The Difference Between Proof and Evidence (Proof for the Existence of God Part 3)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Despite the repeated use of the phrase “there is no proof or evidence for the existence of God,” I would imagine most atheists, and indeed most people, are unaware that there is in fact a technical difference between evidence and proof. Fittingly, the distinction between proof and evidence was initially taught to me in an introductory evolutionary biology course by an ardent atheist professor during my first year of university. My professor used this distinction to justify why she would not be receiving objections to evolution in her class. (Literally, she said that we were not allowed to question evolution or present counter evidence during the lecture, and that she would not entertain it during her office hours.) It was the most bizarre and dogmatic moment I had in my entire education, and I say this as someone who was blessed to study theology in a seminary environment for a year. Contrary to popular opinion, the seminaries are far less dogmatic when it comes to foundational beliefs, as they permit questioning the existence of God and raising objections to the proofs offered.

She argued that evolution was based upon good evidence, but could never attain the status of complete certainty. It was a probabilistic argument, like virtually all of science, rather than a demonstration, as in the case of mathematical proofs (and, as we shall see, metaphysical arguments.) I still vividly remember the slide used to showcase an example of rational certainty – it was that of a triangle with some lines and an accompanying trigonometric proof.

Because evolution (along with all empirical science) could never attain 100% rational certainty, she argued that it was always possible to be a skeptic, to raise objections about inductive inferences which are probabilistic at best, or to posit alternative explanations that could explain the data, no matter how improbable. Oh the irony. If scientific atheists only applied their standards consistently, they would either deny science or accept God. We will see why more clearly later on when we explore the evidence for the existence of God. But there is neither here nor there. For now, what I want to do is just go over some basic concepts in reason in order to set the table for the coming arguments.

Reason

Reasoning is divided into two parts; inductive and deductive.  As we shall see, inductive reasoning depends on deductive reasoning, which is higher in the hierarchy we are in the process of building. Inductive reasoning works by evaluating the probability that one thing is true, given another set of truths. Deductive reasoning works by understanding that some things are necessarily true, given another set of truths. “Evidence” pertains to inductive reasoning. “The evidence” is the set of premises or supposed truths on the basis of which we make a probabilistic judgement. “Proof” pertains to deductive reasoning – it refers to the premises which if true, show a conclusion to be necessarily true as well (or proven). This is the process upon which all of mathematics are built.

Inductive Reasoning

Most of the knowledge we gain in life occurs through an inductive reasoning process. Here is what an inductive reasoning process looks like:

  1. The letter you received in the mail comes from your brother’s home address.
  2. The letter is written with your brother’s handwriting.
  3. The letter makes reference to things in your childhood that you and your brother are familiar with.
  4. The letter is signed with your brother’s signature in the bottom.
  5. Therefore, this letter came from your brother.

Most of the time our mind does this so quick that it’s automatic, but if we were to really break it down, this is what the reasoning process would look like. The mind automatically assents to the proposition that your brother has sent you a letter. In fact, it’s possible that this is all an elaborate forgery, and so the knowledge you are attaining is not 100% certain. But the likelihood that this is a forgery is so enormously small that your mind does not even consider it. Why would someone forge a letter from your brother? Why would they go through such great depths to recall childhood incidents? How would they have attained knowledge of such incidents anyway?

But now consider if your brother was dead for 10 years, and you buried him yourself. You saw his cold dead body. Now all of the sudden, the probability that the letter is a forgery becomes huge and your mind starts racing trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Was your brother not actually dead? Where has he been all this time? Maybe it’s a forgery – why would someone do that, and who are they? Did this just get lost in the mail for 10 years?

The above reasoning process is known as an inference to the best explanation. We also have other kinds of inductive reasoning, but all basically come down to probabilities which your mind automatically calculates based on background beliefs, knowledge, and also (as we shall see), logical constraint and sometimes desire. Sometimes we want something to be true which is why we look for confirming evidence and dismiss counter evidence, though perhaps this is not part of the reasoning process proper, but it happens nonetheless when we think we are being “objective.”

I must mention a few other kinds of inductive reasoning because it is necessary to understand the degree to which our belief structures are built upon probable knowledge.  A generalization occurs when we find a few cases of something and we generalize that to be a rule that occurs most or all of the time. For instance, in science, an experiment might be repeated a dozen times, or a hundred thousand times – but that’s not an infinite number of times. How do we know that if we heat a block of iron, under normal atmospheric conditions, it’s going to expand every time? We’ve only experimented on less than 2% of the iron on earth, let alone the rest of the universe. Yet we are confident that if we have iron, even from outer space, it will obey set laws if it consists of the same atomic compound. And were it not to do so, we would insist that there must be something different about the space iron, that it has different atomic properties causing the difference, or something of the sort. We would not accept that established rules just all of the sudden change, because that would be so improbable that our mind dismisses it.

Likewise, this kind of reasoning allows us to make generalizations about other cultures we travel to. We observe common features in the behaviour of other groups which allows us to generalize (sometimes incorrectly or we overreach, which is the cause of racism) about what they are like. One can go to an Islamic country and make candid observations about how the people in Morocco differ from those in Saudi Arabia, which differ from most people in America. This ability to observe trends is based on probabilities. Sometimes our abstractions are mostly accurate, other times they are dead wrong. Unfortunately, the discourse of the Left now entirely ignores this natural ability for human beings to generalize trends in what they observe, and instead sees all generalization as prejudiced. This is of course a generalization itself.

With God’s help we wish to drive the point home as to how much of our knowledge is based on probabilities (which many times are astronomically high). We see a customer service representative that tells us the company policy – we assume she is telling the truth. We hear that the earth is round and that it orbits the Sun. Have you ever been to space? Have you actually done the calculations and experiments which show that the earth is round, or 12 700 km in diameter? No, we simply take the consensus of the scientific community as binding, because the probability that this is all some kind of conspiracy is so astronomically low that we ignore it. Have you ever been to China? I haven’t – yet I believe it exists (and I believe the earth is round, in case you got the wrong idea). I believe that the people who purport to be of Chinese ethnicity that I’ve met are not lying, that the world maps are accurate, and that I’m not in the Truman Show where everything is elaborately orchestrated, from the news anchors who talk about the Chinese economy to action films portraying Chinese actors.

Almost everything we know – about the entirety of history from the dawn of time, to the fact that your car will turn in the direction you steer it, is all based various degrees of probability. Our knowledge of prehistory is far less certain than our knowledge of the founding of the United States. But everything – including most of science, is based on inferences made through probabilities.

I do not mean to suggest that we therefore have no knowledge – in fact most of the things I’ve mentioned in this example have a probability percentage of 99.9999999… to a near infinity of 9’s, of being true. We are entirely justified in thinking that the laws of nature will hold, and we live our lives without even thinking that it could be any other way.

When we speak of evidence, we are referring to data points that the inductive reasoning machine will operate upon in order to produce the best explanation or a generalized rule, or to identify a significant trend. This helps us navigate life. Unfortunately, inductive reasoning can also trap us in biases, because once build a web of mutually reinforced beliefs that are interconnected and appear to be coherent, it becomes improbable, from our point of view, that any counter evidence is true.  This is because the probability that the counter evidence is correct and that all of our most cherished and verified beliefs are false, is incredibly small from the point of view of the observer trapped in a web of reinforcing beliefs.

Think back to the belief that China exists, despite many of us never having actually been there. In order for the belief that China exists to be false, we’d also have to believe that all the news stations are lying, that the maps are lying, that the history books are false, and that we’re basically in the Truman Show – the world is a giant conspiracy to make us think China is there when it is in fact not. Now in order to throw away my trust in everything I know, I would require evidence that is so undeniable that it is more certain than all of that (which is not at all forthcoming). Now I ask my atheist readers – what is the probability in your mind that Sam Harris is wrong, that Richard Dawkins is wrong, that Christopher Hitchens is ignorant, that almost everything they’ve taught you is either partially or entirely false? You see, right out of the gates, the probability that these people are wrong in your mind is very low, and justifiably so. I am not at all faulting you for being biased towards everything you know in your background beliefs prior to even reading me, as it is more rational for you to believe that everything you’ve understood thus far is more true than not, and consequently what I’m going to present is likely to be false.

In fact, even in science this bias occurs. When Newtonian scientists were calculating the orbit of Saturn, it turned out to not match up with Saturn’s actual orbit. Now there were two options: either everything Newtonians had proved up to that point, with hundreds of experiments, practical applications and confirmed predictions of his theory, were in fact fundamentally flawed and Newton’s theories were false, or, the effect of Saturn’s drift from their calculated orbit is due to another reason, namely, an invisible planet’s gravitational force. They predicted that a planet named Uranus, which they could not at that time see, must be pulling Saturn, and they even predicted the exact mass and orbital path of Uranus in order for it to produce the effects that it did. Of course, they turned out to be right, and predicted Uranus’ mass and orbit to an astonishing degree of accuracy.

What this shows is that it is not rational to throw out all of your beliefs at the first sign  of trouble, because the probability that your beliefs, which seem proven to you, are in fact correct and can account for the counter evidence with minor modifications, is usually higher than the presumption that everything you think has been proven is in fact false or much more limited in scope than you thought. This is not always the case. If the counter evidence is strong enough, then major modifications are required to your web of beliefs. But this is very uncomfortable – in fact it can be downright painful and requires a great degree of humility and sincerity.

Even stronger than counter evidence is to realize that there is a logical contradiction in some of your beliefs, which means both cannot possibly be true. Likewise, a logical demonstration that proceeds deductively from known truths can trump everything you’ve ever believed in, because deductive logic trumps inductive logic every time. Instead of going for tit-for-tat evidence in which one must weight probabilities, a logical demonstration – say of the existence of God – is powerful enough (once comprehended) to break the biases that probabilistic reason sometimes traps us in.

So what are we to do – you stick to your bubble in which your worldview makes sense, and I stick to mine? Nay – we shall use the gift of language to try to convey as accurately as possible our respective worldviews. We shall listen to one another with open minds, and attempt to understand the inner workings of the other’s web of beliefs. We shall appreciate the inner logical workings of the other’s mind, and ultimately decide if perhaps the other worldview is more coherent and sound – and failing that, if there are at least some good points to adopt into our own web of beliefs.

In order to admit a new set of beliefs, it requires both an open mind, from an emotional, and if you would permit me, spiritual point of view, and significant enough counter evidence or proof (both in terms of quantity and quality), from a rational point of view, to help us restructure our web of beliefs to more accurately reflect reality.

This would all be avoidable if we could just see directly into each other’s consciousness (I.e. if we could know other minds by presence, or intellectual intuition.) We could then perfectly see the other’s perspective, and perhaps a great deal more compassion and understanding would enter the world. But alas, we have to put in the hard work of communication.

There is my worldview, which I must formulate into thought, which I must then express in words, which then must be understood by you, the reader, and which then must be comprehended rationally, and which then must be fully absorbed. Going from point a to point z, there are many things that can go wrong. It is for this reason I take issue to what I often observe on the internet, where people try to point out the “logical fallacies” of another person’s argument rather than trying to understand what the person is saying, and trying to help them formulate their thoughts through dialogue. This is what Socrates would do – in fact he would often help his opponent formulate a stronger version of his argument after smashing a weak version. He wouldn’t say “gotcha, logical fallacies abound!” He would say “Well your first attempt obviously fails, but maybe you’re onto something. What if we try modifying your argument like so? Does it then work? Let’s find out together.” This is the spirit of brotherhood and humility that must pervade rational discourse if it is to have any fruit. For the Truth is more worthy of our humility than all else. He who humbles himself not for an hour to seek knowledge remains in the humility of ignorance for eternity, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) warned.

So, to answer the question once again: what is evidence? Evidence are the things we think are true, which imply that something else is probably also true. They are the basis for an inductive reasoning process – the things we use to justify our conclusion.

This gets more complicated when we realize that the web of beliefs I mentioned earlier is also ordered hierarchically with some beliefs being more foundational than others, and logically prior. Some beliefs cause us to believe other things to also be true necessarily. Aristotle struggled with the problem that this leads to – what are our most foundational beliefs? These foundational beliefs are called first principles, from which all other beliefs are derived.

Deduction

I want you to feel the power that deduction can offer. It is one of the most powerful tools that Man has at his disposal. It is beautiful, elegant, and undeniable to the rational mind. It is a reflection of the Divine in its own right, and it is a wonder why so many people today deny it it’s proper place. (It probably has to do with the fact that the study of logic was removed from the high school curriculum in most Western countries around the 1970’s.) I must emphasize deduction’s power because it has been erroneously underplayed in the name of science in the popular conscience.

Right now, I can conclude that there are no married bachelors not only in the entire world, but the entire universe. Furthermore, neither have there ever been married bachelors, nor will there ever be. I have not explored the entire universe, nor have I lived for billions of years – yet if anyone were to comprehend the meaning of marriage, and the meaning of bachelorhood, the conclusion that there are no married bachelors would be forthcoming even with zero empirical evidence. The reason is because the concepts are contradictory – they can’t possibly exist simultaneously. Something cannot be both A and not A at the same time in the same place and in exactly the same regards. I don’t believe that there cannot be a four sided triangle simply because I have never seen one – I do not believe in a four sided triangle because it cannot in principle exist. A triangle has three exactly three sides, by definition; for it to have more or less means that it ceases to be a triangle at all.

Logical reasoning of this sort in fact has a lot more rules which any human being can intuitively understand to be true.

Just as importantly, deduction can help us determine things that are unknown based on things that are known, without further empirical evidence being required. In other words, the logic can not only tell us that certain things cannot be true, but it can also tell us that if certain things are known to be true, other things necessarily must be true as a consequence.

Here is what deductive reasoning looks like:

  1. All men are mortal.
  2. Socrates is a man.
  3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Note that if the premises of this argument are true (namely that all men are mortal and that Socrates is a man), then the conclusion necessarily follows. The conclusion cannot fail to be true if both the premises are true; if the conclusion is false, then one or both of the premises must be false. If Socrates is indeed a man, but he is not mortal, then it cannot be the case that all men are mortal as we originally supposed. Furthermore, if Socrates is immortal, and all men are mortal, we might suppose that Socrates is in fact not a man, but some kind of angelic being. However, a contradiction arises if we suppose that in fact all men are indeed mortal, that Socrates is in fact a man, yet Socrates is immortal. This does not make sense.

Socrates approves this message.

Now notice, if I take the conclusion of the first argument, and then use that as a premise in the next argument, we can draw very powerful conclusions. Observe:

  1. Socrates is a mortal.
  2. All mortals are born.
  3. Therefore, Socrates was born.

These are crude examples, but the point is that by understanding what it means to be a mortal by definition – the necessary features of mortality, one of which is being born, but it could also include being vulnerable, being dependent, and so forth – we can draw out a whole host of conclusions about Socrates simply from the supposition that he is a man.

So what is proof? Proof in the layman’s sense can refer to evidence. But in a strictly technical sense, it means that you have true premises and a valid argument structure such that the conclusion is guaranteed to be true – you can bet on it with equal confidence as in the premises. In our case, it would be the entire thing from “all men are mortal” to “therefore…” (I.e. the first syllogism above.) That entire thing is considered “the proof” that Socrates is mortal.

The problem with deduction is as follows: if your premise is wrong, you will draw a conclusion that is not necessarily correct (and in fact probably wrong.) This conclusion can then be used to in the premise of another syllogism, and then another syllogism, and so forth until you’ve constructed a beautiful looking edifice that’s really just a house of cards. If one thing is wrong in the chain of reasoning, everything after that point is dust.

A question emerges, that we require proof to show a proposition is true, then what proves the premises? How do we know that all men are mortal, or that Socrates is a man? Well we would require another argument for each of those, to show that they are true. But then those arguments would have premises, that require their own justification. In the end we have to come to what are called first principles, or the foundations upon which deduction takes place. What these foundations are, is a matter of great dispute. Many times, we build deductive arguments off of premises that are arrived at inductively (for example, that all men are mortal, which is something we conclude probabilistically through observation). Needless to say, if we can pick a premise that we know to be true, for example, that there is some reality/existence, and then proceed to build a case through the laws of deduction based on that, then the truth of the conclusion is 100% guaranteed. This is what we will attempt in the next part of our series, inshaAllah.

What about Science?

It is erroneous to think that science and deductive reasoning are opposed. Science is primarily a form of inductive reasoning, but it also makes use of deduction. Returning fondly to my first year of university, I remember being shocked at the fact that I had been (apparently) lied to in high school about the proper way to conduct an experiment. In high school, I was told that we are to come up with a hypothesis, then come up with an experiment to test the hypothesis, then come up with methods and materials we would need to do so, then scrupulously write down our observations, then offer an analysis and come up with a conclusion. It turns out that actually the first step is to propose a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis, which must be strict logical negations of one another. In other words, science assumes the law of non-contradiction, the law of excluded middle, and various other logical laws which can then be derived from them. So much for science being “empirical” as opposed to merely pontificating. The reality is that any observation has to be understood and put in some kind of logical relationship between other data points, and so deductive logic can never be dispensed with. You are never “observing” with a clean slate, you are observing with your mind. And your mind must observe the rules of logic.

Maybe not

Furthermore, the queen of all science, physics, uses mathematics sometimes developed centuries in advance to model reality. If deduction is flawed, then the mathematics underpinning physics would also be flawed. Which would mean that physics, and by extension the whole of science, would be flawed.

Moreover, have you ever thought about what a prediction is? People think science is special because it “tests” its propositions, unlike air-headed philosophers who simply pontificate in their arm-chairs. Fair enough, I have a lot of contempt for contemporary academic philosophy as it stands. But I respect philosophy as a discipline, and as method of investigating reality.

Prediction is essentially deducing a necessary consequence from some set of premises. Remember, that when reasoning logically, we don’t have to actually accept the premises as true; we can think about it hypothetically. Hypothetically if x y or z were true, what would follow from that? Then we can proceed to actually figure out whether x y or z are true (whether empirically, or in some cases by debate). So let’s take a well known scientific law: Boyle’s Law.

Boyle’s law states that P1V1 = P2V2

So how do we test Boyle’s law? Simple, we predict what must follow from that statement, and then see if empirical reality matches up. Observe:

  1. If P1V1 = P2V2 then P2 = P1V1/V2 (by the laws of logic/mathematics)
  2. P1V1 = P2V2 (by hypothesis)
  3. Therefore, P2 = P1V1/V2

To put this more simply, here’s the same thing in words:

  1. If the pressure and volume of a gas change in inverse proportion to one another, then as the volume decreases, the pressure should increase proportionally.
  2. The pressure and volume of a gas change in inverse proportion to one another (this is what Boyle’s Law states)
  3. Therefore, as the volume decreases, the pressure should increase proportionally.

Now then, we can actually go and do like a thousands experiments, and see if when we change the pressure of a gas, the volume changes in inverse proportion. If the numbers match up, we have confirming evidence (not proof) that the law is correct. If the numbers don’t add up, and we’re sure all our instruments are working correctly, that means either premise 1 or 2 are false. Since 1 can’t be wrong as a question of mathematics (once again, the axioms of logic trumps empirical observation), it must mean our original proposal that the pressure and volume change proportionally is wrong. In other words, Boyle’s law would be rejected.

Now here are the two take-a-way points from this digression:

a) If deduction were inherently faulty, we wouldn’t be able to “test” any predictions. The reason is because we could not make predictions at all. Predictions are things that necessarily follow from a proposed law. In other words, they are the conclusion of a syllogism, and the proposed law is a premise. If a law did not necessarily entail one consequence over another, how could we test anything? I might as well say we can test Boyle’s law not by checking the volume and pressure, but by milking cows. If Boyle’s law is true, then the next glass of milk I have should be delicious; otherwise, Boyle’s law is false. Does that make sense to you? The reason it doesn’t is because the glass of milk is not a necessary consequence of Boyle’s law being true, unlike the exact measurement of volume and pressure. The way testing works in science is a two step process: first deduce the consequences of a particular law being true, then see if empirical reality matches what the law would entail.

Physics needs this to be true to work.

b) The power of science is in testing what can often be dubious foundations upon which large logical structures are built. Aristotle famously fell into this trap. He’d take a simple observation, like a rock falling, then come up with an explanation based on that one observation, then he would deduce all sorts of consequences using the syllogistic method (which he famously developed) and then…that’s it. He’d assume that his foundations had to be true because they were based on an observation, and so obviously the consequences he drew had to also be true. As it turns out, this does not always work because the physical world is a very tricky and complex place – Francis Bacon compared his method of examining nature to code-breaking. What distinguishes the scientific method from other forms of inductive reasoning is the fact that it tries to look for as many observations as possible in making inductive inferences about the natural world (akin to clue-finding by a detective.)

Does this mean the Aristotelian method fails in every regard?

This is the erroneous conclusion that many have come to because Aristotle’s physics fell apart. The modern world reasoned that if Aristotle was wrong about physics, his method is problematic across the board and we should not trust his (or any other) metaphysics because it might just amount to pontificating without any way of authenticating the foundations upon which a series of syllogisms are built. The difference between Aristotle’s physics and his metaphysics, they reasoned, is basically that we’ve been able to disconfirm his physics, but our science is not yet advanced enough to disprove his metaphysics. In any case, clearly the syllogistic method is problematic because we can never be sure our foundations are correct except by scientific testing.

Here’s the problem: there are many things we know are true because they are more immediately known than science. Here’s a bunch: existence, causation, the axioms of logic and the laws of deduction, mathematics, change, actuality and potentiality, our experience of time, qualia, consciousness, memory, our immediate perceptions as they appear to us, our immediate experiences, possibility and necessity, logical/metaphysical impossibility, form and matter, substances, universals, the structure of language, the structure of thought, subjects and predicates, purpose (or lack thereof), intentionality/teleology (being directed toward some end), identity, etc.

Science in fact assumes a huge sloth of positions on these issues and necessarily so. If it did not, it would not be able to operate. For example; science assumes that the cause of the qualia in our minds is something external to our minds (i.e. a 750 nm wavelength of light causes you to see red). That is axiomatic to science; it assumes that the impressions in the mind are caused by something external to the mind. It assumes causation and engages in a study of the relations between various causes and effects in the material world.

Here’s the point: there are two claims being made against the syllogistic method. 1) the laws of logic are unreliable, and 2) the laws of logic are reliable, but we cannot know if our foundations are sound except through science. But the claim that there’s a problem with deduction we’ve already shown to be false because science presumes logic. The claim that we can never know the foundations upon which to build a syllogism, is also false. I’ve just given you a bunch of counter examples. If someone uses truths obtained from the above sources and applies correct logical reasoning, they will arrive at results that we must necessarily accept – including the existence of God.

“Science will answer these questions eventually”

Some people think everything I’ve said are just examples of things that science has not gotten around to, but can and will eventually answer. Here’s the problem – it doesn’t matter. Even if science could answer every metaphysical question (hint; it can’t) it does not matter because I’ve already shown that if a) we can confirm a foundation through other than empirical observation and b) we then apply deductive logic correctly then we will reach necessarily true results. Science will in fact confirm the deduction given enough time, not contradict it. This is because science uses concepts to operate, and concepts in a theory have to coalesce in a logically consistent manner. Suggesting we need scientific confirmation for a metaphysically airtight argument is like saying we need to count apples to confirm our mathematical theories. Good luck adding 2 billion apples plus 2 billion apples, but let me tell you: I guarantee you you’ll get 4 billion apples (if you don’t make a mistake that is.) We already know this prior to counting any apples at all, through the grace of pure reason. And all praise is due to God for this most wonderful gift. The same goes for metaphysical arguments.

All Reason Is Ultimately Based on Knowledge by Presence

Induction depends on deduction being reliable, as well as knowledge by presence. Deduction relies on intuition ultimately. Observe:

  1. A=B
  2. B=C
  3. Therefore, A=C

Suppose one were to say that they do not accept the above syllogism and demand proof. Needless to say, their lack of acceptance follows directly from the inability to understand, or rather to discern, or even to feel the compulsion of why A must equal C if the two premises are true. Notice that this is something that your intellect directly perceives, there is no way to further analyze it or explain it; if one fails to understand why this must be so, nothing can be done to make them understand. Indeed, it is a kind of mental handicap for one not to perceive the necessity in these statements. No proof can be given for the above syllogism because the syllogism is the proof.

If you closely analyze your mind’s perception of the syllogism, you will see what I mean when I say that it is based on intuition, or knowledge by presence. The truth of what must follow from the hypothetical is simply immediate and certain in your mind’s eye. So too is it with certain inductive inferences that are sufficiently strong, though with induction things get far more complicated and hairy. Induction relies on deduction in addition to intuition, because as we said earlier, things like the principle of non-contradiction, the syllogism, and other basic principles of deduction must be intact in order for an inductive inference to take place.

When one explores the existence of God, one therefore ultimately relies on knowledge by presence as infallible. This is why the method proposed in the first post, namely the path of self-experimentation in order to perceive the Sacred directly, is a valid path. If one affirms the capacity of logic to ascertain truth, then one must also accept the existence of the intellect, with intuition as its prime mode of knowing. The intellect can zoom in and focus on concepts and their interplay, the connections and necessities between them, or, at least potentially, it might have other faculties to look at and perceive directly – just as directly as one perceives the necessity of the syllogism. What I am suggesting is the possibility that the intellect can see the Light of God through the heart, as it might see the necessity of God’s existence through a rational argument.

Become this man

God Willing, if you’re on-board with what I’ve said here, you’re ready for the next outrageously long post: the deductive proof for God’s existence. I pray for your success, my dear reader, and mine.