How to argue that god exists

How to argue that god exists

The following was originally published here as part of a Q&A with Greg Koukl on RZIM Connect.

Question from Marvin: What are the top most powerful arguments for the existence of God, and if there’s a logical order in which we should present them.

Marvin, this one is fairly easy for me since I have two favorites I think are relatively easy to follow and are really powerful evidences for God.

Let me introduce the first one—my favorite—with a question: What is the most frequently raised objection against theism of any sort? If you answered “the problem of evil,” you’d be right. There’s a reason for this. There is one thing every person knows, no matter where he lived or when he lived. Everyone knows the world is broken. Things are not the way they’re supposed to be. That’s the complaint. And they don’t simply mean that things happen they don’t like. That’s relativism. They mean there really are evil, wicked things that take place (objectivism).

Since this awareness is universal—it’s an obvious and undeniable feature of reality—we can use it as an ally to make our case for God. Contrary to popular belief, the problem of evil is not a good argument against God. It’s actually one of the best arguments for God. The problem with the problem of evil is that if God does not exist, there can be no real evil to object to. Here’s why.

The complaint about evil itself requires transcendent, universal laws that govern the world—objective morality—in order for real evil to exist as a violation of those laws. Transcendent moral laws require a transcendent lawmaker—God. Saying the world is “supposed” to be a certain way requires a “sposer,” so to speak—someone who intended the world to be much better than it is.

If there is no God, then there is no transcendent moral lawmaker. If no lawmaker, then no universal moral laws we’re all obligated to obey. If no moral laws, then no broken laws. If no broken laws, then no problem of evil. Simply put, then, if there is no God, there can be no evil (or good, for that matter).

Yet there is a problem of evil (we all know this), so there must be broken laws, so there must be laws, so there must be a transcendent law maker, so there must be a God.

If you want the philosophic mumbo jumbo, here it is. This approach is classically called the moral argument for God’s existence. Stated as a syllogism, it looks like this:

  • If there is no God, then there is no objective morality (no lawmaker, then no laws).
  • But there is objective morality (evidenced by the problem of evil).
  • Therefore, there is a God.

The form of the syllogism is valid (modus tollens), and the premises are true. Therefore, the argument is sound.

My second favorite argument for God’s existence is a little easier. It has a fancy name—the Kalam cosmological argument—but it’s really easy to understand. By the way, a “cosmological” argument is any argument for God’s existence that’s based on the mere existence of the cosmos, the universe.

Here’s the basic idea.

  • First, for anything that came into existence, there must have been something that caused it to come into existence. Clearly, effects have causes. Pretty basic, and entirely consistent with our common-sense experience of the world.
  • Second, the material universe (the cosmos) came into existence sometime in the past. Virtually everyone affirms this point because of the widespread and, I think, justified belief in the Big Bang.
  • Therefore, the material universe must have had a cause.

Put most simply, “a Big Bang needs a big Banger.” The bang didn’t bang itself. Note, by the way, that this line of thinking puts the cause of the cosmos outside of the material universe. So the cause would have to be immaterial, intelligent, powerful, and personal—since only persons can start a causal chain of events.

This argument doesn’t prove the God of the Bible, of course, but it gets us pretty close, and it’s a great springboard to other arguments and other evidences for Christianity.

Question: “Is there evidence for the existence of God?”

Answer: There is evidence for the existence of God. Not everyone finds that evidence compelling or convincing; this does not mean such evidence is nonexistent. Most who deny evidence for God demand forms of proof—or levels of certainty—that are either irrelevant or unreasonable. Looking at logic, experience, and empirical observations, there is much evidence for the existence of God.

Assessing evidence includes properly categorizing it. Some balk at the idea of “evidence” for a God who is invisible and immaterial. However, even hardened skeptics accept the meaningful existence of many such things, such as the laws of logic. Logic is neither material nor visible, yet it’s legitimately considered “real” and can be both perceived and examined. One cannot see logic or mechanically quantify it, but this does not justify any useful claim that logic does not exist. The same is true, to varying degrees, with other concepts such as morality.

This point also establishes that logic and philosophy are relevant when discussing evidence for the existence of God. As demonstrated in the case of the laws of logic, even if empirical proof is unconvincing, that does not mean the subject in question cannot be “real.” The probability that God exists is in no way reduced simply because empirical evidence is subject to interpretation; it is at least possible that something intangible, non-material, and meaningful actually exists.

With that in mind, there are several broad categories of evidence for the existence of God. None are self-sufficient to prove that God exists or that the Bible’s description of Him is accurate. Combined, however, they form a compelling argument that the God described in Scripture is real.

Human beings have a natural “sense” of God. Historians and anthropologists alike recognize belief in some supernatural reality as common to almost all human beings who have ever lived. The number of people who categorically reject every form of higher power or spirit is vanishingly small. This is true even in profoundly “secular” cultures. Even further, secular fields of study such as cognitive science of religion suggest that such beliefs are ingrained in the natural state of the human mind. At the very least, this suggests there is something real to be perceived, just as senses like sight and hearing are targeted at actual phenomena.

Logic points to the existence of God. There are several logic-based arguments indicating that God exists. Some, like the ontological argument, are not considered especially convincing, though they’re hard to refute. Others, such as the kalam cosmological argument, are considered much more robust. Continuing along the same spectrum, concepts such as intelligent design—teleological arguments—make logical inferences from observations to argue for the existence of God.

General observations support the existence of God. Teleological arguments arise because so many aspects of reality appear to be deliberately arranged. That evidence, in and of itself, is often extremely indicative of a Creator. The Big Bang is a classic example. This theory was initially resisted by atheists for being too “religious.” And yet the idea of a non-eternal universe, as demonstrated by secular science, is strongly supportive of the claims made in the early chapters of the Bible.

History, literature, and archaeology support the existence of God. Whether critics like it or not, the Bible is a valid form of evidence for the existence of God. Not merely “because the Bible says so,” but because the Bible has proved to be so reliable. Dismissing it as biased, simply because it says things skeptics do not accept, is not a rational response. That would be as irrational as dismissing every book describing Julius Caesar and then claiming there are no records describing Julius Caesar. The reliability of the Bible and its coordination with secular history and archaeology are reasonable points to raise when it comes to discussing the existence of God.

Personal experiences support the existence of God. Obviously, these are compelling only for those particular persons. Yet many people have come to know and understand God in a deeply personal way. So far as those experiences coordinate with other evidence, they’re reasonable to consider as part of the evidence for the existence of God.

Evidence will never overcome obstinance. Perhaps the weakest response to evidence of God’s existence is ignoring it: claiming “there is no evidence.” Closely related is the suggestion that a skeptic finds the evidence uncompelling. This kind of claim often comes with an ever-shifting threshold for proof. As happened with the Big Bang Theory, even when a position is effectively “proved,” the committed skeptic can always pivot to claim that this proof actually supports his fundamental views. Just as one person’s belief is not hard evidence regarding God’s existence, one person’s disbelief is not hard evidence of the opposite. This is especially true given that God’s existence touches on issues like personal morality and autonomy. Both in Scripture and in daily life, it’s common to see examples of those presented with more than enough evidence, yet who choose to stubbornly ignore it (Romans 1:18–20; Psalm 19:1; John 5:39–40; Luke 16:19–31; James 2:19).

Combining what we know of experience, logic, history, science, and other disciplines, there is more than enough evidence that God exists. Thankfully, we aren’t expected to find all that evidence in order to have a right relationship with Him. Rather, we are obligated to absorb what we can see and understand and follow the process of “ask . . . seek . . . knock” (Matthew 7:7–8).

How to argue that god exists

The following was originally published here as part of a Q&A with Greg Koukl on RZIM Connect.

Question from Marvin: What are the top most powerful arguments for the existence of God, and if there’s a logical order in which we should present them.

Marvin, this one is fairly easy for me since I have two favorites I think are relatively easy to follow and are really powerful evidences for God.

Let me introduce the first one—my favorite—with a question: What is the most frequently raised objection against theism of any sort? If you answered “the problem of evil,” you’d be right. There’s a reason for this. There is one thing every person knows, no matter where he lived or when he lived. Everyone knows the world is broken. Things are not the way they’re supposed to be. That’s the complaint. And they don’t simply mean that things happen they don’t like. That’s relativism. They mean there really are evil, wicked things that take place (objectivism).

Since this awareness is universal—it’s an obvious and undeniable feature of reality—we can use it as an ally to make our case for God. Contrary to popular belief, the problem of evil is not a good argument against God. It’s actually one of the best arguments for God. The problem with the problem of evil is that if God does not exist, there can be no real evil to object to. Here’s why.

The complaint about evil itself requires transcendent, universal laws that govern the world—objective morality—in order for real evil to exist as a violation of those laws. Transcendent moral laws require a transcendent lawmaker—God. Saying the world is “supposed” to be a certain way requires a “sposer,” so to speak—someone who intended the world to be much better than it is.

If there is no God, then there is no transcendent moral lawmaker. If no lawmaker, then no universal moral laws we’re all obligated to obey. If no moral laws, then no broken laws. If no broken laws, then no problem of evil. Simply put, then, if there is no God, there can be no evil (or good, for that matter).

Yet there is a problem of evil (we all know this), so there must be broken laws, so there must be laws, so there must be a transcendent law maker, so there must be a God.

If you want the philosophic mumbo jumbo, here it is. This approach is classically called the moral argument for God’s existence. Stated as a syllogism, it looks like this:

  • If there is no God, then there is no objective morality (no lawmaker, then no laws).
  • But there is objective morality (evidenced by the problem of evil).
  • Therefore, there is a God.

The form of the syllogism is valid (modus tollens), and the premises are true. Therefore, the argument is sound.

My second favorite argument for God’s existence is a little easier. It has a fancy name—the Kalam cosmological argument—but it’s really easy to understand. By the way, a “cosmological” argument is any argument for God’s existence that’s based on the mere existence of the cosmos, the universe.

Here’s the basic idea.

  • First, for anything that came into existence, there must have been something that caused it to come into existence. Clearly, effects have causes. Pretty basic, and entirely consistent with our common-sense experience of the world.
  • Second, the material universe (the cosmos) came into existence sometime in the past. Virtually everyone affirms this point because of the widespread and, I think, justified belief in the Big Bang.
  • Therefore, the material universe must have had a cause.

Put most simply, “a Big Bang needs a big Banger.” The bang didn’t bang itself. Note, by the way, that this line of thinking puts the cause of the cosmos outside of the material universe. So the cause would have to be immaterial, intelligent, powerful, and personal—since only persons can start a causal chain of events.

This argument doesn’t prove the God of the Bible, of course, but it gets us pretty close, and it’s a great springboard to other arguments and other evidences for Christianity.

How to argue that god exists

By Al Serrato

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” If this passage from Psalms is correct, then many people today are fools, for they insist that God does not exist. But the ranks of non-believers include many scientifically minded and highly intelligent people, not the sort we would normally consider as foolish. So, what makes such a person a “fool,” and not merely someone with whom we disagree?

How to argue that god exists

Well, let’s begin with a look at the definition of “fool,” which includes “a person who has been tricked or deceived into appearing or acting silly or stupid.” Now, sometimes we trick ourselves, and thereby make fools of ourselves. And other times we are misled. But either way most would agree that someone who holds contradictory views has deceived himself. Imagine a person proudly proclaiming that the prime rib he is about to eat is an important part of his vegetarian diet. Or the person who says that the only medicine that can save him is the one with no ingredients.

But sometimes contradictions aren’t as obvious. Why, then, is it a contradiction to insist there is no God? It doesn’t appear to be contradictory – at first glance anyway. For the answer to that question, we are indebted to St. Anselm of Canterbury, who lived and pondered these questions some ten centuries ago. I can’t do justice to Anselm’s argument in this brief piece, but perhaps some concepts borrowed from Anselm may help make the point.

The first requires consideration of just what the mind does. Anyone who has seen a baby develop realizes that the human mind comes preprogrammed with an “operating system” of sorts. This allows us to acquire language, to reason, to recognize concepts such as fairness and truth and beauty, and other intangible things, and to make use of imagination. This ability for abstract thought lends itself to “got it” moments when a problem that has been puzzling us all of a sudden makes sense. We all use these systems intuitively; of course, there is no other way, since we could never use reason, for instance, to prove the validity or usefulness of reason.

One aspect of this ability for abstract thought is the ability to conceptualize. Food, for instance, can encompass a million different things, but to qualify it must be edible and serve to nourish, and not poison, us. We can call an ashtray “food”, but the underlying thing is not a matter of what we call it, but of what it consists.

So, with this observation in view, consider for a moment not what a definition of God might be, but what the conception of God is. What is it that we are struggling to grasp when we use that term? Anselm’s definition was simply this – God is that being a greater than which cannot be conceived. Whatever attributes God would have – omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, etc. – if you can conceive of a being with all those attributes plus an additional one, then the latter would be God. So, imagine two beings then – each with exhaustive, infinite powers. One of the two has the attribute of necessary existence, while the other may or may not exist. Clearly, the former – the one with necessary existence – would be the greater. Consequently, to fully conceive of God, we must be conceiving of a Being who can’t not exist, whose existence must always have been and will always continue to be. Anything else simply cannot fit the conception of God.

So, what does that prove? Maybe this conception of God is imaginary. Not so, Anselm would contend. And here’s why: the mind is not capable of conceptualizing something that does not correspond to something real. Now, this premise is a bit harder to get one’s mind around. The normal response to this part of the argument is that we create imaginary things all the time, from unicorns to tooth fairies to Jedi Knights. But each of these things, while imaginary, is the combining of things that are real: a horse and a horn; a person with wings and unusual powers; a warrior with special abilities and unusual weapons. And, moreover, neither a unicorn nor a tooth fairy nor a Jedi Knight would possess the attribute of necessary existence. If a unicorn did exist, it would have to consist of a horse with a single horn in its head; but its existence could have occurred briefly in the distant past, or could arise in the distant future or could not occur at all. We can fully conceptualize such a creature without the need that the creature itself actually exist because the conceptualization does not require necessary existence.

This concept of “necessary” existence is not easily grasped at first. Many skeptics will contend that “existence” is not an attribute at all. Imaginary things don’t actually exist, they will say, so they consist of nothing. This line of argument can quickly devolve into an argument over definitions, with the skeptic insisting that it is nonsensical to consider a thing which does not exist. This assumption allows them to defeat Anselm’s argument – they write “necessary existence” out of the set of characteristics of God – but a moment’s reflection should reveal that this comes at too high a price. I can conceive in my mind of many past historical figures whose attributes I can describe in detail but who do not presently exist, for they have passed away. More importantly, every scientific discovery or invention must first begin in the mind of a person who sees the attributes of the thing before it actually takes form. The automobile, for instance, did not create itself; it first appeared in the mind of an inventor who could see what it would consist of if it did exist and then set about adding “existence” to its attributes.

Letting our minds approach the concept of what “God” must be, the only way to conceptualize Him, is as a necessarily existent being. If we are not seeing Him that way – if we are insisting that there may be a God, but then again maybe not, then we are not yet thinking about God, but about something else, something less than God.

This foray into philosophy can be difficult. Fortunately, there are many other proofs for God’s existence, ones much easier with which to grapple, but this one stands out for its elegance. For if it has merit, then God has embedded within us the means to find Him in the one place we have exclusive and special access to our very minds.

If Anselm is right, then the fool who denies God is saying something like “I believe that the Being who must necessarily exist does not exist.” A rather foolish thing to say, when you see it clearly.

The Bible says that God has written his law on our heart. Perhaps if we probe a bit deeper still, we can also begin to see in its depths the first faint scratching of His signature.

How to argue that god exists

In this article, I just wanted to give a short summary of some of the major arguments for the existence of God. Here we go!

  1. Argument from Contingency
    1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
    2. The universe exists and therefore has an explanation of its existence
    3. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God
  2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    1. Whatever begins to exists has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore, the universe had a cause
  3. Moral Argument
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist
    3. Therefore, God exists
  4. Fine-Tuning Argument
    1. Every design has a designer
    2. The universe seems to be designed for life to exist
    3. The universe has a designer
  5. Argument from Possibility
    1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists
    2. If it is possible for a maximally great being exists, then that being exists
    3. There is a maximally great being
  6. Argument from DNA
    1. Every code has a coder
    2. DNA is an extremely complex code
    3. DNA has a coder
  7. Argument from Simplicity
    1. Science has simple principles which can be discovered
    2. Scientists could only use principles if they were discoverable
    3. Therefore these principles must have been designed
  8. Argument from Coincidence
    1. The universe contains many improbable coincidences that if resulted different would lead to us not existing
    2. These coincidences lead to a nearly improbable universe that we live in
    3. There must be a mind behind the creation of the universe
  9. The argument from Answered Prayer
    1. Sometimes people pray to God and the odds of the event happening are very slim
    2. Then the events have happened
    3. Therefore there must be a God which answers prayer
  10. The argument from Miracles
    1. Miracles are events that violate the laws of nature
    2. Events occur which violate the laws of nature
    3. There must be a being outside the laws of nature
  11. Argument from Consciousness
    1. It is a fact that consciousness exists
    2. The fact of consciousness can only be explained in a theistic framework
    3. Therefore God Exists
  12. The argument from Post-Death Experience
    1. There is evidence that people survive after death in post-death experiences
    2. Therefore there must be an immaterial soul that survives after death
    3. Therefore God exists
  13. The argument from Personal Experience
    1. There are personal experience in which things occur that cannot be supernaturally explained
    2. Therefore there must be a force outside nature causing these experiences
    3. Therefore God exists
  14. The abundance of arguments argument
    1. There are many good arguments for God’s existence
    2. Therefore God exists

I plan on going into these arguments in deeper detail in future articles!

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How to argue that god exists

By Al Serrato

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” If this passage from Psalms is correct, then many people today are fools, for they insist that God does not exist. But the ranks of non-believers include many scientifically minded and highly intelligent people, not the sort we would normally consider as foolish. So, what makes such a person a “fool,” and not merely someone with whom we disagree?

How to argue that god exists

Well, let’s begin with a look at the definition of “fool,” which includes “a person who has been tricked or deceived into appearing or acting silly or stupid.” Now, sometimes we trick ourselves, and thereby make fools of ourselves. And other times we are misled. But either way most would agree that someone who holds contradictory views has deceived himself. Imagine a person proudly proclaiming that the prime rib he is about to eat is an important part of his vegetarian diet. Or the person who says that the only medicine that can save him is the one with no ingredients.

But sometimes contradictions aren’t as obvious. Why, then, is it a contradiction to insist there is no God? It doesn’t appear to be contradictory – at first glance anyway. For the answer to that question, we are indebted to St. Anselm of Canterbury, who lived and pondered these questions some ten centuries ago. I can’t do justice to Anselm’s argument in this brief piece, but perhaps some concepts borrowed from Anselm may help make the point.

The first requires consideration of just what the mind does. Anyone who has seen a baby develop realizes that the human mind comes preprogrammed with an “operating system” of sorts. This allows us to acquire language, to reason, to recognize concepts such as fairness and truth and beauty, and other intangible things, and to make use of imagination. This ability for abstract thought lends itself to “got it” moments when a problem that has been puzzling us all of a sudden makes sense. We all use these systems intuitively; of course, there is no other way, since we could never use reason, for instance, to prove the validity or usefulness of reason.

One aspect of this ability for abstract thought is the ability to conceptualize. Food, for instance, can encompass a million different things, but to qualify it must be edible and serve to nourish, and not poison, us. We can call an ashtray “food”, but the underlying thing is not a matter of what we call it, but of what it consists.

So, with this observation in view, consider for a moment not what a definition of God might be, but what the conception of God is. What is it that we are struggling to grasp when we use that term? Anselm’s definition was simply this – God is that being a greater than which cannot be conceived. Whatever attributes God would have – omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, etc. – if you can conceive of a being with all those attributes plus an additional one, then the latter would be God. So, imagine two beings then – each with exhaustive, infinite powers. One of the two has the attribute of necessary existence, while the other may or may not exist. Clearly, the former – the one with necessary existence – would be the greater. Consequently, to fully conceive of God, we must be conceiving of a Being who can’t not exist, whose existence must always have been and will always continue to be. Anything else simply cannot fit the conception of God.

So, what does that prove? Maybe this conception of God is imaginary. Not so, Anselm would contend. And here’s why: the mind is not capable of conceptualizing something that does not correspond to something real. Now, this premise is a bit harder to get one’s mind around. The normal response to this part of the argument is that we create imaginary things all the time, from unicorns to tooth fairies to Jedi Knights. But each of these things, while imaginary, is the combining of things that are real: a horse and a horn; a person with wings and unusual powers; a warrior with special abilities and unusual weapons. And, moreover, neither a unicorn nor a tooth fairy nor a Jedi Knight would possess the attribute of necessary existence. If a unicorn did exist, it would have to consist of a horse with a single horn in its head; but its existence could have occurred briefly in the distant past, or could arise in the distant future or could not occur at all. We can fully conceptualize such a creature without the need that the creature itself actually exist because the conceptualization does not require necessary existence.

This concept of “necessary” existence is not easily grasped at first. Many skeptics will contend that “existence” is not an attribute at all. Imaginary things don’t actually exist, they will say, so they consist of nothing. This line of argument can quickly devolve into an argument over definitions, with the skeptic insisting that it is nonsensical to consider a thing which does not exist. This assumption allows them to defeat Anselm’s argument – they write “necessary existence” out of the set of characteristics of God – but a moment’s reflection should reveal that this comes at too high a price. I can conceive in my mind of many past historical figures whose attributes I can describe in detail but who do not presently exist, for they have passed away. More importantly, every scientific discovery or invention must first begin in the mind of a person who sees the attributes of the thing before it actually takes form. The automobile, for instance, did not create itself; it first appeared in the mind of an inventor who could see what it would consist of if it did exist and then set about adding “existence” to its attributes.

Letting our minds approach the concept of what “God” must be, the only way to conceptualize Him, is as a necessarily existent being. If we are not seeing Him that way – if we are insisting that there may be a God, but then again maybe not, then we are not yet thinking about God, but about something else, something less than God.

This foray into philosophy can be difficult. Fortunately, there are many other proofs for God’s existence, ones much easier with which to grapple, but this one stands out for its elegance. For if it has merit, then God has embedded within us the means to find Him in the one place we have exclusive and special access to our very minds.

If Anselm is right, then the fool who denies God is saying something like “I believe that the Being who must necessarily exist does not exist.” A rather foolish thing to say, when you see it clearly.

The Bible says that God has written his law on our heart. Perhaps if we probe a bit deeper still, we can also begin to see in its depths the first faint scratching of His signature.

How to argue that god exists

Religious topics abound on Listverse and they are frequently the most commented upon. It has been some time since the last one so it seems like the time is ripe for another – and this one is a great one for discussion. Here we present five arguments in favor of the existence of God, and the counterargument for it. Feel free to comment on the veracity (or your opinion of) each but remember to keep calm and argue reasonably. After all, it is our ability to be reasonable (rationality) which separates us from the other animals! Note: These all deal with the Judeo-Christian God.

How to argue that god exists

First formulated by St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, then taken up by Alvin Plantinga. “God exists, provided that it is logically possible for him to exist.”

This argument is quite brazen in its simplicity, requiring not only a belief in God, but a belief in the necessity of God. If you believe he is necessary, then you must believe he exists.

Criticism typically deals with the Ontological Argument committing a “bare assertion fallacy,” which means it asserts qualities inherent solely to an unproven statement, without any support for those qualities. It is also criticized as a circular argument, revolving from a premise to a conclusion which relies on the premise, which relies on the conclusion.

How to argue that god exists

This argument is very old, and states that God must exist for the following reason: 1. An aspect of morality is observed. 2. Belief in God is a better explanation for this morality than any alternative. 3. Belief in God is thus preferable to disbelief in God.

This argument is technically valid, provided that the three constituents are accepted, and most critics refuse to accept the first. Morality, they argue, is not universal. Murder was perfectly fine for the soldiers of the First Crusade, who slaughtered every man, woman, and child in Jerusalem in 1099. Thomas Hobbes argued that morality is based on the society around it, and is thus not objective.

How to argue that god exists

This is one of St. Thomas Aquinas’s “Five Proofs of God,” and still causes debate among the two sides. Here is Aquinas’s statement of it, which I have translated from Latin, for a sense of thoroughness:

The fourth proof originates from the degrees discovered in things. For there is discovered greater and lesser degrees of goodness, truth, nobility, and others. But “more” or “less” are terms spoken concerning various things that approach in diverse manners toward something that is the “greatest,” just as in the case of “hotter” approaching nearer the “greatest” heat. There exists, therefore, something “truest,” and “best,” and “noblest,” which, in consequence, is the “greatest” being. For those things which are the greatest truths are the greatest beings, as is stated in Metaphysics Bk. II. 2. Furthermore, that which is the greatest in its way, is, in another way, the cause of all things belonging to it; thus fire, which is the greatest heat, is the cause of all heat, as is said in the same book (cf. Plato and Aristotle). Therefore, there exists something that is the cause of the existence of all things, and of goodness, and of every perfection whatever. We call this “God.”

The most prevalent criticism of this argument considers that we do not have to believe in an object of a greater degree in order to believe in an object of a lesser degree. Richard Dawkins, the most famous, or infamous, Atheist around these days, argues that just because we come across a “smelly” object, does not require that we believe that we believe in a “preeminently peerless stinker,” in his words.

How to argue that god exists

One of my favorites, with very intricate abstraction. C. S. Lewis (who wrote “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”) came up with this. It begins as an argument from design, and then continues into something new. Very basically, it argues that God must exist, because, in Lewis’s words:

“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”

It sounds powerful, and the final judgment on it is still out there. But its primary weak point is that, in the strictest sense, it is not a proof of God’s existence because it requires the assumption that human minds can assess the truth or falsehood of a claim, and it requires that human minds can be convinced by argumentation.

But in order to reject the assumption that human minds can assess the truth or falsehood of a claim, a human mind must assume that this claim is true or false, which immediately proves that human minds can assess the truth or falsehood of a claim.

But none of this has anything to do with God’s existence. Thus, the argument is better treated as a disproof of naturalistic materialism. However, given that most Atheists use naturalistic materialism as the foundation of Atheism, is is a very viable argument.

How to argue that god exists

Thomas Aquinas’s most famous proof of God refuses to go away. You’ve probably already heard of it in some form. It was around before Aquinas, at least as early as Plato and Aristotle, and in basic terms, it goes like this:

1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
2. Nothing finite and contingent can cause itself.
3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.

This is especially impressive in that it was theorized by the Ancient Greeks, at a time when the Universe was not known to have had an origin. Today, we call this “the Big Bang,” and the argument has changed to this form:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The Universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

Sequentially speaking, these three points are true. But the second point requires the Universe to have had a cause, and we still aren’t sure it did. “The Big Bang” is the most prevalent astrophysical theory today, but it has its detractors, most arguing that because the mathematics that leads back to a big bang do not function at the point immediately prior to the big bang, those mathematics were invalid to begin with.

Better than this, however, is the argument that this proof of God commits the logical fallacy called “infinite regression.” If the Universe had a first cause, what caused that first cause? Criticism declares that it is unfair to argue for every thing’s cause, and then argue for the sole exception of a “First Cause,” which did not have a cause.

How to argue that god exists

In this article, I just wanted to give a short summary of some of the major arguments for the existence of God. Here we go!

  1. Argument from Contingency
    1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence
    2. The universe exists and therefore has an explanation of its existence
    3. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God
  2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    1. Whatever begins to exists has a cause
    2. The universe began to exist
    3. Therefore, the universe had a cause
  3. Moral Argument
    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
    2. Objective moral values and duties do exist
    3. Therefore, God exists
  4. Fine-Tuning Argument
    1. Every design has a designer
    2. The universe seems to be designed for life to exist
    3. The universe has a designer
  5. Argument from Possibility
    1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists
    2. If it is possible for a maximally great being exists, then that being exists
    3. There is a maximally great being
  6. Argument from DNA
    1. Every code has a coder
    2. DNA is an extremely complex code
    3. DNA has a coder
  7. Argument from Simplicity
    1. Science has simple principles which can be discovered
    2. Scientists could only use principles if they were discoverable
    3. Therefore these principles must have been designed
  8. Argument from Coincidence
    1. The universe contains many improbable coincidences that if resulted different would lead to us not existing
    2. These coincidences lead to a nearly improbable universe that we live in
    3. There must be a mind behind the creation of the universe
  9. The argument from Answered Prayer
    1. Sometimes people pray to God and the odds of the event happening are very slim
    2. Then the events have happened
    3. Therefore there must be a God which answers prayer
  10. The argument from Miracles
    1. Miracles are events that violate the laws of nature
    2. Events occur which violate the laws of nature
    3. There must be a being outside the laws of nature
  11. Argument from Consciousness
    1. It is a fact that consciousness exists
    2. The fact of consciousness can only be explained in a theistic framework
    3. Therefore God Exists
  12. The argument from Post-Death Experience
    1. There is evidence that people survive after death in post-death experiences
    2. Therefore there must be an immaterial soul that survives after death
    3. Therefore God exists
  13. The argument from Personal Experience
    1. There are personal experience in which things occur that cannot be supernaturally explained
    2. Therefore there must be a force outside nature causing these experiences
    3. Therefore God exists
  14. The abundance of arguments argument
    1. There are many good arguments for God’s existence
    2. Therefore God exists

I plan on going into these arguments in deeper detail in future articles!

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