Can we 100% prove the existence of God, due to the impossibility of the contrary?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by gangelo, Mar 24, 2017.

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  1. gangelo

    gangelo Puritan Board Freshman

    Can we 100% prove the existence of God, due to the impossibility of the contrary?

    Doesn't the presuppositional argument for the existence of God basically boil down to the Christian theistic worldview being the only worldview that makes rational sense?

    For example, Christian theists can make rational sense of Universal Abstract Entities (UAE)** such as the Laws of Logic and Morality, as well as the Uniformity of Nature. Conversely, the Atheist cannot make sense of these, because atheists cannot rationally account for UAE's in their purely materialistic universe. The Muslim, for example, cannot make sense of these either, because the Koran portrays "Allah" as capricious in nature; therefore, the Uniformity of Nature, Laws of Logic and Morality cannot rationally be considered universal or invariant, so on, and so forth.

    However, if the Christian theist is left with the only worldview that rationally "makes sense" of the aforementioned, does this 100% prove the existence of God? If something makes rational sense, by virtue, must it also reflect reality? At best, doesn't this simply make the rational argument for the existence of God irrefutable, as opposed to the existence of God irrefutable?

    Either way, I know there is no amount of "proof" the atheist, muslim, etc., will accept regarding the existence of God without their presuppositions changing, and that through regeneration; I'm asking from a purely rational point of view.

    ** That which is transcendental, universal, invariant, self-evident?
     
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    As Christians, we will argue that the best (true) explanation for everything, including a religious component, is Christianity. We should hardly be committed to truth otherwise. There is some rationalism there, but it isn't pure rationalism. It can't be, if Christianity as a revealed religion is true. We believe in some things that are not, and could never be, rationally determined.

    We are opposed to strict contradiction, because God is Truth itself, and insists that we cleave to him and withdraw from the false. But where we cannot connect the truths we admit, we resolve them in him, in his supra-rational (to us) Being; that is, in Utter Rationality. We rest in revelation, not in our mental ability or agility.

    "The impossibility of the contrary" IOC argument is one of never ending induction. We can never "prove" the existence of God (something Scripture says is already known by everyone with certainty at the deepest level) 100%, other than to say that in an endless stream of challenges, Christian theism will always come out on top. That is our *faith* commitment.

    You have (I think) correctly distinguished between the argument and the Subject. But, unless you are simply dealing with the strongest of rationalist skeptics, who will forever draw a hard boundary between the mind and reality, at some point the philosophy (argument) should connect with reality. Otherwise, it is just language games. If any argument simply and ever only affirms an abstraction, it has no "real world" impact beyond pragmatism or utilitarianism--neither of which is interested in "truth" as such.

    Our interest in good arguments for God, for demolishing strongholds, is for reducing men to a place where they either surrender to God; or are left with no excuse on the Day of Judgment for why they did not surrender. We want to see our opponents leave off being enemies of God (and their better judgment), and devote themselves from the heart to aligning their minds and their lives in the real world.

    The IOC effort needs to be paired with detailed study of the internal structure of alternate belief-systems. If these did not have some semblance of coherence, they would have no relative power in the world (rational creatures would not adhere in great numbers); they would not stick around for long, coming apart due to various torques. Our apologetical task is to exacerbate and exploit the weaknesses of each false system. This is the "internal critique."

    Many times, our Christian explanations of things do not make a dent in the alternative explanations held by others. Why? Because the others' beliefs are backstopped by still other commitments. The belief we are challenging is not "irrationally" held, so long as it is a "rational" conclusion--it is true IFF the premises that support it are true.

    The internal critique is aimed at revealing the essential incompatibility of various deeper commitments, such that the conclusion can only be maintained by the "cognitive dissonance" resulting from keeping it at variance to what one knows better at the deeper level. This "cognitive dissonance' (we think) is ultimately dissatisfying and also ruining of what man's mind is meant for.
     
  3. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    People can change on a rational level without regeneration. There have been nominal Christians who have believed and acted on the basis of historical faith in the facts of Christian revelation without believing and acting on the basis of a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This just goes to show that apologetics is not saving faith. Apologetics is useful in its place for showing that there are sound reasons for of our beliefs, and that we are serious in engaging in public discourse on matters which bear on the welfare of men and societies, but ultimately we do not believe because of apologetics.

    When we speak to an atheist we can treat him nominally or really. Nominally he calls himself an atheist, and so the argument must assume certain forms to address his particular claims. But the Scripture has already made a moral judgment concerning one who says there is no God. He is a fool. We do not ultimately regard him as entitled to hold his opinion that there is no God. If there were no God the so-called atheist would not exist, let alone have any opinion on anything. But because we seriously seek the good of the atheist we answer him as best we can "lest he be wise in his own conceit."
     
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