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  #1  
Old Aug 8, '12, 3:06 am
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Drinkgasoline Drinkgasoline is offline
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Default Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

What, in your opinion, is the most convincing argument and why?

A few examples are the classical arguments such as Aquinas' cosmological arugment or the 5 ways, Descartes' ontological argument, The many different versions of the teleological argument, The fine-tuning argument, Intelligent design argument, Kant's moral argument, CS Lewis' argument from reason etc.
There are many other examples that I haven't listed, feel free to put them down too.
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  #2  
Old Aug 8, '12, 4:33 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

The most convincing argument over the centuries seems to be: you will live forever and if you don't believe in God (as a necessary but not sufficient condition) you will burn forever in hell. When presented by the only educated people in the village this seemed pretty compelling. It still has force today. Fear can induce belief.

On the philosophical level, a 'convincing' argument should be assessed by the number of previously non-believing people it 'convinces'. In another thread a kind CAFer has found for me an example (which I am researching) of someone said to have been convinced by the five proofs. But only the one. How have these other 'proofs' done in the real world, with real non-believers?
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  #3  
Old Aug 8, '12, 4:52 am
ApologiaSophia ApologiaSophia is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokomai View Post
The most convincing argument over the centuries seems to be: you will live forever and if you don't believe in God (as a necessary but not sufficient condition) you will burn forever in hell. When presented by the only educated people in the village this seemed pretty compelling. It still has force today. Fear can induce belief.

On the philosophical level, a 'convincing' argument should be assessed by the number of previously non-believing people it 'convinces'. In another thread a kind CAFer has found for me an example (which I am researching) of someone said to have been convinced by the five proofs. But only the one. How have these other 'proofs' done in the real world, with real non-believers?
How facetiouss of you ^_^ How burning infidels is not an argument it is a threat. So it did not answer the question, but at least you got a chance to show off your personal bias and disdain. (fyi, as efficient as burning at the stake can be, history shows that Christianity has always grown fastest under persecution, not while inducing it).

To answer your question, I find Plantinga's ontological to be an interesting one. The kalaam cosmological argument does well these days. Really, all of the arguments enforce eachother and become stronger when used with one another. Personally i like to point out how naturalism is inherently insufficient in explaining the origins of. The natural world. God is not just the best explanation of sufficient cause, it is currently the only sufficient explanation we have. To prove my point, imagine a way the Universe could come into existence by natural means. Its impossible, because natural things by their very nature are contingent. Take this with how we account for neccessary beings. The only things that are eternal are things which exist necessarily. Matter could have not existed, therefore it is not eternal, thus created. Numbers, logic, virtue/morality are uncreated. These are all concepts however, yet the entire cosmos follow the conceptions of mind. The eternal entities must then eternally exist within a mind, one which can than use the them for the creation of contingent entities. In short, natural/material origins fail philosophically. Point, blank, period. Even if God did not exist, naturalism could not be true. I am at a loss at what a third alternative could be however.
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  #4  
Old Aug 8, '12, 5:40 am
JDaniel JDaniel is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drinkgasoline View Post
What, in your opinion, is the most convincing argument and why?

A few examples are the classical arguments such as Aquinas' cosmological arugment or the 5 ways, Descartes' ontological argument, The many different versions of the teleological argument, The fine-tuning argument, Intelligent design argument, Kant's moral argument, CS Lewis' argument from reason etc.
There are many other examples that I haven't listed, feel free to put them down too.
Drinkgasoline:

I'm one that was convinced by St. Thomas' Five Ways. When fully understood - which is the key - they are the most powerful arguments ever discovered. But, that's just my humble opinion.

St. Anselm's argument is very compelling as well. But, it, too, must be fully understood.


God bless,
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  #5  
Old Aug 8, '12, 5:47 am
padrepio_2012 padrepio_2012 is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

The most convincing argument for me is nature itself. Look how it's all just so, fine tuned and organized. Tress grow up not spread out across the ground. The cycles of the earth like precipitation and all that. It's just overwhelming evidence. But the most compelling evidence is myself. I ( and all other humans) am like no other thing in this universe (besides God) We humans are so complicatedly built it boggles me. If I had a computer now id go n more details but I'm on my phone
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  #6  
Old Aug 8, '12, 6:00 am
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User124 User124 is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

A good argument would be that any of those "convincing arguments" for the existence of designer(s) do not serve or prove any of the gods ever worshiped in our human history.
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  #7  
Old Aug 8, '12, 7:44 am
belorg belorg is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApologiaSophia View Post
How facetiouss of you ^_^ How burning infidels is not an argument it is a threat. So it did not answer the question, but at least you got a chance to show off your personal bias and disdain. (fyi, as efficient as burning at the stake can be, history shows that Christianity has always grown fastest under persecution, not while inducing it).

To answer your question, I find Plantinga's ontological to be an interesting one.

Plantinga himself does not seem to think that his OA is a convincing argument for the existence of God.


Quote:
The kalaam cosmological argument does well these days.
The KCA fails. It leads to a logical contradiction.


Quote:
Really, all of the arguments enforce eachother and become stronger when used with one another.
That is demonstrably false. The KCA, for instance does not work if Thomism is true, and neither dozs the moral argument.



Quote:
Personally i like to point out how naturalism is inherently insufficient in explaining the origins of. The natural world. God is not just the best explanation of sufficient cause, it is currently the only sufficient explanation we have.

God is not only not the best explananyion, it is actually not even an explanantion at all.


Quote:
To prove my point, imagine a way the Universe could come into existence by natural means. Its impossible, because natural things by their very nature are contingent.

That's not provable. It's just an assertion. We have no idea whether 'natural' things can be necessary or not, but there is no proff that they acn't.

Quote:
Take this with how we account for neccessary beings. The only things that are eternal are things which exist necessarily.

Again, this is not provable. Richard Swinburne, a respected Christian philosopher and theologian, e.g. holds that God is eternal and contingent.

Quote:
Matter could have not existed, therefore it is not eternal, thus created.
Matter could not have existed, therefore it is not necessary, but it may be eternal.
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  #8  
Old Aug 8, '12, 8:34 am
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empther empther is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Only the A-team can be this deceptive:

Quote:
Quote:
Take this with how we account for neccessary beings. The only things that are eternal are things which exist necessarily.
Again, this is not provable. Richard Swinburne, a respected Christian philosopher and theologian, e.g. holds that God is eternal and contingent.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Swinburne
Quote:
While he presents many arguments to advance the belief that God exists, he argues that God is a being whose existence is not logically necessary (see modal logic), but metaphysically necessary in a way he defines in his The Christian God.
 
Logically necessary means there is no possibility of a statement being false. Of what can this be said? Nothing. Anything anybody says about anything can be debated.

Metaphysically necessary means a statement must follow from the definition. When we say God is necessary, we get this from our understanding of what God is. Proving God exists, however, does not come from saying he’s necessary, but from some other argument.
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  #9  
Old Aug 8, '12, 9:10 am
Alberti_Devoveo Alberti_Devoveo is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Chapters 3 and 4 of Father Spitzer's book, New Proofs of the Existence of God, presents an undeniable metaphysical proof of God (denying it requires you to deny that reality exists).

The most convincing argument, to me at least, is the Eucharist.
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  #10  
Old Aug 8, '12, 9:16 am
belorg belorg is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by empther View Post


Logically necessary means there is no possibility of a statement being false. Of what can this be said? Nothing. Anything anybody says about anything can be debated.
If God is not logically necessary, He is logically contingent.Thats what I said.

Quote:
Metaphysically necessary means a statement must follow from the definition. When we say God is necessary, we get this from our understanding of what God is. Proving God exists, however, does not come from saying he’s necessary, but from some other argument.
[/size]
An argument I am still awaiting from the 'T-team'.
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  #11  
Old Aug 8, '12, 9:39 am
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empther empther is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Quote:
Metaphysically necessary means a statement must follow from the definition. When we say God is necessary, we get this from our understanding of what God is. Proving God exists, however, does not come from saying he’s necessary, but from some other argument.

An argument I am still awaiting from the 'T-team'.
 
 
 
Happy to oblige !
Here’s something I wrote just yesterday on the catholic.org forums, thread: Question on the existence of God
http://forum.catholic.org/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=49397
 
 
Quote:
Every letter of every word of the following has been contested by the A-team ( athiest team ) on catholic.com forums,
but not one of the A-team has explained how there could be a universe without God.

Here it all is, in stripped to the bones brevity................................. ..................



There cannot be an infinite past. Every event happened a finite time ago. At what point do you stop saying "this event happened an infinite time ago" and start saying "building of the pyramids happened a finite time ago" ? Well of course you can't do that. There is no crossover point between events an infinity ago, and a finite time ago. All events were a finite time ago.

Time began. ( time has no substantial existence but is a mental concept used to measure change in the universe. )

The universe began.

The universe could not bring itself into existence. ( there is no "chance" where there is nothing to take chances. There is no "eternal quantum effect" where there is nothing for quantum mechanics to work on. )

There had to be a God to start it all.

Only a God who is infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, Necessary, eternal, his own existence,
could start it all. If he weren't all these things we wouldn't be here to talk about it.
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  #12  
Old Aug 8, '12, 10:05 am
belorg belorg is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by empther View Post
Every letter of every word of the following has been contested by the A-team ( athiest team ) on catholic.com forums,
but not one of the A-team has explained how there could be a universe without God.

Here it all is, in stripped to the bones brevity................................. ..................

There cannot be an infinite past. Every event happened a finite time ago. At what point do you stop saying "this event happened an infinite time ago" and start saying "building of the pyramids happened a finite time ago" ? Well of course you can't do that. There is no crossover point between events an infinity ago, and a finite time ago. All events were a finite time ago.
This seems to be your private version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. But you fail right from the start. While it is true that every single event was a finite time ago, it does not follow that time really did start. All that follows is that no event can be marked as the beginning. What you are trying to prove is that an infinite past started with an infinitely past event. But that is false. An infinite past did not start. Anyway, whether or not an infinite past is possible is not really relevant.

Quote:
Time began. ( time has no substantial existence but is a mental concept used to measure change in the universe. )
I'll grant that for the sake of the argument

Quote:
The universe began.
There is nothing in your argument that proves this. It depends on what exactly 'the universe' means.

Quote:
The universe could not bring itself into existence. ( there is no "chance" where there is nothing to take chances. There is no "eternal quantum effect" where there is nothing for quantum mechanics to work on. )
You'll first have to prove that the universe (and not just the universe we currently experience) did actually begin. What you have argued for is that there was a time (let's call it t0) before which the universe did not exist.
The problem is: this also holds for God.

Quote:
There had to be a God to start it all.
Not if 'the universe' had some sort of timeless existence beyond t0. And that's something that cannot be disproven at the moment.

Quote:
Only a God who is infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, Necessary, eternal, his own existence,
could start it all.
Actually, that's impossible. A God who is infinite, omniscient, necessary, eternal etc cannot start anything, for the simple reason that to start something requires time. And since you claim (and I granted this FTSOTA) that time started, God would need time in order to start time. IOW if the KCA (or your version of it) is correct then time would have to exist both logically prior and logically posterior to God's creative act. But that is logically impossible.
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  #13  
Old Aug 8, '12, 10:11 am
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Drinkgasoline Drinkgasoline is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by padrepio_2012 View Post
The most convincing argument for me is nature itself. Look how it's all just so, fine tuned and organized. Tress grow up not spread out across the ground. The cycles of the earth like precipitation and all that. It's just overwhelming evidence. But the most compelling evidence is myself. I ( and all other humans) am like no other thing in this universe (besides God) We humans are so complicatedly built it boggles me. If I had a computer now id go n more details but I'm on my phone
Be careful how you say this because your argument can easily be refuted by someone reducing the nature you describe to simple, random Darwinism. As a religious scientist, and a scientist who is religious I have often been confronted by those who argue against the idea that nature is proof of a designer, often saying that everything has come about by chance. Of course I smile and agree with them and then give them the Polkinghorne treatment I actually managed to convince one of my physicist friends to becoming a believer, not a Catholic mind you but he now supports the concept of a God of deism as well as the God of Spinoza.
I agree with your humanistic idea of proof however - the simple fact that we are so complex and our mind is capable of such ridiculous ridiculousness is a sign of supernatural intelligence (at least in my view), though it is very difficult to prove this in a "philosophical court".

I am a strong supporter of the fine-tuning argument, rather than easily refutable concepts such as Behe's intelligent design or Paley's watchmaker.
I also hold that Aquinas' 5 ways hold significant truths, although I'm sure his (already incredible) thinking could have been even more impressive and filled with truth if the Catholic church of the day had been less pressurising on him.
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  #14  
Old Aug 8, '12, 10:38 am
wanstronian wanstronian is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

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Originally Posted by padrepio_2012 View Post
The most convincing argument for me is nature itself. Look how it's all just so, fine tuned and organized. Tress grow up not spread out across the ground.
Why is the fact that trees grow up a convincing argument? If they spread across the ground then we'd just assume that's what they're meant to do? What makes you think that trees are supposed to grow up, other than that they do?

And the reasons for trees growing upwards is clearly explained by scientific theory. No fine-tuning, no external organisational influence... no need for god.
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  #15  
Old Aug 8, '12, 10:45 am
danserr danserr is offline
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Default Re: Most convincing argument for the existence of God?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drinkgasoline View Post
What, in your opinion, is the most convincing argument and why?

A few examples are the classical arguments such as Aquinas' cosmological arugment or the 5 ways, Descartes' ontological argument, The many different versions of the teleological argument, The fine-tuning argument, Intelligent design argument, Kant's moral argument, CS Lewis' argument from reason etc.
There are many other examples that I haven't listed, feel free to put them down too.
I'm rather fond of the Kalam Cosmological Argument and the Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

The moral argument is pretty good too, though there are many different forms of it and some are better than others.
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