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Arguments for God's existence. (Cosmological argument)

Updated on September 19, 2015
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Loving God and loving mankind is an important part of who I am, in these hubs we explore what it's like to really follow Jesus.

Who made these?

Was it intentional or simply blind chance?
Was it intentional or simply blind chance?

Can we really know if he's there?

With some of the the debates that have been raging on hubpages recently I thought it might be a good time to take a look at some of the historical 'arguments' used both for and against the existence of God.

Before we launch into something like this it's important to point out that while I personally believe he does exist I'm not trying to 'prove' anything with this hub! More like giving some time for us to look at the arguments used over the mmillenia. I can't answer for you whether God exists because we each look at the evidence through different 'filters' and as a consequence we may see the same evidence but have totally different interpretations!

We find God in the Holy Books

The Bible
The Bible

Who can help us?

Can science answer the question?

Truth is it depends on whom you talk to! Ask a scientist who is a believer and the answers will range from "probably" to "absolutely" but ask a skeptic or non believer and it'll be anything from "maybe not" to "don't be ridiculous!"

The facts

Science can only report data from either observation or experiments, it can't interpret that data and should never be used to try to interpret it. The job of interpreting the data is always left to the Human scientist, and their interpretation relies on their own particular set of 'filters' by which they see the world.

The best way to see this is by looking at the first person who grappled with whether God exists (or better yet he grappled with the 'gods' know us)

Was Socrates really an agnostic?

"The gods know all things, both the things that are said and the things that are done, even the things counseled in the silent chambers of the heart"

(Socrates)

The Three wise men

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were the first three to argue for the existence of God
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were the first three to argue for the existence of God

The first to argue for God's existence

SOCRATES

I've often heard it said that Socrates was the first agnostic in that be taught that there is only one 'god' and even he is 'unknowable' but checking a few websites today I realize I've got it totally wrong!

Apparently Socrates was charged with refusing to obey the wishes of the people over the execution of nine generals, he refused to execute them on the grounds that moral principles would be violated (the 'gods' would know)

"The gods know all things, both the things that are said and the things that are done, even the things counseled in the silent chambers of the heart"

For that he was executed with hemlock as the Athenians thought it a political crime to challenge the 'gods of Athens'

So Socrates wasn't the first agnostic but the first Greek to say that even the 'gods' live by principles! He was a 'THEIST'

PLATO

Disciple of Socrates and the first to argue for the existence of the Divine using logic. Actually most of what we know about Socrates comes not from the man himself but from the writings of Plato. Plato's writings played a major influence on the writings of the early church through his influence on some of its earliest theologians.

Plato was the first to develop a 'cosmological' argument for God's existence. Found in the tenth chapter of his book called "Laws" in which he explained that as the universe is 'in motion' then there had to be a prime cause.

"When we have one thing making a change in a second, the second, in turn, in a third, and so on—will there ever, in such a series, be a first source of change? Why, how can what is set moving by something other than itself ever be the first of the causes of alteration? The thing is an impossibility. But when something which has set itself moving alters a second thing, this second thing still a third, and the motion is thus passed on in course to thousands and tens of thousands of things, will there be any starting point for the whole movement of all, other than the change in the movements which initiated itself? (894e-895a)" (Plato)

Plato's argument was that you can never regress back to the point when nothing existed, hence whatever was there at the beginning has to be the 'Prime cause'

ARISTOTLE

Was a disciple of Plato and the next to develop the thoughts behind this cosmological argument. In his treatise called 'Physics' he argues that while the universe may be eternal movement in it wasn't and as such had to be started by a 'prime mover' "eternal, indivisible, without parts and without magnitude. Isn't the universe eternal, has it had a beginning, will it ever end?" (Aristotle)

The prevailing view at the time and right up until the middle of the twentieth century was that the universe was eternal, only three books argued that it wasn't/isn't and they are all found within the Bible (the books of Genesis tells us of the beginning of the earth, The gospel of Jphn tells us who was there and the book of Revelation tells us of the end!)


"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters".

(Genesis chapter 1 verse 1)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(John chapter 1)

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

(Revelation chapter 21 verse 1)

— Holy Bible

The Cosmological argument

Later developments

This first argument was taken up by later writers from all three of the major religions that come from the Middle East. Christian scholars in Europe influenced by Aristotle and Plato further developed the thoughts as they are traced through Augustine of Hippo and on to Thomas Aquinas. (1225 to 1274)

He argued that there must first be a first mover in the universe since that universe can't "move itself" and that '"First" mover must be God. He developed this argument in hiss treatise "Summa Theologica" and "Summa Contra Gentiles" where the eternity of the universe was assumed as Aquinas did think about the idea that the universe might not actually be eternal but thought that the idea of proving God existed in a finite universe would be TOO EASY!

In the Islamic world one thinker who took up the idea that the Universe might actually be finite and might have had a beginning was Al Ghazali (1058 to 1111) a Muslim thinker in Spain who worked on the idea that if the Universe had a beginning then there had to be an originator.

The argument today is known as the Kallam argument (Kallam is the Arabic word for "Word" and is taken from the term in John chapter 1 verse 1, and the fact that even in the Qur'an Jesus is called the 'Word' (Kallam) of God


Aquinas' arguments for God

Thomas Aquinas came up with five ways that the existence of God could be deduced.

  1. Initial mover. Whatever is in motion (they knew about the motions of celestial bodies and understood the universe to be in motion though at the time they wrongly thought it was revolving round the earth!) must have been put in motion by something else, kind of an unmoved mover!
  2. Uncaused cause. whatever is the 'unmoved mover' would have to exist prior to causing the universe to begin to move
  3. Contingent beings. In Aquinas it is possible for all beings/creatures to not exist and therefore they are contingent as it's possible for them not to exist, if that is so then there must have been a time when they didn't exist or nothing existed (maybe he did accept a finite universe?) therefore there must be a being whom it is necessary to exist (the initial mover or prime cause)
  4. Degrees. For us to understand 'Good' there must be a 'standard of goodness' that causes all the other good.
  5. Intelligence. Aquinas argued that unintelligent beings/things can't of themselves be put in order unless they are done so by an intelligent being (like a watchmaker creating a watch, the pieces of themselves can't assemble themselves in the right order without the watchmaker doing so or programming them to)

At this point Aquinas is bordering on crossing into the Teleological argument for God (the argument from Design)

The Kallam Argument

Originally Islamic this argument starts with the premise that the Universe is not eternal but had a beginning. As I said earlier at the time the universe was thought to be eternal and so was largely rejected during Medieval times but with the discoveries of the last few years this argument is making a comeback.

  1. Whatever has a beginning has a cause to it's existence. We are debating what the cause is and not whether the universe has a beginning, that score has been settled by science.
  2. The Universe has a beginning. The Big Bang demonstrates that. Sir Fred Hoyle rejected the big bang as he saw the logical conclusion of where it was going (Jumbo Jet is a Junkyard analogy)
  3. The Universe itself has a cause. It can't cause itself as the cause has to be outside itself, only an outside source can be the cause. Raw materials can't combine and create anything without outside help. We can observe this in almost all our daily activities.
  4. If the Universe has a cause outside of itself, then that cause must be God!
  5. Therefore God exists.
    And he does outside our known universe and dimensions.

The Cosmological argument (Kallam)

Who argues for God?

One of the questions I've heard here is why do Atheists seem to 'attack' Christians and Jews in their views of whether God exists or not? In researching this article I discovered that there are three religions that require a belief in a Creator God. Three strongly so and one only by reference, they are.

  1. Judaism here it would be the orthodox Jews who believe in a Creator as nowadays to be Jewish isn't necessarily a religious standpoint as a political/cultural one of identifying with the Jewish nation and traditions. Judaism teaches that God made the Earth in six days..
  2. Christianity. takes the same line of teaching as the Orthodox Jews, though today many don't always hold to the young earth and six literal days doctrine but still accept that God was the one doing the work.
  3. Islam. Also teaches that God made the earth

These three religions all require belief in God to function, but many of the eastern religions don't actually require belief in a deity. Buddhism, Jainism and Confucianism all do not require any belief in deity as they are more of lifestyle philosophies.

Finishing up

I had meant to do much more on this hub and look at the Ontological and Teleological arguments for God (along with some of the more modern arguments) but thee is just too much information to put in the one hub so I'll break here and maybe we can look at this in future hubs.

One point here is I am a theist and while I'm laying out the history of how arguments for the existence of God developed please remember that I'm doing it to discuss and not 'Preach'

I haven't included the problems with the various views that are written about here (there are problems with each view) but feel free to outline them in the comments and I'll try to look them up and discuss them.

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    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jason

      Just realized you're saying that the whole argument seems to be based on 'speculation' is this right?

      Actually the argument may have been speculation when it was first proposed in 300 BC and nearly got forgotten, but science in the last ninety years revived it with it's discoveries!

      The Cosmological argument and the Teleological argument both require Empirical evidence of which there is an abundance!

      The evidence itself points to two possibilities

      (1) Chance, possible but the evidence says unlikely

      (2) Deliberate act. The evidence suggests this is more likely.

      All we are looking at is hard evidence and deducing the likelyhood of a 'prime mover' who is seperate from the creator.

      I'll be doing more hubs in this area and especially in the area of 'design for life' to go into it in more detail.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jason

      Thanks for the info about Dr Manhattan, I'll look it up.

      As for the other comment sorry but you'll have to refresh my memory as I didn't seem to be able to find the original comment (I remember saying it but not what it related to...sorry!)

      Lawrence

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      JasonKClark 2 years ago

      Dr Manhattan is making the time as a 4th dimension argument.

      //there is evidence for what I set out in the original comment//

      There is? It came across as pure speculation, to me.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jason

      The Political motivations weren't represented but they were there, otherwise why would the Athenians really care? Most of them were not really believing in the 'gods' of Athens anyway, they were political tools being used by the state to keep things the way they were, what Socrates was proposing what radically different (incidentally I put a bit of a theory as to where the influence may have come from in my Hub on the Teleological argument, but it's only my idea and I can't find it mentioned anywhere!)

      A for the 'speculation' you're right that it was speculation at the start, and for nearly a thousand years no one took it seriously but all that changed with Hubble's discoveries and the formulation of the Big Bang Theory! All of a sudden the 'Fairy tale' (which is what most scientists and even theologians thought the Cosmological argument and the Kalam argument in particular was) became a possible explanation.

      You could speculate about the things you mention, and string theory does speculate on them, even the Bible (if you read it carefully) has the idea of possible oscillations in it as well as alternate universes (No I'm not winding you up, read Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 and remember that we Christians don't believe that God does 'half baked jobs' then read verse 2 where something may have happened that means God goes back to the beginning!)

      The problem with these speculations is there's no evidence for them but there is evidence for what I set out in the original comment.

      This argument takes the evidence and then uses scientific reasoning to deduce that if it did have a beginning then what caused the initial 'bang'.

      I may have gotten carried away with the 4 Dimensional time and time as the 4th dimension but it was Einstein that pointed out that Nothing can exceed the speed of light because as we accelerate towards that speed two things happen, (1) We gain mass as the velocity increases and (2) Time slows down for us because time itself is part of the universe.

      This is what we can observe, all the rest is pure speculation!

      By the way I don't discount that parallel universes might exist, they were first proposed back in the 13th Century by a Jewish rabbi studying the first four verses of Genesis (Mahmonodes) but they are speculation and here we are talking about what is deduced from the evidence we have and not what might be!

      Dr Manhattan's statement is false because time has been demonstrated to not be 'simultaneous' but progressive as Einstein's theory points out (If it was then we would be able to travel at light speed and time dilation would not happen)

      Lawrence

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      JasonKClark 2 years ago

      Any political motivations weren't represented in the official accusations:

      "They shall be my prosecutors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit. "Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others.""

      "What do they say? Something of this sort: - That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own. That is the sort of charge; and now let us examine the particular counts."

      After tripping up Meletus into stating that he's accusing Socrates of both not believing in any gods and teaching belief in other gods:

      "Such nonsense, Meletus, could only have been intended by you as a trial of me. You have put this into the indictment because you had nothing real of which to accuse me. But no one who has a particle of understanding will ever be convinced by you that the same man can believe in divine and superhuman things, and yet not believe that there are gods and demigods and heroes."

      But, the jury was apparently without a particle of understanding, and was convinced.

      http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html

      As for the rest, you seem to be doing a lot of speculating, which is fine. Many people do a lot of speculating. Nothing seems to come across as any kind of testable evidence though. Nor does it come across as a one and only possibility.

      I can speculate as to a space, with attributes different to our known universe, that is eternal, in which an eternal black hole spits out new universes.

      Or, like I said, I can speculate as to universe after universe spitting out new universes back for infinity (no beginning).

      Infinity would apply to a cyclical model of the universe, as well (no beginning).

      Hawking can speculate about another dimension, wherein all the laws of physics lie, that spits out universes. Oddly, it reminds me very much of Socrates speculating about an alternate dimension, wherein all the objective truths lie, and our reality is just a shadow of that one. Hawking's "infinite possibilities, minus one" argument seems a bit silly, for such an intelligent person.

      People can speculate all kinds of things.

      I think you're running amok, a bit, talking both about both 4th dimensional time and beginnings in the same argument. Time, as a 4th dimension, would mean all points in time exist now. This universe would have always existed. You and I would have always existed. Everything that has ever been and everything that will ever be, exists right now. Any kind of "beginning", or passage in time, would just be an illusion. Without a beginning, you would then lose your argument for a cause.

      "There is no future. There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet." ~ Dr Manhattan

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jason

      Thanks for the explanation, and for the sites, I'll look them up. Sorry for the confusion I thought you were saying that Socrates was considered the first 'agnostic' but re-reading I think you meant Protagoras so sorry for the confusion

      As for the question "where is that space?" The answer is that time and space are part of the dimensions of our universse. If something (or in thist case someone) exists outside those dimensions they could be right next to us but we would only see when the intersect with our known dimensions, and we would only see the point where they intersect with us, thus except for that one point there would be no evidence of it ever taking place!

      As for 'good and evil' it relates to who the creator is. What the maker (and the rules he laid down through observable science) says would be good as it would benefit the creation, what he says isn't wouldn't be as it could have harmful ramifications! I know this is a point that would be disputed but think of the consequences of some of the things we want to say is okay nowadays.

      As for creating the universe being 'good or evil' its probably that we think it 'good' as we came into existence because of it!

      Hope this helps

      Lawrence

      By the way the main reason Socrates was convicted was because he didn't think much of Democracy and thought the Spartan way (Hegemon) was a better form of government!

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      JasonKClark 2 years ago

      //I didn't find the quote you used from Protagoras//

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/protagor/

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sophists/

      //Socrates is also regarded as being the first 'agnostic'//

      He claimed to believe in different gods than those of the state, at his trial, rather than not believing in any at all, according to Plato. He was tried as as being godless the same way that the Romans tried Christians as being godless, and Christians later tried Muslims or Jews as being godless. Since they had already ruled out the existence of all other gods, if you ruled out theirs, then they considered you to be godless, even if you weren't.

      While he may have been sceptical, Socrates' scepticism didn't lead to non belief, that I've ever heard of. Maybe, if someone mixes the agnostic/gnostic and atheist/theist terminology, he could be considered an agnostic theist. But, I'm not one who mixes the terms together like that. I consider "agnostic" to be the position of no belief...either way.

      Socrates might be put in the same category as Descartes, "I think therefore I am", who made a much better case for scepticism than he did for the existence of a god.

      //Usually we get the question next "Who created God?" but that belies ignorance as Time itself is part of the universe (the fourth dimension) and the 'prime mover' is outside his creation.//

      Where is "outside his creation", and where did that space come from?

      //I'm not too sure what the stuff is about the 'standard of goodness' is about but I like the way you put some things there.//

      Your Aguinus section...

      "Degrees. For us to understand 'Good' there must be a 'standard of goodness' that causes all the other good."

      ...suggests something good must create good, as part of his argument. I don't think selfishness needs to be created. And, if it is the root of both "good" and "evil", then it's not something that is inherently "good" to begin with.

      I wonder why a 'standard of evilness' didn't need to cause all other evil?

      If we created a universe, just for the hell of it, would that make us "good", "evil", or neither? I don't think simply by creating a universe that would mean we, it's creators, are inherently "good".

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story...

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jason

      I didn't find the quote you used from Protagoras so I'm a little ignorant of what he might have written, however the quotes I used were from Plato and Xenophon who were Socrates' disciples.

      Socrates is also regarded as being the first 'agnostic' in that he was the first Greek to teach that there is only one 'god' and he is "probably unknowable"

      Regarding the "effects that have a cause" the whole point of the Cosmological argument is that whatever the "Cause" is would be God!

      If something had a beginning then how did it start?

      Naturally there are those who would argue that there doesn't need to be a "beginning" as such but then there's the problem that the Big Bang Theory does stipulate that it did have a beginning.

      Stephen Hawking has done some work in trying to prove that the beginning of the universe doesn't have to have been 'god' and may have been simple matter but so far he's never gotten beyond hypothetical numbers as every time he tried to use real ones the equation fell apart!

      The cyclical model of the universe (you are right) hasn't been totally discarded but it has been shown to be extremely unlikely and it still doesn't solve the problem that with the Cosmological argument you can take it through as many oscillations as you like but you come back to the same point that there has to have been a first oscillation and before that what was there?

      Usually we get the question next "Who created God?" but that belies ignorance as Time itself is part of the universe (the fourth dimension) and the 'prime mover' is outside his creation.

      This was only really a hub tracing the history of the argument and how it came into being, but I am glad you challenged me on these points as some of them I'm going to have to go back and research.

      I'm not too sure what the stuff is about the 'standard of goodness' is about but I like the way you put some things there.

      By the way' I'm not expecting anyone to 'suddenly see the light' reading these hubs, but hopefully with discussion then we can all learn from each other!

      Lawrence

    • profile image

      JasonKClark 2 years ago

      Protagoras is said to have stated that he was old enough to be Socrates' father, as well as all the others present at the time he said it. He is considered to be the first agnostic and founder of the school of Sophistry.

      "Concerning the gods I cannot know either that they exist or that they do not exist, or what form they might have, for there is much to prevent one’s knowing: the obscurity of the subject and the shortness of man’s life."

      As well, he was a relativist.

      "Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not."

      Pyrrho is said to have founded the school of Scepticism (Pyrrhonism). Sextus Empiricus outlines this school of thought, which suspends judgement as to whether gods exist, or not.

      "Let the Dogmatists first agree and concur with one another that god is such and such, and only then, when they have sketched this out for us, let them expect us to form a concept of god. But as long as they do not settle their disagreements we cannot tell what agreed-upon conception we are supposed to get from them."

      "Furthermore, if we go by what the Dogmatists say, even if we form a conception of god it is necessary to suspend judgment concerning whether he exists or does not exist. For it is not pre-evident that god exists. If he affected us just of and by himself, the Dogmatists would agree about who, of what sort, and where he is; but their unresolved disagreement has made him seem non-evident to us and in need of proof."

      Sextus also writes a fair bit about causes, and reaches the conclusion that we should also suspend judgement as to whether a cause must exist, or not.

      "From these points we conclude further that if the arguments by which we show the existence of causes are plausible, and if those, too, are plausible which prove that it is incorrect to assert the existence of a cause, and if there is no way to give preference to any of these over others – since we have no agreed-upon sign, criterion, or proof, as has been pointed out earlier – then, if we go by the statements of the Dogmatists, it is necessary to suspend judgment about the existence of causes, too, saying that they are "no more" existent than non-existent."

      _____

      I'd have to concur.

      Firstly, just because, up until now, we've witnessed that effects have causes, doesn't mean that effects must always have a cause. It only takes one "black swan" to ruin a perfectly good "all swans are white" hypothesis.

      Secondly, the conclusion that there must, at some point, be an uncaused first cause supports the idea that there must be a "black swan"...that something can exist without having a cause. Just asserting that it's the universe that can't be the uncaused first cause itself doesn't make it so. A cyclical model of an eternal single universe hasn't been discarded. An eternal stringy landscape that pops out multi-verses hasn't been discarded.

      Thirdly, that "some point" may be so infinitely far removed from us, that we could never find it. Universes popping out of universes back into infinity, and never arriving at a first cause, hasn't been discarded.

      _____

      The standard of "goodness" is healthy selfishness and self-preservation. The standard of "evil" is unhealthy extreme selfishness.

      I would not like to be randomly killed. A number of other people agree that they, too, would not like to be randomly killed. We declare it a wrong, to go around randomly killing people.

      I would like to be able to voice my opinion. A number of other people agree that they, too, would like to voice their opinions. We declare it a right, to be able to voice your opinion.

      And, so on. As well as varying degrees of selfishness/self-preservation, people have varying degrees of "sense of self".

      One could say that someone who is very empathetic has a broader sense of self...that they care about others as they care for themselves. Most people extend the "self" to immediate family and close friends. While others go further...extending to community, nationality, race, religion, sex, political views, hobbies, animals, humanity, and even all living creatures.

      No part of selfishness/self-preservation seems objective, other than self importance existing.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Robert

      Glad you liked it. I'm working on the 'Teleological argument" (argument from design) next.

      Lawrence

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 2 years ago

      A good article. You explain the logical arguments very well.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Deb

      Good advice there. I'm seeking to show where the discussion comes from (and the fact that it hasn't changed, just the participants have).

      Thanks for the visit

      Lawrence

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Background info is good yes, but the times will always change. We should live life as best we can, be good and decent, and in the end, we'll be judged for how we lived. That's my belief, and I stick to that.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 2 years ago from The English Midlands

      Always useful to look at the background, Lawrence :)

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Trish and Lifegate

      There is a sense that lifegate is right in that we who see it one way fail to see how a thing like this can be understood any other way. The fact is that people do see things differently and while discussion can help us understand another point of view it needs to be kept in perspective.

      Having said that debate is always good for learning.

      Lawrence

      By the way, all I wanted to do was put the information together so that we could see where it came from

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 2 years ago from The English Midlands

      And yet many of us don't see it as you do, Lifegate. The evidence for those filters is everywhere :) :)

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Larence,

      I don't know how anyone can logically doubt the existence of God. The evidence is everywhere. Thanks for all this good information.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Trish

      I think you got it there. The thing about the filters pretty much came from my own discussions here on HP about subjects and the fact that we can look at the same data and yet draw different conclusions.

      The hub wasn't trying to argue one way or the other but to give an outline of how the 'argument' came about.

      I suppose one way to think about it is one might see a glass as 'half full', the next person sees the glass as 'half empty' but they are seeing the same glass!

      Thanks for the visit

      Lawrence

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 2 years ago from The English Midlands

      Interesting.

      It's true about those filters. I think that many people are / were brought up from birth to simply accept that God / a god exists and so, for them, everything else follows. It has to follow. There is no question. So they find ways for it to fit.

      For those who are not brought up this way, the evidence is seen in a completely different light. They see no evidence for, or need for, the existence of gods.

      Of course, for many, nowadays, it is a case of having once been (unquestioning) believers who have now lost their faith. These tend to be the ones who debate and discuss and consider.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thank you for the compliment. I'll admit it's not easy to write a hub on a topic like this and not let personal opinion get in the way.

      I actually tried to write a couple of other hubs, but the muse was having 'none of it' so I reluctantly followed the muse and wrote :-)

      I'm glad folks have enjoyed the hub and taken something from it.

      Lawrence

      By the way. I so agree about faith.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I enjoy intellectual discussions about the existence of God, as long as they stay respectful, which this is. Faith...how do we live without it? And how do we prove that which we have faith in? The eternal questions which really don't require answers. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Larry

      Thanks for the visit, and for the fact we can enjoy each other's writing even if we don't always agree on some of the content :).

      The hub was more a 'tracing' of where this argument comes from and not really meant to be an argument for 'organized religion'. I'd agree with you on that one!

      Glad you enjoyed the hub.

      Lawrence

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      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Arguments for a God, to me are more logical for those against. Just look at the logic of the universe and consider the odds of this being on accident.

      That said, to my logic, belief in one of the organized religions in comparison to the world around up always comes up faulty.

      Always enjoy your analyses Lawrence, though we often disagree on aspects of our beliefs.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Argdraw

      Some good points that I think many people identify with. "How would a being with so many big things in this world even notice me?" A valid point and one that resonates with us all.

      I'd say you are right that one thing that belief in God (some say 'religion') does try to do is answer the question of why we are here.

      Good points

      Lawrence

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Terrex

      I can identify with you in a lot of ways, though I remember when the teachers at school told me evolution and natural selection cam explain everything I basically told her to "stop talking rubbish"

      Interesting what you say about us questioning other people's beliefs/systems but not our own, I've probably been guilty of that in the past but since writing here I've tried to actually 'look up' what they said as it's better to get it 'from the horses mouth' than from third parties.

      By the way, I did look up about Buddhism and Confuscianism to confirm what I said and apparently those two along with Jainism don't really require belief in a Creator but can often be mixed with ancestor veneration/worship.

      Glad you enjoyed the hub

      Lawrence

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      argdraw 2 years ago from London

      Maybe? If god created the universe it was a big job, and for us long ago, so I have trouble imagining that the thoughts and actions of us as individuals would have any relevance or interest to the creator, thus rendering all religions void and merely an explanation of our existence. The strength of religion is so great I believe we pray to much more localised god/s and incorrectly attribute the creation to him/them.

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      Terrex 2 years ago

      Very systematically done, which I like.

      I was a theist, leaned towards atheism as I went through the education system and started questioning the old books, and ended up in the middle as I started questioning the stuff in the new books.

      Dawkins frustrates me, but because he manages to convince so many to question and dissect other theories but forget to do the same to his own (kind of like 9/11 conspiracy theorists).

      One person voted 'No, thanks' to more articles like this - I wonder what their motivation was...

      P.S. Oh yeah, from my reading, almost every religion requires belief in a Creator God, not just the three you mentioned.