Saturday, May 25, 2019

Eight, or Twenty-Four, Reasons to Believe God Exists

Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Yesterday I took a look at this book - Two Dozen (Or So) Arguments for the Existence of God, by philosophers Jerry Walls and Trent Dougherty. It's $31 for Kindle, so I decided not to get it...  yet.

For those of you who study philosophy of religion this is a must-read. 

The Introduction is excellent in giving background information about Alvin Plantinga, properly basic beliefs, and the value Plantinga gives to arguments for God's existence. 

On Amazon you can read chapter 1 - "The Argument from Intentionality (or Aboutness)." Very interesting. It made me want to buy the book, but not yet.

This argument is:

  1. There are propositions: non-linguistic entities that are fundamentally true or false in virtue of their representational properties. [Premise]
  2. Only thoughts are fundamentally true or false due to their representational properties. [Premise - I taught this premise in my logic classes.]
  3. So, propositions are thoughts, they are either human or divine. [Follows from 1, 2.]
  4. If propositions are thoughts, they are either human or divine thoughts. [Premise]
  5. But there are not enough human thoughts to play the role of propositions. [Premise]
  6. So, propositions are not human thoughts. [Follows from 5]
  7. Propositions are divine thoughts. [Follows from 3, 4, 6.]
  8. If there are divine thoughts, then there is a unique divine thinker. [Premise]
  9. Therefore, there is a unique divine thinker (God).
The essay then explains and defends each step of the argument. 

Bill Craig has an argument in the book, too. A long, long time ago Bill (aka William Lane Craig) was one of my campus pastors at Northern Illinois University, where I did my undergraduate degree in philosophy. I was honored to sing in Bill and Jan's wedding. 

We were always talking about our faith, the existence of God, apologetics, metaethics, philosophical anthropology, and much more. It all got inside me, and has never left, but has been tended and watered and nurtured over the decades.

Here, e.g., is Bill's essay in Philosophy Today where he gives eight reasons to believe God exists ("Does God Exist?"). Read the essay for the reasoning. 

They are:

  1. God is the best explanation why anything at all exists.
  2. God is the best explanation of the origin of the universe.
  3. God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.
  4. God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.
  5. God is the best explanation of intentional states of consciousness.
  6. God is the best explanation of objective moral values and duties.
  7. The very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists.
  8. God can be personally known and experienced.

(If #7 confuses you, it's the modal version of the Ontological Argument for God's Existence.)

My two books are:

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

I am currently writing...

How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

Then, Linda and I will co-write our book on Relationships.

The book I am co-editing with Janice Trigg, Encounters with the Holy Spirit, is in the final production stages.