For a long period, Christians and atheists continue to maintain conflicting perceptive about the existence of God. Consequently, this issue triggers unending debates. The argument about the existence of God does not simply entail sensory proof. This is because universal perception is a determinant of what will be accepted as proof in the first place. In order to be certain in either side of argument, there is need for evidence. Theorists provide conflicting perspectives in support of atheism and existence of God. Christians derive their source of proof from biblical writings. However, these sources receive disqualification from atheists as mere theoretical opinions centered on unfounded arguments. From a different perceptive, atheists draw their evidence on theoretical underpinning and scientific proof. Because of the unending disagreements, the issue of God existence remains controversial in the modern society. This study looks at this argument from various perspectives in an effort to come up with a conclusion that disapproves or supports the underlying hypothesis about the existence of God.
Is proof for the existence of God necessary?
Several studies provide sufficient evidence to prove that God exists. Supporters of this perception argue that it is impossible to provide sufficient evidence to prove that God does not exist. However, existence of God is a manner of faith, which cannot be proven. From their supporting perspective, faith is a strong element in understanding existence of God. It involves being able to believe and see things that are not proven, as manifested in Hebrews and apostles (Brams, 2012).
In order to prove that something exists, Brams (2012) insists that demonstration is essential. However, this remains impossible in case of God because ascertaining what exists and what does not exist remains difficult. Therefore, it is not possible to demonstrate God’s existence. Another way of demonstrating the existence of God is by watching what He does. In His assumed nature, it remains impossible to justify that God is capable of developing finite objects because he remains infinite. However, Christians intervene in their argument that while He is infinite, God brings finite things to existence. Since it is not provable that finite nature is an outcome of efforts made by “infinite God,” it remains difficult to prove the existence of God.
In rebuttal against the perception that there is no proof for existence of God, apostle in Roman 1: 20 presents a different explanation. The bible clearly says, “the invisible nature of God is seen through His work”. However, this would be impossible unless it was possible to demonstrate God’s existence by specifically highlighting his works. The first step in understanding anything is to prove its existence. Indeed, apostles maintain that it is possible to prove God’s existence. However, this evidence is provided by reasons that are not clear and justifiable but rather from the assumed finite work of God. Therefore, due to lack of tangible evidence, the faith is used to emphasize on God’s existence.
Faith, according to Morse (2011) assumes the natural knowledge. Nothing stops something that can be demonstrated from being accepted as an item of faith. Because the cause is proven from the effect, the “effect” should replace “cause” in the process of signifying that this “cause” exists. This is because the issue of “what it is” comes secondly after explaining the question of “whether it exists at all”.
The apostles, from this argument, explain that God’s characters are based on his work. However, this perception receives strong objection from opponents that argue that, in His infinite form, it is unverifiable that God is responsible for finite happenings (Holley, 2011). Therefore, whether God’s existence can be proven depends on His work. From a contrary perspective, it is hard to ascertain that humans perfectly know God after examining His activities.
Which argument for the existence of God is strongest? Why?
Cosmological argument provides the strongest argument about the existence of God. The argument maintains that irrespective of the characterization made by human beings, something referred as the universe exists. This universe did not emerge alone. Therefore, there must be a force that triggered this occurrence (Kurt, 2012). According to common knowledge, it is apparent that everything across the world goes through constant changes. Therefore, each movement takes place after application of force. Moreover, every object changes in compliance with something that is in existence. Change simply occurs after transforming something from potential state to the actual state. It is impossible to transform something from potential existence to actual existence except in an instance whereby an external force exists. When heat comes in action, it results in change from fire-wood (which exists in potential state) to a flame. Hence, it is impractical for an object to be the “moved” and “mover” at the same time. In order for something to move, there must be another force coming from somewhere else (Kurt, 2010). In event whereby the mover is also the mover, there must be some other infinite force responsible for this action. However, this practice cannot proceed to infinity because first “mover” will not be present. Hence, the next step should involve retracing some first “mover” that may not be moved by anything. The unmoved “first” mover is what qualifies to be God.
Can one be moral and not believe in God?
Indeed, one can be moral and not believe in God. The argument in support of this perception comes from several theorists. For instance, John Frame revisits the argument by Dostoyevsky’s Ivan Karamazov that maintains that everything is allowed. From this perspective, John explains that the perception of moral and immoral lose their force after people stop recognizing God. The societal course teaches humanity that God is right. However, over the past few decades, the society has transformed to secular approaches that show dissatisfaction with Gods teaching. In the education sector, societies continue to ban religious education. The outcome is a decline in societal moral nature. This is not a mere coincidence but a true portrayal of the relationship between God and morality (Fremstedal, 2013).
Moreover, explanation that moral values require divine intervention from God does not indicate that agnostics and atheists fail to identify and respect ethical standards. The bible proves that these nonbelievers recognize the importance of moral values. However, atheists hardly provide sufficient explanation for leaning towards absolute ethical standards. Therefore, why connect morality with God? First, proclaiming God’s existence is a way of explaining that creation and control of the world traces back to the effort of an individual. However, this individual is different from humanity because His actions, thinking, love and judgment affects the entire universe. Denying the existence of God is similar to insisting that the world traces its origin to some unexplained forces such as time, motion, and chance. These impersonal forces and objects are insufficient to validate the moral responsibilities.
Paul Kurtz provides an argument to prove that one can be moral and not believe in God. Kurtz explains that an individual is capable of leading a meaningful and morally upright life without having to have a religious affiliation. Several religious disciplines emphasize that any individual that fails to follow the biblical teaching is immoral. However, in America, a significantly large percentage of the population is unreligious, agnostic, atheists. These individuals continue to uphold moral principles that promote peaceful coexistence in America. In this country, several citizens, heroes, and heroes such as Tom Paine, Mark Twain, Robert Ingersoll, Clarence Darrow, and Margret Sanger have rejected biblical teachings but have left a positive reputation in history. Moreover, the humanistic ethics traces their origin to Western Civilization of nations such as Rome and Greece.
The philosophy history demonstrates the effort of great thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Aristotle, Sidney Hook, and John Dewey. These philosophers were responsible for developing underlying foundations for moral standards. These philosophers strongly underlined the importance of self-control and restraint in a person’s aspirations. In his argument, Plato underlines “three horses” of reason, ambition, and passion that guide the soul chariot. This theorist argued that when an individual is guided by wisdom, there is a high likelihood of leading towards a successful life balance and self-restraint. Wisdom also promotes the existence of a society that upholds moral behavioral conducts. A good life is attainable by human beings without the divinity precondition. From this perception, arguing that one cannot be moral without believing in God is a wrong assumption (Wee, 2012).
Are science and religion in conflict?
In order to address this issue, it is important to uncover different arguments maintained by scientists and religious adherents. Human beings have a trend of seeking the truth. They are always searching the meaning behind the world and its existence. However, knowing the truth is a way of compromising the natural world. Religion and science are not as separate as explained because the two address the issue of human search for truth. Because of the coexistence of various truths globally, the same occurs for religion and science.
At first glimpse, it is easy to imagine that there is a contradiction between religion and science. For example, science incorporates scientific theoretical underpinnings such as the big bang. On the other side, religion provides different explanations. Supporting the association, Manger (2005) argues that while science explains events occurring in the universe. Religion uses this knowledge as a foundation for exploring further while making attempts of explaining the significance and use of the natural world. Religion proceeds with explanation of significance and function of the natural world. Answers to life-related questions can only be provided by not only religion but also by science. These two perspectives address various questions such as “why,” “how,” “where,” “when” and “who.” Not all these questions can be simultaneously addressed by either religion or science alone.
In rebuttal, evidence from archaeological studies show that there is a disconnection between religion and science. These arguments are founded on anthropology, biology, multidisciplinary, archeological scientific arguments. The already gathered findings from these studies prove beyond reasonable doubts that God does not exist and Jesus never lived on earth. Writing of the bible traces back to thousand years ago through the effort of several men. This bible consisted of a collection of sayings, stories, papers, and poems constituted by creative individuals. However, science stands alone, presenting facts and findings that are tangible. From this understanding, it is apparent that there is a conflict between science and religion.
Can God’s omniscience and human free will be reconciled?
Interplay between human free will and God’s omniscience has existed for several years. This interplay remains unclear for philosophers and theologians. For instance, Swedenborgians argue that Gods omnipresence and human freewill are operable in the spiritual growth process. For individual that maintain a philosophical preference, the apparent clash between God’s omniscience and human free is addressed using an approach explained by Manger (2005). According to Manger (2005), the human free will operate in a time span of past, current and future. On the other side, God exists in outside space and time. God exists in the present and is clearly aware of everything that includes humans such as their future decisions.
Is there a rational argument for atheism?
According to the argument developed by atheist, there is no God. However, the teaching from Christianity strongly conflicts with atheism. The two arguments cannot be simultaneously true. While one is truthful, another one is fictitious. Atheists maintain that the idea of God exists in mind of every human being regardless of their beliefs. In order to justify that God exists, there is need for sufficient justification (Brams, 2011). Existence of God is mere explanation that lacks tangible perception. Human mind is limited by finite insight. It is impossible for a mentally imperfect individual to produce a psychologically perfect effect. Therefore, a perfect mind inspires the world, from which perfection idea is founded.
In rebuttal, it is important to underline that although these arguments entail some logical interest, they provide inadequate basis to convince an individual to be atheist or God follower. Indeed, some supporting argument about God may be mere paralogisms. Although arguments about God seek to support the perception that God is rational, more convincing is required to convince nonbelievers. Moreover, there is need for more than philosophical rationality in order to differentiate atheists from believers.
Brams, S. (2012). Is It Rational to Believe in God? Decision Theoretic and Game-Theoretic Perspective Homo Oeconomicus 29 (1): 57-71.
Wee, C. (2012). Descartes's Ontological Proof of God's Existence. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (1): 23-40.
Fremstedal, R. (2013). The Moral Argument for the Existence of God and Immortality The Moral Argument for the Existence of God and Immortality: Kierkegaard and Kant. Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (1): 50-78.
Holley, D. (2011). How Can A Believer Doubt That God Exists? Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245): 746-761.
Kurt M. (2010). Philosophy: A Concise Introduction. Bridgepoint Education.
Manger, W. (2005). Does God Exists? Journal of Religion & Psychical Research 28 (4): 183-184.
Morse, D. (2011). Exist? Journal of Spirituality & Paranormal Studies 34 (1): 1-2.