Existence of God

Existence of God

Overview
Argument
Argument
In philosophy and logic, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, or give evidence or reasons for accepting a particular conclusion.Argument may also refer to:-Mathematics and computer science:...

s for and against the existence of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology (theory of knowledge) and ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 (nature of being), but also of the theory of value
Value theory
Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree people should value things; whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called axiology or ethics. Early philosophical...

, since concepts of perfection are often bound up with notions of God.

The debate concerning the existence of God raises many philosophical issues.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Existence of God'
Start a new discussion about 'Existence of God'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Argument
Argument
In philosophy and logic, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, or give evidence or reasons for accepting a particular conclusion.Argument may also refer to:-Mathematics and computer science:...

s for and against the existence of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology (theory of knowledge) and ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 (nature of being), but also of the theory of value
Value theory
Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree people should value things; whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called axiology or ethics. Early philosophical...

, since concepts of perfection are often bound up with notions of God.

The debate concerning the existence of God raises many philosophical issues. A basic problem is the existence of both monotheistic and polytheistic views. Some definitions of God's existence are so non-specific that it is certain that something exists that meets the definition ; in stark contrast, there are suggestions that other definitions are self-contradictory. A wide variety of arguments exist which can be categorized as metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

al, empirical
Empirical research
Empirical research is a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empirical evidence can be analyzed quantitatively or qualitatively...

, or subjective
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

. The existence of God is subject to lively debate both in philosophy—the philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy concerned with questions regarding religion, including the nature and existence of God, the examination of religious experience, analysis of religious language and texts, and the relationship of religion and science...

 being almost entirely devoted to the question—and in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

.

Atheists maintain that arguments for the existence of God show insufficient reason to believe. Certain theists acknowledge that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 alone. Other religions, such as some sects of Buddhism, do not concern themselves with the question of the existence or non-existence of God at all. Psychological and sociological explanations for believing in the existence of God may point to a shared neurological and cultural framework for belief based on cognitive processes in the brain.

Definition of God


In modern Western societies, the concept of 'God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

' typically entails a monotheistic
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, supreme, ultimate, and (in some sense) personal being, as found in the Christian, and Hebrew traditions. Classical theism
Classical theism
Classical theism refers to the a form of Theism in distinction to modern ideas about God such as Theistic Personalism, Open Theism and Process Theism. Classical Theism began with the works of the Greek philosophers, especially Platonists and Neoplatonists and was developed into Christian Theology...

 holds that God possesses every possible perfection, including omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

, omnipotence
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

, and omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

.

Some classically theistic philosophical approaches arrive at such perfections by beginning with a root concept of God such as "the prime mover
Unmoved mover
The unmoved mover is a philosophical concept described by Aristotle as a primary cause or "mover" of all the motion in the universe. As is implicit in the name, the "unmoved mover" is not moved by any prior action...

" or "the uncaused cause", "the ultimate creator", or "a being that than which nothing greater can be conceived" from which the classical properties may be deduced. By contrast, much of Eastern religious thought (chiefly Pantheist) posits God as a force contained in every imaginable phenomenon. For example, Spinoza and his followers use the term 'God' in a particular philosophical sense to mean the essential substance/principles of nature. The phenomenon of emergence
Emergence
In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems....

 could be argued to support either the Eastern or Western view.

In monotheisms outside the Abrahamic traditions, the existence of God is discussed in similar terms. In the Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

 school of Hinduism, reality is ultimately seen as a single, qualityless, changeless being called nirguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman, signifies in Hindu philosophy the Brahman that pervades the Universe, considered without form , as in the Advaita school or else as without material form, as in Dvaita schools of philosophy.-Advaita:According to Adi Shankara, the famous reviver of Advaita...

. Advaitin philosophy introduces the concept of saguna Brahman or Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

 as a way of talking about Brahman to people. Ishvara, in turn, is ascribed such qualities as omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence.

Epistemology


Epistemology is the branch of philosophy which studies the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge. Knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 is, from an epistemological standpoint, distinguished from mere belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 by justification
Theory of justification
Theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs. Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, and probability...

, warrant, or other such property the having of which is conducive to getting at the truth.

Knowledge in the sense of "understanding
Understanding
Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object....

 of a fact
Fact
A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be shown to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts...

 or truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

" can be divided into a posteriori
A Posteriori
Apart from the album, some additional remixes were released exclusively through the iTunes Store. They are:*"Eppur si muove"  – 6:39*"Dreaming of Andromeda" Apart from the album, some additional remixes were released exclusively through the iTunes Store. They are:*"Eppur si muove" (Tocadisco...

knowledge, based on experience
Experience
Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event....

 or deduction
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 (see methodology
Methodology
Methodology is generally a guideline for solving a problem, with specificcomponents such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools . It can be defined also as follows:...

), and a priori knowledge from introspection
Introspection
Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul...

, axiom
Axiom
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

s or self-evidence
Self-evidence
In epistemology , a self-evident proposition is one that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof....

. Knowledge can also be described as a psychological state, since in a strict sense there can never be a posteriori knowledge proper (see relativism
Relativism
Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration....

). Much of the disagreement about "proofs" of God's existence is due to different conceptions not only of the term "God" but also the terms "proof", "truth", and "knowledge". Religious belief from revelation
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 or enlightenment
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 (satori
Satori
is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment that literally means "understanding". In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to a flash of sudden awareness, or individual enlightenment, and is considered a "first step" or embarkation toward nirvana....

) can fall into either the first category, a posteriori knowledge, if rooted in deduction or personal revelation, or the second, a priori class of knowledge, if based on introspection.

Different conclusions as to the existence of God often rest on different criteria for deciding what methods are appropriate for deciding if something is true or not; some examples include
  • whether logic counts as evidence concerning the quality of existence
  • whether subjective experience counts as evidence for objective reality
  • whether either logic or evidence can rule in or out the supernatural
  • whether an object of the mind
    Object of the mind
    An object of the mind is an object which exists in the imagination, but which, in the real world, can only be represented or modeled. Some such objects are mathematical abstractions, literary concepts, or fictional scenarios....

     is accepted for existence
  • whether a truthbearer
    Truthbearer
    Truth-bearer is a term used to designate entities that are either true or false and nothing else. The thesis that some things are true while others are false raises the question of the nature of these things. Since there is divergence of opinion on the matter, the term truthbearer is used to be...

     can justify.

The problem of the supernatural


One problem posed by the question of the existence of God is that traditional beliefs usually ascribe to God various supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 powers. Supernatural beings may be able to conceal and reveal themselves for their own purposes, as for example in the tale of Baucis and Philemon
Baucis and Philemon
In Ovid's moralizing fable , which stands on the periphery of Greek mythology and Roman mythology, Baucis and Philemon were an old married couple in the region of Tyana, which Ovid places in Phrygia, and the only ones in their town to welcome disguised gods Zeus and Hermes , thus embodying the...

. In addition, according to concepts of God, God is not part of the natural order, but the ultimate creator of nature and of the scientific laws. Thus, in Aristotelian philosophy
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

, God is viewed as part of the explanatory structure needed to support scientific conclusions, and any powers God possesses are, strictly speaking, of the natural order—that is, derived from God's place as originator of nature. (See also Monadology
Monadology
The Monadology is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads.- Text :...

)

Some religious apologists
Apologetics
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers...

 offer the supernatural nature of God as the explanation for the inability of empirical methods
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 to decide the question of God's existence. In Karl Popper
Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS FBA was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics...

's philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

, belief in a supernatural God is outside the natural domain of scientific investigation because all scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable
Falsifiability
Falsifiability or refutability of an assertion, hypothesis or theory is the logical possibility that it can be contradicted by an observation or the outcome of a physical experiment...

 in the natural world. The Non-overlapping Magisteria view proposed by Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

 also holds that the existence (or otherwise) of God is irrelevant to and beyond the domain of science.

Logical positivists
Logical positivism
Logical positivism is a philosophy that combines empiricism—the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge—with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions of epistemology.It may be considered as a type of analytic...

, such as Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism....

 and A. J. Ayer viewed any talk of gods as literal nonsense. For the logical positivists and adherents of similar schools of thought, statements about religious or other transcendent experiences could not have a truth value, and were deemed to be without meaning, because metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism, also called ontological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, or just naturalism, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those...

, the philosophical basis for logical positivism, automatically excludes the possibility of the supernatural. As the Christian biologist Scott C. Todd put it "Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." This argument limits the domain of science to the empirically observable and limits the domain of God to the unprovable.

Nature of relevant proofs/arguments


Since God (of the kind to which the arguments relate) is neither an entity in the universe nor a mathematical object, it is not obvious what kinds of arguments/proofs are relevant to God's existence. Even if the concept of scientific proof were not problematic, the fact that there is no conclusive scientific proof of the existence, or non-existence, of God mainly demonstrates that the existence of God is not a normal scientific question. John Polkinghorne
John Polkinghorne
John Charlton Polkinghorne KBE FRS is an English theoretical physicist, theologian, writer, and Anglican priest. He was professor of Mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1979, when he resigned his chair to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest...

 suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics are the ideas of quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

 which are seemingly paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data.

Alvin Plantinga compares the question of the existence of God to the question of the existence of other minds
Other Minds
Other Minds is a San Francisco based private 501 not-for-profit organization, founded in 1992 by Charles Amirkhanian and Jim Newman...

, claiming both are notoriously impossible to "prove" against a determined skeptic.

One approach, suggested by writers such as Stephen D. Unwin
Stephen D. Unwin
Stephen D. Unwin is a physicist and author best known for his book, The Probability of God. Unwin is a graduate of Imperial College London and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester for his research in the field of quantum gravity...

, is to treat (particular versions of) theism
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 and naturalism
Naturalism (philosophy)
Naturalism commonly refers to the philosophical viewpoint that the natural universe and its natural laws and forces operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe that we know...

 as though they were two hypotheses in the Bayesian
Bayesian probability
Bayesian probability is one of the different interpretations of the concept of probability and belongs to the category of evidential probabilities. The Bayesian interpretation of probability can be seen as an extension of logic that enables reasoning with propositions, whose truth or falsity is...

 sense, to list certain data (or alleged data), about the world, and to suggest that the likelihoods of these data are significantly higher under one hypothesis than the other. Most of the arguments for, or against, the existence of God can be seen as pointing to particular aspects of the universe in this way. In almost all cases it is not seriously suggested by proponents of the arguments that they are irrefutable, merely that they make one worldview seem significantly more likely than the other. However, since an assessment of the weight of evidence depends on the prior probability
Prior probability
In Bayesian statistical inference, a prior probability distribution, often called simply the prior, of an uncertain quantity p is the probability distribution that would express one's uncertainty about p before the "data"...

 that is assigned to each worldview, arguments that a theist finds convincing may seem thin to an atheist and vice-versa.

Some philosophers, such as Wittgenstein, take a view that in some ways is considered anti-realist and oppose philosophical arguments related to God's existence. For instance, Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor (philosopher)
Charles Margrave Taylor, is a Canadian philosopher from Montreal, Quebec best known for his contributions in political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, and in the history of philosophy. His contributions to these fields have earned him both the prestigious Kyoto Prize and the...

 contends that the real is whatever will not go away. If we cannot reduce talk about God to anything else, or replace it, or prove it false, then perhaps God is as real as anything else.

In George Berkeley
George Berkeley
George Berkeley , also known as Bishop Berkeley , was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism"...

's A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge of 1710, he argued that a "naked thought" cannot exist, and that a perception was a thought; therefore only minds could be proven to exist, since all else was merely an idea conveyed by a perception. This viewpoint has been used in popular fiction, including The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

 movie series. From this Berkeley argued that the universe is based upon observation and is non-objective. However, he noted that the universe includes "ideas" not perceptible to mankind (or not always perceptible), and that there must therefore exist an omniscient superobserver, which perceives such things. Berkeley considered this proof of the existence of the Christian God.

Outside of Western thought


Existence in absolute truth is central to Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 epistemology. Traditional sense perception based approaches were put into question as possibly misleading due to preconceived or superimposed ideas. But though all object-cognition can be doubted, the existence of the doubter remains a fact even in nastika
Nastika
Āstika exists") and Nāstika are technical terms in Hinduism used to classify philosophical schools and persons, according to whether they accept the authority of the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures, or not, respectively...

traditions of mayavada
Mayavada
Mayavada is a term used to pejoratively refer to the Advaita philosophy of Adi Shankara. It is not used by the followers of the Advaita philosophy to refer to themselves. It is generally used as a derogatory term, by some Dvaita schools...

schools following Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

. The five eternal principles to be discussed under ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

, beginning with God or Isvara, the Ultimate Reality
Ultimate Reality
Ultimate reality is a term used in philosophy to indicate the underlying nature of reality, see:*Absolute *Reality*Brahman*God*Haqq*Dharmakaya*Mysticism...

, cannot be established by the means of logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 alone, and often require superior proof.
In Vaisnavism Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

, or his intimate ontological form of Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, is equated to personal absolute God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 of the Western traditions. Aspects of Krishna as svayam bhagavan
Svayam Bhagavan
Svayam Bhagavan , "The Lord" or Lord Himself, is a Sanskrit theological term. The term refers to the concept of absolute representation of the monotheistic God as Bhagavan within Hinduism....

in original Absolute Truth, sat chit ananda, are understood originating from three essential attributes of Krishna's form, i.e., "eternal existence" or , related to the brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

aspect; "knowledge" or chit, to the paramatman
Paramatman
In Hindu theology, Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul or Spirit in the Vedanta and Yoga philosophies of India....

; and "bliss" or ananda in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, to bhagavan
Bhagavan
Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem literally means "possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous" , and hence "illustrious, divine, venerable, holy", etc.In some traditions of Hinduism it is used to...

.

Arguments for the existence of God

  • The cosmological argument
    Cosmological argument
    The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

     argues that there was a "first cause", or "prime mover" who is identified as God. It starts with a claim about the world, like its containing entities or motion.
  • The teleological argument
    Teleological argument
    A teleological or design argument is an a posteriori argument for the existence of God based on apparent design and purpose in the universe. The argument is based on an interpretation of teleology wherein purpose and intelligent design appear to exist in nature beyond the scope of any such human...

     argues that the universe's order
    Fine-tuned universe
    The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different the universe would be...

     and complexity are best explained by reference to a creator God. It starts with a rather more complicated claim about the world, i.e. that it exhibits order and design. This argument has two versions: One based on the analogy of design and designer, the other arguing that goals can only occur in minds.
    • The hypothesis of Intelligent design
      Intelligent design
      Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

       proposes that certain features of the universe and of living things
      Life
      Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

       are the product of an intelligent
      Intelligence
      Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

       cause
      Causation
      Causation may refer to:* Causation , a key component to establish liability in both criminal and civil law* Causation in English law defines the requirement for liability in negligence...

      . Its proponents are mainly Christians and Jews
      Jews
      The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

      .
  • The ontological argument
    Ontological argument
    The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh-century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive...

     is based on arguments about a "being greater than which cannot be conceived". It starts simply with a concept of God. Avicenna
    Avicenna
    Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

    , St. Anselm of Canterbury and Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher and the emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics...

     formulated this argument to show that if it is logically possible for God (a necessary being) to exist, then God exists.
  • Arguments that a non-physical quality observed in the universe is of fundamental importance and not an epiphenomenon
    Epiphenomenon
    An epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon.-Medicine:...

    , such as Morality
    Morality
    Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

     (Argument from morality
    Argument from morality
    The argument from morality is one of many arguments for the existence of God. It comes in different forms, all aiming to support the claim that God exists with observations about morality...

    ), Beauty
    Beauty
    Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture...

     (Argument from beauty
    Argument from beauty
    The argument from beauty is an argument for the existence of God as against materialism.-Outline logical structure:Its logical structure is essentially as follows:...

    ), Love
    Love
    Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

     (Argument from love
    Argument from love
    The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism and reductionist forms of physicalism.-Outline of argument:...

    ), or religious experience
    Religious experience
    Religious experience is a subjective experience in which an individual reports contact with a transcendent reality, an encounter or union with the divine....

     (Argument from religious experience
    Argument from religious experience
    The Argument from religious experience is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism.-Outline logical structure:Its logical structure is essentially as follows:...

    ), are arguments for theism
    Theism
    Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

     as against materialism
    Materialism
    In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

    .
  • The anthropic argument
    Fine-tuned universe
    The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different the universe would be...

     suggests that basic facts, such as humanity's existence, are best explained by the existence of God.
  • Qualia
    Qualia
    Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

    -based arguments: Philosophers see the existence of Qualia
    Qualia
    Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

     (or the hard problem of consciousness
    Hard problem of consciousness
    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences. David Chalmers contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc...

    ) as strong arguments against materialism and therefore for the existence of material and immaterial entities.
  • The transcendental argument
    Transcendental argument for the existence of God
    The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God is the argument that attempts to prove God's existence by arguing that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose a theistic worldview, and that God is the source of logic and morals...

     suggests that logic
    Logic
    In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

    , science
    Science
    Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

    , ethics
    Ethics
    Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

    , and other serious matters do not make sense in the absence of God, and that atheistic arguments must ultimately refute themselves if pressed with rigorous consistency.
  • The argument from degree
    Argument from degree
    The argument from degrees or the degrees of perfection argument is an argument for the existence of God first proposed by mediaeval Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas as one of the five ways to philosophically argue for God in his Summa Theologica. It is based on ontological and theological...

    , a version of the transcendental argument posited by Aquinas, states that there must exist a being which possesses all properties to the maximum possible degree in order for such properties to be coherent.
  • The will to believe doctrine
    Will to believe doctrine
    "The Will to Believe" is a lecture by William James, first published in 1896, which defends, in certain cases, the adoption of a belief without prior evidence of its truth...

     was pragmatist
    Pragmatism
    Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

     philosopher William James
    William James
    William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

    ' attempt to prove God by showing that the adoption of theism as a hypothesis "works" in a believer's life. This doctrine depended heavily on James' pragmatic theory of truth
    Pragmatic theory of truth
    Pragmatic theory of truth refers to those accounts, definitions, and theories of the concept truth that distinguish the philosophies of pragmatism and pragmaticism...

     where beliefs are proven by how they work when adopted rather than by proofs before they are believed (a form of the hypothetico-deductive method).
  • The argument from reason
    Argument from Reason
    The Argument from Reason is an argument for the existence of God largely developed by C.S. Lewis.-The argument:C.S...

     holds that if, as thoroughgoing naturalism entails, all human thoughts are the effect of a physical cause, then there is no reason for assuming that they are also the consequent of a reasonable ground. Knowledge, however, is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would be no way of knowing it—or anything else not the direct result of a physical cause—and one could not even suppose it, except by a fluke.
  • The non-existence of the Babel Fish; since Oolon Colluphid used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God , the fact that no Babel fish (or any similar creature that proves God exists) has been identified negates the negation of the "proof denies faith" model of God highlighted in The Hitchhikers Guide.
  • A paper in the Journal for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science claims to provide a scientific rationale for the existence of God based on the implications of progress in the field of artificial intelligence. A "minimal intrusion" principle addresses the problem of the existence of evil.

Arguments from historical events or personages

  • Christianity and Judaism assert that God intervened in key specific moments in history, especially at the Exodus
    The Exodus
    The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

     and the giving of the Ten Commandments
    Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

     in front of all the tribes of Israel, positing an argument from empirical evidence stemming from sheer number of witnesses, thus demonstrating his existence.
  • The argument from the Resurrection of Jesus
    Resurrection of Jesus
    The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

    . This asserts that there is sufficient historical evidence for Jesus's resurrection to support his claim to be the son of God and indicates, a fortiori, God's existence. This is one of several arguments known as the Christological argument
    Christological argument
    The Christological argument for the existence of God is based on certain claims about Jesus. The argument, which exists in several forms, holds that if these claims are valid, one should accept God exists...

    .
  • Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     asserts that the revelation of its holy book, the Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

    , vindicates its divine authorship, and thus the existence of a God.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism
    Mormonism
    Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

    , similarly asserts that the miraculous appearance of God, Jesus Christ and angels to Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith was founder of what later became known as the Latter Day Saint movement or Mormons.Joseph Smith may also refer to:-Latter Day Saints:* Joseph Smith, Sr. , father of Joseph Smith...

     and others and subsequent finding and translation of the Book of Mormon
    Book of Mormon
    The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

     establishes the existence of God. The whole Latter Day Saint movement
    Latter Day Saint movement
    The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

     makes the same claim for example Community of Christ
    Community of Christ
    The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , is an American-based international Christian church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace"...

    , Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
    Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
    The Church of Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot. Members of the church have been known colloquially as "Hedrickites", after Granville Hedrick, who was ordained as the church's first leader in July 1863...

    , Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
    Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ is a Christian religious denomination headquartered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, United States. The Church of Jesus Christ is a Restorationist church and is historically part of the Latter Day Saint movement...

    , Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement with around three hundred members as of 1998...

    , Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
    Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri. This church derives its epithet from its founder, Alpheus Cutler, a member of the Nauvoo High Council and of Joseph Smith's secretive Council of Fifty...

    , etc.
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
      Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement with around three hundred members as of 1998...

      , similarly asserts that the finding and translation of the Plates of Laban, also known as the Brass Plates, into the Book of the Law of the Lord
      Book of the Law of the Lord
      The Book of the Law of the Lord is a book accepted as scripture by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . It is alleged to be a translation by the Strangite prophet James Strang of the Plates of Laban, originally acquired by Nephi, a leading character in the early portion of The Book of...

       and Voree plates
      Voree Plates
      The Voree Plates, sometimes called The Record of Rajah Manchou of Vorito, or the Voree Record, were a set of three tiny metal plates allegedly discovered by James J. Strang in 1845 in Voree, near Burlington, Wisconsin...

       by James Strang
      James Strang
      James Jesse Strang was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement...

      , One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong is a person of unknown identity who was the subject of an 1832 prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, echoing the words and prophecy of Isaiah 28:2. The One Mighty and Strong was said by Smith to be one who would "set in order the house of...

      , establishes the existence of God.
    • Various sects that have broken from the Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
      Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
      The Church of Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot. Members of the church have been known colloquially as "Hedrickites", after Granville Hedrick, who was ordained as the church's first leader in July 1863...

       (such as Church of Christ "With the Elijah Message" and Church of Christ (Assured Way)
      Church of Christ (Assured Way)
      Church of Christ The Church of Christ , better known by its full name of the The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message , Inc., is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement based in Independence, Missouri...

      ) claim that the message brought by John the Baptist
      John the Baptist
      John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

      , One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong is a person of unknown identity who was the subject of an 1832 prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, echoing the words and prophecy of Isaiah 28:2. The One Mighty and Strong was said by Smith to be one who would "set in order the house of...

      , to Otto Fetting
      Otto Fetting
      Otto Fetting was an American realtor and editor from Port Huron, Michigan who served first as a pastor and evangelist in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then later as an apostle in the Church of Christ , commonly referred to as the "Hedrickites"...

       and W. A. Draves
      W. A. Draves
      William August Draves was the founder and an apostle of the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, a successor to the organization founded by former Church of Christ Apostle Otto Fetting. Like Fetting, Draves claimed to have received visits and messages from John the Baptist...

       in The Word of the Lord
      The Word of the Lord
      The Word of the Lord refers to one of two books of scripture used by certain factions of the Latter Day Saint movement. The first book, simply entitled The Word of the Lord, is used by members of the Church of Christ , the Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff and the Church of Christ...

       Brought to Mankind by an Angel establishes the existence of God.

Hindu arguments


Most schools of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

 accept the existence of a creator God (Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

), while some do not. The school of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 argues that one of the proofs of the existence of God is the law of karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

. In a commentary to Brahma Sutras
Brahma Sutras
The Brahma sūtras , also known as Vedānta Sūtras , are one of the three canonical texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. A thorough study of Vedānta requires a close examination of these three texts, known in Sanskrit as the Prasthanatrayi, or the three starting points...

 (III, 2, 38, and 41), a Vedantic text, Adi Sankara, an Indian philosopher
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

 who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

, a sub-school of Vedanta, argues that the original karmic actions themselves cannot bring about the proper results at some future time; neither can super sensuous, non-intelligent qualities like adrsta
Adrsta
Adrsta is a concept in Indian philosophy often confused with Karma. Whereas karma can be seen as a direct result of one's own actions, Adrsta is more akin to the notion of fate or destiny...

—an unseen force being the metaphysical link between work and its result—by themselves mediate the appropriate, justly deserved pleasure and pain. The fruits, according to him, then, must be administered through the action of a conscious agent, namely, a supreme being (Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

).

A human's karmic acts result in merits and demerits. Since unconscious things generally do not move except when caused by an agent (for example, the axe moves only when swung by an agent), and since the law of karma is an unintelligent and unconscious law, Sankara argues there must be a conscious supreme Being who knows the merits and demerits which persons have earned by their actions, and who functions as an instrumental cause in helping individuals reap their appropriate fruits. Thus, God affects the person's environment, even to its atoms, and for those souls who reincarnate, produces the appropriate rebirth body, all in order that the person might have the karmically appropriate experiences. Thus, there must be a theistic administrator or supervisor for karma, i.e., God.

The Nyaya
Nyaya
' is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic...

 school, one of six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

, states that one of the proofs of the existence of God is karma; it is seen that some people in this world are happy, some are in misery. Some are rich and some poor. The Naiyanikas explain this by the concept of karma and reincarnation. The fruit of an individual's actions does not always lie within the reach of the individual who is the agent; there ought to be, therefore, a dispenser of the fruits of actions, and this supreme dispenser is God. This belief of Nyaya, accordingly, is the same as that of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

.

Inductive arguments


Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.
  • Another class of philosophers asserts that the proofs for the existence of God present a fairly large probability though not absolute certainty. A number of obscure points, they say, always remain; an act of faith
    Faith
    Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

     is required to dismiss these difficulties. This view is maintained, among others, by the Scottish
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

     statesman Arthur Balfour
    Arthur Balfour
    Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

     in his book The Foundations of Belief (1895). The opinions set forth in this work were adopted in France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     by Ferdinand Brunetière
    Ferdinand Brunetière
    Ferdinand Brunetière was a French writer and critic.-Early years:Brunetière was born in Toulon, Var, Provence. After school at Marseille, he studied in Paris at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. Desiring a teaching career, he entered for examination at the École Normale Supérieure, but failed, and the...

    , the editor of the Revue des deux Mondes
    Revue des deux mondes
    The Revue des deux Mondes is a French language monthly literary and cultural affairs magazine that has been published in Paris since 1829....

    . Many orthodox Protestants express themselves in the same manner, as, for instance, Dr. E. Dennert, President of the Kepler Society, in his work Ist Gott tot?

Arguments from testimony


Arguments from testimony rely on the testimony or experience of certain witnesses, possibly embodying the propositions of a specific revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

. Swinburne
Richard Swinburne
Richard G. Swinburne is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been a very influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. His philosophical contributions are primarily in philosophy of religion and...

 argues that it is a principle of rationality that one should accept testimony unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.
  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witness
    Witness
    A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about an event, or in the criminal justice systems usually a crime, through his or her senses and can help certify important considerations about the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event first hand is known as an eyewitness...

    es, contemporary and throughout the ages. A variation of this is the argument from miracles
    Argument from miracles
    The argument from miracles is an argument for the existence of God relying on eyewitness testimony of the occurrence of miracles to establish the active intervention of a supernatural being...

     which relies on testimony of supernatural events to establish the existence of God.
  • The majority argument argues that the theism of people throughout most of recorded history and in many different places provides prima facie
    Prima facie
    Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face", from the feminine form of primus and facies , both in the ablative case. It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a...

    demonstration of God's existence.

Arguments grounded in personal experiences


  • An argument for God is often made from an unlikely complete reversal in lifestyle by an individual towards God. Paul of Tarsus
    Paul of Tarsus
    Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

    , a persecutor of the early Church, became a pillar of the Church after his conversion on the road to Damascus
    Damascus
    Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

    . Modern day examples in Evangelical Protestantism are sometimes called "Born-Again Christians".
  • The Scottish School of Common Sense led by Thomas Reid
    Thomas Reid
    The Reverend Thomas Reid FRSE , was a religiously trained Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment...

     taught that the fact of the existence of God is accepted by people without knowledge of reasons but simply by a natural impulse. That God exists, this school said, is one of the chief metaphysical principles that people accept not because they are evident in themselves or because they can be proved, but because common sense
    Common sense
    Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Thus, "common sense" equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have...

     obliges people to accept them.
  • The Argument from a Proper Basis
    Argument from a proper basis
    The Argument from a proper basis is an ontological argument for the existence of God related to fideism. Alvin Plantinga argued that belief in God is a properly basic belief, and so no basis for belief in God is necessary.- References :...

     argues that belief in God is "properly basic"; that it is similar to statements like "I see a chair" or "I feel pain". Such beliefs are non-falsifiable and, thus, neither provable nor disprovable; they concern perceptual beliefs or indisputable mental states.
  • In Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    , the School of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
    Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
    Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi was an influential German philosopher, literary figure, socialite and the younger brother of poet Johann Georg Jacobi...

     taught that human reason is able to perceive the suprasensible. Jacobi distinguished three faculties: sense, reason
    Reason
    Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

    , and understanding. Just as sense has immediate perception of the material so has reason immediate perception of the immaterial, while the understanding brings these perceptions to a person's consciousness and unites them to one another. God's existence, then, cannot be proven (Jacobi, like Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

    , rejected the absolute value of the principle of causality), it must be felt by the mind.
  • In Emile
    Emile: Or, On Education
    Émile, or On Education is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the “best and most important of all my writings”. Due to a section of the book entitled “Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar,” Émile was be...

    , Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

     asserted that when a person's understanding ponders over the existence of God it encounters nothing but contradictions; the impulses of people's hearts, however, are of more value than the understanding, and these proclaim clearly the truths of natural religion, namely, the existence of God and the immortality of the soul
    Soul
    A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

    .
  • The same theory was advocated in Germany by Friedrich Schleiermacher, who assumed an inner religious sense by means of which people feel religious truths. According to Schleiermacher, religion consists solely in this inner perception, and dogmatic doctrines are inessential.
  • Many modern Protestant theologians follow in Schleiermacher's footsteps, and teach that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated; certainty as to this truth is only furnished to people by inner experience, feeling, and perception.
  • Modernist Christianity also denies the demonstrability of the existence of God. According to them, one can only know something of God by means of the vital immanence, that is, under favorable circumstances the need of the divine dormant in one's subconsciousness becomes conscious and arouses that religious feeling or experience in which God reveals himself. In condemnation of this view the Oath Against Modernism
    Oath Against Modernism
    The Oath against Modernism was issued by the Roman Catholic Pope, Saint Pius X, on September 1, 1910, and mandated that "all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries" should swear to it....

     formulated by Pius X, a Pope
    Pope
    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

     of the Catholic Church, says: "Deum ... naturali rationis lumine per ea quae facta sunt, hoc est per visibilia creationis opera, tanquam causam per effectus certo cognosci adeoque demostrari etiam posse, profiteor." ("I declare that by the natural light of reason, God can be certainly known and therefore his existence demonstrated through the things that are made, i.e., through the visible works of creation, as the cause is known through its effects.")
  • Brahma Kumaris religion was established in 1936, when God was said to enter the body of diamond merchant Lekhraj Kripalani (1876–1969) in Hyderabad, Sindh and started to speak through him.

Arguments against the existence of God


Each of the following arguments aims at showing either that a particular subset of gods do not exist (by showing them as inherently meaningless, contradictory, or at odds with known scientific
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 or historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 facts) or that there is insufficient reason to believe in them. Some of these arguments suggest that there is evidence of absence
Evidence of absence
Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests the non-existence or non-presence of something. A simple example of evidence of absence: checking one's pocket for spare change and finding nothing but being confident that one would have found it if it were there...

 of a god.

Empirical arguments


Empirical arguments depend on empirical data
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

 in order to prove their conclusions.
  • The argument from inconsistent revelations
    Argument from inconsistent revelations
    The argument from inconsistent revelations, also known as the avoiding the wrong hell problem, is an argument against the existence of God. It asserts that it is unlikely that God exists because many theologians and faithful adherents have produced conflicting and mutually exclusive revelations...

     contests the existence of the deity called God as described in scriptures—such as the Jewish
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     Tanakh
    Tanakh
    The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

    , the Christian
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     Bible
    Bible
    The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

    , the Muslim
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

    , Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

     Vedas
    Vedas
    The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

    , the Book of Mormon
    Book of Mormon
    The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

     or the Baha'i
    Bahá'í Faith
    The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

     Aqdas
    Kitáb-i-Aqdas
    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is a central book of the Bahá'í Faith written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion. The work was written in Arabic under the Arabic title , but it is commonly referred to by its Persian title, Kitáb-i-Aqdas , which was given to the work by Bahá'u'lláh himself...

    —by identifying apparent contradictions between different scriptures, within a single scripture, or between scripture and known facts. To be effective this argument requires the other side to hold that its scriptural record is inerrant
    Biblical inerrancy
    Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

    , or at least to assert that a proper understanding of scripture gives rise to knowledge of God's existence.
  • The problem of evil
    Problem of evil
    In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient . Some philosophers have claimed that the existences of such a god and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely...

     contests the existence of a god who is both omnipotent
    Omnipotence
    Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

     and omnibenevolent
    Omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

     by arguing that such a god should not permit the existence of evil
    Evil
    Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

     or suffering
    Suffering
    Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

    . The theist responses are called theodicies
    Theodicy
    Theodicy is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence , omniscience , and omnipotence . Theodicy is usually concerned with the God of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to the relevant...

    .
  • The destiny of the unevangelized, by which persons who have never even heard of a particular revelation might be harshly punished for not following its dictates.
  • The argument from poor design
    Argument from poor design
    The dysteleological argument or argument from poor design is an argument against the existence of God, specifically against the existence of a creator God...

     contests the idea that God created life on the basis that lifeforms, including humans, seem to exhibit poor design.
  • The argument from nonbelief
    Argument from nonbelief
    The argument from nonbelief is a philosophical argument against the existence of God, specifically, the God of theism...

     contests the existence of an omnipotent God who wants humans to believe in him by arguing that such a god would do a better job of gathering believers.
  • The argument from parsimony (using Occam's razor
    Occam's razor
    Occam's razor, also known as Ockham's razor, and sometimes expressed in Latin as lex parsimoniae , is a principle that generally recommends from among competing hypotheses selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.-Overview:The principle is often summarized as "simpler explanations...

    ) contends that since natural (non-supernatural) theories adequately explain the development of religion
    Development of religion
    The development of religion describes the stages in the evolution of any particular religious system from a social sciences perspective. It includes such considerations as the evolutionary origin of religions and the evolutionary psychology of religion; the history of religions, including...

     and belief in gods, the actual existence of such supernatural agents is superfluous and may be dismissed unless otherwise proven to be required to explain the phenomenon.
  • The analogy of Russell's teapot
    Russell's teapot
    In 1958 Russell elaborated on the analogy as a reason for his own atheism:- Analysis :Peter Atkins said that the point of Russell's teapot is that no one can prove a negative, and therefore Occam's razor suggests that the more simple theory should trump the more complex theory...

     argues that the burden of proof
    Philosophic burden of proof
    The philosophic burden of proof is the obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.-Holder of the burden:When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim...

     for the existence of God lies with the theist rather than the atheist.

Deductive arguments


Deductive arguments attempt to prove their conclusions by deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 from true premises.
  • The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
    Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
    The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit is a counter-argument to the modern form of the argument from design. It was introduced by Richard Dawkins in chapter 4 "Why there almost certainly is no God" of his 2006 book The God Delusion.- Context and history :...

     is a counter-argument to the argument from design. The argument from design claims that a complex or ordered structure must be designed. However, a god that is responsible for the creation of a universe would be at least as complicated as the universe that it creates. Therefore, it too must require a designer. And its designer would require a designer also, ad infinitum
    Ad infinitum
    Ad infinitum is a Latin phrase meaning "to infinity."In context, it usually means "continue forever, without limit" and thus can be used to describe a non-terminating process, a non-terminating repeating process, or a set of instructions to be repeated "forever," among other uses...

    . The argument for the existence of god is then a logical fallacy with or without the use of special pleading
    Special pleading
    Special pleading is a form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves. Essentially, this involves someone...

    . The Ultimate 747 gambit points out that God does not provide an origin of complexity, it simply assumes that complexity always existed. It also states that design fails to account for complexity, which natural selection
    Natural selection
    Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

     can explain.
  • The omnipotence paradox
    Omnipotence paradox
    The omnipotence paradox is a family of semantic paradoxes which address two issues: Is an omnipotent entity logically possible? and What do we mean by 'omnipotence'?. The paradox states that if a being can perform any action, then it should be able to create a task it is unable to perform, and...

     suggests that the concept of an omnipotent entity is logically contradictory, from considering a question like: "Can God create a rock so big that he cannot lift it?" or "If God is all powerful, could God create a being more powerful than himself?"
  • The problem of hell
    Problem of Hell
    The "Problem of Hell" is a possible ethical problem related to religions in which portrayals of Hell are ostensibly cruel, and are thus inconsistent with the concepts of a just, moral and omnibenevolent God...

     is the idea that eternal damnation for actions committed in a finite existence contradicts God's omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

     or omnipresence
    Omnipresence
    Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence,...

    .
  • The argument from free will
    Argument from free will
    The argument from free will contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible, and that any conception of God that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. The argument may focus on the incoherence of people having free will, or else God himself having free will...

     contests the existence of an omniscient god who has free will
    Free will
    "To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

    —or has allotted the same freedom to his creations—by arguing that the two properties are contradictory. According to the argument, if God already knows the future, then humanity is destined to corroborate with his knowledge of the future and not have true free will to deviate from it. Therefore our free will contradicts an omniscient god. Another argument attacks the existence of an omniscient god who has free will directly in arguing that the will of God himself would be bound to follow whatever God foreknows himself doing throughout eternity.
  • A counter-argument against the Cosmological argument
    Cosmological argument
    The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

     ("chicken or the egg") takes its assumption that things cannot exist without creators and applies it to God, setting up an infinite regress
    Infinite regress
    An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, .....

    . This attacks the premise that the universe is the second cause (after God, who is claimed to be the first cause).
  • Theological noncognitivism
    Theological noncognitivism
    Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like "god", are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered to be synonymous with Ignosticism.-Overview:...

    , as used in literature, usually seeks to disprove the god-concept by showing that it is unverifiable by scientific tests.

Inductive arguments


Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.
  • The atheist-existentialist argument for the non-existence of a perfect sentient being states that if existence precedes essence
    Existence precedes essence
    The proposition that existence precedes essence is a central claim of existentialism, which reverses the traditional philosophical view that the essence or nature of a thing is more fundamental and immutable than its existence...

    , it follows from the meaning of the term sentient that a sentient being cannot be complete or perfect. It is touched upon by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

     in Being and Nothingness. Sartre's phrasing is that God would be a pour-soi [a being-for-itself; a consciousness] who is also an en-soi [a being-in-itself; a thing]: which is a contradiction in terms. The argument is echoed thus in Salman Rushdie's novel Grimus
    Grimus
    Grimus is a 1975 fantasy and science fiction novel written by Salman Rushdie. It was his literary debut.The story loosely follows Flapping Eagle, a young Indian who receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid...

    : "That which is complete is also dead."
  • The "no reason" argument tries to show that an omnipotent and omniscient being would not have any reason to act in any way, specifically by creating the universe, because it would have no needs, wants, or desires since these very concepts are subjectively human. Since the universe exists, there is a contradiction, and therefore, an omnipotent god cannot exist. This argument is expounded upon by Scott Adams
    Scott Adams
    Scott Raymond Adams is the American creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, business, and general speculation....

     in the book God's Debris
    God's Debris
    God's Debris: A Thought Experiment is a 2001 novella by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.God's Debris espouses a philosophy based on the idea that the simplest explanation tends to be the best...

    , which puts forward a form of Pandeism
    Pandeism
    Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

     as its fundamental theological model. A similar argument is put forward in Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

    's "Human Action." He referred to it as the "praxeological argument" and claimed that a perfect being would have long ago satisfied all its wants and desires and would no longer be able to take action in the present without proving that it had been unable to achieve its wants faster---showing it imperfect.
  • The "historical induction" argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts' popular quotation:
    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Subjective arguments


Similar to the subjective arguments for the existence of God, subjective arguments against the supernatural mainly rely on the testimony or experience of witnesses, or the propositions of a revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in general.
  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and from the past, who disbelieve or strongly doubt the existence of God.
  • The conflicted religions argument notes that many religions give differing accounts as to what God is and what God wants; since all the contradictory accounts cannot be correct, many if not all religions must be incorrect.
  • The disappointment argument claims that if, when asked for, there is no visible help from God, there is no reason to believe that there is a God.

Hindu arguments


Atheist Hindu doctrines
Atheism in Hinduism
Atheism or disbelief in God or gods has been a historically propounded viewpoint in many of the orthodox and heterodox streams of Hindu philosophies...

 cite various arguments for rejecting a creator-God or Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

. The
{{God}}
{{Irreligion Sidebar}}

Argument
Argument
In philosophy and logic, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, or give evidence or reasons for accepting a particular conclusion.Argument may also refer to:-Mathematics and computer science:...

s for and against the existence of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology (theory of knowledge) and ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 (nature of being), but also of the theory of value
Value theory
Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree people should value things; whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called axiology or ethics. Early philosophical...

, since concepts of perfection are often bound up with notions of God.

The debate concerning the existence of God raises many philosophical issues. A basic problem is the existence of both monotheistic and polytheistic views. Some definitions of God's existence are so non-specific that it is certain that something exists that meets the definition {{Citation needed|date=June 2011}}; in stark contrast, there are suggestions that other definitions are self-contradictory. A wide variety of arguments exist which can be categorized as metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

al, empirical
Empirical research
Empirical research is a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empirical evidence can be analyzed quantitatively or qualitatively...

, or subjective
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

. The existence of God is subject to lively debate both in philosophy—the philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy concerned with questions regarding religion, including the nature and existence of God, the examination of religious experience, analysis of religious language and texts, and the relationship of religion and science...

 being almost entirely devoted to the question—and in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

.

Atheists maintain that arguments for the existence of God show insufficient reason to believe. Certain theists acknowledge that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 alone. Other religions, such as some sects of Buddhism, do not concern themselves with the question of the existence or non-existence of God at all. Psychological and sociological explanations for believing in the existence of God may point to a shared neurological and cultural framework for belief based on cognitive processes in the brain.

Definition of God


{{Main|God|Deity}}
{{See also|Ontology}}

In modern Western societies, the concept of 'God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

' typically entails a monotheistic
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, supreme, ultimate, and (in some sense) personal being, as found in the Christian, and Hebrew traditions. Classical theism
Classical theism
Classical theism refers to the a form of Theism in distinction to modern ideas about God such as Theistic Personalism, Open Theism and Process Theism. Classical Theism began with the works of the Greek philosophers, especially Platonists and Neoplatonists and was developed into Christian Theology...

 holds that God possesses every possible perfection, including omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

, omnipotence
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

, and omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

.

Some classically theistic philosophical approaches arrive at such perfections by beginning with a root concept of God such as "the prime mover
Unmoved mover
The unmoved mover is a philosophical concept described by Aristotle as a primary cause or "mover" of all the motion in the universe. As is implicit in the name, the "unmoved mover" is not moved by any prior action...

" or "the uncaused cause", "the ultimate creator", or "a being that than which nothing greater can be conceived" from which the classical properties may be deduced. By contrast, much of Eastern religious thought (chiefly Pantheist) posits God as a force contained in every imaginable phenomenon. For example, Spinoza and his followers use the term 'God' in a particular philosophical sense to mean the essential substance/principles of nature. The phenomenon of emergence
Emergence
In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems....

 could be argued to support either the Eastern or Western view.

In monotheisms outside the Abrahamic traditions, the existence of God is discussed in similar terms. In the Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

 school of Hinduism, reality is ultimately seen as a single, qualityless, changeless being called nirguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman, signifies in Hindu philosophy the Brahman that pervades the Universe, considered without form , as in the Advaita school or else as without material form, as in Dvaita schools of philosophy.-Advaita:According to Adi Shankara, the famous reviver of Advaita...

. Advaitin philosophy introduces the concept of saguna Brahman or Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

 as a way of talking about Brahman to people. Ishvara, in turn, is ascribed such qualities as omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence.

Epistemology


{{Main|Epistemology|Sociology of knowledge}}

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy which studies the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge. Knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 is, from an epistemological standpoint, distinguished from mere belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 by justification
Theory of justification
Theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs. Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, and probability...

, warrant, or other such property the having of which is conducive to getting at the truth.

Knowledge in the sense of "understanding
Understanding
Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object....

 of a fact
Fact
A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be shown to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts...

 or truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

" can be divided into a posteriori
A Posteriori
Apart from the album, some additional remixes were released exclusively through the iTunes Store. They are:*"Eppur si muove"  – 6:39*"Dreaming of Andromeda" Apart from the album, some additional remixes were released exclusively through the iTunes Store. They are:*"Eppur si muove" (Tocadisco...

knowledge, based on experience
Experience
Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event....

 or deduction
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 (see methodology
Methodology
Methodology is generally a guideline for solving a problem, with specificcomponents such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools . It can be defined also as follows:...

), and a priori knowledge from introspection
Introspection
Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul...

, axiom
Axiom
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

s or self-evidence
Self-evidence
In epistemology , a self-evident proposition is one that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof....

. Knowledge can also be described as a psychological state, since in a strict sense there can never be a posteriori knowledge proper (see relativism
Relativism
Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration....

). Much of the disagreement about "proofs" of God's existence is due to different conceptions not only of the term "God" but also the terms "proof", "truth", and "knowledge". Religious belief from revelation
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 or enlightenment
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 (satori
Satori
is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment that literally means "understanding". In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to a flash of sudden awareness, or individual enlightenment, and is considered a "first step" or embarkation toward nirvana....

) can fall into either the first category, a posteriori knowledge, if rooted in deduction or personal revelation, or the second, a priori class of knowledge, if based on introspection.

Different conclusions as to the existence of God often rest on different criteria for deciding what methods are appropriate for deciding if something is true or not; some examples include
  • whether logic counts as evidence concerning the quality of existence
  • whether subjective experience counts as evidence for objective reality
  • whether either logic or evidence can rule in or out the supernatural
  • whether an object of the mind
    Object of the mind
    An object of the mind is an object which exists in the imagination, but which, in the real world, can only be represented or modeled. Some such objects are mathematical abstractions, literary concepts, or fictional scenarios....

     is accepted for existence
  • whether a truthbearer
    Truthbearer
    Truth-bearer is a term used to designate entities that are either true or false and nothing else. The thesis that some things are true while others are false raises the question of the nature of these things. Since there is divergence of opinion on the matter, the term truthbearer is used to be...

     can justify.

The problem of the supernatural


One problem posed by the question of the existence of God is that traditional beliefs usually ascribe to God various supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 powers. Supernatural beings may be able to conceal and reveal themselves for their own purposes, as for example in the tale of Baucis and Philemon
Baucis and Philemon
In Ovid's moralizing fable , which stands on the periphery of Greek mythology and Roman mythology, Baucis and Philemon were an old married couple in the region of Tyana, which Ovid places in Phrygia, and the only ones in their town to welcome disguised gods Zeus and Hermes , thus embodying the...

. In addition, according to concepts of God, God is not part of the natural order, but the ultimate creator of nature and of the scientific laws. Thus, in Aristotelian philosophy
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

, God is viewed as part of the explanatory structure needed to support scientific conclusions, and any powers God possesses are, strictly speaking, of the natural order—that is, derived from God's place as originator of nature. (See also Monadology
Monadology
The Monadology is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads.- Text :...

)

Some religious apologists
Apologetics
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers...

 offer the supernatural nature of God as the explanation for the inability of empirical methods
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 to decide the question of God's existence. In Karl Popper
Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS FBA was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics...

's philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

, belief in a supernatural God is outside the natural domain of scientific investigation because all scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable
Falsifiability
Falsifiability or refutability of an assertion, hypothesis or theory is the logical possibility that it can be contradicted by an observation or the outcome of a physical experiment...

 in the natural world. The Non-overlapping Magisteria view proposed by Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

 also holds that the existence (or otherwise) of God is irrelevant to and beyond the domain of science.

Logical positivists
Logical positivism
Logical positivism is a philosophy that combines empiricism—the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge—with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions of epistemology.It may be considered as a type of analytic...

, such as Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism....

 and A. J. Ayer viewed any talk of gods as literal nonsense. For the logical positivists and adherents of similar schools of thought, statements about religious or other transcendent experiences could not have a truth value, and were deemed to be without meaning, because metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism, also called ontological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, or just naturalism, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those...

, the philosophical basis for logical positivism, automatically excludes the possibility of the supernatural. As the Christian biologist Scott C. Todd put it "Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." This argument limits the domain of science to the empirically observable and limits the domain of God to the unprovable.

Nature of relevant proofs/arguments


Since God (of the kind to which the arguments relate) is neither an entity in the universe nor a mathematical object, it is not obvious what kinds of arguments/proofs are relevant to God's existence. Even if the concept of scientific proof were not problematic, the fact that there is no conclusive scientific proof of the existence, or non-existence, of God mainly demonstrates that the existence of God is not a normal scientific question. John Polkinghorne
John Polkinghorne
John Charlton Polkinghorne KBE FRS is an English theoretical physicist, theologian, writer, and Anglican priest. He was professor of Mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1979, when he resigned his chair to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest...

 suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics are the ideas of quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

 which are seemingly paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data.

Alvin Plantinga compares the question of the existence of God to the question of the existence of other minds
Other Minds
Other Minds is a San Francisco based private 501 not-for-profit organization, founded in 1992 by Charles Amirkhanian and Jim Newman...

, claiming both are notoriously impossible to "prove" against a determined skeptic.

One approach, suggested by writers such as Stephen D. Unwin
Stephen D. Unwin
Stephen D. Unwin is a physicist and author best known for his book, The Probability of God. Unwin is a graduate of Imperial College London and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester for his research in the field of quantum gravity...

, is to treat (particular versions of) theism
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 and naturalism
Naturalism (philosophy)
Naturalism commonly refers to the philosophical viewpoint that the natural universe and its natural laws and forces operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe that we know...

 as though they were two hypotheses in the Bayesian
Bayesian probability
Bayesian probability is one of the different interpretations of the concept of probability and belongs to the category of evidential probabilities. The Bayesian interpretation of probability can be seen as an extension of logic that enables reasoning with propositions, whose truth or falsity is...

 sense, to list certain data (or alleged data), about the world, and to suggest that the likelihoods of these data are significantly higher under one hypothesis than the other. Most of the arguments for, or against, the existence of God can be seen as pointing to particular aspects of the universe in this way. In almost all cases it is not seriously suggested by proponents of the arguments that they are irrefutable, merely that they make one worldview seem significantly more likely than the other. However, since an assessment of the weight of evidence depends on the prior probability
Prior probability
In Bayesian statistical inference, a prior probability distribution, often called simply the prior, of an uncertain quantity p is the probability distribution that would express one's uncertainty about p before the "data"...

 that is assigned to each worldview, arguments that a theist finds convincing may seem thin to an atheist and vice-versa.

Some philosophers, such as Wittgenstein, take a view that in some ways is considered anti-realist and oppose philosophical arguments related to God's existence. For instance, Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor (philosopher)
Charles Margrave Taylor, is a Canadian philosopher from Montreal, Quebec best known for his contributions in political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, and in the history of philosophy. His contributions to these fields have earned him both the prestigious Kyoto Prize and the...

 contends that the real is whatever will not go away. If we cannot reduce talk about God to anything else, or replace it, or prove it false, then perhaps God is as real as anything else.

In George Berkeley
George Berkeley
George Berkeley , also known as Bishop Berkeley , was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism"...

's A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge of 1710, he argued that a "naked thought" cannot exist, and that a perception was a thought; therefore only minds could be proven to exist, since all else was merely an idea conveyed by a perception. This viewpoint has been used in popular fiction, including The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

 movie series. From this Berkeley argued that the universe is based upon observation and is non-objective. However, he noted that the universe includes "ideas" not perceptible to mankind (or not always perceptible), and that there must therefore exist an omniscient superobserver, which perceives such things. Berkeley considered this proof of the existence of the Christian God.

Outside of Western thought


Existence in absolute truth is central to Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 epistemology. Traditional sense perception based approaches were put into question as possibly misleading due to preconceived or superimposed ideas. But though all object-cognition can be doubted, the existence of the doubter remains a fact even in nastika
Nastika
Āstika exists") and Nāstika are technical terms in Hinduism used to classify philosophical schools and persons, according to whether they accept the authority of the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures, or not, respectively...

traditions of mayavada
Mayavada
Mayavada is a term used to pejoratively refer to the Advaita philosophy of Adi Shankara. It is not used by the followers of the Advaita philosophy to refer to themselves. It is generally used as a derogatory term, by some Dvaita schools...

schools following Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

. The five eternal principles to be discussed under ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

, beginning with God or Isvara, the Ultimate Reality
Ultimate Reality
Ultimate reality is a term used in philosophy to indicate the underlying nature of reality, see:*Absolute *Reality*Brahman*God*Haqq*Dharmakaya*Mysticism...

, cannot be established by the means of logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 alone, and often require superior proof.
In Vaisnavism Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

, or his intimate ontological form of Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, is equated to personal absolute God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 of the Western traditions. Aspects of Krishna as svayam bhagavan
Svayam Bhagavan
Svayam Bhagavan , "The Lord" or Lord Himself, is a Sanskrit theological term. The term refers to the concept of absolute representation of the monotheistic God as Bhagavan within Hinduism....

in original Absolute Truth, sat chit ananda, are understood originating from three essential attributes of Krishna's form, i.e., "eternal existence" or {{IAST|sat}}, related to the brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

aspect; "knowledge" or chit, to the paramatman
Paramatman
In Hindu theology, Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul or Spirit in the Vedanta and Yoga philosophies of India....

; and "bliss" or ananda in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, to bhagavan
Bhagavan
Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem literally means "possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous" , and hence "illustrious, divine, venerable, holy", etc.In some traditions of Hinduism it is used to...

.

Arguments for the existence of God

  • The cosmological argument
    Cosmological argument
    The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

     argues that there was a "first cause", or "prime mover" who is identified as God. It starts with a claim about the world, like its containing entities or motion.
  • The teleological argument
    Teleological argument
    A teleological or design argument is an a posteriori argument for the existence of God based on apparent design and purpose in the universe. The argument is based on an interpretation of teleology wherein purpose and intelligent design appear to exist in nature beyond the scope of any such human...

     argues that the universe's order
    Fine-tuned universe
    The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different the universe would be...

     and complexity are best explained by reference to a creator God. It starts with a rather more complicated claim about the world, i.e. that it exhibits order and design. This argument has two versions: One based on the analogy of design and designer, the other arguing that goals can only occur in minds.
    • The hypothesis of Intelligent design
      Intelligent design
      Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

       proposes that certain features of the universe and of living things
      Life
      Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

       are the product of an intelligent
      Intelligence
      Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

       cause
      Causation
      Causation may refer to:* Causation , a key component to establish liability in both criminal and civil law* Causation in English law defines the requirement for liability in negligence...

      . Its proponents are mainly Christians and Jews
      Jews
      The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

      .
  • The ontological argument
    Ontological argument
    The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh-century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive...

     is based on arguments about a "being greater than which cannot be conceived". It starts simply with a concept of God. Avicenna
    Avicenna
    Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

    , St. Anselm of Canterbury and Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher and the emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics...

     formulated this argument to show that if it is logically possible for God (a necessary being) to exist, then God exists.
  • Arguments that a non-physical quality observed in the universe is of fundamental importance and not an epiphenomenon
    Epiphenomenon
    An epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon.-Medicine:...

    , such as Morality
    Morality
    Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

     (Argument from morality
    Argument from morality
    The argument from morality is one of many arguments for the existence of God. It comes in different forms, all aiming to support the claim that God exists with observations about morality...

    ), Beauty
    Beauty
    Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture...

     (Argument from beauty
    Argument from beauty
    The argument from beauty is an argument for the existence of God as against materialism.-Outline logical structure:Its logical structure is essentially as follows:...

    ), Love
    Love
    Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

     (Argument from love
    Argument from love
    The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism and reductionist forms of physicalism.-Outline of argument:...

    ), or religious experience
    Religious experience
    Religious experience is a subjective experience in which an individual reports contact with a transcendent reality, an encounter or union with the divine....

     (Argument from religious experience
    Argument from religious experience
    The Argument from religious experience is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism.-Outline logical structure:Its logical structure is essentially as follows:...

    ), are arguments for theism
    Theism
    Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

     as against materialism
    Materialism
    In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

    .
  • The anthropic argument
    Fine-tuned universe
    The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different the universe would be...

     suggests that basic facts, such as humanity's existence, are best explained by the existence of God.
  • Qualia
    Qualia
    Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

    -based arguments: Philosophers see the existence of Qualia
    Qualia
    Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

     (or the hard problem of consciousness
    Hard problem of consciousness
    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences. David Chalmers contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc...

    ) as strong arguments against materialism and therefore for the existence of material and immaterial entities.
  • The transcendental argument
    Transcendental argument for the existence of God
    The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God is the argument that attempts to prove God's existence by arguing that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose a theistic worldview, and that God is the source of logic and morals...

     suggests that logic
    Logic
    In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

    , science
    Science
    Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

    , ethics
    Ethics
    Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

    , and other serious matters do not make sense in the absence of God, and that atheistic arguments must ultimately refute themselves if pressed with rigorous consistency.
  • The argument from degree
    Argument from degree
    The argument from degrees or the degrees of perfection argument is an argument for the existence of God first proposed by mediaeval Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas as one of the five ways to philosophically argue for God in his Summa Theologica. It is based on ontological and theological...

    , a version of the transcendental argument posited by Aquinas, states that there must exist a being which possesses all properties to the maximum possible degree in order for such properties to be coherent.
  • The will to believe doctrine
    Will to believe doctrine
    "The Will to Believe" is a lecture by William James, first published in 1896, which defends, in certain cases, the adoption of a belief without prior evidence of its truth...

     was pragmatist
    Pragmatism
    Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

     philosopher William James
    William James
    William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

    ' attempt to prove God by showing that the adoption of theism as a hypothesis "works" in a believer's life. This doctrine depended heavily on James' pragmatic theory of truth
    Pragmatic theory of truth
    Pragmatic theory of truth refers to those accounts, definitions, and theories of the concept truth that distinguish the philosophies of pragmatism and pragmaticism...

     where beliefs are proven by how they work when adopted rather than by proofs before they are believed (a form of the hypothetico-deductive method).
  • The argument from reason
    Argument from Reason
    The Argument from Reason is an argument for the existence of God largely developed by C.S. Lewis.-The argument:C.S...

     holds that if, as thoroughgoing naturalism entails, all human thoughts are the effect of a physical cause, then there is no reason for assuming that they are also the consequent of a reasonable ground. Knowledge, however, is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would be no way of knowing it—or anything else not the direct result of a physical cause—and one could not even suppose it, except by a fluke.
  • The non-existence of the Babel Fish; since Oolon Colluphid used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God , the fact that no Babel fish (or any similar creature that proves God exists) has been identified negates the negation of the "proof denies faith" model of God highlighted in The Hitchhikers Guide.
  • A paper in the Journal for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science claims to provide a scientific rationale for the existence of God based on the implications of progress in the field of artificial intelligence. A "minimal intrusion" principle addresses the problem of the existence of evil.

Arguments from historical events or personages

  • Christianity and Judaism assert that God intervened in key specific moments in history, especially at the Exodus
    The Exodus
    The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

     and the giving of the Ten Commandments
    Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

     in front of all the tribes of Israel, positing an argument from empirical evidence stemming from sheer number of witnesses, thus demonstrating his existence.
  • The argument from the Resurrection of Jesus
    Resurrection of Jesus
    The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

    . This asserts that there is sufficient historical evidence for Jesus's resurrection to support his claim to be the son of God and indicates, a fortiori, God's existence. This is one of several arguments known as the Christological argument
    Christological argument
    The Christological argument for the existence of God is based on certain claims about Jesus. The argument, which exists in several forms, holds that if these claims are valid, one should accept God exists...

    .
  • Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     asserts that the revelation of its holy book, the Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

    , vindicates its divine authorship, and thus the existence of a God.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism
    Mormonism
    Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

    , similarly asserts that the miraculous appearance of God, Jesus Christ and angels to Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith was founder of what later became known as the Latter Day Saint movement or Mormons.Joseph Smith may also refer to:-Latter Day Saints:* Joseph Smith, Sr. , father of Joseph Smith...

     and others and subsequent finding and translation of the Book of Mormon
    Book of Mormon
    The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

     establishes the existence of God. The whole Latter Day Saint movement
    Latter Day Saint movement
    The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

     makes the same claim for example Community of Christ
    Community of Christ
    The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , is an American-based international Christian church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace"...

    , Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
    Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
    The Church of Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot. Members of the church have been known colloquially as "Hedrickites", after Granville Hedrick, who was ordained as the church's first leader in July 1863...

    , Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
    Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ is a Christian religious denomination headquartered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, United States. The Church of Jesus Christ is a Restorationist church and is historically part of the Latter Day Saint movement...

    , Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement with around three hundred members as of 1998...

    , Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
    Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri. This church derives its epithet from its founder, Alpheus Cutler, a member of the Nauvoo High Council and of Joseph Smith's secretive Council of Fifty...

    , etc.
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
      Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement with around three hundred members as of 1998...

      , similarly asserts that the finding and translation of the Plates of Laban, also known as the Brass Plates, into the Book of the Law of the Lord
      Book of the Law of the Lord
      The Book of the Law of the Lord is a book accepted as scripture by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . It is alleged to be a translation by the Strangite prophet James Strang of the Plates of Laban, originally acquired by Nephi, a leading character in the early portion of The Book of...

       and Voree plates
      Voree Plates
      The Voree Plates, sometimes called The Record of Rajah Manchou of Vorito, or the Voree Record, were a set of three tiny metal plates allegedly discovered by James J. Strang in 1845 in Voree, near Burlington, Wisconsin...

       by James Strang
      James Strang
      James Jesse Strang was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement...

      , One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong is a person of unknown identity who was the subject of an 1832 prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, echoing the words and prophecy of Isaiah 28:2. The One Mighty and Strong was said by Smith to be one who would "set in order the house of...

      , establishes the existence of God.
    • Various sects that have broken from the Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
      Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
      The Church of Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot. Members of the church have been known colloquially as "Hedrickites", after Granville Hedrick, who was ordained as the church's first leader in July 1863...

       (such as Church of Christ "With the Elijah Message" and Church of Christ (Assured Way)
      Church of Christ (Assured Way)
      Church of Christ The Church of Christ , better known by its full name of the The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message , Inc., is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement based in Independence, Missouri...

      ) claim that the message brought by John the Baptist
      John the Baptist
      John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

      , One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong is a person of unknown identity who was the subject of an 1832 prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, echoing the words and prophecy of Isaiah 28:2. The One Mighty and Strong was said by Smith to be one who would "set in order the house of...

      , to Otto Fetting
      Otto Fetting
      Otto Fetting was an American realtor and editor from Port Huron, Michigan who served first as a pastor and evangelist in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then later as an apostle in the Church of Christ , commonly referred to as the "Hedrickites"...

       and W. A. Draves
      W. A. Draves
      William August Draves was the founder and an apostle of the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, a successor to the organization founded by former Church of Christ Apostle Otto Fetting. Like Fetting, Draves claimed to have received visits and messages from John the Baptist...

       in The Word of the Lord
      The Word of the Lord
      The Word of the Lord refers to one of two books of scripture used by certain factions of the Latter Day Saint movement. The first book, simply entitled The Word of the Lord, is used by members of the Church of Christ , the Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff and the Church of Christ...

       Brought to Mankind by an Angel establishes the existence of God.

Hindu arguments


Most schools of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

 accept the existence of a creator God (Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

), while some do not. The school of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 argues that one of the proofs of the existence of God is the law of karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

. In a commentary to Brahma Sutras
Brahma Sutras
The Brahma sūtras , also known as Vedānta Sūtras , are one of the three canonical texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. A thorough study of Vedānta requires a close examination of these three texts, known in Sanskrit as the Prasthanatrayi, or the three starting points...

 (III, 2, 38, and 41), a Vedantic text, Adi Sankara, an Indian philosopher
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

 who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

, a sub-school of Vedanta, argues that the original karmic actions themselves cannot bring about the proper results at some future time; neither can super sensuous, non-intelligent qualities like adrsta
Adrsta
Adrsta is a concept in Indian philosophy often confused with Karma. Whereas karma can be seen as a direct result of one's own actions, Adrsta is more akin to the notion of fate or destiny...

—an unseen force being the metaphysical link between work and its result—by themselves mediate the appropriate, justly deserved pleasure and pain. The fruits, according to him, then, must be administered through the action of a conscious agent, namely, a supreme being (Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

).

A human's karmic acts result in merits and demerits. Since unconscious things generally do not move except when caused by an agent (for example, the axe moves only when swung by an agent), and since the law of karma is an unintelligent and unconscious law, Sankara argues there must be a conscious supreme Being who knows the merits and demerits which persons have earned by their actions, and who functions as an instrumental cause in helping individuals reap their appropriate fruits. Thus, God affects the person's environment, even to its atoms, and for those souls who reincarnate, produces the appropriate rebirth body, all in order that the person might have the karmically appropriate experiences. Thus, there must be a theistic administrator or supervisor for karma, i.e., God.

The Nyaya
Nyaya
' is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic...

 school, one of six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

, states that one of the proofs of the existence of God is karma; it is seen that some people in this world are happy, some are in misery. Some are rich and some poor. The Naiyanikas explain this by the concept of karma and reincarnation. The fruit of an individual's actions does not always lie within the reach of the individual who is the agent; there ought to be, therefore, a dispenser of the fruits of actions, and this supreme dispenser is God. This belief of Nyaya, accordingly, is the same as that of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

.

Inductive arguments


Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.
  • Another class of philosophers asserts that the proofs for the existence of God present a fairly large probability though not absolute certainty. A number of obscure points, they say, always remain; an act of faith
    Faith
    Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

     is required to dismiss these difficulties. This view is maintained, among others, by the Scottish
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

     statesman Arthur Balfour
    Arthur Balfour
    Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

     in his book The Foundations of Belief (1895). The opinions set forth in this work were adopted in France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     by Ferdinand Brunetière
    Ferdinand Brunetière
    Ferdinand Brunetière was a French writer and critic.-Early years:Brunetière was born in Toulon, Var, Provence. After school at Marseille, he studied in Paris at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. Desiring a teaching career, he entered for examination at the École Normale Supérieure, but failed, and the...

    , the editor of the Revue des deux Mondes
    Revue des deux mondes
    The Revue des deux Mondes is a French language monthly literary and cultural affairs magazine that has been published in Paris since 1829....

    . Many orthodox Protestants express themselves in the same manner, as, for instance, Dr. E. Dennert, President of the Kepler Society, in his work Ist Gott tot?

Arguments from testimony


Arguments from testimony rely on the testimony or experience of certain witnesses, possibly embodying the propositions of a specific revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

. Swinburne
Richard Swinburne
Richard G. Swinburne is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been a very influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. His philosophical contributions are primarily in philosophy of religion and...

 argues that it is a principle of rationality that one should accept testimony unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.
  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witness
    Witness
    A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about an event, or in the criminal justice systems usually a crime, through his or her senses and can help certify important considerations about the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event first hand is known as an eyewitness...

    es, contemporary and throughout the ages. A variation of this is the argument from miracles
    Argument from miracles
    The argument from miracles is an argument for the existence of God relying on eyewitness testimony of the occurrence of miracles to establish the active intervention of a supernatural being...

     which relies on testimony of supernatural events to establish the existence of God.
  • The majority argument argues that the theism of people throughout most of recorded history and in many different places provides prima facie
    Prima facie
    Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face", from the feminine form of primus and facies , both in the ablative case. It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a...

    demonstration of God's existence.

Arguments grounded in personal experiences


{{See also|Anecdotal evidence}}
  • An argument for God is often made from an unlikely complete reversal in lifestyle by an individual towards God. Paul of Tarsus
    Paul of Tarsus
    Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

    , a persecutor of the early Church, became a pillar of the Church after his conversion on the road to Damascus
    Damascus
    Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

    . Modern day examples in Evangelical Protestantism are sometimes called "Born-Again Christians".
  • The Scottish School of Common Sense led by Thomas Reid
    Thomas Reid
    The Reverend Thomas Reid FRSE , was a religiously trained Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment...

     taught that the fact of the existence of God is accepted by people without knowledge of reasons but simply by a natural impulse. That God exists, this school said, is one of the chief metaphysical principles that people accept not because they are evident in themselves or because they can be proved, but because common sense
    Common sense
    Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Thus, "common sense" equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have...

     obliges people to accept them.
  • The Argument from a Proper Basis
    Argument from a proper basis
    The Argument from a proper basis is an ontological argument for the existence of God related to fideism. Alvin Plantinga argued that belief in God is a properly basic belief, and so no basis for belief in God is necessary.- References :...

     argues that belief in God is "properly basic"; that it is similar to statements like "I see a chair" or "I feel pain". Such beliefs are non-falsifiable and, thus, neither provable nor disprovable; they concern perceptual beliefs or indisputable mental states.
  • In Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    , the School of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
    Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
    Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi was an influential German philosopher, literary figure, socialite and the younger brother of poet Johann Georg Jacobi...

     taught that human reason is able to perceive the suprasensible. Jacobi distinguished three faculties: sense, reason
    Reason
    Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

    , and understanding. Just as sense has immediate perception of the material so has reason immediate perception of the immaterial, while the understanding brings these perceptions to a person's consciousness and unites them to one another. God's existence, then, cannot be proven (Jacobi, like Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

    , rejected the absolute value of the principle of causality), it must be felt by the mind.
  • In Emile
    Emile: Or, On Education
    Émile, or On Education is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the “best and most important of all my writings”. Due to a section of the book entitled “Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar,” Émile was be...

    , Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

     asserted that when a person's understanding ponders over the existence of God it encounters nothing but contradictions; the impulses of people's hearts, however, are of more value than the understanding, and these proclaim clearly the truths of natural religion, namely, the existence of God and the immortality of the soul
    Soul
    A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

    .
  • The same theory was advocated in Germany by Friedrich Schleiermacher, who assumed an inner religious sense by means of which people feel religious truths. According to Schleiermacher, religion consists solely in this inner perception, and dogmatic doctrines are inessential.
  • Many modern Protestant theologians follow in Schleiermacher's footsteps, and teach that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated; certainty as to this truth is only furnished to people by inner experience, feeling, and perception.
  • Modernist Christianity also denies the demonstrability of the existence of God. According to them, one can only know something of God by means of the vital immanence, that is, under favorable circumstances the need of the divine dormant in one's subconsciousness becomes conscious and arouses that religious feeling or experience in which God reveals himself. In condemnation of this view the Oath Against Modernism
    Oath Against Modernism
    The Oath against Modernism was issued by the Roman Catholic Pope, Saint Pius X, on September 1, 1910, and mandated that "all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries" should swear to it....

     formulated by Pius X, a Pope
    Pope
    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

     of the Catholic Church, says: "Deum ... naturali rationis lumine per ea quae facta sunt, hoc est per visibilia creationis opera, tanquam causam per effectus certo cognosci adeoque demostrari etiam posse, profiteor." ("I declare that by the natural light of reason, God can be certainly known and therefore his existence demonstrated through the things that are made, i.e., through the visible works of creation, as the cause is known through its effects.")
  • Brahma Kumaris religion was established in 1936, when God was said to enter the body of diamond merchant Lekhraj Kripalani (1876–1969) in Hyderabad, Sindh and started to speak through him.

Arguments against the existence of God


{{atheism2}}

Each of the following arguments aims at showing either that a particular subset of gods do not exist (by showing them as inherently meaningless, contradictory, or at odds with known scientific
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 or historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 facts) or that there is insufficient reason to believe in them. Some of these arguments suggest that there is evidence of absence
Evidence of absence
Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests the non-existence or non-presence of something. A simple example of evidence of absence: checking one's pocket for spare change and finding nothing but being confident that one would have found it if it were there...

 of a god.

Empirical arguments


Empirical arguments depend on empirical data
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

 in order to prove their conclusions.
  • The argument from inconsistent revelations
    Argument from inconsistent revelations
    The argument from inconsistent revelations, also known as the avoiding the wrong hell problem, is an argument against the existence of God. It asserts that it is unlikely that God exists because many theologians and faithful adherents have produced conflicting and mutually exclusive revelations...

     contests the existence of the deity called God as described in scriptures—such as the Jewish
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     Tanakh
    Tanakh
    The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

    , the Christian
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     Bible
    Bible
    The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

    , the Muslim
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

    , Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

     Vedas
    Vedas
    The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

    , the Book of Mormon
    Book of Mormon
    The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

     or the Baha'i
    Bahá'í Faith
    The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

     Aqdas
    Kitáb-i-Aqdas
    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is a central book of the Bahá'í Faith written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion. The work was written in Arabic under the Arabic title , but it is commonly referred to by its Persian title, Kitáb-i-Aqdas , which was given to the work by Bahá'u'lláh himself...

    —by identifying apparent contradictions between different scriptures, within a single scripture, or between scripture and known facts. To be effective this argument requires the other side to hold that its scriptural record is inerrant
    Biblical inerrancy
    Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

    , or at least to assert that a proper understanding of scripture gives rise to knowledge of God's existence.
  • The problem of evil
    Problem of evil
    In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient . Some philosophers have claimed that the existences of such a god and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely...

     contests the existence of a god who is both omnipotent
    Omnipotence
    Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

     and omnibenevolent
    Omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

     by arguing that such a god should not permit the existence of evil
    Evil
    Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

     or suffering
    Suffering
    Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

    . The theist responses are called theodicies
    Theodicy
    Theodicy is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence , omniscience , and omnipotence . Theodicy is usually concerned with the God of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to the relevant...

    .
  • The destiny of the unevangelized, by which persons who have never even heard of a particular revelation might be harshly punished for not following its dictates.
  • The argument from poor design
    Argument from poor design
    The dysteleological argument or argument from poor design is an argument against the existence of God, specifically against the existence of a creator God...

     contests the idea that God created life on the basis that lifeforms, including humans, seem to exhibit poor design.
  • The argument from nonbelief
    Argument from nonbelief
    The argument from nonbelief is a philosophical argument against the existence of God, specifically, the God of theism...

     contests the existence of an omnipotent God who wants humans to believe in him by arguing that such a god would do a better job of gathering believers.
  • The argument from parsimony (using Occam's razor
    Occam's razor
    Occam's razor, also known as Ockham's razor, and sometimes expressed in Latin as lex parsimoniae , is a principle that generally recommends from among competing hypotheses selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.-Overview:The principle is often summarized as "simpler explanations...

    ) contends that since natural (non-supernatural) theories adequately explain the development of religion
    Development of religion
    The development of religion describes the stages in the evolution of any particular religious system from a social sciences perspective. It includes such considerations as the evolutionary origin of religions and the evolutionary psychology of religion; the history of religions, including...

     and belief in gods, the actual existence of such supernatural agents is superfluous and may be dismissed unless otherwise proven to be required to explain the phenomenon.
  • The analogy of Russell's teapot
    Russell's teapot
    In 1958 Russell elaborated on the analogy as a reason for his own atheism:- Analysis :Peter Atkins said that the point of Russell's teapot is that no one can prove a negative, and therefore Occam's razor suggests that the more simple theory should trump the more complex theory...

     argues that the burden of proof
    Philosophic burden of proof
    The philosophic burden of proof is the obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.-Holder of the burden:When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim...

     for the existence of God lies with the theist rather than the atheist.

Deductive arguments


Deductive arguments attempt to prove their conclusions by deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 from true premises.
  • The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
    Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
    The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit is a counter-argument to the modern form of the argument from design. It was introduced by Richard Dawkins in chapter 4 "Why there almost certainly is no God" of his 2006 book The God Delusion.- Context and history :...

     is a counter-argument to the argument from design. The argument from design claims that a complex or ordered structure must be designed. However, a god that is responsible for the creation of a universe would be at least as complicated as the universe that it creates. Therefore, it too must require a designer. And its designer would require a designer also, ad infinitum
    Ad infinitum
    Ad infinitum is a Latin phrase meaning "to infinity."In context, it usually means "continue forever, without limit" and thus can be used to describe a non-terminating process, a non-terminating repeating process, or a set of instructions to be repeated "forever," among other uses...

    . The argument for the existence of god is then a logical fallacy with or without the use of special pleading
    Special pleading
    Special pleading is a form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves. Essentially, this involves someone...

    . The Ultimate 747 gambit points out that God does not provide an origin of complexity, it simply assumes that complexity always existed. It also states that design fails to account for complexity, which natural selection
    Natural selection
    Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

     can explain.
  • The omnipotence paradox
    Omnipotence paradox
    The omnipotence paradox is a family of semantic paradoxes which address two issues: Is an omnipotent entity logically possible? and What do we mean by 'omnipotence'?. The paradox states that if a being can perform any action, then it should be able to create a task it is unable to perform, and...

     suggests that the concept of an omnipotent entity is logically contradictory, from considering a question like: "Can God create a rock so big that he cannot lift it?" or "If God is all powerful, could God create a being more powerful than himself?"
  • The problem of hell
    Problem of Hell
    The "Problem of Hell" is a possible ethical problem related to religions in which portrayals of Hell are ostensibly cruel, and are thus inconsistent with the concepts of a just, moral and omnibenevolent God...

     is the idea that eternal damnation for actions committed in a finite existence contradicts God's omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

     or omnipresence
    Omnipresence
    Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence,...

    .
  • The argument from free will
    Argument from free will
    The argument from free will contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible, and that any conception of God that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. The argument may focus on the incoherence of people having free will, or else God himself having free will...

     contests the existence of an omniscient god who has free will
    Free will
    "To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

    —or has allotted the same freedom to his creations—by arguing that the two properties are contradictory. According to the argument, if God already knows the future, then humanity is destined to corroborate with his knowledge of the future and not have true free will to deviate from it. Therefore our free will contradicts an omniscient god. Another argument attacks the existence of an omniscient god who has free will directly in arguing that the will of God himself would be bound to follow whatever God foreknows himself doing throughout eternity.
  • A counter-argument against the Cosmological argument
    Cosmological argument
    The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

     ("chicken or the egg") takes its assumption that things cannot exist without creators and applies it to God, setting up an infinite regress
    Infinite regress
    An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, .....

    . This attacks the premise that the universe is the second cause (after God, who is claimed to be the first cause).
  • Theological noncognitivism
    Theological noncognitivism
    Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like "god", are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered to be synonymous with Ignosticism.-Overview:...

    , as used in literature, usually seeks to disprove the god-concept by showing that it is unverifiable by scientific tests.

Inductive arguments


Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.
  • The atheist-existentialist argument for the non-existence of a perfect sentient being states that if existence precedes essence
    Existence precedes essence
    The proposition that existence precedes essence is a central claim of existentialism, which reverses the traditional philosophical view that the essence or nature of a thing is more fundamental and immutable than its existence...

    , it follows from the meaning of the term sentient that a sentient being cannot be complete or perfect. It is touched upon by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

     in Being and Nothingness. Sartre's phrasing is that God would be a pour-soi [a being-for-itself; a consciousness] who is also an en-soi [a being-in-itself; a thing]: which is a contradiction in terms. The argument is echoed thus in Salman Rushdie's novel Grimus
    Grimus
    Grimus is a 1975 fantasy and science fiction novel written by Salman Rushdie. It was his literary debut.The story loosely follows Flapping Eagle, a young Indian who receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid...

    : "That which is complete is also dead."
  • The "no reason" argument tries to show that an omnipotent and omniscient being would not have any reason to act in any way, specifically by creating the universe, because it would have no needs, wants, or desires since these very concepts are subjectively human. Since the universe exists, there is a contradiction, and therefore, an omnipotent god cannot exist. This argument is expounded upon by Scott Adams
    Scott Adams
    Scott Raymond Adams is the American creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, business, and general speculation....

     in the book God's Debris
    God's Debris
    God's Debris: A Thought Experiment is a 2001 novella by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.God's Debris espouses a philosophy based on the idea that the simplest explanation tends to be the best...

    , which puts forward a form of Pandeism
    Pandeism
    Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

     as its fundamental theological model. A similar argument is put forward in Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

    's "Human Action." He referred to it as the "praxeological argument" and claimed that a perfect being would have long ago satisfied all its wants and desires and would no longer be able to take action in the present without proving that it had been unable to achieve its wants faster---showing it imperfect.
  • The "historical induction" argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts' popular quotation:
    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Subjective arguments


{{See also|Anecdotal evidence}}

Similar to the subjective arguments for the existence of God, subjective arguments against the supernatural mainly rely on the testimony or experience of witnesses, or the propositions of a revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in general.
  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and from the past, who disbelieve or strongly doubt the existence of God.
  • The conflicted religions argument notes that many religions give differing accounts as to what God is and what God wants; since all the contradictory accounts cannot be correct, many if not all religions must be incorrect.
  • The disappointment argument claims that if, when asked for, there is no visible help from God, there is no reason to believe that there is a God.

Hindu arguments


Atheist Hindu doctrines
Atheism in Hinduism
Atheism or disbelief in God or gods has been a historically propounded viewpoint in many of the orthodox and heterodox streams of Hindu philosophies...

 cite various arguments for rejecting a creator-God or Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

. The
{{God}}
{{Irreligion Sidebar}}

Argument
Argument
In philosophy and logic, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, or give evidence or reasons for accepting a particular conclusion.Argument may also refer to:-Mathematics and computer science:...

s for and against the existence of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology (theory of knowledge) and ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 (nature of being), but also of the theory of value
Value theory
Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree people should value things; whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called axiology or ethics. Early philosophical...

, since concepts of perfection are often bound up with notions of God.

The debate concerning the existence of God raises many philosophical issues. A basic problem is the existence of both monotheistic and polytheistic views. Some definitions of God's existence are so non-specific that it is certain that something exists that meets the definition {{Citation needed|date=June 2011}}; in stark contrast, there are suggestions that other definitions are self-contradictory. A wide variety of arguments exist which can be categorized as metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

al, empirical
Empirical research
Empirical research is a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empirical evidence can be analyzed quantitatively or qualitatively...

, or subjective
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

. The existence of God is subject to lively debate both in philosophy—the philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy concerned with questions regarding religion, including the nature and existence of God, the examination of religious experience, analysis of religious language and texts, and the relationship of religion and science...

 being almost entirely devoted to the question—and in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

.

Atheists maintain that arguments for the existence of God show insufficient reason to believe. Certain theists acknowledge that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 alone. Other religions, such as some sects of Buddhism, do not concern themselves with the question of the existence or non-existence of God at all. Psychological and sociological explanations for believing in the existence of God may point to a shared neurological and cultural framework for belief based on cognitive processes in the brain.

Definition of God


{{Main|God|Deity}}
{{See also|Ontology}}

In modern Western societies, the concept of 'God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

' typically entails a monotheistic
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

, supreme, ultimate, and (in some sense) personal being, as found in the Christian, and Hebrew traditions. Classical theism
Classical theism
Classical theism refers to the a form of Theism in distinction to modern ideas about God such as Theistic Personalism, Open Theism and Process Theism. Classical Theism began with the works of the Greek philosophers, especially Platonists and Neoplatonists and was developed into Christian Theology...

 holds that God possesses every possible perfection, including omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

, omnipotence
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

, and omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

.

Some classically theistic philosophical approaches arrive at such perfections by beginning with a root concept of God such as "the prime mover
Unmoved mover
The unmoved mover is a philosophical concept described by Aristotle as a primary cause or "mover" of all the motion in the universe. As is implicit in the name, the "unmoved mover" is not moved by any prior action...

" or "the uncaused cause", "the ultimate creator", or "a being that than which nothing greater can be conceived" from which the classical properties may be deduced. By contrast, much of Eastern religious thought (chiefly Pantheist) posits God as a force contained in every imaginable phenomenon. For example, Spinoza and his followers use the term 'God' in a particular philosophical sense to mean the essential substance/principles of nature. The phenomenon of emergence
Emergence
In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems....

 could be argued to support either the Eastern or Western view.

In monotheisms outside the Abrahamic traditions, the existence of God is discussed in similar terms. In the Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

 school of Hinduism, reality is ultimately seen as a single, qualityless, changeless being called nirguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman, signifies in Hindu philosophy the Brahman that pervades the Universe, considered without form , as in the Advaita school or else as without material form, as in Dvaita schools of philosophy.-Advaita:According to Adi Shankara, the famous reviver of Advaita...

. Advaitin philosophy introduces the concept of saguna Brahman or Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

 as a way of talking about Brahman to people. Ishvara, in turn, is ascribed such qualities as omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence.

Epistemology


{{Main|Epistemology|Sociology of knowledge}}

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy which studies the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge. Knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 is, from an epistemological standpoint, distinguished from mere belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 by justification
Theory of justification
Theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs. Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, and probability...

, warrant, or other such property the having of which is conducive to getting at the truth.

Knowledge in the sense of "understanding
Understanding
Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object....

 of a fact
Fact
A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be shown to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts...

 or truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

" can be divided into a posteriori
A Posteriori
Apart from the album, some additional remixes were released exclusively through the iTunes Store. They are:*"Eppur si muove"  – 6:39*"Dreaming of Andromeda" Apart from the album, some additional remixes were released exclusively through the iTunes Store. They are:*"Eppur si muove" (Tocadisco...

knowledge, based on experience
Experience
Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event....

 or deduction
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 (see methodology
Methodology
Methodology is generally a guideline for solving a problem, with specificcomponents such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools . It can be defined also as follows:...

), and a priori knowledge from introspection
Introspection
Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul...

, axiom
Axiom
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

s or self-evidence
Self-evidence
In epistemology , a self-evident proposition is one that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof....

. Knowledge can also be described as a psychological state, since in a strict sense there can never be a posteriori knowledge proper (see relativism
Relativism
Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration....

). Much of the disagreement about "proofs" of God's existence is due to different conceptions not only of the term "God" but also the terms "proof", "truth", and "knowledge". Religious belief from revelation
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 or enlightenment
Enlightenment (spiritual)
Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual...

 (satori
Satori
is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment that literally means "understanding". In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to a flash of sudden awareness, or individual enlightenment, and is considered a "first step" or embarkation toward nirvana....

) can fall into either the first category, a posteriori knowledge, if rooted in deduction or personal revelation, or the second, a priori class of knowledge, if based on introspection.

Different conclusions as to the existence of God often rest on different criteria for deciding what methods are appropriate for deciding if something is true or not; some examples include
  • whether logic counts as evidence concerning the quality of existence
  • whether subjective experience counts as evidence for objective reality
  • whether either logic or evidence can rule in or out the supernatural
  • whether an object of the mind
    Object of the mind
    An object of the mind is an object which exists in the imagination, but which, in the real world, can only be represented or modeled. Some such objects are mathematical abstractions, literary concepts, or fictional scenarios....

     is accepted for existence
  • whether a truthbearer
    Truthbearer
    Truth-bearer is a term used to designate entities that are either true or false and nothing else. The thesis that some things are true while others are false raises the question of the nature of these things. Since there is divergence of opinion on the matter, the term truthbearer is used to be...

     can justify.

The problem of the supernatural


One problem posed by the question of the existence of God is that traditional beliefs usually ascribe to God various supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 powers. Supernatural beings may be able to conceal and reveal themselves for their own purposes, as for example in the tale of Baucis and Philemon
Baucis and Philemon
In Ovid's moralizing fable , which stands on the periphery of Greek mythology and Roman mythology, Baucis and Philemon were an old married couple in the region of Tyana, which Ovid places in Phrygia, and the only ones in their town to welcome disguised gods Zeus and Hermes , thus embodying the...

. In addition, according to concepts of God, God is not part of the natural order, but the ultimate creator of nature and of the scientific laws. Thus, in Aristotelian philosophy
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

, God is viewed as part of the explanatory structure needed to support scientific conclusions, and any powers God possesses are, strictly speaking, of the natural order—that is, derived from God's place as originator of nature. (See also Monadology
Monadology
The Monadology is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads.- Text :...

)

Some religious apologists
Apologetics
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers...

 offer the supernatural nature of God as the explanation for the inability of empirical methods
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 to decide the question of God's existence. In Karl Popper
Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS FBA was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics...

's philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

, belief in a supernatural God is outside the natural domain of scientific investigation because all scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable
Falsifiability
Falsifiability or refutability of an assertion, hypothesis or theory is the logical possibility that it can be contradicted by an observation or the outcome of a physical experiment...

 in the natural world. The Non-overlapping Magisteria view proposed by Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

 also holds that the existence (or otherwise) of God is irrelevant to and beyond the domain of science.

Logical positivists
Logical positivism
Logical positivism is a philosophy that combines empiricism—the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge—with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions of epistemology.It may be considered as a type of analytic...

, such as Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism....

 and A. J. Ayer viewed any talk of gods as literal nonsense. For the logical positivists and adherents of similar schools of thought, statements about religious or other transcendent experiences could not have a truth value, and were deemed to be without meaning, because metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism, also called ontological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, or just naturalism, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those...

, the philosophical basis for logical positivism, automatically excludes the possibility of the supernatural. As the Christian biologist Scott C. Todd put it "Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." This argument limits the domain of science to the empirically observable and limits the domain of God to the unprovable.

Nature of relevant proofs/arguments


Since God (of the kind to which the arguments relate) is neither an entity in the universe nor a mathematical object, it is not obvious what kinds of arguments/proofs are relevant to God's existence. Even if the concept of scientific proof were not problematic, the fact that there is no conclusive scientific proof of the existence, or non-existence, of God mainly demonstrates that the existence of God is not a normal scientific question. John Polkinghorne
John Polkinghorne
John Charlton Polkinghorne KBE FRS is an English theoretical physicist, theologian, writer, and Anglican priest. He was professor of Mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1979, when he resigned his chair to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest...

 suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics are the ideas of quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

 which are seemingly paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data.

Alvin Plantinga compares the question of the existence of God to the question of the existence of other minds
Other Minds
Other Minds is a San Francisco based private 501 not-for-profit organization, founded in 1992 by Charles Amirkhanian and Jim Newman...

, claiming both are notoriously impossible to "prove" against a determined skeptic.

One approach, suggested by writers such as Stephen D. Unwin
Stephen D. Unwin
Stephen D. Unwin is a physicist and author best known for his book, The Probability of God. Unwin is a graduate of Imperial College London and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester for his research in the field of quantum gravity...

, is to treat (particular versions of) theism
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 and naturalism
Naturalism (philosophy)
Naturalism commonly refers to the philosophical viewpoint that the natural universe and its natural laws and forces operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe that we know...

 as though they were two hypotheses in the Bayesian
Bayesian probability
Bayesian probability is one of the different interpretations of the concept of probability and belongs to the category of evidential probabilities. The Bayesian interpretation of probability can be seen as an extension of logic that enables reasoning with propositions, whose truth or falsity is...

 sense, to list certain data (or alleged data), about the world, and to suggest that the likelihoods of these data are significantly higher under one hypothesis than the other. Most of the arguments for, or against, the existence of God can be seen as pointing to particular aspects of the universe in this way. In almost all cases it is not seriously suggested by proponents of the arguments that they are irrefutable, merely that they make one worldview seem significantly more likely than the other. However, since an assessment of the weight of evidence depends on the prior probability
Prior probability
In Bayesian statistical inference, a prior probability distribution, often called simply the prior, of an uncertain quantity p is the probability distribution that would express one's uncertainty about p before the "data"...

 that is assigned to each worldview, arguments that a theist finds convincing may seem thin to an atheist and vice-versa.

Some philosophers, such as Wittgenstein, take a view that in some ways is considered anti-realist and oppose philosophical arguments related to God's existence. For instance, Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor (philosopher)
Charles Margrave Taylor, is a Canadian philosopher from Montreal, Quebec best known for his contributions in political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, and in the history of philosophy. His contributions to these fields have earned him both the prestigious Kyoto Prize and the...

 contends that the real is whatever will not go away. If we cannot reduce talk about God to anything else, or replace it, or prove it false, then perhaps God is as real as anything else.

In George Berkeley
George Berkeley
George Berkeley , also known as Bishop Berkeley , was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism"...

's A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge of 1710, he argued that a "naked thought" cannot exist, and that a perception was a thought; therefore only minds could be proven to exist, since all else was merely an idea conveyed by a perception. This viewpoint has been used in popular fiction, including The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

 movie series. From this Berkeley argued that the universe is based upon observation and is non-objective. However, he noted that the universe includes "ideas" not perceptible to mankind (or not always perceptible), and that there must therefore exist an omniscient superobserver, which perceives such things. Berkeley considered this proof of the existence of the Christian God.

Outside of Western thought


Existence in absolute truth is central to Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 epistemology. Traditional sense perception based approaches were put into question as possibly misleading due to preconceived or superimposed ideas. But though all object-cognition can be doubted, the existence of the doubter remains a fact even in nastika
Nastika
Āstika exists") and Nāstika are technical terms in Hinduism used to classify philosophical schools and persons, according to whether they accept the authority of the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures, or not, respectively...

traditions of mayavada
Mayavada
Mayavada is a term used to pejoratively refer to the Advaita philosophy of Adi Shankara. It is not used by the followers of the Advaita philosophy to refer to themselves. It is generally used as a derogatory term, by some Dvaita schools...

schools following Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara Adi Shankara (IAST: pronounced , (Sanskrit: , ) (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as ' and ' was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta...

. The five eternal principles to be discussed under ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

, beginning with God or Isvara, the Ultimate Reality
Ultimate Reality
Ultimate reality is a term used in philosophy to indicate the underlying nature of reality, see:*Absolute *Reality*Brahman*God*Haqq*Dharmakaya*Mysticism...

, cannot be established by the means of logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 alone, and often require superior proof.
In Vaisnavism Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

, or his intimate ontological form of Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, is equated to personal absolute God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 of the Western traditions. Aspects of Krishna as svayam bhagavan
Svayam Bhagavan
Svayam Bhagavan , "The Lord" or Lord Himself, is a Sanskrit theological term. The term refers to the concept of absolute representation of the monotheistic God as Bhagavan within Hinduism....

in original Absolute Truth, sat chit ananda, are understood originating from three essential attributes of Krishna's form, i.e., "eternal existence" or {{IAST|sat}}, related to the brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

aspect; "knowledge" or chit, to the paramatman
Paramatman
In Hindu theology, Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul or Spirit in the Vedanta and Yoga philosophies of India....

; and "bliss" or ananda in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, to bhagavan
Bhagavan
Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem literally means "possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous" , and hence "illustrious, divine, venerable, holy", etc.In some traditions of Hinduism it is used to...

.

Arguments for the existence of God

  • The cosmological argument
    Cosmological argument
    The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

     argues that there was a "first cause", or "prime mover" who is identified as God. It starts with a claim about the world, like its containing entities or motion.
  • The teleological argument
    Teleological argument
    A teleological or design argument is an a posteriori argument for the existence of God based on apparent design and purpose in the universe. The argument is based on an interpretation of teleology wherein purpose and intelligent design appear to exist in nature beyond the scope of any such human...

     argues that the universe's order
    Fine-tuned universe
    The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different the universe would be...

     and complexity are best explained by reference to a creator God. It starts with a rather more complicated claim about the world, i.e. that it exhibits order and design. This argument has two versions: One based on the analogy of design and designer, the other arguing that goals can only occur in minds.
    • The hypothesis of Intelligent design
      Intelligent design
      Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

       proposes that certain features of the universe and of living things
      Life
      Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

       are the product of an intelligent
      Intelligence
      Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

       cause
      Causation
      Causation may refer to:* Causation , a key component to establish liability in both criminal and civil law* Causation in English law defines the requirement for liability in negligence...

      . Its proponents are mainly Christians and Jews
      Jews
      The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

      .
  • The ontological argument
    Ontological argument
    The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh-century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive...

     is based on arguments about a "being greater than which cannot be conceived". It starts simply with a concept of God. Avicenna
    Avicenna
    Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

    , St. Anselm of Canterbury and Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher and the emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics...

     formulated this argument to show that if it is logically possible for God (a necessary being) to exist, then God exists.
  • Arguments that a non-physical quality observed in the universe is of fundamental importance and not an epiphenomenon
    Epiphenomenon
    An epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon.-Medicine:...

    , such as Morality
    Morality
    Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

     (Argument from morality
    Argument from morality
    The argument from morality is one of many arguments for the existence of God. It comes in different forms, all aiming to support the claim that God exists with observations about morality...

    ), Beauty
    Beauty
    Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture...

     (Argument from beauty
    Argument from beauty
    The argument from beauty is an argument for the existence of God as against materialism.-Outline logical structure:Its logical structure is essentially as follows:...

    ), Love
    Love
    Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

     (Argument from love
    Argument from love
    The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism and reductionist forms of physicalism.-Outline of argument:...

    ), or religious experience
    Religious experience
    Religious experience is a subjective experience in which an individual reports contact with a transcendent reality, an encounter or union with the divine....

     (Argument from religious experience
    Argument from religious experience
    The Argument from religious experience is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism.-Outline logical structure:Its logical structure is essentially as follows:...

    ), are arguments for theism
    Theism
    Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

     as against materialism
    Materialism
    In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

    .
  • The anthropic argument
    Fine-tuned universe
    The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different the universe would be...

     suggests that basic facts, such as humanity's existence, are best explained by the existence of God.
  • Qualia
    Qualia
    Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

    -based arguments: Philosophers see the existence of Qualia
    Qualia
    Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

     (or the hard problem of consciousness
    Hard problem of consciousness
    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences. David Chalmers contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc...

    ) as strong arguments against materialism and therefore for the existence of material and immaterial entities.
  • The transcendental argument
    Transcendental argument for the existence of God
    The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God is the argument that attempts to prove God's existence by arguing that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose a theistic worldview, and that God is the source of logic and morals...

     suggests that logic
    Logic
    In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

    , science
    Science
    Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

    , ethics
    Ethics
    Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

    , and other serious matters do not make sense in the absence of God, and that atheistic arguments must ultimately refute themselves if pressed with rigorous consistency.
  • The argument from degree
    Argument from degree
    The argument from degrees or the degrees of perfection argument is an argument for the existence of God first proposed by mediaeval Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas as one of the five ways to philosophically argue for God in his Summa Theologica. It is based on ontological and theological...

    , a version of the transcendental argument posited by Aquinas, states that there must exist a being which possesses all properties to the maximum possible degree in order for such properties to be coherent.
  • The will to believe doctrine
    Will to believe doctrine
    "The Will to Believe" is a lecture by William James, first published in 1896, which defends, in certain cases, the adoption of a belief without prior evidence of its truth...

     was pragmatist
    Pragmatism
    Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

     philosopher William James
    William James
    William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

    ' attempt to prove God by showing that the adoption of theism as a hypothesis "works" in a believer's life. This doctrine depended heavily on James' pragmatic theory of truth
    Pragmatic theory of truth
    Pragmatic theory of truth refers to those accounts, definitions, and theories of the concept truth that distinguish the philosophies of pragmatism and pragmaticism...

     where beliefs are proven by how they work when adopted rather than by proofs before they are believed (a form of the hypothetico-deductive method).
  • The argument from reason
    Argument from Reason
    The Argument from Reason is an argument for the existence of God largely developed by C.S. Lewis.-The argument:C.S...

     holds that if, as thoroughgoing naturalism entails, all human thoughts are the effect of a physical cause, then there is no reason for assuming that they are also the consequent of a reasonable ground. Knowledge, however, is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would be no way of knowing it—or anything else not the direct result of a physical cause—and one could not even suppose it, except by a fluke.
  • The non-existence of the Babel Fish; since Oolon Colluphid used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God , the fact that no Babel fish (or any similar creature that proves God exists) has been identified negates the negation of the "proof denies faith" model of God highlighted in The Hitchhikers Guide.
  • A paper in the Journal for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science claims to provide a scientific rationale for the existence of God based on the implications of progress in the field of artificial intelligence. A "minimal intrusion" principle addresses the problem of the existence of evil.

Arguments from historical events or personages

  • Christianity and Judaism assert that God intervened in key specific moments in history, especially at the Exodus
    The Exodus
    The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

     and the giving of the Ten Commandments
    Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

     in front of all the tribes of Israel, positing an argument from empirical evidence stemming from sheer number of witnesses, thus demonstrating his existence.
  • The argument from the Resurrection of Jesus
    Resurrection of Jesus
    The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

    . This asserts that there is sufficient historical evidence for Jesus's resurrection to support his claim to be the son of God and indicates, a fortiori, God's existence. This is one of several arguments known as the Christological argument
    Christological argument
    The Christological argument for the existence of God is based on certain claims about Jesus. The argument, which exists in several forms, holds that if these claims are valid, one should accept God exists...

    .
  • Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     asserts that the revelation of its holy book, the Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

    , vindicates its divine authorship, and thus the existence of a God.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism
    Mormonism
    Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

    , similarly asserts that the miraculous appearance of God, Jesus Christ and angels to Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith was founder of what later became known as the Latter Day Saint movement or Mormons.Joseph Smith may also refer to:-Latter Day Saints:* Joseph Smith, Sr. , father of Joseph Smith...

     and others and subsequent finding and translation of the Book of Mormon
    Book of Mormon
    The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

     establishes the existence of God. The whole Latter Day Saint movement
    Latter Day Saint movement
    The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

     makes the same claim for example Community of Christ
    Community of Christ
    The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , is an American-based international Christian church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace"...

    , Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
    Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
    The Church of Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot. Members of the church have been known colloquially as "Hedrickites", after Granville Hedrick, who was ordained as the church's first leader in July 1863...

    , Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
    Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ is a Christian religious denomination headquartered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, United States. The Church of Jesus Christ is a Restorationist church and is historically part of the Latter Day Saint movement...

    , Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement with around three hundred members as of 1998...

    , Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
    Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
    The Church of Jesus Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri. This church derives its epithet from its founder, Alpheus Cutler, a member of the Nauvoo High Council and of Joseph Smith's secretive Council of Fifty...

    , etc.
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
      Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement with around three hundred members as of 1998...

      , similarly asserts that the finding and translation of the Plates of Laban, also known as the Brass Plates, into the Book of the Law of the Lord
      Book of the Law of the Lord
      The Book of the Law of the Lord is a book accepted as scripture by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . It is alleged to be a translation by the Strangite prophet James Strang of the Plates of Laban, originally acquired by Nephi, a leading character in the early portion of The Book of...

       and Voree plates
      Voree Plates
      The Voree Plates, sometimes called The Record of Rajah Manchou of Vorito, or the Voree Record, were a set of three tiny metal plates allegedly discovered by James J. Strang in 1845 in Voree, near Burlington, Wisconsin...

       by James Strang
      James Strang
      James Jesse Strang was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement...

      , One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong is a person of unknown identity who was the subject of an 1832 prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, echoing the words and prophecy of Isaiah 28:2. The One Mighty and Strong was said by Smith to be one who would "set in order the house of...

      , establishes the existence of God.
    • Various sects that have broken from the Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
      Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
      The Church of Christ is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot. Members of the church have been known colloquially as "Hedrickites", after Granville Hedrick, who was ordained as the church's first leader in July 1863...

       (such as Church of Christ "With the Elijah Message" and Church of Christ (Assured Way)
      Church of Christ (Assured Way)
      Church of Christ The Church of Christ , better known by its full name of the The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message , Inc., is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement based in Independence, Missouri...

      ) claim that the message brought by John the Baptist
      John the Baptist
      John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

      , One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong
      One Mighty and Strong is a person of unknown identity who was the subject of an 1832 prophecy by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, echoing the words and prophecy of Isaiah 28:2. The One Mighty and Strong was said by Smith to be one who would "set in order the house of...

      , to Otto Fetting
      Otto Fetting
      Otto Fetting was an American realtor and editor from Port Huron, Michigan who served first as a pastor and evangelist in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then later as an apostle in the Church of Christ , commonly referred to as the "Hedrickites"...

       and W. A. Draves
      W. A. Draves
      William August Draves was the founder and an apostle of the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, a successor to the organization founded by former Church of Christ Apostle Otto Fetting. Like Fetting, Draves claimed to have received visits and messages from John the Baptist...

       in The Word of the Lord
      The Word of the Lord
      The Word of the Lord refers to one of two books of scripture used by certain factions of the Latter Day Saint movement. The first book, simply entitled The Word of the Lord, is used by members of the Church of Christ , the Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff and the Church of Christ...

       Brought to Mankind by an Angel establishes the existence of God.

Hindu arguments


Most schools of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

 accept the existence of a creator God (Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

), while some do not. The school of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 argues that one of the proofs of the existence of God is the law of karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

. In a commentary to Brahma Sutras
Brahma Sutras
The Brahma sūtras , also known as Vedānta Sūtras , are one of the three canonical texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. A thorough study of Vedānta requires a close examination of these three texts, known in Sanskrit as the Prasthanatrayi, or the three starting points...

 (III, 2, 38, and 41), a Vedantic text, Adi Sankara, an Indian philosopher
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

 who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and ; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda...

, a sub-school of Vedanta, argues that the original karmic actions themselves cannot bring about the proper results at some future time; neither can super sensuous, non-intelligent qualities like adrsta
Adrsta
Adrsta is a concept in Indian philosophy often confused with Karma. Whereas karma can be seen as a direct result of one's own actions, Adrsta is more akin to the notion of fate or destiny...

—an unseen force being the metaphysical link between work and its result—by themselves mediate the appropriate, justly deserved pleasure and pain. The fruits, according to him, then, must be administered through the action of a conscious agent, namely, a supreme being (Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

).

A human's karmic acts result in merits and demerits. Since unconscious things generally do not move except when caused by an agent (for example, the axe moves only when swung by an agent), and since the law of karma is an unintelligent and unconscious law, Sankara argues there must be a conscious supreme Being who knows the merits and demerits which persons have earned by their actions, and who functions as an instrumental cause in helping individuals reap their appropriate fruits. Thus, God affects the person's environment, even to its atoms, and for those souls who reincarnate, produces the appropriate rebirth body, all in order that the person might have the karmically appropriate experiences. Thus, there must be a theistic administrator or supervisor for karma, i.e., God.

The Nyaya
Nyaya
' is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic...

 school, one of six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

, states that one of the proofs of the existence of God is karma; it is seen that some people in this world are happy, some are in misery. Some are rich and some poor. The Naiyanikas explain this by the concept of karma and reincarnation. The fruit of an individual's actions does not always lie within the reach of the individual who is the agent; there ought to be, therefore, a dispenser of the fruits of actions, and this supreme dispenser is God. This belief of Nyaya, accordingly, is the same as that of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

.

Inductive arguments


Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.
  • Another class of philosophers asserts that the proofs for the existence of God present a fairly large probability though not absolute certainty. A number of obscure points, they say, always remain; an act of faith
    Faith
    Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

     is required to dismiss these difficulties. This view is maintained, among others, by the Scottish
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

     statesman Arthur Balfour
    Arthur Balfour
    Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

     in his book The Foundations of Belief (1895). The opinions set forth in this work were adopted in France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     by Ferdinand Brunetière
    Ferdinand Brunetière
    Ferdinand Brunetière was a French writer and critic.-Early years:Brunetière was born in Toulon, Var, Provence. After school at Marseille, he studied in Paris at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. Desiring a teaching career, he entered for examination at the École Normale Supérieure, but failed, and the...

    , the editor of the Revue des deux Mondes
    Revue des deux mondes
    The Revue des deux Mondes is a French language monthly literary and cultural affairs magazine that has been published in Paris since 1829....

    . Many orthodox Protestants express themselves in the same manner, as, for instance, Dr. E. Dennert, President of the Kepler Society, in his work Ist Gott tot?

Arguments from testimony


Arguments from testimony rely on the testimony or experience of certain witnesses, possibly embodying the propositions of a specific revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

. Swinburne
Richard Swinburne
Richard G. Swinburne is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been a very influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. His philosophical contributions are primarily in philosophy of religion and...

 argues that it is a principle of rationality that one should accept testimony unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.
  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witness
    Witness
    A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about an event, or in the criminal justice systems usually a crime, through his or her senses and can help certify important considerations about the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event first hand is known as an eyewitness...

    es, contemporary and throughout the ages. A variation of this is the argument from miracles
    Argument from miracles
    The argument from miracles is an argument for the existence of God relying on eyewitness testimony of the occurrence of miracles to establish the active intervention of a supernatural being...

     which relies on testimony of supernatural events to establish the existence of God.
  • The majority argument argues that the theism of people throughout most of recorded history and in many different places provides prima facie
    Prima facie
    Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face", from the feminine form of primus and facies , both in the ablative case. It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a...

    demonstration of God's existence.

Arguments grounded in personal experiences


{{See also|Anecdotal evidence}}
  • An argument for God is often made from an unlikely complete reversal in lifestyle by an individual towards God. Paul of Tarsus
    Paul of Tarsus
    Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

    , a persecutor of the early Church, became a pillar of the Church after his conversion on the road to Damascus
    Damascus
    Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

    . Modern day examples in Evangelical Protestantism are sometimes called "Born-Again Christians".
  • The Scottish School of Common Sense led by Thomas Reid
    Thomas Reid
    The Reverend Thomas Reid FRSE , was a religiously trained Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment...

     taught that the fact of the existence of God is accepted by people without knowledge of reasons but simply by a natural impulse. That God exists, this school said, is one of the chief metaphysical principles that people accept not because they are evident in themselves or because they can be proved, but because common sense
    Common sense
    Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Thus, "common sense" equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have...

     obliges people to accept them.
  • The Argument from a Proper Basis
    Argument from a proper basis
    The Argument from a proper basis is an ontological argument for the existence of God related to fideism. Alvin Plantinga argued that belief in God is a properly basic belief, and so no basis for belief in God is necessary.- References :...

     argues that belief in God is "properly basic"; that it is similar to statements like "I see a chair" or "I feel pain". Such beliefs are non-falsifiable and, thus, neither provable nor disprovable; they concern perceptual beliefs or indisputable mental states.
  • In Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    , the School of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
    Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
    Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi was an influential German philosopher, literary figure, socialite and the younger brother of poet Johann Georg Jacobi...

     taught that human reason is able to perceive the suprasensible. Jacobi distinguished three faculties: sense, reason
    Reason
    Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

    , and understanding. Just as sense has immediate perception of the material so has reason immediate perception of the immaterial, while the understanding brings these perceptions to a person's consciousness and unites them to one another. God's existence, then, cannot be proven (Jacobi, like Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

    , rejected the absolute value of the principle of causality), it must be felt by the mind.
  • In Emile
    Emile: Or, On Education
    Émile, or On Education is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the “best and most important of all my writings”. Due to a section of the book entitled “Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar,” Émile was be...

    , Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

     asserted that when a person's understanding ponders over the existence of God it encounters nothing but contradictions; the impulses of people's hearts, however, are of more value than the understanding, and these proclaim clearly the truths of natural religion, namely, the existence of God and the immortality of the soul
    Soul
    A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

    .
  • The same theory was advocated in Germany by Friedrich Schleiermacher, who assumed an inner religious sense by means of which people feel religious truths. According to Schleiermacher, religion consists solely in this inner perception, and dogmatic doctrines are inessential.
  • Many modern Protestant theologians follow in Schleiermacher's footsteps, and teach that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated; certainty as to this truth is only furnished to people by inner experience, feeling, and perception.
  • Modernist Christianity also denies the demonstrability of the existence of God. According to them, one can only know something of God by means of the vital immanence, that is, under favorable circumstances the need of the divine dormant in one's subconsciousness becomes conscious and arouses that religious feeling or experience in which God reveals himself. In condemnation of this view the Oath Against Modernism
    Oath Against Modernism
    The Oath against Modernism was issued by the Roman Catholic Pope, Saint Pius X, on September 1, 1910, and mandated that "all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries" should swear to it....

     formulated by Pius X, a Pope
    Pope
    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

     of the Catholic Church, says: "Deum ... naturali rationis lumine per ea quae facta sunt, hoc est per visibilia creationis opera, tanquam causam per effectus certo cognosci adeoque demostrari etiam posse, profiteor." ("I declare that by the natural light of reason, God can be certainly known and therefore his existence demonstrated through the things that are made, i.e., through the visible works of creation, as the cause is known through its effects.")
  • Brahma Kumaris religion was established in 1936, when God was said to enter the body of diamond merchant Lekhraj Kripalani (1876–1969) in Hyderabad, Sindh and started to speak through him.

Arguments against the existence of God


{{atheism2}}

Each of the following arguments aims at showing either that a particular subset of gods do not exist (by showing them as inherently meaningless, contradictory, or at odds with known scientific
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 or historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 facts) or that there is insufficient reason to believe in them. Some of these arguments suggest that there is evidence of absence
Evidence of absence
Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests the non-existence or non-presence of something. A simple example of evidence of absence: checking one's pocket for spare change and finding nothing but being confident that one would have found it if it were there...

 of a god.

Empirical arguments


Empirical arguments depend on empirical data
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

 in order to prove their conclusions.
  • The argument from inconsistent revelations
    Argument from inconsistent revelations
    The argument from inconsistent revelations, also known as the avoiding the wrong hell problem, is an argument against the existence of God. It asserts that it is unlikely that God exists because many theologians and faithful adherents have produced conflicting and mutually exclusive revelations...

     contests the existence of the deity called God as described in scriptures—such as the Jewish
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     Tanakh
    Tanakh
    The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

    , the Christian
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     Bible
    Bible
    The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

    , the Muslim
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

    , Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

     Vedas
    Vedas
    The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

    , the Book of Mormon
    Book of Mormon
    The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

     or the Baha'i
    Bahá'í Faith
    The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

     Aqdas
    Kitáb-i-Aqdas
    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is a central book of the Bahá'í Faith written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion. The work was written in Arabic under the Arabic title , but it is commonly referred to by its Persian title, Kitáb-i-Aqdas , which was given to the work by Bahá'u'lláh himself...

    —by identifying apparent contradictions between different scriptures, within a single scripture, or between scripture and known facts. To be effective this argument requires the other side to hold that its scriptural record is inerrant
    Biblical inerrancy
    Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

    , or at least to assert that a proper understanding of scripture gives rise to knowledge of God's existence.
  • The problem of evil
    Problem of evil
    In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient . Some philosophers have claimed that the existences of such a god and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely...

     contests the existence of a god who is both omnipotent
    Omnipotence
    Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

     and omnibenevolent
    Omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

     by arguing that such a god should not permit the existence of evil
    Evil
    Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

     or suffering
    Suffering
    Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

    . The theist responses are called theodicies
    Theodicy
    Theodicy is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence , omniscience , and omnipotence . Theodicy is usually concerned with the God of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to the relevant...

    .
  • The destiny of the unevangelized, by which persons who have never even heard of a particular revelation might be harshly punished for not following its dictates.
  • The argument from poor design
    Argument from poor design
    The dysteleological argument or argument from poor design is an argument against the existence of God, specifically against the existence of a creator God...

     contests the idea that God created life on the basis that lifeforms, including humans, seem to exhibit poor design.
  • The argument from nonbelief
    Argument from nonbelief
    The argument from nonbelief is a philosophical argument against the existence of God, specifically, the God of theism...

     contests the existence of an omnipotent God who wants humans to believe in him by arguing that such a god would do a better job of gathering believers.
  • The argument from parsimony (using Occam's razor
    Occam's razor
    Occam's razor, also known as Ockham's razor, and sometimes expressed in Latin as lex parsimoniae , is a principle that generally recommends from among competing hypotheses selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.-Overview:The principle is often summarized as "simpler explanations...

    ) contends that since natural (non-supernatural) theories adequately explain the development of religion
    Development of religion
    The development of religion describes the stages in the evolution of any particular religious system from a social sciences perspective. It includes such considerations as the evolutionary origin of religions and the evolutionary psychology of religion; the history of religions, including...

     and belief in gods, the actual existence of such supernatural agents is superfluous and may be dismissed unless otherwise proven to be required to explain the phenomenon.
  • The analogy of Russell's teapot
    Russell's teapot
    In 1958 Russell elaborated on the analogy as a reason for his own atheism:- Analysis :Peter Atkins said that the point of Russell's teapot is that no one can prove a negative, and therefore Occam's razor suggests that the more simple theory should trump the more complex theory...

     argues that the burden of proof
    Philosophic burden of proof
    The philosophic burden of proof is the obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.-Holder of the burden:When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim...

     for the existence of God lies with the theist rather than the atheist.

Deductive arguments


Deductive arguments attempt to prove their conclusions by deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 from true premises.
  • The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
    Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
    The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit is a counter-argument to the modern form of the argument from design. It was introduced by Richard Dawkins in chapter 4 "Why there almost certainly is no God" of his 2006 book The God Delusion.- Context and history :...

     is a counter-argument to the argument from design. The argument from design claims that a complex or ordered structure must be designed. However, a god that is responsible for the creation of a universe would be at least as complicated as the universe that it creates. Therefore, it too must require a designer. And its designer would require a designer also, ad infinitum
    Ad infinitum
    Ad infinitum is a Latin phrase meaning "to infinity."In context, it usually means "continue forever, without limit" and thus can be used to describe a non-terminating process, a non-terminating repeating process, or a set of instructions to be repeated "forever," among other uses...

    . The argument for the existence of god is then a logical fallacy with or without the use of special pleading
    Special pleading
    Special pleading is a form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves. Essentially, this involves someone...

    . The Ultimate 747 gambit points out that God does not provide an origin of complexity, it simply assumes that complexity always existed. It also states that design fails to account for complexity, which natural selection
    Natural selection
    Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

     can explain.
  • The omnipotence paradox
    Omnipotence paradox
    The omnipotence paradox is a family of semantic paradoxes which address two issues: Is an omnipotent entity logically possible? and What do we mean by 'omnipotence'?. The paradox states that if a being can perform any action, then it should be able to create a task it is unable to perform, and...

     suggests that the concept of an omnipotent entity is logically contradictory, from considering a question like: "Can God create a rock so big that he cannot lift it?" or "If God is all powerful, could God create a being more powerful than himself?"
  • The problem of hell
    Problem of Hell
    The "Problem of Hell" is a possible ethical problem related to religions in which portrayals of Hell are ostensibly cruel, and are thus inconsistent with the concepts of a just, moral and omnibenevolent God...

     is the idea that eternal damnation for actions committed in a finite existence contradicts God's omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence
    Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

     or omnipresence
    Omnipresence
    Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence,...

    .
  • The argument from free will
    Argument from free will
    The argument from free will contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible, and that any conception of God that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. The argument may focus on the incoherence of people having free will, or else God himself having free will...

     contests the existence of an omniscient god who has free will
    Free will
    "To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

    —or has allotted the same freedom to his creations—by arguing that the two properties are contradictory. According to the argument, if God already knows the future, then humanity is destined to corroborate with his knowledge of the future and not have true free will to deviate from it. Therefore our free will contradicts an omniscient god. Another argument attacks the existence of an omniscient god who has free will directly in arguing that the will of God himself would be bound to follow whatever God foreknows himself doing throughout eternity.
  • A counter-argument against the Cosmological argument
    Cosmological argument
    The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

     ("chicken or the egg") takes its assumption that things cannot exist without creators and applies it to God, setting up an infinite regress
    Infinite regress
    An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, .....

    . This attacks the premise that the universe is the second cause (after God, who is claimed to be the first cause).
  • Theological noncognitivism
    Theological noncognitivism
    Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like "god", are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered to be synonymous with Ignosticism.-Overview:...

    , as used in literature, usually seeks to disprove the god-concept by showing that it is unverifiable by scientific tests.

Inductive arguments


Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.
  • The atheist-existentialist argument for the non-existence of a perfect sentient being states that if existence precedes essence
    Existence precedes essence
    The proposition that existence precedes essence is a central claim of existentialism, which reverses the traditional philosophical view that the essence or nature of a thing is more fundamental and immutable than its existence...

    , it follows from the meaning of the term sentient that a sentient being cannot be complete or perfect. It is touched upon by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

     in Being and Nothingness. Sartre's phrasing is that God would be a pour-soi [a being-for-itself; a consciousness] who is also an en-soi [a being-in-itself; a thing]: which is a contradiction in terms. The argument is echoed thus in Salman Rushdie's novel Grimus
    Grimus
    Grimus is a 1975 fantasy and science fiction novel written by Salman Rushdie. It was his literary debut.The story loosely follows Flapping Eagle, a young Indian who receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid...

    : "That which is complete is also dead."
  • The "no reason" argument tries to show that an omnipotent and omniscient being would not have any reason to act in any way, specifically by creating the universe, because it would have no needs, wants, or desires since these very concepts are subjectively human. Since the universe exists, there is a contradiction, and therefore, an omnipotent god cannot exist. This argument is expounded upon by Scott Adams
    Scott Adams
    Scott Raymond Adams is the American creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, business, and general speculation....

     in the book God's Debris
    God's Debris
    God's Debris: A Thought Experiment is a 2001 novella by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.God's Debris espouses a philosophy based on the idea that the simplest explanation tends to be the best...

    , which puts forward a form of Pandeism
    Pandeism
    Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

     as its fundamental theological model. A similar argument is put forward in Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

    's "Human Action." He referred to it as the "praxeological argument" and claimed that a perfect being would have long ago satisfied all its wants and desires and would no longer be able to take action in the present without proving that it had been unable to achieve its wants faster---showing it imperfect.
  • The "historical induction" argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts' popular quotation:
    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Subjective arguments


{{See also|Anecdotal evidence}}

Similar to the subjective arguments for the existence of God, subjective arguments against the supernatural mainly rely on the testimony or experience of witnesses, or the propositions of a revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in general.
  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and from the past, who disbelieve or strongly doubt the existence of God.
  • The conflicted religions argument notes that many religions give differing accounts as to what God is and what God wants; since all the contradictory accounts cannot be correct, many if not all religions must be incorrect.
  • The disappointment argument claims that if, when asked for, there is no visible help from God, there is no reason to believe that there is a God.

Hindu arguments


Atheist Hindu doctrines
Atheism in Hinduism
Atheism or disbelief in God or gods has been a historically propounded viewpoint in many of the orthodox and heterodox streams of Hindu philosophies...

 cite various arguments for rejecting a creator-God or Ishvara
Ishvara
Ishvara is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, meaning controller or the Supreme controller in a theistic school of thought or the Supreme Being, or as an Ishta-deva of monistic thought.-Etymology:...

. The {{IAST of the Samkhya
Samkhya
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible...

 school states that there is no philosophical place for a creationist God in this system. It is also argued in this text that the existence of Ishvara cannot be proved and hence cannot be admitted to exist. Classical Samkhya
Samkhya
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible...

 argues against the existence of God on metaphysical
Metaphysical
Metaphysical may refer to:*Metaphysics, a branch of philosophy dealing with aspects of existence and the theory of knowledge*The supernatural...

 grounds. For instance, Samkhya argue that an unchanging God cannot be the source of an ever changing world. It says God was a necessary metaphysical assumption demanded by circumstances. The Sutras of Samkhya endeavour to prove that the idea of God is inconceivable and self-contradictory, and some commentaries speak plainly on this subject. The Sankhya- tattva-kaumudi, commenting on Karika 57, argues that a perfect God can have no need to create a world, and if God's motive is kindness, Samkhya questions whether it is reasonable to call into existence beings who while non-existent had no suffering. Samkhya postulates that a benevolent deity ought to create only happy creatures, not an imperfect world like the real world.

Proponents of the school of Mimamsa
Mimamsa
' , a Sanskrit word meaning "investigation" , is the name of an astika school of Hindu philosophy whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on close hermeneutics of the Vedas...

, which is based on rituals and orthopraxy, decided that the evidence allegedly proving the existence of God was insufficient. They argue that there was no need to postulate a maker for the world, just as there was no need for an author to compose the Vedas or a God to validate the rituals. Mimamsa argues that the Gods named in the Vedas have no existence apart from the mantra
Mantra
A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation"...

s
that speak their names. In that regard, the power of the mantras is what is seen as the power of Gods.

Conclusions




Conclusions on the existence of God can be divided along numerous axes, producing a variety of orthogonal classifications. Theism
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 and atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 are positions of belief (or lack of it), while gnosticism
Gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

 and agnosticism
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

 are positions of knowledge (or the lack of it). Ignosticism
Ignosticism
Ignosticism or igtheism is the theological position that every other theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts...

 concerns belief regarding God's conceptual coherence. Apatheism
Apatheism
Apatheism , also known as pragmatic atheism or as practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or lack of belief in a deity. Apatheism describes the manner of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity; so applies to both theism and atheism...

 concerns belief regarding the practical importance of whether God exists.

Theism


The theistic
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 conclusion is that the arguments indicate there is sufficient reason to believe that at least one god exists.

God exists and this can be demonstrated


The Catholic Church, following the teachings of Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the dogmatic definition of the First Vatican Council
First Vatican Council
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864. This twentieth ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned...

, affirms that God's existence "can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason". Many other Christian denominations share the view that God's existence can be demonstrated without recourse to claims of revelation.

On beliefs of Christian faith, theologians and philosophers make a distinction between: a. preambles of faith and b. articles of faith. The preambles include alleged truths contained in revelation which are nevertheless demonstrable by reason, e.g., the immortality of the soul, the existence of God. The articles of faith, on the other hand, contain truths that cannot be proven or reached by reason alone and presuppose the truths of the preambles, e.g., the Holy Trinity dogma, is not demonstrable and presupposes the existence of God. The articles of faith, in spite of being non demonstrable truths, can be proved not to be contradictory notions. Christian faith (at least catholic faith) holds that no irrational / contradictory assertions may be object of any kind of belief; truths that are rationally demonstrable and truths which are not should be both compatible since they both refer to the same reality.

The argument that the existence of God can be known to all, even prior to exposure to any divine revelation, predates Christianity. St. Paul made this argument when he insisted that pagans were without excuse because "since the creation of the world [God's] invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made". In this Paul alludes to the proofs for a creator, later enunciated by St. Thomas and others, but that had also been explored by the Greek philosophers.

Another apologetical school of thought, a sort of synthesis of various existing Dutch and American Reformed
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

 thinkers (such as, Abraham Kuyper
Abraham Kuyper
Abraham Kuijper generally known as Abraham Kuyper, was a Dutch politician, journalist, statesman and theologian...

, Benjamin Warfield, Herman Dooyeweerd
Herman Dooyeweerd
Herman Dooyeweerd was a Dutch juridical scholar by training, who by vocation was a philosopher and the founder of the philosophy of the cosmonomic idea. He received early support for his work from his brother-in-law D. H. Th. Vollenhoven...

), emerged in the late 1920s. This school was instituted by Cornelius Van Til
Cornelius Van Til
Cornelius Van Til , born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, was a Christian philosopher, Reformed theologian, and presuppositional apologist.-Biography:...

, and came to be popularly called Presuppositional apologetics
Presuppositional apologetics
In Christian theology, presuppositionalism is a school of apologetics that presumes Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and claims to expose flaws in other worldviews...

 (though Van Til himself felt "transcendental" would be a more accurate title). The main distinction between this approach and the more classical evidentialist approach mentioned above is that the presuppositionalist denies any common ground between the believer and the non-believer, except that which the non-believer denies, namely, the assumption of the truth of the theistic worldview. In other words, presuppositionalists don't believe that the existence of God can be proven by appeal to raw, uninterpreted (or, "brute") facts, which have the same (theoretical) meaning to people with fundamentally different worldviews, because they deny that such a condition is even possible. They claim that the only possible proof for the existence of God is that the very same belief is the necessary condition to the intelligibility of all other human experience and action. In other words, they attempt to prove the existence of God by means of appeal to the alleged transcendental
Transcendence (philosophy)
In philosophy, the adjective transcendental and the noun transcendence convey the basic ground concept from the word's literal meaning , of climbing or going beyond, albeit with varying connotations in its different historical and cultural stages...

 necessity of the belief—indirectly (by appeal to the allegedly unavowed presuppositions of the non-believer's worldview) rather than directly (by appeal to some form of common factuality). In practice this school utilizes what have come to be known as transcendental arguments
Transcendental argument for the existence of God
The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God is the argument that attempts to prove God's existence by arguing that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose a theistic worldview, and that God is the source of logic and morals...

. In these arguments they claim to demonstrate that all human experience and action (even the condition of unbelief, itself) is a proof for the existence of God, because God's existence is the necessary condition of their intelligibility.

Alvin Plantinga
Alvin Plantinga
Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher and the emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics...

 holds that the existence of God can be proven using modal logic
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

.

God exists, but this cannot be demonstrated nor refuted


Others have suggested that the several logical and philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God miss the point. The word God has a meaning in human culture and history that does not correspond to the beings whose existence is supported by such arguments, assuming they are valid. The real question is not whether a "most perfect being" or an "uncaused first cause" exist; the real question is whether Jehovah
Jehovah
Jehovah is an anglicized representation of Hebrew , a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton , the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible....

, Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

, Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

, Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, Ehecatl
Ehecatl
Ehecatl is a pre-Columbian deity associated with the wind, who features in Aztec mythology and the mythologies of other cultures from the central Mexico region of Mesoamerica. He is most usually interpreted as the aspect of the Feathered Serpent deity as a god of wind, and is therefore also known...

, Pazuzu
Pazuzu
In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, Pazuzu was the king of the demons of the wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought.- Iconography :...

, Molech, Mars
Mars (mythology)
Mars was the Roman god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter, and he was the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the Roman legions...

, Kami
Kami
is the Japanese word for the spirits, natural forces, or essence in the Shinto faith. Although the word is sometimes translated as "god" or "deity", some Shinto scholars argue that such a translation can cause a misunderstanding of the term...

, Thor
Thor
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility...

, Hadit
Hadit
Hadit refers to a Thelemic version of the Egyptian god Horus. Hadit is the principal speaker of the second chapter of The Book of the Law .- Descriptions :...

, Azathoth
Azathoth
Azathoth is a deity in the Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle stories of H. P. Lovecraft and other authors. Its epithets include Nuclear Chaos, the Daemon Sultan and the Blind Idiot God.-Inspiration:...

 or any gods of any attested human religion, exist, and if so, which gods? On the other hand, many theists equate all monotheistic or henotheistic "most perfect Beings", no matter what religious name is assigned to them/him, as the one monotheistic God (on example would be understanding the Muslim Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

, Christian Yhwh, and Chinese Shangdi
Shangdi
Shangdi , also known as Di in Oracle Bone Inscription and Thirteen Classics, refers to the supreme god or a divine power regarded as the spiritual ultimate by the Chinese people from the Shang Dynasty. He controlled victory in battle, harvest, the fate of the kingdom, and the weather...

 as different names for the same Being). Most of these arguments do not resolve the issue of which of these figures is more likely to exist.

Some Christians note that the Christian faith teaches "salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 is by faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

", and that faith is reliance upon the faithfulness of God, which has little to do with the believer's ability to comprehend that in which he trusts.

The most extreme example of this position is called fideism
Fideism
Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths...

, which holds that faith is simply the will to believe, and argues that if God's existence were rationally demonstrable, faith in its existence would become superfluous. Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

 argued that objective knowledge, such as 1+1=2, is unimportant to existence. If God could rationally be proven, his existence would be unimportant to humans. It is because God cannot rationally be proven that his existence is important to us. In The Justification of Knowledge, the Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 theologian Robert L. Reymond
Robert L. Reymond
Robert L. Reymond is a Christian theologian of the Protestant Reformed tradition. He is best known for his New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith . Reymond holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Bob Jones University and has taught at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri...

 argues that believers should not attempt to prove the existence of God. Since he believes all such proofs are fundamentally unsound, believers should not place their confidence in them, much less resort to them in discussions with non-believers; rather, they should accept the content of revelation by faith. Reymond's position is similar to that of his mentor, Gordon Clark
Gordon Clark
Gordon Haddon Clark was an American philosopher and Calvinist theologian. He was a primary advocate for the idea of presuppositional apologetics and was chairman of the Philosophy Department at Butler University for 28 years...

, which holds that all worldviews are based on certain unprovable first premises (or, axioms), and therefore are ultimately unprovable. The Christian theist therefore must simply choose to start with Christianity rather than anything else, by a "leap of faith
Leap of faith
A leap of faith, in its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable, or without empirical evidence...

." This position is also sometimes called presuppositional apologetics
Presuppositional apologetics
In Christian theology, presuppositionalism is a school of apologetics that presumes Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and claims to expose flaws in other worldviews...

, but should not be confused with the Van Tillian variety discussed above.

Atheism


{{Main|Atheism}}
The atheistic
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 conclusion is that the arguments indicate there is insufficient reason to believe that any gods exist, therefore one should not believe that a god exists.

Strong atheism


Strong atheism
Strong atheism
Positive atheism is a term popularly used to describe the form of atheism that maintains that "There is no god" is a true statement. Negative atheism refers to any other type of non-theism, wherein a person does not believe in the existence of any deity, but does not explicitly claim that the...

 (or positive atheism) is the position that no gods exist. The strong atheist explicitly asserts the non-existence of gods. Some strong atheists further assert that the existence of some or all gods is logically impossible, for example stating that the combination of attributes which God may be asserted to have (for example: omnipotence
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

, omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

, omnipresence
Omnipresence
Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence,...

, transcendence
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

, omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil...

) is logically contradictory, incomprehensible, or absurd, and therefore that the existence of such a god is a priori
A priori and a posteriori (philosophy)
The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish two types of knowledge, justifications or arguments...

false.

Metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism, also called ontological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, or just naturalism, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those...

 is a common worldview associated with strong atheism.

It should be noted that this viewpoint requires that one accept a negative, i.e., that there exist exactly zero gods, but in fact, such an assertion cannot be logically demonstrated: One cannot possibly search every place that a god might be. This applies to any creature or thing that one chooses to test, and Russell's teapot
Russell's teapot
In 1958 Russell elaborated on the analogy as a reason for his own atheism:- Analysis :Peter Atkins said that the point of Russell's teapot is that no one can prove a negative, and therefore Occam's razor suggests that the more simple theory should trump the more complex theory...

 stands as an example.

Weak atheism


The term weak atheism (or negative atheism) is used in two main senses, describing those who (a) do not assert strong atheism ("no gods exist") but rather the more minimal statement that for a variety of reasons (principally the lack of credible scientific evidence) there are no good reasons and no credible grounds for believing that gods exist ("I do not believe that any gods exist"); or (b) neither believe that gods exist, nor believe that no gods exist. This is orthogonal to agnosticism
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

 which states that whether gods exist is either unknown or unknowable. There is some controversy about this use of the term.{{Dubious|date=January 2011}}

Agnosticism


Agnosticism
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

 is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence of any deity
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

, but also other religious and metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 claims—is unknown or unknowable. Agnosticism as a broad umbrella term does not define one's belief or disbelief in gods, agnostics may still identify themselves as theists or atheists.

Strong agnosticism


Strong agnosticism
Strong agnosticism
Strong agnosticism or positive agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any deities exist. It is a narrower view than weak agnosticism, which states that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is unknown but not necessarily unknowable.Strong...

 is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any deities exist.

Weak agnosticism


Weak agnosticism
Weak agnosticism
Weak agnosticism is the assertion that, at present, there is not enough information to know whether any deities exist, but that such might become knowable. It is in contrast to strong agnosticism, which is the belief that the existence of any gods is completely unknowable to humanity...

 is the belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities is unknown but not necessarily unknowable.

Agnostic theism


Agnostic theism
Agnostic theism
Agnostic theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes the proposition at least one deity exists is true, but regards the truth or falsehood of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable...

 is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. For theism, an agnostic theist believes that the proposition at least one deity exists is true, but, per agnosticism, believes that the existence of gods is unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god(s) they believe in.

Agnostic atheism


Agnostic atheism
Agnostic atheism
Agnostic atheism, also called atheistic agnosticism, is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either...

 is the view of those who do not claim to know the existence of any deity but do not believe in any.

The theologian Robert Flint
Robert Flint
Robert Flint was a Scottish theologian and philosopher, who wrote also on sociology.He was born near Dumfries and educated, at the University of Glasgow. After a few years of pastoral service, first in Aberdeen and then at Kilconquhar, Fife, he was appointed professor of moral philosophy and...

 explains: "If a man have failed to find any good reason for believing that there is a God, it is perfectly natural and rational that he should not believe that there is a God; and if so, he is an atheist, although he assume no superhuman knowledge, but merely the ordinary human power of judging of evidence. If he go farther, and, after an investigation into the nature and reach of human knowledge, ending in the conclusion that the existence of God is incapable of proof, cease to believe in it on the ground that he cannot know it to be true, he is an agnostic and also an atheist, an agnostic-atheist—an atheist because an agnostic."

Apatheism


The apatheist
Apatheism
Apatheism , also known as pragmatic atheism or as practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or lack of belief in a deity. Apatheism describes the manner of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity; so applies to both theism and atheism...

 concludes the question of God's existence or nonexistence to be of little or no practical importance.

Psychological aspects


{{See also|Evolutionary psychology of religion}}
Several authors have offered psychological or sociological explanations for belief in the existence of God. Many of these views have been sought to give a naturalistic
Naturalism (philosophy)
Naturalism commonly refers to the philosophical viewpoint that the natural universe and its natural laws and forces operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe that we know...

 explanation of religion, though this does not necessarily mean such views are exclusive to naturalism.

Psychologists observe that the majority of humans often ask existential questions such as "why we are here" and whether life has purpose. Some psychologists have posited that religious beliefs may recruit cognitive mechanisms in order to satisfy these questions. William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

 emphasized the inner religious struggle between melancholy and happiness, and pointed to trance
Trance
Trance denotes a variety of processes, ecstasy, techniques, modalities and states of mind, awareness and consciousness. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden.The term trance may be associated with meditation, magic, flow, and prayer...

 as a cognitive mechanism. Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 stressed fear and pain, the need for a powerful parental figure, the obsessional nature of ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

, and the hypnotic state a community can induce as contributing factors to the psychology of religion.

Pascal Boyer
Pascal Boyer
Pascal Boyer is a French anthropologist, and Henry Luce Professor of Individual and Collective Memory at Washington University in St. Louis.He is a Guggenheim Fellow.-Work:...

's "Religion Explained" (2002), based in part on his anthropological field work, treats belief in God as the result of the brain's tendency towards agency detection. Boyer suggests that, because of evolutionary pressures, humans err on the side of attributing agency where there isn't any. In Boyer's view, belief in supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 entities spreads and becomes culturally fixed because of their memorability. The concept of 'minimally counterintuitive' beings that differ from the ordinary in a small number of ways (such as being invisible, able to fly, or having access to strategic and otherwise secret information) leave a lasting impression that spreads through word-of-mouth.

Scott Atran
Scott Atran
Scott Atran is an American and French anthropologist.-Education and early career:Atran was born in New York City in 1952 and he received his PhD in anthropology from Columbia University. While a student at Columbia, he became assistant to anthropologist Margaret Mead at the American Museum of...

's "In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion" (2002) makes a similar argument and adds examination of the socially coordinating aspects of shared belief. In "Minds and Gods: The Cognitive Foundations of Religion," Todd Tremlin follows Boyer in arguing that universal human cognitive process naturally produces the concept of the supernatural. Tremlin contends that an agency detection device (ADD) and a theory of mind
Theory of mind
Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own...

 module (ToMM) lead humans to suspect an agent behind every event. Natural events for which there is no obvious agent thus may be attributed to God.

See also


{{multicol}}
  • Absolute
  • Absurdism
    Absurdism
    In philosophy, "The Absurd" refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any...

  • Apologetics
    Apologetics
    Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers...

  • Conversational intolerance
  • Efficacy of prayer
    Efficacy of prayer
    Determining the efficacy of prayer has been attempted in various studies since Francis Galton first addressed it in 1872. Some studies have reported benefit, some have reported harm, and some have found no benefit from the act of praying. Others suggest that the topic is outside the realm of...

  • Elohim
    Elohim
    Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

  • Existence of Jesus
  • Gödel's ontological proof
    Gödel's ontological proof
    Gödel's ontological proof is a formal argument for God's existence by the mathematician Kurt Gödel. It is in a line of development that goes back to Anselm of Canterbury. St. Anselm's ontological argument, in its most succinct form, is as follows: "God, by definition, is that for which no...

  • Human history
  • Lawsuits against God
    Lawsuits against God
    Lawsuits against God have occurred in real life and in fiction. Issues debated in the actions include the problem of evil and harmful "acts of God".- Ernie Chambers :In the U.S...

  • Metaphysics
    Metaphysics
    Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...


{{multicol-break}}
{{Portal|Philosophy|Religion}}
  • Miracle
    Miracle
    A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

  • Mythology
    Mythology
    The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

  • Nihilism
    Nihilism
    Nihilism is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value...

  • Omega Point
    Omega point
    Omega Point is a term coined by the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to describe a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving....

  • Philosophy of religion
    Philosophy of religion
    Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy concerned with questions regarding religion, including the nature and existence of God, the examination of religious experience, analysis of religious language and texts, and the relationship of religion and science...

  • Polemic
    Polemic
    A polemic is a variety of arguments or controversies made against one opinion, doctrine, or person. Other variations of argument are debate and discussion...

  • Problem of evil
    Problem of evil
    In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient . Some philosophers have claimed that the existences of such a god and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely...

  • Rationalism
    Rationalism
    In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

  • Spectrum of theistic probability
    Spectrum of theistic probability
    Popularized by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, the spectrum of theistic probability is a way of categorizing one's belief regarding the probability of the existence of a deity.- Atheism, theism, and agnosticism :...

  • Theological veto
    Theological veto
    The theological veto is the concept in philosophy of religion that philosophy and logic are impious and that God, not reason, is sovereign. This concept is held as true by some theists. The idea is derived from a belief that mankind is depraved, and his intellect is a flawed product of this...

  • www.bhagwatprasar.com

{{multicol-end}}

External links


{{wikibooks|God and Religious Toleration/The proof of God}}

{{Template group
|list=
{{God Arguments}}
{{Theology}}
{{Theism}}
{{philosophy of religion}}
{{Philosophy topics}}
}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Existence Of God}}