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    Rationalizing the Existence of God and Religion

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    Please help explain the following questions:

    i) Is proof for the existence of God necessary?
    ii) Which argument for the existence of God is strongest? Why?
    iii) What are the foundations of the universe and from where did the universe emerge?
    iv) Can one be moral and not believe in God?
    v) Are science and religion in conflict?
    vi) Can God's omniscience and human free will be reconciled?
    vii) Is there a rational argument for atheism?

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    i) Is proof for the existence of God necessary?

    "Proof" in the sense of a mathematical formula is not possible. God is not a thing among things. God is infinite, not enclosed in space, fully omnipotent. Just with these attributes, no human vocabulary can approach God with any kind of justification.

    This does not mean there are not logical or deductive suggestions of God's existence. St. Augustine, for example, made the claim that since absolute truth exists, then a source for this truth must exist. That means a being is extant who can create and system something absolute, unchanging and eternal. Since something cannot give what it does not have, God exists. This is far from a purely logical proof, but it is highly suggestive.

    Proof from a scientific point of view is problematic for several reasons. First, any proposition can be rationalized and "evidence" found for it. None of that makes it true. Second, for God to show Himself unambiguously to mankind would lead to the destruction of free will. Moral virtue would disappear since God would be obviously present.

    Third, the existence of an absolute proof will not convince many people. It is highly doubtful that human beings come to the beliefs they have through the jotting down of significant logical equations, metaphysical postulates, and rational evidence. Any proof, fourth, must be based on language, which is inherently ambiguous. It can easily be manipulated into the desires of both the believer and the non-believer.

    Hence, there is no mathematical proof for God, since he is the ground for any proof whatsoever. A materialist holds, exclusively on faith, that the world outside his senses is rel, and that his senses register what is really out there. That a materialist's logical categories are absolute and eternal is another postulate of faith. These are axiomatic because without them, there could be no proofs of any kind.

    Johansen , K.F (1999) A History of Ancient Philosophy: From the Beginning to Augustine. Routledge. Cf especially pages 616-617

    ii) Which argument for the existence of God is strongest? Why?

    Michael Behe's argument for "irreducible complexity" is a powerful argument for the design of the universe and hence, God's existence as this powerful designer. He is a professor of biology at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. His famous Darwin's Black Box, Behe defines this complexity like this:

    By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. (Darwin's Black Box, 1996, 39).

    This argument is essential because it harms materialism's desire to base all on matter and determined change. Yet, this cannot hold water. For example, a single bacterium possesses a whip like "tail" called a "flagella." This serves as a "motor" of sorts that, of itself, requires the simultaneous cooperation of 50 separate protein pieces. The absence of any of these parts will force the cell to stop functioning. This motor permits the cell to translate energy into productive work within the body. The point is that, if any of these proteins were not in place, and cooperating in precisely the delicate way they must, the cell cannot function, or at least, cannot function to near its full capacity.

    This is only one example. One can make the macro-argument that the entire cosmos is one organism, with each part reinforcing the other parts. Remove one force or object, the entire mechanism breaks down. The obvious conclusion is that these structures had to be created as is, since they could not have developed in pieces.

    Behe, M (1996) Darwin's Black Box. Simon and Schuster
    ____ (March, 1997) The Sterility of Darwinism. Boston Review

    iii) What are the foundations of the universe and from where did the universe emerge?

    The foundations of the universe are ideal. Nature follows very specific laws. Laws had to predate the existence of matter, or else pure chaos would still remain. Order, by definition does not come out of chaos unless a countervailing power makes it so. The Ideas in Plato's sense have been reduced in the ancient Christian ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines rationalizing existence of god and religion.