arguments for God’s existence

I’m starting to think about a debate I am lining up with a leading NZ sceptic, on whether or not the Christian God in fact exists. More info on this eventually, no doubt.

Thinking about four fairly prominent arguments for God’s existence, I realise that I could spend my whole opening speech presenting just one of them, even in broad outline, because there are numerous aspects to them – it seems to me that there are a number of independent arguments within each class (though those within a class will generally stand or fall on at least some shared claims).  Some of the bullet points here aren’t really separate arguments; I intend to work on teasing some of these out and sorting them more clearly.

Cosmological argument(s):
*first an argument from contingency (Leibnizian)
*second, an argument from the fact that the universe had a beginning (Kalam)
*third, perhaps – the ‘contingent’ nature of the universe might be further evidenced by its law-like form
*other cosmological arguments, to be explored
Eutaxiological / arguments from ‘law and order’
*the existence of regularities is expected on theism but not naturalism (Swinburne)
*problem of induction as a problem for naturalism (to be explored!)
*no God, no laws (Nancy Cartwright – note that she has a non-law alternative regarding natural regularities!)
*mathematics fits best within theism (to be explored!)
– a subset of this is the ‘efficacy’ of mathematics in the physical world
*the scientific criterion of elegance/beauty is expected on theism, but not naturalism
*comprehensibility and/or mathematical nature of the laws points to a mind (in terms of IBE? or perhaps just confirmation theory again)

Design argument(s):
*from physical (cosmological) fine-tuning
*from astronomical fine-tuning (I’m less keen on this part)
*from biochemical fine tuning (I’m interested to develop this into a concise and clear argument)
*from biological fine-tuning regarding the origin of life
*biological fine-tuning, based on analysis of the later development of life (perhaps the most controversial part)

Argument(s) from consciousness:
*consciousness as evidence for God (expected on theism, but not naturalism – Swinburne)
*the general incompatibility of naturalism with qualia, intentionality, & understanding (developed in more detail in some of the following arguments)
*argument from reason (Victor Reppert / Plantinga)
*argument from consciousness, considered as irreducible (JP Moreland) – I need to investigate this argument’s link with the AFR further
*argument from the consistent, law-like link between mental content and brain states (related to some of Plantinga’s work on the EAAN – explore how this ties in to other forms of the AFC)


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