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Does God Exist? Theism vs. Atheism

Updated on July 4, 2011

Is There A God? The Philosophical Arguments of Theism and Atheism


The question of whether or not God exists is one of the most fundamental questions there is, yet the intellectual arguments for or against the existence of God are not as cut-and-dry as either side of the debate would have you believe. Philosophical discourse concerning the existence of God has gone back and forth for thousands of years, and has been weighed in upon by some of history's most profound thinkers. Such brilliant minds as Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Bertrand Russell, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Kurt Gödel, and Gottfried Leibniz have all delivered compelling arguments on the reality of God and the meaning of existence, yet the debate continues to rage on.

Many arguments have been made, and you are perhaps already familiar with several of them in one or more of their varied forms. Below you will find a list of some of the most commonly cited arguments supporting either the belief or non-belief in God. These arguments have been simplified and described in brief to make them more accessible to the average reader who is perhaps interested in understanding the basic arguments of both atheists and theists.

St. Thomas Aquinas was an extremely influential theistic philosopher who concluded there are five divine qualities to the nature of God.
St. Thomas Aquinas was an extremely influential theistic philosopher who concluded there are five divine qualities to the nature of God. | Source

Arguments for Theism


Cosmological Argument (First Cause)– This is the argument that every effect must have a cause (the Law of Causality); therefore, there must be an original cause which we commonly understand to be God. This is essentially an argument based upon the concept of Aristotle's Immovable Mover, or the Uncaused Cause. It is built upon the premise that in order for anything to exist there must have been something which always existed because it is absurd to assume that something can be caused by nothing (an uncaused effect). This position is typically challenged with the Cause of the First Cause or Chicken and the Egg Argument . Another less common counter to this argument is David Hume's Problem of Induction .

Teleological Argument (Intelligent Design) – The Teleological Argument states that the existence of order in the universe necessarily implies a purpose, and that such a purpose for the universe could only come from a Supreme Mind. Specifically, this argument postulates the existence of an Intelligent Designer who directs the processes of nature. This argument is most commonly understood as William Paley's Watchmaker Analogy , in which he essentially argues that one would come upon a watch lying on the beach and immediately assume it was intelligently designed rather than assuming that it was a product of natural forces working independent of an intelligent influence. A modern variation of the Teleological Argument, known as the Fine-tuned Universe , argues that fundamental physical constants of the universe that make life possible are such that they are best explained by intelligent intervention rather than the undirected process of natural selection. Counter arguments include the Argument for Adaptation , the Dysteleological Argument , and the Argument for a Chaotic Universe . The idea that multiple universes might exist is also cited in opposition to this argument.

Ontological Argument (Anything that can exist, must exist) – This line of reasoning essentially states that if God can exist, then God must exist, as is evident from a priori proof (deductive reasoning). This argument was first made by St. Anselm who said, "God, by definition, is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding. If God exists in the understanding, we could imagine Him to be greater by existing in reality. Therefore, God must exist." The famous mathematician Kurt Gödel revised this argument using modal logic when he developed his Ontological Proof (a mathematical proof of the Ontological Argument) which can be summarized as:

IF it is possible for a rational omniscient being to exist, THEN necessarily a rational omniscient being exists.

Another way to put it is, that if one can conceive of the attributes of God, then God must exist in order to have those attributes which belong to Him. Put yet another way, if one can conceive of iPod-ness (the essence or qualities of an iPod), then there must be such a thing as an iPod which exists. As you can imagine, there are several counter arguments against this line of reasoning, since although it has been shown to have grounding in logic and it has been mathematical proven, common sense would dictate "something is not quite right."

Axiological Argument (Moral Argument) – This argument puts forth the idea that there is a universal moral conscience which is best explained by the existence of God. The entire argument hinges on moral realism, or the idea that there is an objective morality which is true regardless of one's subjective viewpoint. For example, the argument from morality would state that "beating puppies for fun is wrong," which is a statement that is generally regarded as true. Since all well-functioning humans know that such an act is immoral, we must then ask where this knowledge came from. The Moral Argument puts forth the claim that God is the source of this universal moral conscience. Critics often suggest that the concept of morality is socially mediated by way of a social contract , and that there is no compelling reason to assume that a god is involved in moral judgment in any way. The Problem of Evil is most often cited in opposition to this claim.

Argument from Beauty – This argument postulates that there are compelling reasons for considering that beauty transcends physical manifestations, and since classical theism states that beauty is a attribute of God, there are also compelling reasons to believe that the existence of God is more plausible than God's nonexistence. Evidences used to support this line of thought are the objective beauty of great works of art and the mathematical beauty of the universe, as well as the seemingly universal concept of beauty in symmetry.



Argument from Love – The Argument from Love states that there are compelling reasons to conclude that love transcends physical manifestations; and therefore, there are compelling reasons to believe that things do exist which transcend the physical reality. This argument goes on to imply that if the concept of God is commonly understood to be defined as a transcendent entity, then it is reasonable to assume that love is an attribute of God, and since love exists as an attribute of God, then God must exist. The Argument from Love further implies that God must be a personal God, since love is one of God's attributes and the attribute of love can be experienced by physical beings. Another variation of this sort of philosophical reasoning is to suggest that love and faith in God is no more irrational than falling in love. The most common counter arguments for this position are the Problem of Hell and the theories of love postulated by science.

Transcendental Argument (also known as the TAG) – This is the argument that because knowledge exists, God must exist; otherwise, there could be no such thing as knowledge. One form of this argument states that since there are logical absolutes which exist, and logical absolutes are conceptual rather than physical in nature, and they are not dependent on subjective thought (the human mind) to be true, but rather exist as logical absolutes, then logical absolutes are transcendent as well as conceptual by nature; and therefore, can only be the product of a transcendent mind – God. Another way of putting it is that we cannot know anything by means of rational thought unless some rational conclusions are always true (for example, 1 could never equal a value which is not 1), and the conceptual nature of these truths exist outside of the human mind (1 could never equal a value which is not 1 regardless of whether or not the physical mind agrees), but are still concepts; therefore, since a concept must come from a mind because it is not a physical thing, the transcendental mind of God must be the origin of logical absolutes. Put yet another way, an absolute concept means that God thinks; therefore, God exists.

Argument from Religious Experience (Experience is reality) – The Argument from Religious Experience states that since a substantial number of humans have claimed to have had a religious experience there is reason to believe that such experiences are real. This line of thinking goes on to say that although mass delusions are not impossible, a very convincing reason must be offered to compel a reasonable mind to conclude such religious experiences are in fact the product of mass delusions. Those who have had paranormal experiences, or who have claimed to have sighted UFOs use this same argument. Assigning mass delusion and invoking the Argument of Inconsistent Revelations are the more common criticisms of this argument.

Anthropological Argument (Nature of man) – This argument suggests that the very nature of man in relation to the universe implies the existence of God. In essence, the argument states that the nature of man is such that it is quite conceivable to conclude that he was created for the purpose of observing and contemplating the universe and his Creator; furthermore, the nature of the universe is such that it is equally conceivable that the universe was made for man, and not man in accordance with the universe. In other words, the universe appears to be perfect for the existence of man, and man's nature appears to be perfect for the observation, rationalization, and appreciation of the universe in which he lives. The Anthropological Argument maintains that such a set of circumstances are best explained through the theistic worldview. The Chaotic Universe Argument , Argument for Adaptation , Argument for Non-belief , and the Dysteleological Argument , and are all used as criticisms of this line of thinking.

Pascal's Wager – This is a purely existential wager—existentialism is the philosophy that we give our own life meaning, purpose, and happiness rather than there being an actual overall purpose and meaning to life—which basically states that it is better to believe in God and be wrong, than to disbelieve in God and be wrong, when considering the rewards and consequences of such a belief from the perspective of existentialist thought. This commonly cited 'wager' is more of an argument for belief in a specific deity, than it is evidence for the existence of God. It is commonly refuted with the Atheist's Wager .



Bertrand Russell is one of the most important atheist philosophers of all-time.
Bertrand Russell is one of the most important atheist philosophers of all-time.

Arguments for Atheism


Chaotic Universe Argument (Meaningless universe) – This well known argument for atheism states that the universe behaves in a meaningless, chaotic, and irrational way. It is rejected by most intellectual atheists because such a premise would negate the usefulness and meaning of science by removing predictable outcomes and rendering the derivation of scientific laws an impossibility. Nevertheless, this argument is still used by many existentialist atheists as an argument in support of an atheistic worldview. It is most often countered with the Cosmological Argument , the Teleological Argument , and the Transcendental Argument , as well as the same line of reasoning used by other atheists who dismiss the validity of the Chaotic Universe Argument.

Argument from Fear (God is a crutch) – Both Sigmund Freud and Bertrand Russell popularized this argument when they asserted that religion, and thus belief in God, is the product of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of the uncontrollable, fear of nature, etc. This argument postulates that man created God out of fear as a means of comfort, as well as out of superstition and ignorance. Logicians criticize this argument as a genetic fallacy , and point out that merely because religion can be traced to a source does not negate the truth of a religion. For example, the evidence that certain sciences grew out of alchemy and astrology does not negate those sciences.

Argument for Adaptation (Evolutionary Argument) – The basic premise of this argument is that natural selection is all that is necessary to explain life and the seeming design of the universe. It is argued that since life will always adapt to its circumstance and environment, and natural selection can adequately explain the attributes mistaken for design, then the existence of God is an unnecessary hypothesis. This argument is often supported with the Dysteleological Argument . Critics of the Argument for Adaptation suggest that Evolution is merely the process which describes God's handiwork and usually evoke the Teleological Argument as a counter claim.

Anthropomorphic Argument (Man created God) – The primary thesis put forward by this argument is that there is just as much, if not more, evidence to reasonably conclude that man created God rather than God being the Creator of man. In essence, the Anthropomorphic Argument ascribes human qualities to nonhuman beings, asserting that man makes God in his own image and God is nothing more than a product of man's own imagination.

Cause of the First Cause Argument (Who made God?) – This argument proposes that every cause (rather than effect) must have an initial cause; therefore, if God exists, then God must have been caused just as all other things in existence, which sets up an infinite regress that suggests the Law of Causality either does not prove God, or it disproves God's existence altogether. The most common form of this argument is the Chicken and the Egg Argument , which questions whether or not the chicken came before the egg, or the egg came before the chicken. It is commonly rebuked by pointing out that the Law of Causality does not state that every cause is caused, but rather that every effect must have a cause; if God is not an effect, then God requires no cause.

Naive Realism Argument (Only what can be sensed is real) – The argument of Naive Realism begins with the assumption that all truths must be provable through sense perception, and then goes on to state that since God cannot be physically sensed, God does not exist. This position is contrary to established scientific evidence and thus, is rejected by most atheists and theists. For example, the oar of a boat appears to bend in water, but it is only an illusion; therefore, ordinary sensory experience alone cannot be trusted to evaluate the truth of something.


Argument from Inconsistent Revelations (Which God is the real God?) - Essentially, this argument states that there are so many conflicting and mutually exclusive theistic revelations that there is a probability of less than one percent that one would choose the correct interpretation of God; therefore, it is more prudent to either make no choice, or to reject theistic revelations altogether. Put another way, the argument is that there are so many interpretations of God to choose from, that if only one of them can be the correct interpretation, it would be more wise to choose none than to risk offended the correct God. In other words, the supposition is that you can reasonably assume you would get into more trouble doing something than doing nothing, so the logical choice is to reject God.

Problem of Evil– The argument which uses the Problem of Evil points out that there is an obvious conflict between the concept of an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent deity who allows evil to exist in the universe when that God would clearly have the power to end such unnecessary evils. A common statement in support of this argument would be, "If a loving God exists, then why do children suffer from cancer?" An argument using this line of logic essentially concludes that since evil exists, God is either not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnibenevolent, or God does not exist. This argument is countered with Plantinga's Freewill Defense to the logical Problem of Evil, which essentially states that freewill is the greater good, you can't have freewill without the ability to choose evil; therefore, it is necessary for there to be evil in a world where free-choice exists.

Argument from Non-belief (God is not self-evident) – Also known as the Argument of Divine Hiddenness , this philosophical argument claims that if God existed, then God would have made Himself evident to any reasonable person. The argument goes off of many assumptions such as: reasonable non-belief does not occur with a loving Deity, and God wants all humans to believe He exists before they die. One of the more common refutations of this argument is the Unknown Purpose Defense , which basically states that just because "We can see no good reason for God to do X, does not mean that there is no good reason for God to do X." In other words, just because we think God ought to do it, doesn't mean that God should do it.

Dysteleological Argument (Flawed creation)– This argument makes the case that if an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent Creator designed organisms they would have optimal design qualities, and some organisms have suboptimal features; therefore, the organisms were either not designed, or they were designed by a Creator who does not have omnipotent, omniscient, or omnibenevolent qualities. This is more of an argument against a personal God, an Intelligent Designer, or the qualities of God Himself, rather than an argument against the existence of God. Critics argue that it presupposes a specific definition for what is considered to be "optimal," which may or may not actually be the most optimal choice.

Argument from Parsimony (Occam's Razor) – Occam's Razor is applied to the question of the existence of God by atheists who suggest that if the existence of God does not explain the universe better, then atheism should be preferred. Most commonly, the use of Occam's Razor makes the assertion that belief in God requires more complex assumptions than non-belief; therefore, it is more reasonable to conclude that God does not exist. Russell's Teapot is a form of this argument which is often cited. A common criticism of this position is that the simplest answer is not always the correct answer; therefore, the Argument from Parsimony really only applies when comparing two arguments, and is not an argument in itself.

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    • Stump Parrish profile image

      Stump Parrish 5 years ago from Don't have a clue, I'm lost.

      Great hub that will be useful to me. Well written and very informative. Thanks. voted up and useful.

    • mikaylab93 profile image

      mikaylab93 5 years ago from Middleton, Idaho

      Interesting read. It is interesting to see so many points of view. However I have come to the conclusion that thought and logic are subjective. The only way we can believe something is by feeling it is true. For example I can debate endlessly whether or not an apple is blue, no matter how good my arguments are this will only be an opinion. I will never be able to make the apple blue by debating it. However it is a fact that I believe the apple is blue, and no one can argue with a belief, because it is true that I believe that certain way.

      I suppose it is ironic to logically debate against logic =), but it is just a thought. Anyway, I really did enjoy reading this. I happen to be under the belief that there is a god, and yes there are logical reasons, but those don't stand on their own. I believe it because everything inside me tells me it is right.

      There is one thing I would say about the Argument about evil, though. I find this argument a little bit... odd. It seems to me that this example is like saying because darkness exists there is no light. Darkness exists because of the lack of light. The same goes for evil. As for the example of the child with cancer I think I would have to say that in this earth life evil is allowed to exist so we can prove our goodness. If their was no evil almost everyone would behave perfectly good.

      Thanks,Mandrake it was time well spent reading this.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Mandrake, Well done! A very comprehensive look at both Theism and Atheism. Certainly layed it all out for everyone to make up their own mind. Thanks, Peter

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 5 years ago from Dhaka

      If there is no god who is the sole designer of every thing? Without prior designing nothing can be created. So, there must be an intelligent designer. That designer is called god. I can't see him with these eyes only but he is existent. If I'm not an animal, if I possess some intelligence then the option is there is a god. What is the benefit of disbelieving god? Nothing, but there is a high risk of disbelieving god. So, my mind should be always positive, always optimistic not negative.

      So, I differ with the concluding.

    • davidkaluge profile image

      davidkaluge 5 years ago

      I think people have the right to belief what makes sense to them so we do not have to force a belief on anyone. God can easily make himself known to all if he wants or is it impossible for him to do? everything is for a reason but the main problem we should look into is not only if God exist or not but also those that belief that God exist have different things to teach about him.The argument not just two side. Is it not a shame if those that belief in God are in conflict? Its relative and a personal issue

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments!

      Stump Parish, thanks, that was the idea.

      mikaylab93, it is always nice to hear different points of view. If you believe that logic itself is subjective then perhaps your philosophy is most closely aligned with the philosophy of Subjective Idealism as put forth by Berkeley and Mach?

      Peter Lumetta, my intention was to try to lay things out as objectively as possible and I think I did well, but it was a very difficult task, indeed.

      upal19, I'm not sure exactly which conclusion you are disagreeing with. I took no position on the matter in this particular hub, so I must assume you are referring to the conclusion of some philosopher?

      davidkaluge, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Your opinion is appreciated, and I do realize that the argument is more than just two-sided when truly put into focus. As I stated earlier, I took no personal position on the matter in this particular hub, as I was merely trying to lay out some of the major arguments put forth by philosophers so others can look into those arguments and make their own decision on the matter.

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Yes, I'm. I've profound regards for those emminent philosopers but when I see them as an atheist I feel unhappy. I believe it that only witless persons disbelieve god. A philosoper or a scientist can be a witless it doesn't make any sense to me.

      If I believe in god what's the pain? If there is an after death life will not that mighty god ask me about my belief? So, being an intelligent person should I take the risk? This is why I believe in god. This is why I discourage atheism.

      Thanks for introducing this timely discussions. I'm witnessing atheism a wildfire these days.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      The truth shall set you free - simply present the truth and don't waste time on other's vane imaginations of theories or possibilities that don't exist or can't be proven - we have the truth in the word supplied by the all knowing all powerful eternal creator who is the reason and source of our very existence ... doubt him at your eternal peril. He wants to have a personal relationship with you and promises "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" Ultimately, whether or not you believe the Bible is up to you. If you diligently seek God, you will find Him. When God makes a promise, you can bet He will keep it. Scripture is clear that if you seek, you will find (Deut. 4:29).

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      tsadjatko, thank you for your input. For some, the Word of God is enough, and that is fine, but I believe that we were endowed with intellect for a reason (purpose if you will); therefore, if we do not use it as a tool to discern what is, and what is not, then we are rebelling against that very purpose.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      You missed my point - eg. If the truth is the world is round what is the value of explaining, expounding, theorizing that the earth is flat except to deceive observers or confuse the issue? This doesn't conflict with use of intellect or discernment but gives them worth.

      We have the truth and to present otherwise does nothing but elevate falsehood to the level of truth or bring truth down to the level of falsehood or imaginations. None of this approach diminishes our use of or ability to use intellect for reason but to the contrary separates fact from fiction, imagination from reason. Without the grounding in truth there is no intelect or reason only vane imaginations.

      I never suggested we not use our intellect to reason as that is exactly how we discern truth so I don't understand why you raise that as a straw man.:)

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I would agree with your points, but I believe that questioning the truth does not diminish it or serve lies, but instead reinforces the validity of that truth.

      How do you know that you know the truth? While I will agree that absolute truth must exist by necessity in order for logic to have any meaning, I strongly disagree that we can ever know that we know it with absolute certainity; therefore, it is prudent to continually question it in order to correct our understanding of it.

      In other words, I do not believe anyone knows the truth but God, we can only know part of the truth, and so we must continually seek to learn more about it, which means questioning what we think we know about it. I think that is why we were given the tool of logic, so we can continually seek to understand the truth, not so we can know it for absolute certainty.

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Mandrake, I'm sorry for misspelling- it will be philosopher. Actually it was posted hastily.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Mandrake ... I never said not to question or not to use your intellect. What I said was "simply present the truth and don't waste time on other's vane imaginations of theories or possibilities that don't exist or can't be proven" So although you know THE FACT that the earth is round, you would espouse to continue to present theories that it is flat? What I am saying is for a believer who has a personal relationship with the creator of heaven and earth, the whole universe and knows God it is rediculus to present theories that God does not exist...It is possible to know the truth while others do not, but not wise to induldge their fantasies when they deny the truth. How many friends do you have that will entertain you with their theory that the earth is flat?

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      One cannot discuss the quandary of flat earth versus round earth when the facts have been known since long before the time of Christ. The old testament has a comment about 'the circle of the earth' so a debate about facts versus the philosophical debate about the existence of the spiritual are two completely different realms. One is science the other is theology.

      The only fact that really exists in this whole dialogue is that unless a god revealed itself to a good portion of the planet the entity's existence would still be called into question.

      The evolution of human understanding in the future may very well run the course of religious elimination. As time continues and no god reveals itself, the applications of human responsibility for the planet in a universe that is magnificent and chaotic may reveal god to be a human invention.

      Theologians and Scientists may battle for another thousand years, but if humanity can keep from blowing the whole race off the planet, the revelation of a god may occur--or may not.

      The beauty of being a human being is that we don't know the truth about everything, but we can certainly go seeking it at every opportunity.

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      tsadjatko - I disagree, possibly because we have differing philosophies on what exactly human truth and human knowledge are, and thus how they can be attained.

      Once again, I totally agree that absolute truth exists, but I deny that any human can know with absolute certainty that something is an absolute certainty. There comes a point in all logic (actually at its beginning and its end) where belief is necessary. All that truth is, in the human realm, is a reasonable certainty - that is all. It is entirely based upon assumptions which we conclude are self-evident truths, eventhough there is a possibility that they are not. So long as such a possibility exists that those assumptions could be incorrect, I will most definitely entertain any theory, and then decide for myself whether or not it has any validity, based upon my own conclusions on what I believe is reasonably certain in relation to the theory.

      So "yes," I will listen to the flat-earther, and I have. I find them to be false because I listened and entertained the possibility, rather than finding them false because I believe I already have the absolute truth and they could never possibly be correct.

      I don't think I can merely shut somebody down and dismiss their argument based upon what I believe is reasonably certain until I have at least heard the argument.

      Now, as far as this hub goes...it seems you are suggesting I shouldn't even present the atheist arguments if I call myself a theist? Forgive me if I understood that incorrectly, but I strongly oppose such a view! If I cannot approach others objectively and present both sides for them to decide, then I am a preacher, not a philosopher -I am the latter. Likewise, if I refuse to listen to the otherside because I believe I am already correct, then I am someone who claims to hold absolute truth, and I am no longer a reasonable human being who knows that my knowledge is finite.

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      randslam - thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Thanks, Mandrake. I did forget to mention, in regards to your discussion with tsadjatko, that even Dawkins can't really call himself an atheist. He states that it is impossible to prove a negative and, therefore, understands that if a god did rise forward and reveal to the world's population that then his conclusion would have been wrong.

      Dawkins is being a logical, thinking scientist, but in essence we are all agnostics because we can't, with concrete evidence, disprove the existence of a god.

      None of us really knows...ergo, the Latin agnos.."don't know."

      As for the true believers that are completely satisfied in the existence of their father in heaven, and the unlikelihood of a hellish afterlife, even tho' it isn't in the pages of the biblical work, the rights of a free democratic society allows them freedom of worship, speech and religion.

      Now it all comes down to a respectful tolerance from all who aren't in agreement--viva la difference--as these variety of outlooks do give life a certain spice.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Mandrake ...different philosophies? You got that right - what amazes me is that your philosophy is to ignore what I actually said, it's meaning and conclusions and to ascribe to me things never said or implied and to assert your "reality" and transparent attitude that you are the enlightened one because you are so much more open minded than the straw man you have painted me to be. Anyone who uses their inmtellect and reason to analyze what was said by me can honestly only come to one conclusion about what I have said instead of reading into it your beliefs as you have done and that conclusion is that the author of this hub does not believe he has the TRUTH. That is all a discpile of intellect and reason can conclude. Just tellin it like it is, no offense intended :)

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      tsadjatko - I am sorry if I came off as such. I meant no offense. You are correct in stating that I do not claim to have THE truth, in fact, that is what I said, so I guess we agree on that point, and we will just have to agree to disagree on the rest.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Well! You are easy to get along with! No offense taken, and thank you for not pointing out that I mispelled "vane". I can be a dufus. :) (did I spell that right? doofus?)

    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 5 years ago

      Hi Mandrake_1975,

      Thank you very much for sharing this info, a very well researched and written piece. You are correct in your view that this argument between existence of God and non-existence has been going on since time began. I guess all atheists feel that they are the only ones with a brain and everyone else that believes in God is loony - and I'm one of those loony's - God exists for me, He is the creator of all and the One in total control of everything.

      But to an atheist that is too much, in their superior mental state God can not exist, otherwise humans would not have evolved from algae - I am trying to test out their theory so for the last 10 years I have various chemical compounds brewing in my garden pond, I must add it is a very controlled environment - I am hoping whatever evolves out of that chemical soup it is a beautiful sexy blond - I'll keep you all posted if in another 1000000999900000999 years time something happens.

      Thanks again

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you Zubair Ahmed. Yes, the debate concerning the existence of God has been going on since man developed systems of logic, so anyone who says God is an illogical conclusion only believed in by ignorant people obviously does not know the history of the debate and the great minds who have been involved in it.

      There are great arguments on both sides, and both sides have come to their conclusions using logic - it is as simple as that.

      I created this hub to present both sides of the argument, since I found that to be something you don't find much of. Usually one side is trying to persuade the other, but I find that most people just want to hear the arguments on both sides, not receive opinions on who is right or who is wrong.

      Most people just want to make up their own minds, and intelligent people are repulsed by pop-shots from either side designed to belittle the intelligence of the other side. I for one, am one who wants to look when the ridiculing begins because that tells me that the opposing opinion cannot win the argument and must resort to attacking individuals rather than ideas.

      Another thing you will find concerning the debate of God's existence is that the argument usually gets off track and turns to one about the existence of a particular God, or a particular theological view of God. Those arguments have nothing to do with existence of God or philosophical debate, but much more with the theology of a particular religion. I say, "stick to the argument at hand. If God doesn't exist then why argue theology? If God does exist, why bring theology into it unless you wish to argue about what God and God's characteristics are?"

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Great dialogue, Mandrake. It seems that taking a centric pose puts people off. The conclusion of the matter is, as I mentioned earlier, still under review.

      It is the dogmatic atheist or theist with unreasonable disdain for the opposing view that takes the discussion off course, but of course, intelligent debate is rare.

      Thanks to all for having one here...it is unique.

    • jimagain profile image

      jimagain 5 years ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

      Put me down for a vote UP!

      What made this Hub so good was that it was not only informative but it was presented fairly without the usual haranguing from overzealous proponnents of either side. Rational arguments were presented for both sides allowing the reader to arrive at their own conlcusion rather than the writer's own scripted presumption.

      I am an avowed thiest that started off as a hopeful agnostic and as such am grateful for the skepticism which validated my eventual conclusion. The scripture vindicates reason as a viable avenue to seek God, in the phrase, "Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord..." I am confident the Diety is less troubled about his own existence than many of His followers. At the same time, I can appreciate the perspective from the other point of view

      Thanks again!

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks randslam. Yes, many don't like it when a centrist position is taken, but I feel just as many do appreciate such a position. You are right though...it is the overzealous enthusiasm for one's position which tends to send intelligent debate right out the window.

      jimagain - This is true. Skepticism is necessary for validation.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 5 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Great stuff Mandrake! Presented in a very open and refreshing way that created some great dialogue! I will link this to some of my own hubs!

    • Mandrake_1975 profile image
      Author

      Mandrake_1975 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks Highvoltagewriter! It was my goal to provide the public with as open and neutral a presentation as I possibly could.

    • profile image

      Moesky 4 years ago

      Fascinating to get an all round view of the arguments for and against. Without all the quarreling. Great article.

      For years I couldn't utter the word "God" (dogmatic Catholic education trauma). Now I use it simply as a short word to define the element of my experience of existence that is unexplainable. And there is much that we can never explain.

      I don't believe we'll ever find the one truth, but I'm fine with that. Discussing the question however is always fascinating.

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