Maimonides argued that because every physical object is finite, it can only contain a finite amount of power. If everything in the universe, which includes all the planets and the stars, is finite, then there has to be an infinite power to push forth the motion of everything in the universe. Narrowing down to an infinite being, the only thing that can explain the motion is an infinite being meaning God which is neither a body nor a force in the body.
Maimonides believed that this argument gives us a ground to believe that God is, not an idea of what God is. He believed that God cannot be understood or be compared. In pantheism , God and the universe are considered to be the same thing. In this view, the natural sciences are essentially studying the nature of God. This definition of God creates the philosophical problem that a universe with God and one without God are the same, other than the words used to describe it. Deism and panentheism assert that there is a God distinct from, or which extends beyond either in time or in space or in some other way the universe.
These positions deny that God intervenes in the operation of the universe, including communicating with humans personally. The notion that God never intervenes or communicates with the universe, or may have evolved into the universe as in pandeism , makes it difficult, if not by definition impossible, to distinguish between a universe with God and one without.
In Christian faith, theologians and philosophers make a distinction between: a preambles of faith and b articles of faith. The preambles include alleged truths contained in revelation which are nevertheless demonstrable by reason, e.
The articles of faith, on the other hand, contain truths that cannot be proven or reached by reason alone and presuppose the truths of the preambles, e. The argument that the existence of God can be known to all, even prior to exposure to any divine revelation, predates Christianity. Paul the Apostle made this argument when he said that pagans were without excuse because "since the creation of the world God's invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made".
Another apologetical school of thought, including Dutch and American Reformed thinkers such as Abraham Kuyper , Benjamin Warfield , Herman Dooyeweerd , emerged in the late s.
On what grounds can one claim that the Christian God is the creator?
This school was instituted by Cornelius Van Til , and came to be popularly called presuppositional apologetics though Van Til himself felt "transcendental" would be a more accurate title. The main distinction between this approach and the more classical evidentialist approach is that the presuppositionalist denies any common ground between the believer and the non-believer, except that which the non-believer denies, namely, the assumption of the truth of the theistic worldview.
In other words, presuppositionalists do not believe that the existence of God can be proven by appeal to raw, uninterpreted, or "brute" facts, which have the same theoretical meaning to people with fundamentally different worldviews, because they deny that such a condition is even possible. They claim that the only possible proof for the existence of God is that the very same belief is the necessary condition to the intelligibility of all other human experience and action.
They attempt to prove the existence of God by means of appeal to the transcendental necessity of the belief—indirectly by appeal to the unavowed presuppositions of the non-believer's worldview rather than directly by appeal to some form of common factuality. In practice this school utilizes what have come to be known as transcendental arguments. 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.
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Alvin Plantinga presents an argument for the existence of God using modal logic. The word God has a meaning in human culture and history that does not correspond to the beings whose existence is supported by such arguments, assuming they are valid.
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The real question is not whether a "most perfect being" or an "uncaused first cause" exist. The real question is whether Jehovah , Zeus , Ra , Krishna, or any gods of any religion exist, and if so, which gods? Most of these arguments do not resolve the issue of which of these figures is more likely to exist. These arguments fail to make the distinction between immanent gods and a Transcendent God. Some [ who? The most extreme example of this position is called fideism, which holds that faith is simply the will to believe, and argues that if God's existence were rationally demonstrable, faith in its existence would become superfluous.
If God could rationally be proven, his existence would be unimportant to humans. Reymond argues that believers should not attempt to prove the existence of God. Since he believes all such proofs are fundamentally unsound, believers should not place their confidence in them, much less resort to them in discussions with non-believers; rather, they should accept the content of revelation by faith.
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Reymond's position is similar to that of his mentor Gordon Clark , which holds that all worldviews are based on certain unprovable first premises or, axioms , and therefore are ultimately unprovable. The Christian theist therefore must simply choose to start with Christianity rather than anything else, by a " leap of faith ".
This position is also sometimes called presuppositional apologetics, but should not be confused with the Van Tillian variety. The atheistic conclusion is that the arguments and evidence both indicate there is insufficient reason to believe that any gods exist, and that personal subjective religious experiences say something about the human experience rather than the nature of reality itself; therefore, one has no reason to believe that a god exists.
Positive atheism also called "strong atheism" and "hard atheism" is a form of atheism that asserts that no deities exist. Negative atheism also called "weak atheism" and "soft atheism" is any type of atheism other than positive, wherein a person does not believe in the existence of any deities, but does not explicitly assert there to be none. Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable. Strong agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any deities exist.
Weak agnosticism is the belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities is unknown but not necessarily unknowable. Agnostic theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or God, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. Agnostic theists may also insist on ignorance regarding the properties of the gods they believe in.
Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact. If a man have failed to find any good reason for believing that there is a God, it is perfectly natural and rational that he should not believe that there is a God; and if so, he is an atheist, although he assume no superhuman knowledge, but merely the ordinary human power of judging of evidence.
If he go farther, and, after an investigation into the nature and reach of human knowledge, ending in the conclusion that the existence of God is incapable of proof, cease to believe in it on the ground that he cannot know it to be true, he is an agnostic and also an atheist, an agnostic-atheist—an atheist because an agnostic. An apatheist is someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist.
An apatheist lives as if there are no gods and explains natural phenomena without reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life , nor influence everyday life , according to this view.
How to Prove that God Doesn’t Exist | Word on Fire
The ignostic or igtheist usually concludes that the question of God's existence or nonexistence is usually not worth discussing because concepts like "God" are usually not sufficiently or clearly defined. Ignosticism or igtheism is the theological position that every other theological position including agnosticism and atheism assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God. The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed.
Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable , the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God per that definition is meaningless. The second view is synonymous with theological noncognitivism, and skips the step of first asking "What is meant by 'God'? Some philosophers have seen ignosticism as a variation of agnosticism or atheism,  while others [ who?
The term "ignosticism" was coined in the s by Sherwin Wine , a rabbi and a founding figure of Humanistic Judaism. The term "igtheism" was coined by the secular humanist Paul Kurtz in his book The New Skepticism. One problem posed by the question of the existence of God is that traditional beliefs usually ascribe to God various supernatural powers. Supernatural beings may be able to conceal and reveal themselves for their own purposes, as for example in the tale of Baucis and Philemon.
In addition, according to concepts of God, God is not part of the natural order, but the ultimate creator of nature and of the scientific laws. Thus in Aristotelian philosophy , God is viewed as part of the explanatory structure needed to support scientific conclusions and any powers God possesses are—strictly speaking—of the natural order that is derived from God's place as originator of nature see also Monadology.
In Karl Popper 's philosophy of science , belief in a supernatural God is outside the natural domain of scientific investigation because all scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable in the natural world. The non-overlapping magisteria view proposed by Stephen Jay Gould also holds that the existence or otherwise of God is irrelevant to and beyond the domain of science.
Logical positivists such as Rudolf Carnap and A. Ayer viewed any talk of gods as literal nonsense. For the logical positivists and adherents of similar schools of thought, statements about religious or other transcendent experiences can not have a truth value , and are deemed to be without meaning, because such statements do not have any clear verification criteria. As the Christian biologist Scott C.
Todd put it "Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic. John Polkinghorne suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics is the ideas of quantum mechanics which are seemingly paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data. Alvin Plantinga compares the question of the existence of God to the question of the existence of other minds , claiming both are notoriously impossible to "prove" against a determined skeptic.
One approach, suggested by writers such as Stephen D. Unwin, is to treat particular versions of theism and naturalism as though they were two hypotheses in the Bayesian sense, to list certain data or alleged data , about the world, and to suggest that the likelihoods of these data are significantly higher under one hypothesis than the other.
In almost all cases it is not seriously suggested by proponents of the arguments that they are irrefutable, merely that they make one worldview seem significantly more likely than the other. However, since an assessment of the weight of evidence depends on the prior probability that is assigned to each worldview, arguments that a theist finds convincing may seem thin to an atheist and vice versa.
Philosophers, such as Wittgenstein , take a view that is considered anti-realist and oppose philosophical arguments related to God's existence. For instance, Charles Taylor contends that the real is whatever will not go away.
If we cannot reduce talk about God to anything else, or replace it, or prove it false, then perhaps God is as real as anything else. In George Berkeley 's A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge of , he argued that a "naked thought" cannot exist, and that a perception is a thought; therefore only minds can be proven to exist, since all else is merely an idea conveyed by a perception. From this Berkeley argued that the universe is based upon observation and is non-objective. However, he noted that the universe includes "ideas" not perceptible to humankind, and that there must, therefore, exist an omniscient superobserver, which perceives such things.