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How God Still Causes Things to Be

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Filed under God

Atheists often claim that it’s contradictory for believers to assert that God is at the same time both the universal cause of all being and immutable. In other words, God can’t be changeless and at the same time changing, in the sense that he causes things to come into and go out of existence. Consider, for example, that my act of typing this article right now is a reality ultimately because God causes it to be. His causal activity is not in opposition to my free action, but... Read More

A ‘God Problem’ at the New York Times

When I saw that the New York Times had published an argument against the existence of God with a URL that contained the phrase “philosophy-God-omniscience,” it brought out my inner Catholic-apologist-geek. I became excited at the prospect of teasing out a philosophical puzzle. But the only puzzle I came away with was this: how could a philosopher at a large public university publish a paper on the existence of God—in the nation’s most prestigious newspaper—that... Read More

The Santa Claus “Proof” for God’s Existence

In my title, the word, “proof,” is in quotation marks, because this article is not intended as a strict proof for God’s existence. Many may well not be impressed by the argument at all. Still, it may have some merit, since it might at least give skeptics, agnostics, and atheists some pause for thought. Most children are taught in their early years to believe in the fictional character who lives at the North Pole. Indeed, like St. Thomas Aquinas’s own Five Ways to prove God’s... Read More

How Aquinas’s First Mover is Also Universal Governor

This post aims at better understanding how God interacts with creatures, not primarily at proving his existence. Central objections to God’s existence are that (1) his nature is self-contradictory and/or (2) his relation to creatures is somehow impossible, as in, for example, the problem of evil that I have addressed here previously. In other posts, I have argued that God is the source of all “new existence” that appears in the world every moment it progresses through time.... Read More

Understanding the Mysterious Fifth Way to God’s Existence

The fifth way is taken from the governance of things. For we see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end, which is apparent from this: that always, or more frequently, they act in the same way, so as to obtain that which is best. Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not by chance, but from intention. However, those things which do not have knowledge do not tend toward an end unless directed by something with knowledge and intelligence -- as the... Read More

If Theism is True, is Nihilism False?

I recently saw this on Twitter, and thought it worth discussing: When people say atheism entails nihilism they're more than likely saying "I'll be really sad if I couldn't believe I'm immortal and will eventually live in paradise." — Counter Apologist (@CounterApologis) January 13, 2019 I like Counter Apologist, but this is akin to saying “When people say ‘God doesn’t exist’ they’re more than likely saying ‘I don’t want to submit to God.'”... Read More

Why Doesn’t God Give Everyone a Miracle?

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Filed under God

Some years ago, a friend of mine told me how, after losing his wife to cancer, he encouraged his embittered young adult children to return to church. On their first visit to a small group, several people shared their recent answers to prayer — miracles, they said — while the two young visitors sat quietly. When they returned home that night, my friend’s kids asked one question: “Dad, if God answered all those prayers, why didn’t he answer ours?” In short, if... Read More

How to Approach the Problem of Evil

The problem of evil in relation to God’s goodness is too vast a topic to treat fully in this short article. Therefore, I shall offer just a few relevant observations on this widely known objection to God’s goodness and existence. In classical metaphysics, proving God’s goodness starts with defining what is meant by the good. The good is that which all things desire.1 But a thing is desirable because it is perfect, which implies that it is as actual as its nature permits. Since a... Read More

How God Can Know and Cause a Universe of Things

Nature of the Problem God is absolutely simple, meaning that he is not composed of parts, principles, or things. He is a spiritual being, since what is physical is subject to motion and God, as Unmoved First Mover, cannot be subject to motion. It seems unimaginable that a simple, pure spirit could both know and cause the nearly infinite myriad of things that God has created. Yet, it is demonstrable that he causes each creature and knows each one individually. That God causes all finite... Read More

God: Eternity, Free Will, and the World

Rather than present a systematic defense of all the divine attributes involved in this article, my purpose here is to explore some philosophical doctrines about God whose interrelationship appears perplexing, if not outright contradictory – drawing on whatever elements of natural theology are needed. Starting with a proof of God’s immutability, I will then consider his eternal life and how it is possible for him still to have free will. Finally, I will consider how it is possible for... Read More

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