George A. Blair
Copyright © 1996
George A. Blair
This is an objective investigation into the question of whether there actually is something that can meaningfully be called "Infinite," in the sense of an unlimited existence--or, in other words, whether there is objective evidence that there is a God.
The traditional arguments for the existence of God are treated and shown to be faulty, and the arguments against God's existence are also found to be fallacious; though in both cases there are some that are strongly suggestive.
The evidence then investigates why we say that anything at all exists, and how we know that there is anything except our own consciousness. It turns out that our conscious act is finite, or an act that is less than itself; and therefore it is not self-explanatory, and needs a real object (either directly or indirectly). But analysis of this object (this existence) shows that it too is finite, and therefore needs a cause; and it is shown that the only possible cause of any finite existence's finiteness is a non-finite existence. This is the Infinite.
The investigation then explores the "characteristics" this Infinite has to have in order to be able to make sense out of finite existence: first the negative "characteristics," and then the positive ones. Finally, the relation between this existence and the created universe is treated (the "causality" of this cause).
PART I: THE EVIDENCE
Chapter 1: Preliminaries I: The Object and the Method
1.1. What are we doing
1.1.1. Allowing for bias
1.1.2. Faith and the investigation
22.214.171.124. A non-issue: the crimes of believers
1.2. The philosophical God
1.3. The method
1.3.1. Contradictions and effects
1.3.2. A type of conclusive proof
126.96.36.199. Effect and affected object
188.8.131.52. Cause and causer
184.108.40.206.1. Implications for the God of faith
220.127.116.11. Causality and condition
18.104.22.168. Theorems about effect and cause
22.214.171.124.1. Similar effects and analogy
Chapter 2: Preliminaries II: Arguments for God's Existence
2.1. Standard proofs
2.2. Where did you come from?
2.3. The need to believe
2.4. The moral argument
2.5. The "ontological argument"
2.5.1. Descartes' version
2.6. The argument from design
2.6.1. A note on the supernatural
2.7. The "five ways" of St. Thomas Aquinas
2.7.1. The first way
2.7.2. The second way
2.7.3. The third way
2.7.4. The fourth way
2.7.5. The fifth way
2.8 The argument from contingency
2.9. Final remarks
Chapter 3: Preliminaries III: Arguments Against God's Existence
3.1. Fallacious "refutations"
3.2. The world is self-sufficient
3.3. "God exists" is meaningless
3.3.1. Immanuel Kant's argument
3.4. The problem of evil
Chapter 4: The Argument I: From Consciousness to Existence
4.1. The problem about existence
4.1.1. The structure of the argument
4.2. Preliminary step: losing consciousness
4.3. Second step: Multiple-unit consciousness
4.4. Third step: the single act of consciousness
4.5. Fourth step: toward the cause
4.6. Existence and the imaginary
Chapter 5: The Argument II: From Existence to the Infinite
5.1. Existence and the ontological argument
5.2. Existence and essence
5.2.1. A note on St. Thomas's "real distinction"
5.3. On to the Infinite
PART II: PROPERTIES OF THE INFINITE
Chapter 6: The Infinite: Negative Properties
6.1. A look back and forward
6.5.1. The Infinite and "where did you come from?"
Chapter 7: The Infinite: Positive Properties
Chapter 8: Creation
8.1. The Infinite's causality
8.1.1. The Infinite as the only creator
8.1.2. The Infinite as Creator of everything
8.1.3. The Infinite as not the only cause
8.2. The Infinite and finite causes
8.2.1. The Infinite and free choices
8.2.3. The "permissive will of God"
8.2.4. The Infinite and sin
8.3.1. Why the Infinite creates; His will for His world
Appendix for the Christian