this apple to exist exists through itself or is receiving its existence

9 6. There cannot be an infinite number of essentially ordered causes 7. Therefore, there must be something who s essence IS existence (i.e. God)

10 Now, by "nature we mean nothing more than space, time, material, and physical law if there are other materials, these would again be nothing more than mindless things populating the cosmos in just the same way as particles of matter and energy or the extension of being. something must exist without any explanation at all, so it may as well be the multiverse [an ensemble of universes that account for all of physical reality]. For if a god can exist unexplained, with all his convenient attributes, then so can the multiverse. In fact, the multiverse is a simpler explanation than god, because it has all those attributes of god sufficient to ground its own being and cause this universe to exist. Richard Carrier, Sense and Goodness Without God

11 If essence and existence were not distinct, they would be identical; and they could be identical only in something whose [essence] is its very act of existing... such that it would be subsistent existence itself (DEE 4). That is to say, something whose essence is its existence would depend on nothing else (e.g. matter) for its existence, since it would just be existence or being. But there could only possibly be one such thing, for there would be no way in principle to distinguish more than one. Edward Feser, Aquinas

12 [Aquinas s arguments] rely upon the idea of a regress and invoke God to terminate it. They make the entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress. Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God it is more parsimonious to conjure up, say, a big bang singularity, or some other physical concept as yet unknown. Calling it God is at best unhelpful and at worst perniciously misleading. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

13 For where an essentially ordered causal series is in question, it is necessarily the case (and not a matter of probability, hypothesis, or assumption ) that it has a first member, just as it is necessarily the case that three-sided polygons are triangles, have angles adding up to 180 degrees, and so on. And where the first member is a purely actual being, it follows, not with probability, but necessarily (so the argument continues) that it has the various divine attributes and thus must be God, rather than a big bang singularity or what have you. Edward Feser, The Last Superstition

14 The NATURE of God: God s essence & existence are identical Uncaused, Infinite Being (Unlimited) Pure Being Itself/Simple/One Unchangeable Impossible to be more than one Personal (A cause can t give what it doesn t have)

15 Implications? Creator/Sustainer of all that exists Unique or One of a kind Ultimate and absolute basis of all good As Ultimate Worth, NB is worthy of worth-ship Therefore, this infinitely existing Necessary Being is appropriately called God

16 God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM Ex. 3:14 (NASB) For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Col. 1:16-17 (NASB) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Rom. 1:20 (NASB) for in Him we live and move and exist Acts 17:28 (NASB)

17 What About the Moral Argument? How Do We Know God is Good? Is something good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good? (Euthyphro Dilemma) A thing is good insofar as it is in being (it lacks nothing it should have); God is being itself; therefore, God is goodness itself The essence of God is one with His Being God is ordered to no end, but all other things are ordered to Him as their final end. It is clear, therefore, that only God possesses all manner of perfection by His very essence. Thus He alone is good through His essence. Klubertanz & Holloway

18 What About the Moral Argument? Does Morality Depend on God? Like natural science, much of morality/ethics can be understood apart from an appeal to God The Good/Morality is that which fulfills the purposes of our various faculties according to our essence, but the Divine Mind is the ultimate source of our essence Now God, given the perfection of His intellect, can in principle only ever command in accordance with reason, and thus God could never command us to do what is bad for us. [Our essences which determine our good] pre-exist in the divine intellect as the ideas or archetypes by reference to which God creates. Edward Feser

19 For More Information chapter-9-additional-argument-for-god/

20 COULD BE TRUE Christianity Judaism Islam COULD NOT BE TRUE Hinduism (pantheistic/polytheistic) Buddhism (pantheistic/atheistic) New Age (pantheistic) Secular Humanism (atheistic) Wicca (pantheistic/polytheistic) Mormonism (polytheistic) Deism Any non-theistic worldview

21 What About Quantum Physics? Speculative: There are at least 10 different interpretations of quantum mechanics (Some are deterministic; some are not, but according to atheist Victor Stenger, there s no consensus as to what is the right one) Subatomic particles do not come into being out of nothing (non-being); the subatomic vacuum is comprised of fluctuating energy (What caused the vacuum?) May be an issue of unpredictability rather than uncausality All science depends on the law of causality

22 What About Quantum Physics? But neither quantum uncertainty nor any other theory of physics is or could be the reason [that something must exist], for quantum mechanics and all the other laws of physics presuppose the existence of a concrete physical reality that behaves according to those laws, so that such laws cannot coherently be appealed to as an explanation of that reality. Edward Feser

23 What About Quantum Physics? In short, prime matter is not a kind of raw material but the metaphysical precondition of there being raw materials in the first place; and substantial form is not some particular configuration of matter but the precondition of there being configuration, or any other attribute, in the first place. Edward Feser

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