The question of God’s existence has been asked since time immemorial. Does God really exist? At first, there wasn’t much objection. After all, how could man explain a world full of mysteries as well as his own existence? It is not until philosophers came along led by Thales of Miletus, that reason and critical thinking were applied to answer this question. Later on, science came along providing solid evidence and sound explanations of various phenomena further shaking the faith of the believers. The controversy was so much in the 17th century that it culminated in the infamous Galileo affair involving Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the scientific and philosophical advancements, the answer of God’s existence has never been made absolutely clear. Philosophy on one side provides conflicting views while science fails to answer some crucial questions. I intend to present the arguments that I find most persuasive in proving that indeed God Exists.
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The first argument I would like to present is based on teleology and is known as the watchmaker argument. Teleology seeks to explain phenomena based on its purpose rather than their cause, and was greatly developed by the accomplished philosophers Plato and Aristotle (Long 3). The watchmaker argument supports God’s existence through the analogy that a design must have a designer. The origin of this argument is traced to the scientific revolution whereby Isaac Newton, among other scientists, realized that the universe worked in a mechanical perfection that resembled the working of a watch. Look at how the watch movements are well coordinated with the seconds, minutes, and hour-hand. It is so much like the rotations, revolutions, and many other aspects of own universe. We can observe how our sun rises and sets, the process that brings about rainfall and the food chains. These are some of those design aspects that warrant this argument. Given that the watch has a watchmaker, similarly, our universe must have a designer. Such a being would possess great intelligence to achieve such a feat. Thus, this is proof that there is God. One of the reasons I find this argument very persuasive is because it involves things that we can observe. I can observe how the water evaporates from the ocean, rising to the atmosphere and proceeds to rain in the highlands. The same water is returned back to the oceans through the river in a forever continuing cycle. One cannot deny such a perfect design. I also can’t dismiss it as a coincidence. Thus this is one of the arguments I find most convincing.
Another quite persuasive argument is the cosmological argument which argues that all things have a cause. These causes can be traced back in time to the first cause. Similarly, our universe, including all that is in it has its first cause which is the creator. In addition, such a first cause who is also the creator would have to be a very powerful being hence God (Erasmus and Verhoef 412). I think this argument is quite strong and even fills certain gaps that are left by scientific theories such as the big bang theory. This theory, in particular, refutes God’s existence by claiming that the universe started with an explosion (big bang) that scattered matter far and wide to form the universe as it expanded. However, it fails to explain what caused this initial explosion. This is the point where the cosmological argument comes in and offers an explanation that there must have been the first cause. Many theists, such as St Thomas Aquinas, have embraced this thought hence greatly meriting it. Despite the wide acceptance, several others have objected as to why the first cause does not have a cause itself. Also, why does the first cause have to be very powerful? Although these objections have not been fully addressed, the cosmological argument still maintains a strong point that cannot be simply ignored.
Descartes’ ontological argument is yet another persuasive premise that supports God’s existence, and is credited to the 17th French philosopher and scientist, Rene Descartes’. It is an ontological argument, meaning that it is based on the study of being and existence. Descartes’ simply argued that given that we have that idea of a supernatural being who is all powerful, then such a being must exist (Usó-Doménech, Nescolarde-Selva, and Gash 5). The fact that we as people possess the description of God must mean that he exists since it is hard to describe the qualities that are non-existence. I find Descartes’ argument quite simple, perhaps very oversimplified, yet possessing a very strong point. However, the argument fails to acknowledge the strong divide between thoughts and reality. Despite that, I must acknowledge that it is not a coincidence that even the most uncivilized societies possess the idea of a supernatural being that is all-powerful and all-knowing and to add to that, the description of such a being is quite similar around the world. Take a look at all parts of this world. Everywhere you go; there is an idea of a powerful being, more powerful than anyone. Given this point, then I believe that Descartes’ argument is quite solid and such a being must exist.
Prior to Descartes’, St Anselm had presented his own ontological argument. According to Anselm, we possess an idea of a God who we describe as the greatest thing. Now, given that the ideas of things that exist in the real world are better than ideas that are imaginative only, then we can deduce that if the idea of a God is only in our minds, then there exists a being who is even greater than our imagination, and that there is nothing greater than that God (Usó-Doménech et al. 3). St Anselm’s argument is also convincing. For instance, take the example of something that exists such as a car. I am able to imagine a futuristic car with great properties since I have something to build my thoughts upon. If we assume that cars did not exist, then the probability of coming up with an idea of a great car would be near impossible. The same case with St Anselm’s argument, if I am able to imagine a God who is the greatest, then a great God, greater than anything we have seen, indeed exists.
God exists and these are the arguments that I find most persuasive in proving this fact. The watchmaker’s argument is especially convincing given that it involves aspects of the world that we can see and experience. The cosmological argument also tops the list as it closely relates to issues that have been proved by scientists such as the expanding universe and the ‘big bang’. Finally, ontological arguments including Anselm and Descartes’ offer a persuasive argument based on the existence and employs ideas which we can all relate to.
Erasmus, Jacobus, and Anné Hendrik Verhoef. “The kalām cosmological argument and the infinite God objection.” Sophia54.4 (2015): 411-427.
Long, Steven A. “God, Teleology, and the Natural Law.” Natural Law Today: The Present State of the Perennial Philosophy (2018): 3.
Usó-Doménech, J. L., J. A. Nescolarde-Selva, and H. Gash. “Argumentum Ontologicum and Argumentum Ornithologicum: Anselm of Canterbury and Jorge Luis Borges.” Foundations of Science (2019): 1-23.