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How do we know there's a God? What is he like?

What arguments persuaded you God exists?

Postby Korn Flex » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:35 pm

I am interested to hear the argument that persuaded you that God exists prior to being a christian.
Korn Flex

Re: What arguments persuaded you God exists?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:49 pm

There are many logical arguments for the existence of God that I consider to be stronger than the refutations.

Cosmological argument: The universe had a beginning. The idea of an infinite universe is absurd. Something outside of the universe had to have caused it to bang.

Ontological argument: If God doesn't exist, his existence is logically impossible. If he does exist, his existence is necessary. Since we know God is not impossible, he must be necessary.

Teleological argument: We don't know of anything that shows evidence of being purposefully designed that was not indeed purposefully designed. Many parts of the universe exhibit purpose. Therefore it's logical to assume the universe could be the product of purposeful design.

Analogical argument: Everything we humans produce for a particular purpose is designed for that purpose by someone intelligent enough to have designed it. The universe has many characteristics that seem like it was produced for a particular purpose. It's reasonable to conclude that the universe was designed by an intelligent being.

The argument of other minds: I can't prove that other minds exist, but it's logical to believe that. I can't prove what other minds are thinking, and yet it's reasonable to assume they are. The bulk of my commonsense beliefs about others minds is more probably than not on my total evidence. Using that analogy, then, belief in God is rational, being more probable than not on the total evidence.

Argument from consciousness: Genuinely nonphysical mental states exist (feelings, thoughts, emotions). The explanation for such mental states is either personal or scientific. The explanation for nonphysical mental states is not a natural scientific one, for no naturalistic explanation postulated thus far has been capable of accounting for how the mental can arise from the physical. Therefore the best explanation for now of nonphysical mental states is a personal one. If the explanation is personal, then it is theistic.

Axiological argument: Since there is evil in the world, there must also be good (or we wouldn't know evil was evil). If those words mean anything, there must be a standard by which to measure them. And if there is a standard, there must be a source for that standard. That source must be moral, objective, and personal.

Linguistic argument: Language is effective only if endowed with meaning. Meaning is non-material; it is neither energy nor matter. The essence of meaning is entirely distinct from energy and matter. Language demands a non-material source, since meaning is non-material. Language therefore demonstrates that we as humans possess non-material attributes. The most plausible source for that is an entity with mental faculties qualitatively similar to our own but vastly superior.

God makes sense of the existence of abstract entities.
God makes sense of the origin of the universe.
God makes sense of the complex order in the universe.
God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.

The resurrection of Jesus. The established facts surrounding the resurrection, and the inferences that can be made from subsidiary arguments and evidences are more plausible than alternative explanations.

The credibility of the Bible: The historical evidences, its trueness to life, its value for life, and its spiritual power.

The testimonies of other people whom I respect. It's tough to deny when you can see people change right before your eyes from one kind of person to another, qualitatively different, kind of person.

My experiences of God. I am convinced God exists wholly apart from arguments. They are properly basic beliefs, just like my belief in and experience of the external world and the existence of minds besides my own, such as yours.

On the basis of so many thoughts and angles, logic and evidences, I became convinced that God exists and that Christianity is true.
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Re: What arguments persuaded you God exists?

Postby Vermont Choir » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:27 pm

> There are many logical arguments for the existence of God that I consider to be stronger than the refutations. Cosmological argument [...] Ontological Argument [...] Teleological argument [...] Analogical, axiological, linguistic, from consciousness, of other minds... Etc.

You said you find the evidence compelling. I said to show it. You shared at least 13 things which AREN'T evidence. What gives?
Vermont Choir

Re: What arguments persuaded you God exists?

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:33 pm

The cosmological argument says that the fact that the universe had a beginning is EVIDENCE that it had a personal causal agent.

The teleological argument says that since the universe exhibits characteristics of purposeful design, those characteristics provide EVIDENCE that they very possibly were designed.

The analogical argument says that things we know of that look like they were designed by an intelligent being were indeed designed by an intelligent being. And since the universe has characteristics showing that it has a purpose, those characteristics are EVIDENCE that it was possibly designed by an intelligent being.

The argument from consciousness says that our immaterial mental states are EVIDENCE of a personal source, therefore theism.

The axiological argument says that since we accept definitions of good and evil, that acceptance is EVIDENCE that we recognize a standard governing those definitions. And the recognition of those standards is EVIDENCE that those standards came from somewhere.

The linguistic argument asserts that language itself is EVIDENCE of a non-material, intelligent source superior to our own.

The complex order of the universe is EVIDENCE of a powerful, orderly source.

The resurrection of Jesus is EVIDENCE of a self-aware and self-determined personal power greater than death itself.

The unique attributes of the Bible are EVIDENCE of a supernatural author.

The spiritual experiences I have had with God are EVIDENCE for me of His reality.

I find the evidence compelling.
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