Debate over whether or not there is God

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Throughout time there has always been debate over whether or not there is God, and philosophers have been avid participants in this debate. From ancient Greece to modern times there have always been philosophers who seek to prove the existence of God; from Plato, to Aquinas, to Kant, this is an issue that is continually addressed through the ages. Whether or not there is a God is very significant to the world because it provides a deeper reason behind the cogs that form the universe, and implies that there is more to the world than simply the material things that can be physically experienced.

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The existence of a God is also crucial to religions all around the globe, so the possibility to prove that there is a God outside of the context of the religions’ various texts is invaluable when it comes to debating in a secular forum. For all these reasons it must be asked if God exists, and if so, how can it be proven through the lens of philosophy?

Firstly, there is proving the existence of God cosmologically, that is through viewing the cosmos and nature. Plato addresses it this way in his Laws in book ten. Plato states, In the first place, the earth and the sun and the stars and the universe, and the fair order of the senses, and the division of them into years and months, furnish proofs of [the god’s] existence (Hick 72). This shows his belief that there must be some outside source that created the world in such and orderly way. He also addresses the fact that there must be some source for movement in the universe as it is not possible for movement to exist without something initially causing it. He believes that this initial cause is a God (Hick 72). Additionally, Plato says, Then there’s the fact that all Greeks and barbarians believe the gods exist (Plato 281). This once again shows that there must be something that created the world so that everyone shares this innate belief.

The other philosopher who deals with the existence of God cosmologically is Thomas Aquinas. He addresses it in his Five Ways. The first way is the argument from motion, which states that there must be some unmoved mover that began all the motion in the universe (Theological thought 25). The second is that of cause, based on the idea that to take away the cause is to take away the effect (Theological thought 26). This argument posits that God is the uncaused causer who is at the beginning of the continual chain of cause and effect and who has was not caused by something else but rather has simply always existed (Theological thought 26). Way three is that there must be something that has always existed that put everything else into existence.

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