1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Does God Exist? Examining the Question of God's Existence & Nature

Does God Exist? This is one of the principle questions in discussions between atheists and theists - and it is one of the questions which causes some of greatest enmnity among people. You will find here debates between atheists and theists about the existence of gods, arguments against gods and for atheism, and critiques of arguments for gods.
  1. Famous God Quotes
  2. Book Reviews: God
  3. God Polls
  4. What is God? (28)
  5. What is Theology? (14)
  6. Arguments for God (23)
  7. Debating God (23)
  8. Arguments Against God (27)
  9. Theism & Theists (10)

What Do Americans Think About God?
Most Americans believe in God. Most of these theists probably believe that they believe in the same God, although perhaps in different ways and suspecting that others have errors in their beliefs. A study of the actual beliefs which people hold about the god they claim to believe in reveals interesting and consistent differences in exactly what it is that people belief.

Oppressive Male Gods Encourage Domestic Abuse
I've written before that common Christian depictions of God have a lot of similarities to the classic symptoms of an abusive spouse - so many similarities, in fact, that it's not unreasonable to regard the Christian God as an abusive spouse himself...

Flaws in Theistic, Religious Morality: Religion, Theism aren't Needed for Values
Moral values can differ from religion to religion, but there are common themes in religious moral systems which can be identified and criticized. There are flaws in most religious systems of morality and thus a basis for rejecting the idea that religion is necessary for moral values.

Does God Exist? Overview of Resources on the Existence of God & Debates
A common question which atheists hear a lot is 'why don't you believe in God?' Theists, religious or not, have trouble imagining why anyone would not believe in at least some sort of god, preferably their own. When a belief occupies such a central place in a person's life and even identity, this is understandable. The fact is, there are many...

God: Author of Iniquity or Only Good Fortune?
It's awfully common for people to attribute all their good fortune to God; for some strange reason, though, they don't also blame God for any of their ill fortune. Why does this inconsistency exist? Why praise God for saving a single person in a disaster but not blame God for the dozens or hundreds killed in the same incident?

Faith in God, Faith in Mumbo Jumbo
When Christians say that they have faith in God, what do they mean? Do they know what they mean? Do they even meaning anything at all? Perhaps not - their statement can only be regarded as sensible and reasonable if they can distinguish having faith in God from having faith in Mumbo Jumbo, but how many are able to manage this?

Religion and God: Comforting or Challenging?
Does it make more sense to think that if a god exists, our belief in it is something that should comfort us and make us feel better about ourselves, or that if a god exists, our belief in it should challenge us and force us to reconsider what we value and want? I don't believe in any gods, but if any existed, they'd be different enough that the latter strikes me as far more plausible.

Where Are the Moral Believers? Rebellion Against God as a Monster
When it comes to the question of God's existence (in the context of traditional, philosophical theism), there appear to be two options: belief or disbelief (which might include denial). Those who believe in this god also believe that it is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent source of morality and grace. The option of believing, but denying that God is good, is ignored.

God as Cause: Why God Cannot Explain the Universe
It is popular among theists to think not only that their god caused the universe to exist, but in fact that the existence of their god is necessary to explain and understand the existence of the universe. This belief may seem intuitively sound and strong, but the truth is that sorts of gods which theists believe in simply cannot explain the universe.

Would You Kill My Kids? Questioning Orders from God
Many Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe that their religion and their god is the only valid source of morality. Why? Because they believe that their god is the author of morality and whatever their god tells them is, necessarily, moral - disobedience, in contrast, is by definition sinful and immoral. But what if their god commands them to kill?

God as an Omnipotent, Controlling Bully
A common argument against the existence of God is that omnipotence is incompatible with being all-loving, given how much evil there is in the world. There is another problem with this depiction of God, though: how can there be real and genuine love if God is in complete control of everything? When a person attempts to totally control another, we don't usually accept that as love.

Theists Misunderstanding Science: Unexplained vs. Unexplainable
Many theistic arguments in defense of the existence of a god involve arguing that certain events that haven't been fully explained by naturalistic science are unexplainable in principle by naturalistic science. Thus, the only "explanation" available is the supernatural, establishing a justification for believing in a god.

Is God Perfectly Evil? Defending the Depravity of God
Many Christians and other religious theists like to point to marvelous aspects of life or nature in order to 'prove' that God is perfectly good. After all, isn't everything in life wonderful? Well, actually, it's not - there are lots of awful things about life which might arguably point to the existence of a perfectly evil god.

God or god? To capitalize or not to Capitalize
How should you spell the word 'god' - should it be capitalized or not? Which is correct, god or God? Many atheists use a lowercase 'g' while theists, particularly Jews, Christians, and Muslims, always capitalize the 'G'. Who is right?

Does God Matter?
The question of whether or not some sort of god exists is not one which should necessarily occupy the minds of atheists all of the time. Theists - especially Christians - regularly challenge us with arguments and ideas which supposedly demonstrate that their god definitely exists. But prior to that, there is an even more important issue to...

Question of God
Can something as serious as a debate over the existence of God and its consequences for humanity be turned into superficial pap? That may be the case with the new PBS show "The Question of God" which presents the debate with two of the worst representatives of their respective positions: Freud for atheism and C.S. Lewis for theism.

Signs of God?
Theists claim to find signs and evidence of god all around us - in trees, clouds, and in life itself. We must ask, however, whether such interpretations of nature are reliable enough to take very seriously. After all, unless we know what we mean by "God," how can we justifiably say that something is a "sign" of God rather than a "sign" of something else entirely?

Lowering Standards for Belief
One of the basic features of Pascal's Wager is that it asks one to accept a belief on much lower standards than is typically used for accepting other beliefs. Why? Because of the perceived danger of being wrong. Does such risk really justify lowered epistemic standards?

Six Reasons to Believe in God
There are a lot of works of Christian apologetics available - some of it decent, some of it awful. Unfortunately, a significant amount of apologetics falls firmly in the "awful" camp, apparently written by people who really don't understand philosophy, logic, or science. Even worse, few Christians seem to be able to distinguish between the two types.

Does God Value Free Will?
A common Christian argument in defense of the existence of evil in the world revolves around free will: God values our free will so much that even the existence of evil caused by free will is better than an absence of evil and an absence of free will. But just how much could such a god value free will anyway?

Unsupported Premise in the Kalam Cosmological Argument
Dr. William Lane Craig's 'Kalam Cosmological Argument' is one of the more sophisticated and (in some circles) popular arguments for the existence of God. Unfortunately, like so many other theistic arguments, it suffers from a fatal flaw that the author prefers to gloss over instead of address directly.

Platonism and Western Religion
Many people think that a fundamental disagreement between religion and irreligion involves the concept of gods - but they are wrong. Much more fundamental than that are basic metaphysical positions about the nature of humanity and the nature of the universe. These separate people much more than theism or atheism do.

Mystical vs. Aesthetic Beliefs
What are we to make of mystical experiences? For some, a mystical experience is an immediate and powerful reason to believe in things like gods and angels. Others, however, argue that they should be taken with a huge grain of salt and don't necessarily warrant uncritical acceptance.

Evil vs. Omnipotence
Is the existence of evil compatible with the existence of an omnipotent god with the ability to desire to eliminate evil? That seems unlikely and many antitheological arguments have been based upon just that. A solid argument makes the existence of the traditional God unlikely at best - and belief in it unreasonable.

Can You Be Commanded to Worship?
A great many Christians treat belief in their god to be virtuous while atheism is simply disregarded as vice. Such a position may not, however, be entirely consistent with certain common ideas regarding the nature of morality - for example, the Divine Command Theory.

Recently Reviewed Books on Atheism
Atheism is often misunderstood and sometimes reviled - but it deserves neither. There aren't a great number of books which really do a good job at explaining what it is and help people to understand what it is about.

Recent Books on Gods, God, and Divinity
Does God exist? If there is a God, or any gods, what are they like? Did they creat the world or humanity? Are they a source for morality? Every year there are a number of new books about gods and belief in gods - what are they are are any of them worth reading?

The Universe Does Not Require Gods
The concept of 'god' can mean many different things - or perhaps it can mean anything, given the apparent limitless number of characteristics which various believers assign to their gods. Any time someone asks you why you don't believe in any gods, make sure you ask them what they mean by 'god' in the first place.

God & Goodness: Can God's Goodness be Judged by Humans?
It is common for Christians and adherents of other major religions like Islam and Judaism it describe their god as "good" or even 'perfectly good.' At the same time, though, it is obvious to even the most casual observer that there is a great deal of evil in the world.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.