30 Abbreviated Arguments for the Existence of God
by Pastor Brian Chilton
Many apologists focus on a few arguments. But did you realize there are multiple arguments for the existence of God? Understand that it would be impossible for one to post an in-depth article on each of these arguments without having written a book. It is not the purpose of this article to present an in-depth look at these arguments. Rather, it is the purpose of this article to open the eyes of the reader to the wealth of arguments that exist for the existence of God. One will note that some arguments, or proofs, are stronger than others. It is not the intent of this article to defend each argument. However, the article does intend to show the strong case for God’s existence when taking all the arguments together as a whole. Most of these arguments were taken from the works of Peter Kreeft. Please see the bibliography and check out his works as he gives a much more detailed explanation of these arguments than what was sought in this article. There may be many more arguments that are not listed in this article. However, the arguments presented are among some of the more popular arguments. The last three arguments are those of this writer, as strong or as weak as they may be. In addition, this article was created to be a quick reference for those seeking popular arguments for the existence of God.
1. Ontological: Anselm’s Argument (Anselm)
One of the more controversial arguments is that of Anselm’s ontological argument. The argument goes like this:
“1. It is greater for a thing to exist in the mind and in reality than in the mind alone.
2. ‘God’ means ‘that than which a greater cannot be thought.’
3. Suppose that God exists in the mind but not in reality.
4. Then a greater than God could be thought…
5. Therefore God exists in the mind and in reality” (Kreeft and Tacellli, 1994)
In other words, God is that which nothing greater could be conceived. If God is this, then God must exist in reality as well as in the mind.
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2. Ontological: Modal Version of the Ontological Argument (Hartshorne and Malcolm)
Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm developed an additional version of Anselm’s argument. Kreeft and Tacelli define it as:
“1. The expression ‘that being than which a greater cannot be thought’ (GCB, for short) expresses a consistent concept.
2. GCB cannot be thought of as: a. necessarily nonexistent; or as b. contingently existing but only as c. necessarily existing.
3. So GCB can only be thought of as the kind of being that cannot not exist, that must exist.
4. But what must be so is so.
5. Therefore, GCB (i.e., God) exists” (Kreeft and Tacelli, 1994).
It would seem that this version accepts God’s existence as a necessity and continues from there. Since GCB is consistent and the highest thing that could necessarily be, GCB must exist…