Arguments for theism and against atheism
Within Christendom, the discipline of Christian apologetics has been developed. Christian apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith through logic/evidence based arguments. The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia (from Greek ἀπολογία), which means "speaking in defense".
Arguments for the existence of God include:
- Teleological argument: The universe exhibits overwhelming evidence of deliberate, intelligent, purposeful design, which implies an intelligent designer. See also: Arguments against evolution and Origin of life
- Evidential apologetics is an approach in Christian apologetics which emphasizes the use of evidence to demonstrate that God exists and that there is compelling evidence to support Christianity and the Bible. In addition, there are various arguments that atheists or other unbelievers weigh evidence improperly (see: Atheism and evidence).
- Moral argument. Objective morality exists. Atheism lacks objective moral standards. Not possessing a coherent basis for morality, atheists are fundamentally incapable of having a coherent system of morality (See also: Atheism and morality and Atheist population and immorality and Atheism and hedonism and Atheist hypocrisy) . Atheism leads to moral and cultural decline (see: Atheism and culture).
- Cosmological argument: Every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused. Atheism denies that that first cause is God. Christians point out that the question "Who created God" is an illogical question. See also: Atheism and the origin of the universe
- Historical arguments for the existence of God (subset of evidential apologetics). For example, arguments stemming from historical accounts such as Christian historical apologetics, Christian legal apologetics and archaeological evidence such as Bible archaeology
- Atheism and irrationality - Atheism cannot account for the laws of logic, consciousness or human reason.
- Atheists lack a coherent and compelling ultimate basis for knowledge. See: Atheism and epistemology
- Atheism is an unnecessarily limiting view of the world (see: Atheism is an unnecessarily limiting view of the world).
- Ontological argument: According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Ontological arguments are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world — e.g., from reason alone."
- Experiential arguments for the existence of God: Arguments based on personal experience and human intuition. According to philosopher Alvin Plantinga belief in the existence of God exists is a "properly basic" belief and not based on inference from other beliefs but is rationally justified due to one's circumstances of immediate experience of God.
- Various social science studies, historical data and other data, demonstrate that atheism often has a harmful effect on individuals and societies. See: Atheism statistics and Christianity vs. atheism statistics
- Atheism and love. Atheists cannot give a satisfactory/robust explanation for the existence of love.
- Inconsistency when it comes to the probability of supernatural phenomena or extremely unlikely events. For example, a significant percentage of atheists believe in life after death and possess superstitious beliefs (see: Atheism and the supernatural).
- Atheists are commonly criticized for engaging in groupthink and having a lack of cultural/geographic, racial, gender and socioeconomic diversity (see: Atheism and groupthink and Atheism and diversity).
- Lack of proof and evidence that atheism is true contrasted with the strong evidence supporting Christianity. In debates with atheists, the debate opponents of atheists commonly ask for evidence supporting atheism knowing that atheists cannot provide such evidence (for example, William Lane Craig typically does this during his debates). Atheism is a religion and it is a worldview which has no evidential support.
- Historically, the atheist population has often used mockery as a substitution for reasonable discussion/debate (see: Atheism and mockery). See also: Atheism and humor
- In recent years, atheist intellectuals have been lethargic in terms of responding to arguments for the existence of God (See: Stagnation of atheist apologetics).
For more information, please see:
- Does it matter that many scientists are atheists?
- Multiple references:
- Copan, Paul (2008). "God, naturalism, and the foundations of morality". The Future of Atheism, ed. Robert Stewart (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), pp. 141-161. PaulCopan.com
- Williams, Peter S. (2011). "Can moral objectivism do without God?". Bethinking.org
- Meister, Chad (2010). "Atheists and the quest for objective morality". Christian Research Journal, vol. 33, no. 2. Christian Research Institute website
- Slick, Matt (2009). "The failure of atheism to account for morality". Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website.
- Who created God by Don Batten
- Oppy, Graham (July 15, 2011). "Ontological arguments". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).
- Craig, William Lane (1991). "Introduction: the resurrection of theism". Truth: A Journal of Modern Thought, vols. 3 & 4. LeadershipU
- Multiple references:
- Marshall, Dr. Taylor (2013). "How do atheists define love?" Strange Notions blog
- Martin, Robert (July 9, 2014). "What is love? How materialist atheism fails to have a satisfactory answer". Atheist Forum blog.
- Williams, Peter (Summer 2001). "Aesthetic arguments for the existence of God". Quodlibet Journal vol. 3:3. Quodlibet Journal website
- Putting the Atheist on the Defensive by Kenneth R. Samples, Christian Research Institute Journal, Fall 1991, and Winter 1992, page 7.
- Definition of atheism by William Lane Craig
- Is Atheism a religion? by Daniel Smartt, Published: 4 May 2010(GMT+10)