The Existence of God: Argument for the Existence of God
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Everyday, people are confronted with problems and difficulties. Some realities, however, are beyond comprehension. Innocent children die because of wars and tragedies. Happy families are torn apart by untoward events. A promising life could be cut short because of accidents or malicious intent of another person. Many people are left in desperation, doubting their very sensibility. There is supposed to be a God out there to take care of humanity. If there really is one, how can all the sufferings and injustices in the world take place?
At this point, proving the existence of God becomes imperative to most people for it is in the nature of human beings to always seek and know the truth. Most especially, a believer should also know the foundations of the faith. Should there be a room for doubt, it is necessary that the proper explanation is given to once again make the person a believer.
History witnessed many events where the individual human being will really be seeking for a God to turn to. To some, they take such misfortunes as a stance against God. However, to the believers, these are the moments that they turn more to their faith. The more that they seek God, to ask for help, to depend on or simply to reaffirm their existence, just like what have been illustrated in the story of Job in the Bible. As such and despite such, God truly exists.
The Existence of God
Many philosophers and theologians have put forth arguments and discussions on the existence of God. Believing in a supreme being seems something that is natural to most everybody. There is this inherent longing in each human being that has to be satisfied, to at least operationally this belief in God. For some, this is just to pose an argument. However, to most people, this is an affirmation of something that is so fundamental and depended on.
There are many ways by which the existence of God has been attempted to be established. Some rely on their personal experience. People attest to how life can be good to them and how the presence of a loving God has kept them happy. This is of course very relative to the individual and can be easily repudiated by another who has a different experience. Thus, this paper shall focus on the philosophical contentions on the existence of God, focusing on the ontological argument, moral argument and first cause argument.
The Ontological Argument
The ontology speaks of the nature of a particular being. It is a branch of metaphysics that provides theories and arguments on the existence of beings. The ontological argument on the existence of God is basically a logical assertion that concludes to the perfect existence of God. This is even regarded as a ‘natural theology’ that expounds on the earlier notions set forth by Descartes.
The most prominent philosopher that best puts forth this argument is St. Anselm. In his work, The Proslogion, he was able to provide in the form of a prayer the perfection of the existence of God and such being cannot possibly not exist. St. Anselm basically argues that there is no urgent need to provide for the physical existence of God, because the mere fact of thinking of God, knowing God and seeking Him, He already exists. There is nothing more that can overpower the God that is all-powerful. There seems to be no reason to claim that God does not exist, therefore God necessarily must exist. God is also all perfect, that to know Him completely is really impossible, because he is ‘that than which no greater can be conceived.’
First Cause Argument
The First Cause in Christianity basically means that God serves as the origin of everything. This contemplates that there must be something that caused everything to exist today. A certain beginning could only trigger the rest of the chain of biological and scientific process that take place today.
No room is left to think of endless infinities in this argument. Science may rely on the ‘big bang’ theory, but it one cannot simply settle that something as big as the universe will come out of nothing. There can only be one beginning that is beyond the continuity of the universe sought to be fathomed by human beings. There must be something grand and magnificent that will cause everything to exist today. The first cause points to God as the ultimate beginning or the cause for any such inception. In the cosmological argument, God has to be eternal and everything that serves as the transcendent and dynamic cause for the existence of the universe. As such, He has to be beyond time and beyond matter.
Another aspect that often figures in most debates is the moral argument. This dwells on the inherent sense of natural justice among people and being able to sense what is right or wrong. Basically, people are not ‘abandoned’ on their own to do whatever they want, whenever the desire arises. If there is no God and no binding obligatory force to encourage particular values and discourage other actions, then everything is allowed.
This moral argument attributes the existence of the whole system of morality to the existence of God. This is the part that has to do with the normative evaluation of things. This is the actual morality that ascribes what ought and ought not to be done, patterned in a society that follows the ultimate paradigms of the law of God. Moral standards operate as commands to individuals where God is deemed to have commanded such rules, with God being the ultimate authority distinguished to human beings and man-made institutions that are susceptible to mistakes. To the point of view of the believer, this will and order of God should be followed and practiced, as this is the best life a human could attain.
Arguments against the Existence of God
At the other side, there are people who refuse to acknowledge this existence of one and supreme God. They regard the world as merely something that is just there and nothing more. The existence of God for them is nothing more than just a basic necessity or something that people have gotten used to and that a critical analysis of logic and science, as claimed, would warrant the abandonment of such belief.
Problem of Evil and the Paradox of Omnipotence
Basically, the non-believers and the skeptics can easily turn their back to the arguments proving the existence of God. All they have to do is reject any of the theses given to them. The ontological argument for one can easily be refuted by the non-believers by interposing the problem of evil as experienced by society throughout history up to the modern times. How can suffering take place in a world when the nature of all things is supposed to share the nature of a perfect God? How can a loving and compassionate God allow His creation to be permeated by evil and afflicted with so much hurt? Such problem of evil has led some people to regard that even if God existed; He is not anymore and will never be beside those who suffer thereby man is left alone in this world.
Philosophers like Sartre and Nietzsche, much known existentialists, have put forward some arguments that illustrate the life where God does not exist. These ideas put human beings in solitude and provided with absolute freedom where the he or she alone will determine what kind of existence this lifetime will provide. Running against the propositions of those who believe in God, this focus on the human being, puts the responsibility of creating the self to the person. There is no need to look for any supreme being to set the standards as it is left in the human beings alone.
The omnipotence paradox is also a common philosophical argument against the existence of God. This rejects the notion that God is ever-present and powerful as the Supreme Being. The realities of the world like the capability of man to do evil, the suffering of the people even the believers and even the freedom to turn back against God are all contrary to the assertion.
Other arguments have focused on how people depended too much on their faith that it has rendered them weak and incapable of becoming the superior beings deserving of the power and blessings in this world. This has been espoused often by the existentialists who do not believe in a God and who would rather have people to always focus on the self as a superior and not to another that is beyond comprehension. It has been regarded as a mere recourse when things become incomprehensible rather than take things under control.
These counterarguments are all heading to establish an anti-theistic stance. They are all vent into ignoring the very premises that point to the existence of God and the dynamic order of things. Basically, the believer must know the doctrine of the faith and must go beyond a simplistic view of the existence of God to stand strong against these anti-theistic arguments.
Going back to the problem of evil and setting this against the claim of an omnipotent and compassionate God, a simplistic evaluation will necessarily equate to a doubtful stance. However, this is only if one will stay on a very human and earthly evaluation of things. These fail to take into account that the omnipotence of God entails different degrees of power, even the kind that is beyond comprehension of people. Suffering individuals may not be able to ‘see’ the existence of God as human attributes cannot be imposed in Him to satisfy the physical senses of those who doubt. Furthermore, these arguments also ignore the doctrine that human beings are given free will and this is a consequence of the power of an omnipotent God who can choose not to practice such power if willed. As part of this gift of free will to human beings, God does not decide for people. God does not make automatons out of the creation.
As regards the claim that this is faith in God is a mere refuge for the weak, there is more to be known about the Christian faith before labeling it as a refuge for the weak. Not all teachings and doctrines of the faith are pertaining to good things that lead people to escape of reality. In all actuality, the Christian teachings even abound in stories of suffering and instructions to be strong and courageous amidst the challenges. Furthermore, an individual may have been born in a community of believers. The choice to turn back on such realities is there, yet the individual remains in the faith. This could be attributed to the fact that there is a good, reason and meaning found in the belief system that makes a rational being stay and keep faithful. Such choices are not to be taken against a person who has the inherent right to self-determination.
Undeniably, God exists. The existence of God will always be strong and felt for those who have the openness to recognize Him and His divine creations and interventions. The existence of God is matter that cannot be left to the physical sciences to prove and discover. It is not something that can be concretized and experimented on. The number of arguments raised in this paper is to support of the existence of God through the experiences of those who believe and logical analysis of those who remain humble to the command of the divine being. The arguments illustrate how people came up with different rationalizations of this matter about faith. Given these considerations and arguments, it is more probable that God really exists compared to the odds of the negative.
The only problem with the non-believers is that despite the fact that sound reasoning and logical arguments have already been put forth before them, they will always reject the ultimate conclusion. There will always be people who will refuse something cannot fathom even if it is great. At most, this non-belief of other people should not be taken as the crux of the problem. On the other hand, the counterarguments against the existence of God can be taken as challenges to refine even more the structure of the arguments favoring the existence of God. Ideas must be evaluated and reaffirmed so that they will give more leverage on the probability of existence of God. Knowing the teachings and doctrines of the faith regarding the existence of God is a matter of utmost importance. It is not merely instrumental in convincing the people who do not believe in the existence of God. This is also a matter of making the believer know the foundations of his or her belief system and grow more in Christian faith.
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