[ Editor's Note: The myth of evolution is accepted in most government schools where children
are fed daily doses of infidelity from a humanistic perspective. The basis and consequence of
this evolutionary/humanistic religion is that there is no God. For that reason, we are pleased
to present a series of four articles by W. B. West, Jr on the existence of God. This is the
first in that series. ]
The word "ontology" is derived from two Greek words, ontos and logos, which mean "the reason or ground of being." Stated briefly, God exists because we think He does. This is the argument from thought to being. Human thought is always a signpost pointing to something beyond itself; deny this something and all human thought is denied.
The very idea of God is possible to us only because God is behind it and by God, Anselm, the father of the ontological argument, meant "that than which nothing greater can be conceived. Anselm argued that the fool who denies the existence of God thereby proves only that he is a fool, for hhe shows that he has the idea of God in his understanding even though he does not go on to understand that such a being exists.
Descartes added to the conception of Anselm by saying that the idea of God, that is, of a perfect being, could not originate in the human mind since it is finite and imperfect. Consequently it must be referred to a perfect cause or God; therefore, God exists.
The contingency of all finite things, since the reason for their being does not lie within themselves, requires the assumption of a being whose ground of existence is in himself alone: self-existence is a necessary element of perfection, and therefore of God. Another way to express it is that the idea of God includes necessary existence; therefore God necessarily exists.
What is the value of the ontological argument for the existence of God? It was severely criticized in Anselm's day and by Kant, who accepted it as regulative thinking, but not constitutive of knowledge.
It is true that it has the weakness of saying that every thought of the mind must have an objective reality, but in all fairness to its most ardent supporters it must be said that they "do not contend that every subjective conception must have an objective reality, but only that certain ones must have," such as are conceived by the mind as demanding necessarily a corresponding objective reality, because the idea of God in the mind is an idea of Him as necessarily existent; consequently the mind must believe in Him as actually existent.
Somehow the ontological argument — always being shown out the front door in a polite manner — enters quietly again at the back door. It seems to be here to stay, a valuable argument for the existence of God.
The word "cosmological" is from two Greek words, kosmos and logos, the former meaning "world" and the latter "a reason for." In its usual acceptance, the cosmological argument deals with the principle of causality as applied to the relation of God to the world. It is claimed that God is the cause and the world is the effect.
A more exact statement would be that everything that's begun is a result of a cause sufficient to produce it. In this form, the argument might be called the aitiological — the Greek word, aitia, meaning "cause" — but for the purpose of generally accepted understanding, we shall use the term "cosmological."
The most common response of the man on the street to the challenge to prove that there is a God is the sweeping gesture of the hand, and a rhetorical question: "Who, then, made all this?" Every honestly thinking person knows that every effect has a cause and every cause an effect. The world and all that is within it is here. What or who caused it?
A beautiful and ordered world is seen everywhere. On a clear night in Texas when the sky is a blaze of brilliant diamonds against a deep blue curtain, with one star differing from another star in glory, presenting a ceiling of unsurpassing beauty, we overwhelmingly exclaim with David, "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Psa. 19:1).
The gorgeous beauties of the sunrise are the glory of God's trailing robes, and the rainbow is the scarf which He throws about His shoulders. The sun, the moon, and the stars send forth their light to guide by day and by night. When we see these manifestations of a Divine Cause, we say with the Hebrew poet, "When I consider the heavens, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou visitest him?" (Psa. 8:4).
During the French Revolution, a revolutionist said to a peasant, "I will have your steeples pulled down that you may no longer have any object by which you may be reminded of your superstitions." But the peasant replied, "But you cannot help leaving us the stars."
A man who never enters a church building went with a preacher one night to a planetarium. When he saw the unfolding and the great drama of the sky, he said to the preacher, who was sitting by his side, "There is no room for chance in what we are seeing tonight, is there? It is no marvel that, speaking of the heavens, Pascal once said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
One can go from an observation of the heavens to the beauties and wonders of the world of nature and as obviously and convincingly see a Divine Cause. One makes a visit to the Humalayas of that intriguing land of India, to the towering Alps of picturesque Switzerland, to the vast rooms and corridors of Carlsbad Caverns with their fascinating formations, or to the grandeurs of Grand Canyon, and unreservedly says with the Psalmist, "The firmament showeth his handiwork" (Psa. 19:1).
It is said that an atheist living in New York went to Los Angeles by the way of the Grand Canyon. Leaving Grand Canyon, he said, "No longer do I disbelieve. I now believe in God."
"God Is and God created" is the only answer when we look at the cosmos or the world about us. Truly did Moses write, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) and, "By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by God so that what is seen hath not been made ouf of things which appear" (Heb. 11:3).
Back To Main Page