Is it possible to prove the existence of God? Throughout time many philosophers have been searching for an answer to creation and whether it is actually possible to prove (or not prove) if God exists. Some of the philosophers include Thomas Aquinas, William Paley and Blaise Pascal they came up with various different theories and arguments to prove the existence of God and why they believed he did exist. Another philosopher Karl Marx thought that his theory could convince people not to believe in God.
One philosopher, Thomas Aquinas believed that God did exist and that he could prove this simply by arguing that the Universe could not have been made by nothing at all, saying that it was impossible for something to come from nothing. He believed that the universe was caused to exist by something which itself is uncaused, or else there would be an infinite regress. He thought that the only way to explain the start of the universe in a rational way was to say that it was created by God.
I think that Aquinas may be right, but I doubt that he is right as he is saying that God was created by nothing but I feel that something must have created God and therefore there must have been an infinite regress. There is also no solid evidence or proof that God does exist and since there isn’t I think that not even Aquinas is 100% sure that God exists. Also, Aquinas’ theory seems rather contradictory as he says that the Universe must be caused by something and cannot just simply be made by nothing but that God is an uncaused causer.
Another Philosopher, William Paley, like Aquinas was convinced that God does exist and that he could prove it. Paley ‘invented’ the thought experiment to encourage people to agree with him that God exists. He called his argument that Teleological argument (coming from the Greek word ‘telas’ meaning purpose). Story Imagine you are walking across open countryside with some friends. Then you suddenly come across something lying on the grass. You are so impressed with the workmanship that you are your friend. Who do you think made this watch? ” The friend says”Nobody made this watch it was always there” Paley said that the universe, like a watch is too complicated and intelligently designed to have no creator. Paley used the Analogy of the watch to argue the existence of God. Paley argues that if a simple watch has a creator then the universe, which is so much more complicated and in some ways more beautiful than a watch must have a creator and that creator must be God.
I think that Paley’s theory does seem reasonable but I do not fully agree with it completely. I think that the world must have a creator but not necessarily God anything could have been the creator and that the creator might not be Omnipotent, Omnibonevelant and Omniscient the creator could have simply just created the universe and then just left it or done nothing else to it. Another philosopher who also likes Aquinas and Paley ‘believed’ in God and thought that he could use his theory to encourage others to do so was Blaise Pascal.
However, Pascal’s theory was very different to Aquinas and Paley’s. Pascal believed that God’s existence can neither be approved nor disapproved and whatever you decide about this problem will be uncertain and that your answer can be nothing more than a gamble. Pascal said that you cannot avoid making a gamble on God’s existence and you have to place your bet whether you like it or not. Pascal soon came to the conclusion that it would be better to believe that God existed than not to as you will not lose anything by doing so.
He thought that if you believed that God existed and then after your death he actually did you would have a big gain by going to heaven. If, however God didn’t exist and you believed that you did you would not lose anything apart from some of your time praying and going to religious places etc. Pascal also thought that if you did not believe in God and came to know after your death that he did you would be most likely to go to hell therefore have a big loss. He called his theory Pascal’s wager.
I strongly disagree with Pascal’s theory mainly because he only believed in God for selfish reasons and wanted people to believe in God only because of the happiness they would get in heaven which is not the actual idea. Also I think that God does not decide to put people in heaven and hell based on whether they believe or not but by the good deeds they have done in their life, so people who believe in God just for reasons like Pascal’s probably would not go to heaven anyway. I think that Pascal seems rather greedy to believe in God just to go to heaven after his death.
The last philosopher I’m going to talk about is Karl Marx. Marx thought that that “Religion is a tool of oppression” meaning that Religion is something that you do not actually need but use to distract yourself from other things and something that someone just gets pleasure and happiness from. So he thought that everyone should just reject religion and this would make people aware of their own true situation and this may give them a chance to improve the conditions in which they live.
Marx used quotes from the bible to back up quotes from the bible to back up his theory. “Blessed are the poor in spirit… inherit the earth” Marx would argue that this quote is trying to say that it is not the rich and powerful who are most fortunate but actually the poor, as they will go to heaven because of all the suffering they have endured. He would say that the poor are often given quotes like this to make them content with their own miserable lives and that religion makes a virtue of poverty and meekness and unacceptable lives have been glamorised.
Therefore I do not agree with Marx argument mainly because his theory may have been applicable at that time but it is not now, as people do not use religion just to have a distraction or something to comfort them when everything else is a mess. To conclude I think that although there are many different theories for whether God exists or not it is not actually possible to prove that God exists and that if you believe in God you should not just believe that he exists because of some theory but because you actually believe he exists and want to believe in him.
Although it is probably not possible to prove whether God exists or not (unless he came down to earth and told everyone) the most convincing way would be to experience a miracle. Miracles can prove that God exists to a certain amount because most miracles would be far too big to be just a coincidence. Even though there are many stories about miracles in the news and in religious books such as the bible you cannot actually be sure until you experience one yourself. Miracles may not prove that God as people know him exists (Omnipotent, Omnibonevelant and Omniscient etc) but they do prove that there is an all powering/ supernatural being.