Arguments for God’s Existence

Richard Dawkins goes through the various arguments for the existence of God.  I would have to say that I am equally disappointed with the ontological argument.  As a former skeptic, I would never have been moved by this.  As a Christian, I never use it.

The argument from beauty has a bit more merit.  But I think Dawkins misunderstands it.  He sees it as being “Humans can make beautiful art, therefore there must be a God.”  I would see it more as about why we think there is such a thing as beauty.  How can people determine something is ugly and something is beautiful?  Why is a sunrise beautiful and roadkill ugly?  Is it simply personal taste or are we recognizing something?  I don’t use this argument, but I thing there is something to it.

Dawkins also dismisses the argument from experience.  Of course there is great danger in focusing too much on experience.  I would never base an important decision on something like a dream or a strange feeling.  But if there is a God, there would be an expectation that he would interact with us in some way.  I have had some powerful experiences with God that have strengthened my faith but would not likely convince a skeptic.

I agree with Dawkins that the argument from admired religious scientists is not a good argument.  However, Dawkins errs when he suggests that atheists are generally better educated than theists.  Recent studies have demonstrated that there is a high level of education for regular attenders.  It is interesting that a good portion of scientists are atheist.  It is not that science and God are incompatible.  Perhaps atheists are naturally drawn to science as a means of explaining their atheistic worldview.  It would be interesting to know what came first, the atheist or the science.

What are we to do with Pascal’s Wager?  There is some truth to it.  If atheists are correct, when I die I will never know I was wrong.  If theists are correct, atheists will know they were wrong when they die.  However, this wager does not get us to Christianity.  If my faith was based only this wager, I could die and find out that Judaism or Islam was the correct religion.  So there are definite weaknesses with this argument.

Dawkins also tackles the argument from Scripture.  However, Dawkins makes so many errors in that section that I am going to have to take that on in a separate post.