The first two questions face anyone who cares to distinguish the real from the unreal and the true from the false.
As Known Through Faith A. The Knowability of God I.
Formal Anti-Theism Had the Theist merely to face a blank Atheistic denial of God's existence, his task would he comparatively a light one. Formal dogmatic Atheism is self-refuting, and has never de facto won the reasoned assent of any considerable number of men.
Nor can Polytheism, however easily it may take hold of the popular imagination, ever satisfy the mind of a philosopher. But there are several varieties of what may be described as virtual Atheism which cannot be dismissed so summarily. There is the Agnosticism, for instance, of Herbert Spencer, which, while admitting the rational necessity of postulating the Absolute or Unconditioned behind the relative and conditioned objects of our knowledge declares that Absolute to be altogether unknowable, to be in fact the Unknowable, about which without being guilty of contradiction we can predicate nothing at all, except perhaps that It exists; and there are other types of Agnosticism.
Then again there is Pantheism in an almost endless variety of forms, all of which, however, may be logically reduced to the three following types: Thus to accomplish even the beginning of his task the Theist has to show, against Agnostics, that the knowledge of God attainable by rational inference -- however inadequate and imperfect it may be -- is as true and valid, as far as it goes, as any other piece of knowledge we possess; and against Pantheists that the God of reason is a supra-mundane personal God distinct both from matter and from the finite human mind -- that neither we ourselves nor the earth we tread upon enter into the constitution of His being.
Types of Theism But passing from views that are formally anti-theistic, it is found that among Theists themselves certain differences exist which tend to complicate the problem, and increase the difficulty of stating it briefly and clearly.
Some of these differences are brief and clear. Some of these differences are merely formal and accidental and do not affect the substance of the theistic thesis, but others are of substantial importance, as, for instance, whether we can validly establish the truth of God's existence by the same kind of rational inference e.
Kant denied in the name of "pure reason" the inferential validity of the classical theistic proofs, while in the name of "practical reason" he postulated God's existence as an implicate of the moral law, and Kant's method has been followed or imitated by many Theists -- by some who fully agree with him in rejecting the classical arguments; by others, who, without going so far, believe in the apologetical expediency of trying to persuade rather than convince men to be Theists.
A moderate reaction against the too rigidly mathematical intellectualism of Descartes was to be welcomed, but the Kantian reaction by its excesses has injured the cause of Theism and helped forward the cause of anti-theistic philosophy. Herbert Spencer, as is well known, borrowed most of his arguments for Agnosticism from Hamilton and Mansel, who had popularized Kantian criticism in England, while in trying to improve on Kant's reconstructive transcendentalism, his German disciples Fichte, Schelling, Hegel drifted into Pantheism.
Kant also helped to prepare the way for the total disparagement of human reason in relation to religious truth, which constitutes the negative side of Traditionalism, while the appeal of that system on the positive side to the common consent and tradition of mankind as the chief or sole criterion of truth and more especially of religious truth -- its authority as a criterion being traced ultimately to a positive Divine revelation -- is, like Kant's refuge in practical reason, merely an illogical attempt to escape from Agnosticism.
Again, though Ontologism -- like that of Malebranche d. This system maintains that we have naturally some immediate consciousness, however dim at first, or some intuitive knowledge of God -- not indeed that we see Him in His essence face to face but that we know Him in His relation to creatures by the same act of cognition -- according to Rosmini, as we become conscious of being in general -- and therefore that the truth of His existence is as much a datum of philosophy as is the abstract idea of being.
Finally, the philosophy of Modernism -- about which there has recently been such a stir -- is a somewhat complex medley of these various systems and tendencies; its main features as a system are: Now all these varying types of Theism, in so far as they are opposed to the classical and traditional type, may be reduced to one or other of the two following propositions: But an appeal to experience, not to mention other objections, is sufficient to negative the first proposition -- and the second, which, as history has already made clear, is an illogical compromise with Agnosticism, is best refuted by a simple statement of the theistic Proofs.
It is not the proofs that are found to be fallacious but the criticism which rejects them. But this is very different from holding that we possess any faculty or power which assures us of God's existence and which is independent of, and superior to, the intellectual laws that regulate our assent to truth in general -- that in the religious sphere we can transcend those laws without confessing our belief in God to be irrational.
It is also true that a mere barren intellectual assent to the truth of God's existence -- and such an assent is conceivable -- falls very far short of what religious assent ought to be; that what is taught in revealed religion about the worthlessness of faith uninformed by charity has its counterpart in natural religion; and that practical Theism, if it pretends to be adequate, must appeal not merely to the intellect but to the heart and conscience of mankind and be capable of winning the total allegiance of rational creatures.
But here again we meet with exaggeration and confusion on the part of those Theists who would substitute for intellectual assent something that does not exclude but presupposes it and is only required to complement it.
The truth and pertinency of these observations will be made clear by the following summary of the classical arguments for God's existence.
And while all admit the validity and sufficiency of the latter method, opinion is divided in regard to the former. Some maintain that a valid a priori proof usually called the ontological is available; others deny this completely; while some others maintain an attitude of compromise or neutrality.
This difference, it should be observed, applies only to the question of proving God's actual existence; for, His self-existence being admitted, it is necessary to employ a priori or deductive inference in order to arrive at a knowledge of His nature and attributes, and as it is impossible to develop the arguments for His existence without some working notion of His nature, it is necessary to some extent to anticipate the deductive stage and combine the a priori with the a posteriori method.
But no strictly a priori conclusion need be more than hypothetically assumed at this stage. A Posteriori Argument St. Thomas Summa Theologica I: For the same reason efficient causes, as we see them operating in this world, imply the existence of a First Cause that is uncaused, i.
The fact that contingent beings exist, i. The graduated perfections of being actually existing in the universe can be understood only by comparison with an absolute standard that is also actual, i. The wonderful order or evidence of intelligent design which the universe exhibits implies the existence of a supramundane Designer, who is no other than God Himself.Does God Exist Debate Philosophy Essay.
Print Reference this. Disclaimer: It is stated from the following three arguments that the existence of God can not be true so the first one states that; evil is their and yet God has the ability to prevent it from happening.
Existence of God Essay. Popular Arguments For The Existence Of God The Ontological Argument One of the most important attempts to demonstrate the existence of God is the ontological argument of Saint Anselm, an 11th-century theologian.
Anselm’s argument maintains that God, defined as the greatest being that can be conceived, . The Triune God: An Essay in Postliberal Theology [William C. Placher] on caninariojana.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
In this original, contemporary doctrine of the Trinity, William Placher places the history of theology in dialogue with postmodern philosophy and yields a provocative postliberal interpretation.
Placher deftly connects a radical view of God's transcendence with a narrative. “The scientist, however, may wish to challenge the assumption that an infinite mind (God) is simpler than the universe.
In our experience, mind only exists in physical . Arguments for the Existence of God General Information. Proofs FOR the Existence of God While theology may take God's existence as absolutely necessary on the basis of authority, faith, or revelation, many philosophers-and some theologians-have thought it possible to demonstrate by reason that there must be a God.
In these arguments they claim to demonstrate that all human experience and action (even the condition of unbelief, itself) is a proof for the existence of God, because God's existence is the necessary condition of their intelligibility.