I guess most people at one time or another come to the question of God: Does He or does He not exist? Here are some answers:
–I’ve never seen him or heard him talk to me, so I think he is a made-up concept.
–I can’t believe in a God who allows in our world such horrible endless suffering–and of the innocent, like children.
— We don’t need him to get along in this world so I get along without God.
— I can’t imagine a God who always existed somehow out there and came from nowhere.
Then, there are those who are convinced of his existence. Carol Zaleski, a teacher of world religions at Smith College asked her students to come up with proofs for the existence of God. here are some: DNA; the consensus of the dead; ant-entropic processes; mystery; pervasive human misery and its solace in prayer; the sense of right and wrong; beauty; multiuniverses; consciousness, dreams and visions, death; love; altruism; failure of attempts to disprove his existence.
Then there is Anselm (Proslogion): God is that which nothing greater can be thought so non-existence is simply not an option. Then, Aquinas proofs from movement (There has to be an un-moved mover.)contingent beings to a necessary being; from relative goods to their maximum; from final causation so that all things are directed to their natural ends.
Zaleski is moved by the tentative nature of our arguments for God’s existence and Aquinas and Anselm’s certainty of their arguments. Her students gather arguments like the beachcomber who gathers stuff from here and there (“shards of experience”) which together suggest a greater whole. The classic theologians are well-diggers who who tunnel down to the source and ground of all experience. Tom Aquinas is one of the latter. The difference is that his thinking is embedded in a life of prayer.
“The reasoning of the beachcomber is suggestive, probabilistic, and unfinished yet in its very tentativeness lends it a poignancy that can draw an enquirer to prayerful assent.
”BOTH TYPES OF REASONING DESERVE TO BE CULTIVATED BY BELIEVERS; EACH HAS ITS TIME AND SEASON.”
“A man is not really convinced of a philosophical theory he he finds that something proves it. He is only really convinced when he find that everything proves it.” (Chesterton)