Proving the existence of God has been an eternal work of philosophers since the days of old. One cannot really give a certain and definite answer to prove God’s existence. Even the traditional arguments of St. Thomas Aquinas has been put to the challenge by modern and contemporary philosophers. Yet despite this unsolved question, the mind has allowed us to discover more the complex realities behind the question on hand. Thus, in this paper allow me to present two ideas of modern philosophers, John Locke and George Berkeley on the question on God’s existence.
This is not an exhaustive one but hopefully the necessary arguments are presented. According to John Locke, God has given us no innate ideas of himself; though he has stamped no original characters on our minds, wherein we may read his being; yet having furnished us with those faculties our minds are endowed with, he has not left himself without witness. This is to show that we are capable of knowing, i. e. , being certain that there is a God and how we may come by this certainty.
Thus, we need go no further than ourselves, and that undoubted knowledge we have of our own existence. Man is capable of knowing therefore he knows he is something that actually exists in a sense that nothing can no more produce any real being. We are created out of something else. But we cannot trace back the source of our existence because our answers will produce another question. It would lead to “ad infinitum” there would be series or eternal asking of questions. Hence, Locke posited from eternity there has been something.
It is because a temporal being cannot produce another temporal being therefore the one produced us is better than us, “a knowing being from eternity” whereas being comes from eternity. Other than himself he knows that there is an eternal, most powerful, most knowing being. Finally, Locke tells us that invisible things of God are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.
According to George Berkeley, it is evident that God is known as certainly and immediately as any other mind or spirit whatsoever distinct from ourselves. We may even assert that the existence of God is far more evidently perceived than the existence of men; because the effects of nature are infinitely more numerous and considerable than those ascribed to human agents. There is not any one mark that denotes a man, or effect produced by him, which does not more strongly evidence the being of that Spirit who is the Author of Nature.
For, it is evident that inaffec ting other persons the will of man has no other object than barely the motion of the limbs of his body; but that such a motion should be attended by, or excite any idea in the mind of another, depends wholly on the will of the Creator He alone it is who, “upholding all things by the word of His power,” maintains that intercourse between spirits whereby they are able to perceive the existence of each other, and yet this pure and clear light which enlightens everyone is itself invisible. All we see are only signs of God but we do not know God directly At the end of the day, we must admit it that no philosophy can provide us with an answer on God’s existence.
Every philosophical argument has its own share of strengths and weaknesses. However, despite all these, we continue to believe and obey his commands. Yes, we cannot see Him yet every creation, every corporeal being, every human person should be enough to convince us that there is a Supreme Being, a God who has been with us since the beginning and who will be with us until the end of time!