Existence of God
Countless arguments have been proposed in attempt to prove the existence of God. Some of the most notable arguments are the 5 Ways of Aquinas, the Argument from Desire proposed by C.S. Lewis, the Lord, Lunatic or Liar Trilemma by C.S. Lewis, and the Ontological Argument formulated both by St. Anselm and Descartes. Even to theists, these proofs are heavily debated. Some, such as the Ontological Argument, are highly controversial among theists. Aquinas spends a section of his treatise on God refuting St. Anselm's proof.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow state in their book, The Grand Design, that it is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. Both authors claim however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.
Albert Einstein said 'behind everything is order', which has been interpreted as him expressing a belief in the existence of God.
Some theologians, such as the scientist and theologian A.E. McGrath, argue that the existence of God cannot be adjudicated on for or against by using scientific method. Agnostic Stephen Jay Gould argues that science and religion are not in conflict and do not overlap.
There are many philosophical issues concerning the existence of God. Some definitions of God are sometimes nonspecific, while other definitions can be self-contradictory. Arguments for the existence of God typically include metaphysical, empirical, inductive, and subjective types, while others revolve around perceived holes in evolutionary theory and order and complexity in the world.
Arguments against the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Conclusions reached include: the view that "God does not exist" (strong atheism); the view that "God almost certainly does not exist" (de facto atheism); the view that "no one knows whether God exists" (agnosticism); the view that "God exists, but this cannot be proven or disproven" (weak theism); and the view that "God exists and this can be proven" (strong theism). There are numerous variations on these positions.
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“This seems to be advanced as the surest basis for our belief in the existence of gods, that there is no race so uncivilized, no one in the world so barbarous that his mind has no inkling of a belief in gods.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)
“The longer we live the more we must endure the elementary existence of men and women; and every brave heart must treat society as a child, and never allow it to dictate.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written.”
—Bible: Hebrew Psalms 149:5-9.
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—Milan Kundera (b. 1929)