Natural Arguments for the Existence of God
First the question is “what makes for a good argument”? What philosophers generally mean when they use the word “argument” is “a series of statements or premises leading to a conclusion”. The arguments I want to use are deductive. First however, I would like to start with a brief over view of what are the rules that make up a good deductive argument?
1. A good argument must obey the rules of logic. That is to say that the conclusion must follow the premises by the rules of logic.
2. The premises need to be true.
Those are the 2 conditions to make a sound argument. If these two rules are maintained it will more than likely be a sound argument. But what else. We must also be able to have a good reason to think the premises. So to put this in a statement:
3. The premise is more plausibly true than false.
This means in a good argument you don’t need to have 100% true. The premise just needs to be more plausible than its negation. This would then be a good argument.
The good argument must be logically valid, have true premises and be logically plausible.
Some of my friends or others may not feel these are good arguments. If that’s the case then they are always more than welcome to state that these are not good arguments in comments below.
The first one I think is important to discuss is a version of the Cosmological Argument.
When we look at the mid-night sky I think we’re all overwhelmed at times. The sheer massiveness of it all. Leibniz once said “the first question which should rightly be asked is ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’” This is actually a good question that seems basic but from this we can make a simple but good argument.
1 Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence.
2 If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God
3 The universe exists
(The order of these is actually irrelevant. The rules of logic will show that these premises can lead to the conclusion.)
Premise 1 states and the universe exists as premise 3 states then it follows that the universe has an explanation of its existence. From here the explanation of the universe we can derive the existence of God from the existence of the universe.
This is actually an air tight argument. That is to say it obeys the rules of logic. If you don’t like the conclusion that’s simply irrelevant. If you think the conclusion is false that is also irrelevant. As long as the premises are true it follows logically and necessarily that God is the explanation of the existence of the universe. Thus the whole debate is not in the conclusion but in the premises. Are they true? Is it more plausible that they are false than that they are true?
Premise 3 (The universe exists) is obviously true. Thus it comes to premises 1 & 2. Are they are plausibly more true than false? If you think they are plausibly more true than false then this would be a good argument for God’s existence. By “plausible” I mean “do we have a good reason to think it is true.”