Arguments for theism and against atheism

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Anselm of Canterbury's version of the ontological argument appeared in his work Proslogium.

The majority of philosophers of religion, or those who have extensively studied the issue of the existence of God, are theists (72 percent).[1]

In relation to the debate between theism and atheism, theists often criticize atheism as being contrary to persuasive argument and have a number of arguments 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:

  • 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).
  • 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.[3] 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
  • 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."[4]
The argument from beauty argues the existence of beauty in the natural world testifies to the existence of God who both designed natural beauty and who possesses a divine beauty.
  • 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.[5]
  • 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).
  • 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).[8][9] Atheism is a religion and it is a worldview which has no evidential support.[8][9][10]
  • In recent years, atheist intellectuals have been lethargic in terms of responding to arguments for the existence of God (See: Atheist apologetics).

For more information, please see:

See also


  1. Does it matter that many scientists are atheists?
  2. Multiple references:
  3. Who created God by Don Batten
  4. Oppy, Graham (July 15, 2011). "Ontological arguments". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).
  5. Craig, William Lane (1991). "Introduction: the resurrection of theism". Truth: A Journal of Modern Thought, vols. 3 & 4. LeadershipU
  6. Multiple references:
  7. Williams, Peter (Summer 2001). "Aesthetic arguments for the existence of God". Quodlibet Journal vol. 3:3. Quodlibet Journal website
  8. 8.0 8.1 Putting the Atheist on the Defensive by Kenneth R. Samples, Christian Research Institute Journal, Fall 1991, and Winter 1992, page 7.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Definition of atheism by William Lane Craig
  10. Is Atheism a religion? by Daniel Smartt, Published: 4 May 2010(GMT+10)