PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

Arguments for the Existence of God & Against the Existence of God

Arguments for the Existence of God & Against the Existence of God

Learn about the most common arguments put forward by the faithful to ‘prove’ that a god exists. Learn about the arguments used by agnostics to cast doubt on the existence of a god, and the arguments atheists employ to deny the existence of a god.

religious study

First Cause (Cosmological) argument for the existence of God

This states that somebody or something must have created the universe and everything in it.

Strength: This is a simple argument, easy to understand

Weakness: If we believe in a creator because something must have created us, the questions arises: ‘Who created the creator?’

Design (Teleological) argument for the existence of God

Teleological comes from the Greek word telos meaning purpose or goal. This argument says the universe is so complex, it must have been designed. Therefore, someone or something must have designed it. Some people use this argument to question the theory of evolution.

Strength: The universe and the world are so complex, that they could not have arisen as the result of random chance.

Weakness: It is impossible to prove that the universe and the world did not arise through random chance, and the theory of evolution provides an explanation as to how life came about on Earth. Eventually, science will understand the origins of the universe.

Argument from religious experience

This argument involves faith that people have gained from their own personal experience of religion or a god. It is not generally open to being refuted by rational argument.

Strength: Individuals who have belief through this route are strengthened by their own faith.

Weakness: One individual’s faith, or even the faith of many, will not persuade someone with no faith.

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Arguments against the existence of God

Religious studiesMany people simply have no faith and no belief in a god or higher power. They are called atheists. Atheists will often emphasise the fact that no objective evidence exists to prove the existence of a god. It is simply a matter of individual faith. If you do not have that faith, you will not believe in a god. Agnostics on the other hand believe that there might be a god, but are not certain.

Strength: It is true that objective evidence for the existence of a god does not exist.

Weakness: Somebody with no faith is unlikely to persuade believers that they are wrong. Of course, the opposite is also true.

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