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Page history last edited by Brock Baker 11 years, 10 months ago


Reading for the seminar


(please link this page to the main Wiki page~)



Why is it important to debate god..?

Is a god really important in our lives?

If the existence of a god isn't important, we certainly needn't waste our time debating the issue. It should be expected that theists, and Christians in particular, will quickly say that the question of their god's existence is indeed vitally important. It would not be unusual to find them saying that this question eclipses all other questions which humanity might ask. But the skeptic or nonbeliever should not simply grant them this assumption.

However, if we accept this line of reasoning, then we are accepting a particular set of characteristics which have not yet been established to be true. It must be remembered that we didn't ask if their god with its supposed characteristics is important. Instead we asked if the existence of any god, generally speaking, was important.

Why debate god at all..?

What’s the point of debating if not to convert someone to some other philosophy or religion?

One Argument Against (A Perfect Creator?)

The first argument is based on the idea that a perfect being has no need to create anything at all:

  1. God is perfect. (premise)
  2. God deliberately created the universe. (premise)
  3. Perfection entails the lack of needs or wants. (premise)
  4. Being perfect, God does not now nor ever has nor ever will have any needs or wants. (from 1, 3)
  5. Deliberate creation entails an effort to satisfy some need or want. (premise)
  6. Being a creator, God at one time had some need or want. (from 2, 5)
  7. It is impossible to have some need or want and also to never have any need or want.
  8. Conclusion: God, if it exists, is either not perfect or has not created anything. (from 4, 6)

If God is perfect, then God can’t have any needs or wants; hence, God wouldn’t bother creating something. If God deliberately creates something, it must be because of some need or want — even if it is as simple as curiosity.

Theists may reject premise #3 — the idea that perfection means not having any needs or wants. One argument is that God was so full of love that it wanted to share its love with other and thus created other beings — but this example of a want does not give a reason why the premise is wrong, it simply denies it.

Another argument against premise #3 is that perfection is compatible with having needs or wants. I just don’t see any merit to this, as it goes against the basic understanding of what “perfect” means: lacking nothing essential to the whole. If God needed something, then God lacked something essential.

Theists might also challenge premise #5 and argue that the creation of the universe was not deliberate but instead accidental. If an accidental creation is compatible with a perfect God, this argument would render the existence of the universe even more trivial than the previous argument. Because perfection is incompatible with error, any being that can do something accidentally is unlikely to be perfect.

Cosmology Argument (Featuring Aritstotle)



Our present position, then, is this: We have argued that there always was motion and always will be motion throughout all time, and we have explained what is the first principle of this eternal motion: we have explained further which is the primary motion and which is the only motion that can be eternal: and we have pronounced the first movement [or: “Prime Mover”] to be unmoved.
- Aristotle, Physics, Book VIII, chapter 9

Aristotle’s “Prime Mover” is an important premise behind cosmological arguments for the existence of a god. His basic idea was that everything that happens is caused by something else.

Pascal’s Wager

Someone who offers Pascal’s Wager is arguing that to believe in God is a better bet than not believing in God. If you believe and God exists, you’ll go to heaven and avoid hell; if you believe and are wrong, you lose nothing. If you don’t believe in God and God does exist, you’ll lose heaven and go to hell; if you’re right, then you gain nothing.

The first problem lies in the implicit yet unstated assumption that we already know which god we should believe in. That assumption, however, is not necessary to the argument, and thus the argument itself does not explain which religion a person should follow. This can be described as the “avoiding the wrong hell” dilemma. If you happen to follow the right religion, you may indeed “go to heaven and avoid hell.”

One Argument For

Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:

  • Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.
  • Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.
  • Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?
  • The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
  • Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
  • People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?






Comments (2)

Mallory Kohn said

at 11:48 am on Jan 9, 2009

Hey Kim, Katie and i found an excellent article. It mentions 6 reasons for the existance of God, and it also mentions what non-believers think a little bit, but not thourghouly. here it is if you wanna check it out. http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html. I emailed it to Mr. Baker to post it onto the web page.
I don't know if you found a video yet, so katies doing a lil search in class on youtube, but she hasn't really found ne thing for sure.

Kimberley said

at 11:01 pm on Jan 9, 2009

I put up my reading thingy I put together. =]

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