There are a variety of ways to approach the question of whether or not god exists. One way is to look at the concept of existence itself. What does it mean to say that something exists? There are different schools of thought on this, but one common definition is that something exists if it is measurable or observable in some way.
Another approach is through the study of ontology, which is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of existence. One key question in ontology is whether or not god exists as a being.
The Existence of God is a central question in theology and philosophy. The main arguments for and against the existence of god can be boiled down to a few key points.
Arguments for the existence of god typically focus on the idea that there must be a cause for everything that exists. Since the universe exists, there must be something that caused it to come into existence. And since everything that has a beginning also has an end, then there must be something beyond the universe that is eternal and unchanging. This is often referred to as the First Cause argument.
Arguments against the existence of god typically focus on the problem of evil. If god is all-powerful and all-good, then why is there so much suffering and evil in the world? One response to this is that god gives humans free will, and with free will comes the potential for evil. Another response is that god is not responsible for evil, because evil is the result of humans making bad choices.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not god exists is a complex one with no easy answers. It is an ongoing debate that has been taking place for centuries and will likely continue for many more to come.
Ever since man has been around, we have questioned the existence of God. How can we know for certain that God exists if we cannot see him? The existence of God provides a handy answer to unanswered questions but never gives us any insight about questioning answers regarding God himself. Descartes outlines in Meditations on First Philosophy that he plans to “check whether there is aGod.” (Descartes, 6)
He argues that even if there is an all-powerful evil demon deceiving him, he can still know that he exists. (Descartes, 7) From this, he concludes that his existence is more certain than any of the clear and distinct ideas in his mind. (Descartes, 8) Even if God does not exist, Descartes can still know that he exists.
The ontological argument for the existence of God was first proposed by St. Anselm in the eleventh century. (Hasker, 29) Anselm begins with the definition of God as “that than which nothing greater can be thought.” (Anselm, 2) He argues that even if one does not believe in the existence of God, one still must concede that the concept of God exists in the mind. (Anselm, 3)
If someone were to deny the existence of God, they would be contradicting themselves because they would be asserting that there is a being who is greater than the greatest being that can be thought of. (Anselm, 4) Therefore, it is impossible to think of a being who is greater than God without also thinking of God. (Anselm, 5) Anselm concludes that since we can think of God, he must exist in reality as well as in our minds. The ontological argument has been criticized by many philosophers such as Gaunilo and Kant. (Hasker, 32-33)
He felt that the concept of God was so perfect that he could not have created it himself, despite his doubts about the existence of bodily things. Although Descartes’ notion has some flaws, I believe that God exists and agree with his premises. Early on in meditations, Descartes has his own questions regarding whether or not he is real to clarify.
He doubts the existence of his body and physical things, which is radical, but if he is only thinking then how does he know that he exists? In order for Descartes to prove his own existence he comes up with the famous cogito argument: “I think, therefore I am.” This means that in order for him to be doubting his own existence, he must exist in order to do the doubting.
Therefore, Descartes’ first step in proving the existence of God is to prove his own existence. After he has done this, he can go on to look at the idea of God and see if it is possible that this idea could have come from himself or if someone else had to have caused it.
There is a close relationship between ideas and reality. If these mirror images are real, the cause of them must also be real. For example, the concept of a monkey originated from an actual physically existing moneky, and the presence of the idea of a monkey is just as real as the actual primate.
The only thing is that ideas can be conceived in the mind without existing physically. So if a physical object is not needed for an idea to exist, then what about God? Can we have the idea of God without Him actually existing? If so, then how can we know that the idea of God is not just a figment of our imagination?
The ontological argument for the existence of God goes something like this:
1) It is possible that a maximally great being (that is, a being that is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect) exists.
2) If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being actually exists.
3) Therefore, a maximally great being actually exists.
This argument is deductive, which means that it is supposed to be logically valid; that is, if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true.
The first premise of the argument is a claim about what is possible. It says that it is logically possible that a maximally great being exists. In other words, there is no contradiction involved in saying that such a being exists. This may not seem like much, but it rules out certain types of objections to the ontological argument right from the start.
For example, someone might object to the ontological argument by saying that the very idea of a maximally great being is absurd and impossible. But if the first premise of the argument is true, then that sort of objection won’t work, because it is possible that a maximally great being exists.
The second premise of the argument is also a claim about possibility, but this time it is a claim about metaphysical possibility; that is, it is a claim about what can exist in reality, not just in our imaginations. The second premise says that if it is logically possible that a maximally great being exists, then it is metaphysically possible that such a being exists; that is, such a being actually exists in reality. So, if the first premise of the argument is true, then the second premise must also be true.