Arguments for the Existence of God

HomeChristianity and the BibleArguments for the Existence of God

There are many arguments for the existence of God. Some suggest that the mere existence of the universe requires a supreme being. Some claim that the order and complexity of the universe is evidence of a creator. Others begin with what it means to be human, and infer the existence of God. Still others rely on simple logic.

Each different argument provides a different way of looking at the evidence for God’s existence, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The existence of God can’t be objectively proven, but these arguments show that there are good reasons to believe that He exists.

A note about evidence: it exists. Some skeptics will toss out the objection that there’s no evidence for God’s existence. That’s a silly thing to say. We all have the exact same evidence. The difference is in how we analyze and understand the evidence. According to Scripture, including Romans 1:20, humanity has enough evidence to know that God exists.

Argument NameArgument Summary
The Cosmological ArgumentThis argument begins with the existence of things. The Greek kosmos means the world, the universe, all of humanity, or a harmonious arrangement of things. It says that everything that exists must have a cause. The universe exists, so it must have a cause, and we call that cause “God.” Both Plato and Aristotle argued using these ‘first cause arguments.’
The Kalam Cosmological ArgumentThis more modern argument, based in ancient thought, says that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. Because the universe began to exist, it must have been caused by something outside the universe. From this we can extrapolate a specific kind of cause: a power, intelligent being… and more. Dr. William Lane Craig has popularized this argument, based in part on the work of Persian philosopher al-Ghazali.
The Teleological ArgumentThe Greek telos means an end, or a goal or purpose. The complexity and orderliness of the universe suggest a purposeful design, which implies the existence of a creator. Not only that, but it suggests that this creator had a goal in mind. The first recorded instance of this argument comes from Socrates.
The Ontological ArgumentThe Greek ontos refers to things which exist in reality. The concept of a perfect being who possesses all perfections must necessarily exist in reality, and that being is God. This argument was written by Anselm of Canterbury.
The Moral ArgumentThe existence of objective moral values and duties in the world necessitate the existence of a moral law-giver, which is God. The best-known argument was written by Immanuel Kant.
The Argument from Religious ExperiencePersonal testimonies of those encountering God provide some evidence for God’s existence. This evidence is limited, but can be powerful when the one who shares it is trustworthy.
The Argument from ConsciousnessConsciousness can’t be explained by nature alone. This argument suggests that there must be a non-physical explanation such as existence of minds or souls, both of which which imply God’s existence.
Pascal’s WagerBlaise Pascal argued that believing in God is wiser than not believing in God because the benefits of believing outweigh the risks.
The Argument from Fine-TuningScientific observation of the universe shows it to be finely-tuned for the existence of life. The narrow conditions for life suggest that the universe was designed by a powerful, intelligent being who purposely created it to sustain life.
The Argument from MiraclesA miracle is an event that cannot be explained by natural causes. This suggests there is a supernatural being who can suspend the laws of physics in the natural world. We call that being God.
The Argument from ContingencyEverything in the universe depends on some other thing for its existence. This implies the existence of a being whose existence is independent of everything else. This is related to ancient ‘first cause’ arguments.
Five Ways (Thomas Aquinas)A set of arguments combining Prime Mover, First Cause, Contingency, Ontological, and Teleological.

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