Posted by: John Vandivier | March 26, 2013

Evidence and Arguments for God pt. 1

Over time I will put several arguments in here, but here are a few. Some of these are intended as proofs, some are intended as circumstantial or partial evidence for God, and some are intended as attacks on competitive ideas. Some may be arguments or evidence for or against a particular God, while others may not. It should be noted that in order to believe in God one need not prove God’s existence. Rather, God’s existence should be shown as more likely or reasonable than his nonexistence. In other words God’s existence need not be 100% certain to be justified as a held belief. Rather, if his existence is shown to be any of the following:

1 50.00000…1% likely
2 More likely than his nonexistence
3 More likely than any other particular competitive explanation

Then it is most reasonable to believe in the existence of God. I will only present 2 arguments in this article. The first is the Argument from Contingency which apparently dates back through Leibniz to Thomas Aquinas. It is also called the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument. I have changed it up slightly, but it mostly remains true to the argument as put forth by William Lane Craig. Check this blog for a ton of information from WLC.

Argument from Contingency:

P1) Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2) The universe exists.
P3) The universe does not exist by the necessity of its own nature.
C1) The explanation of the universe is due to an external cause.

P4) Space, time and physical material are internal to the universe.
P5) The only things known to be spaceless, timeless and immaterial are minds and abstractions.
P6) Abstractions cannot cause things.
C2) The external cause of the universe must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial and mindful. Mindful in the sense that it has a conscious mind. Also, because such a mind must have thought in order to create the universe, and because such a mind would have been thinking outside of time, it is a mind which is also mindful in the sense that it is necessarily and eternally thinking.

P5) The Christian God is partly, though not completely, defined as spaceless, timeless, immaterial and mindful.
C3) The external cause of the universe is consistent with very few explanations including the Judeo-Christian God who is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, omnipotent, and mindful. The external cause of the universe cannot be explained by a blind, unconscious or natural material force.

Vandivierian Modal Ontological Reduction Argument:

P1) Necessary existence is an optimal characteristic.
P2) Perfection is the aggregation of all optimal characteristics.
C1) Perfection necessarily exists.

P3) Perfection is God’s nature
P4) If God’s nature exists, God exists
C2) God exists

I am considering renaming this argument the Argument from Optimism. This is my argument which is a reduction of the Plantiga’s Modal Ontological Argument, as shown in the following video:

Some objections to Plantiga’s argument are addressed here. Some of those objections are potentially objections to mine as well and should be counter-objected, defended or apologized in a similar manner:

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