William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Summary Against Modern Thought: God Is Eternal

This may be proved in three ways. The first...

This may be proved in three ways. The first…

See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

God is eternal. Okay, what does that mean? God is happy. So what is happiness?

Chapter 99 That God’s Life Is Eternal. (alternate translation)

[1] IT follows from this that God’s life is eternal. For nothing ceases to live except by being severed from life. But nothing can be severed from itself: for all severance results from the separation of one thing from another. Therefore it is impossible that God cease to live, since Himself is His own life, as we have proved.

[2] Again. Whatever sometimes is and sometimes is not, results from a cause: for nothing brings itself from not-being to being: since what is not yet, acts not. Now the divine life has no cause, as neither has the divine existence. Therefore He is not sometimes living and sometimes not living, but is ever living. Therefore His life is eternal…

[4] Moreover. God is utterly unchangeable, as we have proved above. But that which begins or ceases to live, or is subject to succession in living, is changeable: for the life of a being begins by generation and ceases by corruption, and succession results from change of some kind. Therefore God neither began to be, nor will cease to be, nor is subject to succession in living. Therefore His life is eternal.

Notes This accords with divine simplicity, which not only states God is not made of parts, but that God is not changing. If you like, the state of non-changeability is the definition of eternity. So how does a non-changing God interact with the contingent, i.e. the changeable, i.e. us? I have no idea. We do know, back from Chapter 13, to which we are ever hearkening back, that God is the first cause of all secondary causes, which is to say, of all changes. And we know God himself is unchangeable, but that without Him nothing changeable changes! So the unchangeable changes the changeable; Actuality itself activates all potentials. Again, how? Again, I have no idea. This is where metaphysics and physics meet, the Grand Unification Theory if you like.

Chapter 100 That God Is Happy. (alternate translation)

[1] IT remains for us to show from the foregoing that God is happy. For happiness is the proper good of every intellectual nature. Since then God is intelligent, His proper good is happiness. Now He is compared to His proper good, not as that which tends to a good not yet possessed–for this belongs to a nature that is changeable and in potentiality, but as that which already possesses its proper good. Wherefore He not only desires happiness, as we do, but enjoys it. Therefore He is happy…

[3] Again. Every desire is set at rest by happiness; because once it is possessed nothing remains to be desired, for it is the last end. Accordingly He must be happy, since He is perfect in all things that can be desired; wherefore Boethius says that happiness is a state made perfect by the assemblage of all good things. Now such is the divine perfection that it contains every perfection with simplicity, as shown above. Therefore He is truly happy.

[4] Again. As long as a person lacks that which he needs, he is not yet happy: for his desire is not yet set at rest. Whosoever, therefore, is self-sufficient, needing nothing, is happy. Now it was proved above that God needs not other things, since His perfection depends on nothing outside Him: nor does He will other things for His own sake as their end, as though He needed them, but merely because this is befitting His goodness. Therefore He is happy.

[5] Further. It has been proved that God cannot will what is impossible. Now it is impossible for anything to accrue to Him that He has not already, since He is nowise in potentiality, as we have shown. Therefore He cannot will to have what He has not. Whatever then He wills He has. Nor does He will anything ill, as we have proved. Therefore He is happy, according as some assert that a happy man is one who has whatever he desires, and desires nothing amiss.

Notes That God cannot will the impossible was Chapter 84; regular readers will recall this Chapter the occasion of one of Aquinas’s rare jokes. Taking only the definition of happiness as a kind of repleteness is, I think, uncontroversial.

Next week we finish the topic of happiness, and, more important, finish the first book of {\it Summa Contra Gentiles}! This leaves us three more to go. If it’s any indication, it took us about a year to get through the first book.

34 Comments

  1. Sander van der Wal

    December 6, 2015 at 9:52 am

    If you have no idea why it works, you do not have an explanation.

  2. Briggs

    December 6, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Sander,

    Gee, I guess that follows. And since I don’t have an explanation, you know what doesn’t follow? That an explanation doesn’t exist.

  3. “Eternal” changed to “unchangeable!”
    That’s why the unchangeable appeared to change!

  4. Sorry, I misheard the screen reader!
    I made a mistake, having thought it read “the unchangeable changes are changeable”
    which Is clearly nonsense and went looking at the point where the word eternal changed to unchangeable!

  5. Sander van der Wal

    December 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    @Briggs

    This whole exercise started as an attempt to convince the unbeliever that Catholicism is right and everybody else is wrong regarding the exact nature of God. In particular, it was not needed to believe Catholic Doctrine regarding Gods Nature, Reason only was promised to be sufficient.

    Now, this appears not to work, as now you have to invent a way for Unchange to change things. I don’t see this as being *better* than infinite regress.

  6. Seems to me the current purpose is to establish consistency. IF you define God with certain properties, then certain things must follow. If instead you observe what has followed, you can theorize what must have come before; and while the possibilities are infinite, most are not consistent or logical.

    Nonbelievers are a tiny part of this argument, might be completely ignored. The greater argument is among God-believers particularly among Catholics facing some pretty good disputes in their early days.

  7. A consequence of these words is that God cannot still want something. But it seems God does want something: My happiness and yours, and it cannot just be wished into existence.

  8. Sander van der Wal

    December 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    @Michael2

    Check the title: Summa Contra *Gentiles*.

  9. God must be the most terribly bored dude who ever was. What’s the point? It always seemed to me that all these old Christian apologetics went so far out of their way to prove the existence of God they essentially proved the universe can do completely without Him.

    JMJ

  10. Jersey McJones writes “(1) God must be the most terribly bored dude who ever was. (2) What’s the point?”

    (1) He would be except for (2) and it’s complicated. I have a doubt you are receptive to an answer.

  11. There are so many things wrong with this article, but since I don’t at this point in time have much time (library closes soon), I’ll just mention a few of the basic problems here.

    1. “For nothing ceases to live except by being severed from life. But nothing can be severed from itself: for all severance results from the separation of one thing from another. Therefore it is impossible that God cease to live, since Himself is His own life, as we have proved.”

    God’s life is apparently eternal, but I won’t go into that now (maybe later). When something ceases to live, it isn’t because it is severed from something external to it that we call life; no, it simply ceases to be that which we call ‘alive’. Perhaps I am wrong about this, but within what I have quoted above you give the very stong impression that you believe ‘life’ to be something that can somehow exist apart from, and independently of, living things. That’s like trying to argue that the colour ‘yellow’ can exist apart from, and independently of, those things that reflect this particular wavelength of EM radiation, or emit such wavelengths in the case of luminous objects.

    2. “Whatever sometimes is and sometimes is not, results from a cause: for nothing brings itself from not-being to being: since what is not yet, acts not. Now the divine life has no cause, as neither has the divine existence. Therefore He is not sometimes living and sometimes not living, but is ever living. Therefore His life is eternal…”

    Causality cannot be applied to reality as a whole (i.e. our universe) simply because absent the existence of time, which is a part of that reality, there can be no ‘before’, nor can anything have a ’cause’ in the traditional sense of that word. The universe did not ‘begin’ to exist, even though it has not always existed, because there was no time prior to the ’emergence’ (if I can even use that word) of the cosmos 13.7 thousand million years ago. Time (and hence causality) cannot – by definition – exist outside the universe.

    4. (Where’s number 3?) “Moreover. God is utterly unchangeable, as we have proved above. But that which begins or ceases to live, or is subject to succession in living, is changeable: for the life of a being begins by generation and ceases by corruption, and succession results from change of some kind. Therefore God neither began to be, nor will cease to be, nor is subject to succession in living. Therefore His life is eternal.”

    If God is unchangeable, then why the apparent need to create anything at all in the first place? The very act of bringing something into being represents a change in a current state of affairs, and quite apart from the issue of something changing absent the existence of time (which is impossible), there is also the problem of why, with God being complete, perfect, omni-this and omni-that, God would even have the… let’s call it ‘desire’ even though that word smells of anthropomorphism, to do anything at all. By the way, you haven’t ‘proved’ anything at all here.

    Got to go, but I’ll be back… 🙂

  12. It’s not complicated, Michael. It’s just a cultural thing.

    JMJ

  13. @JMJ:

    “It always seemed to me that all these old Christian apologetics went so far out of their way to prove the existence of God they essentially proved the universe can do completely without Him.”

    Aquinas goes at great lengths to show that no, the “universe” *cannot* “do completely without Him” — that is kinda one of his main points (but by now we cannot hope for you to grasp anything whatsoever by “old Christian apologetics”).

    @Peter A.:

    “Perhaps I am wrong about this, but within what I have quoted above you give the very stong impression that you believe ‘life’ to be something that can somehow exist apart from, and independently of, living things.”

    You are wrong.

    “Causality cannot be applied to reality as a whole (i.e. our universe) simply because absent the existence of time, which is a part of that reality, there can be no ‘before’, nor can anything have a ’cause’ in the traditional sense of that word.”

    The quoted portion this is supposed to be a response to does not concern wholes and parts, so the relevance of this is somewhat mysterious. At any rate, in Aquinas account of causation there is a perfect valid sense in which God is cause of the whole of reality. It is *not* tied to temporal succession, so once again the relevance of the response is somewhat mysterious.

    “If God is unchangeable, then why the apparent need to create anything at all in the first place?”

    Where does Aquinas speak of “need”, apparent or not? In fact he is quite explicit that God cannot have “needs”.

    “The very act of bringing something into being represents a change in a current state of affairs”

    No, it doesn’t. In fact that is precisely what creation in its proper sense is not, e.g. change.

  14. Semiotic Animal

    December 7, 2015 at 9:02 am

    This may be of interest to those wondering about the eternal: https://thomism.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/eternity-not-determinism/

  15. “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
    The current state of physics from which other sciences take their lead, in particular having been helped by mathematicians with “tools” have taken a turn into the dark. There’s no sign at the moment that this trend is about to change. We need some honest mathematicians as, in the end, we are forced to take what they say mathematically on faith unless we’re going back to university to study maths, learn the language and argue in their tongue. This thread is an excellent illustration with all the snark and veiled insults one has come to expect. They overstate what is known. They are unwilling to admit what is knowable, i.e the future. It’s enough to make a girl cross.
    The beauty of the universe is that we don’t know everything, nor are we close. There’s nothing wrong with belief or faith. They are not dirty or stupid but are a necessary element in scientific experimentation. A hypothesis is a belief, Atheists are allergic to faith.
    Truth matters and that’s why people care a jot about science. They only switch off when they see that sometimes very clever people can’t tell the truth!
    “This above all, to thine own self be true.
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    thou canst not then be false to any man.”

  16. Scientists, and people generally, build models and compare their models to what works in the real world. People may not call their life strategies “models” or even think about them in technical terms, but that is what they are. Nobody can be certain of anything in life, but it’s rational to have greater confidence in models that work than models that don’t. If you don’t think there is a difference or it doesn’t matter, that’s fine. I’ll walk through the door and you can try walking through the wall. People get invested emotionally in things that don’t work that they really do wish did work. So they persist. Words that refer to imaginary things, such as “infinity”, “random”, “eternity”, “nothing”, are not useful to discuss or debate as they have no correspondence to any model of reality that could ever be useful or proven useful. It’s much more productive to spend time trying to understand why this is so, than to indulge in the empty word games of the Scholastics. Of course, this is at the end of the day, an exercise in feeling and not thinking. It makes people feel good to pretend they understand something they have no understanding of. Actual thinking is hard, and often takes you to places you would rather not visit.

  17. ”[3] Again. Every desire is set at rest by happiness; because once it is possessed nothing remains to be desired, for it is the last end. Accordingly He must be happy, since He is perfect in all things that can be desired; wherefore Boethius says that happiness is a state made perfect by the assemblage of all good things. Now such is the divine perfection that it contains every perfection with simplicity, as shown above. Therefore He is truly happy.”

    Its not happiness but Wellbeing. Eudaimonia.

    Divine Perfection is the perfection of Wellbeing.

  18. “At any rate, in Aquinas account of causation there is a perfect valid sense in which God is cause of the whole of reality. It is *not* tied to temporal succession, so once again the relevance of the response is somewhat mysterious.” – G. Rodrigues

    There is no mystery here, apart from how you could still think that my objection doesn’t skewer the entire concept of a timeless and transcendent ‘God’. Anything that is timeless is also changeless (ex. mathematical truths, like 2+2=4), but at the same these transcendent concepts lack those characteristics we could call human (ex. emotion, intelligence, the ability to change, sentience). A timeless mind is something that simply cannot exist, for in order for minds to even work in the first place there is the requirement that they be capable of altering their current state, whatever that state may actually be.
    God is, however, timeless and incapable of change (according to the Bible). This entity is also perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, and without any needs or desires, but if so then why are we even here to begin with? Our reality, in the presence of God, is completely redundant.
    You state that ‘God is the cause of the whole of reality’, but causality can only exist within the reality you claim God was the cause of. Beyond our universe (if there even is anything beyond it, which we cannot say) time has no meaning, because time is an aspect of our universe; it does not transcend it. Absent time there can be no cause and effect, and if Aquinas believed otherwise then he was wrong.

  19. “Nobody can be certain of anything in life” – Will Nitschke

    Really? I’m certain that I exist. I’m also certain that I am alive, for if I were dead I would not now be typing these words.

    “If you don’t think there is a difference or it doesn’t matter, that’s fine. I’ll walk through the door and you can try walking through the wall.” – Will Nitschke

    I am also certain that I cannot walk through walls, nor can I defy the law of gravity, run faster than light speed, and travel back in time.

  20. Peter A. wrote “I am also certain that I cannot walk through walls”

    I can walk through a few walls if they are of sufficiently delicate construction. They won’t be useful as walls after that.

  21. Peter A writes “This entity is also perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, and without any needs or desires, but if so then why are we even here to begin with?”

    Why indeed. That is the question.

    I suspect this stems from a necessity for God to be transcendant. All possible objections to this will have been abundantly argued over the past few thousand years.

    The alternative is a Supreme Being not exactly omni-omni, maybe even a few “cannots” like cannot wish Evil out of existence, but can only be contained by vigorous effort not only by himself but by you, me and everyone else willing to work at it.

  22. @Peter A:

    “Anything that is timeless is also changeless (ex. mathematical truths, like 2+2=4),”

    And Aquinas would agree with you.

    “but at the same these transcendent concepts lack those characteristics we could call human (ex. emotion, intelligence, the ability to change, sentience). A timeless mind is something that simply cannot exist, for in order for minds to even work in the first place there is the requirement that they be capable of altering their current state, whatever that state may actually be.”

    But when Aquinas says that God has intellect he is not saying exactly the same thing that when we say that human beings have intellects; neither does Aquinas conceives of minds in the way you picture them, neither on his conception of God does His intellect “works” or has “states” or the capability to “alter” states or whatever, so all your objections are spurious and irrelevant. The only way all this would be relevant in the least was if you showed that Aquinas’ conception of God’s intellect was incoherent or, at the very least, equivocal. Of course it is neither, but you are welcomed to try your hand.

    “This entity is also perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, and without any needs or desires, but if so then why are we even here to begin with?”

    Because God timelessly willed that we be here.

    “You state that ‘God is the cause of the whole of reality’, but causality can only exist within the reality you claim God was the cause of.”

    Not only you are not paying attention, you are, again, begging the question against Aquinas.

  23. “But when Aquinas says that God has intellect he is not saying exactly the same thing that when we say that human beings have intellects; neither does Aquinas conceives of minds in the way you picture them, neither on his conception of God does His intellect “works” or has “states” or the capability to “alter” states or whatever, so all your objections are spurious and irrelevant. The only way all this would be relevant in the least was if you showed that Aquinas’ conception of God’s intellect was incoherent or, at the very least, equivocal. Of course it is neither, but you are welcomed to try your hand.” – G. Rodrigues

    Well, what does he mean then? I’m not familiar with Aquinas, being more interested in science than theology, so perhaps you could explain why my objections are ‘spurious and irrelevant’.

    “Because God timelessly willed that we be here.” – G. Rodrigues

    Why? I still don’t understand why God, being all the things I pointed out before, would need or desire anything at all. God is self-sufficient, so why are we here?

    “Not only you are not paying attention, you are, again, begging the question against Aquinas.” – G. Rodrigues

    I am paying attention: what made you think I wasn’t? I can’t beg the question against Aquinas, because I am not at all familiar with the position that Aquinas had regarding these questions in the first place.

  24. “I suspect this stems from a necessity for God to be transcendant. All possible objections to this will have been abundantly argued over the past few thousand years.” – Michael 2

    Yes, now that I am familiar with (i.e. necessity and contingency), and I will readily concede that there must be something necessary that underlies, or is the ultimate explanation for, reality as we understand it, but that could just as easily be something that we would still regard as being natural (as opposed to supernatural), even though it may transcend the limits of what we ourselves can apprehend (ex. the quantum vacuum state that L. Krauss mentions in his book ‘A Universe from Nothing’). Why must this special something be ‘God’? That’s what I don’t understand.

    The universe is of finite age (13.7 thousand million years old), but we cannot say that it had a beginning in the traditional sense of that term, that sense being that there was once a time prior to the existence of the thing in question. There was no ‘before’ the existence of the universe, in the same sense that there cannot be anything further North than the North Pole on the surface of Earth; such an idea simply has no meaning, because it makes no sense. Time exists only within our universe, it does not transcend it, and this is why (for example) the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God doesn’t work.

    P1. All that begins to exist has a cause.
    P2. The universe began to exist.
    Conc. The universe therefore has a cause for its existence.

    The universe ‘began’ only in the sense that it has not always existed, but it cannot be said that it therefore had a cause, because that implies a time prior to its existence during which the cause existed, but that was never the case. There was no time ‘prior’ to time itself, in the same way that one cannot travel further North than the North Pole (or further S. than the South Pole).

  25. Clarification: ’cause’ and ‘explanation’ are not necessarily synonymous. The quantum vacuum I mentioned before may (possibly) be the explanation for why there is something rather than nothing, but it could not be argued that it is also the cause, because as I pointed out already twice here, absent the existence of time, nothing can have a cause.

  26. @Peter A.:

    “I’m not familiar with Aquinas, being more interested in science than theology, so perhaps you could explain why my objections are ‘spurious and irrelevant’.”

    I thought that when you commented on this specific thread, which is on the “Summa contra Gentiles” by Aquinas, and when you quoted portions and made comments about it, that you were addressing him. But no, you are not; or any position that Aquinas actually held, much less anything in the OP; you are “more interested in science than theology”.

  27. Peter writes “Why must this special something be ‘God’? That’s what I don’t understand.”

    There is no “must”. You are free to call this special something “The Force” or anything else. Sometimes it is a good idea to call it something else if you are exploring only a particular aspect of it since to name your discussion “God” suddenly creates quite a lot of baggage OR barriers (or both at the same time).

    “The universe ‘began’ only in the sense that it has not always existed, but it cannot be said that it therefore had a cause, because that implies a time prior to its existence during which the cause existed, but that was never the case.”

    Did I mention baggage? One of your bags is your belief that time did not exist prior to the universe. Fortunately it is not terribly important and I can think of no way to discover the truth of it.

    But you are right in the sense that a story must begin somewhere, even if the universe itself didn’t.

    “There was no time prior to time itself”

    We are in an instance with all things necessary for this instance, including the time line of this instance. I do not therefore suppose that other timelines cannot exist, one in which this universe was created.

    A similar idea exists in virtual computers. When I start a virtual computer, its clock starts. But the host computer has its own clock independent of and superior to the clock inside the virtual computer.

    The atoms of your body are part of this universe and cannot probably exist outside its realms, including the realm of time. It may well be that what I call God is not confined to this realm, might not even normally be in it, just as I only occasionally log into a virtual computer. I can see many virtual computers at my console, but they cannot see each other.

  28. “I thought that when you commented on this specific thread, which is on the “Summa contra Gentiles” by Aquinas, and when you quoted portions and made comments about it, that you were addressing him. But no, you are not; or any position that Aquinas actually held, much less anything in the OP; you are “more interested in science than theology”.” – G. Rodrigues

    Your point being… ? I responded to what I saw here in this article, and I did so because it just does not add up. All I see here are assertions, some of which do not even make sense. The site the Chapter 99 link takes one to states:

    “IT follows from this that God’s life is eternal. For nothing ceases to live except by being severed from life. But nothing can be severed from itself: for all severance results from the separation of one thing from another. Therefore it is impossible that God cease to live, since Himself is His own life, as we have proved.[1]”

    If follows from WHAT that ‘God’s life is eternal’? It does not say, so how can one take a claim like this at all seriously? Perhaps some other link to some other site provides the answer to that, but one would think that if one were going to present an argument for whatever it is that one would wish to argue for, that a concise, clear and coherent presentation of the evidence would be the way to go. Pure assertion accomplishes precisely nothing, for one can always, and should always, ask the rather obvious question, ‘But how do you KNOW that?’

    “Nothing ceases to live except by being severed from life”, very strongly implies, if it does not proclaim outright (which I believe it does), that ‘life’ is something external and transcendent to that which is considered to be alive. This is just pure, unadulterated nonsense. It’s the old idea of vitalism, which no biologist takes seriously anymore.

    “…nothing can be severed from itself: for all severance results from the separation of one thing from another. Therefore it is impossible that God cease to live, since Himself is His own life, as we have proved.”

    If I am reading this correctly, the central claim here is that God is life itself. Why should anyone take this specific claim seriously? There are no good reasons given, just bald assertions. How do we even know that God exists in the first place? That’s just it – we don’t. One would think that establishing God’s existence would be the number one priority, well before one decided to make any other claims about it, but after over 2,000 years of effort this has yet to be accomplished. Gee, I wonder why. Could it be because God just doesn’t exist?

  29. Found it:

    [6] This is what is said in John (14:6): “I am… the life.”

    [1] From this it appears that God’s life is everlasting.

    So, God’s life is everlasting because the Bible says it is, and this is taken as being all the evidence that one could ever possibly want.

    Riiiight. Okay. And theists wonder why so many atheists are rude to them.

  30. “There is no “must”. You are free to call this special something “The Force” or anything else. Sometimes it is a good idea to call it something else if you are exploring only a particular aspect of it since to name your discussion “God” suddenly creates quite a lot of baggage OR barriers (or both at the same time).” – Michael 2

    Well, yes, I know that we can call it whatever we like (like, ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ – yes, that will do), but that wasn’t my gripe. The specific objection I had in mind was the lack of any good reason for simply assuming that the theological concept of God (i.e. an eternal, transcendent, intelligent, benevolent and omnipotent deity with a concern for humanity) is one that we should accept in order to account for why there is what there is.

    “Did I mention baggage? One of your bags is your belief that time did not exist prior to the universe. Fortunately it is not terribly important and I can think of no way to discover the truth of it.” – Michael 2

    It isn’t ‘baggage’, it’s special relativity. As for it being ‘not terribly important’, well… it is.

  31. Peter writes “lack of any good reason for simply assuming that the theological concept of God (i.e. an eternal, transcendent, intelligent, benevolent and omnipotent deity with a concern for humanity)”

    Like I wrote, “baggage”. Say the word “God” and your definition pops into your mind and obstructs further discussion.

    “It isn’t ‘baggage’, it’s special relativity. As for it being ‘not terribly important’, well… it is.”

    Your mileage obviously varies 🙂

  32. Peter A. wrote “So, God’s life is everlasting because the Bible says it is, and this is taken as being all the evidence that one could ever possibly want.”

    True for some.

    “Theists wonder why so many atheists are rude to them.”

    Some do, some don’t. It does seem that many atheists are rude, but then, so are many or most Facebook users and Twitter users and Huffpo responders.

  33. Peter A writes “If I am reading this correctly, the central claim here is that God is life itself.”

    With regard to nuances of almost every word written, this is exactly the case for Christianity. The nuances include that life is spiritual life, that of your spirit; which can be dead even if your body is alive, and vice versa, can live even if your body is dead.

    “Why should anyone take this specific claim seriously?”

    Hope. If I suggested the existence of a county fair at which the very best chili was being served, you might choose to believe me and go there. Or not.

    “There are no good reasons given, just bald assertions.”

    That is the nature of religion, and one of the reasons Global Warming advocacy resembles a religion.

    “How do we even know that God exists in the first place?”

    He tells you. Or not.

    “One would think that establishing God’s existence would be the number one priority”

    It is and was with me. But that’s the easy question. Having answered it in the affirmative, the hard part is “what now?” but it seems you won’t get that far.

    “well before one decided to make any other claims about it, but after over 2,000 years of effort this has yet to be accomplished.”

    It’s not exactly “on demand” but usually doesn’t take me long to get in touch.

    “Could it be because God just doesn’t exist?”

    For you that seems to be the case. Some day your mileage may vary.

    One of the interesting aspects of these conversations that usually doesn’t get this far is asking what sort of proof you would accept; bearing in mind that whatever it is has been available to human beings for as long as there have been human beings and consequently may seem rather ordinary and commonplace.

  34. @Peter A.:

    “Your point being… ? I responded to what I saw here in this article, and I did so because it just does not add up.”

    And I responded to every single objection of yours and your only answer was to miss the point. No, Aquinas is not making “mere assertions”; the only one making “mere assertions”, unargued ones, is you. The fact that you do not grasp what Aquinas is saying, or what he is arguing for, something you yourself concede, is simply an index of your ignorance, nothing else.

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