Simply put, if there is no God, then the evil that men do is not evil , it simply is. Objective morality comes from our transcendent God, who has declared what is right and what is wrong e.
God is the source of our knowledge of right and wrong—the clue of human morality points to the existence of God. Come, Let Us Reason Together: An Invitation to Theism 10 I have touched briefly on three persuasive clues that point to the existence of God. I have not had time to lay the arguments out fully, but I have provided suggestions for further reading in each area. Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that the arguments are not conclusive proofs.
Thus, I wish to conclude with a personal appeal: I entreat you to not close your mind to the possibility of God.
Consider the clues for God with an open mind; consider the following essays arguing for the truth of Christianity in particular with a willingness to be persuaded. Lewis, the argument looks like this: The same principle holds. One can just as well argue that because human being thirst for knowledge or yearn for eternity, human beings are really gods who haven't come to the true realization of themselves.
This is an argument for Deism or any notion of god, not necessarily God. If you cannot accept a plain reading of Genesis using normal literature interpretation devices — Genesis is written as a historic account, not poetry; so you cannot infer wildly , then you will also have to reject the Gospel accounts of things like the virgin birth or the resurrection.
Your second point, of course is precisely correct — the observations from religious experience are an argument for bare theism or deism , not a strong argument for Christianity itself. But then, I admit this in my post, so it doesn't come as a surprise to me! What the human religious spirit does demonstrate, however, is the falling short of our dominant Western worldview. Arguably, the dominant culture view of the world today is that of naturalism or materialism — that matter stuff is all there is; there is no spiritual or supernatural realm or entities or whatnot.
Observing the unquenchable religious spirit of humanity, the longing we have to touch the divine and endure past this physical life suggest that there is something significant missing from this contemporary worldview. Furthermore, the proliferation and downright commonness of intimate religious experience throughout the millenia suggest that there is, in fact, something non-material i. So that part of my post was NOT aimed at demonstrating the truth of Christianity, but rather at exposing the flaws in modern naturalism.
We are inherently spiritual creatures because we are created or designed that way. Hence, it is not necessary to interpret it in concrete literalistic fashion.
Poetic interpretation of Genesis 1 has a long and illustrious history, including pre-Christian rabbinic scholars and even arguably the church father Augustine. I would agree with you, however, that the rest of Genesis is written as straightforward historical prose, and hence cannot be subject to "wild" interpretive devices. The Creator and the Cosmos. Let's further assume that I still choose to interpret Genesis 1 figuratively or metaphorically — appealing to the "day-age" model, or the "day-gap" model, or something similar perhaps the "earth-observation" model.
In other words, why would a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1 require me to reject, say, the virgin birth or the resurrection of Jesus? I can see how it would PERMIT me to interpret those passages figuratively as well again, assuming [what is not the case] that I chose to treat historical prose in Genesis 1 figuratively.
But why would it logically require it? I'm not sure I see your argument. Tawa, First, I would like to say that you have a great writing style. You truly have a gift for communication. I agree with Thomas Jefferson who was following Epicurus in saying that the pursuit of happiness is the purpose of life. I find happiness in my work, my family, my hobbies, etc. The fact that I will cease to exist when I die makes this life more important than if I thought I was going to live forever. BTW, Ecclesiastes was supposedly written by Solomon who turned his back on Yahweh at the end of his life.
Man seeks to understand his environment and his mind has evolved to see patterns. Thus when things happen for which he had no explanation—such as earthquakes, volcanoes, lightning, etc.
The fact that man yearns for more than what he has in life is just an existential reality, it doesn't prove the existence of a God, in my opinion. We do not know what preceded the big bang. I am told that the universe may be eternal and that it expands and then contracts and then repeats this cycle over and over. In addition, evolution says that man is tuned for his environment not that the environment is tuned for man. As for probablility, due to the enormous size of the universe, its not unreasonable to suppose that on one little tiny rock like the earth, life, although extremely improbable, did evolve.
It permits things which we all believe today are wrong—slavery, genocide, polygamy, treatment of women as property, stoning of homosexuals and rebellious children, etc.
You argue that man gets his sense of morality from God as a result of being made in God's image. If that is so, why do all men know innately that it is wrong to punish an innocent in the place of the guilty, and yet that is what God did in order to accomplish salvation? I think to argue that only Gen 1 is poetic, but the rest is not is not a convincing argument.
Augustine for the record interpreted Gen 1 allegorically but to make the unwarranted claim that God created the world instantly. Luther rejected this interpretation of Augustine. God created Adam on day 6. If each day is a eon, Adam was millions of years old at the end of day 7. But setting that aside, the re-interpretation of Gen 1 to fit modern cosmology doesn't "require" you to also reinterpret the gospel accounts.
However, it does raise an inconsistency — you reinterpret scripture in an odd way yom is used uniformly to refer to hour days to fit certain observations such as cosmology in one case but reject similar observations e. Again, it doesn't require you to reinterpret it, but it sure does provide a valid line of argument for someone to reject those accounts.
I would also contend that the best way of understanding scripture — which is to let scripture interpret scripture, based on Exodus 20 and Jesus quotes would have you conclude that only a literal reading of Genesis 1 is warranted.
Given that you hold to an old-earth model, do you also believe in theistic evolution or do you think that God created a literal Adam? Very good post — and thank you for the encouragement. Let me return the compliment — you present your thoughts very coherently.
Nonetheless, to more important issues:. I am pleased, in a sense, that you find meaning and happiness in life. While some might go that route, I am not going to attack the authenticity of your experience.
Instead, let me set my own experience beside yours. You claim it likely that God does not exist. I counter that I know that God does exist, and I have experienced Him personally in my own life.
On two different occasions I wish it were more, but God knows best I have heard God speak to me. Such basic, personal experience of God is really unalterable confirmation of His existence.
I would also say that I certainly find great fulfillment in the blessings of this life — family, study, hobbies particularly music , watching our kids grow and flourish. Life is indeed good. And I certainly treat this life as crucially important — my belief certainty in an afterlife does not somehow make me less concerned or interested in this current life.
Finally, your closing comment about Ecclesiastes is interesting, but both controversial and somewhat beside the point. First, there are strong arguments out there that Hezekiah, not Solomon, is the primary author of Ecclesiastes.
Second, amongst those who adhere to Solomonic authorship, a number of biblical scholars insist that an editor put the final marks upon the book — including such things as the attribution of meaninglessness to the pleasures of this life.
Third, there is significant debate as to whether Solomon rejected Yahweh, and if so, when. One stream of thought which I agree with is that Solomon walked away from the Lord during the bulk of his kingship and was seduced by foreign women and gods; but that toward the end of his life, he repented and returned to the Lord — hence the book of Ecclesiastes marks his own assessment of his foolish years.
Human beings are extremely creative, BUT God is beyond our creative capacities. We are perfectly capable of inventing spiritual beings and anthropomorphic gods and goddesses. However, I would argue that everything that we create or invent has a concrete referent — something in reality upon which it is based.
Thus the Greek and Roman gods along with the ancient Babylonian and Sumerian deities and the Hindu pantheon bear a startling resemblance to human beings, with their petty jealousies, lusting after beautiful women, and sibling rivalries — not to mention their imperfections and fatal flaws Achilles heel, e.
The one thing I would argue that human beings cannot create is an omnipotent, transcendent deity. Hebrew monotheism alone conceived of God creating the universe ex nihilo, out of nothingness. In regard to the eternality of the universe and the oscillating universe model expansion-contraction-expansion, otherwise known as bang-crunch-bang , William Lane Craig Reasonable Faith, 3rd edition spends significant time debunking that particular theory of the universe.
So does agnostic physicist Paul Davies e. The short story is: But does that innate belief insist that it is wrong for an innocent person to voluntarily suffer be punished in place of the guilty? On Good Friday, Jesus was not driven to the cross against His will hence Philippians 2 — he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross ; rather, he willingly became an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
He took our suffering upon himself of his own accord — an act of love. My response is getting on the long side. Your comments brought up a considerable number of very interesting and thought-provoking issues, and I appreciate the opportunity to interact about them. On your personal religious experiences, only you truly know what you have experienced. I would suggest some things to consider, however. First, people tend to interpret their experiences in line with their belief system.
For example, Catholics see or hear Mary, Muslims see or hear Muhammad, Hindus see or hear one of their gods, Mormons see or hear Joseph Smith or one of their prophets, and so on. An excellent book which I would recommend on this score is Visions of Jesus: Second, neurophysiologists and psychologists are beginning to explain how visions and other mystical phenomena are created in the brain.
So, while your experience may be validation for you, I hope you can see why it is not proof of Christianity for me. It may not be the best option. I think we are in our infancy in understanding what happened so long ago. The fact is though that we don't know what preceded the big bang. We don't know for certain if there truly was "nothing" prior. In addition, our concept of effects needing a cause is based on our observation of the present universe with all of its regularities.
How do we know that before there was anything assuming there was truly nothing before the big bang that the same laws applied? As for the probabilities of live evolving naturally, yes its highly improbable—however we know that highly improbable things do happen. What are the statistical odds that you and I would be carrying on this conversation right now?
What are the odds of someone being struck by lightning twice at different times in their life? What are the odds of someone winning the powerball lottery? All of these are statistically "off the chart" yet they happen. If my frined commits a murder and I volunteer to be executed in his place, that is noble on my part, but it would be a miscarriage of justice if the legal system allowed it. Thanks again for the dialogue. I noticed you are a Ph. This is real simple. If Genesis 1 is written as an historic account, then the Bible begins with a massive error.
Regarding the genre of Genesis 1 — I am certainly not alone in treating Genesis 1 as poetic rather than historical prose. Nor do I see myself as the foremost defender of such a position!
Nonetheless, I will put forth a couple of thoughts in support of the position. Third, it is not a random decision to interpret Genesis 1 poetically. There are features indicated the poetic genre.
The use of parallelism most evident in v. Fourth, the day-age model would not require Adam to be millions of years old by the end of Day 7. Adam is created at the end of the day six age; day seven seems to be an announcement of the completion of creation, rather than a period of time itself.
Would the analogy somehow be undermined if the six days of creation were metaphorical rather than literal? So the analogy drawn in Exodus 20 cannot be an ironclad, strict one. I am more open to the possibility of its being true today than I would have been five years ago.
But it has its own difficulties. And I would finally insist that Scripture does not clearly require us to adhere to a young-earth model. And no, I am not a theistic evolutionist — I have far less openness to the possibility of theistic evolution being true than of young-earth creationism being correct.
I believe God created a literal Adam — I do not see any reason for interpreting Genesis 2 as poetic in form. Oh — and lastly, is there a difference between cosmological observations and metaphysical presuppositions? I ask that because it seems to me that concluding on the basis of scientific observations that the universe may be Ken — Thank you for the continued interaction.
You are refreshingly honest and polite in discourse! And if I seemed to belittle or insult the meaning that non-Christians find in life, that certainly was not my intent. Perhaps an analogy would help to clarify what I am saying. God created human beings as sexual creatures; we therefore find fulfillment in sex. However, I would argue that there are different levels of sexual fulfillment or enjoyment that can be experienced; and that the deepest level of sexual satisfaction is found in the long-term monogamous marriage relationship founded upon Christ.
Statistics tend to bear this out — couples who have been married for a long time tend to express higher levels of sexual satisfaction although I have no studies readily at hand to share. Be this as it may, individuals engaged in non-marital sexual relationships are certainly going to generally express a degree of sexual fulfillment in their lives — they are going to enjoy the sex they are having.
Same thing with meaning and fulfillment in life — yes, satisfaction happiness, if you will is available outside of a relationship with Christ. But I would argue that the fulfillment and meaning is deeper when life is oriented toward what God designed as our ultimate purpose. Nonetheless, if my initial response or this one comes across as condescending, then I sincerely apologize.
It is not intended to. I disagree that neuroscientists are beginning to understand the nature of numinous experiences, but that is a science truly still in its infancy. Our cosmology is far advanced now from where it was in the Middle Ages, when Christians were generally on the defensive in arguing that the universe was temporal and created. Non-Christian science held to the eternality of the universe; the revolution caused by Big Bang cosmology in the 20th century has turned the tables.
The Big Bang is a singularity, with literally nothing lying behind it — it requires a transcendent cause — we have no reason to infer any other conclusion, unless one is already precommitted to a naturalistic worldview which precludes the possibility of the existence of God. Ken — I enjoy these exchanges. We need to head off now — I'm taking my kids to the swimming pool — at Southern Seminary; indeed, I am studying where Dr. Mohler is president, although I have not met him.
This is a little off topic, but I just couldn't resisting pointing out the irony comments about the improbability of evolution. IDers say evolution is unlikely because it's improbable. Ken says improbable things happen all the time.
But I have seen the exact same things said in regards to resurrection debates. One person usually invoking David Hume will say resurrections are highly improbable events. The other person will point out that improbable events happen all the time.
I'm sorry, but the "young earth model" is not viable. It is not correct. There are two choices here; read Genesis as poetry or accept that the Bible has massive errors. There is a difference between 1 events that are improbable, but still possible, given how nature works, and 2 events that are essentially impossible and that totally contradict everything we understand about how the natural world works.
It's the difference between 1 winning the lottery when the odds are ten million to one against you and 2 seeing the lottery balls fly up into space as if gravity had no effect on them. Any reason why everything we see today in the biological world couldn't be the product of evolution?
Once we have a single cell, what's to stop evolution from producing the current diversity of species, including Homo sapiens? The difference is that we know life, even though improbable, does exist.
We don't know that the resurrection, which is improbable, did happen. If we had the same proof for it that we have for life existing, then I would accept it in spite of its improbability. Hope you and your family enjoyed the pool. It was warm enough here in Atlanta yesterday for swimming—84 degrees! We are fortunate that in this country we have the time to contemplate such things, for many poor people of the world, all they can do is concentrate on getting their next meal.
For example, when my Mormon neighbor tells me he is certain of Mormonism because of a "burning in the bosom," what I am supposed to say? Or when a Hindu tells me he has seen one of his gods? Or when a Catholic tells me he has seen or heard from the Virgin Mary? They can't all be genuine experiences.
Stephen Hawking has changed his mind on the subject. On page 50 of A Brief History of Time , he writes: There are several theories of abiogenesis put forward by scientists which may offer a viable explanation. For example, see here. I feel I should also add, this is the kind of talk we hear from the likes of William Lane Craig — he and others are always ignoring quantum mechanics when they talk about the Big Bang and focus on only GR.
The Big Bang is a singularity. You can argue it until the cows come home, but you will not be talking science nothing yet to measure. Also, this singularity of which you speak is nothing more then where general relativity GR breaks down.
It is the failure of the theory, NOT the 'natural laws' or physics. GR fails where it does because it is just what happens when you divide anything by zero in maths — the maths goes to infinity. The sign that the theory is wrong, which has been known since for over 80 years. GR is also accepted to be wrong since it does not fit into the quantum realm. QM is known to be wrong because it ignores gravity. So science isn't pointing to any singularity — the current and best theories break, nothing more.
David, I think the difference between your approach and my approach to Gen 1 is very simple: You are attempting to read Gen 1 in view of external interpretations of man, I'm taking the text to mean what it means based on its prose style.
Regd you theory about one cell: Why not have us evolve to better morality? Then Christ's death could have been avoided. Ontological arguments are a priori, which show that God exists without appealing to a sense experience. These ontological arguments argue about what God is to where he is from. Anselm, the creator of the ontological argument, based his theory on that we cannot think of anything greater than God.
Therefor God must exist, why you might ask? If the greatest thing that we can conceive does not exist than we can still conceive the greatest thing that does exist, and that would be God. Descartes views God in a similar way to St. Descartes sees God as the perfectbeing while St. Anselm describes God as "that than which nothing greater can be thought.
Along with these arguments others in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities have similar views. Cosmological arguments are a posteriori, these tend to lean toward proving the. Cosmological arguments come in many. Cosmological arguments were started at the time the questions of the universe were first. The existence of motion to the existence of a first mover as the cause of movement, was argued by Aristotle.
This first mover he called God. The reason for this was that nothing caused God to move yet God was responsible for the motion of all other things. Thisargument is based on presumptions in other cosmological arguments. The first was that something could not cause itself, second something cannot come from nothing, last there could not possibly be an infinite amount of cause and effects.
Thomas' view was of God is an infinite, all-good, all-knowing, all powerful, perfect being who created the universe and now has sole command over it. This view is known as theism. Thomas states that a first cause must be in order to have cause and effect now. For if we take away the first cause there would be no effect following there for the universe would have never been created which is impossible because we can prove the universe does exist.
He also argues that there are things in the universe that have the possibility of existing and not existing, we have seen things that have existed and than destroyed, thus proving that there is the ability of being and not being. There was a time when nothing was in existence in the.
Essay about Does God Exist? - In this essay I discuss why there is proof that there is a supernatural being known as God, who has created everything we know and experience. The mere claim, there could be a "Proof for the Existence of God," seems to invite ridicule.
Immanuel Kant claimed that the argument of ontology failed to prove it's self because something that does not exist has lots of love than one which currently exists. According to Thomas Aquinas's argument, it shows that it directly supports the concept that God exists in this concept of ontology.
Discussion of the Existence of God There is a lot of argument about does God exist or not exist. It was long time every person wanted to prove the existence of God. Some people argued that God exist and proved by many philosophical theories or . Does God Exists? Ontological argument solely relies on purely logical inferences, rather than verifiable evidence. According to the premises supported by the argument, we can conclude that the claim God does exist can be conceived, but it was rather presented with assuage the doubts than to convince the skeptics. The argument begins by .
Read Does God Exist? free essay and over 88, other research documents. Does God Exist?. Proof Of The Exsistence of God Either God exists or He doesn't. There is no middle ground. Any attempt to /5(1). God must exist since all his premises are all in support of his conclusion that the first cause is God. An atheist is likely to say that the Big Bang was the first cause, but Aquinas's premises and conclusion will refute this theory, as we will view later.