Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

07/28/2009 (5:24 pm)

I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist: Proof of God Summation

In previous installments I’ve established

  • that there’s a need for explaining why Christianity is the most reasonable position for an educated, skeptical individual to take (see the post here);
  • that there exists such a thing as absolute truth, and that truth claims may be made about religion just as they can about any other topic (see the post here);
  • that using the Cosmological Argument, the scientific fact that our universe had a beginning establishes that something like a Theistic God must exist (see the post here);
  • that using the Teleological Argument, the anthropic principle establishes that the universe was designed for life, which requires a designer something like a Theistic God (see the post here).
  • that using the Moral Argument, the fact that we all recognize that some things are more morally acceptable than others requires that a universal moral standard exists outside of ourselves, requiring a moral God (see the post here).

The sum of these arguments gives us not only confidence that something like a Theistic God exists, but gives us some pretty clear indications what such a God must be like:

From the Cosmological argument:

  • We know that the creator must be immaterial, timeless, and non-spatial, because material, time, and space all had a beginning.
  • We know that the creator must be immensely powerful, because the entire universe was created out of nothing.

From the Teleological argument:

  • We know that the creator must be extremely intelligent, to plan the universe so carefully.
  • We know that the creator must be purposive, that it has what we would call intention, because design implies purpose.

From the Moral argument:

  • We know that the creator must be morally perfect, because the moral standard emanates from it.
  • We know that the creator is personal, because it cares how we behave.

I would be jumping the gun if I claimed at this point that I had proved that the God that exists is the God of the Christian Bible. However, I’m not going too far when I say that having proved that God must be immaterial, timeless, non-spatial, immensely powerful, extremely intelligent, purposive, morally perfect, and personal, makes the Christian God one of the most plausible candidates. The Jewish and Islamic Gods are also candidates, although I should point out that historically, all three notions come from the same source, which is the Hebrew Tanakh — what we would call the Old Testament.

By proving this, I’ve also demonstrated that the following notions are not plausible, because, being either pantheistic or atheistic, they do not fit the observed facts of the universe:

  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Atheism
  • Secular Humanism
  • Mormonism
  • Wicca
  • Confucianism
  • Taoism

This is not to say that everybody whose beliefs fall into one of those categories, or into something similar, are wrong about every particular, are incapable of moral behavior, or any such thing. It’s simply to say that the primary claims of those systems do not fit the observed facts of the universe.

Later this week, I will be posting a discussion of whether miracles can be believed or not. Until then…

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5 Comments »

August 1, 2009 @ 8:40 pm #

Phil, good series and helpful summary.

I’ve been on vacation and could only once plug into the net. (Maybe that’s one reason my vacation was so relaxing!) So this is kind of a late comment.

You said: “We know that the creator must be extremely intelligent, to plan the universe so carefully.”

Yes. A thousand trillion times. Yes! For the kind of computing power God employs is not only the design of the universe and all the particulars (including free will), but he makes his choices from all, I repeat ALL, the possibilities out there in an un-actualized forethought called ‘middle knowledge’. Think virtual wind tunnel on mega steroids. Sounds fantastically impossible. But that is exactly the kind of knowledge reserved for God and God alone.

This probably goes beyond your proofs. But I thought you would appreciate this connection to your summary.

August 3, 2009 @ 9:56 am #

[…] will be a summation of the arguments proving the existence of God. | var addthis_pub = “philwynk”; | Related posts: […]

August 3, 2009 @ 10:19 am #

[…] that the summation of the Cosmological, Teleological, and Moral arguments gives us a composite picture of what the theistic God must be like, and that that composite picture is remarkably similar to the God of the Christian Bible, but not quite similar enough for a positive ID (see the post here.) […]

March 17, 2010 @ 10:36 am #

[…] that the summation of the Cosmological, Teleological, and Moral arguments gives us a composite picture of what the theistic God must be like, and that that composite picture is remarkably similar to the God of the Christian Bible, but not quite similar enough for a positive ID (see the post here); […]

May 27, 2011 @ 4:55 pm #

[…] that the summation of the Cosmological, Teleological, and Moral arguments gives us a composite picture of what the theistic God must be like, and that that composite picture is remarkably similar to the God of the Christian Bible, but not quite similar enough for a positive ID (see the post here); […]

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