I like divine proofs. They’re fun because the good ones force you to acknowledge the hazy boundaries of materialism. I’ve written about a few before, and though none of them have changed my mind, they still offer unique ways to contemplate the universe and our position within it.

I’ll just quickly go through them because they’re not that complicated. The first is similar to the First Cause proof, which I outlined in a previous blog, where the universal chain of causation needs to have a beginning, and that beginning is God. The finger that pushes the first domino, so to speak. This new variation looks at contingency instead of causation, but follows a similar pattern. For example, I may have been caused by the biological pairing of my parents, but my existence is contingent on a lot more than that. I depend on air to breathe, food to eat, millions of different types of bacteria to digest food, etc. The planet upon which I depend is also contingent. It is contingent on gravity to keep it composed as it is, a sun around which to revolve, its elemental makeup to determine its type, and so on. Our planet, our sun, our solar system all depend on the universe itself to house us in space. So again if we continue this chain, and we consider the entire set of contingencies that make up the universe, there would need to be some necessary entity upon which a universe of contingencies would need to depend. Contingency without necessity cannot be sustained indefinitely, so this necessary entity becomes the immovable bedrock upon which everything else is built. This necessary entity is of course God.

Next is the ‘layers of reality’ proof. It posits that there is a hierarchy of realities, each one providing the “realness” for the one below it. For example, if I think I glimpse a snake, I may become frightened and withdraw. This “snake” is real because it evoked a response, but its realness exists at the most minimal level because after a second, more inquisitive look, I determine that it is not a snake, but a rope. The reality of the “snake” is provided by the similarities in shape and coil. The rope is thus the second layer of reality. However, we can examine the rope further and analyze its fibers, its tautness and strength, the structure of its make, and so on. This offers a third layer of reality: the type of rope. This type of rope further determines the reality of the previous, nondescript rope of a semi-casual observation. These layers of reality go further, as the molecular makeup of the rope will determine its rope-ness on an atomic level. The type of rope is again predicated on this deeper level.

Do we go further than this? The deeper we go, the more assured we become, as each layer of contemplated reality offers more information than the last. Beyond the atomic level we cannot glimpse, but do we assume that because we do not possess the tools to measure beyond this level of reality that it does not exist? That an extra layer cannot exist that represents the foundation of reality? A determining layer of reality upon which all else sits might not in fact be measurable by sensory-based tools that humans could ever produce. It is an assumption to opine beyond this level, but no more absurd an assumption than saying that just because we can’t measure it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. We never would have discovered magnetic fields until we had the magnets to measure them. This doesn’t mean that we will eventually create a tool to measure this extra-material layer of reality since we may already be imbued with the means of accessing it!

And yeah, blah blah blah I know you can’t say anything about a God proven by either of these methods. Get over it.

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