What, in your opinion, is the best or most effective argument FOR the existence of god?

I was so curious as to the opinions of others about this question, that I had to come back on here and ask (I have been gone from here for about a month and a half or so, have been extremely sidetracked and disillusioned; I keep jumping from different activities as my mainstays, so there for a while I was on here for 6 hours a day, then I got burned out and went to reading for several hours a day).

So what is the best or most effective argument for the existence of god? I would have to say that, in my opinion, I think it would have be the teleological argument, or the argument from design. Even with the challenge of having to explain *against* natural mechanisms of self-structuring (like Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking that Victor Stenger talks about in God: The Failed Hypothesis), or all of the flaws, errors, and irregularities in the "creation" itself, and its seeming randomness and majority lack of order. (I always find myself wondering about what we know must exist way out there in space; why create that?) This seems to go hand in hand with the constants argument (I know there must be some other name for it), you know, where they talk about the dials being just so that we're in a Goldilocks zone.

Anyways, what's your take on this?

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Fear of the unknown. The feeling that there is something out there looking out for you. That it's not just over when you die -- there's more out there (if you behave how they want you to behave).

Of course, it's a silly argument. But then again, they're all silly arguments. Rational people have been trampling on these arguments for as long as the theists have been making them.
I can think of two. First, redefining "God". It's easy to convince someone of God's existence when you define it as something nebulous yet obviously extant -- anything from human potential to the process of causality in the universe. From there it's a slippery intellectual slope to a personal God.

The other one is that there is some kind of emergent universal consciousness -- sort of like the Gaia hypothesis except applied to the entire cosmos. Maybe it's not that effective for others -- most people would scoff at it -- but it jibes well with my beliefs on how consciousness works (even if I don't think it's likely, or true.)

A book I once read that, now that I think of it, comes close to combining these two arguments, is God's Debris by Scott Adams -- which, while I can imagine why it would be convincing, was totally ineffective for me.
This is something like the Buddhist and Hindu world view. They take it further to define all humans as part of the divine. That makes you a god.
Tried it, but it's an useless pursuit. I've been a Buddhist for a few hours and still couldn't find my car keys. At this rate you'd need to be a Buddhist for at least 1,700 years to create something as big as the Moon, and I don't even want to know the requirements for achieving 'universe maker' status!
Actually, I never really thought of the emotional appeal as an argument for god's (or gods') existence; I just think of it as one WAY that people try to get you to believe (which is different from trying out a proof or logical inference/deduction or a rationalist empirical demonstration), not as an actual area with its own tenets or discourse.

But now that you mention it, I suppose the emotional appeal would (even if you don't consider it an *argument*, because then you're just playing semantics) be one of the best, if not the best, argument or means to get someone to believe, because it can lay hold on a part of a person that often isn't amenable to reason (The GUT, as Charles Pierce calls it).
Both the "Theist" and the by them coined "Atheist" are arguing about the same thing. The Wikipedia has logic on its side. I'd say they are both irrelevant because they argue about a kind of insanity. I am no Atheist. I have no category in this argument. In fact I can see no argument.
If you say the moon is made of green cheese I would not have an opinion. Otherwise you'd call me a moon-green-cheese-denier or mgcd for short, the worst of the mgcd commies, a dreaded cynic brandishing satan's sword with MGCD written in bloody letters on its handle.
Started getting used to the idea? This is how that works.
I would agree, the teleological argument, the argument from design is probably the most compelling intellectual argument. Its a bad one, obviously, just because A was created by process B doesn't mean C had to have been created by the same process. Just because I've seen human dig tunnels through rock with dynamite doesn't mean that the Grand Canyon was formed that way, different things can have different causes. But that argument is the hardest to refute to the layperson and has entrapped intelligent people with it as well.
The anthropic argument would be a close second, there's a lot of impressive statistics you can line up if you don't understand them. Its much easier to refute, though. This is the constants argument you refer to.
As for the others:
The transcendental argument is entirely too obscure for 99% of the population to even listen to.
The ontological argument is so badly flawed the average person immediately recognizes the absurdity of it.
Pascal's Wager has dozens of simple refutations.
The prime mover argument is trivial to demonstrate as requiring an infinite regress.
Yeah, I feel like an IDIOT now, because I actually knew, at the time, that it was called the anthropic principle or argument; I just couldn't recall the word itself, even after having read about it and then, of course, I know what the argument says. There was this one young apologist in a video on YouTube who was heavily expounding this one to a rather large audience, and he did make it SOUND convincing, but I knew better.
Here's another thing I've been thinking about lately, considering the Prime Mover or First Cause argument:

If theists will say that the Universe couldn't have been created, with all that is in it, from NOTHING, they are essentially making this same claim by saying a god(s) did it. I mean, by saying god did it, you are essentially saying that what literally cannot be done WAS done, which makes you look like you espouse magic, even if it's your own fault that you can't, without resorting to and naming things beyond your understanding or provability, wrap your mind around the fact that it is no less plausible that the Universe ALWAYS existed if you want to say that GOD always existed, too.


So if GOD made everything from nothing, why is it not plausible to think that EVERYTHING CAN ARISE FROM NOTHING?? If he could do it, that means there MUST be a way.

So if GOD always existed, why is not just as plausible to think that THE UNIVERSE ALWAYS EXISTED?? If he always did, then that means it is possible for SOMETHING to have existed for all time.
One hypothesis that scientists have is that space-time started with the Big Bang. So under that model there was no 'before' the Big Bang, because time didn't exist until that point. Can I intuitively understand what that means? Nope, but just because I can't grasp a concept doesn't mean that that concept is false. I can't really grasp how a single electron could travel in a straight line and yet pass through three different openings in the same wall, but it happens nonetheless.
Interesting, from your theory that time is spherical (circular?), I assumed you were unaware of this hypothesis. My mistake.
If you can grasp those ideas intuitively, I'm impressed. I can grasp them intellectually, but intuitively I tend to think in analogies, which always break down in these areas.
Another possibility I have always liked the notion of is that there is a greater multiverse with a net energy of zero. Occasionally, there pops into existence a universe with primarily positive energy and occasionally a negative energy universe pops into existence (of course, we being fairly subjective about which is which). Thus we have a zero sum game in which the net energy is zero and thus we don't have to explain where it "came from", in essence we not only started with nothing, we still have nothing. Wild hypothesis at best, of course, and absurdly difficult to substantiate, but a neat idea.
I have discussed this with my best friend, who is a believer. To me, basically it comes down to the fact that, at some point, "Then a miracle happens!" In other words we can't show that life spontaneously popped into existence, or if 'something' created life. Of course, to me it seems slightly more likely that life started up through some confluence of events, because if some 'god' created life, then who or what created that 'god'? Same with Intelligent Design, if there is a designer, then who designed the designer, and on back ad infinitum. Isn't it funny, we really come back to "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

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