Free Essay

God's Existence

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By bbysmallz
Words 1013
Pages 5
Nancy Loera
PHIL 3323
Test One/Question Two

For many years, the question of “does God exists?” has plagued the minds of scientists, philosophers, and just about every other person trying to figure out the answer. There are many individuals who believe God does exist, there those who don’t believe he exists, and then there are others who choose a neutral approach. Several arguments have been presented to prove and disprove his existence based on scientific explanations and personal explanations. Scientific explanations have laws and principles that can explain the natural whys we have in our present universe. Personal explanations are provided when science can not explain the causes but provide the intentions of something just as good an explanation as the scientific one. The Cosmological Argument by Bruce Reichenbach seems to most likely to convince a rational and open-minded agnostic that they should believe in the existence of God because nothing natural in this universe could have caused the beginning of the universe. Reichenbach states that “theists are in good company when they look for explanations either of the universe or a particular phenomena within it” (p. 187). The argument Reichenbach presents has a different structure, but I will present it in a shorter form as followed: the universe (the contingent) had a beginning, so everything with a beginning/effect has a cause or explanation, the universe had a cause, nothing natural could have caused it or caused itself, therefore a non-contingent (necessary) being, we will name God, caused the universe to begin. I will discuss the primary objections to the argument and then explain why this argument would most likely convince someone, namely an agnostic, on rational grounds to believe in God’s existence. The Cosmological Argument provides, under specified conditions, a full explanation (necessary conditions for an effect to occur) because it argues that anything that exists contingently has a cause to its becoming into existence otherwise it wouldn’t have existed to begin with. In this case, the universe, the beginning of space and time and its whole, didn’t just cause itself from nothing or let alone accidently. With this being said, I will explain the Cosmological Argument in detail at each point I mentioned before.

1. The Universe, the contingent being, had a beginning. To be clear on what a contingent being is, it is a being that if it exists, it can not exist. We can sense that they exist. Just like we know that time and space began at some point, it is our senses that experience that these objects do exist. So there is no doubt that they exist. 2. Everything with a beginning/effect has a cause or explanation. This is logical and any rational person would agree. In other words, everything that comes to exist or an effect to occur had a cause. It is dependent on something else in order for it to exist. We experience this in our day to day experiences. Basically, something can’t just exist from nothing or itself because from nothing comes nothing. 3. The Universe had a cause. What caused the universe, the contingent being, to exist was either by other contingent beings or a non-contingent being. A non-contingent being is a being which if it exists it cannot not exist. 4. Nothing natural could have caused the Universe to begin. Something outside the universe caused the universe to come to exist. This is because contingent beings can’t explain or better yet cause the existence of other contingent beings. 5. Therefore, a non-natural being caused the Universe. In this argument, the non-natural or non-contingent and necessary being as mentioned before is namely God. Because the very nature of God, it caused the Universe to exist.

So just like many arguments, there are objections. An objection to this argument is the Fallacy of Composition which states that if parts have the same or certain properties then the whole has the same properties. In other words, in our day to day experiences we see effects and of course they have causes. These causes and effects are only parts of the universe. But the universe, as a whole, can not be compared to our day to day experiences because there are different rules that apply for the cause of the beginning of our universe. Another objection is quantum physics and the Big Bang Theory. It has been proven that The Big Bang caused the universe which began at the smallest molecular level as an expansion. What happened before the Big Bang or where the molecules came from, science yet intends to answer. But quantum physics explains that “electrons can pass out of existence at one point and then come back into existence elsewhere” (p. 192). Another primary objection is the “necessary” being mentioned that caused the universe. That because the nature of a great being whose nonexistence can not be thought, it is impossible for this being to exist because we do not know what properties or characteristics it has. I mentioned before that there are scientific and personal explanations to proving or disproving God’s existence. The Cosmological Argument explains a certain phenomena that occurred that doesn’t have the ability to give a scientific explanation but rather makes one understand from personal explanation the existence of God from an event, in this case the cause of the beginning of the universe. There are no rules or scientific explanations in this universe that we can apply to the existence of God or his nature. In order for our universe to come into existence, something non-contingent beyond our universe and understanding had to exist. There are no scientific explanations for the intentions of a non-contingent being, God, to why he caused the beginning of the universe. So because God had intentions to cause the beginning of the universe where we want to understand and seek purpose of the universe we can’t say that the universe’s beginning came from nothing especially if science has yet to figure out what came before the Big Bang.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

God's Existence

...Term Paper Position Defense Sheel Patel Question: Analyze and evaluate the two proofs of God’s existence that Descartes provides. Which is more successful and more relevant? Plausible alternative answers: a) Apparently, Descartes had identified more than one way to prove God’s existence. b) The existence of God is a very solid topic to debate on and to be completely sure and convincing, Descartes gives to different proofs of the existence of God. Arguments in favor of each answer: a) He may have found out the second way of God’s existence by thinking about his own existence and him being an imperfect being. b) Descartes did not want to be questioned about his views as there was or is no guaranteed proof of God’s existence. Possible objections to the arguments: a) He cannot give the proof of God’s existence because he would have known that he took birth from his mother’s womb and was not created by God. He had to have knowledge of the basic science behind it. b) Descartes could have given one, solid and an unquestionable argument for God’s existence and not two loose questionable proofs. Possible replies to the objections: a) Earlier, Descartes provided doubts for his existence itself. Therefore, he could not have completely known that he was not made by God and that there was science involved in his birth. b) Descartes thought of them to be solid and he was not...

Words: 310 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Proof of God's Existence

...Title: Proof of God’s Existence By: Vicki Williams PHI208 Ethics and Moral Reasoning Instructor: Barbara Palomino de Velasco June 10, 2013 The Bible diagnoses humanity's deepest need and then prescribes what it claims is the only antidote: God saves sinners. Is there an intellectual basis for believing in God? Or is being religious just a matter of faith? Christianity invites scrutiny into its claims and its reasons for having faith and these deserve examination... Some people feel that acceptance of God is entirely a matter of faith. But the Scriptures actually claim that it is the truth which is the basis for this faith (Rom. 10:17). Truth is only truth if it is objective truth, that is, it is true for everyone regardless of time or circumstances. Thus, God is either true (and there can be objective proofs to support this), or He is not true and only subjective 'truth' can be offered for 'proof'. Some ancient Philosophers have argued that the fact mankind can imagine there being a God is a proof that there must be one. While this argument does have some merit, it mainly has limitations. Taken to its natural application this means that if anything can be imagined it must exist. Based on the nightmares I had as a three and four year old boy- I really hope this theory isn't true or I'm not going to sleep well tonight! On the other hand, 'beliefs' and 'truth' are sometimes not entirely related. Tertullian once bragged that the main reason he so readily......

Words: 2629 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

The Moral Argument For God's Existence

...The moral argument for God’s existence depends on the belief in an objective, and absolute moral law, which has an absolute mind as its basis. If that is true, and there must be an absolute mind as the basis of moral law, that mind is God. It seems apparent that the moral argument begins and ends with the assumption that everyone must recognize and adhere to a universally accepted moral code, an ideal state of what is right and therefore, also the ability to determine what is wrong. In each instance where there is conflict or an argument between us about what is right and what is wrong, there has to be an attempt to look to a higher source (moral law), that we assume everyone is aware of and is beholden to (Miller, Jones p 287). There is...

Words: 265 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Problem of Evil and God's Existence

...Running Head:PROBLEM OF EVIL Problem of Evil and God's Existence Ammar Ather Roll#:14-10556, Sec:B Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) Problem of Evil and God's Existence The existence of God and questions pertinent to it, has been discussed for centuries predating Biblical documentation and golden Greek philosophical era of Aristotle and Plato. Thus a supernatural identity has always been the centre of attention among people, Empire, states, ever since man has been derived by intuition of knowing certain things. God has been called by people at times of distress and reassurance. The ancient Egyptians and civilizations called gods when shaken by ordeal. Christians remember God as the embodiment of salvation. People offered god with festivals, coronation ceremonies and even blood sacrifices. The identity of God is perceived differently by people of different beliefs, times and areas. The image of God ranges from Pantheism in the Vedic references to strict Monotheism in Islamic scriptures. This idea is imperative for proceeding and constructing research based on pure rational and Philosophical grounds. The objectivity demands reviewing God and existence within the context of a specific frame of thought and then appropriate approach is utilized to construct an argument. Thesis statement:The belief in God is a cardinal question in dealing with the soteriological and moral implication of mankind which is better contemplated by reviewing theodicy...

Words: 1887 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

The Belief in God’s Existence Without Concrete Evidence

...The Belief in God’s Existence without Concrete Evidence 1) If some of our ideas are innate, then they do not require empirical evidence in order to for them to be true. 2) The idea of God’s existence is innate. 3) The idea of God existence does not require empirical evidence in order for us to believe it is true. 4) The idea of God’s existence does require empirical evidence in order for us to believe it is true. 5) Empirical evidence about God would require knowledge dependent on human experience with God (humans have no confirmed experience with God). 6) Therefore, God’s existence does not require empirical evidence for it to be true. The question I will be addressing in this paper will be regarding whether the existence of God can be a true belief without empirical evidence. I will use a deductive argument to prove how the idea of God’s existence can be true without empirical evidence. In addition, I will also refer to “Without Evidence or Argument” by Kelly James Clarks and “Miracles and Testimony” by Simon Blackburn to provide further support of my argument. The first premise of my arguments states that innate ideas do not require empirical evidence. There has been a withstanding debate among psychologists regarding whether human beings are born with innate ideas or whether they develop these ideas through experience. Emotions, such as happiness; excitement; and apprehension, are all instilled within people at birth. No one has to tell......

Words: 1375 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Beyond Proof and Necessity: Logically Establishing God’s Existence

...Establishing God’s Existence Scott F. Davis April 29, 2013 Beyond Proof and Necessity: Logically Establishing God’s Existence Monarchs have claimed divine ascension through Him; centuries of popes have directed pilgrimages and holy crusades according to His divine wishes, and as long as mankind’s time on Earth has been in existence, brother has slayed brother in the name of one singular and all powerful God. To be certain, no telescope ever designed could reach outwards through the universe to see God’s kingdom; no microphone ever produced would be able hear the sound of God, and no camera ever invented possessed the ability to record the likeness of God--yet somehow it became inherently possible that over three billion of the earths’ population today believe in God—whether He be called Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah or the Great I Am. What remains is the time immortal question which mankind has been left to reason: Is it necessary to prove His existence? This paper serves to clearly answer the question, using logic, reason and evidence to support, that it is not necessary to prove the existence of God. Demonstrated within this paper will be the arguments of proof, or the proof of God, that is, an address of the cosmological, ontological and origination by design theories of existence, with centering on the ontological theory. Further contained will be assessments of existence as is inherently essential to evaluate the matter of necessary......

Words: 3104 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay


...b) To what extent was Hume successful in his critique of the cosmological argument? [10]Hume makes some very important challenges to the Cosmological argument which some believe count decisively against it. One of the key areas he calls into question is the argument’s dependence upon what Leibniz termed the principle of sufficient reason. In this principle an adequate explanation must be a total explanation. The universe requires an explanation of itself as a whole. But many would say, as Russell later told Copleston: “Then I can only say that you’re looking for something which can’t be got, and which one ought not to expect to get.” If you have explained each individual element of a series any explanation of the series as a whole would seem to be superfluous, and besides he says that ‘the whole’ doesn’t really exist anyway – it is ‘an arbitrary act of mind’ that makes things into wholes. What we term the ‘whole universe’ in modern physics may be only a bubble in a larger reality that we have no way of grasping. Also if we are only entitled to talk about causes when we have had experience of them, then this argument would seem to be over-stretching itself in speculating upon what it cannot know. On the other hand, there is of course a problem with stopping at a certain point and saying that we should seek no further explanation, in that it is a basic presupposition of all scientific work. However, even though a principle of rationality is that we can find an explanation......

Words: 2857 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Theology Revision

...Theology Revision Plato Plato lived in Athens in the 5th and 4th Centuries BC He was the student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle He was a dualist- believed in the body and the soul He believed the soul was more perfect than the body He believed that societies should be run by philosophers He believed the physical world is a pale imitation of the world of the forms The allegory of the cave The prisoners- normal people of society The prisoner who escapes- philosophers, people that thirst to know the real truth The people casting the shadows- the leaders of society- shaping the world without knowing the truth The shadows/statues- what people believe is reality, what they are told to believe, things people deem to be important The cave- a world without knowledge, the physical world/the body The fire- controlled, dim light- limited knowledge. An imitation of the form of the good The journey outside- a difficult journey, acquisition of knowledge The sun- illuminates the true world- form of the good The journey back into the cave- the desire to educate and inform others of the truth The world of the Forms Forms Plato uses the word ‘form’ to describe the true essence of material objects in the world This idea of the ‘form’ exists in a non physical (yet more real) realm that can only be understood by the mind. This is called the world of the forms Plato believed that the forms were interrelated and hierarchical The highest form The ultimate......

Words: 5746 - Pages: 23

Premium Essay

Philosophy of Religion

...The Cosmological argument argues for the existence of God a posteriori based on the apparent order in the universe. For Aristotle, the existence of the universe needs an explanation, a cause, as it could not have come from nothing. Nothing comes from nothing so since there is something, there must have been some other thing that is its cause. Aristotle rules out an infinite progression of causes, so, that led to the conclusion that there must be a First Cause. Likewise with motion, there must have been a first cause; Aristotle calls this the ‘Prime Mover’. There is a God, says Aristotle -for how else does motion begin? Whilst this argument does generally offer some support for the existence of God, it does not prove his existence. Aquinas believed that, since the universe is God's creation, evidence of God's existence can be found in his creation using intellect and reason, as such a concept of God is beyond all direct human experience. Hence, he devised his 'Five Ways,' 5 a posteriori arguments for the existence of God, based on our empirical experience of the universe. The Cosmological argument rests on the first three of Aquinas' Five Ways. The first way is called the argument from motion or ‘change’. It is in this first way that Aquinas follows Aristotle’s ‘prime mover’ thesis. The first way (The 'Kalam' argument) follows as: • Everything in the world is moving or changing • Nothing can move or change by itself • There cannot be an infinite regress of things changing......

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Cosmological Argument The First Mover

...Cosmological Argument: The First Mover I think that the argument contains a major fallacy. Although I agree by the argument’s conclusion that there is a timeless, eternal, God, I would not use it to argue and prove God’s existence because it contains a non sequitur fallacy. I think premise 2 as presented in Aquinas’ second way (Miller and Jensen 224) contradicts the conclusion. All this boils down to really is the claim that the argument is making that: Everything that exists has a cause (first way – something can’t come from nothing). The universe exists. Therefore, there must be a cause for its existence (second way – could not be the cause of itself). Thus, if the universe has a cause for its existence, then that cause must be caused by...

Words: 348 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Copleston's Argument For The Existence Of God

...The inquiry of the existence of God is a central question in the philosophy of religion. The notion of an omnipotent, all powerful creator is perhaps the most perplexing metaphysical notion. Philosophers have approached addressing God via a priori methods, or by modes independent of experience, or conversely, by a posteriori, or by appealing to experience. This essay will interpret and unpack the central arguments brought forth by Bertrand Russell and Frederick Copleston. “A Debate on the Argument from Contingency” is an a posteriori argument, Copleston’s bases his argument on the assumption that the universe is the sum of contingent objects, and as such, there must be a necessary being which explains its existence. The notion of contingency is essentially contested by Russell, this contention monopolizes the nature of the debate. Russell assumes the position that the notion of contingency is a useless metaphysical notion, and even if it were real, there are restrictions in the realm within which contingency operates. In “A Debate on the Argument from Religious Experience”...

Words: 1195 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Logic Cannot Prove the Existence of God

...are those that would agree with this statement, such as atheists like Hume who would argued that existence can’t be proved using reason as we need both observation and empirical evidence to prove God’s true existence. Others argue that faith doesn’t need logic in order to prove the existence of God, through believing in his existence he exists, alongside knowledge from revelation in the Bible. Kant argues that existence is not a predicate of God, it adds nothing to our knowledge of God, and so we cannot just assume that he exists. It is impossible to compare God to a perfect island, just because he appears to perfect does not mean we can assume he exists; applying logic to a being doesn’t bring it into existence. Others would argue that God’s existence is logically necessary. It could be argued that philosophers like Plato use logic and reason to prove God’s existence for example in the allegory of the cave. Anselm would have disagreed with this statement completely as he clearly thought that God could be proved by logic and reason alone. His ontological argument relies upon using logic as he deducted, he argues that God is, ‘than that which nothing greater can be conceived’ thereby if there is nothing greater than the most Supreme Being conceivable, the most Supreme Being must exist. Thus his entire argument is based upon the foundation of logic in order to prove God’s existence. Similarly Descartes would have also disagreed with this statement as he felt it was as......

Words: 350 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Ontological Argument

...a) Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument for the existence of God (18) The Ontological Argument is an a priori and deductive argument which attempts to prove God’s existence. It is also a reduction ad absurdum argument which shows that the existence of God could not be denied because to do so would involve adopting an illogical argument. It was formed by St. Anselm (1033-1109), but is still a strong argument for the existence of God today. Anselm firstly argues nothing greater than God can be conceived and secondly, it is greater to exist than not to exist. He next explains that if we conceive of God as not existing, then we can conceive of something greater than God. To conceive of God as not existing is not to conceive of God. Anselm states that it is inconceivable that God doesn’t exist and therefore God exists. Anselm thought that not believing in God is ridiculous, claiming it is better to exist in the mind and in reality than to just exist in the mind. Existence is a predicate of perfection. Therefore God must exist in reality. ‘The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’’ (Psalm 14).Anselm stated that even an atheist must have a definition of God because even the suggestion that God does not exist requires the concept of God. It seemed logical to conclude that to argue that there is no God; even the fool must understand the concept of God. Since the greatest thought must have an equivalent reality to be greater than even the least......

Words: 1675 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

“the Ontological Argument Doesn’t Prove Anything” to What Extent Do You Agree? re-inforce faith but not proves God’s existence, this is stated by Anselm as Proslogian is a supplementary prayer book. However the argument itself does border on trying to proves gods existence, this argument is as follows: God is a being that which no greater can be conceived, a being that exists in reality is better than one that just solely exists in the mind, therefore god must exist in reality. Anselm himself argued that even through reason, those without faith could not truly understand god, as Anselm stated that the argument was never meant to for faith upon someone but this argument itself was only for the reassurance of faith, he himself already accepts gods existence. Anselm considered that reason alone can lead to error and therefore has to be supported by faith as it is only through faith that greater understanding can be achieved. if the believer accepts there is god then the ontological argument may be a valid argument that god’s existence is necessary. In the same way a triangle has 3 sides, for a believer that believes they understand the concept of god then for them god exists to quote Anselm: “For I believe this too, that ‘unless I believe I shall not understand’”. Therefore Anselm himself believes that it does not actually prove anything unless you have this preconceived notion about the existence of god, this is also known as faith. Karl Barth supports the idea that the argument in itself was to not prove gods existence but it is a prayer, this is......

Words: 1066 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

19 Century Movements That Shape Juvenile Delinquents

...Descartes Discourse on the Method Based on my reading on the meditation of the first philosophy, Descartes tries to prove the existence of God in the third meditation. To my understanding, he came up with several premises that eventually add up to a solid argument. Descartes ask, himself lots of questions. The first one was does God exist?. In a nut shell, Descartes arrives at another confirmation of God’s existence by way of mathematics. Descartes notes, the certainty with geometers can prove facts, such as the fact that the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees. Therefore, he recognizes that the existence is as much an essential part of proving that there is three triangles and three holy spirit all in one God. Descartes stated that people have difficulty with these proofs, because they rely solely on their senses and imagination. He also states that the existence of God can only be understood by reason and faith. Hence, the surprise for me would be, based on the question of God’s existence: it turned out to be a very debatable and controversial topic. Descartes, touched on many of these doubts regarding the question, most of which, is just as certain as proving a triangle equation. Most of these doubts can be cleared with the acknowledgement of God’s existence. The Bible is a good way to clarify the perceptions of God. Most times, we misunderstand when our reason are not clear and we rely......

Words: 324 - Pages: 2