Religion and Arguments for god


Criticisms of the Teleological argument
  1. The argument does not prove that the intelligent designer is God.
  2. An intelligent designer must be far more complex than anything it is capable of designing, and the existence of life, let alone something more complex than it, is very impropable.
  3. Assumes that one can infer the existence of intelligent design merely by examination.
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Religion and Arguments for god

Teleological argument for god

The Teleological argument (also known as intelligent design argument) is an argument for the existence of God, an intelligent creator based on perceived evidence of intelligent design in the natural world.

This most elegant system of the sun, planets, and comets could not have arisen without the design and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.

The Kalam cosmological argument
  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
  4. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists who without the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful.
Criticisms of the Kalam cosmological argument
  1. The assumption that an uncaused beginning of all things is impossible.
  2. The Causal Principle cannot be extrapolated to the universe from inductive experience (eg. the phenomenon of quantum indeterminacy , where, at the subatomic level, the causal principle appears to break down).
Anselm‘s ontological argument

Anselm's ontological argument is a philosophical argument, made from an ontological basis.

Anselm defines God as "the greatest being" and argues that if such being can exist in the mind, then it must also exist in reality. If it existed only in the mind, then an even greater being must be possible—one who exists both in mind and in reality. Therefore, this greatest possible being must exist in reality.

The assumptions of Anselm‘s ontological argument
  1. Anselm assumes that the greatest possible being must exist in the mind, even in that of the person who denies the existence of God.
  2. He also assumes that the greatest possible being must exist in reality.
Criticisms of Anselm's ontological argument
  1. The argument could be used to prove the existence of anything.
  2. Humans do not know God's nature.
  3. "Existing" adds nothing (including perfection) to the essence of a being. Thus, the greatest possible being does not need to exist.
  4. Some attributes of greatness are incompatible with others, rendering the concept of "greatest being" incoherent.
Criticisms of the aesthetic argument
  1. The argument assumes beauty is something immaterial instead of being a subjective neurological response to stimuli.
  2. A person's talent is assumed to be god's work and not his own hard work. ("How dare another human being make such beautiful music/poetry/art when I can't? It must be God that did it")
  3. The existence of evil & various types of ugliness invalidates the argument. ("Didn't God also created parasitic microbes?")

"The only physical theories that we are willing to accept are the beautiful ones."

Is beauty the path to God?

The most frequent invocation of the argument from beauty today involves the aesthetic experience one obtains from great literature, music or art. For many people the feeling of transcendence in a concert hall or museum approaches the religious in intensity.

Furthermore, scientists and philosophers often marvel at the congruence between nature & mathematics, which is often described as beautiful.

The aesthetic argument for god

The aesthetic argument is an argument by Plato for the existence of a transcendent realm of abstract ideas, which are more perfect than real-world examples of those ideas. Various observers have also argued that the experience of beauty is evidence of the existence of a God.

Pascal‘s wager

Pascal's wager is a philosophical argument for God, presented by the 17th-century French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, who posits that human beings bet with their lives when deciding to believe in God (or not).

Criticisms of Pascal's wager
  1. The interest one has in believing God is not proof of God's existence.
  2. Since there have been many religions throughout history, there is a high probability of believing in "the wrong god". (The argument for inconsistent revelations)
  3. Feigning belief to gain eternal reward would be dishonest and immoral. God would see through this deceptive strategy and nullify the benefits of the wager.
The assumptions in Pascal‘s wager
  1. Both the existence & non-existence of God are impossible to prove by human reasoning.
  2. One must "wager" by weighing the consequences of the decision to believe/not believe in God.
  3. No one can refuse to participate; withholding assent is impossible because we are already "embarked", and effectively living out the choice.
Pascal's argument for beleiving in god

Pascal argues that the wise decision is to wager that God exists, since one can gain eternal life in heaven if God exists, but if not, one will be no worse off in death than if one had not believed. On the other hand, if you bet against God and lose, you are unavoidably annihilated in hell.

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