An Ethics-Based ‘Identity-Proof’ of God’s Existence. An Ontology for Philotherapy
Keywords:analytic proof of God’s existence, identity statements, values, interpretation of premises, godliness
A resurgence of scholarly work on proof of God’s existence is noticeable over the past decade, with considerable emphasis on attempts to provide ‘analytic proof’ based on the meanings and logic of various identity statements which constitute premises of the syllogisms of the ‘proof’. Most recently perhaps, Emmanuel Rutten’s ‘modal-epistemic proof’ has drawn serious academic attention. Like other ‘analytic’ and strictly logical proofs of God’s existence, Rutten’s proof has been found flawed. In this paper I discuss the possibility of an ‘ethics-based’ identity proof of God’s existence. Such a proof, the first version of which, I believe, has been offered, indirectly, by Nikolai Lossky, utilizes the form and structure of the analytic proof, but fundamentally rests on the perception of moral values we associate with God and Godliness. The nature of the proof shifts the focus of the very attempt to ‘prove’ God’s existence from what I believe is an unreasonable standard, unattainable even in ‘proving’ the existence of the more mundane world, towards a more functional, practical and attainable standard. The proof proposed initially by Lossky, and in a more systematic form here, I believe, shows the indubitable existence of God in the sense of his moral presence in the lives of the faithful, at least with the same degree of certainty as the presence or ‘existence’ of anything else that can be epistemically proven in principle.
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