Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ – Finding God Through Faith and Reason

In 15 Audio on 2011/09/21 at 6:00 AM

Finding God through Faith and Reason

Host – Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., lends insight into new evidence gathered from the fields of contemporary philosophy and physics which supports proof for the existence of God. The nature of the universe itself, including many constants which preserve the balance of daily operations, connotes the existence of a creator. The principle of intelligent design leads to logical conclusions about the nature of God

Please click on this link to access programshttp://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=7132&T1=Spitzer

Finding God through Faith and Reason

1. How Can You Prove Godʼs Existence?

Fr. Spitzer surveys the types of evidence as A Priori, A Posteriori, as well as publicly and privately accessible, and distinguishes between evidence that has recourse to experience or sensation and that which does not. Using the argument that to “achieve the unachievable,” as in saying “past time is infinite,” is a contradiction and therefore impossible, Fr. Spitzer concludes that there must be a “creation event” because time must be finite, and hence a creator must exist.

2. St. Thomas Aquinas’ Proof of an Uncaused Cause

In the history of life in the universe, Fr. Spitzer distinguishes between two forms of being: the Caused Causes, which rely on something else in order to exist; and the Uncaused Cause, or that which needs nothing other than itself to exist. Going back into the past and positing an infinite number of caused causes gets us nowhere in determining ultimate causality.

St. Thomas sheds light with his Proof of the Uncaused Cause: There must be at least one uncaused cause. The Uncaused Cause cannot cause itself. There can only be one Uncaused Cause (God).

3. Metaphysical Proof Part One: Proof of an Unconditioned Reality

In the history of life in the universe, Fr. Spitzer distinguishes between two realities: Conditioned Reality, or that which must have conditions fulfilled in order to exist; and Unconditioned Reality, that which does not need to have any conditions fulfilled in order to exist. If going back in the line of successive causalities or agents, there are a finite number of conditions, the final condition must also be a conditioned reality, needing something else to fulfill its conditions for existence. If there are only conditioned realities, then nothing can exist. If the cat is dependent on an infinite number of conditions to exist, it is unachievable, and will never exist. Therefore at least one Unconditioned Reality must exist.

4. Metaphysical Proof Part Proof of an Absolutely Simple Reality

Fr. Spitzer examines the Proof of an Absolutely Simple Reality. As a presupposition, he states that, “If there is no Unconditioned Reality, then no conditioned reality (that which must have conditions fulfilled) can exist.” How does one describe the coexistence of the Unconditioned Reality with all conditioned realities? The Unconditioned Reality must be defined as absolutely simple. “Simplicity” denotes Something so transparent to itself that it literally has no intrinsic or extrinsic boundaries. “Absolute Simplicity” connotes no exclusivity, only total compatibility with everything. Hence we see how God can co-exist with the created universe, permeating it with his omnipresence.

5. Metaphysical Proof : Proof of a Unique, Unrestricted Reality

Fr. Spitzer looks into the Proof of a Unique, Unrestricted Reality. It is the nature of finites and boundaries to exclude. Therefore the simpler the reality, the more inclusive. Absolute Simplicity means lacking all intrinsic and extrinsic boundaries, or excluding properties. An Unconditioned Reality cannot exclude anything from itself (Absolutely Simple). An Absolutely Simple being must be infinite and unique (one and only one).

6. Metaphysical Proof : Proof of a Continuous Creator of All Else That Is

Fr. Spitzer surveys the proof of a continuous creator of all else that is. First, there must be a last condition that the conditioned reality depends on for existence. The one Unconditioned Reality is the ultimate ground of reality for all conditioned reality. The one Unconditioned Reality is the Creator of all else that is. The Unconditioned Reality is continually thinking all reality into reality. If God stops thinking us into existence, we would become nothing. God is an absolutely simple, unique, continuous Creator of all else that is.

7. A Priori Cosmological Proof: Proof that Past Time Is Finite and Requires a Creator

Fr. Spitzer surveys the proof that past time is finite and requires a creator. Past time has occurred; it has been achieved. The notion of infinite past time is impossible, for it would constitute an “achieved unachievable.” Since past time must be finite in any possible universe, then it must have a terminus (a beginning). If past time had a beginning, then it could not have created itself.

8. A Priori Cosmological Proof : Proof that the Creator of Past Time Is Not Conditioned by Time and Is Therefore Absolutely Simple

Fr. Spitzer surveys the proof that the creator of past time is not conditioned by time and is therefore absolutely simple. Past time must always be finite in all possible universes, in all possible conditions; it must have a beginning, prior to which it is nothing (does not exist). There must be one “creator” of past time and the universe, who is necessarily timeless and completely unchangeable. The Creator of past time is trans-temporal, not conditioned by past time.

9. A Posteriori Cosmological Evidence: The Universe Is Finite in Time and Space, Implying a Creator

Citing cosmological evidence, Fr. Spitzer states that the universe is finite in time and space, implying a creator. Einstein had suspected that the universe is finite. Hubble discovered that the universe is mostly “red-shifting,” meaning that the universe is expanding! The universe is not only expanding, it is slowing down in its expansion. The universe has a finite mass, 10 to the 55 Kg. The observable universe is likely only 13.7 billion years old. What was it prior? The universe literally did not exist prior to 13.7 billion years ago. If the universe began at a Big Bang, we know it is 13.7 billion years old, and it was hence created. The intelligent design of the universe implies that the Creator must be a super-intellect.

10.Teleological Evidence : The Extreme Improbability of the Universe Being Capable of Sustaining Life

Fr. Spitzer explains the extreme improbability of the universe on its own being capable of sustaining life. An anthropic universe is capable of giving rise to and sustaining life, whereas a non-anthropic universe is incapable of giving rise to life. The universal constants in relation to each other (the speed of light, minimum lengths and time, etc.) can only have a very narrow window of values in order to accommodate life. Any value above or below that narrow window of values will never give rise to any life form. Therefore God had to arrange the constants of the universe in such a way that life is continually sustained.

11. Teleological Evidence: The Extremely Improbable Universe Betokens a Super-Intellect Designer

Fr. Spitzer cites evidence that the delicate, precise balance of life in the universe of its own nature requires an intelligent designer. Carbon is the building-block of life. Very slight variances in the resonance of the Carbon atom or Oxygen atom would preclude any bonding, precluding any life from forming. The odds against our universe developing are so great, it would be like a monkey randomly tapping keys on a typewriter to produce “Hamlet.” Hence the extremely improbable universe betokens a super-intellect designer.

12. Manifestations of God’s Absolute Simplicity: Truth, Love, Goodness, Beauty and Being 

Fr. Spitzer surveys what can be said about God through the nature of universal truth. Absolute simplicity implies no intrinsic or extrinsic boundaries. This pure acting power, or being itself, could act as a unity for every existing finite being. We know that mind can unify things, for truth is a unity. The truth itself is an unrestricted act of understanding, understanding itself and all else that is. Five transcendentals manifest Godʼs absolute simplicity: Being, Truth, Love, Goodness (Justice), Beauty. If Truth Itself, Love Itself, Goodness Itself, and Beauty Itself are all manifestations of absolute simplicity, then there can only be one Being Itself.

13. Evidence of the Human Soul: Our Desire for Perfect and Unconditional Truth, Love, Goodness, Beauty and Being

Fr. Spitzer observes that human beings have five transcendental desires for perfect, unconditional and unrestricted being, truth, love, goodness and beauty. Human beings seek unconditional truth: the perfect set of correct answers to the complete set of possible questions. We seek the unity of all forms. The five transcendental desires of the human being point directly to the existence of the soul. The soul innately longs for its creator, as St. Augustine wrote: “For Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

14. The Proofs in Light of Christian Faith: One God, Three Persons and the Incarnation

Fr. Spitzer notes that there is not more than one absolutely Simple Reality–only one God, and only one nature in God. But there are three Persons in One God. How can this be? Three Self-Consciousnesses are making unconditional use of the one infinite Power source. The Son’s self-consciousness entered into the thought of creation, subjecting Itself to the conditions of a finite human nature, while still making use of the infinite Power Source. The only explanation for why the Son would do this is LOVE (a perfect act of empathy), making Himself perfectly accessible to every human being.

Please click on this link to access programshttp://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=7132&T1=Spitzer


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