Arguments for the existence of God Reason to believe?
The Issue Can it be shown, or is it at least the best explanation of things, that a creator, arranger, lawgiver, or higher being of whatever sort, exists?
Three kinds of arguments • Reasoning about the existence of God seems to be based upon arguments from • the orderliness of the universe • morality • human experience • definition
Arguments by definition • the ontological argument • Anselm (1033-1109) • fides quaerens intellectum • Descartes (1596-1650) • cogito ergo sum
Anselm • Some things exist in reality, and are thought of • thought of and existing in reality • thought of, but not existing in reality • not thought of, existing in reality • not thought of or existing in reality God is “that Being than which none greater can be thought”
Descartes • an idea has to be based on something with at least as much reality as the idea itself has. • we have an idea of God • how could we have such an idea of God, whom we clearly have had no empirical experience of? • conclusion the only way for us to have our idea of God is if it was put in our minds by God himself; thus, the very fact that we have an idea of God shows that God must exist.
The argument from experience • it doesn’t need to be argued, since it is experienced that God exists • prayer • meditation • miracles • joy, awe, terror • possibly the best, but not the only explanation of the phenomena
The moral argument There has to be some ground upon the basis of which moral convictions, virtues, and justice are based.
The order argument • William Paley (1743-1805) • no intricately designed mechanism arises independently of a designer • the universe is an intricately ordered mechanism • thus, the universe cannot be without a creator, or originator of some sort