Philosophy of Religion

Chapter  1. OVERVIEW

Section 7 .    The Existence of God: What proof is there?


Arguments for God's Existence :Are there any reasons to believe?

The question arises as to how humans can be sure that the spiritual being, the Supreme Being actually exists.   Throughout recorded history humans have thought of this.  There is ample evidence of the belief and a good deal of evidence of humans attempting to provide support for that belief.  The arguments or proofs that have been offered will be examined.  The arguments each have their critics.  None appear to be without weakness.  Here is a listing provided as an overview of the examination to come.

The arguments have different forms and are based on different foundations.

A.    Revelation- scripture- direct instruction from the deity

B.    Reason

       Ontological argument

       Cosmological argument

       Teleological argument

C.    Experience  Religious experience of the divine (absolute)


       mystical- ineffable and noetic, Numinous Experience- mystical consciousness of the "HOLY", infinite dependence , mystery, terror, bliss

     indirect - the experience of Miracles 


D.    Psychic Phenomena-Death and Immortality-

Support for the post-mortem survival hypothesis

       apparitions-spirits/ ghosts/ poltergeists

       sťances - communication with the dead

       reincarnation memories

       near death experiences-NDE's

       death bed observations

       sacred scripture

Arguments against the post mortem survival hypothesis

       the irrational nature of the explanation of consciousness

       lack of clear, unambiguous physical evidence


E.     Pragmatism - faith   

Arguments are offered to support belief in the existence of a deity not based upon any evidence but on a consideration of the consequences of holding such a belief.  This is characteristic of the approach of pragmatists such as William James and before him the French thinker, Blaise Pascal.  

Arguments to disprove the existence of the Supreme and All perfect being

There are arguments that attempt to disprove that the god of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions exists.  One of the most famous and powerful is based on the existence of evil. 


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© Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2001. All Rights reserved.

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