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Design/ cosmological argument and God

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    Does anyone believe in God who does philosophy at school and has read the design/cosmological arguments for God's existence? I find it hard to think why anybody would remain theistic after reading these argumants, as they are pretty weak when looked at in detail.

    I know that its only a matter of faith ands if you believe you just believe etc, but why do blindly belive this faith? People talk of having experienced God but do you really think you would have if you had not been brought up to believe that God exists? If you have never heard of God before surely you wouldn't belive/ have experience of him? So why believe in him just because other people say he exists? The same goes for all other religions as far as I know. Does anybody know of any stronger arguments for Gos's existence or has a counter- argument for me?
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    (Original post by Lee2)
    Does anyone believe in God who does philosophy at school and has read the design/cosmological arguments for God's existence? I find it hard to think why anybody would remain theistic after reading these argumants, as they are pretty weak when looked at in detail.
    Admittedly some of the arguments aren't that fab, but have you come across Richard Swinburne's argument for the existence of God based on cumulative probability - perhaps none of the arguments alone stand up to much, but added together they may have a net effect that is slightly more convincing.

    (Original post by Lee2)
    Does anybody know of any stronger arguments for Gos's existence or has a counter- argument for me?
    You'll do 3 more arguments next year - The Argument from Religious Experience (of which I'm not a fan, tbh); the Moral Argument (which I haven't yet covered); and the Ontological Argument (which is generally regarded as one of the 'worst', but I have a great deal of respect for it - especially Anselm's second formulation, which escapes some of the 'predicate problems' encountered in the first!).

    If you're looking for 'counter-arguments' to your accusations of 'blind faith', then try combining the Richard Swinburne point mentioned above (that the arguments added together render God's existence probable) with the fact that many of your 'rational', 'everyday' beliefs are also based on probability (eg. that the sun will rise tomorrow).
    Or maybe read some Kierkegaard - faith doesn't just 'go against reason'....it transcends it.

    ZarathustraX (arguing the other side for once!)
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    (Original post by Lee2)
    Does anyone believe in God who does philosophy at school and has read the design/cosmological arguments for God's existence? I find it hard to think why anybody would remain theistic after reading these argumants, as they are pretty weak when looked at in detail.
    Wait, why would someone lose their theism because an argument for God's existence didn't work? It would just mean another avenue for evidence of God would be closed off.

    I know that its only a matter of faith ands if you believe you just believe etc, but why do blindly belive this faith? People talk of having experienced God but do you really think you would have if you had not been brought up to believe that God exists? If you have never heard of God before surely you wouldn't belive/ have experience of him? So why believe in him just because other people say he exists? The same goes for all other religions as far as I know. Does anybody know of any stronger arguments for Gos's existence or has a counter- argument for me?
    There seems to be an assumption here.
    "If you have never heard of God before surely you wouldn't belive/ have experience of him?" - that statement is questionable. Some would argue that even without the word God we sense an essence of the divine, and that God in a religious sense is a descriptive term for these experiences. You can't really prove it either way in modern society because pretty much everyone has heard of the concept of a God.
    The same question of faith can apply to atheist. It is pretty baseless itself, and it's indisputibly a faith. The alternative to that is agnosticism, but that's probably best viewed as a temporary stage pending decision either way. Any opinion about the existence of God comes down to, as in all things, a measure of faith. Saying that people who believe in God do so because other people say he exists seems very unfair too.
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    Unfortunately my punctuation mark doesn't work propperly, I hope this post will be legiable regardless


    Religion has a much more fundamental problem. Religious writings, tradition, and previous policies have such obvious problems that in order to beleive the religion to be true, you will have to deny parts of it as corruption or misunderstood interpretations As an example, burning witches at stake, the crusades, the bibles degrading description of wommen etc, these are all elements of christianity which most peopel today reject, and the only way to get away with it is to say that the religion must be interpretated , and one must focus upon the true message (or similar arguments with the same flavour) The problem is that this is just equivelent as to beleive whatever you want to beleie, without regard to its truth or falsehood. Religion would therefore be reduced to whatever you want to beleive, or how you would want things to be Unfortunately, things are not often the way you want them to be, and this is the fundamental problem with religious beleif It is based on wants and desires rather than an observation of reality.
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    (Original post by Zarathustra)
    Admittedly some of the arguments aren't that fab, but have you come across Richard Swinburne's argument for the existence of God based on cumulative probability - perhaps none of the arguments alone stand up to much, but added together they may have a net effect that is slightly more convincing.
    True, Swinburne said that 'it is more probable that the universe was created by a divine creator (God) rather than just forming out of chaos by itself'. However, Swinburne commits the lottery fallacy, which goes like this;

    Suppose you buy one of 1000 lottery tickets. You win. The chance of you wininning, although unlikely, is no more likey than the chance of anybody else winning, everybody has the same 1/1000 probability to win. The fact that you won would not cause you to think that some 'supernatural being' had influenced the lottery on your behalf, would it? Somebody had to win, and the chance that it happened to be you is just pure luck, it was no less likely that you would win rather than anyone else. So why do we assume that the creation of this universe as we see it today is the result of anything except extremely good luck?

    Swinburne is correct in saying that it was highly unlikely that the universe was set up this way, but it was no more likely that it would be set up any other way. So I don't think the logical conclusion is to assume that God created the world. iIhave heard that there is a deontological argumant which is pretty strong, is the the same as the onotological argument you
    mentioned?

    I don't mean to undermine your viewpoint I just enjoy a good old philospohical argument, so thanks for the input
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    (Original post by Neitzhschezehcz)
    Wait, why would someone lose their theism because an argument for God's existence didn't work? It would just mean another avenue for evidence of God would be closed off.
    True, but I find many of the aruments to be weak, well I've only read two so I suppose i cant really say that. I don't think anyone would loose their theism just because of one particular argument, I just find it hard to understand why they still believe so strongly in light of these arguments (which I feel are weak), as I'm atheist myself.

    (Original post by Neitzhschezehcz)
    There seems to be an assumption here.
    "If you have never heard of God before surely you wouldn't belive/ have experience of him?" - that statement is questionable. Some would argue that even without the word God we sense an essence of the divine, and that God in a religious sense is a descriptive term for these experiences. You can't really prove it either way in modern society because pretty much everyone has heard of the concept of a God.
    The same question of faith can apply to atheist. It is pretty baseless itself, and it's indisputibly a faith. The alternative to that is agnosticism, but that's probably best viewed as a temporary stage pending decision either way. Any opinion about the existence of God comes down to, as in all things, a measure of faith.
    I did not mean God as in any sense of faith or belief that there is something else apart from us. I meant God as in specific God's EG. the classical theistic God of Christianity or Allah of Islam etc. Maybe if you had never heard of the term 'God' before you would belive in something spiritual. But is highly improbable that you would belive in the SAME classical theistic God, or even call it a 'God'. What I'm saying is that theists only believe SPECIFICALLY in the Christian God because they have been conditioned to do so by society.

    I feel it incorrect to say that atheism also requires much faith at all, or is also baseless. Ockhams razor states that if there are two equally viable hypotheses, we should adopt the less complex one. IE. The atheistic view is the one to adopt (philosophically speaking) in this case as although even if there was as much proof for God as there was against God, to accept that God doesn't exist is simplest. Why introduce this God, who we cannot see and have no real proof of (except belief which isn't really proof at all)? Also, by saying that 'atheism is pretty baseless itself', do you mean to say that theism is also baseless?

    (Original post by Neitzhschezehcz)
    Saying that people who believe in God do so because other people say he exists seems very unfair too.
    Well would you really believe in Christianity (I'm assuming you do) or any other religion if somebody hadn't told you about it?

    Again this is not meant to be an attack on theism/christians, I'm just trying to have a philosophical argument BTW what are the UKL societies and how can I join?
Updated: December 17, 2004
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