The first halacha in the Mishnah Torah states that you must know for certain that God exists (Yesodei Hatorah 1:1). Does this mean that according to Rambam, God can be proven to exist through philosophical and logical arguments?

Nowadays, many of the classic philosophical arguments for God's existence (argument from design, ontological, cosmological) have either been disproven, or simply found not to be very convincing. That being said, is it still a value to discover and know God through science or philosophy? Or now that we live in a scientific age where most scientists and philosophers are flaming atheists, should we be relying on faith alone?

  • This is a huge Mahloket Rishonim if I understand your question correctly. BN if I find time I'll try to shed some light. Jun 3, 2013 at 3:44
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    we need to use the sciences and philosophies of our times, which is up to date, and use it to our advantage to prove HaShem. We can't understand Him but we can prove Him being "existent" Jun 3, 2013 at 3:59
  • "Nowadays, many of the classic philosophical arguments for God's existence... have either been disproven, or simply found not to be very convincing." Many intelligent people still find the argument from design and/or the cosmological argument to be compelling, it's just that the discussion has become more advanced in light of scientific advancement.
    – Fred
    Jun 3, 2013 at 18:34
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13764
    – Fred
    Jun 3, 2013 at 18:35
  • @Fred That sentence actually doesn't affect the content question at all, AFAIU. Jun 4, 2013 at 3:07

2 Answers 2


In my opinion, the arguments have not been disproven only that we do not understand the arguments. see the shaar yichud with commentaries

(i.e. we don't study the arguments in enough depth to understand them, therefore we mistakenly think they have been disproven. hence study with the commentaries, and even then if something doesn't make sense, ask wise Rabanim.)

Rabeynu Bachya and the Rambam, etc. are writing to a generation steeped in philosophy therefore, they could present their proofs with minimal introductions. As this does not apply to us, commentaries are necessary.

For example, in the answer by chanoch here: Why is Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos so "controversial"? it assumes Hawking disproved a premise of the shaar yichud, but if you read the commentaries in the shaar yichud, you will see his disproof was from a mathematical model, whereas the shaar yichud was talking about an "actual infinity", an infinity in the here and now physical world, not a mathematical model.

Furthermore (as a side point), remember science does not have a good track record of being reliable. it is constantly evolving slashing old premises when new ones are discovered but the words of our sages endure forever and ever. (Sefer Habris Maamar 5 ch.3)

As spiritual phenomena is discovered, the entire paradigm of science will eventually collapse and be seen to be merely like a blind men grasping the tail of the elephant as the below quote explains

Ramchal (Mevo L'Sefer Haklalim):

The philosophers and scientists can grasp only the external surface of the world, namely, the physical world, according to what appears to their physical eyes. However, this is merely the outermost garment of the spiritual roots, namely, the sefiros who govern the world and are the innermost spirituality inside the physical... Just like the form of man alludes to the entire system of Divine governance, so too it is alluded from all the parts of nature, and every creation is an expression of one detail of His governance...

And on this are based most of the sayings of the Sages which refer to the Creation and to all matters of the world, whether in heaven or on earth and all of their derivatives, this is also a broad and important subject.

When our sages instruct us on matters of nature and of this world, they are referring to its inner aspect - not on its external garment. Therefore, sometimes in their words we find things which appear strange, and which appear to be clearly false from what we perceive with our senses. But the truth is that they are speaking according to the true governance which is hidden from human eyes, which they received from the prophets and from the holy torah...

(also keep in mind that G-d intentionally created the world in such a way that free will is possible, so there will always be loopholes to interpret the world according to the atheists, otherwise free will is over)

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    I think this answer avoids the question altogether. Any proof with "loopholes" is not a valid proof. Also, any proof that relies on facts that are "hidden from human eyes" cannot be a logically deduced proof. This is why every "logical" proof of the existance of God that I have seen is unconvincing, which is exactly what the OP is asking about.
    – Daniel
    Jun 3, 2013 at 13:42
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    What science is known for is getting closer and closer to laws that describe all natural phenomena with greater and greater precision. Every adjustment is always more and more fine, bringing it yet closer to the truth.
    – Double AA
    Jun 3, 2013 at 14:21
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    Daniel hit the nail on the head when he says that a proof that stems from pure faith is not grounded in logic, and thus is hard for the rational human mind to accept. Aside: How is it fair that God must be based on belief, how can God then blame scientists for not believing in him-after all, science can't prove God! If scientists are saying that God doesn't exist because of no solid material/physical proof, what happens to reasonable, or rational faith, as set out by Rambam, Aquinas, etc? Jun 3, 2013 at 15:24
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    We know HaShe doesn't have a body so there is no point in looking for one Jun 3, 2013 at 15:26
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    @good_ole_ray No, to say that we don't understand the arguments defeats the purpose of a proof. The whole point is that it should be logical without any need for some higher understanding.
    – Daniel
    Jun 3, 2013 at 17:24

God's mind IS the universe. Because we are IN Gods mind the only way to prove God is to CHOOSE to align our thoughts,speech and actions with HIS by reading the human beings manual (specifically ancient kabbalistic interpretation of TORAH) and doing mitzvot. In this way all our limbs, arteries, skin and flesh become Godly.You will never KNOW anything let alone God's existence until you become that thing or at the very least recognize that you have the CHOICE to do so.


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