The Nature of God

The God that Christians believe in is shown to humans through Jesus. Christians believe that God has all the characteristics of Jesus, but that he is also supernatural and above humans. Most Christians believe that Jesus was sent to guide Christians in how they should live their lives and to prove that God exists. They see the Bible, its stories and the existence of Jesus as proof of God. Belief is faith and a reason based on a rational argument. Jesus is God but in the human dimension, and is seen as the way to God.

The first argument that most Christians would put forward to show that there is a God would be the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing? ” why does the Universe exist rather than not exist? Some Christians believe that God caused the Universe to exist and he made the big bang happen. This is based on the 13th century philosopher Thomas Aquinas’ argument, that God is the first uncaused cause. Christians would point to the existence of the universe as proof of God, and people should ask how it came to exist rather than simply not exist.

More recent arguments from Scientists say that the Universe started from a massive explosion called the Big Bang. Aquinas would have argued that something had to exist in order for the Big Bang to happen. Christians and Thomas Aquinas believe that the first cause was God. Christians believe that God is infinite, this means that he is eternal, he has always existed and always will exist. Christians believe he is an uncaused cause. Despite this being a rational argument for the existence of God not everyone believes him and some people think that there was no starting point to the Universe but is a continuous chain of events and is infinite.

Some religious believers accept that God cannot be proved, but still believe he exists based on religious experience. The experience can take a variety of forms but the most common is when you are filled with an overwhelming sense of something greater than humans. The sight of something beautiful like a sunset could inspire this, or the sight of something awe inspiring such as a magnificent Cathedral. Other arguments for the existence of God include the cosmilogical watch argument, also known as the design argument and that Christians believe they are serving a divine purpose. I shall try to explain some of these ideas in more detail.

First, Thomas Aquinas’ five arguments to prove the existence of God, one of which is the First uncaused cause, he argued that for the universe to exist something had to start it all off. This he called the first way; from motion, this he called God. Also he asked the question what made the Universe exist? Anything that moves must be moved by something. For example when something moves something had to move to start the chain of reactions off. Therefore there has to be a first mover, this is called God and is referred to as an unmoved mover, meaning nothing had moved before him and he is the first in the chain of events that is the Universe.

However this argument is not foolproof. Some people believe that there is no evidence that the something that started the chain of movement off was God. Then Christians would put forward the argument of design. This argument is also called the teleological argument and was founded by William Paley who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. He argued that the fact that everything in the Universe is so well adapted and designed there must be a great designer to design it. There is a great design in the universe therefore the universe has a great designer, Christians believe that this great designer is God.

Another example is the cosmological watch argument. If you found a watch lying on the floor you wouldn’t think that it evolved because it is far too complicated to have evolved by chance. Then look at the human eye, this is by far more complicated than a watch or computer. Therefore it must have had an even smaller chance of evolving by chance. That means that a great creator must have created humans, this creator Christians believe to be God. There are other things in the world that imply that they were designed. For example humans have intelligent thought.

Some Christians believe that the reason for humans having intelligent thought is that God gave it to us. He is believed to be an intelligent being, supreme over all humanity. Therefore God is the thought giver, creator and designer of the universe. A problem with this as Scientists point out is that there are many species of animals and birds that died out because they weren’t adapted well enough. The most famous example is the dinosaurs. They weren’t adapted to a changing environment and as a result died out. There are many other species of animals that are about to die out today.

This shows that the Universe either was designed badly or was not designed at all. There are other simple things that some Christians say prove that there is a God. For instance the power and beauty in natural things such as the sunset show that there is a greater power in the world than humanity. Christians call this power God. The problem with this that there is also a lot of evil in the world and God is supposed to be all good. Religious believers would argue that God created humans with free will and all the suffering we get is deserved because humanity is in the debt of God.

However non-believers would argue that the fact that babies suffer who have done nothing wrong is not fair and God cannot be all good, all knowing and all present, therefore he doesn’t exist because Christians believe that he is all three. The final argument for the existence of God is what Christians call the moral argument. Although some rules are enforced by the law, we still have some sense of what is either right or wrong. This is what we usually call our conscience. That means we know what is generally right or wrong because we have an instinct.

The Bible states that our conscience comes from God. This seems to be plausible because we do have a sense of right and wrong. This doesn’t definitely prove that there is a God, however it suggests that an all-knowing, all-present all-good designer, unmoved mover and uncaused causer does exist. This doesn’t mean that this is God, although Christians do believe that God does exist as the first unmoved mover, the first uncaused cause, the intelligent designer and the great power giver of the universe. Question B: Explain some of the difficulties which might be found in trying to describe God.

There are many difficulties in trying to describe God. One reason we cannot describe God is that the human language doesn’t have the words or tools great enough to describe God. The language that we use restricts us. God is beyond human, he is superhuman and we cannot describe him. Although Jesus was sent to Earth to show the qualities of God and provide a path to him, we still don’t understand the person of God. Some Christians or religious believers, and even some scientists believe that God operates in more than the three dimensions that humans use.

Therefore we cannot see him when he can see us and enables him to see through solid objects such as walls. For example if something existed in only two dimensions such as two flat shapes they could only see one side of each other at a time. However because we exist in three dimensions we can see the whole of the shape at one time. This is the same for God; if he exists in more than three dimensions then he can see all humans at the same time and listen to all our prayers. This proves that God is all present, omnipresent, and all knowing, omniscient.

Some non-believers argue that if God is all good all present and all knowing then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Christians answer this by saying that God created us with free will so that we can love and care for God. We can serve some of our divine purpose. Therefore any suffering is purely humanities fault. Non believers would still argue that the suffering put on newly born children means that God cannot exist as they have done nothing wrong, or worthy of punishment. This is called the problem of suffering, and Christians counter this argument with the free will argument.

Despite there not being enough words in human language to talk about or describe God many religious believers use forms of art and music to express there faith and love of God. This doesn’t have to be stain glass windows in churches or organ music and hymns but is often abstract art and different forms of music, different people try to describe and talk to God in different ways. Also because of our inability to use good enough language believers sometimes use metaphors and allegories to help us understand God better.

For example Plato’s allegory of the cave describes how insignificant humans are compared with God. Atheists often argue that how can you believe in a God if you cannot describe him? This is a good question but religious believers always answer the same: human knowledge is very limited, humans cannot know and understand everything, but that does not mean that only things we know about exist. Therefore just because we know little about God doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist. This is the problem of human knowledge being very limited.

There are also things that people experience without being able to see or describe it, like an experience of God. This happens in science as well, for example sound waves cannot be seen or adequately described, but scientists still know that they are there. These sound waves can even be observed with the use of equipment or instruments; some people think that this is the same with God. The problem of not being able to see God is one that some Christians can overcome by using tools such as art or music to describe God. Another difficulty in describing God is that he is understood as many different people.

In the trinity he is God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit as well as being the God of war and anger in the Old Testament. How can you describe three or four people as one? It is difficult and some Christians prefer not to refer to the trinity at all. So there are many difficulties in trying to describe God. The first is the human language, which is inadequate and doesn’t have high enough words to describe God. The second is the dimensions that we use; God must operate in more than three dimensions, in which case we cannot see him.

This is another problem as it is difficult to describe something that we cannot see. However religious believers try to over come this problem by using tools such as music and art to describe God in the same way that a Scientist would use instruments to describe sound waves. By using poetry, art or music Christians try to capture or express something of God. Then there is the fact that Christians believe God to be three or four different people. However they are all the same person so it is difficult to describe him, as he is seen as God the father, God the Son and God the holy spirit

Question C: “If God existed we would be able to prove it. ” Do you agree? Explain your answer. Some religious believers think that we can prove that God exists because of all the reasons describe in part A. God being the first uncaused cause and unmoved mover as described by Thomas Aquinas. Also the evidence of intelligent design shows that God exists according to some Christians. However it is just the same to say that the Universe is infinite or even if it isn’t there doesn’t have to be a God responsible. In a way you are only replacing one mystery, the Universe, with another, God.

If God made the Universe then who made God? This is a common question asked by Atheists. Even some religious believers admit that there is a lack of evidence for God, however they find it more comforting to believe and have faith in thinking that there is a God and a meaning to existence, rather than to believe that we are on this planet only because we are a fluke of nature. Then other people think that God definitely doesn’t exist, called Atheists, because they believe that the Universe was created in the Big Bang and we are here as intelligent beings through evolution, where only the best survive.

They point to the evidence of suffering as proof of the fact that God doesn’t exist; otherwise he would have made a perfect world wouldn’t he? There are of course counter arguments for this such as the free will argument, God created us with free will so that we could love God for ourselves. Despite the arguments for the existence of God seeming logical, there probably was an uncaused cause to start the chain of events that is the ever-expanding Universe; Christians still haven’t proven that there is a God responsible. There are several ways of looking at the problem of a finite Universe; only one of them includes God.

So Thomas Aquinas’ argument is ambiguous, there are other ways of looking at the same thing, and is not proof that God exists. If that logical argument for the existence of God doesn’t prove that God exists then it is my opinion that no argument will, either an argument that has been made or will be made in the future. My personal belief is somewhere between that of Christians and of Atheists. I am Agnostic, someone who doesn’t know if God exists or not because he hasn’t been proved either to exist or not exist. I do not think that we will ever know if God definitely exists or not, due to the lack of human knowledge.

Therefore I disagree with the statement in the question. However that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that God exists, only that it cannot be proven because there is a lack of experience and knowledge of God. We cannot describe God even if he does exist due to our language, so how could we ever prove that he exists? It is my belief, belief is faith and reason which is prompted by religious experiences or revealed in Jesus or the Bible, that God possibly does exist and is watching over us and probably caused the Big Bang, however it is extremely unlikely that it will ever be proved as we cannot be sure of even who he is.