06 August 2005

Why I Know God Exists

So here's the story. I'm a student in a program known as the International Baccalaureate. It's a global curriculum that is supposed to prepare you to be a thinker and ready for college. Each diploma candidate is required to take a course called "Theory of Knowledge". TOK is the main philosophical ideology behind IB. I've had two classes and I can already tell that the teacher is sickly humanistic in his thinking. Yuck. Our primary textbook is Man is the Measure. In other words: man, man, man. It's all about the glory of man and how knowledge and truth is relative. We cannot know for sure what is knowledge or truth. I was gritting my teeth at this blasphemy (John 14:6) and he went on to tell us that we were to type up five things that we know to be true. After some thought, I knew exactly what I should do. I took the Apostle's Creed and tweaked it to fit into five *large* statements. Mr. Walsh had a fun time attacking my position, but thanks to God, I had the right answers.

The second assignment for the year was to pick one of the five statements and explain why we know it is true. He went easy on us and told us that he wanted one page, double spaced. I used St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica for the basis of my defense. Since it's really one half of a page, his quotes form a good portion of the paper. I have a feeling that this year I'm going to become very familiar with St. Thomas' philosophy and the Summa. This is going to be one fun year, indeed. Here is the first of many, I'm sure, TOK papers to be uploaded to Testimony to Truth. God bless!

Throughout the ages, men have studied, argued, and debated over the existence of a higher power. Ancient polytheistic religions tell of many gods, though there is usually one supreme creator above all others. Modern science teaches that all the matter of the universe was released in the Big Bang, but cannot prove where that matter came from. In the Abrahamic religions, there is one God who is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator. I know that this God exists and is the creator of the universe.

I know that a creator set all things in motion. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “whatever is in motion is put in motion by another.”[1] Since things in the universe are in motion, they needed something or someone to start them in motion. This reasoning is very closely related to the idea of Aristotle’s ‘Uncaused Cause.’ History is a story of causes and their effects. In the history of the earth and the universe, we must look at the chain of causes and effects, going back to the beginning. For nothing natural can be the cause of itself. Eventually, we will discover the first event is the creation of the known universe. Explaining this event, science has formulated the Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory holds that all the energy and matter of the universe was, at very high temperature and density, held together in some state.[2] The cause of this event, however, cannot be determined.

I know that some supernatural creator is the first cause and mover of the universe. I call this creator God. Of course, I do not know everything about God, and only know Him imperfectly. Not by knowledge, but by faith, I believe that though I now know only in part, one day I will understand fully. Even as I have been fully understood.[3]

[1] Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica (I,Q2,A3)
[2] Dodelson, Scott. "Big bang." World Book Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. 6 August. 2005. .
[3] Saint Paul. 1 Corinthians 13:12, The Bible


Blogger Polka Dotted Pickles said...

Sounds like an interesting class. Good luck!

August 09, 2005 10:08 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Muchisimas gracias!

August 09, 2005 10:10 PM  
Blogger David Ketter said...

Nice...I envy you...What I wouldn't give to argue some philosophy with this guy. :) If you ever need anything about this sort of thing...you know where to go.

Summa Theologica is very interesting. I was intrigued that this Catholic saint presented predestination...different and unexpected to say the least, but what can I say?

Nice job on the paper. I'd be curious to see your first paper. :P

(Hey, we agree on this!!!)

August 14, 2005 2:14 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

It is fun... I'll be sure to keep you updated on the course and consult with you on stuff that sounds fishy.

I like it. If I read the answers on predestination correctly, it seems that he presents the idea that God has complete foreknowledge, but allows us to slip away from our calling. This sounds like it fits in with Church teaching. http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0015/__P1O.HTM (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #600)

Thanks. I got it back with "I love your reasoning!" and the only question was "What/who set God in motion?" Though I thought I said that all things natural need to be set in motion. God definitely is not natural. Hmm.

August 21, 2005 2:12 PM  
Blogger David Ketter said...

WOW....a compliment from an insanely humanistic teacher?

True about Aquinas...I actually have come to the conclusion that one must accept predestination as a Biblical concept...it's there and to deny it is to deny the Bible. Basically, there's just a difference in interpretations of it - example: calvinistic interpretation versus, say, Catholic interpretation of it. Aquinas, apparently, understood this.

August 21, 2005 3:06 PM  
Blogger pete said...

"I actually have come to the conclusion that one must accept predestination as a Biblical concept..."

Heh, boy have you and I been through this before... :)

Jonathan, I am curious to know whether or not you believe that the Cosmological Argument (which is the one you presented in your paper) actually proves that the God of the Bible exists?

September 14, 2005 1:38 PM  

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