This is the classic ontological argument. It was first articulated in 1070 by St. Anselm, who argued that because we have a conception of an all-perfect being which he defined as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” it has to exist. In his essay Pros logion, St. Anselm conceived of God as a being who possesses all conceivable perfection. But if this being “existed” merely as an idea in our minds, then it would be less perfect than if it actually existed. So, it wouldn’t be as great as a being who actually existed, something that would thus contradict our definition of God — a being who’s supposed to be all-perfect. Thus, God must exist. This sounds a bit weird by modern standards. Actually, it even sounded weird back then; Gaunilo of Mermothers ripped apart Anselm’s idea by asking people to conceive of an island “more excellent” than any other island, revealing the flaws in this type of argumentation.
Essay due? We'll write it for you!
Today, we know that this type of a priori argument is grossly limited, often tautological, and utterly fails to take empirical evidence into account.But surprisingly, it was a position defended by none other than Rene Descartes. His take on the matter is a bit more illustrative; Descartes, in his Fifth Meditation, wrote that the conception of a perfect being who lacks existence is like imagining a triangle whose interior angles don’t sum to 180 degrees (he was big on the notion of innate ideas and the doctrine of clear and distinct perception). So, because we have the idea of a supremely perfect being, we have to conclude that a supremely perfect being exists; to Desecrate, God’s existence was just as obvious, logical, and self-evident as the most basic mathematical truths.
Philosophers call this one the First-Cause Argument, or the Cosmological Argument, and early advocates of this line of reasoning included Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas. It’s predicated on the assumption that every event must have a cause, and that cause in turn must have a cause, and on and on and on. Assuming there’s no end to this regression of causes, this succession of events would be infinite. But an infinite series of causes and events doesn’t make sense (a causal loop cannot exist, nor a causal chain of infinite length). There’s got to be something — some kind of first cause — that is itself uncaused. I’m sure you’ve already come up with your own objections to the First-Cause Argument, including the issue of a first-causer having to have its own cause. Also, infinity does in fact appear to be a fundamental quality of the universe. All this said, however, cosmologists are still struggling to understand the true nature of time and what “caused” the Big Bang to happen in the first place.
Called the Cosmological Argument from Contingency, this is a slightly different take on the First-Cause Argument. The German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz put it best when he wrote, Why is there something rather than nothing? The sufficient reason… is found in a substance which… is a necessary being bearing the reason for its existence within itself.Because it’s impossible for only contingent beings to exist, he argued, a necessary being must exist — a being we call God. Writing in Monadology, he wrote that “no fact can be real or existing and no statement true without a sufficient reason for its being so and not otherwise.”More recently, the philosopher Richard Swinburne looked at the issue more inductively, writing, there is quite a chance that if there is a God he will make something of the finitude and complexity of a universe. It is very unlikely that a universe would exist uncaused, but rather more likely that God would exist uncaused. The existence of the universe…can be made comprehensible if we suppose that it is brought about by God.
The Design Argument, or teleological argument, suggests we live in a Universe that surely had to be designed. The cosmos, goes the argument, exhibits orderliness and (apparent) purpose for example, everything within the universe adheres to the laws of physics, and many things within it are correlated with one another in a way that appears purposeful. As William Paley argued, just as the existence of a watch indicates the presence of an intelligent mind, the existence of the universe and various phenomena within it indicates the presence of an even greater intelligence, namely God.
Needless to say, this line of argumentation was far more compelling prior to the advent of naturalism (the idea that everything can be explained without the benefit of supernatural intervention) least as far as the biological realm is concerned. We know that the human eye — in all its apparent complexity and purpose — is not the product of a designer, but rather the painstaking result of variation and selection.
In my opinion “Something had to have designed the Universe” is the strongest argument because I strongly believe that anything in this world cannot be designed without its designer.
Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. You can order our professional work here.
Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.
Your essay sample has been sent.
Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.Order now