A new proof of the existence of God

Proofs of the existence of God have fallen on hard times. We are far from the days when Anselm could berate the Fool for his failure to see that God’s existence was inherent in the very concept of God, and even from the heyday of Aquinas’s “five ways” to prove the existence of a Creator. Anthony and I have, however, devised a new proof of the existence of God that is not only fully rigorous, but also reflects much of the thinking underlying Christian practice today — a stirring example of faith completing reason. It goes as follows:

  1. We see all around us that the world is awash in sinful and perverse acts.
  2. Now God is the only standard by which we can know these acts as sinful and perverse.
  3. If God did not exist, then the sinful and perverse would be completely acceptable.
  4. But this is absurd — and therefore God must exist.

All we need now is a catchy name like “the teleological argument” or “the argument from design.” Perhaps the “argument from homophobia”?

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17 Responses to “A new proof of the existence of God”

  1. Anthony Paul Smith Says:

    With apologetics like this who could resist! I bet we could publish this with one of the CoTP’s series, especially now that they are semi-officially supporting the Tory party.

  2. Alex Says:

    Sorry, this argument has already been claimed by, among others, William Lane Craig. It’s a riff on the argument from morality.

  3. Alex Says:

    But you could add Bayesian logic to make it really fly…

  4. James Says:

    Non comprendo – is this a spoof? Obviously just a reverse spin version of the moral argument, which is dubious in any case because the modus ponens premise asserts precisely what is at issue. By the way to clean up though you would need to amend “sinful” in premise 1 to avoid another whiff of petitio principii. How do you like this slightly spoof version I came up with:

    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
    2. If objective moral values do not exist, the problem of evil and innocent suffering cannot be a coherent philosophical problem.
    3. But the problem of evil and innocent suffering is a coherent philosophical problem. (MP)
    4. Therefore, objective moral values exist. (2,3)
    5. Therefore, God exists. (1,2,3)

    Again, the MP limb is the weak link here, but I think it is successful against any interlocutor who asserts the problem of evil and innocent suffering is a problem.

  5. Adam Kotsko Says:

    It’s a spoof — the “How’s that working out for you — being clever?” was intended as a giveaway that I was joking.

  6. Anthony Paul Smith Says:

    I don’t think anyone here is too into the actual logic.

  7. James Says:

    Thanks – I was a little puzzled given the continental drift of your blog. Don’t think the logic works in any case.

  8. Alex Says:

    James,

    That argument also comes up in the literature.

  9. James Says:

    Great minds like a think.

  10. Kampen Says:

    I’m reminded of this quote I once read: “Modern philosophy began with Descartes and inevitably led to Kant, which inevitably led to Nietzsche and the end of philosophy. If philosophy is to exist apart form Christ, it must be naive and speculative, like Plato. Evil trumps Plato; Jesus wins.”

  11. Mikhail Emelianov Says:

    Jesus always wins anyway…

  12. Dave Mesing Says:

    I used to be pretty into Logic, but then I got the Verso swimsuit calender…

  13. ben Says:

    Actually the weak point in James’ argument is the second premise, not the third.

  14. James Says:

    I think they’re both pretty weak actually.

  15. Here at last, a (slightly) new proof for the existence of God « Stalin's Moustache Says:

    [...] We see all around us that the world is awash in sinful and perverse acts. [...]

  16. steph Says:

    well I must be a god then. If I can decide what I think is good and bad, and it’s quite different from lots of other people’s decisions about good and bad, then more than one God exists – gods exist but we’re all gods.

    so what – it’s only as bad as the homophobic argument ;-)

  17. remy Says:

    i prefer Zizek’s rendering: There is a God, so everything is permissible.


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