Arguments for the Existence of a God
Apologists rely on a variety of arguments to substantiate the existence of a God, or to support the claims of divinity by a particular denomination’s founder(s) or for its sacred texts. This section contains material that confronts and rebuts these theistic arguments.
Links below are to the most common categories of theistic arguments. Arguments for atheism or the nonexistence of a God can be found in the Arguments for Atheism section.
Argument from Holy Scripture [ Index ]
Divine inspiration is often claimed for features of religious texts, constituting evidence of God’s existence or the truth of a religious doctrine. In addition to the Holy Bible, subsections on the Qur’an, and Mormon and Scientology scriptures are included.
Argument from Miracles [ Index ]
The occurrence of miracles is frequently purported to be evidence of the supernatural, and therefore of the existence of a God.
Argument from Reason [ Index ]
The ability to reason from premises to a conclusion is purportedly a capacity inexplicable with the nexus of physical causation, yet said to be quite explicable on theism.
Argument to Design [ Index ]
The Argument to Design is one of the bulwarks of the “new” Creationism (though it is not, in fact, “new”). Today known as the “Intelligent Design” theory, this argument asserts that the enormous complexity found in nature can only be explained by the presence of a cosmic “designer,” i.e. God.
Cosmological Arguments [ Index ]
The notion of God as a “first cause” or “prime mover” of the universe has been argued since Thomas Aquinas. Modern “Big Bang” cosmology has given new impetus to this notion, though, and is now cited by theists as evidence that a God created the universe ex nihilo.
Moral Argument and Divine Command Theory [ Index ]
It is believed that universal moral standards are required for the proper functioning of society. Since objective standards of morality indeed exist, it is argued, so must God, since God is the only possible source of such standards.
Ontological Arguments [ Index ]
Ontological arguments conclude that God exists from premises derived by reason alone, and not observation of the world. For example, take St. Anselm’s concept of a being than which no greater can be conceived–if such a being fails to exist, then a greater being–namely, a being than which no greater can be conceived, and which exists–can be conceived. However, nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. So a being than which no greater can be conceived–God–exists.
Pascal’s Wager [ Index ]
The seventeenth-century mathematician, Blaise Pascal, formulated this pragmatic argument for justifying belief in God: which is worth the risk of error, belief or nonbelief?
Religious Experience [ Index ]
The “self-authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit,” or other mystical experiences, are argued as direct evidence of an individual’s communion with a God.
Transcendental Argument [ Index ]
The Transcendental Argument is something of a “macro-argument” which encompasses rationality and even the preconditions for presenting an argument. It is impossible, the argument claims, for any authoritative rationality (including an atheist’s) to emerge from inchoate matter–the existence of God must be assumed, therefore, in order to deny God’s existence.
Other Theistic Arguments [ Index ]
Various articles related to general and other arguments for God’s existence.
Books [ Index ]
Purchase titles relating to theistic arguments, philosophy, atheism, freethought, and other topics.
Reviews [ Index ]
Reviews and critiques of books and articles whose authors argue in support of theistic arguments.
Debates [ Index ]
A selection of debates on arguments for the existence of a God.
Links to Other Sources [ Index ]
Selected links to other sites of interest relating to theistic arguments.