Apologetics Lecture 6 Arguments for the Existence of God

Arguments for the Existence of God

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/09/09/young-christians-are-leaving-church-here-s-why.html

The proofs for God’s existence are naturally limited and cannot offer absolutely certain arguments.

.

https://www.amazon.com/Two-Dozen-Arguments-God-Plantinga/dp/0190842229

.

Ontological Argument

This one is very difficult. William Lane Craig has championed it in recent years.

.

First developed by Anselm (1033-1109). The ontological argument moves from the conception of God to the existence of God. The best ontological argument is insufficient by itself and must be supported by other proofs for God’s existence.

.

2 forms

1.Perfect Being: From the idea of a Perfect Being to existence of a Perfect Being.
2.Necessary Being: From the idea of a Necessary Being to the existence of a Necessary Being.

.

Perfect Being

1. God is by definition an absolutely perfect being.

2. But existence is part of perfection.

3. Therefore, God must exist.

.

Lacking existence means you’re not perfect.

.

Invalid: One must prove that existence is part of perfection. Existence adds nothing to the concept of something, but it just gives concreteness to it.

.

In my mind conceivably, it can have the exact same properties as the one in my wallet.

.

.

Best formulation

1.It is possible that a being with omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection exists in some possible world.[1]
2.There is a possible world in which a being with omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection exists, and, therefore, by definition, must exist in every possible world (“maximal greatness”), including the actual world.
3.Therefore God exists.

.

Since some might attempt to refute the argument through asserting that no one has any way of knowing a priori whether a maximally great being exists, we can come to believe through a posteriori considerations, namely other theistic arguments.

.

 Atheists must maintain that it is impossible for God to exist.
 But it is possible that God exists.
 Therefore, atheists are wrong. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rlxuHK49KY ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQPRqHZRP68

-the only way to debunk the argument is to prove that it is impossible for a maximally great being to exist.

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/misunderstanding-the-ontological-argument/

.

.

Cosmological Argument

Cosmological arguments for the existence of God conclude that God exists as the cause of the universe. There is a universe, not “nothing at all.” Every finite thing is caused by something other than itself.

.

Two types of cosmological arguments will be discussed: the horizontal and the vertical cosmological arguments.

.

The horizontal, kalam[2] cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God that concludes that something caused the world to come into being and that God is that First Cause of the universe, which began to exist a finite time ago (Gen. 1:1).

.

1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2.The universe began to exist.
3.Therefore, the universe has a First Cause.

.

The properties required to be the First Cause of the universe are uniquely ascribed to the greatest conceivable being, called “God.” God alone is intelligent and powerful enough to create the universe. Therefore, the universe began to exist and is not infinite.

.

However, some atheists argue that the universe itself is infinite. That is mathematically and philosophically impossible.

.

1.Temporal series of events are formed by the addition of successive events.
a.Fact: series of events progress by adding events to other events.
b.E.g., the event of “a plane starting, flying, and landing” happens by adding events together.
2.A series formed by addition cannot be actually infinite.
c.No series of events formed by addition can progress back into infinity.
3.Therefore a temporal series cannot be actually infinite, but must have a beginning.
4.The universe has progressed through a series of events.
5.Therefore, the universe began to exist.

.

This excellent video explains this mathematically.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_q802eboxA

.

The vertical cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God that is based on the fact that something continues to hold the universe together (Col. 1:17).

.

1.Every component of the universe depends on something for its existence.
a.E.g., Your brain depends on your lungs, which depends on your blood, which depends on what you eat and what you breathe, which depends on…
2.Every characteristic of a component characterizes the sum of the components (the whole).
b.Your cells contribute to the makeup of your body.
c.Everything we know depends on something else to exist, including sun, moon, and stars.
3.Therefore, the whole universe must also depend on something for its existence.
4.Therefore, the whole universe depends on an independent, transcendent Being for its present existence.

.

Teleological Argument

The teleological argument for the existence of God moves from design to a Designer. There are many forms, but the famous one is William Paley’s watchmaker analogy.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/paleys-argument-from-design-did-hume-refute-it-and-is-it-an-argument-from-analogy/

.

1.Every watch has a maker.
2.The universe is exceedingly more complex than a watch.
3.Therefore, there must be a maker of the universe.

.

We know this from the previous experience. The more complex, the greater the intelligence required.

.

However, this argument can, at best, only yield the highest cause of design (a very great Designer), not necessarily a First Cause. This fact is insufficient for religious devotion. But combined with the cosmological argument, it demonstrates the intelligence and power of the Creator.

.

1.All design requires a designer.
2.Great design requires a great designer.
3.There is great design in the world.
4.Therefore, the world requires a great designer.

.

[3]A more specific version is as follows:

.

1.Living cells and written language are both characterized by their specified complexity, demonstrated:
a.Some are specified but not complex (crystals, repetition of a single word).
i.This is a specific instance of something, but it is not complex at all.
b.Some are complex but not specified (random polymers, series of random letters).
ii.Randomly putting together letters is not specific, but random. However, this is complex in the sense that there are different entities.
c.Some are both specified and complex (living cells, sentence).
iii.A living cell is made up of different entities, but these entities are not randomly put together. They are put together to form something that works together.
2.Only intelligence possesses the capacity of producing specified complexity.
d.Intelligence is required in order to be able to put together different entities (specified) into an exact order (complexity).
3.Therefore, living organisms were produced by intelligence.

.

However, the teleological argument, though highly probable and valuable, does not offer an absolutely certain argument for a Designer.

.

1.The teleological argument is based on human experience.
2.Experience is unable to produce the idea of a necessary Being. God is either considered a higher being of a chain of beings (e.g., higher than the chain of amoebas to humans) or separate from this chain of beings (i.e., totally unique/holy).
a.If God is considered merely a higher being of a chain of beings (e.g., humans), then a higher being than God is possible and God is not necessary.
b.But if God is considered separate from this chain of beings, then his existence is not based on experience, for no known, physical being is separate from this chain of beings.
3.Therefore, importation of a necessarily invalid ontological argument is required for the argument to remain valid. But this is self-refuting.
4.Therefore, a necessary Being cannot be proved from design in the world.

.

Paley’s watchmaker

.

1.Every watch has a maker.
2.The universe is exceedingly more complex than a watch.
3.Therefore, there must be a maker of the universe.

.

.

Paley’s reasoning was shopping for the best explanation, not reasoning from comparison. That’s important. Paley isn’t reasoning by comparison.

.

Paley never likened the universe to a watch. He was already familiar with Hume’s argument against arguing by comparison. Paley is reasoning that biological contrivances are actually the same as a watch in certain respects, [quoting Paley] “such as relation to an end, relation of parts to one another, and to a common purpose.”

.

These things are the same as in the watch or in biology; therefore, it is not an argument from a “point of comparison.” These are the same; therefore, our experience overwhelmingly points to the conclusion that since the watch is designed, since nothing in our experience or observation tells us that such things are not designed, the universe is designed. It’s an almost certain argument, almost. But to conclude otherwise, you would have to have sufficient arguments against such a proposition, since we’re shopping for a worldview, that would lead you against our observation and experience … something other than “We have no way of knowing.” That’s not shopping for the best worldview; that’s denying observation/experience and failing to reason to the best explanation.

.

What is the best explanation of the biological/fine-tuning complexity found in the universe? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yto4jXOOen8

.

.

.

Whether it’s “relation to an end, relation of parts to one another, and to a common purpose” in a watch or the eye, its design. Every manifestation of design that exists in the watch also exists in the universe…and really, more…the intricacies of the universe are far more complex than a watch. Even a piece of artwork you would conclude is designed, yet it is far less complex than even the simpliest one-celled organism.

.

These kind of inferences are universal in your experience. You never think that the artwork is a product of chance or natural causes. It is the same inference to the best explanation in nature, namely, a one-celled organism…that it is not a product of chance or natural causes, but one of design. Again to deny it and to claim you are shopping for the best worldview, you must have better argumentation against such a proposition, since all of our experience argues in favor of it.

.

.

The Anthropological and Moral Argument

.

.

The anthropological argument is an argument for the existence of a personal God from the personal nature of human beings.

.

1.Humans are personal beings, equipped with consciousness, conscience, rationality, love, morality, and meaning.
2.Something that’s compatible with these attributes equipped humans with these attributes.
3.Only God is compatible with these attributes.
4.Therefore God exists.

.

Only a greater person can create someone with personal attributes like this.

.

The moral argument for God’s existence is that without God, objective moral values do not exist.

.

1.If objective moral values do not exist, then God does not exist.
2.But objective moral values exist.
3.Therefore God exists.

.

If there is no absolute standard of morality, then God does not exist. Without God, there are no moral absolutes. The most hideous of sinful acts, though unpleasant and unprofitable for society, would not be technically wrong.

.

However, few atheist philosophers would claim not to feel a sense of injustice at any prolonged meditation of the torture of children. Atheists who claim to sense this injustice may do so because they say it violates their announced stipulation of utilitarianism (an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall “happiness”). But announcing a stipulation does not effectively justify it as the absolute standard. How does announcing it prove it’s true? Who says its happiness, not pain or anger, or something else? Why choose that “chemical reaction”?

.

Atheistic attempts at forming a basis for objective moral values fail to adequately account for their existence. Atheists do not have an adequate reason for demanding that the violators of utilitarianism conform to it. An atheistic universe cannot account for the existence of nonmaterial entities, including not only the laws of morality, but also the laws of logic and science.

.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/living/what-babies-know-anderson-cooper-parents/index.html

.

Nontheists have no logical reason to believe in any moral imperative within their own worldview. There is nothing in an atheist’s worldview that demands a universal standard of morality.

.

For the nontheists to attempt to be moral is to be irrational, because he must borrow biblical concepts that have no foundation in his worldview. He is contradicting his own worldview when he says he believes in moral absolutes. If he doesn’t believe in them, when he explains why he doesn’t, no explanation makes sense.

.

This is similar to my argument for the existence of God from animal suffering.

.

Why is it that human beings are repulsed by animal suffering? If evolution were true, then human beings should rejoice at animal suffering or human suffering and death. We do not rejoice at such suffering, therefore, the evolutionary worldview is false.

.

1. Evolution teaches that humans are a product of natural selection.

2. Death and suffering are required processes for natural selection.

3. Humans rejoice at progress.

4. Death and suffering result in progress in the evolutionary worldview.

5. Therefore, humans should inherently rejoice at death and suffering.

6. However, humans do not inherently rejoice at death and suffering.

7. Therefore, the evolutionary worldview is false.

(e.g., bullying)

.

[story about pig roast and our young children. Kids disgusted.]

.

Transcendental Argument

The transcendental argument (presuppositionalism) for the existence of God is also sound and produces the most certitude. The argument states that without God, it is impossible to prove anything. Only a Christian theistic world view is capable of explaining the existence of abstract, universal, invariant entities like the laws of logic, science, and morality. The existence of the triune God is what makes knowledge possible.

.

1.Without God, abstract entities do not exist.
2.But abstract entities exist.
3.Therefore, God exists.

.

I like the transcendental argument because it does not set up reason or logic as the foundation for epistemology or as an ultimate trust. Arguments that set up reason as the foundation would include evidential arguments, e.g., arguments from creation, “something can’t come from nothing.” This argument deals with man’s presuppositions, his preconceived notions concerning ultimate reality.

.

“Christ as Lord” is the ultimate trust and is the foundational epistemological presupposition (1 Pet. 3:15). The unbeliever’s problem is first ethical (pride, rebellion) and secondarily intellectual. He attempts to participate in Satan’s rebellion against God in order to establish his own autonomy.

.

1.The scriptural presuppositions (e.g., Ro. 1:20) are already manifested in an unbeliever’s immaterial nature (Ro. 1:19, 21).
2.Because he actively represses these presuppositions, he may still recollect them. In his thinking he will draw on them from time to time.
3.Therefore, an apologetic witness must be directed at the manifestation of these recollected presuppositions.

.

Witnessing for Christ with Presuppositionalism

Thus, witnessing for Christ is when we bring the Bible and demonstrate that God demands the unbeliever submit to the claims of the King. These claims are clearly inscripturated for humanity in the Bible. Therefore, it is necessary to present the claims of this King to the unbeliever.

.

However, it may also be necessary to present traditional proofs for God’s existence. This can accurately address an unbeliever’s reason for unbelief, encouraging him to submit to the King, despite the fact the unbeliever’s rational capabilities are fundamentally flawed (Ro. 1).

.

The claims of the King and the demands of the Gospel for salvation must be clearly presented, praying that the Holy Spirit will grant faith to him (Ro. 15:18-19; Eph. 2:8-9). Since even the most clear evidences for Christian theism can be presented and people will not believe (Lk. 16:31), there must be a reliance upon the Holy Spirit illuminating the holy Bible to produce holy people.

.

.

Do this instead of other project? Respond to each of these with logical fallacies, or types of responses. Instead of Bahnsen/Stein paper, you may listen and respond to each of these arguments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSxgnu3Hww8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=xfZFsXfCy6s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V5ee1M4Slg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI-_FJuTPns&index=138&list=PLZGLqPtxUOKEZxzukuev1YpLUQp-CtKDq

.

.

.

Go to BibleTrove.com Home Page from Apologetics Lecture 6 Arguments for the Existence of God

Go to Theology Main Page

Go to Apologetics Lectures Main Page

.

.

.

  1. “Conception of a total way the universe (maximal description of reality) might have been.” We live in one of many possible worlds. We live in an actual world. The world we live in exists.

  2. named after the Kalām tradition of Islamic discursive philosophy through which it was first formulated

  3. Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 719.

111 views
111 views
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap