The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita Explanation of "The Seventh Proof"

Chapter 3, "The Seventh Proof," involves Woland providing Berlioz with a final proof of the existence of God: his death is predicted by the devil. Ivan and Berlioz had been discussing the five proofs of the existence of God with Woland.

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), a Catholic philosopher and theologian, formulated five arguments for the existence of God in his Summa Theologiae (1265-1274).

1. The argument of the unmoved mover (ex motu). Aquinas said that things move, so something or someone - an unmoved mover from whom all motion proceeds - must therefore exist.

2. The argument of the first cause (ex causa). Some things are caused by something or someone else. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all caused things.

3. The argument of contingency (ex contingentia). Many things in the universe may either exist or not exist. Such things are called contingent beings. But it is impossible for everything in the universe to be contingent, therefore there must be a necessary being whose existence is not contingent.

4. The argument of degree (ex gradu). Various perfections may be found in varying degrees throughout the universe, which assumes the existence of the perfections themselves

5. The argument of design (ex fine). All designed things have a designer. The universe is designed. Therefore, the universe has a designer.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) added a sixth argument to those mentioned above, called the argument of the moral order. Kant said that we are rationally obliged to attain the summum bonum. And what we are obliged to attain, must be possible for us to attain. If there is no God or afterlife, it is not possible to attain the summum bonum, so God or the afterlife must exist.