Reasoning To The Ultimate Being and Reality
- R. Totten - (c) 2016
Since a "worldview" should assert what the prime or "ultimate Reality" is (such as "God" or Energy/Matter), let us consider a number of propositions indicating what would be the superior, ultimate and absolute being --the greatest being possible.
Propositions Which Point to The Ultimate/Absolute Being --Which is Greater
1. Existence is greater than non-existence.
If there is an Ultimate / Absolute Being, it must actually exist in reality. An absolute Being must "Be." This must be part of its essence and identity. There could never be a possibility or circumstance in reality in which that Being would not exist. Such a Being must eternally exist in-and-of itself; and must be a non-created and "necessary being," from which everything else derives its existence.
2. Logic is greater than non-logic.
An ultimate/absolute Being must be consistent with logic. --If one posits that there is no logic, then there is also no thinking or meaning that can exist; and it would be meaningless to talk about anything --including an absolute Being. If anyone rejects all logic, then communication is meaningless and impossible, and I have nothing to say to this person. -- Non-logic is a self-destructing, nonsense thing; it cannot be ultimate, greatest or absolute. -- Nobody in their right mind lives their life as if there is no logic to our thoughts and existence. An absolute/ultimate Being must be logical.
... To basically spell them out, the three laws of logic are:
- 1. The "Law of Identity": States that "A is A." : In a certain specific context (set of facts and circumstances), a proposition (thing, idea or situation) has only one real meaning. --For example, a pencil is a pencil. It is not a non-pencil, such as an apple or something else. It is what it is. Any actual thing has characteristics consistent with itself. Something may need to be described in exacting detail, but this law must stand nonetheless. -- Also, the next law is an outgrowth of this first one.
- 2. The "Law of Opposites" (or "the Excluded Middle"): States that "A coherent proposition (thing, idea or situation) is either true or false, but not both at the same time and in the same respect." --For example, the statement: "I am pregnant" is either true or false; it cannot be both at the same time and in the same respect.
- 3. The "Law of Non-Contradiction": States that "two such propositions cannot both be true, if one affirms while the other denies the same thing at the same time and in the same respect"; OR: "A is not non-A at the same time and in the same respect." -- So, a thing cannot possibly be what it also (in the same respect) is not. That would be nonsense. Likewise, a coherent statement cannot be true and false at the same time and in the same respect. For a statement to be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, is a "contradiction." Truth cannot be a contradiction. -- Likewise, the ultimate/absolute Being cannot also be non-ultimate/absolute.
If there is a truly ultimate/absolute Being, it must always be consistent with these three laws of logic. --Anything else would be nonsense; discussion about an ultimate/absolute Being would be over.
3. Being rational is greater than being non-rational or irrational.
If something is ultimate, greatest and logical (as in #2 above), it must also be rational and possess rationality. -- But if something is irrational or non-rational, then it is self-destructive, and failing and vanishing. It cannot possibly be ultimate or absolute, and (like point #2) it is ultimately nonsense and not worth talking about.
4. Having knowledge is greater than non-knowledge or ignorance.
This comes out of the above two points, since logic and rationality must be connected to knowledge. --And as an extension of this: Being All-knowing is greater than knowing only in part. --A Being which is truly ultimate/absolute must be all-knowing.
5. Having wisdom is greater than non-wisdom or stupidity and foolishness.
--This is an extension of the above three points of having logical, rational knowledge. Wisdom is the judicious, rational, economical, productive use of knowledge, facts and things; it implies the best planning and execution of that plan. And in addition, being All-wise is greater than only somewhat wise. --Something truly ultimate must be All-wise.
6. Being truthful and true is greater than being un-truthful and un-true.
-- Any ultimate/absolute Being must be absolutely truthful and true.
7. Having a mind is greater than being mindless.
-- This is an extension from the previous five points. -- Logic, rationality, knowledge, wisdom, and truth unavoidably imply and describe the existence of thinking as well as a mind as an attribute of the ultimate/absolute Being.
8. Being organized is greater than being disorganized.
-- This must be a characteristic of an ultimate/absolute logical mind, as implied by the above points.
9. Being creative is greater than being non-creative.
-- This would be an outgrowth of a mind that appreciates organization and the various possible relationships of things. --Also implies the appreciation of beauty.
10. Being personal is greater than being non-personal.
-- The above eight items imply the attribute of personality (and self-awareness) in the ultimate/absolute being. In contrast, non-personality would lack them and would be lesser and non-ultimate.
11. Being all-powerful is greater than being sort of strong ...or powerless.
-- When one considers the massive immensity and powers of the universe, the ultimate/absolute must be something even inconceivably greater ...it must be all-powerful.
12. Being un-caused is greater than being caused.
-- If something is caused, it is derivative and dependent on what caused it; it is not as great. --The Ultimate must be un-caused; un-created.
13. Being eternal is greater than being temporal.
-- Temporal things have a beginning, and must be caused to begin, and therefore are dependent and not as great. --The ultimate must be eternal and have no beginning.
14. Being infinite is greater than being finite.
-- Everything in (and connected to) the material universe (including all forces and dimensions) is finite; can be counted or measured (no matter how huge). --The ultimate/absolute must be infinite.
15. Being perfect is greater than being imperfect.
- - Being imperfect is derivative and lesser, since it is measured in comparison to the perfect.
16. Being immutable is greater than being mutable.
-- Immutability is an extension of being perfect, eternal and all-powerful (above). The perfect cannot change away from being perfect. Everything that is mutable is not ultimate or absolute.
17. Being independent is greater than being dependent.
--Anything that had a beginning (e.g. matter, forces or dimensions) is dependent on what came before it and caused it to exist. -- Any dependent thing is weaker, mutable and finite; not ultimate. - The ultimate is independent of all else.
18. Being spirit is greater than being material.
-- This derives from the above propositions, and the fact that all material things (and things connected to matter, e.g. forces) are finite, temporal, mutable, dependent and have a cause that created them. --The ultimate/absolute must be spirit ...more specifically, a spirit with personality (per proposition 9).
19. Being immortal is greater than being mortal.
20. Being good is greater than being evil.
- - because evil is derivative ...since it is just a privation or lack of goodness. -- The ultimate/absolute must be good. --Good will overcome evil.
21. Being just is greater than being unjust.
- - Justice is an extension of goodness (above) ...and therefore, Justice will cause good to stand and evil to fall. - The ultimate is just; it is right-ness.
22. Being loving is greater than being unloving.
- - love is an extension of perfection, creativity, beauty, wisdom, truth, goodness, justice and personality.
23. Loving another person is greater than an empty love in selfish and lonely isolation.
- - Perfect love involves deep sharing, commitment, and expression of closeness with another person. - Thus, the ultimate/absolute being must include more than one infinite, eternal personality.
Identity of this Ultimate / Absolute Being
-- In broad brush-strokes, what we have described as the "Ultimate" and "Absolute" being --which must be a personal, all-powerful, all-knowing all-wise and eternal spirit, who is perfect in goodness and justice and love, and is the creator of all things (etc., listed above)-- these points have basically described many of the major attributes of the God of the Bible; that is:
1.The God of the Bible "exists."
-- God declared to Moses that one of his essential names is "YHWH" (perhaps pronounced YaHWeH), derived from the Hebrew verb "to Be;" because God is; He always exists. So God told Moses to tell people that his name means "I Am," or as God said to Moses, "I Am that I Am." (Exodus 3:13-15). Only God exists as part of his own nature. He never came into being, but (in contrast) he "created all things" (Revelation 4:11). Cosmologists tell us that the Cosmos (including all matter, time and space) had a beginning point (the "Big Bang"). For anything to exist now, something had to exist forever, in-and-of itself. That is the un-caused being that caused everything else: the "I Am."
2.The God of the Bible is ultimate logic and is logical.
-- This is exhibited in the fact that the Bible --God's revealed Word-- exists as natural human language which is given with the purpose of communication of truth... in fact, Jesus said regarding God's communication: "Your word is truth" (John 17:17). And in giving such communication, the Bible consistently uses the three laws of logic throughout. -- In a certain specific context (set of facts and circumstances), a proposition (thing, idea or situation) has only one real meaning (the "Law of Identity"). In a certain specific context (set of facts and circumstances), a proposition (thing, idea or situation) has only one real meaning (Law of the "Excluded Middle"). And "A is not non-A at the same time and in the same respect" (The "Law of Non-contradiction"). We also see this in the scope of the Bible's contents, as there is overall consistency and non-contradiction in its history, message and teachings. (Though some statements are difficult, and there are things like figures of speech, and not every statement is at first easily understood by a mere superficial reading.) -- The reason logic is used all through God's Word, is because that is how he communicates because that is what God is like: Ultimately logical.
3.The God of the Bible is ultimately and perfectly rational.
-- The Bible describes the divine God-man --Jesus Christ-- as "the Word," or "the Logos" (in Greek) when we read about him in the Gospel of John 1:1,14 --where it says, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the word was God." A study of the Greek "Logos," reveals that he is: "the rational and logical principle of the Cosmos (universe and all creation), which is its basis and gives everything coherence and meaning." -- Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, and he is the rational, logical grounding for the universe and everything ...a substantiation of points two and three.
4.The God of the Bible is All-Knowing.
-- "God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything" (1 John 3:20). -- "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13). -- "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD" (Psalm 139:4). -- God is " him who has perfect knowledge" (Job 37:16).
5.The God of the Bible is All-wise.
-- "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" (Romans 11:33). -- "His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5). -- "to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen" (Romans 16:27).
6. The God of the Bible is Truth and Truthful.
--The God of the Bible is "the God of truth" (Isaiah 65:16; Psalm 31:5). -- "God is true" (John 3:33). -- He is "the only true God" (John 17:3). -- God's "word is truth" (John 17:17). -- Speaking of "God, who cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). -- Christ is "the Word" (Logos) and he is "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). -- "It is impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18).
7. The God of the Bible has a mind.
-- God who "searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit" [of God] (Romans 8:27). -- God "will not lie or change his mind" (1 Sam. 15:29). --
8. The God of the Bible has organized all things according to his purpose and plan.
-- "The LORD Almighty" declares: "Surely, as I have planned, so will it be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand" (Isaiah 14:24), and he says, "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. ...What I have planned, that will I do" (Isa. 46:10,11). --All events in history are not random, but are organized and directed by the sovereign God, as the apostle Paul declares that they will occur "according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1:11). -- In fact, God's plan is organized so specifically, that King David says, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16). -- In addition, the design of living organisms (codified in their DNA) shows unimaginable organizational skill, which existed before mankind did ...indeed, it existed before the galaxies did.
9. The God of the Bible is creative beyond all understanding.
-- "God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1), indicates the creation of the whole universe. The rest of Genesis 1 and chapter 2 outline the creation of all plants and animals, and mankind as well. In fact, it is explained in the New Testament that all the work of creation took place through Christ (before his incarnation), as it says, "All things were made through him (Christ)" (John 1:3), and in addition, Paul says that "in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible" (Colossians 1:16), which would include all space and time and all sub-atomic properties and forces of physics. The design and perfect balance of all the forces of physics in the cosmos is beyond the grasp of all human intellect. --
10. The God of the Bible is personal --with self-awareness.
-- Although some conceptions portray God as an impersonal force, the Bible portrays God as a personal being with a mind, emotions, will and conscious self-awareness, who interacts with other personal beings in a personal way. That God has a mind is brought out in points 3 through 7; his possession of a will is shown in point 8. Various emotions of God are described such as pity (Psa. 103:13), anger (Ex. 32:10), rejoicing (Isa. 62:5), love (Psa. 103:17 + John 3:16) ...and he hates evil (Isa.61:8; Prov.6:16-19). In self-awareness, YHWH says, "I am God, and there is no other" (Isa. 46:9), and God's interactions with people are throughout the Bible. So God is a personal being.
11. The God of the Bible is All-powerful.
-- God is called "Almighty" about 345 times in the Bible, for example, God said to Abraham: "I am God Almighty" (Gen. 17:1). -- "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (No, it's not.) -- "God is in heaven; he does whatever he pleases" (Psa. 115:3). -- Jeremiah said to God: "Nothing is too hard for you" (Jer. 17:11).
12. The God of the Bible is un-caused.
-- God is the creator of all other things, and He must therefore be un-created and un-caused. -- e.g: "Through him (God the Son) all things were made" (John 1:3). -- "You are worthy, our Lord and God, ... for you created all things" (Rev. 4:11).
13. The God of the Bible is eternal.
-- Isaiah declares that "the Lord is the everlasting God" (Isa. 40:28). -- The Psalmist says, "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God" (Psa. 90:2)... thus, God was already eternal before all creation.
Wishing you all the best! - R. Totten
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