Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

In which I Unravel the Mystery of the Holy Trinity

It is the habit of some of our professors to assign students to write a one page response to a provocative question in a regular way as a means of inciting intelligent discussion on a given topic in the classroom. The rules for these responses demand that one first begin with a position statement of no more than twenty words. One may then use up to 300 words defending one's position. The priest who teaches my course on the Holy Trinity employs this method. We were recently asked to discuss whether or not the existence of God can be proven. The following was my response.

God’s existence can be proven.

Before defending my answer, a caveat must be made: If one insists that the existence of God must be proven by means of the scientific method or with scientific tools, the question is self defeating. A God proven by science really is not God, and if it cannot be proven by science, it isn’t proven at all. Nevertheless, I content that proof for God’s existence can be found in an evaluation of the aggregate of God’s effects in the world.

The traditional formula by which the Church insists that God can be known is through God’s effects in nature. In other words, God can be known first of all as a logical necessity. Something cannot be placed in motion without first having a mover. Nevertheless, some mover must be unmoved in itself in order for motion (change) to occur. Likewise, once things have been created, it is necessary, once existing, for a thing to have some principle by which it continues existing. Creation is contingent. Similarly, creation is ordered. There must be some principle by which it is ordered.

Related to these are the questions unanswered by science. In terms of evolutionary biology, for instance, it is believed that random mutation can account for order in biological system. Random mutation cannot, however, seem to account for the existence and transmission of information (i.e. DNA and the “instructions” it contains). Moreover, that from very early in their history humans have always practiced some form of religion seems to suggest an innate knowledge of a God.

Considering these reasons as well as the example of the saints and martyrs, the testimony of the Church and the Sacred Scriptures, as well as the profound experiences of God known to each individual believer, it seems that God’s existence can be proven.

1 comment:

J. Thorp said...

I appreciate your approach -- I still feel a bit ravelled, though. : )

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