Who is God, where is God
Proof of God -
Belief in God and reason
“So we don't get from ourselves the light for our thinking, the strength for our actions, a faculty that is hidden at the bottom of our soul, a truth that is more inward to us than our own knowledge, an energy that gives us every moment gives our development the necessary strength, freedom and clarity. All of this is within us without being from us. Something that works in us, but constantly surpasses us and drives us further. ”With these words the philosopher Maurice Blondel (+ 1949) describes the phenomenon that the philosophers call transcendence and that in most religions of the world is called“ God ”. The question of how we can concretely imagine this transcendence is given by the different religions, in some cases very different answers: from an all-encompassing impersonal omnipotence to that Judeo-Christian image of God, which in God is a person, a counterpart, a " You “recognize.
But how can I be sure that God exists? Can its existence be proven? Again and again arguments have been made against faith, and time and again great theologians in the history of the Church have tried to conclusively show with “proofs of God” that the existence of God cannot reasonably be denied - and with these attempts they ultimately reached their limits. And yet some of these “proofs of God” continue to be a real fascination to this day.
The medieval theologian Anselm von Canterbury believed that he could logically prove the existence of God with his so-called “ontological proof of God” solely from the definition of the term. He tried to find a term for God that even an atheist, even the dumbest fool, can easily agree with. So he came to the following definition: "God is that beyond which nothing greater can be thought". That makes sense. The problem is that not everyone sees that God, that is, that beyond which nothing greater can be thought, really exists. But now it is like this: I can just imagine God in my mind. However, something that is not only in the mind but also exists is always greater and more perfect than something that is merely thought. If that beyond which nothing greater can be thought “is only thought but does not really exist, then something can be thought beyond which nothing greater can be thought that is not only thought but also exists. But now God is by definition that which nothing greater can be thought of. So it follows from this concept of God that he must exist, for only then is he that beyond which nothing greater can be thought.
As captivating as this train of thought is: God's existence cannot be “proven” in this way in the strictly scientific sense. It is comforting that its non-existence cannot be proven in any way. All the arguments against belief in God that have been put forward over time, for example: God is only a kind of stopgap for the (scientific) questions and problems that we are currently unable to explain and he disappears with the progress of the Sciences (positivism); God is nothing but a mere projection of man, his wishes and longings (L. Feuerbach); or God is an interest-related consolation of man in the hereafter (K. Marx, Fr. Engels), are ultimately just as inconclusive and compelling.
After all, the “proofs of God” can show that it is not unreasonable to believe in God, or to put it positively: that belief in a transcendent being, in a God, is entirely compatible with reason. Yes, they can even be of help and provide access to the mystery of God. That is why the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas does not speak of “proofs”, but of five “ways” by which he arrives at the acceptance of God with the tool of human reason.
But if there is ultimately no conclusive proof of the existence of God, how can we reliably know anything about God at all? We know about God because God approaches people on his own initiative, because he reveals himself to us. In creation, as in history, people have seen God's good plan. God revealed his plans through individually selected people such as Abraham, Moses or the prophets. Holy Scripture, the Bible, gives testimony to this revelation of God, but also the living tradition (tradition) of the Church. But God revealed himself to man in the most lasting and immediate way, in whom he himself became man in Jesus Christ. In Jesus the love and human friendliness of God appeared to us in a visible form. How much God loves us humans, however, I cannot deduce from any conclusive evidence. I can only experience this by taking the risk of faith, of a living relationship with God.
Author (s): Tobias Schäfer
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