My Proof of Theism

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Introduction to Philosophy 200 Spring 2008
My Proof of Theism
Jenny Wiggins
In this essay, I plan to give proofs that defendtraditional theism. Traditional theism is defined by E.K. Daniel in his essay, A Defense of Theism, as: “there exists a being, God, who has all of the following attributes: God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), supremely good (omnibenevolent), infinite, eternal, a being who possesses all perfections, transcendent to the natural universe, but the creator of the universe (Daniel, p.259).” I find it ironic to prove theism in philosophy class. Even Greek philosophers believe in a higher power. The question that is not always agreed upon is which or what higher power to believe? That being said, since there are views that refute theism, I will also take some of these arguments and try to find their weakness. The first classical argument that I will put forth to argue the existence of God is the first cause argument also known as the cosmological argument. This argument simply says that everything has a cause, so if we proceed backwards to find every cause,we would never be able to stop. This is unintelligible. For one to think about it rationally there must be a first cause, a cause that in itself is uncaused. This uncaused being we will call God. Therefore, God exists. The first cause argument proposes that the universe is finite, which means it is limited, and to think of it as infinite would be unintelligible. It also says that the universe is contingent, by stating that each thing in it has a cause. Since the universe could not have caused itself, there must something uncaused that caused the universe. Daniel reformulates the first cause (cosmological) argument this way: P1: Everything in the universe is finite.

P2: Whatever is finite is limited.
P3: Hence, whatever is limited cannot be the cause of its own existence. P4: Everything in the universe is contingent.
P5: Whatever is contingent is dependent on something else for its existence. P6: Hence, whatever is contingent cannot be the cause of its own existence. P7: The totality of things making up the universe is also finite and contingent. P8: Thus, the totality (universe) must also have a cause for its existence. P9: Since it cannot be the cause of its own existence, the cause must be something external to the universe. P10: That is, since the universe cannot contain the reason for its existence within itself, the reason for its existence must be something external to it. P11: Hence, there must exist an infinite and self-subsistent (non-contingent) being who is the cause of the universe. P12: Unlike that which is finite and contingent, such a being must exist necessarily. P13: Such a being is commonly called God.

Conclusion: Therefore, there exists an infinite, necessary, and uncaused cause – God (Daniel, p.268). A question to this argument may be: Do the attributes of finite and contingent, referring to the universe, necessarily need an uncaused being to have created its existence? The very definitions of finite and contingent rationally conclude, yes. If the claim that an infinite sequence of causes was untrue the universe would possibly not exist at all, because if even one of those causes were taken out all succeeding causes would cease to exist. I would also like to take a look at another classical argument which is the design argument also known as the teleological argument. The design argument says that the universe is created in such a way that everything is designed and adapted for a purpose (Daniel, p.261). The fact that the universe and everything in it seems to be put there in an orderly fashion with things working together in order to give purpose and produce a means to an end, suggests that there was a maker. Consider my argument in defense of the teleological argument below: P1: If we examine an automobile of any kind, we can see that each part has a purpose and...
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