Friday, April 23, 2010

It is reasonable to believe in God. Pt 6

I have been arguing belief in God is reasonable by putting forth a short, cumulative case for the existence of God.  In my last post, I argued the existence of universal morals is best explained by the existence of an ultimate creator.  Today, I want to focus on some lesser known arguments for the existence of God.

Quick Extras (Maybe One Not So Quick)
There are many, many arguments for the existence of God.  Some have been researched more than others.  In this space, I will treat some of my favorites in a very short way.

The Argument From Desire
One of my favorite arguments for the existence of God is called the argument from desire.  Many people have used this argument.  It appeals to the desire in all of us for meaning, love, glory, and other desires.  Some have put the argument this way: "There is a God-shaped hole in each of us."  C.S. Lewis was very good at using this argument.

The way I put this argument is:  For most of the things I want, I find there is a suitable, even perfect, satisfier for this desire.  When I am hungry (the desire for food) I can find food.  When I am thirsty (the desire for drink) I can have water.  I cannot think of one physical desire for which there is not a perfect satisfying element in this universe.  You could suggest the world was made in such a way as to be able to work towards satisfying needs/wants of its inhabitants. (By the way this is another form of the argument from Teleology.)

It is almost as perfect with my non-physical (spiritual) desires.  My desire to have loving companionship is fulfilled by my wife.  The desire I have to care for, and nurture the creation is fulfilled by my care for my home and dogs.  I desire to leave a legacy for new generations, and hopefully someday I will have children of my own to do this with.  But unlike my physical desires, these "spiritual" desires are not perfectly fulfilled all the time.

However, I can see glimpses of how these might be fulfilled perfectly.  It leads me to believe, that if all of my physical desires can be met perfectly, might there be a place where my spiritual desires can be perfectly met?  After observing how many desires are satisfied, CS Lewis put it this way: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

I find this most compelling for the Christian God when one considers our desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and yet we do not want to lose ourselves.  In other words, we all want to live a meaningful life, but be able to be who we are.  All other worldviews do not answer this adequately.  Atheism tells us to only care for ourselves, while Pantheism tells us to lose ourselves in the cosmic goo.  

Only Christianity gives an adequate explanation for this desire.  The Christian God is the perfect example of this in the Triune nature.  God is a unified being in three persons.  All members of the Trinity are fully God (unity), but are fully distinct persons (individuals).  No other worldview answers this question in a satisfactory manner.

The Argument From Beauty
I think I like the way Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli put this.  It goes something like this: There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.  Therefore, there is a God.  Seriously, check it out in this book.  

Beauty, like the beauty represented by this picture from space needs an explanation.  The best explanation is it was created by a designer.

I know there is a lot more to explain in this argument, but these are supposed to be quick extras and I already really screwed that up.

The Argument From Consciousness
The fact that there is something unphysical about us points to an unphysical cause.  Our mind needs an adequate explanation for existence.  The existence of mind (not our brains) cannot be explained by physical means.  The best explanation is another mind.

There are a lot more of these arguments.  I find some of them more compelling than others, but in a cumulative case all contribute to the case for the existence of God.

Next: Conclusion

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