Ben, Matt







Great overview of four proofs for God's existence.


Ben and Matt are planning to write more for the website this year. They're also looking for more writers.

Main Topic

Should Christians bother answering the question, does God exist? Does it matter that it's unproveable?

Saint Anselm

Ontological argument

  1. God is the greatest possible being
  2. It is better to exist than to not exist
  3. The greatest possible being therefore must exist
  4. God exists

Aquinas argument against: Requires a human conception of God. We can't conceive the greatest possible being.

Hume argument against: you can't prove existence based on a priori reasoning

A priori reasoning: what I already know (deductive) A postori reasoning: additional information (inductive)

Thomas Aquinas

From the Summa Theologica

The Summa is structured as: reason God can't exist, refutation, summary of refutation. It may be easiest to read the summary of refutation first.

1. Proof from motion

  1. Everything is in motion.
  2. Nothing sets itself in motion.
  3. There must be an unmoved mover.
  4. That is God.

Argument against: why is God exempt from point 2?

2. Efficient cause

  1. Everything is caused.
  2. Nothing causes itself.
  3. There must be an uncaused causer.
  4. That is God.

3. Contingency

  1. Everything is contingent or dependent on something else.
  2. There must be something with ontological non-contigency.
  3. That is God.
  • There had to be a being with necessary existence.
  • Ben's favorite argument

4. Argument from degree

  1. We recognize degrees of perfection in things.
  2. That implies a standard of perfection (Aristotelian forms).
  3. That which we measure goodness against is God.

5. Teleological

  1. Natural bodies obey laws
  2. That implies intelligence in unintelligent objects.
  3. There must be intelligence behind those objects causing them to obey.
  4. That is God.
  • Matt's favorite argument
  • Ben's least favorite: he thinks it's too "God in the gaps", and argues based on improbability
  • Argument against: we just don't understand the science yet. Before we understood gravity, we attributed that to God.

C. S. Lewis

Proof by moral law from Mere Christianity

We have a sense of right and wrong that is universal. The conscience came from God.

Argument against: The moral law could have evolved as helpful to society survival

Paul Tilich

Wrote The Courage To Be

God doesn't exist: God is existence.

God is not the highest being because he is not a creature.

Matt thinks this is just a semantical argument. It's an interesting idea, but I'm guessing Tilich wasn't using this as an argument for God's existence.

He's been accused of pantheism with his view.

Argument against: God is personal God, what does imago dei mean if God is existence himself?

Matt's other favorite arguments: historical evidence that backs up the Bible, messianic prophecies, intelligent design, personal experience

Ben devil's advocate: historical facts doesn't prove divine content, scientific proofs can lead to "God in the Gaps"

It ultimately comes down to faith. From the outside, there are many claims that seem crazy.

Does life have meaning if God doesn't exist?

Ben thinks we could never prove God exists. Matt thinks we could. If we could prove it, faith would no longer be required.