Page 1 Does God really exist? The existence of God has been a controversial question for as long as time has existed. As many arguments can be made for and against the existence of God. In this essay, I wish to explore arguments both for and against and eventually come a conclusion that God does indeed exist. The very essence of Man, all his values and his beliefs, are wrapped up in this question, “Does God exist? ” Most of us were brought up to believe that God does exist, and as such it is deeply engrained in our psyche.
The religious books, for example, the Quran, the Bible and the Torah all claim great religious journeys and miracles that were experienced by biblical characters like the prophets and even ordinary people of the time. Of course, these stories were most narrated by observers but those of us who have faith believe that the holy books are the words of God. Are these miracle stories all true? Are they false? If any of these is indeed true then it points towards there being some supernatural power or God.
Faith is in fact the ability to suspend your disbelief and believe in the unseen. There is no proof of his existence; yet people of great intelligence can find no other logical explanation for the wonder of the grand design of our universe. Paley, in his theological discussion regarding God’s existence states that this discussion goes above the realm of human intelligence. The intricacies and design that fits so perfectly causes Paley (1) to compare the design of the universe to that of the watch.
As the design of the universe is so much bigger and grander than the watch, it indicates that there is a being more powerful and more intelligent than man. Hence, a superior being – God does exist! Soren Kierkegaard suggested like Kant that the human minds cannot use its meager mind to rationally prove the existence of God. He believed that it was not about reason but about the faith to believe as “reason has no place in faith” The concept of God is thus intentionally beyond the realms of the possibilities of the human understanding. Page 2
Then, of course there is the moral argument: Man is conscious of morality and laws or norms. This implies that somewhere there was a great lawmaker. Originally all law originated from the Church or from some form of religion. Secular law was an offshoot of sacral or religious law. One can imagine what society would be like without a belief system. It would be chaos – there would be no morality. Murder, rape would all be acceptable. People would have had no moral conscience – many fear the wrath of God and the afterlife so without this there would be anarchy.
The cosmological argument for the existence of God decrees that everything once started; everything including the universe once began – so this beginning was caused – often referred to as the “First Cause”. Something or someone must have caused this – it could not cause its own existence. So, this argument backs up the belief in God who first caused the entire universe into existence – so, if the universe exists – God must exist. The Teleological argument argues for the existence of God. It argues that the universe was created for the specifically designed purpose of sustaining life.
The laws of nature and the intricate complexities of nature boggle one’s mind. The perfect balance of conditions that make life possible and sustainable can only point to a grand design. If it was in any way different life would not have been possible. The correct balance of air to breathe, of water, of fire – the design of the human body and mind; in fact of all life forms to fit so perfectly into the natural element can only be by design not by accident or by chance – the only explanation for this can be that it was created by a Superior being to maintain and sustain life.
In his article on Dualism, Randall Niles (3) discusses the differences between the brain and the mind. He states that the mind cannot be limited to merely the physical brain as that would exclude the nature or, indeed the “soulish” nature of man. If the mind was merely the material brain how do we explain all emotions, all thoughts of altruism, fairness, truth, reality – all those abstract thoughts and qualities that distinguish man from mere material matter. Why would we struggle with these issues? Why would we even care? Yes, we have brain matter but we are so much more.
If we were not we would not be responsible for our actions – we would just operate in a programmed pre-determined instinctive way. Page 3 This spiritual mind as opposed to the material brain should be like it its designer and this is consistent with the Christian Biblical interpretation (4) where in Genesis 2:7 we read that God made man in his image according to his likeness. So, if dualism and the theory that man is more than mere material matter are to be believed then God who designed Man in his image certainly exists. The agnostic point of view should also be discussed and pondered.
The term agnosticism was first coined by Thomas Henry Huxley (5) who said that the existence or non-existence of God cannot be conclusively proven or disproven. David Hume, a philosopher from Scotland thought that, “statements about God and the universe should always be qualified by some degree of doubt” So, this shows that man’s reasoning power is not meant to comprehend the totality of the concept of God. This point to the need to have faith, the ability to believe in that which is not tangible, that you cannot see, feel, touch or hear.
A more cynical argument but still one that deserves a mention is the argument from French mathematician, Blaise Pascal. (2). He said that religion teaches us that if we believe in God and he does in fact exist, we will earn the reward of Heaven for ever. If, on the other hand, we do believe in God and he does not exist we will only have given up some forbidden fun prohibited by religion. If we don’t believe in God and he does exist we will have had the anti religious forbidden fun but we might go to Hell. If we do believe in God and he does exist then we have no problem.
So, does it not make more sense to believe in God, forgo a little fun and be safe – just in case? This leads us to look at Atheism, which the website “Conservapedia” lists as being defined as (7) “the denial of the Existence of God”. Paul-Henri Thiry was one of the first exponents of atheism as early as the mid 1700’s. Atheists believed that as there is no proof that God exists as as religion has not managed to produce proof that he does exist – you cannot believe that he does. Somehow, all the wonder of creation and of the intricacies of the universe appears to go unnoticed by them.
Lately this theory has been watered down. Led by Charles Bradlough in 1876, many atheists are now asserting that atheism does not state that there is not deity – merely that there is a lack of evidence of a God. Page 4 The question disbelievers often ask is what is the origin of God? If God created all material beings and all of nature – who did all that for him? Who created God? This leads me to Carl Sagan (8) who when confronted with the idea that matter has always been in existence remarked, “If that is the case and matter has always been; can we say that the universe has always been in existence? If scientists are to be believed then the universe had a beginning then a cataclysmic scientific event must have brought it into being – it could not just have happened by chance. The problem is that we cannot conceive of God and the creation of the universe in material terms as God (according) to the Bible is not of physical matter. So the origin or creation of God is a moot point. God cannot be thought of in physical material terms so he could not be created. He merely and his existence is intentionally too mind boggling for the human mind to comprehend.
You just have to believe in God’s existence. When asking the question, Who created God, we are, according to John Clayton (11) (2008) “assuming that God was created; which is a contradiction in terms. ” According to the New Saint James Bible God exists outside of time and space as in “Revelation 22:13” the Bible makes refers to the beginning of time, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth” He created the beginning of time and can therefore not be mortal and cannot be perceived in terms of matter or in terms of time and space or any human or material form.
The problem of evil in the world is seen as a logical reason for disbelief in God. If God is all perfect, all knowing and all good why is such evil permitted by Him in the world. The suffering of little children, the innocent cannot surely be justified. The questions arise: If God is the creator of everything and evil is very much in evidence in this world: is God the creator of evil? Evil has to exist alongside good to create a measurement – so there is no evil without good! We may ask does this evil come from God.
If one bears in mind that God created Man with free will and the reasoning power to differentiate between good and evil then man is allowed to choose between good and evil. Why does God allow this evil? Page 5 There is the theory that Man is being punished on earth for his sins but why are the innocent made to suffer? Is this a warning to others to prevent evil in the world? Is it to prepare us for the next world where there will be no evil as we will all have learned from our experiences on this earth?
William Rowe (12) in his writings, the Problem of Evil states that it is very hard to justify the permitting of evil by such a “just, all merciful God” This is a justifiable reason for disbelief in the existence of God. However, there are, as Rowe cites Hick as stating, ” There are goods we are not even aware of that will outweigh the evil. It is only in an imperfect environment of evil and good where man will learn the difference and will evolve to become the mature being God intends for us to become.
So, in conclusion, to my rational mind I have found that all the arguments for disbelief in God had a reasonable argument that could be overcome by faith and the belief in God. We might not understand the omnipotence of God, we might not understand his actions and we might not get all our answers in this world. When I look around me at the symmetry and the wonders of Creation I can only conclude that there is a God and my very existence is iving, breathing proof of his existence. Page 6 Bibliography 1. www. tellmehowto. net/answer/what_is_paleys_watch – Paley 2. wikipedia. rg/wiki/ – Blaise Pascal 3. New King James Version of the Bible : Genesis 2:7 4. Richard Niles Dualism – Mind/Brain – www. allaboutphilosophy. org. 5. Wikipedia. org – Agnosticism 6. Hume, David, “An enquiry concerning human understanding” (1748) 7. Conservapedia – Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 8. Carl Sagan, Cosmos New York: Random Hose Inc (1980) Pg. 257 9. John N. Clayton – Does God Exist (2008) South Bend New York Pg 18-22. 10. William Rowe – The Problem of Evil – The Philosophy of Religion Pg 113. 11. www. philosophyofreligion. info (theistic proofs.