mathematical or philosophical "proofs" of the existence of God
Do they have any value?
By Ricardo de Valencia
We will answer the question posed in the title: Are the supposed
mathematical or philosophical proofs/demonstrations (often called
proofs") of the existence of God of any value?
As a starting point, we will use a letter we received from a close
From: V @ USA
I think this article, which I found as
an advertisement on Facebook, may be of interest to some of you. (1)
[The article is about a "mathematical
proof" of the existence of God, formulated by a renowned mathematician]
Comment me what you think of it, if not for its religious content, for
its philosophical part.
I find in the portions I partially read a detail (2) that could be due to the
lack of full knowledge of the writer of the article and that is that
Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine), who lived from November 13, 354 to
August 28, 430, in his book "De Libero Arbitrio" made a fascinating
demonstration of the existence of God through mathematics, which
precedes that of John Philopon (490 to 570).
It seems to us to be pure philosophers' entertainment, of no real value
in bringing us closer to know God.
How can anyone encapsulate God in the language of Mathematics or
Philosophy and then say that "it has been proven"? It is impossible! He
cannot be "encapsulated"!
The only thing that these thinkers (3) succeed in proving is
that "their" concept of God has a certain logical consistency. But it
does not cease to be, in each case, a concept so limited that it
supposedly contains God —the uncreated Creator in whose mind the Universe is
contained— in a few logical statements.
With some humor we might summarize it thus:
God, by definition, is
unfathomable and cannot be
contained in a definition.
Nevertheless, even if they are wrong in their approach to God, perhaps
we can learn something about why
so many people, throughout history, have been obstinate in "proving"
the existence of God philosophically, "scientifically" or even
If we were to draw any constructive lesson from observing the
lucubrations of such philosophers or mathematicians, we believe it
would be the following:
God, who created us, causes His Spirit, His Love and His Logic to
filter down to our spirit and our intellect. It is this
infiltration or inspiration that makes us intuit that God —or, if one
prefers to say, the existence of God— is perfectly logical and
coherent, even necessary. This is the seed that, if well received by a
soul, forms part of what we call Faith. God is pure harmony and,
somehow, we perceive that harmony in the soul before we do in the
Some thinkers with a certain Faith, following that inspired and correct intuition that
"God is coherent, logical and necessary," mistakenly believe that this can be
established purely from the
scaffolding of reason or science. Each of them believes that his/her
"ontological" argument leads to the conclusion or "necessity" of the
existence of God. But it is
the other way around, it is
the seed of Faith that God has sown in them what drives them to want to express that
intuited divine coherence in the language closest to their area of
scientific or philosophical specialty.
They would finish their work much sooner if they recognized that this
intuition has come to them through Faith (inspired by God). Some kind of Faith is necessary in
the first place because it is the only cause that explains why
they feel moved to elaborate their "arguments proving the existence of
God". But, if some Faith is
necessary in the first place, then subsequent rational arguments cannot be
placed as principles prior to
The proof that this is so is that any person who has no Faith will
quite naturally reject the alleged "proofs of God's existence." Otherwise, it would be enough to present
any of such "demonstrations" to a rational atheist and the atheist
would automatically believe (and it doesn't work to say that
there are no rational atheists). Such "proofs" have only a
"consolation" value for those who, not having reached a more intimate
communion with God through
the dialogue of Love, believe that they are "solidly confirming"
the intuition of their Faith through abstract logic or philosophy.
We can reach the same conclusion —that God can never be proved by
science (4) or
philosophy— with a very simple theological argument:
God has placed us on Earth, on our
journey in time (5),
to test us in order to give us the opportunity to return Home. As part
of that test, He has decreed that we depend on Faith to believe in Him.
If He were to manifest Himself before
our eyes so concretely that we could not deny Him, there would be no
room for Faith, we would not be truly being tested and we could not acquire any merit to
earn our way back to Paradise. Period.
Do you want to truly know God? Then practice what He asks of us: "help
the orphan and the widow", "help the helpless and the needy", "do good
and do what is right" (6),
be kind to everyone (7),
pray for your enemies, do good to those who hate you (8), ask God for Faith, and
then ask Him for more Faith (9)... Because the simple fact of loving our neighbor
awakens a mechanism that allows us to know God better, since the
satisfaction of doing good is a reflection of God in us, who has made
us in His image and likeness.
Those who feel loved and
those who love (10)
will be more open to consider that God is real and loves them, and that
openness, in turn, will be felt by God as an invitation to enter their
lives and offer them more
signs that He is Real, that He is
Alive and that He responds (11),
not like the "God" of the philosophers, which is a mainly inert
concept, as if immobile on a pedestal.
(2) By "a detail", we believe
that the author of the letter means "an absence".
(4) One can always affirm that the observation of the Universe
and Nature and a deeper knowledge of them through Science leads us to
an amazement that makes us exclaim, God exists! But we are not
referring to that as a "(definitive) proof". Even to arrive at that
exclamation, some kind of Faith is necessary, or else any learner of
the mysteries of the Universe would automatically believe in God.
(6) Psalm 82:3-4, Isaiah 1:17, Jeremiah 22:3,
En Español: Sobre las
"demostraciones" matemáticas o filosóficas de la existencia de Dios
Published in Spanish on
September 28th, 2022
Translated to English on September
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