The existence of God is one of the most argued questions in philosophy from the ancient times to nowadays, and whereas some believe that it is impossible to provide a perfect argument, others try to do that and prove the existence of God by logical reasons. I have always believed in God, and after having studied the views of prominent philosophers my faith even strengthened though some of the arguments did not seem as convincing to me as others.
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The arguments provided by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Anselm seem to be well-elaborated and reasonable, but the positions of Kierkegaard and Kant are closer to my perception of reality. I agree with Kierkegaard that God is transcendent and that faith is paradox; it is irrational and cannot be proved by reason. Kant adds to this that reason is too limited to understand something that goes beyond empirical experience.
The most common and the most understandable argument was provided by William Paley who drawn an analogy between God and a watchmaker (Wolff 367). Indeed, it makes sense and is easy to understand. Such a complex and well-ordered phenomenon as the Universe necessarily requires a maker, somebody who created the plan of it (designed it) and fulfilled it, and it is impossible to imagine that it could be somebody except of God.
Hume’s objection to this argument is not very convincing. Hume believes than the order does not necessarily require a design and mentions snowflake as an example (Wolff 365). However, it is not understandable why snowflake cannot be a result of design. Quite the opposite, it seems to be too perfect to be merely a matter of coincidence.
Another Hume’s argument – that if anything well-ordered requires a designer than God’s mind also requires a designer (Wolff 365) – was refuted by St. Thomas Aquinas several centuries before. St. Thomas provided the argument of the First Cause and stated that God is the first cause for everything (Wolff 374) thus putting an end to the infinity of Hume’s causes and designers.
St. Anselm’s ontological argument presented in Proslogion is one of the most simple and at the same time most complex arguments. In short, it can be reduced to the statement, though simplified, that God exists simply because he can be thought (Wolff 378). It looked very complex at first but upon second thought it became clear though not very convincing. Many things can be thought, like vampires or parallel worlds, but this does not necessarily mean that they exist.
However, Kant was not satisfied neither by ontological nor by any other argument and refuted them all. Instead, he created another argument that is often called the moral argument. According to Kant, the existence of God is the necessary premise of the existence of objective moral judgments (Wolff 383). Indeed, if there were no moral standard, human morale would be almost inexistent and full of controversies between subjective judgments of single individuals. Kant’s argument seems to be one of the most convincing to me. It reminds me of Dostoevsky’s argument stating that if there is no God, then everything is permissible.
Therefore, I believe in the existence of God and accept the arguments presented by Kierkegaard and Kant. St. Thomas Aquinas’s argumentation also made a significant impact on my mind. Among all the arguments studied, I would distinguish Kant’s moral argument, five reasons of the existence of God by St. Thomas Aquinas, and Kierkegaard’s view of faith as paradox. Maybe, this mix is a bit controversial, and these philosophers would not agree with each other’s views, but their positions influenced my own perception of reality and added to my own understanding of God.