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The Three Most Popular Arguments for the Existence of God

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The Three Most Popular Arguments For The Existence Of God

The Ontological Argument

One of the most important attempts to demonstrate the existence of God is the ontological argument of Saint Anselm, an 11th-century theologian. Anselm's argument maintains that God, defined as the greatest being that can be conceived, must exist, since a being that does not exist would by virtue of that fact lack an attribute that contributes to its greatness. Critics have questioned, however, whether existence actually contributes to a being's greatness.

The Cosmological Argument

Another important attempt to provide a rational justification for the existence of God is the cosmological argument, also called the argument from first cause. Aquinas and 18th-century English philosopher Samuel Clarke, among others, developed this justification. One important version of this argument contends that to explain the existence of the contingent universe it is essential to propose a necessary being, a being whose existence is not contingent on anything else. This necessary being is God. Critics have argued that the existence of the universe might be a brute fact--a fact without any explanation. They assert that proving the existence of a necessary being is not the same as proving the existence of God. A necessary being might lack some of the properties considered essential to God, such as being all good. In a version of the cosmological argument found in contemporary scientific cosmology, God is postulated as the explanation for the big bang, the theory that a gigantic explosion created the material universe. Although contemporary theists, such as American philosopher William Lane Craig, maintain that a first cause is necessary to explain the big bang, critics contend that recent scientific theories indicate that the universe could have arisen spontaneously.

The Teleological Argument

According to the teleological argument for the existence of God--also known as the argument from design--the universe is like a machine. The best-known supporter of this view is 18th-century theologian William Paley. According to this theory, because machines are created by intelligent beings, and because the universe may be thought of as a single, highly complex machine, it is likely that the universe was created by a great intelligence, understood to be God. The classic critique of this argument, presented by 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume, maintains that the analogy to a machine is weak and that other analogies are just as strong. For instance, the universe may be thought of as a living organism, in which case the universe would have been created by reproduction rather than by design.

Which argument do I agree with?

I think that the ontological argument is not really making an argument for the existence of God, but is really playing with the fact that it is impossible for humanity to define a being we are not sure exists. Therefore, if you go by his definition God does exist. However, how do we define God? Is God the greatest being or is he simply the creator of the world. In which ways does our God need to be great?

Then there's the cosmological argument which defeats itself because if there had to be a first cause to create the universe then there had to be a first



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