Date of submission:
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 2
1.1 Statement of the problem 2
1.2 Purpose of the study 2
1.3 Significance of the study 2
1.4 Basic assumptions 3
1.5 Limitations 3
1.6 Methodology 3
CHAPTER 2: DESCRIPTION 5
CHAPTER 3: ANALYSIS 7
CHAPTER 4: EVALUATION 9
CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 11
5.1 Summary 11
5.2 Conclusion 11
CHAPTER1: INTRODUCTION1.1Statement of the problem
Philosophy and religion have for a while attempted to demonstrateproof for the existence of a supreme being, God. Given that there isarguably, no concrete discussion that has yielded a unanimousconclusion on the matter yet, people continue being divided over theissue. This has caused wrangles in the institutional set up ofreligions, and similarly, confusion of the public at large. Whilesome maintain a solid belief that God indeed does exist, others areof the idea that this is a well-developed fallacy that has misguidedhumanity for a while now.
1.2Purpose of the Study
This paper shall look to investigate the arguments for the existenceand non-existence of God, and in the end, come up with a conclusionon the same. At the same time, the discourse shall look for strongarguments about the topic, and analyze them to either support theirmessage or rebut it. Similarly, the researcher shall give acomprehensive evaluation of the argument specifically by philosophersKant Immanuel, David Hume and Thomas Aquinas. The ultimate purpose ofthe paper is therefore to give a conclusive statement about theexistence of God.
1.3Significance of the Study
One of the main significance of this research paper is to add to thedebate about the existence of God. This will help philosophers andreligious scholars to expand the knowledge base on the existence ofGod as the Supreme Being. At the same time, the paper will helpreaders and researchers in analyzing the plethora of information thattouches on the existence of God as the Supreme Being. On equalmeasures, the paper will help to define the role of religion in humanlife, as by studying and evaluating the issues in the topic, readerswill have a better understanding of religion.
An underlying assumption in this study is the nature ofepistemological nature of research. As such, all discussions will berelated to evidence and knowledge. Similarly, the researcher assumesthat the inferred or deduced explanations for the existence of Godtake heed of the traditions of religion. At the same time, in such astudy, Gardiner notes that researchers should treat ontological andsemantic assumptions as a traditional part of religion belief.1Finally, given that philosophy is considered as a discipline based onreason, the researcher expects readers to treat the conclusions madein this paper as purely logical.
The discussion in the paper will be limited to the scope of theexistence of God in religion. As such, the paper shall not look tocover the matter from an anti-religion point of view. Similarly, theresearcher is limited to the ideas that have been formed by renownedphilosophical scholars. This means that independent conclusions willnot fundamentally shape the direction of the research. Finally,supporting arguments will be derived only from publishedphilosophical sources, and little or no scientific material will beused.
The paper will draw upon the philosophical arguments for theexistence of God from three philosophers. The first one is KantImmanuel, who strongly supports the existence of God. The secondsource will be David Hume, who has published works that invalidatethe existence of God as a supreme being. The researcher will useThomas Aquinas’ works to support Kant Immanuel’s argument for thesupport of the existence of God. Conclusively, the paper will makeforward an argument in support of Kant Immanuel.
Gervais says that perhaps the most controversial topic in philosophyand religion in the existence of God.2Man has always questioned his origin, and the Supreme Beingresponsible for creating him. While others look to answer thisquestion, some are more interested in the place of existence of God,if at all, he exists. To approach this topic substantially, therehave been three distinct approaches that have been used byphilosophers. These have been teleological, cosmological andontological arguments. However, the most complicated of these threearguments is the ontological. The main reason is that it is basedpurely on logical proof. A controversial statement when analyzingthis approach is the bare statement that “God exists because hemust”. This, besides complicating the topic, presents a side of itthat makes it challenging categorical research to be used.
In arguments about the existence of God, philosophers often includethe debate about the origin of the earth and universe at large. Thisis because the argument itself centers on the existence of the makerof the universe. In this light, one of the theories that have beenused to explain the origin of the universe is the big bang theory.According to Rodney, the big bang may have taken place as eitherindependent phenomena or one initiated, planned and controlled bysome power.3This power, in most logical presumption, is a supreme being. However,on the other side, others argue that the universe is controlled bylaws of physics. In this sense, everything can take place withoutbeing controlled by anyone. Regardless, despite there being nounanimously agreed upon argument about the creator of the universeand ultimately, the existence of a supreme being, most philosophersagree that neither arguments can be ruled out in totality.
CHAPTER 3: ANALYSIS
Kant presents the transcendental dialectic argument, whichcategorically supports the existence of God. This argument usesprinciples of experience, and understanding beyond that experience.4In almost every aspect of human existence, belief is shaped byexperience. Kant’s transcendental dialectic idea purposes that theworld has a beginning, which is enclosed within limits of space.Secondly, every composite substance in the world is not a singleelement, rather, it is made cup of a compound of parts that make thesubstances exist. Kant also argues that causality is conformity withnature’s laws. This means that there is a free casualty, which isguided by inviolable rules. Finally, Kant asserts that thereabsolutely is a being, which if not being part of the world, is thecause of its existence.5He bases this argument on the fact that the world is comprised ofentities that have been undergoing constant change for billions ofyears.
Aquinas supports Kant’s argument for the existence of God in fourways.6Firstly, presents the argument of motion. Given that things are inconstant motion, there has to be some force that initiated theinitial movement, before the other forces and elements took over.This is in support of Kant’s argument from the Newtonian law ofmotion perspective. Secondly, Aquinas supports Kant’s school ofthought for efficient cause. In a world that is shaped by sensiblethings, there has to be a sensible force that put them in place.7Thirdly, Aquinas forwards the argument of possibility and necessity.In this world, there are things that are possible to be, while othersare not. In this sense, people should argue against the existence ofGod, just because it is impossible for them to understand beyondhuman limits. Aquinas also supports Kant’s argument of gradation,which states that there are beings that are more superior to othersin the universe. As such, the most superior one is God himself.Finally, Aquinas backs that teleological argument by Kant, whichassociates all actions with definite reason.
One of Hume’s strongest rebuttals of Kant’s support for theexistence of God is the cosmological argument.8Despite the fact that he does not make a clears rejection for Kant’sargument, he uniformly rejects it due to incoherence of a necessarybeing. Of essence, he maintains that infinite regress is impossible,mainly because it violates the principle of sufficient reason. Healso published Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, where byusing three people, he categorically plays down the idea of theexistence of God.9In this publication, he holds that any real understanding of theexistence of God is unattainable, based on the sole factor that Godcannot be scrutinized. As pertains to the nature of the existence ofthe universe, in the seventh part of the dialogue, Hume insinuatesthat a definite force, a supreme being in this matter, does notnecessarily control the universe as there is no data to confirm thetheories of cosmology.10Finally, Hume asserts that the arguments of a posteriori areinconclusive, and as such, the best option is to regard the matterfrom a priori perspective.11This, according to him, is the declaration of faith.
When considering Kant’s argument that God is necessary, it isconcluded that this predicate is undeniable. However, for someonethat claims that God does not exist, it means that their predicatecancels out all logical attempts at evaluating his existence. At thesame time, Kant’s argument is valid as he presents an equallystrong argument to counter those that do not believe in God’sexistence. When disagreeing with the ontological argument, thepresents the transcendental dialectic, which serves the purpose oflogic in the debate. From his first argument under the transcendentaldialectic school of thought, Kant satisfactorily demonstrates that itis not possible to have the beginning of the world without theexistence of the force that created it.12This force is, consequently, logically, the Supreme Being. At thesame time, Kant’s argument that a supreme being exists, on thebasis of a series of change throughout the years, shows that there isa force that supplies the sense to keep things in order and within acertain framework. This framework is the organization of theuniverse, which scientists have concurred that is well organized.13Aquinas’ support for Kant’s argument can be altogether summedinto religious tolerability and logic approach to philosophy.
Hume presumes that religious belief is man’s propensity toattribute to imaginary forces. While arguing against the existence ofGod in Dialogue Concerning Natural Religion, he maintains thatarguments for design cannot be supported by analytical science. Inthis regard, God is seen as a complex idea, which people have managedto place within their minds and hearts for a very long time. In hisargument, Hume accepts the fact that the universe is organized, andthat there is a certain power that controls and maintains it.However, he only rejects this power to be God without providing analternative explanation. At the same time, by stating that humanreason has no capacity to give evidence for the existence of God,Hume’s argument is rejected. As Kant asserted, just by not beingable to explain a phenomenon is not enough to rule out its existence.As such, Hume can only be regarded as an atheist, who cannotadequately give logical explanation for his denial of the existenceof God.
CHAPTER5: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION5.1Summary
Kant argues that God exists, and to support his stand, heprovides the transcendental dialectic argument. In his argument, hepresents five logical explanations for the existence of a supremebeing, who is in control of humanity and the universe. Kant’sexplanation is well supported by Aquinas, who similarly,categorically explains the logic behind the existence of God.However, Hume presents an argument against the existence of god,particularly by a play known as Dialogue Concerning NaturalReligion. In this publication, he acknowledges the fact that theuniverse is well organized, however, asserts that no human being canconclusively provide evidence for the existence of the organizer,presumably God.
This paper supports Kant’s argument for the existence of God. Heclearly shows that people have a reason to believe in the existenceof an all-powerful supreme being, who is God. This one organizes theuniverse and humanity, and provides for the continuation of the samein a systematized manner. At the same time, it is logical toacknowledge the fact that humanity has no single way of proving theexistence of God, only because its capacity has scientificlimitations. As such, belief, which is the backbone of religion,should provide the way forward for making the conclusion that Godexists.
Bird, Graham, TheRevolutionary Kant: A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason (OpenCourt Publishing, 2013).
Bryne, Peter, Kanton God, (AshgatePublishing, 2013).
Bryne, Peter, Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion: Thelegacy of Deism, (Routledge, 2013).
Dudley, Will and Kristina Engelhard, Immanuel Kant: Key Concepts,(Routledge, 2014).
Fergusson, David, ‘TheAbsence of God and its Contextual Significance for Hume’, Journalof Scottish Philosophy 1(2013), 69-85.
Gardiner, Mark, ‘Semantic Holosm and Methodological Constraints inthe Study of Religion’, International Journal for philosophy ofReligion, (2015).
Holder, Rodney, Big Bang big God: A Universe Designed for life?(Lion Books, 2013).
Kant, Immanuel, ‘A Critiqueof the Ontological Argument’, AnAnthology (2011).
Kenny, Anthony, Five Ways:St. Thomas Aquinas, (Routledge,2014).
Lewis Edwad Andrews, Max, ‘Scientia and Radical Contingency inThomas Aquinas’, Philosophia 1 (2015) 1-12.
M Gervais, Will, M, ‘Override the Controvwersy: AnnalyticThinking Predicts Endorsement of Evolution’, Cognition 142(2015) 312-321.
Tweyman, Stanley, DialoguesConcerning Natural Religion in Focus, (Routledge,2013).
1 Mark Gardiner, ‘Semantic Holosm and Methodological Constraints in the Study of Religion’, International Journal for philosophy of Religion, (2015), 1-19 (p.12).
2 Will M Gervais, ‘Override the Controvwersy: Annalytic Thinking Predicts Endorsement of Evolution’, Cognition 142 (2015) 312-321 (p 312).
3 Rodney Holder, Big Bang big God: A Universe Designed for life? (Lion Books, 2013), p.14.
4 Will Dudley and Kristina Engelhard, Immanuel Kant: Key Concepts, (Routledge, 2014) p.23.
5 Graham Bird, The Revolutionary Kant: A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason (Open Court Publishing, 2013) p.16.
6 Anthony Kenny, Five Ways:St. Thomas Aquinas, (Routledge, 2014), 2.
8 Max Lewis Edwad Andrews, ‘Scientia and Radical Contingency in Thomas Aquinas’, Philosophia 1 (2015) 1-12 (p.3).
9 Peter Bryne, Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion: The legacy of Deism, (Routledge, 2013), p.45.
10 David Fergusson, ‘The Absence of God and its Contextual Significance for Hume’, Jounal of Scottish Philosophy 1 (2013), 69-85 (p. 74).
11 Stanley Tweyman, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion in Focus, (Routledge, 2013), p.23.
12 Immanuel Kant, ‘A Critique of the Ontological Argument’, An Anthology (2011).
13 Peter Bryne, Kant on God, (Ashgate Publishing, 2013), p.27.