2. Philosophical Proofs of the Existence of God
29 2. Philosophical Proofs of the Existence of God truth – a priori proof – a posteriori proofs – theology – cumulative proof Before we more closely introduce the particular forms of proofs throughout the history of thinking, a schematic overview of the types of proofs may help us with basic orientation. The distinction between a priori proofs (derived “without” or given “before” experience) and a posteriori proofs (“from”, “after” experience with the world) is the most general kind of division. A priori proofs: – ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: the existence of God stems from the existence of a concept or deﬁ nition (a classic deductive argument); Saint Anselm of Can- terbury is a classic representative. – NOOLOGICAL PROOF: the existence of God stems from the existence of “inscribed” truth; the main 30 representative is Saint Augustine (it is also presented as a version of an ontological argument). A posteriori proofs: – COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: derives the exist- ence of God from the existence of the organized world, cosmos; it refers to the ﬁ rst cause, necessity, source of motion and so forth. – TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: derives the existence of God on the basis of the perfect purposiveness of everything that exists; it refers to “telos”, i.e. aim, objective, reason or purpose. – MORAL ARGUMENT: the existence of God is neces- sary to explain moral experience (the existence of moral norms, conscience); sometimes it is related to the so-called axiological proof (proof based on the existence of a hierarchy of values and degrees of being). – PROOF BASED ON RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE: spe- ciﬁ c...
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