Those who believe in the existence of a supreme being otherwise known as Theists, rely on a collection of different arguments to give good grounds for the existence of God. Below are 6 arguements for the existence of God.
1 THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUEMENT
One of the most important attempts to demonstrate the existence of God is the 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.
2. THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUEMENT
Another important attempt to provide a rational justification for the existence of God is the cosmological argument, also called the argument from first cause. This justification was explained by Aquina and 18th-century English philosopher Samuel Clarke, among others. One important version of this argument contends that to explain the existence of the contingent universe it is essential to postulate a necessary being, a being whose existence is not contingent on anything else. This necessary being is God.
3. THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUEMENT
According to the teleological argument for the existence of God—also known as the argument from design—the universe is analogous to a machine.
The best known exponent 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.
4. THE MORAL ARGUEMENT
The moral argument for the existence of God was developed by 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant maintained that the highest good includes moral virtue, with happiness as the appropriate reward for this virtue. He held it is humanity’s duty to seek this highest good and that it must therefore be possible to realize it. Furthermore, Kant claimed that this highest good cannot be realized unless there is “a supreme cause of nature,” one that has the power to bring about harmony between happiness and virtue. Such a cause could only be God.
5. PASCAL’s WAGER
Another well known argument for the existence of God purports to show that even if God’s existence cannot be known through reason, it is still practically advantageous to believe in God. Thus, 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal held that belief in God is a better wager than nonbelief because there are infinite rewards to gain and little to lose by believing versus infinite rewards to lose and little to gain by not believing.
Critics have argued that God might reserve a special place in Hell for people who believe in him on the basis of Pascal’s wager.
6. TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUEMENT
The Transcendental Argument is something of a “macro-argument” which encompasses rationality and even the preconditions for presenting an argument. It is impossible, the argument claims, for any authoritative rationality (including an atheist’s) to emerge from inchoate matter, the existence of God must be assumed, therefore, in order to deny God’s existence.
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