The Basic Proofs

What constitutes ‘proof’ for the existence of an Ultimate Reality?

The Traditional proofs are:

1. Authority

a. Tradition
b. A ‘sacred’ book
c. The Church
d. Prophet(s)
e. Scholars

2. Universal Morality

a. Collective Duty
b. Social Ethics
c. Obligations (family, group, state)
d. Civic consciousness

3. Origins

a. Uncaused Cause: The fact of creation points to a Creator.
b. The Absolute: a Primal Fact
c. The Center of Reality: An Unmoved Mover
d. Universe Intelligence: the source of Mind.

4. Personal Experience

a. Ultimate Perfection: A desire to be more points to perfection.
b. Common Sense, Foresight
c. Personal Revelation

Proofs 1 through 3 are external. Number 4 is internal.

Fear and imagination also combine to “invent” gods in the first place.

Beauty is often the doorway to the proof for the existence in God.

Blaise Pascal’s (1623-1662) logical proof went something like this.

Either God and the afterlife are true or false. If you bet they are true and they turn out to be true you have gained God and heaven; and if they turn out to be false you have gained a good life full of peace and the illusion that everything ultimately makes sense. If you bet they are false and you are correct, you have lost nothing. If you bet they are false and they prove to be true, you lived your life without God and you have lost everything.

In the end, no matter what or how you decide, the proof has to be satisfactory to your sensibilities. This class should help clarify your a priori assumptions. Also in the end (of physical life) either all will be quiet or the fact of waking up on the other side should jar a few things loose.

A note on assumptions: Keep digging. What you think is at the base is often a layer or more above the actual foundation. Anything built on a solid foundation will not need to be re-built (to such an extent if/when things fall down a bit later) when you learn more basic truths.

Last modified: Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 6:56 PM