(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 23:20:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Arguments of NonReligious Intellectual Jews

QUESTION: We can't prove Gods existence? Some assert that
one cannot prove Gods existence and that 'if Gods existence could be proven
it would take away some of our free will'.

I disagree with both statements. We once had a discussion on Torah Forum on
the nature of sin. The example of King David was brought. King David was a
prophet and aware of God directly. Furthermore King David prophetically
knew that Bat Sheva would one day be his wife. His sin consisted in his
IMPETUOUSNESS--his lack of waiting---this is an emotional state and had
nothing to do with his surety that God existed. A similar comment can be
made about Adam---Adam prophetically knew about God; according to the
Talmud Adam would have been allowed to eat of the forbidden fruit in 1
hour!! Again Adam's sin consisted of his impetuousness and in no way
contradicted his surety of knowledge of God.

So...surety of knowledge of God is not an antidote to sin but a firm basis
on which to combat sin.

As for the proof of Gods existence---the Rambam makes it explicitly clear
in Chapter 1 of the Foundations of the Torah that it is part of advanced
mysticism that Gods existence can be proven. The Rambam explicitly says
that Knowledge of this fact is a positive commandment >  >  (Paragraph 1) One
must know THAT God exists >  >  (Paragraph 2) ..THAT without God nothing else
can exist >  >  (Paragraph 3) ..THAT without the rest of existence God still
exists >  >  (Paragraph 4) ..THAT He is the one absolute >  >   (Paragraph 5) ..
THAT the only way of explaining the perpetual energy and motion of the
universe is thru its SOURCE (ie Proof of Gods existence) >  >   (Paragraph 6)
AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS (God exists, is Absolute, and accounts for all
Universal energy) IS A POSITIVE COMMANDMENT As Rambam explains in the next
few chapters (1 thru 4) >  >  all commandments in these 4 chapters belong to
the mystical orchard doctrines (4:13)

Russell Hendel; Moderator Rashi Is Simple