22 October 2015

Hard Questions—God’s Existence

What key arguments are there for (and against) God's existence?


A1 Definitions

B1 God

C1 Standard--the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe (god. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved October 21, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/god)

C2 The one being who is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, personal, eternal, independent, sovereign over the universe and beyond. His name is best known as Yahweh and has all the character traits revealed in the Bible.

B2 Exist

C1 Standard--To be as a fact and not as a mode; to have an actual or real being, whether material or spiritual. 1913 Webster

C2 To be reality.

B3 Faith

C1 Standard--The standard definition of faith seems to be centered on believing something of which there is no proof to the senses. It would be a believe without the senses or natural law indicating reality.

C2 It is believing something or someone based on their character or actions. Sometimes it is a wanting to believe something to be true.

C3 The Bible has faith to be a reasonable belief. There is a reason based on past events, past actions, past experiences that confer that the present situation or statement is reasonably true.

C4 The Greek word for faith is πίστις pistis. It means "persuasion, confidence." It includes the idea of some type of proof. It is not blind faith. Faith is not the idea of someone coming and delivering a persuasive speech and people believe it. That type is believing a good sales pitch. When Abraham believed God, he had dealings with God that had come true previously, so based on Abraham's past dealings with God which proved true, he believes the present situation to be true also. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (Romans 4:3, EMTV). This is a quote from Genesis 15:6.

D1 Abraham had a vision Genesis 15:1. He had enough dealings with God to recognize who this was.

D2 With God in the situation of rescuing Lot.

D3 With God in the land of Egypt.

D4 With God traveling from his home land to the promised land.

A2 Notes

B1 God--main arguments for and against

C1 General rules/questions

D1 What is acceptable as evidence?

D2 Does personal experience evidence?

D3 Is natural law only acceptable?

D4 Is there supernaturalism?

C2 Against

D1 Natural law shows that there is no "god."

D2 The problem of pain.

E1 If God is good and all powerful, He would not have allowed pain. Pain exists, therefore God is not good and all powerful. Since the definition of God includes the idea of good and all powerful, God does not exist.

E2 In better form it would be

F1 God is good.

F2 God is all powerful

F3 A good and all powerful God would not allow evil, pain, and suffering.

F4 Evil, pain, and suffering exist.

F5 Therefore God does not exist.

E3 Weakness

F1 What are the definitions of good, pain, evil, and suffering?

F2 Is there any examples of pain, evil, and suffering that is beneficial?

F3 What standard does one use to determine what pain, evil, and suffering are?

F4 Is there any alternative explanation?

G1 God is good.

G2 God is all powerful.

G3 God created everything good, that is, without evil, pain, and suffering.

G4 God allowed a measured, libertarian free will for man to obey or not obey. He did this so that people would be a volunteer, not a robot to love and serve God. Love involves a choice to express this. A forced and merely mechanical "love" would be false. No human today likes that either.

G5 Adam chose to not obey and not love God.

G6 God punished all (as He said He would) with pain and suffering.

G7 God is both law giver and judge.

G8 God is justified.

D3 The problem of evil.

E1 There is a being that is "good" and knows how to, wants to, and is able to prevent suffering, evil, and pain.

E2 Suffering, evil, and pain are experience by all.

E3 So there is no god.

E4 Weakness: as above in the problem of pain.

E5 William Lane Craig:

I think that evil, paradoxically, actually proves the existence of God. My argument would go like this: If God does not exist then objective moral values do not exist. (2) Evil exists, (3) therefore objective moral values exist, that is to say, some things are really evil. Therefore, God exists. Thus, although evil and suffering at one level seem to call into question God's existence, on a deeper more fundamental level, they actually prove God's existence (n.d.). Referenced from here.

D4 The big stone.

E1 God is defined as being omnipotent.

E2 Can he create a stone that he cannot lift?

E3 There is no god.

E4 Weakness: a and not a cannot exist at the same time. It is not consistent with His character. God cannot do some things as lie. Titus 1:2.

D5 Probably the main argument for atheism relies on the evidence. The only evidence accepted by atheists is natural evidence and natural law. There is no supernatural. They merely refuse any supernatural.

D6 Resources

E1 The Problem of Evil

E2 William Lane Craig

E3 This article deals with the resurrection being a true, historical event. It does so much deal with the existence of God but shows the Bible is true historically.

C3 For

D1 Cosmological Argument

E1 The universe cannot exist on its own. It needs a cause or something to bring it into existence.

E2 The first cause is God.

E3 A type of argument for the existence of God, arguing that since everything and event has a cause, there must be an uncaused first cause. Wiktionary

E4 Weakness: who caused God?

D2 Teleological Argument

E1 There is order in the universe. This implies someone to have put order into what exists. This someone is God.

E2 A type of argument for the existence of God, that orderliness of nature is evidence of design, therefore also of a designer. Wiktionary

E3 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:4, EMTV)

E4 Weakness: order exists but may have happened by random occurrence.

D3 Ontological Argument

E1 "God exists, provided that it is logically possible for him to exist."

E2 The highest possible, logical infinite being thought of. Compare

E3 A type of argument which maintains that the existence of God can be deduced from an analysis of the concept of God. Wiktionary

E4 An a priori argument for the existence of God that asserts that existence is a perfection and that God is the most perfect being, and therefore that God must exist. Wordsymth

E5 Consider this video The Information Enigma. This is from the Discovery Institute and deals with Intelligent Design. Yet, it is reasonable to conclude that the source of information would come from the greatest possible source--God. In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3, EMTV)

E6 Weakness in that to an atheist, the highest possible presently existing being is humans.

D4 Moral Law Argument

E1 Morality is observed.

E2 Belief in God is the best explanation for this common morality.

E3 Weakness: all humans are related, and it might just be a genetic expression.

D5 Physicotheology

E1 God exists as illustrated by physics and nature philosophy.

E2 The view that evidence and sound arguments
for God's existence can be derived from a study of the natural world; a study of the natural world intended to provide such evidence. Wiktionary

E3 Weakness: design is in the process of evolution and is not to be inferred that there is a designer. It appears to be designed but is not.

D6 Jesus exists argument

E1 Lived in the first century.

E2 Seen by many.

E3 Supernatural occurrences witnessed by many.

E4 Claimed to be God.

E5 The books of His life (the Gospels in the Bible) are reliable and were written in the first century.

E6 Weakness: The "witnesses" may have been collaborating in a lie. Jesus does not live on earth now to observe what He does.

D7 Evidence model

E1 This has lately been best developed by J. Warner Wallace.

E2 It revolves around the principles of detectives researching a cold case.

D8 Some sources of interest

E1 A YouTube list of animated explanations of God's existence by William Lane Craig.

E2 Many links to the topic Is the Bible Reliable?

B2 Exist

C1 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for it is necessary for the one approaching God to believe that He is, and that He becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6, EMTV)

C2 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Romans 1:19, EMTV)

A3 Questions

B1 What is reasonable?

B2 Are we able to believe reasonable evidence?

B3 Why do people not believe?

B4 Why do people believe?

B5 Why do people believe the Bible to be only the work of humans?

B6 Why are witnesses' testimony discounted?

B7 What is the best line of evidence?

B8 Even though all "proofs" of God's existence have weaknesses, what one strikes you are most reasonable?

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