Why should I believe in God?

Why should I believe in God?Earth

There are only three kinds of persons: those who serve God having found Him; others who are occupied in seeking Him, not having found Him; while the remainder live without seeking Him, and without having found Him. The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy; those between are unhappy and reasonable.

Blaise Pascal, Pensees

Now it was our duty to promote the highest good; and it is not merely our privilege but a necessity connected with duty as a requisite to presuppose the possibility of this highest good.  This presupposition is made only under the condition of the existence of God, and this condition inseparably connects this supposition with duty.  Therefore, it is morally necessary to assume the existence of God.[1]

Rational Arguments for the Existence of God Before dealing with the arguments some preliminary comments must be made concerning the so-called “proofs.” The proofs do not “prove” in the sense that one adds up a sum in arithmetic. Instead, the arguments fit into the category of probability. “There is no argument known to us which, as an argument, leads to more than a probable (highly probable) conclusion.”8 If one were to argue concerning the rising of the sun tomorrow morning, the basis for the argument would be on the past experience that it has done so for as long as man has observed it, and the probability is that it will happen again tomorrow. This is an inductive argument based on an observed fact. “The theistic arguments are no exception to the rule that all inductive arguments about what exists are probability arguments. This is as far as the arguments, qua arguments, claim to go.” 9

Pantheism: World is God and God is WorldPantheism means that the cow is as divine as humans or the gods.  The tree and buildings also have the same substance.  As they say in India, “God is all and all is God.”   Problems with pantheism is that the pantheism is often so vague  that it leads to polytheism.   This breakdown gives various functions to various gods.  It is not unusual for a pantheistic religious culture like India  has many functional gods.  Traditionally  the number of gods has been reputed to be 360 million. 

Cosmological Argument The cosmological argument is based in its variations on the fact that there is a cosmos, a world. One of its more familiar forms was in the order that Thomas Aquinas ( 1225-74) used. “It is certain . . . that . . . some things are in motion. Now whatever is moved is moved by another, for nothing can be moved except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is moved. . . . If that by which it is moved be itself moved, then this also must needs be moved by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover. . . . Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no other; and this everyone understands to be God”.[2]

Teleological Argument This argument is based upon purpose, or teleology, in the world. Sometimes called the argument from design, it would be better named as the argument to design, or a Designer. Possibly more popular than some of the other arguments, it has appealed to scientific knowledge for its support. Aquinas wrote:  “We see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end. . . . Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not fortuitously, but designedly. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move toward an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence. . . . Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end, and this being we call God.” [3]

[1] Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. by Lewis Beck, New York:  The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1956, pp. 1308 J. Oliver Buswell,Jr., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962), I, p.72

9 Ibid.

[2] Introduction to Saint Thomas Aquinas, ed. Anton C. Pegis (New York: The Modern Library, 1948), p. 25

[3] Introduction to Saint Thomas Aquinas, p. 27.


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