A PHILOSOPHY PAPER

I find this paper of mine interesting. My beliefs have molded themselves around the topic of this paper. I disagree with a few parts, but mostly, this paper represents a good overview of my beliefs. The one point I will never disagree with is that the burden of proof that a (G)god(s)/(G)goddess(es) exist is always on the believer.

REPLY TO AN ATHEIST

A PAPER

PRESENTED TO DR WEATHERS

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE

LYNCHBURG, VA

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT

OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR

INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSPOPHY

PHIL 201 D19 LUO

MAY 06, 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

3. ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

4.  EVIL

5. HISTORY

6. CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

            The question of God’s existence is one of man’s most frequent asked inquiries.  Many feel a spiritual need or connection to the existence of a god or god(s), some only for one God as known by Christian, Muslim, or Jewish theists.  Many of the theists scriptures have been brought into question, scrutinized, and delved into by scholars who can at the very least prove the existence of places, peoples, and events left behind and found by archaeological dig sites and literature translators.  It seems that despite these historic accuracies, the very character of God is used to try to defend the position that God does not exist.  The fact that evil exists physical and mentally stimulates the thinking mind to question why if there is a God, why evil was allowed to happened?  However, just because evil exists does not negate God’s existence.   It seems that the authors point is begging the question that evil exists; so therefore, God can’t exist because God would be an imperfect bungler if He did exist.  How does that prove that God doesn’t exist, it just proves that evil exists and may exist because of God’s bungling.   The majority of the issue however rests in creationism and how evolution has been proven to be a true theory.  It is impossible to empirically say that God exists, but it is possible to see God’s existence through events and scriptures that have been proven by historians and archaeologists, God’s existence is indeed probable.

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

            Creationists believe that God created the universe out of nothing, but that God has always existed.  The philosophical approach to the cosmological argument calls the approach that the universe came from something the, “first-cause arguments.” [1]They take this view from scripture, and believe in the literal interpretation of creation in seven days.   It is argued by Atheists that it is illogical for this to have happened.  How illogical is it really though for a God to have done the impossible by human logic?  It really isn’t that impossible, readers of scriptures are made aware of God’s power over the universe and His power to create.   Unfortunately for the Creationist argument, the theory of evolution has been supported, and has been viewed within the environment; “insects developing a resistance to pesticides over the period of a few years … this rate of evolution is all that is required to produce the diversity of all living things from a common ancestor.” [2]  Also unfortunate for the Creationist argument is that, “Paleontology has progressed a bit since Origin of Species was published, uncovering thousands of transitional fossils, by both the temporally restrictive and the less restrictive definitions.” [3]  It is impossible to supply the Atheist with the burden of proof necessary to counter the arguments against Creationism, but it does leave room for faith to wiggle in and spread its wings in the forms of evolution theory by an all powerful God.   Despite the text book written by Evan’s and Manis, according to science there is no object that is dependent upon a creator for its existence or for it to be maintained.  Evan’s and Manis show this point in their statement, “Particular objects come and go, but according to the law of conservation of mass-energy, the matter of which they are composed is neither created nor destroyed.”[4] To understand deeper, a better understanding of the ontological argument is in order.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

            The ontological argument also ultimately fails the argument for the existence of God.  First developed by Anslem, “… in his Proslogian,” Anslem considered, “… the fool who hath said in his heart, There is no God.’ Anslem reasons that even to deny God’s existence, the fool must understand the idea of God.” [5]  This argument fails to grasp the answer.  This author doesn’t agree with the argument by Evans and Manis that Gaulnilo’s objection to Anslem’s argument is false.  Gaunilo’s idea was, “an island than which none greater can be conceived’ must exist.” [6]  Just because the concept of an island is different than God, does not negate Gaunilo’s point which he was trying to show Anslem, that point is that just because someone has a belief does not necessary make that belief a fact.  Theists therefore cannot rely on the belief of their heart to prove the existence of their God to someone who does not have the same exact belief in their heart.  This author does on the other hand trust and believe Evan’s and Manis’ more contemporary argument that,”… if God exists at all, then his existence is necessary.”[7]  God’s existence depending on the necessity of His existence does not provide a very valid stance to agree full heartedly that God does exist at all.  It is fully possible that God’s existence is not necessary to create and or maintain the Universe.  Since both the Ontological and Cosmological arguments fail to provide conclusive evidence for the existence of God, perhaps a glimpse of God can be viewed in the morality of mankind.

EVIL

            Man and women were first created to be pure and free of evil influence, but maintained free will according to the Creationists method of belief.   It was the fall of Lucifer which brought evil into the world as he tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit, and then Eve thoroughly tempted encouraged Adam to partake with her in sin.   Though blame can definitely be attributed to God for creating both Adam and Lucifer with free will, perhaps it is necessary to look further into the reason behind why God gave them both free will before passing judgment.  Without free will man would be forced to live like a robot, forced to love a God with no option of rebellion.  It is free will that makes us unique and able to love God and worship Him of our own accord.  Of course God loves all mankind and wishes to see none perish and offers to mankind the redemptive process through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

            In fact another aspect of morality may go further into proving the existence of God or at least the conscience which Theists hold as the voice of God.  Morality and laws are found to be in existence around the world.  Arguments stating that there is no such thing as morality have failed and have been proven as illogical.  Though one can chose to ignore the conscience which whispers the inner feelings and words of morality into the hearts and minds of mankind, it is impossible to disclaim moralities existence.  Distinct cultures, far removed from the modern cultures of civilizations found only in the deepest jungles or highest mountains show that their cultural identity revolves around the same moral codes as modern civilization with only a few moderate changes, limitations, or omissions.

HISTORY

            In response to Mccloskey it is impossible to provide proof and improbable to expect the theist to provide proof that does not exist.  However, one aspect which should provide necessity for further inquiry about God’s existence is history and archaeology.  If one relies on the historic writings, Josephus writes a message in his text about the Messiah.  Arguments have been presented to show that Josephus’ writings were a forgery, though proof still remains that part of his writings are not authentic an important discovery in 1995 lays out proof of Christ’s existence, but the forgery cannot be distinguished from the truth,

            In 1995 a discovery was published that brought important new evidence to the debate             over the Testimonium Flavianum. For the first time it was pointed out that Josephus’             description of Jesus showed an unusual similarity with another early description of Jesus.             It was established statistically that the similarity was too close to have appeared by             chance. Further study showed that Josephus’ description was not derived from this other    text, but rather that both were based on a Jewish-Christian “gospel” that has since been             lost.  For the first time, it has become possible to prove that the Jesus account cannot             have been a complete forgery and even to identify which parts were written by Josephus             and which were added by a later interpolator. [8]

Luckily for the theist argument many archaeological digs have dug up evidence showing strong proofs that places, items, things, devices, writings, economies, cities, wars, rulers, etc. have existed throughout time and are able to be scripturally verified.  Though archaeology itself does not prove that scripture is the infallible word of God that most theists would like to say in does in fact do; archaeology does instead provide a basis for beginning to understand scripture as truth.

CONCLUSION

            It is without doubt that the burden of proof of God’s existence rests solely on the Christian and the Atheist should expect the Christian to be able to prove the existence of God.  It is too unfortunate that evolution can be no longer deemed false because this totally destroys the Creationists argument for God.  Because of this it is necessary to dig deeper into history and archaeology to uncover the truths of God.  The sciences of theology are also necessary in understanding the deeper mysteries of God and the consequences of sin and evil in the world.  It is in this author’s belief that just because evils exists and evolutional theories have been proven that they do not negate the existence of a true, powerful, and personal God. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

C. Stephen, Evans; R. Zachary, Manis. Philosophy of Religion Thinking About Faith. Second Ed. (Downers               Grove, Illinois:IVP Acedemic. 2009) 63

Josephus Account of Jesus: The Testimony Flavianum. http://www.josephus.org/testimonium.htm

Mark, Isaac. 1997. (Syracuse University) http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html      (Accessed 5-2-2013)


     [1]  C. Stephen, Evans; R. Zachary, Manis. Philosophy of Religion Thinking About Faith. Second Ed. (Downers Grove, Illinois:IVP Acedemic. 2009) 67

     [2] Mark, Isaac. 1997. (Syracuse University) http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html (Accessed 5-2-2013)

     [3] Ibib

     [4] C. Stephen, Evans; R. Zachary, Manis. Philosophy of Religion Thinking About Faith. Second Ed. (Downers Grove, Illinois:IVP Acedemic. 2009) 72

     [5]  C. Stephen, Evans; R. Zachary, Manis. Philosophy of Religion Thinking About Faith. Second Ed. (Downers Grove, Illinois:IVP Acedemic. 2009) 63

[6] Ibib 64

     [7] Ibib 65

[8] Josephus Account of Jesus: The Testimony Flavianum. http://www.josephus.org/testimonium.htm

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