Saturday, 27 October 2007

Philosophical arguments for God

There's a lot of them, but here are my favorites:


ARGUMENT FROM SCIENTISTS
(1) Some famous scientists believed in God.
(2) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM QUANTUM PHYSICS
(1) Quantum physics uses an uncertainty principle.
(2) There is room for God.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM WOW
(1) "When I look into the sky and see all the pretty stars, all those galaxies..."
(2) Wow.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM CHRISTIAN EXPERTS ARE IGNORED
(1) Dembski, Behe and Plantinga are ignored by mainstream intellectuals.
(2) Only a fear of the truth could explain this.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM CHRISTIAN EXPERTS ARE NOT IGNORED
(1) Mainstream intellectuals are paying some attention to Dembski, Behe and Plantinga.
(2) Only a growing recognition of the truth could explain this.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM ECSTASY (used by a number of saints)
(1) I woke up last night with a feeling of indescribable pleasure and joy.
(2) It couldn't have been sexual; I'm holy and never have thoughts like those.
(3) So the ecstasy must have come from God.
(4) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM THE BIBLE (II)
(1) The Bible says the Bible is true.
(2) Therefore the Bible is true.
(3) The Bible says God exists.
(4) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM LOGIC
(1) There are some things in logic that you can't logically demonstrate.
(2) Therefore you have to take them on faith.
(3) Your faith in logic is the same as my faith in God.
(4) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM UNTRANSLATED OLD FRENCH
(1) « Mais pourceque j'avois déjà connu en moi très clairement que la nature intelligente est distincte de la corporelle; considérant que toute composition témoigne de la dépendance, et que la dépendance est manifestement un défaut, je jugeois de là que ce ne pouvoit être une perfection en Dieu d'être composé de ces deux natures, et que par conséquent il ne l'étoit pas; mais que s'il y avoit quelques corps dans le monde, ou bien quelques intelligences ou autres natures qui ne fussent point toutes parfaites, leur être devoit dépendre de sa puissance, en telle sorte quelles ne pouvoient subsister sans lui un seul moment. -- René Descartes, Discours de la Méthode
(2) How could you possibly refute that?
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM BANANAS
(1) Bananas have many characteristics that make them attractive as primate food.
(2) They're so good that they must have been designed.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM HAULING ASS
(1) [Theist creates message board account and logs in.]
(2) "GOD IS REEL AND ALL YOU HEATHEN ATHEIST INFEDILS WILL BERN IN HELL FORE-EVER MARK MY WERDS!!!!!!!!@#3FD"
(3) [Theist logs off and never returns.]
(4) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM COLTRANE
(1) John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is dedicated to God.
(2) John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is full of passion.
(3) Atheists cannot explain Coltrane's passion in "A Love Supreme."
(4) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY
(1) Atheists think that the difference in religions disproves God's existence.
(2) Eh, To-may-to, to-mah-to.
(3) Everyone knows that you must accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved.
(4) Well, everyone who matters, anyway.
(5) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM IT'S MY BALL AND YOU CAN'T PLAY
(1) There is abundant logical and empirical evidence that God does not exist.
(2) There is no evidence that God does exist.
(3) But God plays by completely different rules.
(4) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM POST-DEATH EXPERIENCE
(1) Person X died an Atheist.
(2) He now realizes his mistake.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM MASS PRODUCTION
(1) Barbie dolls were created.
(2) If Barbie dolls were created, then so were trees.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM GUITAR MASTERY
(1) Eric Clapton is God.
(2) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENCE
(1) Look, there's really no point in me trying to explain the whole thing to you stupid Atheists -- it's too complicated for you to understand. God exists whether you like it or not.
(2) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM UNINTELLIGENCE
(1) Okay, I don't pretend to be as intelligent as you guys -- you're obviously very well read. But I read the Bible, and nothing you say can convince me that God does not exist. I feel him in my heart, and you can feel him too, if you'll just ask him into your life. "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish from the earth." John 3:16.
(2) Therefore, God exists.


ARGUMENT FROM EXHAUSTION (abridged)
1. Do you agree with the utterly trivial proposition X?
2. Atheist: of course.
3. How about the slightly modified proposition X'?
4. Atheist: Um, no, not really.
5. Good. Since we agree, how about Y? Is that true?
6. Atheist: No! And I didn't agree with X'!
7. With the truths of these clearly established, surely you agree that Z is true as well?
8. Atheist: No. So far I have only agreed with X! Where is this going, anyway?
9. I'm glad we all agree.....
....
37. So now we have used propositions X, X', Y, Y', Z, Z', P, P', Q and Q' to arrive at the obviously valid point R. Agreed?
38. Atheist: Like I said, so far I've only agreed with X. Where is this going?
....
81. So we now conclude from this that propositions L'', L''' and J'' are true. Agreed?
82. I HAVEN'T AGREED WITH ANYTHING YOU'VE SAID SINCE X! WHERE IS THIS GOING!?
....
177. ...and it follows that proposition HRV, SHQ'' and BTU' are all obviously valid. Agreed?
178. [Atheist either faints from overwork or leaves in disgust.]
179. Therefore, God exists.


What's really funny is that I have read all of this at one time or another, and more, in my life. But the entirety of the page summarizes into this:


ARGUMENT FROM ASSUMPTION
(1) God exists.
(2) Therefore, God exists.


Which is why I, personally, prefer to stay away from purely philosophical arguments on this subject. Which is usually why when I do talk about this subject, more often than not, it involves science as well.


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11 comments:

Emmett said...

THE "Argument From Quantum Physics" works for me, PLUS it's a Hell of a BIG uninverse....

ANYWAY, If it wasn't for all the dumb bastards who believe in "God" AND these other Either-Or & Nothing But 'scientists," well, Christ, without such a collection of boring (!) hairpins, JUST WHO in Hell would _I_ be better than?

Emmett said...

THE Great dread of orthodox scientists is essentially economic in character; they not-unreasonably perceive that the great mobs of the unwashed, who benefit from wall-switches without an idea in their heads of what a miracle this electricity is, will go 'off' science. And, /there/ will go the funding, the ever-more-elaborate gizmoes, the prestige. What is more difficult for the scientist of to-day to grasp, so gratified is she, herself, in her pursuits, is the question of what I should say is a biologically-grounded neurological need for /meaning/, in the human animal. That is to say, when the material needs of human beings broadly are met, through technology, then those same individual animals have /more/ time on their hands, to meditate upon the whichness of what.

/THIS/ Introspective & prospective knack of our brains is the decisive factor.

FOR It means that, of course, the 'present' cultural and civilisational set-up just has to pass away, always; it is a consequence not least of the accumulated critical mass of contradictions in every quarter, to the 'official' narrative. As a young american mathematician of my acquaintance puts it: "When it all just becomes impossible of course you just have to dive into pure fantasy! This is what math-research is to me...." Physically, I would just add, on the electronic level mental phantasy is just as real as everything else -- and no doubt it creates its own critical mass over time, also. One is no fan of persecutions by religionists any more than of the increasingly-invalid conceit of the ephemeral contemporary scientific 'community', but these words of my young friend /are/ food for thought:

SURELY It cannot have eluded everyone's attention that scientism in its present form is succumbing to anachronism as a result of the same historical process of inflation that governs all late-civilisational periods.

THERE Is a real danger now, indeed, that actual creative Science will carried down, for a time at least, in the ruin caused in part by scientistic credentiallists & careerist orthodogues. For as historian-emeritus John Lukacs points out, inflation is not only an economic matter; there is as well the inflation of language: we see this for ourselves, in the opaque cant of the professionalisms; the horrid PC argle-bargle in America among objectively powerless academic leftists; and, in the necessary lies told by the leaders of all nations, when the state goes to war. All of this is part-and-parcel of the late-historical situation, and it is daily become but more of the debris which, finally, shall be swept aside by surging post-modernity. This, then, is the approximate objective state of the so-called 'debate', as between evolutionists and creationists. In the gloomy light of this actual dismal & wholly not-intelligent 'argument', therefore, I do not suppose in some as-arbitrary condition of similar hysteria that science 'will' necessarily be harmed fatally, certainly not in the long-term, by a period of some centuries, or even a millenium-and-a-half, of religious occultation. This matter of 'being hidden' is a very great content of the /shia'a/ Islams; indeed, science islamically is spoken of sometimes as another /imam/, or teacher; and, Shi'ism (/sic/) intuits with perfect comprehension the positive need, at least for intervals, of this same kind of occultation in many fields. At bottom, it is because all work in the interests of real progress can /not/ be done exclusively on a molecular scale; no more than perfect communication can be attained between two physically separated entities relying exclusively on the spoken & written word, or even on shared images. In short, if a fundamentalist interregnum be manifest in the time ahead & we perforce /are/ put back into our clothing in the West for a period of generations, /in camera/ then persons who are actually temperamentally & emotionally /scientific/ -- not these miserably extraverted & hysterical Ann Coulter-like Dawkins-drudges & wretched other media non-Einsteins! -- shall of course /continue/ making breakthroughs; these especially will be on the level of the greater refinement of instrumentation for experiment, as Science (under religious proscription) moves away from the crude (and expensive!) experimental modes of to-day:

NEW Forms of experimental method specifically shall result as a direct matter of taking up anew the unfinished (/NB/) business of the scholasticism of the age-before-last, the thirteenth century; and, carrying thus forward the whole business of /thought-experiment/ in the /'alam al-mtihal/, or realm of mental images. And, I can assure you all, we will come to the 'end' of religion (and science!)...just not for awhile yet, /amin/.

'abd al-'Abru

USpace said...

Well done!

absurd thought -
God can not be quantified
so therefore must not exist

man can't measure beyond Space
so then it must not exist
.

Emmett said...

THERE Is, some Sufis assert from personal ('subjective', /ie/...tsk!) experience, an ensemble of dimensions of perception, The Beyond, which is called, in Arabic, /al-'Abru/.

NOW, It is of note that, at least from the point of view of a thorough-going high-modern materialism, all of this perception (objectively enough!) /is/ going on in the brain-pans of these enthusiasts.

SO, A question arises:

IS This Beyond /here/? Or /there/?

AND (Mathematically perhaps), just 'how big' is Space of uspace's?

Richard W. Symonds said...

Nobody persuades anybody by having "arguments"...so let's stop arguing, especially about religion.

But we can discuss such things - and learn much from each other.

anticant said...

Actually, Richard, I think this post was intended to be humorous - but maybe that aspect escaped you?

Richard W. Symonds said...

It escaped me actually - maybe because of your obsessive pre-occupation with the subject ;)

pela68 said...

From a scientific point of wiew- I can not rule out the possible existance of a higher diety.

Let me explain...

I can't prove that a god exisists (not even if a bush spontaniously would start to burn in front of me- would it be bush jr or bush sr- snigger).

But I can not prove on the other hand that a superior diety does not exist!

So logically, there is no way for me to be shure. While I respect those that have a trust and a belief in a higher beeing- I can not my self have that sort of belief. On the grounds of me not being willing to belive before I see a true miracle! (And I do not want to see president Bush on fire).

Just give me something! A little bit of down to the ground proof! Maybe a new computer, for free which is absolutely virus proof. A car would be nice. And I would really, really want to see AIDS, malaria, the bird flue and other disceases being eradicated magically; and of course there are hundred- no- thousands of other things that should be corrected!
Give me just one of those, and I will start attending church... Again!

anticant said...

Obviously, it is impossible to prove a negative. But when a positive such as the existence of God is asserted, it is up to those who say there is a God to provide some credible evidence as distinct from claims based on faith. But no-one ever has.

Unlike you, Pela, I would be delighted to see President Bush burn - and if there really is a Hell, I am pretty certain that he will!

Emmett said...

"ROAST In Hell!" was one of my late maternal bachelor Uncle Emmett's best expletives.

AND, His friend & my farm-neighbour to-day, Mr Judson Anderson, is always on about "...the hubs of Hell!" and "Blazes of Hell!"

AND, Neither of these men ever ever thought religion was anything but -- you guessed it! -- "A crock of shit!"

Tom Freeman said...

My pet favourite is the 'oncological argument': My auntie had cancer; I prayed for the chemotherapy to work; it did; therefore God exists!