Category Philosophical Arguments

Dice

Pascal’s Wager: Betting on God

Are you unsure of whether or not God exists? Think of it this way: if you bet that God does exist, and you’re wrong, you lose nothing. On the other hand, if you bet that God doesn’t exist, and you turn out to be wrong, you stand to lose a lot. Not just eternal bliss in paradise, but knowledge of the truth, as well as a relationship with the infinitely loving creator of the universe. So, practically speaking, if you’re going to bet, you should bet on God.

This argument, known as Pascal’s Wager, is a common one to hear from many religious believers...

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Evil is Not Proof of God

For many centuries, the problem of evil has been regarded as one of the most prominent challenges to theistic belief. Recently, however, some religious apologists have tried to turn this history on its head by suggesting that evil actually constitutes an argument for God’s existence rather than against it. Frank Turek is one such apologist who has made this claim.1 He argues that evil is the privation of good, which means it cannot be understood apart from good...

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The Argument from Pain and Pleasure

From its name, the ‘problem of evil’ might give the mistaken impression that there is one singular problem of reconciling a particular observation with theism. In reality, there have not only been several variations upon the argument within philosophical discourse, but also a multitude of different but related experiences and observations buttressing the general discourse which has inspired debates and dialogues for many centuries...
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hiddenness argument

The Hiddenness Argument

If a loving god exists, and wants to be known, why have so many people down through history not believed in a supreme being? Theologians such as Anselm of Canterbury and Martin Luther developed the idea that the Judeo-Christian god is a hidden god, or one that does not reveal itself to all persons. There is even scriptural support for this view. “Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself,” Isaiah 45:15 states, while Psalm 22:2 reads, “My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer”.

The 17th century French Catholic philosopher Blaise Pascal comments on the significance of this doctrine...

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CORNEA and the Evidential Problem of Evil

The evidential argument from evil contends that the facts about evil provide us with a good defense for the conclusion that belief in God is unjustified or false. Some instances of evil appear so intense and unnecessary that they raise a challenge to the existence of an all-good, all-powerful, and all-knowing being, such as God is traditionally conceived to be. Unlike the logical argument from evil, this argument does not attempt to demonstrate a logical inconsistency on the part of theists, but instead pursues the more moderate aim of disputing the plausibility of theistic belief...
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morality

The Moral Argument for God

In his dialogue with Euthyphro, Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” To put the dilemma in more modern terms: does God command an action because it is good, or is an action good because God commands it? If the former is true, then the good exists independently of God. If the latter is true, then a question arises concerning the arbitrariness of moral obligations...

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The Cosmological Argument for God

Cosmological arguments are arguments that infer the existence of god from certain facts about the universe. These arguments, employed at least since the time of the ancient Greeks, are intended to show that the existence of the universe cannot be explained without reference to a creator. For this article, we will look at three formulations of the cosmological argument which are generally considered to be more popular and persuasive than other versions.

I. Aquinas’ Contingency Argument

In his classic treatise, the Summa Theologica, the 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas proposed five argum...

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The Transcendental Argument for God

The Transcendental Argument for God (to be hencefore referred to as TAG) is a philosophical argument which attempts to demonstrate that some facet of reality presupposes the existence of god. As Greg Bahnsen, one of the leading proponents of the argument, puts it, a “transcendental argument begins with any item of experience or belief whatsoever and proceeds, by critical analysis, to ask what conditions (or what other beliefs) would need to be true in order for that original experience or belief to make sense, be meaningful, or be intelligible to us.”1

In use of the TAG, the experience, or fa...

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The Ontological Argument for God

The ontological argument for god’s existence has taken several different forms throughout history, but the most popular version is that of the 11th century philosopher and theologian Saint Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm argued that we can imagine a being which is greater than all else.1 He went on to claim that this being cannot solely exist in the imagination, since an even greater being would be one that exists in reality and is not dependent on our conception of it. This being Anselm labeled “god...

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