In my life on this planet I have come to question many things that many take on as blind faith. We all know that someday we will ‘physically’ die, Yet, we continuously deny the forces working inside ourselves which want to search out the true outcome of what may or may not come after death. It’s far easier for humanity to accept that they will go on to a safe haven and be forgiven for all, rather than to question the existence of a super omnipotent being. Fortunately, there are some of us who tend to question the why’s and how’s that come before us. We question the creation of humanity and the religious teachings received from our parents, our church and our society. This paper examines the many rational arguments for and against the existence of God.
It is based on the views of some of the great philosophers and scientists of our world. I will show that there is no sufficient proof or comprehensive arguments for the existence of God. Some people search for eternal peace through the beliefs in God; but this is an impossible belief because of the chances, the plausibility, and because of science. ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS God generally refers to one supreme, holy, personal being,. The divine unity of ultimate good-ness and of ultimate reality.
St. Anselm of Canterbury developed what we have learned to be the ontological argument. He began his argument by saying that even a fool can grasp or understand the concept of “a being than of which nothing greater can be conceived.” He continues to state that a fool would say that the concept of this being’s existence is only in his mind and in the mind of others but not in reality. However he also admits to the possibility of this being existing in reality.
Whatever is understood by the fool is argued that than which nothing is greater can be conceived cannot solely exist in the mind but also in reality, hence, God exists. (Angelfire) This personally sounds like a salesperson’s pitch to confuse and conquer for a sale. Gaunilo felt the same. He frequently debated with St. Anselm on behalf of the fool.
He stated that it was not possible to visualize the concept of this perfect being because one can only imagine an image when one has an idea of what that image is suppose to resemble. There is no idea behind the image therefore the image itself can’t exist. St. Anselm’s argument in my opinion is reduced to just a statement because it really has no foundation.
Kant also agrees with me by stating that the argument is simply based on words and not reality. The ontological argument is impressive to the average mind but to others it’s deception is clear. With words like perfect, necessary and existent that are built into it’s definition, it seems impossible to be argued with. Even if the theist could prove in some miraculous way this perfect being’s existence, he still wouldn’t be able to link that “being” to being God. TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS The argument for God’s existence from design has also stirred controversy among philosophers and society.
It is said that the complex order and design of the universe is obviously the work of an intelligent architect. In Psalm 19 it’s written “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his work “. Theists have used this well known argument(teleological) for thousands of years as strong evidence for the existence of God. William Paley continued the argument of Socrates, Plato, and Aquinas. He said that if one found a watch in a field, one would automatically conclude that it was made by a watchmaker because of its obvious design. The complex design of the world also points to a grand designer.(god) This is interesting but he left out that people will automatically think of a watchmaker when stumbling upon a watch because we know that watches are made by watchmakers.
Aquinas made me question my non-belief with his argument for the existence of God. It is called the posterior approach. He had five ways of proving God’s existence which were; argument from motion, efficient cause, possibility and necessity, the gradation to be found in things and the governance of the world. Of all these, his first I found most stimulating. This argument states that nothing can move without being moved by another or an original mover. He continues by stating, motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality, but, nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality except by something in a state of actuality.
In conclusion, since the relationship between motion and mover can’t go on to infinity, there must have been a first mover for whom is God. Interesting and almost convincing but not true. David Hume introduced the idea that the universe could have happened by chance and not by design. Science has always been a stronger angle to any argument. Given an infinite amount of matter in the universe, it is proven that the probability of the atoms that make up this universe as we know it to be with an infinite amount of time is almost a 100% certain to take place.
Scientists like Darwin claimed that random mutation and natural selection was responsible for the complexities we observed in the animal kingdom. (Wells) It’s also reasonable to imagine the universe to be infinite in space and time with a never ending series or “Big Bangs” which created this present universe. David Hume stated in his “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion” that there is no way to logically link something unknown in the world with something known in the world. This is just common sense to me. At best, the teleological argument can only suggest the possibility of a grand architect and cannot provide evidence that the universe was created.
COSMOLOGICAL ARGUEMENTS Even if the universe is randomly formed and there appears to be no design, the theist still believes there is hope within the cosmological arguments of Plato. His argument is based on the obvious. Every day we observe things moving. Whatever moves is either moved by another or is self moved.
If a thing is self moved it must be eternal. In this argument for there being a first cause, this self mover is God. (cyberpunks) My question is when the wind blows a hat off a person’s head, does that person think God was its cause? No!. Many things move and with modern technology and science there is almost an answer for every movement.
Ignorance to what caused the first movement should not be a reason to praise the unknown and label this first cause as God. Hume brought up a valid argument for this concept. If Plato and his likes can’t conceive the thought that things that movement don’t necessarily have a mover and not all effects have causes, then they should accept that God might have a cause like the universe supposedly has one. Plato said that stopping the regress of causes at God is an arbitrary decision.
Now, I do have a problem with Hume’s arguments too. It is illogical for there to be an infinite regress of causes, but, it is more acceptable than to think that there must be a supreme and very powerful being that made all of this happen without any proof. To go further, for example, in nature, scientists, time after time have tried to predict tornadoes, their next movement and how they will affect the area they hit. Years and years have passed and still they have come to the conclusion that they are unpredictable. Kant said that we can never know everything there is to know about everyday objects we see and touch and We are limited by our senses and our limited intellect. (Dawkins) We as humans don’t know very much about the universe as is, so to think we can make definite predictions about any particular cause and effect based on previous experience is senseless because even that previous experience is vaguely known.
Personally, I would like to believe that there is a God. Unfortunately, it is painfully clear to me that an existence based upon blind faith is no longer an acceptable tradition to follow. Throughout my research, I had hoped to find some form of evidence in order to maintain the path of faith in God instilled in me by my parents and church. Unfortunately, such was not the case. It would have been nice if the teleological, ontological, or cosmological argument could have linked the observed world with a God beyond this world, but they could not. The teleological argument formulated unfounded conclusions from analogies of empirical observation and materialists provided alternatives that are logically valid.
The ontological argument failed because it was only a deceptive play of words that could not extend into reality. The cosmological argument also failed because it never logically reasoned the creation of the universe. There are many great individuals who have spent a vast amount of time in studying the Bible. Great minds like Socrates, Plato, Paley, Aristotle, Augustine, Anselm, Descartes have made arguments for the existence of God. We must realize that individuals like King James are in fact men, not Gods and the Bible is, in actuality, only a book.
To believe the contents of any book completely, in my opinion, is devastating to ones well being, especially those with little to no proof to defend its stories /statements. Hey., like I said, that is my opinion.