Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Final Report

A’Daysha McGill

Dr. Oliver

Intro to Philosophy

2 December 2014

Final Report


When analyzing the existence of God, there are many philosophical arguments you could choose to side with. God’s existence has been questionable for some time mainly because He cannot be physically seen, God is all-knowing, all good, and capable of doing anything. When many people hear this, they are tempted to question God and His actuality. Many people are steadfast in their faith, therefore it can be hard to dispute about the actuality of God. It seems that God is like the law, you don’t go above it. Therefore you should not test Him. My argument would have to be completely for the existence of God. He is real and he keeps the world functioning as it should.

To begin with, my personal background is filled with believing in the existence of God. As a child, I never paid attention in church, I didn’t understand the worship, and I did not rely on God like I do now. No I know God is powerful and amazing. He is love. The Lord God is who I look to in order to get through the day. Once I got older, I began to pay attention in church and I leaned of all the experiences others have had with God and I then began to recognize my own. There is no such thing as luck to me, but God. When I have a bad day, I turn to Him and he can make everything alright. Worshiping God is most important to me because He can see and feel the love you have for him, and you will be rewarded in the afterlife.  If there is no worship, you will still have Him, because he is not a spiteful God. He loves all no matter what. God can be turned to at any moment of your life, and he will welcome you with open arms. Having faith in Him is the most important thing. You must rely on God and never give up on Him. He may not come when you want him but he will be there on time. My philosophy about God is that He is unquestionable, because He is a necessity. I don’t question why my body needs water because I know it is for nourishment. This theory applies to my belief in God as well; he is also my nourishment.

There are many arguments against the existence of God and there are some for His existence. Blaise Pascal thought of a way to justify God’s existence without having to have evidence for his physical existence. Pascal’s Wager suggests that God exists through the consequences of believing or not believing in Him. If you do believe in him then you will be rewarded to Heaven in the afterlife. While if you don’t believe in Him, you will be punished for doubting his existence. This argument is also known as the gambling theory because it is just set in place to save your own skin. He thought that if you just place your chips on both God existing and on his nonexistence, then you would end up winning something. Pascal said,

There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

This statement is true because we are all made of God or his “image”, but I do not agree with Pascal’s argument about the existence of God. God is in every man and woman’s heart, but that does not mean you will be automatically rewarded Heaven if you simply believe in him. God has commandments that everyone must live by and if you do not, you will be punished as well. Therefore, just believing in Him does not get you to a “better place.” It is only the beginning to know God, there are many steps you have to take in order to have an “everlasting life.” Sins are defined as a direct disobediences to the known will of God and they play a big role in what your destined afterlife will be. [1]

The Teological argument also known as the design argument is related to the fact that everything on earth has evidence of being designed, which also means that all natural beings and things like Earth had to have an ultimate creator as well. Thomas Aquinas came up with five ways to prove that God exist. The fifth reason he came up with had to do with the argument of design. He thought that all natural things work towards a main goal but not by random chance. Since natural things do work towards a goal, they must have some type of intelligence or guidance. A basketball makes it into the basket because of the help of the basketball player. Well, this is the same as a natural being trying to act out any plan. According to Aquinas everyone needs guidance towards their end and it is God.

Another philosopher by the name of William Paley, Supported the design theory. He came up with the example of a Divine Watchmaker. Which is, you can tell that a watch was made by a watchmaker. Then when you think about the eye, there is nothing else that suggest the makings of this natural object beside a supernatural power, God. The design theory basically states the God has left many forms of evidence of his existence around us rather than His physical presence having to be seen. In an interview I preformed with another colleague, she stated:

“I strongly believe that God exists, but at the same time I do believe that evolution does somewhat play a part in the life that we live, but only as far as the different types of adaptations it takes to survive in different areas of the world.  I believe the big bang theory may have happened, but there had to be some being there to make the bang happen. I think that there are substantial amounts of evidence that prove that God does exist, such as man being born with one less rib than a woman is, and God when he created Eve he took a rib from Adam to make her. Also I think of God as a being that is perfect, and righteous, and good, and that gives me someone to look up to, and someone to try and be more like. Many people that do not believe in God often ask, “If God loves all of his children, then how can he send them to hell?” With God being a just God, he is like a parent, and he punishes us like a parent would. With that being said, He sent His Son to save us and if you don’t accept him as your savior, then there are consequences for the things that we chose to do and not do.”

Her opinion on God goes along with the design theory and the confirmations He has left us.

The next argument people tend to back up is the first cause argument. This argument state that everything has a cause and effect. The universe had to have had a very first cause and it is believed to be God. This takes us back to Aquinas five ways. The other four ways all rely on the first cause argument to justify God. For example, his argument of motion talks about how everything has its own mover, nothing can change without help; therefore if the first thing never got help from God, then it wouldn’t be able to help others.

Now the ontological theory suggest something completely diiferent from the above theories. God is superior and he is looked at as “perfect.” This for many individuals can be there motivation to praise him. Everyone needs someone or something that can be an amazing example to them. People seem to praise God mostly because he is the “perfect being” they look up to. No one goes above Him and it is a goal to become a man or woman walking in His footsteps to make it to an everlasting life. Now with that being said, this argument also brings up the fact that evil is still present in the world. People tend to ask, “If God is all goo and perfect, then why is evil still lurking around?” Norman Geisler of the Bill Graham Evangelist Association explained his idea of why evil exists perfectly, he says:

The answer is two-fold. For one thing, God could have made a world with no evil in it. However, it would have been one of robots and puppets—creatures who could not love Him or anyone else. Love is possible only for free moral creatures; forced love is a contradiction. So, in order for the world to be morally good, it must be morally free. And free creatures are capable of free choices that bring disease, disaster and death. This is the world in which we live.”

As I stated before, my philosophy on God is that He is what makes this world function. I agree with Geisler completely. If there was no evil then our world would be too black and white. There would be no true feelings or emotions. God has given us all free will to choose what we want to do. If he didn’t, then we would be like robots as Norman said. He also sates:

“More than a half-century of Christian experience has led me to the conviction that few enduring lessons in life come through pleasure. All of mine have come through pain. Yet, I have joyfully learned that the poet was right when he said, “God is good when He gives supremely good, nor less when He denies. Even crosses from His gracious hands are blessings in disguise.” For the lessons of life reveal that “tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:4, KJV), and “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17, KJV).”

Many theist will know that God does not do anything without reasoning; so, you must have faith and trust that he is all-good and perfect to receive your true blessing.

In conclusion, these arguments I have discussed and different opinions I have shown all support the existence of God. God will always be a debate for those who do not know how to believe in Him or for people who simply do not want to. For most theist, such as me, it is difficult to understand why others question the existence of God which is why I have discussed arguments that support His actuality. In Genesis chapter 1 of the Holy Bible, we are told how God created everything. We do not question how babies are made, so why do we question His existence? He is the only reason why we continue to exist and flourish as a country. The arguments above give some insightful reasoning on how God really works and how He is a reliable being to lean on. My philosophy on God is that he does exist and he is what keeps the world functioning as it should. Having Faith in God is simple. We believe and rely on people so much, when they can always disappoint us very easily, but God will always leave everyone with an awesome outcome.

In the book of Job in the Holy Bible, we learn how Job was a great child of God. He was obedient and he never questioned God no matter how hard times got. Many days the devil would come upon him to test his true love and alliance for God. The devil killed his children, destroyed his land, and took his wealth but Job never questioned God. He stayed firm and his faith in God, which eventually got rid of the devil and rewarded him in the end. Job believed in the existence of God and he was rewarded for his faith. This is evidence that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all good. God does exist and he shows that through all of our testimonies and the world itself.





Works Cited

"Aquinas: Five Ways to Prove That God Exists -- The Arguments." Aquinas: Five Ways to Prove That God Exists -- The Arguments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"Blaise Pascal Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014

"If God Exists, Why Is There Evil?" Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

"Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

Kreeft, Peter. "The First Cause Argument." By Peter Kreeft. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

"Philosophy of Religion." Philosophy of Religion Pascals Wager Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"Philosophy of Religion." Philosophy of Religion The Teleological Argument Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

[1]Romans 6:23

1 comment:

  1. "Pascal’s Wager suggests that God exists through the consequences of believing or not believing in Him. If you do believe in him then you will be rewarded to Heaven in the afterlife. While if you don’t believe in Him, you will be punished for doubting his existence." Well, no - it's not quite that simple even for Pascal. If believing guaranteed a reward, and non-belief automatically resulted in punishment, there'd be nothing to gamble on.

    "My philosophy on God is that he does exist and he is what keeps the world functioning as it should. Having Faith in God is simple." Too simple, for some. Is the world functioning as it should?

    "We believe and rely on people so much, when they can always disappoint us very easily, but God will always leave everyone with an awesome outcome." Same question, again.

    Job didn't question God? Oh, but he did. He asked why God would punish his faithful servant so mercilessly. It pissed God off, He thundered at Job, Job became quiescent, the parable ended. He and we never got a good answer to Job's question, which is really the question of why so many innocents suffer so unjustly in this world. A world with significantly less suffering in it would surely not be too "black & white" - whatever that means exactly.

    I'm glad you and other dedicated theists find comfort in theism, and don't doubt that belief in God is in many ways constructive for many people.

    But simply to repeat again and again the claim to KNOW that God exists and all is well is bound to appear to strike non-theists as dogmatic and unreflective. Better perhaps to join Kierkegaard and take a flying leap of faith, rather than assert knowledge no mortal could ever possess.