St. Edmund Campion Catechism Group - Series 2 Lesson 13 & 14

 

Preparation
Podcast: Does God exist? Proof of God's Existence
Podcast: Notes

Magisterium: Dei Filius

Catechism: Q16-20
Bible: 
Catholic Encyclopedia: Existence of God
Aquinas 101: The Five Ways of St. Thomas; Fr. Thomas White OP playlist
Pints with Aquinas: Explaining Thomas Aquinas' Proofs; Aquinas vs Dawkins
Edward Feser: Four Causes and Five Ways; Proofs of the Existence of God
Summa Theologica: Prima Pars Q1a2
Companion to the Summa: Chp 2

Does God exist?

  1. Introduction:

    - Faith: Faith is the supernatural virtue which renders the intellect entirely obedient to the will when God reveals a truth, because of the authority of God revealing.
    - Reason: The act by which the conclusion of a demonstration is reached.
     
  2. Knowledge of God 

    - We can know God by faith and reason
       - Divine Revelation (Scripture and Tradition) is the source of the knowledge of God by faith.
       - Observation of the natural world gives us knowledge of God by reason.
       - Theology (Divine Revelation unpacked by reason) gives us knowledge of God by both faith and reason.

  3. Knowledge of God by reason

    - So that we are sure that we can know God by reason, the First Vatican Council makes this an article of faith:
       
    God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason, through the things that He created.
    (Dei Filius 2)


    - St. Thomas Aquinas gave us the Five Ways of knowing the existence of God by reason.
    - These require an understanding of Scholastic philosophy to really grasp. We need to understand the difference between
       - Act & Potency
       - Essence & Existence
       - Efficient & Final Cause
       - Sequential & Concurrent (Simultaneous) Series 

    Philosopher Edward Feser argues that most of the classical philosophers' cosmological arguments for the existence of God do not depend on the Big Bang or whether the universe had a beginning. The question is not about what got things started or how long they have been going, but rather what keeps them going.