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Appendix 2 - Arguments for the existence of God

Common consent argument for God’s existence  also known as the  consensus gentium argument, the attempt to prove the existence of God by appeal to the universally held belief in all cultures in all ages that there is a God ( of some kind or other). This is the argument holding that God exists on the grounds that there is universal consent, (belief, assent, assurance).

Argument from design  sometimes simply the design argument.1 Kant refers to it as the physico- theological argument.  Refers to any of the wide assortment of arguments for God’s existence that rely on apparently purposeful design in the universe, to prove the existence of a God , that is a cosmic mind (designer)

Teleological argument for the existence of God embodied in a variety of forms , among them the following: 1. order (purpose, design, pattern) exists in the universe. Order cannot exist without an orderer. Therefore God exists as the source of that order. 2. things move toward goals; they struggle to complete themselves. God exist as the intelligent being that a.) impels things toward their goals. , sets up the goals,and c.) desigs the means by which these goals are to be attained. 3. the universe as a whole has a purpose to which it is struggling.  God exists as the creator and the sustainer of that purpose.

Ontological argument for God’s existence

The following from the  Proslogion is the main version of the ontological argument for God’s existence found in Anselm: 1. God is “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” (aliquod quo nihil maius cogitari posit). 2. God cannot be “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” only in intellectu  (in our mind, in the intellect, in our understanding); otherwise God would not be “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” ( since that which exist  both in reality and in our mind is greater than that which exists only in our mind) 3. if God is “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” can be thought as part of our understanding, God must also be conceived  to exist in  reality, which is something greater ; otherwise , that something “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”  thought of as existing in reality as well, would be greater than the one conceived only in our understanding- and that conception would thus be God, since God is “that than which nothing greater can be conceived.”

Ontological argument for God’s existence (Descartes)

The several ontological arguments for God’s existence that can be found in Descartes’ writings. Of the three presented here. The first and the second are pure forms of the ontological argument ( bthe first being a condensed and simplified version of Anslem’s ontological argument), and the third has a tinge of the causal argument mixed with it. (The third argument is presented in two parts) 1. God is the completely perfect being. Existence is necessary for anything to be completely perfect. Therefore, God exists as the completely perfect being ( for if God did not exist, God would not be the completely perfect being, which God is.) 2. The essence of God is existence, just as the essence of a triangle  is a plane figure composed of three straight lines  joined together to form three angles equal to 180 degrees. One cannot think of a triangle without thinking of that essence. On cannot think of that essence without thinking of a triangle. The two necessarily go together. So whenever one thinks of God, one thinks of God’s existence, and whenever one thinks of existence one thinks of God. The two go together necessarily.

Whenever we think of God without existence we contradict ourselves. Therefore  God must exist ( any other conclusion leads to a contradiction in terms.) 3.  Part I:  I have an idea of God as a perfect infinite being. As a finite being I could not have cause this idea in me. The cause of this idea is greater than in reality and power than its effect. Therefore, God exists as this greater reality and power to produce upon my finite mind the idea of an infinite  and completely perfect Being. Part II  : I could not have caused myself (It requires more reality, power, and perfection to create substance than, for example, to create attributes, qualities , or properties). If I could have created (caused) myself , I would have given myself perfect attributes (which no finite being has). I have not existed eternally,  nor do I have the power  to maintain existence from moment to moment. I cannot say that I was caused only by my parents ( who were caused by other parents,etc.). It is necessary, therefore to assume that an eternal, infinitely powerful, perfect God exists who is both the cause  of my being and who implants the idea of God in my mind as well as in the minds of my parents, their parents, etc.

Cosmological argument for God’s existence

1. any of the arguments that proceed from what are regarded as observed facts about the universe, such as motion, cause, contingency, order, to the conclusion that God exists as the origin of and ground for these facts, such as  prime mover, first cause, necessary being, and orderer.  Proceeds from an analysis of the existence of things to the existence of  God. And to one or more of God’s characteristics. This is in contrast with the ontological argument for God’s existence, which proceeds from the acceptance of the definition of God (God’s essence) to God’s existence. 2. A cosmological argument may refer to any argument for God’s existence based on the derivative and dependant nature of the universe upon something other than itself; based on the contingency of the universe and its utter dependence on a necessary being (God) who begins, supports, and maintains it ( as the sound of the harp is dependent on a harpist).

All cosmological arguments stress a.) the behind-the-scene activity of this necessary being and b.) how different from the universe in essential characteristics that necessary being (God) is. God is nondependent, whereas the universe is dependent on God. God is self-moving, whereas the universe has motion imparted to it. God is eternal whereas the universe has a beginning in time. God is self actualized, whereas the universe is in a state of potential being partially actualized in time. God is immutable (unchanging), whereas the universe is in continual change.

1 The “Design Argument”is also used by Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad Gita
Prabhupada is using  what is known as the “design argument”, that behind the universal order there is God to uphold it all. In one sense  Krishna Himself is using the argument by  confirming in  the Bhagavad Gita, that He is actively involved in  sustaining the universe and that without Him everything would disintegrate.

“There is no reason to believe that all the gigantic planets float in space without the superior arrangement of a superior intelligence. This subject is clearly dealt with in the Bhagavad-gétä (15.13), where the Personality of Godhead says, “I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit.” Were the planets not held in the grip of the Personality of Godhead, they would all scatter like dust in the air.” CC Adi 2.10 pp.