This is a very serious article for me; I take logic and critical thinking as a thing of great import. Unlike some other articles where I write it from a perspective of teacher to student, this topic runs in the realm of students talking over a topic with no teacher in the room. Let’s all be honest, no one knows if a god exists or not, NO ONE. People might believe and feel they have good reason to yet they cannot produce empirical evidence. Non believers or atheists might have no belief in a god yet they must leave room open for the chance of a god existing (barring very specific definitions of god of course).
I am not a Believer
I have no belief in a god. This is a position I have arrived it with no light hearted effort. I have studied Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in depth. I am not a self proclaimed atheist because this label is ridiculous in nature. My opinion on the label “atheist” is too detailed and deep for this article. We just needed to establish where I am on the idea of a belief in god. As of yet no person on the planet has given me reason or evidence to believe in their god.
A Priori Knowledge
A priori knowledge is knowledge that can be logically deduced from other knowledge alone. We can best understand it by making an example with fake words and subjects. Let’s use Glipglop as a noun and Riggley as an adjective:
“All Glipglops are Riggley”
It is a necessary quality that a Glipglop be Riggley. If a Glipglop was not Riggley then it would no longer be a Glipglop.
Could A Priori Knowledge Prove a God Exists?
Let’s look at all the above requirements and see what conditions would have to exist for this scenario. A priori statement concerning god would have to be a statement that would make the existence a necessary condition of the premise. As an example let me make up a statement:
“All matter is dependent on god”
The problem here is that while if it is true it would be a priori we have not made a sound logical statement. That is to say, we have not proven the premises. In the above statement we also have no prior reason or evidence that matter has a dependency on a god. Let’s look at another a priori statement:
“All bachelors are unmarried”
This is an a priori statement in that from this we know that being unmarried is an essential quality of being a bachelor. Now back to the god statement…we would have to prove the essential dependency of matter on a god. The reason the bachelor statement is so easy to discern as a priori is that human beings have created the term bachelor and we are the sole determining factor on the condition.
God as an Adjective
If god is an adjective of matter it would be a quality of matter which makes matter what it is. Most believers think that a god would be sentient and really this idea is kind of what makes a god a god. So then back to the sample a priori god statement; a god would have to be a sentient state of being. This god would be the necessary attribute of matter existing. I am not saying that this is proof or that this is a real a priori statement, I am just exploring the qualities of a sample statement that may or may not be true.
Invitation to Believers
Any believers out there want to take a swing at this? I would be very interested if there are any convincing a priori statements involving a god existing.