Forthcoming Series on Apologetics

Objective: It is my intent to show that the formal arguments for the existence of God embodied in the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Fine Tuning Argument, the Argument from Morality, and the Argument against Naturalism all fall prey to lack of empirical grounding and fallacious reasoning.

Disclaimer: As a person who doesn’t set stock by blind faith, I still say that there are elements of faith in God which cannot be formally debunked. Arguments from personal divine revelation, for example, represent highly subjective, anecdotal experiences that make few formal claims and therefore do not lend themselves to formal critique. Whereof one does not know, thereof one must be silent. The Divine Simulation argument may also represent an acceptable basis for supporting theism.

A Preliminary Note on Ontological Arguments

Many apologists attempt to prove the existence of divine beings or divine influence using Ontological Arguments. Ontological arguments are intended to draw an a priori inference about the existence of a real-world entity. These are typically constructed by taking a few basic premises believed to be true about the state of the world and using them to logically infer that a real-world entity must or must not exist.

Truth and validity are two different properties of a logical argument, and in practice, correct ontological arguments only demonstrate their own validity. This is because ontological arguments typically cannot demonstrate that there is no situation under which their conclusion could be untrue. In other words, valid ontological conclusions must be warranted in order to be convincing. It is because of this issue that ontological arguments are often not even addressed by philosophers- they are viewed as uninteresting exercises in world-building, not undeniable arguments which warrant addressing.

An ontological argument for the existence of God often takes the form of an explanation. Typically, the goal of the arguer is to make the case that a particular characteristic about the world can only be explained by invoking God. The arguer must show that God is absolutely warranted, and that no other possible explanation is warranted.

Few ontological arguments for divinity are “pure” ontological arguments. Most include significant a posterioribacked reasoning in order to disprove other possible explanations in favor of leaving God as the sole warranted explanation. Unfortunately, many such arguers either misapprehend modern scientific explanations or commit fallacies in the process.