Tagged: God

Debate on the Existence of God – 1948.

Father Frederick C. Copleston (Jesuit Catholic priest) versus Bertrand Russell (agnostic philosopher.) (The portion on “Contingency” is slightly edited.) This debate was a Third Program broadcast of the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1948. It was reprinted in several sources. Summary Copleston put forward his argument which concentrates simply on contingency. There are things in the universe which are contingent – that is there was a time when they did not exist, e.g. you and me. Everything in the world is like this. Nothing in the world contains within itself the reason for its own existence – nothing is self-explanatory. The...

Meister Eckhart – Self-Communication of God

St John xiv. 23.—“If a man loves me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” We read in the Gospels that Our Lord fed many people with five loaves and two fishes. Speaking parabolically, we may say that the first loaf was—that we should know ourselves, what we have been everlastingly to God, and what we now are to Him. The second—that we should pity our fellow Christian who is blinded; his loss should grieve us as much as our own. The third—that we...

Thomas Aquinas: Five Arguments for the Existence of God.

Thomas Aquinas claims that the existence of God can be proven in five ways. I will first quote the text from the Summa, and then outline the five arguments. Summa Theologiae, Question 2, Article 3. It seems that God does not exist, for if one of two contrary things were infinite, its opposite would be completely destroyed. By “God,” however, we mean some infinite good. Therefore, if God existed evil would not. Evil does exist in the world, however. Therefore God does not exist. Furthermore, one should not needlessly multiply elements in an explanation. It seems that we can account for...

Ontological arguments for the Existence of God

Ontological arguments for the existence of God are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world — e.g., from reason alone. In other words, ontological arguments are arguments from nothing but analytic, a priori and necessary premises to the conclusion that God exists. The first, and best-known, ontological argument was proposed by St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th. century A.D. In his Proslogion, St. Anselm claims to derive the existence of God from the concept of a being than which no greater can be...

Aquinas: Summa theologiae, Question 1,2

Thomas’ most significant work is his Summa theologiae or ‘summary of Theology,’ a gigantic work which attempts to present all of Christian theology as systematically as possible. Thomas worked on it from 1266 through 1273. Then, when he was nearly finished, he underwent an experience so intense that, as he himself explained, everything he had written seemed like straw. He completely stopped writing and died three months later. Thomas was canonized in 1323. The Summa theologiae is written in a form common to treatises of that age. All of theology is divided into its major topics. These, in turn, are...