Self-evident and Intuitive

If I have to choose an argument to defend my belief that there is God, The Creator of all that is,  I’m pleased to pick the one that, to me, is  highly “intuitive” and, essentially, “self-evident”.  It seems almost rude to say that the Teleological Argument of the Existence of God is a “no-brainer”.  I don’t have to have an encyclopedias’ worth of scientific knowledge to support my case — although that certainly exists. Common sense tells us that a designed object has a designer.  It is remarkably simple to me that an amazingly intelligent Designer is, in deed, responsible for the design of a universe that is so vast, precise, intricate, and absolutely astounding!

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Argument(s) for the Existence of God

I must admit that all three are “good” arguments. It seems that the argument most appealing to a person can be based on one’s personal beliefs/convictions/experiences, coupled with the supporting evidence laid out before us in our text.

For example, people that are attracted to the Cosmological Argument believe that (1) everything that had a beginning had a cause, (2) the universe had a beginning, and (3) therefore, it had a cause. They tend to search for cause and effect of things (i.e., thoughts equal conclusions, behaviors equal consequences).  Or, as in this case, the Law of Causality, or the Big Bang – “something” caused the universe to come into existence.  So, because there is “something” rather than nothing, then God exists!

For those that lean toward the Teleological Argument, they believe that (1) every design had a designer, (2) the universe has highly complex design, and (3) therefore, the universe had a designer. They look at the complexities and interdependency of the universe, structure of earthly organisms, and how should one element change, or be removed, can forever alter or destroy said complex designs. Because of the intricacies of the universe and earthly organisms, the level of intelligence, organization, and functionality of the universe can only be envisioned and perfected by a highly intelligent designer – God!  Therefore, God exists!

Those that subscribe to the Moral Argument believe that (1) moral law is undeniable, (2) we know it by our reactions, (3) it is the basis of human rights, (4) unchanging standard of justice, and more listed in Chapter 7, page 172, of the IDHEF book. The examples in the book that Hitler liked killing people and Mother Teresa liked helping people are extremes on the moral spectrum. It states that there is a higher standard of right and wrong that we inherently become aware of. This “knowledge” of right and wrong is “written in our hearts”, and we just “know” it. Whether we choose to heed this “knowledge” is a choice we each make. So, because core moral values are already “in us”, and this standard of rightness is God’s very nature, then . . . God exists!

Now, I tend to be eclectic in my counseling and coaching drawing from different theories and techniques to best help each of my clients.  Therefore, because each argument for the existence of God is well supported with strong evidence, I choose all three!!!  Why? Because you never know who you’ll meet and where they’re coming from.

Moral Argument

While I found all of the arguments fascinating, some were certainly more complex than others. The moral argument has been my favorite because it seems easy it discuss with anyone. You don’t need great knowledge of science and it doesn’t have to get super complicated. It can be discussed with people across just about any age or education level. Since everyone has this “moral compass,” you can talk to someone about their own personal beliefs and lines of thought instead of something they learned in science class. Also, it seems as if there are few ways the conversation can go, versus the more intricate and extensive Cosmological argument.

I think it is important that we be able to speak to and defend all of the arguments, but the simplicity and widespread applicability of the moral argument is attractive to me.

Moral Argument- Natalie D.

I found all three major arguments for an intelligent creator so very fascinating.  Each time we studied one I would think, “Oh, yeah. This one is spot on!” So, to be honest I find it hard to really pin down which camp I find myself in. The cosmological and moral arguments are my favorite. But, For the sake of the assignment I will pick!

I find the moral argument the most compelling and also easy to explain. The idea that we all have a moral code written on our hearts is something we can’t argue.  Everyone KNOWS it’s wrong to murder, rape, steal etc. and we know without needing to be told.  One could argue that people still do all those things, and yes, they do but that doesn’t mean they don’t know it’s wrong. Because the moral law is written on our hearts we know that it had to come from someone outside us, time and space. We didn’t put it there, our creator did. I find it easy to explain because our reactions to injustice prove there is morality. When we experience injustice, we want justice to be served.  if there was no moral law it would be purely my opinion against yours.  The moral argument goes like this:

  1. Every law has a law giver.
  2. There is a moral law
  3. Therefore there is a law giver.

Because these points are true we must admit there is a higher standard, God who gave us our moral law.

 

 

The Teleological Argument for Me

I think the Teleological is the most compelling argument for me. It provides a slew of evidence that you just can’t ignore. The probabilities of all life requirements coming together by chance is just too astronomical. I think it provides tangible evidence that anyone can grasp and easily look into for themselves. In Mike Wallace’s book, God’s Crime Scene, he talks about it like a murder case. He says in a murder case you have direct and indirect evidence. Direct being a  witness and indirect being circumstantial evidence. As circumstantial evidence begins to stack up  it begins to show who committed the murder and ultimately solidifies the case against that individual. Where as generally, in a lot of murder cases, there is no direct evidence to be found. Without the indirect evidence many murders would still be walking the streets free.  Societies are, by and large, accepting of this premise of indirect evidence to put murders to behind bars. I think getting people to apply the same concept to how precise and exact the creation of the Universe had to be has only one logical outcome. There had to be a supreme intelligence behind the design of the Universe, there is just no other way.

Although the other arguments are compelling as well the Teleological in my opinion is a homerun.

It’s In the Details – David Justice

When you think about the minute amount of tolerance that it would take to alter the universe, how could you argue against a designer?  If the balance of air we breathe is slightly out of tolerance we die.  Our body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit; slight fluctuations indicate problems with our body’s operating system.  The gravitational balance of the earth is delicately in tune with the sun, moon, and other planets.  With the least amount of change in the position size or rotation of any of these members, then life would not exist on Earth.  When examined, the Anthropic Principle reveals just how delicate and detailed our universe is.

I find the Teleological Argument to be the most appealing because of the details. Random natural events are not precise and don’t create interdependent elements that build on one another. There has to be a designer, and the designer is still at work. I am a carpenter and builder by trade. I learned early that everything I build has to have an order. You can’t build the cabinets before you put up the walls. You can’t build walls before you have the floor. The floor cannot be laid out without a proper foundation. Foundations require proper civil design of the soil and rocks. Everything is interdependent. I also learned that the first error in construction is compounded if it is not corrected. This is even truer for the universe.

Just as every successful building project requires a designer/project manager, so does the universe. The details in the design of the universe requires an omniscient, omnipresent designer, God is that designer.

One True God

My argument for the existence of God is based on my experience in a place where hundreds of gods exist in peoples’ lives every day. Over a period of 4 years, I have been blessed to be part of a team serving in West Bengal, India where we mentor Hindu families in poverty and political restraints far beyond that known in the Americas. At the same time, we are blessed to spend time with those working diligently to fulfill the Lord’s will of teaching others how to share the Gospel.

I have witnessed poverty and the belief in karma in the midst of a caste system and believers of re-incarnation. What strikes me is that like myself, the people of West Bengal want to live good lives, but they believe they need many gods to achieve that goal.

Living in a state of poverty creates a sense of weakness, and after a prolonged state of poverty, individual beliefs are formed about self and others.   People begin to differentiate regardless of the state of poverty. Hundreds of gods have been created and are recognized as hope of deliverance now, and in the future for better re-incarnation.

I often wondered how my invasion into their world would make a difference. Could God allow a Hindu idol to come to life similar to the time of Moses and the plagues with Pharaoh’s magicians? Are there miracles of the Hindu gods that take place in West Bengal on a daily basis?

I cannot visibly see God, nor do I have a statue that I utilize to represent God. How can a Hindu understand my story of my God, when all I have is my testimony and the Bible? My challenge is to help the Hindu understand that our past is not reflective of the future when it comes to Gods plan of forgiveness for sinners, and that there is only one true living God.

Conversely, Hindus keep an inventory of what they have done and believe that is what drives their future.   Sadly, their criticality of others is displayed when they won’t help another who is suffering. Hindus believe the suffering person has done something wrong in a previous life and if you try to help the suffering person, you are interfering with their karma. Mother Teresa worked years in trying to change this mindset of the Hindus in India.

Karma: Hinduism states the sum of a person’s actions in this, and previous states of existence, is viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

Karma doesn’t forgive the sin… My savior Jesus does.

Karma doesn’t guarantee eternity in any certain reincarnation… My savior Jesus guarantees my eternity in Heaven.

In Awe of the Stars Anew ~ Lizzie

There are many convincing proofs for the existence of God, but the one that struck me most this time around was the Cosmological Argument.

I knew some of the Moral Argument and have heard often of the design of the universe being too intricate for it all to happen by chance, of which I definitely agree.

But I didn’t know much about the origins of the universe, or of how that could point to the existence of God, other than the logical, “Something can’t just come from nothing, apart from something supernatural.”

As I once explained to an agnostic friend on the question of whether or not miracles were possible, I pointed to some exercise equipment in her home. “Take that exercise equipment for instance–it’s been created by someone else, right? And as with anything that’s been created by someone else, doesn’t the thing which created it have to be smarter than that which it creates? In the same way, if we were created by God, is it not possible that some things that don’t make sense to us… miracles, the beginning of the world… not make sense because it comes from a higher intelligence than ours? That which created us?”

She went silent at that, reluctantly nodded, and changed the subject to other parts of the debate, because she’d realized–we’d been created. Everything we see in the natural, day-to-day world has been created or made by something. And for that to happen, we’d have to have come from something with a higher intelligence. To argue otherwise didn’t make any sense.

But what I didn’t have in my arsenal back then was a scientific understanding of the origins of the universe. She did, and now if I were to have another conversation with her I would feel much more confident and ready to respond to her questions.

General side note: I am loving these classes, and the Cosmological Argument has caused me to stare up at the night sky with renewed wonder.

Something I’ve been thinking on… explosions as we know it on earth are often harmful and destructive.

To think the Lord spoke, and from it the beauty of this universe exploded into existence! Stars and galaxies and painted butterfly wings.

Truly awing.

-Lizzie

Bringing Truth to Light ~ MJ

In last week’s class, we defined “truth” as “that which corresponds to its object” and/or “that which describes an actual state of affairs”.

Some people tend to get their feelings or beliefs (if misguided) mixed up with the truth.  As a counselor/coach, I encounter much of this in which clients cite their feelings/beliefs as truths about certain life events.  It is my job to challenge those feelings/beliefs, by asking questions – much like the “Roadrunner Tactic”.  By using “their logic” and flipping it around, they “see” the error in their thinking process.  And, many times when they realize the “truth”, they are not “always” ready to accept it right away.  And, others will report feeling relieved once the truth of an event/encounter is brought to light.  A “truth” cannot be changed by attempting to sugar coat, or reframe it to fit a certain narrative that may be easier to accept.  Although, it helps for us to use tact and empathy in revealing said truths.

Sometimes the truth can be painful to hear . . . at first.  But, in the long run, it’s for the best.  And, one truth I do know, is God’s mercy and love for us!  That “truth” gets me through many things, big and small.

I don’t know whether this makes any sense to you, or whether it is even relevant to the topic.  I just felt led to put it out there.  If it doesn’t relate, I’ll post another. Lol.

Standing on air?

What engaged me was the fact that many arguments against the faith of Christianity are self defeating. The roadrunner tactic is so powerful in that we don’t always need to make a case for what we believe, but allow others to expose the error in the things they claim to be true. I thinking asking the right questions to show people that they are standing on mere air sets up a perfect opportunity to come along side someone and give them some truth to consider. People want the truth, but many people stand double minded, not knowing what to believe and by helping them understand that two opposing ideas can’t both be true, we can then hopefully drive out the wrong idea and fill their mind with the right one.