Throughout history, great importance has been placed on the existence of God. Every civilization through time has sought some sort of reassurance that their is a higher being the watches over humanity. The evidence of this belief can be seen in the tombs of the Egyptians, in the sculptures of the Greeks and in the customs of the African tribes, among many other cultures. It seems that the existence of a deity is something that every culture comes to accept at some time or another. In "Would Tarzan Believe in God?", the authors say that, "...many cognitive scientists see the universality and pervasiveness of religious belief as suggesting that it is a natural feature of evolved human psychology." (Banjeree, pg. 1) There are none who would deny the prevalence of God in history, yet atheism persists and the debate between the faithful and the doubtful is one that continues to prevail to this day. And rightly so, for "Beliefs about God often influence positions in important and controversial issues, such as sexual behavior, abortion, medical research using stem cells and...government support for religious schools and charities." (Craig, pg. ix) But is the debate truly an important one? On a personal level, I can see the benefits of being an upright person, of not stealing, murdering, killing, and being kind to one's neighbor. I can decide for myself the pro's and con's of things such as abortion and stem cell research without the assistance of a God. One might argue that if eternal reward from said God is to be gained, one must certainly decide whether or not they believe in Him. (Archie, pg. 1) However, if the almighty Being's one ambition is for mankind to achieve disinterested love for one another as is the popular Christian belief, then does it matter whether or not we are certain of his existence since many can see the benefits of such a life with or without a God? The question is a difficult one to answer.
In this paper, I will examine the claims for and against God's existence and attempt one of three conclusions; that God does exist, that God does not exist, or that the entire question is irrelevant. For my sources, I will draw upon the works of William Lane Craig and Michael Tooley. For Dr. Craig, I will use his debate with Walter Sinnott Armstrong and for Dr. Tooley, I will take from his debate with Craig. For the purpose of this paper, I will keep these debates independent of each other to avoid writing a summary.
In his debate with Armstrong, Craig provides five proofs of the existence of God. They are that God explains the origin of the universe and it's "fine-tuning for intelligent life, that God makes sense of objective moral values, that God makes sense of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and that God can be immediately known and experienced. (Craig pg. 3-26)
The first of these five proofs, that God makes sense of the origins of the Universe, begins with an equation in relation to infinity. The conclusion is that infinite does not exist, for any conclusion left to infinity ends in contradiction, therefore, the infinite universe must in fact have had a beginning. (Craig pg. 4.) This is evidenced, according to Craig, by the Big Bang. The universe was literally nothing before it occurred, therefore it must have been caused by something of an independent nature.
Evidence from scientists suggests that the universe was once nothing before it was something, therefore it must have been caused. Once he establishes this fact, Craig lays down three points for his theory of cause. They are that whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore the universe has a cause. (Craig pg. 5)
This brings up an important point, because it is one that comes up time and time again and I feel that Craig addresses it quite properly. Many people question that if everything must have a cause, what is God's cause? The difference is in the phrasing and that is, whatever BEGINS to exist must...
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