1. The Existenceof Godnv09


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A class on the demosntration of the existence of God.

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1. The Existenceof Godnv09

  1. 1. The Existence of God. Religion and Atheism “I believe in God.”
  2. 2. Can we see God? How?
  3. 3. The living and true God can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason through created things. (Vatican I)
  4. 4. Why are we here on Earth? <ul><li>We Christians have had the chance to know our purpose here on Earth: Jesus preached this and the Church teaches it. </li></ul><ul><li>Response to the fundamental questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>where do I come from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who am I? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where am I going to ? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 1.Natural Knowledge of God Through Our Knowledge of Creatures <ul><li>It is necessary to want to know God. </li></ul><ul><li>IF WE DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE, WE WON’T EVER BELIEVE IN GOD. </li></ul><ul><li>The quest for God is the quest for the meaning of life. </li></ul>
  6. 6. After creating world and animals, God said: “let us make man in my own image and likeness”
  7. 7. Why did God create us? To have a special relationship with him. Man is a child of God
  8. 8. After the original sin We lost communication with God. We find more difficult to understand him. BUT WE CAN USE OUR REASON TO FIND HIM.
  9. 9. We have a natural knowledge of God, starting with our knowledge of natural things. <ul><li>The things of nature: </li></ul><ul><li>God has caused all the minerals, vegetables, animals, and human beings. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Man can know the existence of God in two ways: </li></ul><ul><li>- in a natural way </li></ul><ul><li>- through supernatural means (faith) </li></ul><ul><li>Natural way : starting point, the creation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With the sole light of reason: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are contingent, created and dependent beings. We have not created the Universe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Man can get to know the existence of God, the Creator, the necessary and eternal Being, first cause and ultimate end of everything. </li></ul></ul>MICHELANGELO Buonarroti Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Plants (detail) 1511 Fresco Cappella Sistina, Vatican
  11. 11. 2. From the Material World to God <ul><li>Proofs of the existence of God: </li></ul><ul><li>St. Thomas Aquinas’ 5 ways. </li></ul><ul><li>movement </li></ul><ul><li>cause </li></ul><ul><li>necessary / contingent Being </li></ul><ul><li>intelligent Being </li></ul><ul><li>perfection </li></ul>
  12. 12. 2. From the Material World to God <ul><li>Awesome novel: The Lord of the Rings </li></ul><ul><li>Author? >> TOLKIEN </li></ul><ul><li>Awesome Universe </li></ul><ul><li>At random? </li></ul><ul><li>Author? … WHO? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the words come together by change without an intelligent being? </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of a car coming together? </li></ul><ul><li>Everything in the Universe is organized in such a perfect way…! </li></ul><ul><li>Author: is the One we call GOD. </li></ul>The designer of the universe: We call GOD.
  13. 13. The First Way <ul><li>The first way in based on “motion”. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything that moves is moved by another. </li></ul><ul><li>Through this way we arrive at God as the First unmoved mover. </li></ul>
  14. 14. CAUSALITY
  15. 15. The Fourth Way <ul><li>This way is based on degrees of perfection in things. </li></ul><ul><li>The cause of perfection in things must be the most perfect being, who is God. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Fifth Way <ul><li>The starting point of this way is the observation of order and finality in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>We arrive at God as the Intelligence who has put order and finality in the whole of creation. </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3. From the Human Spirit to God <ul><li>Man discerns signs of his spiritual soul in: </li></ul><ul><li>1. His openness to truth and beauty ; </li></ul><ul><li>AND GOD IS TRUTH and BEAUTY. </li></ul><ul><li>2. His sense of moral goodness ; </li></ul><ul><li>3. His freedom and voice of his conscience; </li></ul><ul><li>4. His aspiration for the infinite and for happiness ; </li></ul>
  18. 18. Proof from inner experience <ul><li>The moral sense and conscience </li></ul><ul><li>WHO HAS CREATED OUR TENDENCY TO GOOD? (the supreme lawgiver). </li></ul><ul><li>Spontaneous difference between good and evil, and the obligation to do good : leads to the supreme good, that is God. </li></ul><ul><li>Eg: to tell a lie is evil. To kill is evil… </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Desires of the Human Spirit <ul><li>Man’s longing for happiness is infinite and insatiable. </li></ul><ul><li>It can only be satisfied by the infinite good who is God. </li></ul><ul><li>The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God, & God never ceases to draw man to himself. </li></ul>
  20. 20. GOOD / EVIL??? <ul><li>God created a good world. He has destined us to eternal happiness (there is no evil in heaven.) </li></ul><ul><li>Evil entered the world as a consequence of sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between: sin / suffering </li></ul><ul><li>With the Incarnation and Redemption (He voluntarily accepted the consequences of sin), suffering becomes a means of loving and of uniting our human will to the Divine Will. </li></ul>
  21. 21. From the Human Spirit to God <ul><li>His soul can only have origin in God . (CCC 33): </li></ul>BUT: How do we prove the existence of the soul? We can see the action of the soul: We think We love We are alive.
  22. 22. 4. What if I decide to ignore the Maker? Do I have the choice? <ul><li>Man does not grasp the existence of God with immediate evidence . </li></ul><ul><li>Atheism is never a reasonable stance, because reason can demonstrate that God exists and because man without God cannot find a coherent answer to the ultimate problems of existence. </li></ul><ul><li>Agnosticism maintains that it is impossible to affirm or deny the existence of God. </li></ul><ul><li>A man who has abandoned God knows deep in his conscience that his freedom has intervened in doing so. </li></ul>
  23. 23. WHY a free-thinker? <ul><li>Many factors can contribute to giving up the search for God or rejecting Him -- </li></ul><ul><li>ignorance ; </li></ul><ul><li>rebellion against evil in the world; </li></ul><ul><li>the religious indifference of so many; </li></ul><ul><li>the bad example of some believers; </li></ul><ul><li>excessive seeking of temporal well-being ; </li></ul><ul><li>attitude of the sinner who hides from God because of fear </li></ul><ul><li>to justify his conduct; </li></ul><ul><li>flight from his vocation , etc. </li></ul>
  24. 24. 5. Natural & Revealed (Supernatural) Religion <ul><li>Religion is the relation or bond of the creature with his Creator , manifested through acts of worship, norms of conduct and an ensemble of beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>It is therefore an objective reality -- not simple subjective sentiment, or just feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>By virtue of religion man gives to his Creator his due, realising he owes Him every good he has </li></ul>
  25. 25. Revealed Religion <ul><li>In the case of Christianity, God chose to reveal himself to us. </li></ul><ul><li>God did this gradually: first through the Prophets. Then finally through Jesus Christ. </li></ul>
  26. 26. 5.1 Natural Religion <ul><li>With his own reason,man can know, </li></ul><ul><li>1. about God Himself; </li></ul><ul><li>2. about the moral law </li></ul><ul><li>3. about the spontaneous worship man gives to God. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout history : prayers, rituals, Sacrifices. </li></ul>
  27. 27. 5.2 Revealed Religion. God coming to us. <ul><li>Because man has difficulties in coming to know God by reason alone, God wanted to reveal Himself so He can be “known with ease, certainty and no error.” (CCC 38, 50) </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity is not just a search by man: it is God who reveals himself. </li></ul>
  28. 28. 5.2 Revealed Religion <ul><li>QUESTIONS: </li></ul><ul><li>Do I read the Bible? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I understand it? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the Bible help me to understand the problems of today's world? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it help me in my relationship to God? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it help me to understand myself and my relationships with others? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it help me to appreciate the Liturgy and the Sacraments? </li></ul>
  29. 29. 6. There is Only One True Religion <ul><li>As there is only one true God, there is only one true religion. </li></ul><ul><li>Christ is the only mediator. 1 Cor 8:6, Jn 1:18, Mt 11:27, 1 Tim 2:5 </li></ul><ul><li>Revealing Himself to men, God established the one sole supernatural religion, the Catholic Religion. </li></ul><ul><li>Religious indifferentism is a grave error. </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of the apostolate ad fidem (bring people to the faith). </li></ul>
  30. 30. 7. What about other Religions? <ul><li>M Baker Eddy (Christian Scientist) </li></ul><ul><li>Adam Smith (Quakers) </li></ul><ul><li>Lutheran </li></ul><ul><li>Methodist </li></ul><ul><li>Presbyterian </li></ul><ul><li>Calvinist </li></ul><ul><li>Jews </li></ul><ul><li>Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhist </li></ul><ul><li>Hindu </li></ul>
  31. 31. The System of Private Interpretation is Unworkable. <ul><li>The proof is in the pudding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The existence of so many denominations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Luther started in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1517 – Lutheranism </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1520 - Reformed Church broke away which is turn was further fragmented into:- </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1525 – Anabaptist </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1560 – Presbyterian </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1534 – Anglican </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>further broken into </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1612 – the Baptist </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1787 – The Methodist </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and the continuous fragmentation of the various ecclesia communities in the Protestant system continues to be a scandal against Christian unity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the US alone, there are more than 20,000 denominations in less than 500 years. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 33. Resolutions to move forward <ul><li>To put effort in: </li></ul><ul><li>1. getting to know well God, with the reading of a good book, and prayer. </li></ul><ul><li>2. giving thanks for creating the Universe and myself. </li></ul><ul><li>3. putting into practice the Christian doctrine. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Avoid anything that separates me from God. </li></ul>