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4 - The moral argument for God's existence

Jay W. Wood
Affiliation:
Wheaton College, Illinois
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Summary

We have surveyed a trio of famous arguments for God's existence, the teleological, cosmological and ontological arguments, which their most ardent proponents offer as “proofs” of God's existence. Many theists see these arguments in less exalted terms, perhaps as offering good reasons for thinking that God exists but not as decisive proofs that settle the issue of God's existence once and for all. Even if the arguments thus far surveyed are sound, they suffer other limitations. The teleological and cosmological arguments suffer potentially from the “gap problem”, while the ontological argument suffers from a lack of cogency: no one is likely to accept its most crucial premise who is not already committed to its conclusion. In the next two chapters, we shall explore two other oft-cited bases for rational religious belief: the arguments from morality and religious experience. Each presents us with a pervasive feature of human experience and proceeds to argue that these experiences cannot be adequately explained or understood without acknowledging God's existence. Not unexpectedly, critics will contend that these phenomena can be adequately explained without appealing to supernatural causes or beings.

Moral phenomena

Let us begin our reflections about the rich and complex world of moral experience with a few simple stories. A few years ago, City of Chicago police officers witnessed a drug transaction in an alleyway. One of the men involved in the transaction pulled a gun, whereupon the officers drew their weapons, ordering the man to drop his gun.

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God , pp. 65 - 96
Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2010

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