The following are the classic arguments put forward for the existence of God:
1) St. Thomas Aquinas
His proofs have easily been the most influential.
(a) The unmoved mover The universe is in motion which is the transition from potentiality to actuality. Everything now in motion was put in motion by a chain of movers and the first unmoved mover that set things in motion is God. Of course this begs the question - What put God in motion? Why could the chain of movers not be endless?
(b) The first cause Similar to the first proof, everything is caused by something else which was caused by something else etc etc. So the first cause must be God. Again this begs the question - What caused God? Why could there not be an endless series of causes?
(c) The necessary being The universe is full of things that exist and but there was a time when nothing existed so a necessary being must have created them and therefore that must be God. Again this begs the question - How did God come into existence if not through another necessary being? Would there not be an endless chain of necessary beings?
(d) God as the source of goodness Aquinas take his cue from the Greek philosopher Plato who posited a theory of "forms" - ideal states out which there are degrees of imperfection which reflect the ideal form. God is the maximum of goodness and everything he supposedly created are degrees of goodness not quite reaching but reflecting the perfection of God. So there must be a source of goodness that created all things. Of course this is immediately refuted when the cruelty of nature and the randomness of suffering that afflicts both good people and evil people is scrutinized. Why does God have to be good and why not evil? Why shouldn't God be amoral? Perhaps it is more likely no God exists and the universe is blindly indifferent to our suffering or our happiness?
(e) Intelligent design The seemingly intelligent order of the universe must have been put in place by an intelligent God. The complexity of the human body and the intelligence of the human being or the existence of the correct conditions on earth for life to exist must mean that they were designed.
Of course modern science has shown that human evolution and the fact that conditions on earth allowed life to form are not in anyway dependent on an intelligent designer. The imperfection of human beings and the earth and the observable destruction of galaxies, stars, planets and species seems to be evidence there isn't an intelligent designer.
2. St. Anselm and the Ontological Argument.
The argument exists in three parts:
(a) God is that which nothing greater can be thought.
(b) That of which nothing greater can be thought exists both in the mind and in reality.
(c) Therefore God exists both in the mind and in reality.
This argument is easily refuted because it means that if you want something to exist all you have to do is just believe it exists and then it does.
3. Historical arguments:
All the major world religions claim that God or supernatural forces intervened in history and the founders of their faiths were either divine or were visited or touched by the divine and what they said and did are a matter of historical record. Of course it is possible that Moses, Jesus and Muhammed were real people and the accounts of the lives in religious writings may have an element of truth.
However Jesus for example is just one more holy heroic figure born of a virgin, who fought the forces of evil and died a heroic death before resurrecting. The lack of empirical proof is obvious and from what we know about humans, some are prone to lying, exaggerating and so on and others are alarmingly credulous. Just because millions of people follow a faith does not mean it is true.
Of course the existence of competing claims and competing faiths means that either one is true or none are.
When one disposes of the supposed "proofs" of God's existence and when one honestly takes on board their full implications the obvious position one must adopt is at the very least skepticism, agnosticism or hard atheism.
Last edited by Hitch 22; 4th September 2012 at 12:43 PM.
Course it does. Ireland has been an astonishingly corrupt society and polity with rampant criminality at the top of society and zero accountability since the 1960s...arguably since the 1930s....in a corrupt system it's the spoofer, the wide boy, the unscrupulous chancer and conman that will thrive. Darwinism is about species evolving to best thrive in their current environment, it makes no claim that the resulting evolution is in any way morally superior. There is no inevitable progression towards "higher" forms of life.
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