The existence of God The Kalām Cosmological Argument Whatever begins to exist has a cause The universe began to exist Therefore …. The universe has a cause
The existence of God The Moral Argument If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist Objective moral values do exist Therefore …. God exists
The existence of God The fine-tuning* of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. It is not due to physical necessity or chance. Therefore It is not due to physical necessity or chance. Therefore The universe is due to design The Design Argument The existence of God
Verificationism Anything that cannot be verified by the five senses is meaningless. No truth value. Neither true nor false – meaningless
Objections to the existence of God The presumption of atheism The claim that there is no God is a claim to knowledge and therefore bears a burden of proof. Atheists need to present some evidence.
The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!
Objections to the existence of God Problem of evil and suffering Intellectual Logical [deductive ]Probabilistic [evidential ] How could an all powerful and all loving god allow evil to exist? Emotional
The Barber Paradox There is an island where all the men are clean shaven. The men either shave themselves or they are shaved by the barber. The barber shaves all and only those who do not shave themselves. The question is … Who shaves the barber?
The Barber Paradox There is an island where all the men are clean shaven. The men either shave themselves or they are shaved by the barber. The barber shaves all and only those who do not shave themselves. The question is … Who shaves the barber? The barber shaves himself if and only if he does not.
Objections to the existence of God It is not possible for an all powerful and all loving God to co-exist with evil. Evil exists. Therefore – God does not exist There is no logical contradiction! Logical or Deductive objection
Objections to the existence of God It is not possible for an all powerful and all loving God to co-exist with evil. If God is all powerful he could arrange a world in which free creatures would always choose the good option. If God is all loving, He would prefer a world in which evil does not exist. Evil exists. Therefore –God does not exist Logical or Deductive objection Contradiction Presumption
The Free Will Defence Just because God is all powerful does not mean that he can do anything. He cannot do things which are logically impossible.
Objections to the existence of God Probabilistic objection Given the evil and suffering in the world the existence of God is improbable
Objections to the existence of God Probabilistic objection The probability of something should always be considered relative to the background information
Background information 95% of male students at the University of Glasgow drink more than 15 units of alcohol per week. 2% of male Christian students at the University of Glasgow drink more than 5 units of alcohol per week. Despite all that – some of them can look a little dorky!
Consider only the evil and suffering in the world? Background information You might consider it improbable that God exists. Consider all the relevant background information? You might consider it highly probable that God exists.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. Genesis 45
Objections to the existence of God Probabilistic objection Background information Gods existence more likely that not. Chaos theory God may well have a morally sufficient reason the nature of the world – evil and good.
No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God. Bertrand Russell 1872-1970 Bertrand Russell 1872-1970 Emotional problem
God is fully aware of man's spiritual reality. Physical destruction is not an end to our existence. From God's perspective, our physical suffering is relatively insignificant. God is not unsympathetic or oblivious to our pain. Is God is morally responsible?
Pain and suffering motivates us to depend upon God. 33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16 As we experience Gods comfort through trials, we are then able to comfort others in the same way. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1 Purpose of suffering - 1
He proves to us that our faith is real. Suffering can refine faith. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faithof greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by firemay be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1 Purpose of suffering - 2
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1 Purpose of suffering - 2
Focus on the future 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8 Purpose of suffering - 3