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By Muhammad Siwji (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Having proved the need for a religion, and the need for a god, we now arrive to the point where we need to prove the existence of a god. There are several proofs for proving the existence of god, yet this one, the Ibn Sina’s argument, is the one that enables us to prove HIS existence entirely through the use of intellect and logical premises. This is so, because the use of premises based on revelation to to prove gods existence is just futile, since the validity of revelation depends on the proving of the existence of god first.
So, the intellect comprehends 3 types of existences, as follows;
Necessary existence – Exists in essence
Possible existence – Can and can not exist
Impossible existence – Can never exist
The analogy to understand the above could be that of sweetness;
Sugar is necessarily sweet as it is sweet in its essence
Any drink could be possibly sweet as it could or could not be sweet
Salt is impossible to be sweet as its sweetness goes against the universal laws
Impossible existences, as the name suggest, cannot exist. This is because it would be illogical as is obvious from the example above how something salty cannot be sweet at the same time
We hence cannot perceive the impossible existences, as they do not exist. What we are left with, hence, is the necessary and possible existences.
Whatever we see around us is a possible existence as it can and can not exist, for there was a time when it did not exist, and was then brought into existence by either a necessary existence or a possible existence. If it was brought into existence by a necessary existence, then we have already proven the existence of the necessary existence. If it was brought into existence by another possible existence, and this second possible existence was brought into existence by a third, we then form a continuous chain of possible existences. The possible existences in the chain cannot exist, but by the existence of a necessary existence first as explained by pure logic;
Suppose there is a sweet drink, and this sweet drink was a result of flavouring a previous sweet drink, and this goes on and on. If one was to think further to the initial drink that was there to provide the sweetness to all the other ones, he would come to the point where sugar was once added to the drink, sweetening it, as the drink in itself, was not sweet.
One could argue that the chain of possible existences could be a circular one that is, the last possible existence in the chain gives existence to the first possible existence in the chain. This too, is impossible, without the existence of a necessary existence, again, as explained by pure logic;
Suppose there is a race, and racer one says to himself that he wont start unless the racer on his right doesn’t, and that racer says that he won’t start unless the racer on his right does, and on and on, until the last one says he wont start unless the first racer does. In this case, will the race happen? It obviously wont as everyone is waiting for the other to start the race. It can only take place if there is a racer who shall start racing independent to other racers. Similarly, the circular chain of possible existences shall not exist unless there is a necessary existence there to provide them with existence.
With this we have proved the existence of a necessary existence, and godwilling, we shall, in the next article look at the characteristics of such existences.
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Dar Es Salaam