The mere claim, that there could be a "Proof for the Existence of God," seems to invite ridicule. But so once did the idea that the Earth might be round. Not always are those who laugh first and think later right. Many well-known scientists now admit that certain discoveries tend to indicate that God rather does exist than not. The problem, I suggest, lies in certain preconceptions, specifically in the personification of God. By picturing God as a person, one can't help but think: Where is He?

However, if we picture God as something that could be everywhere, surrounding us like air or awareness, then, an understanding of what God is suddenly becomes a possibility.

Simply by looking at what constitutes our world, we can say that all matter consists of energy. How, then, do we know this energy exists? The simple answer is, we are aware of it. We then only have to find out how this awareness came about. Did it come from dead matter or lifeless energy as the materialists have us believe? Did Awareness exist first? Or did Awareness co-exist with energy, out of which the Awareness then formed matter? Is Awareness the out-put, a by-product of electro-chemical activities in the brain, or the Generator? We are more certain considering our thoughts. Thinking is definitely an out-put. But, who is thinking and who is aware? Whether it is the whole Universe or our own thoughts, Who or what is the first cause? It is only logical to conclude that awareness cannot be the product of dead matter or life-less energy. How could that even be imagined?

I am sure you can agree: if there is a God, then God has to exist and has to be aware of His Existence (can you even picture an unconscious God?). Also, He must exist on his own, which means: God must be self-energetic. That is the safest thing we can say without too much speculation. And, in fact, that is precisely what God is: Self-energetic Awareness. But I don't want to presuppose that God's existence is a fact before the proof is established.

Yes, I claim that God can be proven indirectly through very convincing circumstantial evidence and directly through personal experience (see Meditation, Self-Knowledge). The body of circumstantial evidence that has been collected over the years is tremendous and by itself a proof simply through the overwhelming accumulation of proofs. One could call it Prima Facie Evidence, which is evidence of such a high degree of probability that it is recognized as evidence until the opposite can be proven.
I feel that the evidence presented in "Awareness - The Center of Being" delivers such convincing evidence.

Why do we seek proof for the Existence of God?

The answer is quite obvious - we fear death and seek assurance that survival is not only possible but guaranteed. Since we can only survive within a condition that is not undergoing constant change and decay, we need something that exists forever and is not subject to change. Such condition of eternal Beingness is what we termed God.

Philosophy

According to my understanding, Philosophy may lead to something we may call Intellectual Enlightening, an intellectual knowledge that God does exist. But once we know that something is there to find that is of ultimate value, why stop there? Endless discussion over something that is within reach is of secondary quality to actually arriving at the destination. For that reason Buddha is quoted:
"When your house is on fire, is it wise to discourse on the nature of fire?
Or, When shot with an arrow, would you discourse on the nature of arrows, or pull the arrow out?"

Philosophy's real value, I suggest, is that it can be used as a tool to give us the assurance we need to start us on our path. Once we know for sure that ultimate knowledge of survival and Pure Awareness can be found, we, as skeptics and attached to our duties, know also that our time is not wasted if we set out to search for a direct experience - for only direct experience can satisfy a mind plagued with doubts and fear.

Once we have dealt with our doubts, effort is still involved to realized Pure Awareness and we may question: Is the end worth all the trouble? Here one can turn to the advice and experiences of our Saints, Mystics, Sages, Self-realized persons, as well as to Scripture. The value of Heavenly Bliss is also made clear in this quote from the New Testament (Matt. 13:44-46):

"The Kingdome of Heaven is like this. A man happens to find a Treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field."


Arguments for God's existence

The historical arguments for God's existence are classified by various categories:
· The Ontological Argument
· The Kalam (Time) Argument
· The Contingency Argument
· The Miracles Argument
· The Teleological Argument
· The Religious Experience Argument
· The Causality Argument
· The Design Argument
· The Cosmological Argument
· The Moral Argument
· The Prima Facie Argument

The Ontological Argument:

(Ontological arguments are based entirely on reason.)

1. St. Anselm (around 1077) developed what is now called the "Ontological Argument" for the Existence of God in his book "Faith Seeking Understanding." He argued:
Men believe God to be the Being than which none greater can be thought. It is greater to exist in reality and in the understanding than to exist in the understanding alone. Therefore, it is contradictory to hold that God exists only in the intellect, for then the being than which none greater can be thought is one than which a greater can be thought, namely, one that exists both in reality and in the understanding.

2. Descartes: "Whatever is contained in a clear and distinct idea of a thing must be predicated of that thing; but a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely perfect Being contains the notion of actual existence; therefore since we have the idea of an absolutely perfect Being such a Being must really exist."

3. Leibniz: "God is at least possible since the concept of Him as the Infinite implies no contradiction; but if He is possible He must exist because the concept of Him involves existence."

The Causality Argument:

Thomas Aquinas was probably the first to use the Causality Argument as published in his "Summa Theologica." Many others have arrived at the same point of view: Only nothing comes from nothing - everything else comes from something. Everything leads back to a more original form.

Thomas Aquinas argues that there is no case known in which a thing turned out to be the efficient cause of itself, because in that case it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. If, however, one thing was caused by another, there would be an infinite chain of cause and effect, which would be impossible. But if we take away the ultimate cause it is to take away the effect. If in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

Thomas Aquinas also argued that the existence of motion itself suggests a prime mover (scientists developed for that purpose the 'Big Bang Theory'. However, such a Bang could not have developed if there was absolutely nothing before. Therefore, the question remains, where did this infinitely dense point of origin come from?)

St. Thomas Aquinas and his five proofs for the Existence of God:
1. The fact of change proves an ultimate agent of change!
2. The chain of causation proves a first cause that needs to be uncaused to end the otherwise endless chain of events!
3. The contingent facts of the world require an ultimate Being!
4. The fact of graduation of things as higher and lower suggests Perfected Being at the top of the hierarchy!
5. The order and design found in nature suggest a highest Being at the Source!

Pope John Paul II: "To speak of chance for a universe which presents such a complex organization in its elements, and such a marvelous finality in its life would be equivalent to giving up the search for an explanation of the world as it appears to us. In fact, this would be equivalent to admitting effects without a cause."

The Kalam (Time) Argument:

Muslim philosophers argued: If the universe had a beginning at all, the beginning cannot rest on nothingness but God. If the universe had, instead, an infinite past and is without beginning and uncreated, then it is impossible to have arrived at the present moment, in the same way as it is impossible to jump out of a bottomless pit. The key here is the concept of infinity. Surely, if we have to go back infinitely without arriving at a beginning, there could be a great problem with having arrived at the present moment. Without a definite starting point in time, this is simply impossible.

The Design Argument:

William Paley, an eighteenth-century Anglican priest and philosopher, concluded that all living creatures are far too complicated to have arisen by chance. For him the universe was clearly showing direction and an instrument for a goal. Therefore, the universe must be the product of an intelligent designer. He added an example of someone who finds a watch, but had no prior knowledge of what watches are. Even if he has never seen one before, the man quite naturally concludes: The watch has been designed and is used for a purpose. He does not assume the watch came into existence by chance.

Argument against the Existence of God:

Perhaps the most persistent argument of atheists is what they call the "Argument from evil." They say that God, as defined by Religion, is supposed to be all-powerful and all-loving. From this they conclude that God does not exist, because:
1. If God wants to prevent evil but cannot do so, God cannot be all that all-mighty.
2. If God can prevent evil but does not do so, God cannot be all that all-loving.
3. Because evil clearly exists, God either cannot prevent evil or does not care about it.
4. Therefore, God, as does not exist.

Counter argument:
The argument above is valid as long as it refers to a certain perception of God. Evil and good are simply the two opposites that are found throughout nature. Without opposites, the Yin and Yang, life would not be possible at all. Without opposites we would also have no freedom of choice. Therefore God does not interfere. Imagine two armies approaching, they are fighting over something as simple as food. Both parties are praying to God for help. Who is God to help? And if God does not interfere could we reasonably conclude that He does not care and, therefore, does not exist?

God is Self-energetic Mass-awareness. This is self-evident because energy and Awareness is all that exist. The energy part can be confirmed by any physicist and Awareness is simply part of our experience and cannot have developed out of dead matter or lifeless energy. Since everything is a condensation of his energy, to God only God exists. God is not a person and for that reason we should not try to understand God in human terms.


In 'Circumstantial Evidence For the Existence of God' in "Awareness - The Center of Being", you will find:
· Evidence from Cultural Knowledge
· Evidence through Inference
· Evidence through Probability
· Evidence from Philosophical Arguments & Modern Physics
· Historical Arguments
· Evidence from the Account of Witnesses and through Direct Perception
· Evidence from destroying the materialistic view as the only argument against the body of Evidence.

Another excellent book on this subject: "Does God Exist? The Debate between Theists & Atheists" by J. P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Philosophy, Biola University, La Miranda, CA. and Kai Nielsen, Professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary, AB. Available from Prometheus Books, New York.

The following are a few excellent resources you can find on the Web:
1. Why the Burden of Proof is on the Atheist by Professor Ralph McInerny
2. Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God by Dr. Walter Bradley
3. Classical Arguments for the Existence of God (Cosmological, Moral, and Teleological Arguments)
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