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Arguments for God's Existence

jimtimmy
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12/23/2011 4:06:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is from a debate I did a long time ago. My opponent never responded, as his account closed before he could. And, my views have changed since then. But these are still solid argument for God's existence.

This is also partially a response to Tvellalott's thread.

I also want to point out that these are only arguments for general theism, not Christianity specifically.

1) The Ontological Argument

This argument was first made by Saint Anselm (and later revived by Descartes). Here is Anselm explaining it himself:

"If therefore that than which nothing greater can be conceived exists in the understanding alone [and not in reality], then this thing than which nothing greater can be conceived is something than that which a greater can be conceived. And this is clearly impossible. Therefore, there can be no doubt at all that something than which a greater cannot be conceived exists in both the understanding and in reality."

Basically,this argument holds that God, by definition, exists. Here is my explanation:

1.) God is the greatest Possible Existence (Atheists would agree with this, even if they don't believe in God)

2.) God's existence is conceivable (basically, God could exist in some reality)

3.) That that exists in reality (things that do exist) is greater than that that does not exist in reality

4.) Therefore, a God that does exist in reality is greater than a God that does not exist in reality

5.) However, a God that exists in mind only (does not exist in reality) would already be the greatest possible existence (1)

6.) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

7.) Point #6 is clearly absurd. Therefore, by definition, God exists

I am sorry if I did not explain this argument perfectly. I strongly recommend everyone read the first link I provide at the bottom, because it explains this argument in a much better way than I do.

However, I do believe that, despite the many criticisms, this doctrine holds. God, therefore, can be proved through simple human reason.

I also would like to stress that even if the Ontological argument does not hold, there are still many arguments in favor of God. This is stressed by the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas, who was known for making many arguments for God's existence, actually critiqued the Ontological argument.

6) The First Cause Argument

To me, the First Cause argument is the most logical and rational argument for God. In fact, I would say that this argument alone can prove the existence of God.

This argument has been made by philosophers and thinkers for millenniums. Aristotle, famously, made this argument. As did Thomas Aquinas.

The argument itself is not all that complex. It can really be summed up by German Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz:

"Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?"

The universe had a beginning. Even Atheists agree with this. In modern Science, this beginning is known as the Big Bang.

In light of this Big Bang, William Lane Craig set out this nice argument for the First Cause:

"1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

2.The Universe began to exist.

3.Therefore, the Universe had a cause."

The idea of the First Cause is that something outside the Universe originally created or set into motion the Universe we know today.

Like all of the arguments for God, this argument does not prove the existence of a specific God. However, it does, I believe, prove the existence of a Creator or a Higher Power.

3) The Argument from Design

This is another very convincing argument that basically makes Gods non-existence nearly impossible. Of course, this argument has been abused and misused by Believers, leading to well deserved attacks from Atheists. Ray Comfort gave atheists an easy target when he claimed that a Banana fitting in the hand proves God's existence.

While he was rightly criticized, this is not the argument from design. In fact, it is much more complex and logically coherent.

The basics of this argument is that the conditions for the miracle of life were extremely unlikely. If the Big Bang had been slightly different (ever so slightly), it is likely that life could not have developed at all. Existence-of-God.com summarizes part of this argument well:

"That this was the case, though, was either an extraordinary fluke, or was intended by the big bang's Creator. Had the rate of expansion been even fractionally slower—one part in a million million—then the big bang would have been followed by a big crunch before life could have developed. Had the rate of expansion been even fractionally faster—one part in a million—then stars and planets could not have formed. It is highly unlikely that a random big bang would be such as to allow life to develop, and therefore highly unlikely, according to the argument from design, that the big bang from which our universe was formed happened at random.

The fact that the universe is fit for life requires explanation, and an appeal to chance is no explanation at all. It is far more likely that the universe was initiated by a being that intended to create a universe that could support life. The fine-tuning of the universe for life can only be explained with reference to a Creator, as the result of intelligent design."

The Universe, if you will, was fine tuned for the creation of life. This implies a Creator who had a greater Cause in mind when creating the Universe. The Miracle of Life, in itself, is proof of a Creator beyond our own understanding.

4) The Moral Argument

The Moral Argument relies on the fact that a moral code does exist in our society. People are born with an innate sense of these moral laws. There are, if you will, moral facts.

An example of this is to not kill another. There is no physical or scientific justification for this idea, yet it is a major component of our society.

Again, I turn to Existence-of-God.com for a short explanation of this:

"The moral argument appeals to the existence of moral laws as evidence of God's existence. According to this argument, there couldn't be such a thing as morality without God; to use the words that Sartre attributed to Dostoyevsky, "If there is no God, then everything is permissible." That there are moral laws, then, that not everything is permissible, proves that God exists."

These moral laws typically come in the form of Commandments. Commandments, of course, imply a Commander.

More importantly, this Commander must have ultimate authority over Humans (and the universe). After all, if it were anything short of this, then there is no conceivable way that these moral laws would be nearly as universal as they are. This would imply that an All Powerful Being commanded these laws for our respective society.
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PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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12/23/2011 4:12:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Break it up in to one argument at a time. The responses are going to be massive otherwise.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
jimtimmy
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12/23/2011 4:19:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 4:12:50 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Break it up in to one argument at a time. The responses are going to be massive otherwise.

You can just reply to parts if you want, lol... I was just trying to summarize some of the main arguments for Theism
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CosmicAlfonzo
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12/23/2011 4:19:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
These arguments have always been terrible. The fact that people are honestly convinced by them is a testament to the statement that, "ignorance is humanity's reigning virtue."

No you are right, that isn't an argument, that is just a cop out insult. Yes, I am fully aware that being a wanker about it doesn't make me convincing. I don't care, if you are too stupid to figure out why these arguments suck, no amount of me or anyone debating it is going to convince you otherwise. These arguments are juzt that bad.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
jimtimmy
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12/23/2011 4:20:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 4:19:37 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
These arguments have always been terrible. The fact that people are honestly convinced by them is a testament to the statement that, "ignorance is humanity's reigning virtue."

No you are right, that isn't an argument, that is just a cop out insult. Yes, I am fully aware that being a wanker about it doesn't make me convincing. I don't care, if you are too stupid to figure out why these arguments suck, no amount of me or anyone debating it is going to convince you otherwise. These arguments are juzt that bad.

Thanks for the input.
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Maikuru
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12/23/2011 4:28:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Thank you for sharing, though anyone who has debated the topic, read on the topic, or spent more than a few minutes on this forum is familiar with these arguments and their counters. Let's change things up a bit.
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CosmicAlfonzo
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12/23/2011 4:31:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
They arguments assume too much about both the nature of God, and tbe universe.

If you really want to get to the root of things, you must question EVERYTHING you think you know.

Cultural trappings and believing in the illusions that cloud our perceptions get in the way of solving the god riddle. If you want insight into the ultimate nature of reality, you must shed away these mental layers.

Do you want truth or comfort? If you want comfort, you will get neither.. if you want truth, you will receive both.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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12/23/2011 4:42:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 4:06:51 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
This is from a debate I did a long time ago. My opponent never responded, as his account closed before he could. And, my views have changed since then. But these are still solid argument for God's existence.

Basically,this argument holds that God, by definition, exists. Here is my explanation:

1.) God is the greatest Possible Existence (Atheists would agree with this, even if they don't believe in God)

2.) God's existence is conceivable (basically, God could exist in some reality)

3.) That that exists in reality (things that do exist) is greater than that that does not exist in reality

4.) Therefore, a God that does exist in reality is greater than a God that does not exist in reality

5.) However, a God that exists in mind only (does not exist in reality) would already be the greatest possible existence (1)

6.) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

7.) Point #6 is clearly absurd. Therefore, by definition, God exists



I am sorry if I did not explain this argument perfectly. I strongly recommend everyone read the first link I provide at the bottom, because it explains this argument in a much better way than I do.

However, I do believe that, despite the many criticisms, this doctrine holds. God, therefore, can be proved through simple human reason.

I also would like to stress that even if the Ontological argument does not hold, there are still many arguments in favor of God. This is stressed by the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas, who was known for making many arguments for God's existence, actually critiqued the Ontological argument.


One argument at a time.

6) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

I don't think so. The greatest Possible God and whether the greatest possible God actually exists are two different things. You can't get from X is possible therefore X is actual. Just because you can conceive of God as the greatest POSSIBLE existence, it doesn't follow therefore it ACTUALLY exists.

Think of the greatest possible sandwich, if the greatest possible sandwich doesn't exist that means there could be a lesser sandwich that exists and cause it exists it would be greater than the greatest possible sandwich which exists only in the mind. But this is absurd as by definition the greatest possible sandwich can't have a sandwich greater than it, ergo the greatest possible sandwich exists.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
jimtimmy
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12/23/2011 4:53:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 4:42:02 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 12/23/2011 4:06:51 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
This is from a debate I did a long time ago. My opponent never responded, as his account closed before he could. And, my views have changed since then. But these are still solid argument for God's existence.

Basically,this argument holds that God, by definition, exists. Here is my explanation:

1.) God is the greatest Possible Existence (Atheists would agree with this, even if they don't believe in God)

2.) God's existence is conceivable (basically, God could exist in some reality)

3.) That that exists in reality (things that do exist) is greater than that that does not exist in reality

4.) Therefore, a God that does exist in reality is greater than a God that does not exist in reality

5.) However, a God that exists in mind only (does not exist in reality) would already be the greatest possible existence (1)

6.) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

7.) Point #6 is clearly absurd. Therefore, by definition, God exists



I am sorry if I did not explain this argument perfectly. I strongly recommend everyone read the first link I provide at the bottom, because it explains this argument in a much better way than I do.

However, I do believe that, despite the many criticisms, this doctrine holds. God, therefore, can be proved through simple human reason.

I also would like to stress that even if the Ontological argument does not hold, there are still many arguments in favor of God. This is stressed by the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas, who was known for making many arguments for God's existence, actually critiqued the Ontological argument.


One argument at a time.

6) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

I don't think so. The greatest Possible God and whether the greatest possible God actually exists are two different things. You can't get from X is possible therefore X is actual. Just because you can conceive of God as the greatest POSSIBLE existence, it doesn't follow therefore it ACTUALLY exists.

Think of the greatest possible sandwich, if the greatest possible sandwich doesn't exist that means there could be a lesser sandwich that exists and cause it exists it would be greater than the greatest possible sandwich which exists only in the mind. But this is absurd as by definition the greatest possible sandwich can't have a sandwich greater than it, ergo the greatest possible sandwich exists.

God, by definition, is the greatest possible existence. A sandwich cannot be the greatest sandwich, because a greater sandwich can always be imagined.

Howeve you define greatest sandwich, a greater one can be imagined. So, these are two different situations.
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Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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12/23/2011 5:00:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 4:53:08 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 12/23/2011 4:42:02 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 12/23/2011 4:06:51 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
This is from a debate I did a long time ago. My opponent never responded, as his account closed before he could. And, my views have changed since then. But these are still solid argument for God's existence.

Basically,this argument holds that God, by definition, exists. Here is my explanation:

1.) God is the greatest Possible Existence (Atheists would agree with this, even if they don't believe in God)

2.) God's existence is conceivable (basically, God could exist in some reality)

3.) That that exists in reality (things that do exist) is greater than that that does not exist in reality

4.) Therefore, a God that does exist in reality is greater than a God that does not exist in reality

5.) However, a God that exists in mind only (does not exist in reality) would already be the greatest possible existence (1)

6.) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

7.) Point #6 is clearly absurd. Therefore, by definition, God exists



I am sorry if I did not explain this argument perfectly. I strongly recommend everyone read the first link I provide at the bottom, because it explains this argument in a much better way than I do.

However, I do believe that, despite the many criticisms, this doctrine holds. God, therefore, can be proved through simple human reason.

I also would like to stress that even if the Ontological argument does not hold, there are still many arguments in favor of God. This is stressed by the fact that St. Thomas Aquinas, who was known for making many arguments for God's existence, actually critiqued the Ontological argument.


One argument at a time.

6) Since God is already the greatest possible existence, the possible non existence of God would mean that something (a God that exists) could be greater than that which nothing greater is possible

I don't think so. The greatest Possible God and whether the greatest possible God actually exists are two different things. You can't get from X is possible therefore X is actual. Just because you can conceive of God as the greatest POSSIBLE existence, it doesn't follow therefore it ACTUALLY exists.

Think of the greatest possible sandwich, if the greatest possible sandwich doesn't exist that means there could be a lesser sandwich that exists and cause it exists it would be greater than the greatest possible sandwich which exists only in the mind. But this is absurd as by definition the greatest possible sandwich can't have a sandwich greater than it, ergo the greatest possible sandwich exists.

God, by definition, is the greatest possible existence. A sandwich cannot be the greatest sandwich, because a greater sandwich can always be imagined.

Howeve you define greatest sandwich, a greater one can be imagined. So, these are two different situations.

For starters my argument is about the greatest POSSIBLE sandwich, but in anycase.

I could say the same thing about God, however you define God a greater one can be imagined.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Illegalcombatant
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12/23/2011 5:06:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Feel free to throw out a conception of God and seeing whether I can conceive of something greater than your conception.

I guess we can do this for the sandwich too. :)
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
phantom
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12/23/2011 6:03:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Arguments for design and probability are so often unjustly criticized by atheists that I think some theists have become scared to use them. I think it's one of the biggest problems an atheist faces though.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
jimtimmy
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12/23/2011 11:58:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 5:06:34 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
Feel free to throw out a conception of God and seeing whether I can conceive of something greater than your conception.

I guess we can do this for the sandwich too. :)

God, by definition, is the greatest possible existence. That is what God is.

The same cannot be true of a sandwich.

Even so, I am not convinced by this argument. The first cause argument and the argument from design are the two most convincing for me here.
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