Does God Exist? Is God Real? A Strong Logical Argument for God's Existence
I. The Faith of Ismaili Islam is Based on Logic and Reason:
“You must have in every walk of your life a logical concept. This does not mean to wipe away faith, but the real principle of Islam is that faith is logical. Islam would not be what it is if it were not logical and this is something you must keep in mind. Because the very heart of Islam is logical. There is no hocus-pocus. There is no nonsense. It is clear and it is lucid and it is understandable, and for those of you who have studied it closely, this will be the first thing apparent to you.”
– His Highness the Aga Khan, Pakistan, 1960
II. Recognizing the Function of Science and the Importance of Philosophy
a. Science is the study of the natural world for the purpose of modelling the behavior or movement of natural objects for the purposes of manipulation and prediction. However, science does not deal with the questions about the source of existence of natural objects, issues of morality, mathematical truths, the rules of logic, aesthetics (the study of beauty), or the source and experience of consciousness.
b. The enterprise of modern science is interested in discovering the rules or laws of nature by which the natural world behaves but it does not reveal anything about the origins or ultimate causes of the existence of the natural world and the causes of the laws of nature. To use an analogy, science is about observing the moving pieces of a checkers board and documenting the rules of the movement of pieces, but science cannot tell you where the checkers board, the pieces, and the rules of the game come from or why they exist in the first place. This second question can only be determined by philosophy and metaphysics.
“Think of it this way: you can’t find out why checkers boards exist by looking at the rules of checkers themselves, which concern only what goes on within the game. The rules tell you how each piece moves, how the game is won, and so forth. But why are the pieces governed by these rules, specifically, rather than others? Why do any checkers boards exist at all in the first place? No scrutiny of the rules can answer those questions. It is impossible to answer them, or indeed even to understand the questions, unless you take a vantage point from outside the game and its rules. Similarly, what science uncovers are, in effect, the “rules” that govern the “game” that is the natural world. Its domain of study is what is internal to the natural order of things. It presupposes that there is such an order just as the rules of checkers presuppose that there are such things as checkers boards and game piece… Thus, science cannot answer the question why there is any world at all, or any laws at all. To answer those questions, or even to understand them properly, you must take an intellectual vantage point from outside the world and its laws, and thus outside of science. You need to look to philosophical argument, which goes deeper than anything mere physics can uncover.”
– Edward Feser, (Scientists Should Tell Lawrence Krauss to Shut Up Already)
c. If God exists, then God is BEYOND (not in a physical sense, but ontological sense) the Natural World:
“The most pervasive error one encounters in contemporary arguments about belief in God–especially, but not exclusively, on the atheist side – is the habit of conceiving of God simply as some very large object or agency within the universe, or perhaps alongside the universe, a being among other beings, who differs from all other beings in magnitude, power, and duration, but not ontologically, and who is related to the world more or less as a craftsman is related to an artifact.”
– David Bentley Hart, (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, 32)
III. Proving God Exists - There Can Only Be Types of Existing Realities
a. Conditioned Reality: Any reality (human, plant, animal, wood, etc.) that depends on something else for its existence.
b. Unconditioned Reality: Any reality that is self-sufficient, i.e. does not depend on anything else for its existence. This is what is called "God".
Below is an example of a Conditioned Reality - A Cat which depends on other realities as it exists:
IV. Logical Proof of the Unconditioned Reality (God)
a. Some conditioned reality exists (i.e. cats, animals, trees, humans, wind, water, etc. as shown by science)
b. Any conditioned reality (R1) always depends upon another reality (R2) in order to exist (per definition of conditioned reality)
c. Any conditioned reality, by definition, must either depend upon:
- a finite number of conditioned realities only
- or an infinite number of conditioned realities only
- or a finite number of conditioned realities + at least one unconditioned reality
d1. A conditioned reality cannot be caused by a finite series of conditioned realities. If there is a linear series of conditioned realities, what would the first one depend on? Since it must depend on something, and there is nothing prior to it, the whole linear chain ceases to exist. Therefore a linear series of conditioned realities cannot exist. Additionally, a circular finite series of conditioned realities could not exist either. This would simply result in each conditioned reality fulfilling their own conditions, which violates the definition of a conditioned reality.
d2. Conditioned realities cannot exist in an infinite chain either. A very large series of one million conditioned realities cannot exist, neither can a series of one billion, and so on and so forth. As the number of conditioned realities in a series increases, the result continues to be non-existence. Continuously adding one (million, billion, trillion, etc.) to the end of the chain would never allow for the conditions of existence to be satisfied, therefore the entire infinite chain of conditioned realities would never have its conditions fulfilled.
d3. Since any model made up entirely of conditioned realities can never have their conditions fulfilled, it therefore follows that all conditioned realities must be caused by a series of realities that ends (or begins its ontological chain) with an unconditioned reality.
e. Therefore, an unconditioned reality exists.
V. Proof that any Unconditioned Reality is Absolutely Simple:
a. Anything that is composed of parts is caused and conditioned by those parts.
b. Therefore, any unconditioned reality is absolutely simple by definition because it cannot be composed of any parts.
VI. Proof there is only one Unconditioned Reality:
a. If there were two unconditioned realities (UR1 and UR2), then there must be a differential property that makes UR1 different from UR2 and vice versa and there must also be a common property that is common to both UR1 and UR2.
b. If there is no differential property between UR1 and UR2, then both UR1 and UR2 are actually the same UR.
c. If UR1 and UR2 exist, then UR1 and UR2 each contain a differential property and a common property, and both UR1 and UR2 are composed of two parts - the differential property and the common property. However, it is impossible for any unconditioned reality to be composed of any parts like this. Therefore, UR1 and UR2 are not really unconditioned reality.
d. Therefore, there is only one Unconditioned Reality.
VII. Proof that Unconditioned Reality is the Sustainer and Continuous Creator of all Conditioned Realities:
a. Because there is only one Unconditioned Reality, it is therefore the only self-sufficient reality.
b. Therefore, every ontological chain of conditioned realities, if the chain actually exists, must ultimately depend upon the one Unconditioned Reality in order to exist at all.
c. Therefore, all conditioned realities (each and every conditioned reality) ultimately depends on the one Unconditioned Reality for the fulfillment of their conditions.
d. Therefore, Unconditioned Reality continuously creates and sustains the existence of every conditioned reality.
VIII. Proof that Unconditioned Reality Transcends Space, Time, and Material Existence:
a. All spatio-temporal realities are composite - made of parts like atoms, molecules, spatial coordinates, and temporal coordinates.
b. Therefore, by definition, Unconditioned Reality is beyond matter, space, and time.
c. Sub: Therefore, Unconditioned Reality is transcendent, immaterial, eternal, changeless and immutable.
IX. The Ismaili Imam on God as the Unconditioned Reality that continously sustains all Conditioned Realities:
“It is said that we live, move and have our being in God. We find this concept expressed often in the Qur’an, not in those words of course, but just as beautifully and more tersely…Thus Islam’s basic principle can only be defined as monorealism and not as monotheism. Consider, for example, the opening declaration of every Islamic prayer: “Allāhu-Akbar”. What does that mean? There can be no doubt that the second word of the declaration likens the character of Allah to a matrix which contains all and gives existence to the infinite, to space, to time, to the Universe, to all active and passive forces imaginable, to life and to the soul… God supports and sustains all existence at every moment by His will and His thought. Outside His will, outside His thought, all is nothing, even the things which seem to us absolutely self-evident such as space and time.”
– Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah, (Memoirs of the Aga Khan: World Enough and Time)
The above is entirely logical, with conclusions following necessarily from previous conclusions. For the fully exhaustive proof of God by Ismaili Gnosis, visit the source article: https://ismailignosis.com/2014/03/27/he-who-is-above-all-else-the-strongest-argument-for-the-existence-of-god/