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January 4, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

20 Philosophical and Theological Proofs of the Existence of God

There are a handful of proofs of the existence of God. Debates over these proofs cross such great philosophers at St. Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, Kierkeggard, and CS Lewis. More modern proofs of God’s existence come from Alvin Platinga, JP Moreland, and Norman Geisler. They also include Ravi Zacharias, Alister McGrath, Peter Kreft, Tim Keller (audio sermons from Keller), and William Lane Craig. Of course there are a host of preachers, pastors, theologians, and authors who have developed reasons beyond those by this small, but intelligent cadre of philosophical theists.

Twenty of The Main Philosophical and Theological Proofs Arguments for the Existence of God: Justifying Philosophical Theism

1) Argument from Design & Complexity (as a probability & a need for an ordered cause)
2) Argument from Ethics & Justice (meaning & value in life)
3) Argument from Cause
4) Argument from Purpose & Telos
5) Argument from Truth
6) Argument from Math (proves the existence universals and laws)
7) Argument from Natural law
8] Argument from Beauty
9) Historically grounded proofs of Jesus’ existence (also found in Lee Strobels the Case for Christ as well as the work of NT Wright)
10) Argument from Human Value and dignity (the existence and value of Conciousness & Choice)
11) Criticisms of scientific materialism & the scientistic worldview (these are usually used in conjunction with the other proofs) (link)
12) Only faith makes sense of suffering & death. (and other answers to “The Problem of Pain”) I think in conjunction with this an argument from Fatherly, familial, and sacrificial love is an interesting twist (I’m not sure if it would be a separate line of argument or not).
13) Consistency of Old Testament with prophesies that are fulfilled 1000s of years later. (link)
14) Moses’ documentation of the way creation unfolded. (the probability of him getting this right is highly, highly improbable)
15) The basis for the Historical Jesus (Dr. Gary R. Habermas, William Craig, Lee Strobel, and others make incredibly documented and grounded arguments for the historical Jesus)
16) Love wins (also radical Altruism can’t be explained fully by evolution)
17) We are fundamentally spiritual beings.
19) God in the Dock has multiple arguments for defending faith (and also explains how we misunderstand faith, miracles, and suffering).
20) The laws of science suggest a fundamental inability to create life from non life (or something out of nothing) [this essentially puts God & science on the same level]
21) Bonus: Quantum physics supports spirtualism and critiques materialism (Amit Goswami who is likely a mystic, but none the less concludes there is a God. In addition scientists like John Polkinghorne agrees, but probably has more faith in science and probably has a better grounding for his philosophy)
22) Bonus: Complexity of life in DNA. (Stephen Meyer makes this argument in the “Signature of the Cell“). The work on design and complexity in this area also grounded in mathematics. (short video with Stephen Meyer). Information is needed for life and specifically organized information, not just random data–science and history demonstrate that it must arise from intelligence. Materialists can’t provide a grounding for how information was created and evolved (“What is the presently acting cause of digital code?).

If you’re looking for quick summaries of some of these cores I suggest looking to William Lane Craig and Peter Kreft (who offers several proofs). You will also find more developed arguments in CS Lewis (Complete CS Lewis) and Alvin Platinga (notes from Two Dozen or So Theistic Arguments for the Existence of God).

. In addition, its important to point out that while the anthropic principle as been argument to be non-falsifiable by science, thats simply not true.

Intellectual Food for Thought: Apolegetics Quotations

What are you favorite Christian apologetics quotes? What are your favorite quotes which seek to prove the existence of God?

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
C.S. Lewis

Additional Philosophy, Theology, and Apolegetics Resources:

Christian Apolegetics Articles at Leader U
Veritas Forum (their vimeo channel is has around 150 to 200 conversational apolegetics videos)
Apolegetics Audio (You have to scroll down to find some of the philosophical scholars above)
American Scientific Association

I hope these have been helpful for you and that you are spiritually enriched by reading the articles I’ve linked to from various Christian apolegists, thinkers, and philosophers. Finally, here is Lee Strobel on the scientific proof of God.
Strobel also offers this evidence from astronomy and physics for God which “defies mere chance” which focus on the fine tying argument.

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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. compassioninpolitics / Jan 4 2011 10:30 pm

    Other prominent Christian apolegists include:
    Josh McDowell
    Gary Habermas

  2. compassioninpolitics / Jan 12 2011 5:04 am

    Another suggestive principle is the principle of pessimistic induction. The principle of pessimistic induction in the context of the history of science suggest that our biggest theories in science often are wrong:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pessimistic_induction

  3. compassioninpolitics / Jan 13 2011 3:13 am

    Here are some additional resources including a free podcast of theology classes at the Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS):
    http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/partnerPrograms.htm

    http://itunes.rts.edu/

    As well as resources from Covenant Theological Seminary:
    1) The Worldwide Classroom
    http://www.worldwide-classroom.com/
    http://www.worldwide-classroom.com/courses/
    http://www.worldwide-classroom.com/whatismyclassroom/

    2) Resources for Life
    http://www.resourcesforlifeonline.com/

    3) Further, Bible Training.org has an assortment of what appear to be free classes:
    http://www.biblicaltraining.org/search/lectures/by-title

  4. Nathan Ketsdever / Feb 18 2011 6:43 am

    I don’t know what you call this argument, but its pretty decent:
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-i-believe-in-the-god-of-the-bible-33457/

    I think its also an answer to the problem of pain, because the problem of pain tends to take a human perspective rather than a Godly one. And obviously at some point faith has to kick in as well.

  5. compassioninpolitics / Feb 25 2011 11:03 am

    21st Century View of Evolution (it implies & supports design):
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html

  6. Nathan Ketsdever / Feb 28 2011 5:29 pm

    Further, this is an awesome resource to answer some of the questions you might have to on the historical jesus question & others:
    http://www.garyhabermas.com/qa/qa_index.htm

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