Ever heard somebody say, “You can’t prove God?” Turns out, that’s not true. You can. Here’s how.
Note that the argument presented here comes from a recent lecture from Norman Geisler, PhD. Dr. Geisler is a prolific author, professor, speaker, lecturer, traveler, philosopher, apologist, evangelist, and theologian who has written over 86 books. His proof is the culmination of thousands of years of critical analysis by the sharpest minds in philosophy and its premises are corroborated by science.
This proof is not for the faint of heart. It’s a logical argument which must be digested slowly. As with all arguments, each point builds on the next. Ready, here we go.
Proof of God
(1) Being is. That is, something exists. This is called The Principle of Existence. This is undeniable since the one who denies it by saying, “I don’t exist,” must exist in order to deny it.
(2) Being is being. This is known as The Principle of Identity. Being is identical to being. A thing is identical to itself. Again, this is undeniable since it cannot be denied unless it is implied. For asserting that “A is not identical to A“ assumes that each A is identical to itself. Otherwise, one could not know the other is not identical to it.
(3) Being is not non-being. This is called The Principle on Non-Contradiction. Opposites cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. This too is undeniable since the claim that “Opposites can both be true” assumes that the opposite of this claim cannot be true.
(4) Either being or non-being. This is The Principle of Excluded Middle. There is nothing between being and non-being. Hence, something must either be or not be. It can’t actually both be and not be at the same time and sense. So, this principle is undeniable since the denial of it is a contradiction.
Cause: The term “cause” in this next point and the remainder of the argument means efficient cause, viz., that which brings something into being or causes it to be in some way. An efficient cause is that by which something comes to be, as opposed to an instrumental cause which is that through which something comes to be.
(5) Non-being cannot cause being. This is The Principle of Causality. Nothing cannot cause something since nothing does not even exist, and what does not exit cannot cause anything. Only something can produce something.
(6) A being that is caused to be is similar in its being to the Being that caused it to be. This is The Principle of Analogy. An effect resembles its efficient cause. Like produces like. Being shares being for this is all that it has to share. Being cannot give what it has not got. For it must have it (being) before it can give it.
From these principles, the following undeniable conclusions can be drawn:
(7) A being is either necessary or contingent but not both. This is based on the Principle of Excluded Middle (#3).
Contingent: When something is contingent it means that the possibility of an event or situation depends on another happening or being true first. Since a contingent being has the potential to change, a contingent being is a potential being–it may or may not exist, come into existence, or change while in existence.
Necessary being: A being whose existence is no mere accident or contingent result but whose very nature is to exist necessarily. A necessary being is one that is not contingent on another for its existence. It has no potentiality, meaning it has always existed in with its unchanging state of attributes, and never has, nor never will change.
(8) A necessary being cannot cause another necessary being to come to be. For if it could, then a contradiction (#3) would result because : (a) by its nature a necessary being cannot come to be or cease to be, and (b) a being that is caused to exist by a necessary being comes to be (which is contradictory).
(9) A contingent being cannot be the efficient cause of another contingent being (#3). Only a necessary being can be the cause of a contingent being. This is because a contingent being is one that could not be (viz., it could be nothing), and if it could cause another being, then non-being could produce being which is contradictory (#5). Only actuality can cause actuality (# 5). Potentiality cannot cause actuality. A possible being cannot be the ground for an actual being. What might not be can’t be the ground of what is.
(10) A necessary being is a being of Pure Actuality with no potentiality. This is so since a necessary being has no potentiality to not exist. If a necessary being exists, then it must exist necessarily with no possibility (potentiality) to not exist.
(11) A Being of Pure Actuality cannot cause another being with Pure Actuality. For whatever being comes to be must have potentiality to be, and Pure Actuality has no potentiality.
(12) The being that is caused by a Being of Pure Actuality must have both actuality and potentiality. For this created being has the potentiality not to be which Pure Actuality does not have.
(13) Every being that is caused by a being of Pure Actuality must be both like and dislike its Cause (#6). It must be like its Cause in its actuality, and it must be dislike its cause in its potentiality. And what is both like and dislike its cause is similar (or analogous) to it.
(14) I am a contingent being. This is so because (a) I undeniably exist (#2), and because I am not a necessary being since (b) I change or come to be (which a necessary being cannot do). For example, the claim “I came to believe that I am God” (as pantheists make) is contradictory for a necessary Being cannot come to be anything. Whatever it is, that it is necessarily.
(15) But only a necessary being can cause a contingent being to exist (repeat of # 9).
(16) Therefore, a Necessary Being (of Pure Actuality) exists who caused me (and every other contingent being there may be) to exist.
What must this God be like?
(17) This Necessary Being of Pure Actuality (with no potentiality) has certain necessary attributes:
(a) It cannot change (must be immutable) since it has no potential for change. For it has no potentiality in its being, only Pure Actuality.
(b) It cannot be temporal (must be eternal) since time involves change from a before to an after, and a necessary being is changeless.
(c) It can not be material (must be immaterial) since matter has the potential to change (e.g., from usable to unusable energy), and a changeless being cannot change.
(d) It can not be finite (must be infinite) since it has no potentiality to limit it. Actuality as such has no limitations.
(e) It can not be divisible (must be simple) since it has no potential to be divided. For it has no potentiality in its being. Further, God is infinite and no amount of parts adds up to an infinite because one more part can always be added, and there cannot be more than an infinite.
(f) It must be an uncaused being since it is a necessary being, and a necessary being cannot be caused to come to be. So, it can’t be caused. Nor can it be self-caused which is a contradiction (for a cause is ontologically prior to its effect, and nothing can be actually prior to itself). Hence, it must be an uncaused being.
(g) It must be only One being since there can’t be two or more infinite Beings or two or more Beings or Pure Actuality since there is no way they could differ in their Being for they are both the same kind of Being. And beings cannot differ in the very respect they are the same.
(h) It must be infinitely knowing (omniscient) since I am a knowing being that it caused to exist, and a cause cannot give what is does not have to give (#6).
(i) It must be all-powerful (omnipotent) since it is infinite, and it has power (e.g., to cause a finite being to exist). Hence, it is infinitely powerful.
(j) It must be an absolutely morally perfect Being since it causes moral beings to exist, and it cannot share what it does not have to share (#6).
(k) It must be a Personal Being since He made personal beings, and the effect is similar to its efficient cause (#6).
This Being is precisely the God described in the Bible. This is strong evidence that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Moreover, the Bible indicates that this all powerful, infinite, all knowing, morally perfect Being desires to have a personal relationship with you.
History and the Bible tell us that 2,000 years ago, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to be the propitiation for your sins. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Click here for more info on how you can have your sins forgiven and receive this free gift of everlasting life from God.
This indeed is good news!