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God Is Not a StoryRealism Revisited$
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Francesca Aran Murphy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219285.001.0001

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A Close Run In with Death

A Close Run In with Death

(p.176) 5 A Close Run In with Death
God Is Not a Story

Francesca Aran Murphy

Oxford University Press

This chapter first reiterates the argument of Chapter III under the form that proving God's existence via the distinction of essence and existence is ultimately experiential, coming down to a psychological conviction that death, as endangering my existence, is poetically unjust. A better argument for God's existence would begin below the level of conceptual language, starting from animality and movement. It then describes Etienne Gilson's re-statement of Thomas' Five Ways (moves, causes, necessity/contingency, perfections, design), in order to give a satisfactory argument for God's existence, that is, Hans Urs von Balthasar's ‘four distinctions’. Based on the ‘Five Ways’ and building on their empirical character, the ‘four distinctions’ give an argument to God which is primarily objective and realistic, but which takes the subject and his experience into account, by beginning from the dialogue between mother and child which first ‘moves’ the child into reality.

Keywords:   death, intuition, essence, Eucharist, animal, movement, cause, design, perfection, existence

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