“…the sun beam falls alike upon the dust and the mirror, yet differ they in reflection” – Baha’u’llah
Before delving into a logical proof of God's existence, it must be known that in this great universe, the inner state of each thing determines and limits what it can receive and enjoy of the world around it. For example:
The bounty of radiance and light exists in this world
...but in order to receive and enjoy it one must have the capacity of sight. To those phenomena without sight, this surrounding light can never be perceived, or even properly imagined, even though it does exist.
The bounty of knowledge exists in this world
...but in order to receive and enjoy it one must have the capacity of thought. To those phenomena which exist without the capacity of thought, knowledge can never be perceived or imagined, even though it does exist.
A wonderful speech on a particular field of science may be presented
...the scientist present in the crowd may perceive a very large portion of the talk and become amazed and inspired, the young adult may perceive some portion, and the young child may perceive nothing at all.
And so it is with all phenomena, each thing can only receive and enjoy of the blessings around it, according to its own state and capacities, and not in accordance with the reality of what actually exists around it.
Similarly, in order to perceive Spiritual Bounties and the recognition and Love of God one must have the capacity to receive them, which according to the Founders of the Worlds Faiths, is dependent on the nobility and purity of the heart. Without this capacity of heart, the recognition and love of God can never be received or properly enjoyed by man, and when man does not feel the bounty of God for himself, it becomes therefore necessary to establish external arguments for its existence.
Although it is completely inadequate, and not worthy that something beautiful and spiritual be attempted to be explained using logic and reasoning, in the same way that it is not adequate to explain to a friend that a beautiful melody exists using logic, without them hearing it for themselves, following will briefly be mentioned some of the logical proofs of the existence of the Divine Being and proofs of several of His Attributes – The Divine Being referred to in religious history under various names such as God , The Creator , The Eternal One , The Changeless , The Beauteous , The Unknowable Essence
“It is certain that the whole contingent world is subjected to a law and rule which it can never disobey; even man is forced to submit to death, to sleep and to other conditions—that is to say, man in certain particulars is governed, and necessarily this state of being governed implies the existence of a governor.” – Abdu’l-Baha
Consider how all existence is subjected to a law and rule which it can never disobey.
The sun, that colossal centre of our solar system is held prisoner in its orbit, captive of universal natural control.
The giant stars and planets, the towering mountains, the earth itself and its animals are captives of natural law.
Even the laws of nature themselves – laws which many materialists regard as the “God” of creation, are also completely helpless and captive; they too are restricted and governed, and pre-defined. For instance the nature of the gravitational force is to attract, it attracts without will, and has no freedom to do anything but attract, or to deviate a hairs breadth from its pre-determined functions.
It is certain that the whole physical world is subjected to a law and rule which it can never disobey; man, who is endowed with the capacity of intention and “free will” is also forced to submit to death, to sleep and to other conditions — that is to say, even man in certain particulars is governed.
And necessarily this universal state of being ‘governed’ implies the existence of a ‘Governor’
So we say that the “First Thing”, or “Origin of Creation”, whatever it may be – possesses the attribute of “Governance”.
“All things lie prisoned within the grasp of Thy might” – Baha’u’llah
“Because a characteristic of contingent beings is dependency, and this dependency is an essential necessity, therefore, there must be an independent being whose independence is essential.” – Abdu’l-Baha
It is the inescapable reality of all phenomena within creation that they are dependent, but we cannot say that entirely everything in existence is dependent, and that there is no independent thing which exists. That would be logically impossible.
The analogy of a reflection in a mirror helps to explain this concept:
A reflection in a mirror, like everything else in creation, is dependent; it cannot exist independently by itself, or self-define its own capacities and movements.
If there does exist a reflection of a man speaking in a mirror, we could not say that this reflection exists and moves on its own, because it is a dependent existence. We also could not say that the cause of this reflection was simply another reflection, because the movements of the man in that other mirror are also dependent. No matter how many mirrors are added, such a chain of reflections must of necessity lead eventually to an actual man, who is Independent and free in his existence and movements, in order for the chain of dependent and governed movements after him to exist.
So we say that the First Thing, or God of existence, is required to be “Independent” and that “He doeth whatsoever He willeth”.
Another way of recognizing the “Independence” of the Origin of Creation, is that the first thing which ever existed had nothing prior to it, or around it, and so was capable of existing on its own, without the influence or assistance of any other existence. Therefore we say that the “First thing”, or the Origin of Creation was “Independent”, “Self-subsisting”, and “Sufficient cause of itself”.
“God singly and alone abideth in His own place which is holy above space and time, mention and utterance, sign, description, and definition, height and depth. And none knoweth this save Him and whosoever hath knowledge of the Book” – Abdu’l-Baha
The Origin of Creation possesses the attributes of “Governance” and “Independence”; following will be explained how the Origin of Creation must also have possessed the attribute of “Eternal Existence”.
If the origin of Creation did not always “exist”, we would be obliged to believe that there was a time when nothing existed, and that existence somehow sprung forth out of this nothingness.
By nothingness we mean absolute nothingness, no quantum laws, no energy, no matter, no anti-matter, no vacuum, no space, no time – sheer nothingness.
How could it be possible for sheer nothingness to have acquired by itself the worthiness and capacity to bring itself from its state of non-existence into the realm of existence? Let alone the capacity of bringing itself as well as all other phenomena in creation into existence?
As it is impossible for sheer nothingness to have acquired by itself the worthiness and capacity to bring itself from its state of non-existence, into the realm of existence therefore we realise that there must have been a thing which always was.
A thing which always was, and which also possessed the capacity of causing other things to emerge out of the wastes of nothingness, into the realm of being.
Therefore we say that the “First Thing”, or “Origin of Creation”, must always have had the attribute of “Existence” in order for any existence to be possible.
"All praise to the unity of God, and all honor to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation…Nothing short of His all-encompassing grace, His all-pervading mercy, could have possibly achieved it. How could it, otherwise, have been possible for sheer nothingness to have acquired by itself the worthiness and capacity to emerge from its state of non-existence into the realm of being?” – Baha’u’llah
The Origin of Creation possesses the attributes of “Governance”, “Independence”, and “Eternal Existence”; following will be explained how this mysterious “God of Creation” must also possess the attribute of “Creativity” and be the direct cause of the formation of all living compositions such as animals and man himself.
“Now, formation is of three kinds and of three kinds only: accidental, necessary, and voluntary.” – AbdulBaha
There are three theoretical categories of compositions:
Meaning that conditions have fortuitously resulted in a particular composition.
Involuntary/Necessary Compositions (i.e. Compositions caused by the “Laws of Nature”)
Meaning that each component has within it an innate function of this power of composition – certain components have flowed toward each other, their union being an inherent characteristic or necessity of their being. For example the formation of a water molecule, through the chemical attraction of Hydrogen and Oxygen.
Meaning that each component is intentionally arranged into a composition as the willful act of an intelligence. For example a structure formed by an animal, man, or other willful intelligence.
We will now consider each method of composition with regards to the formation of living beings:
The combining and arranging of billions of atoms in the form of a human being cannot be an “accidental” composition, because it is a composition that is frequently and regularly repeated. When there is a persistent deviation from randomness we know that some force must exist which is the cause, therefore we know that the arrangement of atoms into the formation of man is not an “Accidental” composition, otherwise it would not repeat with regularity.
Although “Accidental Compositions” has been included in the three types of compositions, in reality there is no such thing as truly “accidental” movements in the universe. All movements in the universe are compelled/forced movements, except the movements of animals and man. Even seemingly “random” things such as the shapes formed by the wind in desert sand dunes are not truly accidental compositions; the shapes are predetermined and pre-destined by the laws of nature.
If instead we assume that the combining of these billions of atoms in the form of man is an involuntarily composition formed by the innate properties and laws of nature, meaning that each constituent particle has some inherent property within it that draws itself to other particles in the form of man, this too is not the case, as the innate properties of things are inseparable from them and do not change, and once the human being was formed by the atoms innately being attracted to eachother into the form of a man there would be no reason for the composition to decompose afterwards, but at death this wonderful composition does become decomposed, so it becomes known by this that the original composition did not take place out of necessity, in other words the combining of atoms into the shape of a living man is not an involuntary/necessary composition forced by the laws of nature.
We conclude that the constituent elements of life combine together neither accidentally nor involuntarily, but rather voluntarily into composition – and this means that the infinite forms of organisms are composed through a superior Will, the eternal Will, the Will of the living and self-subsistent Lord.
This is a rational proof that the will of the Creator is effected through the process of composition.
“Thou dost fashion the created things through the power of Thy decree as Thou pleasest. Thou art in truth the Sovereign, the Creator, the All-Wise. Say: God is indeed the Maker of all things. He giveth sustenance in plenty to whomsoever He willeth. He is the Creator, the Source of all beings, the Fashioner, the Almighty, the Maker, the All-Wise.” – The Bab
Yet another sign of the excellence of the "First Cause", or "God" of creation is the existence of His beauteous names and noble attributes which are visible throughout the universe.
In the same way that a painting reveals the greatness and characteristics of the painter who created it, God's attributes are likewise always visible in varying degrees in the world of creation and each phenomena in existence outwardly reveals to us something of the greatness of the Creator. In each era God reveals His attributes to mankind in their greatest intensity however in the form of a perfect man who's innate beauty and excellence attract and overwhelm the hearts of men. In one era this perfect man was Buddha, in another era it was Moses, in another era it was Krishna, in yet another era it was Jesus, then Muhammad. In this era that "Sign of God", or "Prophet of God" is Baha'u'llah. To find out more about who Baha'u'llah was and some of the attributes of God which He revealed, click here. Baha'u'llah is the Founder of the Baha'i Faith.
“And when Thou didst purpose to unveil Thy sovereignty, and to glorify Thy word, and to reveal Thy bounteousness and mercy, Thou didst raise up one of Thy servants, and didst choose Him above all Thy creatures, and didst single Him out for Thy purpose, and didst clothe Him with the robe of Thy guidance, and didst immerse Him beneath the seas of Thy majesty and grandeur, and didst sanctify Him from all that beseemeth not the greatness of Thy glory and the power of Thy might, and didst bid Him to cry out before all that are in heaven and on earth" - Baha’u’llah
Although we know of the Divine Being’s existence, the mind of man can never grasp the true nature of its Origin and Creator, in the same way that the painting can never fathom the nature of the Painter which Created it.
“O CHILDREN OF THE DIVINE AND INVISIBLE ESSENCE! Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me.” – Baha’u’llah
The nature of the Divine Being, and His capacities in relation to man, appear to be supernatural, though in reality it is not so.
“…the world of man is supernatural in its relation to the vegetable kingdom, though in reality it is not so. Relatively to the plant, the reality of man, his power of hearing and sight, are all supernatural, and for the plant to comprehend that reality and the nature of the powers of man’s mind is impossible. In like manner for man to comprehend the Divine Essence and the nature of the great Hereafter is in no wise possible. The merciful outpourings of that Divine Essence, however, are vouchsafed unto all beings and it is incumbent upon man to ponder in his heart upon the effusions of the Divine Grace…rather than upon the Divine Essence itself. This is the utmost limit for human understanding.” - Abdu’l-Baha
Although it is known that man’s Origin and Creator is inconceivably superior to man, and that Logic and reasoning is an inadequate tool to attempt to perceive Spiritual Reality, it is hoped that these few logical proofs inspire you to take the first step in finding nearness to your Creator, and all of the joys and blessings associated with love of and recognition of Him and His Prophets, and service to Him through service to His creatures.
The first step is to purify the heart, God willing every man who is in search of his Creator will take this first step.
“Let it now be seen what your endeavors in the path of detachment will reveal” – Baha’u’llah
Except for direct quotations from the Baha'i Writings, all opinions expressed on this blog are simply personal understandings and therefore not authoritative. This site is an individual initiative and is not affiliated with any Baha'i Institutions. To visit the official website of the Baha’i Faith please visit www.bahai.org