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in category Falsafa (Philosophy)

Can the existence of God be proven rationally?

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God is a self-evident truth:

Just like the belief that the past was once the present, the existence of a creator is also a self-evident truth.

Universal

The basic underlying idea of a creator is universal/cross-cultural. It is not contingent on culture but transcends it, like the belief in causality and the existence of other minds. For example, the idea of other people having minds exists in all cultures, a belief held by most rational people. The existence of God or a supernatural cause is a universally held belief and not the product of one specific culture.

Untaught

Self-evident truths do not need to be taught or learnt. For example, for me to know what spaghetti is, I require information of western cuisine and Italian culture. I cannot know what spaghetti is merely by reflecting on it. By contrast, you do not require any information, whether from culture or education, to know a creator for things exists. This may be the reason why sociologists and anthropologists argue that even if atheist children were stranded on a desert island, they would come to believe that something created the island. Our understanding of God differs, but the underlying belief in a cause or creator is based on our own reflections.

Self-evident truths do not require external information. The idea that monsters exist, or even that spaghetti exists, requires information transfer. No one acquires knowledge of monsters or spaghetti by their own intuitions or introspection. Therefore, the spaghetti monster is not a self-evident truth; thus, the comparison with God cannot be made.

Natural

Belief in some type of supernatural designer or cause is based on the natural functioning of the human psyche. The classical scholar Ibn Taymiyyah explained that "affirmation of a Maker is firmly-rooted in the hearts of all men... it is from the binding necessities of their creation...."

The 12th century scholar Al-Raghib al- Asfahani similarly asserts that knowledge of God "is firmly-rooted in the soul". As well as the Islamic position, a wealth of research in various fields supports the conclusion that we are meant to see the world as created and designed.

Intuitive

The existence of a creator is the most intuitive interpretation of the world. It is easy to understand without explicit instruction. Human beings have an affinity to attribute causes to things all the time and the entire cosmos is one of those things. When someone perceives design and order in the universe, the intuitive conclusion is that there is a designer. To make that person change their mind, valid evidence is required to justify the counter-intuitive view.

- Tzortzis, The Divine Reality


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