Does God Exist?  Several Arguments For


JMJ

Argument from Desire

We have a desire for some things in this world. We desire something that can satisfy that desire. We desire for perfect truth, life, and love; truth without error, life without death, and love without hatred. Yet, we do not find these things since we find imperfect truth, life, and love in the world. Therefore there has to be Perfect Truth, Life, and Love, which is transcendent. Perfect Truth, Life, and Love is what we call God. Though it is distinct, it has one nature, and it is good. And to be satisfied by Him is what we desire.

Argument from Morality

We all make judgments such as right and wrong. We condemn evil and praise good. However, we could not condemn such an act as evil unless there is an objective standard which everyone follows. [1] A moral law presupposes a moral Lawgiver just as a constitution presupposes Constitutors. This Moral Lawgiver is what we call God.

Thomistic Approaches

Argument from Change: Approach 1

Experience shows that things in the world are changing. Every changing thing is composed of act and potency. For example, wood is actually wood and it has the potentiality to be hot. However, nothing can actualize itself. Fire is needed, for example, to give actuality to wood in becoming hot. Therefore one thing is actualized by another.

Looking at the big picture, we see the whole universe changing. Since the universe consists of matter, space, and time, and they all depend on each other, then there must be some kind of being outside matter, space, and time that is the source of change. If this source of change, which we will call a mover, changes, then it needs another mover. However, there cannot be an infinite number of movers since there is no such thing as an actual infinite. [2] Therefore there must be an Unmoved Mover, an unchanged Source of change. This is what we call God.

Argument from Change: Approach 2

Another approach to this is that in this world, changing being exists. Changing beings consists of act and potency. However, only something that is without potentiality can actualize being because in order for something to have an actual potentiality, it must be actualized by an act. Therefore there must be Pure Act that is outside the universe (since the universe is changing) that is simple and eternal in act. This is what we call God.

Argument from Participation

The third Thomistic approach is that whatever belongs to a thing is caused either by its own nature or by something extrinsic to it. But whatever is participated is caused. For example, a triangle does not need a reason for its three-sidedness because only a triangle has three sides. However, a red triangle ought to have a reason for its redness since there are other shapes that are red. In this way, we can say that anything participated is caused.

We participate in truth, life, and love. However, truth is mingled with error, life with death, and love with hatred. Since there are gradations of participating in these, it shows that it is not in our nature to possess them by ourselves and essentially.

What also belongs to being is existence. Yet, existence is participated. This shows that beings don’t possess in their own essence existence. Therefore anything that exists and possesses truth, life, and love is caused by something which its own essence is existence, Pure Truth, Pure Life, and Pure Love. This is what we call God.

Argument from Design

This is the most popular argument today. Science has supported this view. For example, scientists have discovered that DNA contains what they call information. Information in DNA shows that there is intelligence behind it. Another example is a structure of a wing. When we see an airplane, we see that its structure is designed. We can also point out that a structure of a bird’s wing is designed as well. One might say that evolution is the cause. However, what is the probability that evolution would occur? The fact is that evolution is highly improbable. In other words, it would’ve been a miracle for evolution to occur. J.B.S Haldane says:

"We must give up the idea that an organism could have been produced in the past, except by a similar pre-existing organism or by an agent, natural or supernatural, at least as intelligent as ourselves, and with a good deal more knowledge." (The Origins of Prebiological Systems and Their Molecular Matrices, ed. S.W. Fox, 1965, page 12)

This Intelligent Designer is what we call God.

Argument from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Many scholars such as F.F. Bruce, W.F. Albright, Craig Blomberg, and Norman Geisler have shown that the New Testament is a reliable historical data. Simon Greenleaf, who wrote a treatise on evidence in a court of law, also concluded that the New Testament is reliable. From the Bible (taken as reliable historical data), we see that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead. We see that Jesus actually died. Then we see on the third day, there was an empty tomb. We also see Jesus appearing to the witnesses (1 Cor 15:1ff; Acts 1:3; 2 Peter 1:16). Historical data shows that Jesus Christ resurrected. This shows that a miracle has happened, which requires a divine intervention. Therefore God exists.

See also Evidence for the Resurrection from Kreeft/Tacelli

Argument from Hope

This was my very first argument. Any person can see the evil and suffering of man. Even atheists would say that this is what the world should not be or not the way it was planned. For example, if one goes to a third world country and sees the sufferings of men, one would feel sorry for them. However, we have hope. We have hope that goodness can come out from evil. This implies that there is a Being who can actually bring good from evil (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). This Being is what we call God.

NOTES:

[1] There are many websites online in which moral relativism is refuted. For a good book, I recommend A Refutation of Moral Relativism by Peter Kreeft (Ignatius Press, 1999).

[2] To show that an actual infinite is impossible, David Hilbert, who has been quoted by Dr. William Lane Craig many times, has said,

"The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought.... The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea...." ( "On the Infinite," in Philosophy of Mathematics, ed. Paul Benacerraf and Hilary Putnam [Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1964], page 151)

Dr. Phil Fernandez also said in his debate against atheist philosopher Michael Martin,

"It should also be noted that if it is possible for an actual infinite set to exist outside of a mind, contradictions and absurdities would be generated. To illustrate this point, let us look at two infinite sets. Set A consists of all numbers, both odd and even. Set B contains only all the odd numbers. Set A and Set B are equal since they both have an infinite number of members. Still, Set A has twice the number of members as Set B since Set A contains both odd and even numbers, while Set B contains only odd numbers. It is a clear contradiction to say that Set A and Set B have an equal amount of members, while Set A has twice as many members as Set B. Therefore, actual infinite sets cannot exist outside the mind. Actual sets existing outside the mind can only be potentially infinite, not actually infinite. These sets can be added to indefinitely; still we will never reach an actual infinite by successive addition. Therefore, the universe cannot have an infinite number of events in the past. The universe had a beginning."

see http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/fernandes-martin/fernandes1.html 

Also, an infinite regress is like having an opinion on an opinion on an opinion, etc in which there is no reality or fact to opine.

By A.L.

AVBCL111@aol.com


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