Arguments for and against…
Terry Dashner……………..Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013
I’m going to lay it on line for you. I’m going to tell you what they say regarding existence of God. And then I’ll conclude my remarks by telling you what I say about arguments. So here I go.
I begin with ancient Greeks.
Aristotle gave us most systematic expression of reasons for believing in God. His philosophy, in turn, influenced doctrine of Roman Catholic Church and its greatest theologian—St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas, you might remember, gave us five proofs of God’s existence: Motion—things grow and develop by a hidden hand in nature (God); Causation—one thing causes another until you reach first cause of all things which is God; Possibility and necessity—things exist in a network of relationships. Everything is dependent on something, except God. Gradation of being—the universe is a pyramid of beings at different levels of perfection. From worms to man to angels to God there is a continuum of creatures. And number five is Governance of world—design in universe speaks of a rational, caring, and orderly God.
Thomas’ A Posteriori Proofs (proving God’s existence by external things) stood solid throughout Middle Ages and into Reformation, but 19th century turned things upside down. Philosophers like Hume and Kant tore into argument of design with a vengeance. Kant affirmed that most it could prove was that universe had an architect. To convert architect into God, a theologian would have to add ontological argument. Later on scientists began attacking it. Scientists claimed that design in universe is appearance but not reality and make their appeal to Darwin or evolution. They concede that hands and eyes of man are engineering marvels but emphatically claim that they are products of millions of years of evolution.
But Darwinism isn’t every scientist’s rave. Evolution is refuted by biologists who say that there isn’t enough time for evolution to take place by purely natural or chance factors within two billion years that life is supposed to have existed on earth. It takes greater faith then theologian’s to believe that a bucket of dirt can evolve into a horse in a matter of ages. Then again evolutions counter: The giraffe must grow a long neck to reach leaves he feeds on; deer must develop long slender legs for running faster than his predator. These intra related connections speak of survival and adaptation of fittest. But on other hand, in cosmic teleology no such connections exist. Evolution fails again. There is no necessary connection between distance of earth from sun and amount of nitrogen on surface of earth. Again, to resort to probability or chance variation to produce these conditions calls for a greater miracle and a greater act of faith than believing in God (Bernard L. Ramm, A Christian Appeal to Reason, World Books Publishers 1972).