the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

conceptualizing and arguing god's existence

St. Thomas Aquinas provided five proofs that God exists. First of these is the means that comes from the idea of motion. Everything that is moved is moved by something. This mover must be different, something else than that which is moved. However, this process cannot go on forever because there will always be the original mover, itself moved by nothing, and this mover is necessarily God. The second proof comes from the nature of efficient cause. There is a chain of causes in our experience, but something’s existence must come first before its cause. Also, the chains of efficient causes have the first cause as the cause of the middle, and these causes of the last causes, so removing the cause removes the effect. It is presupposed that there is some first efficient cause: God. The third proof comes from the nature of the possible and necessary. All things cannot be merely possible or accidents, since eventually nothing would exist. Something must have existed originally for everything else to exist, so that not all things are mere accidents because there is one necessarily existing being. Therefore, there must be something necessarily existing by its own nature, itself as the only cause of other existing things: God. The fourth proof emerges from the degrees found in things. There is always a greater and a less degree found in things. Things are greater or less depending on the degree to which they approach the greatest. Hence, there exists something that is the truest, the best and the greatest being. The cause of the existence, of the goodness and of perfection of things is God. The last proof emerges from the sequence of things that are ultimate part of a grand plan. Things that are beyond understanding operate through the order of some higher authority so they do the action not by chance but by purpose. An intelligent being called God has things arranged according to a plan.
In his arguments, Aquinas demonstrates his confidence in the capacity of human reason to arrive at or explain some knowledge, albeit imperfect, of God. God appeals to humans as some inexplicable being whose mystery inspired many humans to pursue the unlocking of this mystery. In doing so, they used their reason because belief alone cannot suffice an explanation regarding the divine. Skeptical minds need to be convinced with rational explanations, notwithstanding if there are others who have enough faith to require no more elaboration.
Paul Tillich also accepts the necessity of human conceptualizations of God, but he instead emphasizes its limits, thus arriving at the conclusion that religious language is necessarily symbolic. God appeals to humans differently depending on beliefs and cultures, through which appeals they imagine God. No matter how imaginative humans can get regarding God, their humanity will reach certain limitations. This limit requires the language by which religion shapes divine imaginings as symbolic. They must become representations of something else so that their varied notions of God will still manage to meet a universal point. The religious language becomes that unifying factor among the different conceptualizations about God.

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