The Two Best Arguments for Theism

by Joel Settecase

gottfried-wilhelm-leibnizWhat are the two most persuasive arguments to use in discussion with your atheist friends?

In my humble opinion, the two strongest arguments for the existence of God are the Cosmological Argument and the argument for the Resurrection of Jesus.

The Cosmological Argument

There are at least four versions of this argument that I know of: the Aquinas argument for a First (importance, not temporal) Cause, the kalam version, the Leibniz version, and the modified version which William Lane Craig uses in his debates. I will describe the kalam and Leibniz versions.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument:
  • Anything that began to exist has a cause.
  • The universe began to exist
  • Therefore, the universe has a cause.
The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument:
  • Everything that exists has an explanation for its existence, either in itself or from some external cause.
  • The universe exists.
  • If the universe has an explanation, that explanation is God.
  • Therefore, the universe’s explanation is God.
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The kalam argument relies on the most foundational principle of science, without which science could not be done, that is, “out of nothing, nothing comes.” If the universe could come into existence of its own accord, then it is unclear why anything and everything could not do the same. Why should it just be universes that spring into existence ex nihilo, and why not horses, cotton candy, or 1971 Corvettes (I can dream, can’t I?)? Because of the apparent absurdity of the idea of something coming, unaided, out of nothing, the kalam argument is a powerful one.

Leibniz’s argument is often misquoted. For example, when Richard Dawkins purports to show the inconsistency of a Designer, he likes to say, “Who created God?” Aside from committing the tu quoque fallacy, such a question misunderstands the argument.

On the Leibnizian view, everything exists either due to an external cause or in and of itself—that is, necessarily.

If God exists, he exists necessarily, and therefore has no creator (if He did, then that would be God). To say that God cannot exist necessarily is to say that the universe can. However, the universe is…

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:

Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science

New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

 

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