Summary of the Arguments for God

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The question of God’s existence has been with us for thousands of years and as such it is doubtless that dozens of books can be written on the different arguments for his existence – this hub however, attempts to merely summarise the key arguments that have developed over our history.

This hub serves as a quick reference to particular arguments as well as a compact revision guide for those trying to learn the key arguments.

Pascal's Wager

Although there are many gods and we do not know which ones if any are true, people should believe in some sort of God because at least then they have a chance of getting it right.

If you don't bet on any God then you are lowering your chances of being rewarded (like going to heaven) and increasing your chances of being punished (like going to hell).

The Anthropic Principle

The chance that the universe would be made to be so habitable for humankind and its success is so slim that in order for it to have happened it must have been actively designed by an all powerful God. It is once again a logical conclusion to assume that this is the God the monotheistic religions speak of.

This argument is supported by science because it agrees with the idea that there are only a few limited conditions that must be present for life, especially complex life, to occur.

The Design Argument

Also known as the "teleological argument" (from the greek word telos - purpose), the Design Argument states that since everything seems to be very well suited for what it is supposed to do, something must have designed it. This designer therefore can be logically assumed to be the God described in theistic doctrines.

Evidence for this is the human eye which is so intricate it must have been designed by God so that we can see. When we look at a watch we can tell it was designed by a watchmaker, likewise, when we look at the eye we can tell that something very powerful designed it which must be God.

The Ontological Argument

Since God is defined as being the most perfect thing imaginable - he is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent - he must by definition exist since something that doesn't exist can definitely not be perfect. Perfection necessitates existence. Much like a triangle by definition must have 180o, God being the most perfect being must by definition exist.

The First Cause/Cosmological Argument

Everything we see has had a cause to it: books were written by people, people were born and planets formed - everything has an explanation. The only thing we cannot explain is what was the first cause of all of these things. In order for there to be a chain of events something must start it and that start must logically then be God - something or someone that doesn't rely on other things for its existence and is the sole cause of everything that follows.

"But God can't exist because there is evil in the world"

Several counter-arguments have been made to try and resolve this accusation to God's existence.

Saintliness

Without pain or evil in the world, there could be no good people - heroes and saints would not be able to sacrifice their own needs for the greater good and achieve saintliness.

The Artistic Analogy

A beautiful painting often has dark and light pigments because the contrast makes it beautiful. A piece of music involves discords which are later resolved to bring pleasure to the ear. Thus, it can be argued that the world needs both pain and pleasure to be beautiful and 'in harmony'.

The Argument from Miracles

God has performed many miracles in our lives. In the Christian Bible many miracles are documented (Jesus and Lazarus's resurrection, the feeding of the five thousand etc.) and in most other religions God performs many seemingly impossible things in the lives of humans.

In addition to that, many people claim that God must have performed miracles in their lives and therefore must exist.

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Which is your favourite argument for God?

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Your Rating for the Arguments for God

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The sequel to this article "Counter Arguments for the Arguments for 'Proving' God" is coming soon!

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Comments 21 comments

JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

I don't find any of these "arguments" to prove anything at all - and they have been constantly and continually debunked. If you want to see the arguments against these "proofs" that do nothing to actual prove that a god exists, check out http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_...


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

JMcFarland, you're absolutely right - I'll be writing a hub of my own to summarise the arguments against these arguments :) Thanks for tuning in and having your say!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

None of these are arguments for God.

This world and universe is hardly one of design.

The Earth alone is a deadly place with no control of it by humans.

The Universe is totally useless to us on Earth.

The whole purpose of the original sin is to harvest the good.

The biblical God couldn't even do it with his Angels.

The God of the bible is a Failure.

......


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Being an atheist, I would agree with you Ib Radmasters!


Joseph041167 profile image

Joseph041167 4 years ago from Nashville TN 37206.

Hey there. It took me over a year and several thousand words, and many pages to say all that. How did you do that? ;) lol.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Ahah you flatter me (: I'm sure you went into far greater detail - hope this can serve as a summary for you however!


Borsia profile image

Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Phil; Good hub, but I couldn't vote since there is no box for none of these being good arguments for any god/s.

I can remember considering all of these and rejecting them at a very young age.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Ah, I was hoping people would vote for their favourite in terms of what is most clever or makes most sense - me, I voted for Pascal's Wager because I thought it was a novel and clever way of approaching the subject. It's full of fallacy like all the others of course but 10 pts to Blaise Pascal for originality haha!

Glad to hear from you again!


Borsia profile image

Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

But the flip side of Pascal is that you would live in fear of something that doesn't exist. Kinda like worrying about the giant purple people eater or not going into the woods for fear of werewolves.

As atheists we do the right thing simply because it is the right thing we don’t do anything out of fear of retribution from beyond.

So how does Pascal’s Wager stack up against freedom from fear and freedom of thought?

It always struck me as a losing proposition.


JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

I wrote a hub on Pascal's wager specifically. I think, personally, that if there's a 50/50 shot that a god exists, the atheists still come out on top. The other 50% likelihood has to be split evenly by every god claim ever made, which means that each one has at most .394850% something. That makes 50% pretty dang good.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Ahah I think those are both great points Borsia and JMcFarland!

Consider also that many religions would shun forcing a belief in its god for personal greed (gambling isn't so popular either!) and, as homer simpson put it, believing in the wrong god could anger the real one!

The British Comedian David Mitchell also came up with a fun argument, what if the only afterlife is reserved for atheists (no less of an argument for this than any other one)?

Very funny imo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedd... !


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

Well done, Philanthropy. However there are plenty more arguments, such as the transcendental argument. I took a look at 12 of the major arguments for God, and the logical flaws in each: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Proofs-for...

They've been trying to prove God for thousands of years and they still haven't been able to do it yet!


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Thank you very much Secularist! I'll have a glance at your hub now! :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

How about the most important one?

God exists because the bible says so ... and the bible is gods word! :)


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Ahah, not to sound too proud F_Hruz, but I don't think that argument is worthy of mine (or anyone's) hub!

Glad to see you're still active enough on HubPages to pay my hub a visit!

It's great to see that good people are also the persistent ones!


JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

F_hruz - who says so, and how do you prove it? The bible was written by human beings, it's been changed, altered and used to fit anyone's beliefs. You can't use the bible to prove that it's valid - it's circular logic. If you use the bible to justify god, then the only thing you've proven is that the god of the bible is a tyrant.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

The bible was written, and re-written, by men seeking to control other men to their advantage. Much / most of it has been proven to be nothing more than fables and myths.

I can make up my own god and write a book claiming to be his words. It will be true because they are my words and I am that god.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thanks guys!

I was just checking, if all the atheists posting here are wide awake ... :)

Franto in Toronto


Indigo Atheist profile image

Indigo Atheist 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

My favorite is probably Pascal's wager, because it's lazily saying "I don't care about the truth or morals, I just want to increase my chances of winning the lottery!" It's like how some people will say yeah, there's almost no chance you'll win the lotto, but if you don't play you have no chance, but they are throwing money away just as surely as people are throwing money away by paying for their favorite preacher to get a second Mercedes.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 4 years ago from London Author

Ahh yes, as far as I know F_Hruz is in fact an atheist and was only joking about the bible argument, though we wouldn't be shocked if someone had genuinely said it - good that we debated it!

@Indigo Atheist (liking the name), Pascal's Wager is my favourite too! I like out of the box thinking and this was an argument that didn't include any care for religions themselves!

Have a good evening/day everyone,

Philanthropy


Joseph041167 profile image

Joseph041167 4 years ago from Nashville TN 37206.

I believe in God because Keirkagaard said so, and I read Keirkagaard more than the Bible. ;) and Keirkegaard told us how reason is not necessary, all you need is to make a radical commitment to Jesus Christ. ;) LOL!! My favorite argument is the Teleological Argument, it is the most convincing, and the most historically used argument. This week I am reading Socrates version of it which is almost convincing, not well refutable, though, not absolutely provable eithor. We just do not know. Lately, the last four years, it seems the reason pendulum swings toward Atheism. Otherwise, Socrates at some point, and the Nous and the Universal Mind and the Logos, and all would be provable. For thousands of years it has remained not absolutely provable, which in court room logic, would have to be dismissed. We can still have very high moral standards, traditional family values, conservative politics, and even an order structure universe if you insist.

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