The Existence of God and Ontological Arguments

Subject: Religion
Pages: 4
Words: 1134
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

The existence of God remains one of the major points of discussion in the secular world and the major point of misunderstandings in the development of understanding of Abrahamic religions, in general, and Christianity, in particular. Presently, a range of perspectives for considering God’s existence are present in the Christian discourse. Despite the apparent lack of purpose in the discussion of the existence of God, the specified process is likely to further the promotion of Christian beliefs, ideas, and values, thus converting new believers and encouraging the acceptance of principles such as Christlikeness.

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The concept of possible worlds as the method of exploring the ontological argument concerning the existence of God gives a plethora of options for studying the nature of being, in general, and the perception of the world through the lens of an individual, in particular. The idea that there is a specific reality where God exists and that the specified reality coincides with the one that is currently observed is rather plausible. Moreover, the described theory has a grain of rationality in it given the present absence of opportunities for verifying the theory of the multiplicity of worlds. Therefore, as a support for the argument in favor of Gods’ existence, the described approach appears to be rather viable.

However, on closer scrutiny, the notion of possible worlds is also quite problematic since it focuses solely on the search for the factual proof of God’s existence while avoiding the discussion of the moral and ethical implications of the specified likelihood. Specifically, the need for the provision of evidence supporting the physical presence of God in the present universe appears to suffer from the same issue as applying the conditional voice to the idea of God’[s existence. The very moment the notion of God’s presence is brought into question, the very purpose of the argument is defeated since the search for the evidence that could support the presence of God would mean removing any substance from the concept of belief as blind and unquestioning faith.

Nevertheless, the need for proving the existence of God appears to be perpetuated within the current interpretation of Christian theology and, particularly, theosophy. For instance, exploring the epistemic and metaphysical possibilities of God’s existence, discarding the latter as the theoretical foundation for proving God’s existence might be the intuitive intention of a Christian believer. Indeed, unlike the epistemological framework, which implies a clear statement of God’s existence as undeniable truth or falsehood, the metaphysical interpretation of the subject matter suggests that God’s existence is neither completely true nor entirely possible to disprove. As a result, the sense of uncertainty, which the application of the metaphysical approach leaves, may undermine the unwavering faith of a Christian believer, thus jeopardizing the very notion of faith.

At the same time, the unequivocal statement concerning God’s existence, which the use of the epistemological approach suggests, may also open the door to a plethora of controversies. Specifically, the proposed framework does not allow for the further dialogue since it implies that, once having assumed a specific position on the issue, one is likely to retain it without any substantial reason for questioning one’s beliefs further. Therefore, the epistemological approach, with all its doubtless advantages, represents a major problem in itself and its very nature since it unintentionally undermines the foundation of Christian beliefs.

However, arguably, the very act of bringing up the question of God’s existence as something that could be seen as disputable already introduces one to the possibility of Christian faith being questioned as well. Therefore, discarding the epistemological framework as an entirely self-defeating notion would be a mistake as well. Instead, it needs to be viewed as one of the methods of reconciling the argument regarding the existence of God by allowing all participants to retain their convictions and beliefs. However, the inability to further the discussion and add to the rift between each of the opposing groups represents a major disadvantage of the specified perspective.

Finally, it is worth noting that, when debating the issue of God’s existence, the opponents of the specified idea tend to use purposely absurd assumptions that will inevitably lead to proving their point instead of searching for the middle ground. For instance, the notorious straw men used by those opposing the idea of God’s existence, such as the presence of the greatest conceivable island or similarly ridiculous ideas do not help to advance the discussion. Instead, their sole purpose is to represent the opponents as incompetent and lacking basic common sense, thus, discrediting their statements, overall. The specified line of arguing does not seem to hold any meaningful value for either of the parties since it defeats the entire purpose of the discussion, namely, the opportunity to understand from where each of the participants is coming. Thus, the specified manner of disputing, whether it is used deliberately or accidentally, needs to be recognized for its detrimental effects on the discussion and avoided.

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The contradiction concerning the existence of God, which Malcolm addresses so eloquently, is another issue of misconceptions in the discussion surrounding the idea of God’s existence. As a rule, when exploring the specified issue, one will inevitably encounter the so-called problem of evil, which can be summarized in the manner described below. Given that evil exists, and that God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, He could eliminate evil; otherwise, He is either not omnipotent, or not omnibenevolent. The specified argument has fascinated its multiple supporters with its elegant simplicity. However, despite the admitted presence of strong logical reasoning in it, it also dissipates under further scrutiny when applying Malcolm’s argument to it.

Although Malcolm’s argument does not attack the problem of evil directly, it renders the paradox described above nearly pointless since it undermines the very naïve idea that God must necessarily be seen as juxtaposition to evil. Specifically, Malcolm’s argument implies that God may be either necessary, contingent, or impossible. However, since God is not reliant on other phenomena or notions, He cannot be described as contingent; neither can He be defined as impossible since there are no logical contradictions in the idea of God that could make the said idea implode on itself. Therefore, Malcolm’s argument states that God is necessary.

While the discussion around the existence of God might seem as pointless to a side observer since it is virtually impossible and, more importantly, seemingly negating the very purpose of faith as belief in itself, the discussion regarding God’s presence is central due to the underlying preconceptions and interpretations of key postulates that it may raise. Therefore, the assessment of the existing theories, as well as the development of new ones, is vital to the promotion of Christian beliefs and religious discourse. By engaging in a conversation, more people will become open to Christian ideas and accepting of its virtues.