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Encyclopedia > Existence of God
Part of a series on
God

General approaches
Agnosticism · Atheism · Deism
Henotheism · Ignosticism · Misotheism
Monism · Monotheism · Nontheism
Pandeism · Panentheism · Pantheism
Polytheism · Theism · Transcendence
Theology (natural • political • mystical) This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... “Atheist” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ... Henotheism (Greek heis theos one god) is a term coined by Max Müller, to mean devotion to a single God while accepting the existence of other gods. ... Ignosticism is a word coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine to indicate one of two related views about the existence of God. ... Misotheism-greek (μίσος miso-hate, theism- of God, from Greek Θεός theos)-literally hatred of God or Gods. ... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Pandeism (Greek πάν, pan = all and Latin deus = God, in the sense of deism), is a term used at various times to describe religious beliefs. ... Panentheism (from Greek (pân) all; (en) in; and (Theós) god; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... In religion, transcendence is a condition or state of being that surpasses, and is independent of, physical existence. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Natural theology is the knowledge of God accessible to all rational human beings without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation. ... Political theology is a branch of both political philosophy and theology that investigates the ways in which theological concepts or ways of thinking underlie political, social, economic and cultural discourses. ... Mystical theology is the science which treats of acts and experiences or states of the soul which cannot be produced by human effort or industry even with the ordinary aid of Divine grace. ...


Specific conceptions
Names · "God"  · existence  · gender
Creator · Architect · Demiurge · Sustainer
Lord · Father · Monad · Oneness
Supreme Being  · The Absolute · The All
Unitarianism  · Ditheism  · Trinity
Omniscience  · Omnipotence
Omnipresence  · Omnibenevolence
in Christianity  · in Islam · in Buddhism
in Sikhism  · in Bahá'í
This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Holy name redirects here. ... For other uses, see God. ... This entry discusses how the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam deal with God and gender. ... God is the divine being that created the omniverse. ... Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU) is a term used within Freemasonry to denominate the Supreme Being which each member individually holds an adherence to. ... The Demiurge, The Craftsman or Creator, in some belief systems, is the deity responsible for the creation of the physical universe. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BC to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. ... In many religions, the supreme God is given the title and attributions of Father. ... The Pythagorean Monad Monad, according to the Pythagoreans, was a term for God or the first being, or the totality of all beings. ... Oneness is a spiritual term referring to the experience of the absence of egoic identity boundaries, and, according to some traditions, the realization of the awareness of the absolute interconnectedness of all matter and thought in space-time, or ones ultimate identity with God (see Tat Tvam Asi). ... The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as God,[1] and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths, including, but not limited to, Christianity,[2] Islam,[3] Hinduism,[4] Deism[5] and Scientology. ... The Absolute is the totality of things, all that is, whether it has been discovered or not. ... The All is the Hermetic version of God, to some and not to others. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Unitarianism is the belief... The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. ... This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omnipresence is the ability to be present in every place at any, and/or every, time; unbounded or universal presence. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ... In Christianity, the Godhead is a term denoting deity or divinity. ... Islam reveres the One and Only God, known as Allah (الله) in Arabic. ... Buddhism is usually regarded as a religion without an absolute God who created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing) and to whom devotion and worship are due (although veneration and worship of the Buddhas do play a major role in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism). ... The fundamental belief of Sikhism is that God exists, not merely as an idea or concept, but as a Real Entity, indescribable yet knowable and perceivable to anyone who is prepare to dedicate the time and energy to become perceptive to His persona. ... Baháís believe in a single, imperishable God, the creator of all things, including all the creatures and forces in the universe. ...


Experience and practices
Faith  · Prayer  · Belief  · Revelation
Fideism  · Gnosis  · Metaphysics
Mysticism · Hermeticism  · Esotericism For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Prayer (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ... In Christian theology, fideism is any of several belief systems which hold, on various grounds, that reason is irrelevant to religious faith. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Hermeticism should not be confused with the concept of a hermit. ... Look up Esotericism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Related topics
Philosophy · Religion  · Ontology
God complex · God gene ·
Problem of evil (Euthyphro dilemma, Theodicy)
Chaos · Cosmos · Cosmic egg
For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... A god complex is a colloquial term used to portray a perceived character flaw as if it were a psychological complex. The person who is said to have a god complex does not believe he is God, but is said to act so arrogantly that he might as well believe... The God gene hypothesis states that some human beings bear a gene which gives them a prediposition to episodes interpreted by some as religious revelation. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... The Euthyphro dilemma is found in Platos dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods? (10a) In monotheistic terms, this is usually transformed into: Is what is moral... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Chaos (disambiguation). ... The Ancient and Medieval cosmos as depicted in Peter Apians Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


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Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. In philosophical terminology, existence-of-God arguments concern schools of thought on the epistemology of the ontology of God. For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


The debate concerning the existence of God raises many philosophical issues. A basic problem is that there is no universally accepted definition of God. Some definitions of God's existence are so non-specific that it is certain that something exists that meets the definition; in stark contrast, there are suggestions that other definitions are self-contradictory.


Arguments for the existence of God typically include metaphysical, empirical, inductive, and subjective types. Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Empirical research is any activity that uses direct or indirect observation as its test of reality. ... Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ... This article is in need of attention. ...


Arguments against the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Viewpoints represented include atheism, either no belief in God or the view that God does not exist; theism, the view that God exists; and agnosticism, the view that whether or not God exists is unknown or unknowable. Deductive reasoning is the kind of reasoning where the conclusion is necessitated or implied by previously known premises. ... “Atheist” redirects here. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism...


Although once regarded as a non-issue in much of western academia, the question of the existence of God is now subject to lively debate both in philosophy[1] and in popular culture.[2]

Contents

Philosophical issues

Definition of God's existence

Main articles: Definition, God, Deity, and Ontology

Today in the West, the term "God" typically refers to a monotheistic concept of a supreme being that is unlike any other being. Classical theism asserts that God possesses every possible perfection, including such qualities as omniscience, omnipotence, and perfect benevolence. Of course this definition is not the only possible definition of "God". Other philosophical approaches take a logically simple definition of God such as "the prime mover" or "the uncaused cause",[3] or "the ultimate creator"[4] or "a being greater than which nothing can be conceived"[5] from which the classical properties may be deduced.[6] By contrast Pantheists do not believe in a personal god. For example, Spinoza and his philosophical followers (such as Einstein) use the term 'God' in a particular philosophical sense, to mean (roughly) the essential substance/principles of nature.[7] For other uses, see Definition (disambiguation). ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ... Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Baruch Spinoza Benedictus de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 - February 21, 1677), named Baruch Spinoza by his synagogue elders and known as Bento de Spinoza or Bento dEspiñoza in the community in which he grew up. ... Einstein redirects here. ...


In the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, reality is ultimately seen as being a single, qualityless, changeless being called nirguna Brahman. However, nirguna Brahman is understood to be beyond "ordinary" human comprehension. What we ordinarily perceive - that is, a world of many things - is brought on by consequences of our actions. Thus, Advaitin philosophy introduces the concept of saguna Brahman or Ishvara as a way of talking about Brahman to people. Ishvara, in turn, is ascribed such qualities as omniscience, omnipotence, and benevolence.[8] Advaita Vedanta (IAST ; Sanskrit ; IPA ) is a sub-school of the Vedānta (literally, end or the goal of the Vedas, Sanskrit) school of Hindu philosophy. ... Nirguna Brahman, (literally, the attributeless Brahman, Devanagari: निर्गुण ब्रह्म) refers to Supreme Reality which pervades through the universe. ... Ishvara (Sanskrit lord, master, from an adjective capable) is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, similar to the Abrahamic concept of God. ...


Polytheistic religions use the word "god" for multiple beings with varying degrees of power and abilities. Some stories such as those of Homer and Ovid portray gods arguing with, tricking and fighting with one another. Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ovid (disambiguation) Publius Ovidius Naso (March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD) was a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid who wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ...


Epistemology

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy which studies the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge. One cannot be said to "know" something just because one believes it. Knowledge is, from an epistemological standpoint, distinguished from belief by justification. Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... The sociology of knowledge is the study of the relationship between human thought and the social context within which it arises, and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Justification can mean: justification (jurisprudence) justification (typesetting) justification (theology) In epistemology, justification of a belief is what renders it worth believing in terms of its probable truth. ...


Knowledge in the sense of "understanding of a fact or truth" can be divided in a posteriori knowledge, based on experience or deduction (see methodology), and a priori knowledge from introspection, axioms or self-evidence. Knowledge can also be described as a psychological state, since in a strict sense there can never be a posteriori knowledge proper (see relativism). Much of the disagreement about "proofs" of God's existence is due to different conceptions not only of the term "God" but also the terms "proof", "truth" and "knowledge". Religious belief from revelation or enlightenment (satori) falls in the second, a priori class of "knowledge". This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Look up understanding in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the trade organisation, see Federation Against Copyright Theft. ... Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation). ... A Posteriori is the title of the musical project Enigmas sixth studio album, released in September 2006. ... Look up Experience in Wiktionary, the free dictionary This article discusses the general concept of experience. ... Look up deduction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Methodology is defined as the analysis of the // == Headline text == principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline or the development of methods, to be applied within a discipline a particular procedure or set of procedures. [1]. It should be noted that methodology is frequently used when method... The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... This article is about the psychological process of introspecting. ... This article is about a logical statement. ... In epistemology, a self-evident proposition is one that can be understood only by one who knows that it is true. ... Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul and logos = word) is the study of mind, thought, and behaviour. ... For the physics theory with a similar name, see Theory of Relativity. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ... Enlightenment (or brightening) broadly means the acquisition of new wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception. ... Satori (悟 Japanese satori; Chinese: wù - from the verb Satoru) is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. ...


Different conclusions as to the existence of God often rest on different criteria for deciding what methods are appropriate for deciding if something is true or not; some examples include

  • whether logic counts as evidence concerning the quality of existence
  • whether subjective experience counts as evidence for objective reality
  • whether either logic or evidence can rule in or out the supernatural.

The problem of the supernatural

One problem posed by the question of the existence of a god is that traditional beliefs usually ascribe to God various supernatural powers. Supernatural beings may be able to conceal and reveal themselves for their own purposes, as for example in the tale of Baucis and Philemon. In addition, according to most concepts of God, God is not part of the natural order, but the ultimate creator of nature and of the scientific laws. Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Jupiter and Mercury in the house of Philemon and Baucis, Adam Elsheimer, c1608, Dresden. ...


Religious apologists offer the supernatural nature of God as one explanation of the inability of empirical methods to decide the question of God's existence. In Karl Popper's philosophy of science, the assertion of the existence of a supernatural God would be a non-falsifiable hypothesis, not in the domain of scientific investigation. The Non-overlapping Magisteria view proposed by Stephen Jay Gould also holds that the existence (or otherwise) of God is beyond the domain of science. Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, FRS, FBA, (July 28, 1902 – September 17, 1994), was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. ... Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. ... Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. ...


Proponents of intelligent design (I.D.) believe there is empirical evidence for Irreducible complexity pointing to the existence of an intelligent creator, though their claims are challenged by most in the scientific community. Even some scientifically literate theists appear to have been impressed by the observation that certain natural laws and universal constants seem "fine-tuned" to favor the development of life (see Anthropic principle). However, reliance on phenomena which have not yet been resolved by natural explanations may be equated to the pejorative God of the gaps. For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation). ... Irreducible complexity (IC) is the argument intended to support intelligent design creationism[1] and refute evolution that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler, or less complete predecessors, and are at the same time too complex to have arisen naturally through chance mutations. ... In physics and cosmology, the anthropic principle states that we should take into account the constraints that our existence as observers imposes on the sort of universe that we could observe. ... The God of the gaps refers to a view of God deriving from a theistic position in which anything that can be explained by human knowledge is not in the domain of God, so the role of God is therefore confined to the gaps in scientific explanations of nature. ...


Logical positivists, such as Rudolph Carnap and A. J. Ayer viewed any talk of gods as literally nonsense. For the logical positivists and adherents of similar schools of thought, statements about religious or other transcendent experiences could not have a truth value, and were deemed to be without meaning. Logical positivism grew from the discussions of Moritz Schlicks Vienna Circle and Hans Reichenbachs Berlin Circle in the 1920s and 1930s. ... Rudolf Carnap (May 18, 1891 - September 14, 1970) was a German philosopher. ... Alfred Jules Ayer (October 29, 1910 - June 27, 1989), better known as simply A. J. Ayer (and called Freddie by friends), was a British philosopher. ... Nonsense is an utterance or written text in what appears to be a human language or other symbolic system, that does not in fact carry any identifiable meaning. ...


Nature of relevant proofs/arguments

Since God (of the kind to which the proofs/arguments relate) is neither an entity in the universe nor a mathematical object it is not obvious what kinds of arguments/proofs are relevant to God's existence. Even if the concept of scientific proof were not problematic, the fact that there is no conclusive scientific proof of the existence, or non-existence, of God[9] mainly demonstrates that the existence of God is not a normal scientific question. John Polkinghorne suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics are the ideas of quantum mechanics which are paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data.[10]. John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, PhD, ScD, MA, (born October 16, 1930 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is a British particle physicist and theologian. ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to quantum mechanics. ...


Alvin Plantinga compares the question of the existence of God to the question of the existence of other minds: both of which are notoriously impossible to "prove" against a determined skeptic[11]. Alvin Cornelius Plantinga (born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Frisian ancestry) is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. ...


One approach, suggested by writers such as Stephen D. Unwin, is to treat (particular versions of) theism and naturalism as though they were two hypotheses in the Bayesian sense, to list certain data (or alleged data), about the world, and to suggest that the likelihoods of these data are significantly higher under one hypothesis than the other[12] Most of the arguments for, or against, the existence of God can be seen as pointing to particular aspects of the universe in this way. In almost all cases it is not seriously suggested by proponents of the arguments that they are irrefutable, merely that they make one worldview seem significantly more likely than the other. However since an assessment of the weight of evidence depends on the prior probability that is assigned to each worldview, arguments that a theist finds convincing may seem thin to an atheist and vice-versa[13]. Stephen D.Unwins book The Probability of God argues that a mathematical equation developed by Thomas Bayes can be used to calculate the probability that God exists. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... Naturalism may refer to: Naturalism (philosophy), any of several philosophical stances wherein all phenomena or hypotheses commonly labeled as supernatural, are either false, unknowable, or not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypotheses Methodological naturalism is the methodological assumption that that observable events in nature are explained only by natural... Bayesian probability is an interpretation of probability suggested by Bayesian theory, which holds that the concept of probability can be defined as the degree to which a person believes a proposition. ... A prior probability is a marginal probability, interpreted as a description of what is known about a variable in the absence of some evidence. ...


Arguments for the existence of God

  • The cosmological argument argues that there was a "first cause", or "prime mover" who is identified as God.
  • The teleological argument argues that the universe's order and complexity are best explained by belief in a loving creator God.
  • The ontological argument is based on arguments about a "being greater than which can not be conceived". Alvin Plantinga formulates this argument to show that if it is logically possible for God (a necessary being) to exist, then God exists[14].
  • The mind-body problem argument suggests that the relation of consciousness to materiality is best understood in terms of the existence of God.
  • Arguments that some non-physical quality observed in the universe is of fundamental importance and not an epiphenomenon, such as justice, beauty, love or religious experience are arguments for theism as against materialism.
  • The anthropic argument suggests that basic facts, such as our existence, are best explained by the existence of God.
  • The moral argument argues that the existence of objective morality depends on the existence of God.
  • The transcendental argument suggests that logic, science, ethics, and other things we take seriously do not make sense in the absence of God, and that atheistic arguments must ultimately refute themselves if pressed with rigorous consistency.
  • The will to believe doctrine was pragmatist philosopher William James' attempt to prove God by showing that the adoption of theism as a hypothesis "works" in a believer's life. This doctrine depended heavily on James' pragmatic theory of truth where beliefs are proven by how they work when adopted rather than by proofs before they are believed (a form of the hypothetico-deductive method).
  • Arguments based on claims of miracles wrought by God associated with specific historical events or personages.

The cosmological argument is a metaphysical argument for the existence of God, traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, and also as an uncaused cause argument. ... A teleological argument, or argument from design, is an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design and/or direction in nature. ... The deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. ... An ontological argument for the existence of God is one that attempts the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. ... Alvin Cornelius Plantinga (born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Frisian ancestry) is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... An epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside a primary phenomenon. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Argument from Beauty is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism // Its logical structure is essentially as follows: There are compelling reasons for considering beauty to exist in a way which transcends its material manifestations. ... The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism. ... The Argument from religious experience is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... In physics and cosmology, the anthropic principle states that we should take into account the constraints that our existence as observers imposes on the sort of universe that we could observe. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Cover to a collection of James essays. ... Pragmatism is a school of philosophy which originated in the United States in the late 1800s. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Pragmatic theory of truth refers to those accounts, definitions, and theories of the concept truth that distinguish the philosophies of pragmatism and pragmaticism. ... This article or section should include material from Hypothetico deductive model The hypothetico-deductive method is a theory about scientific method. ... A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. ...

Arguments from historical events or personages

  • Islam asserts that the life of Mohammad and especially the revealing of the miraculous Quran by an angel similarly vindicates Islam.
  • Judaism asserts that God intervened in key specific moments in history, especially at the Exodus and the giving of the Ten Commandments, thus demonstrating his special care for the Jewish people, and a fortiori his existence.
  • The argument from the life of Jesus. This asserts that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, that in this he was either deluded, deceitful or truthful, and that it is possible to assess Jesus's character sufficiently from the accounts of his life and teaching to rule out the first two possibilities. C S Lewis put forward this argument (the Trilemma) and it is followed in the widely adopted Alpha Course.[15]
  • The argument from the Resurrection of Jesus. This asserts that there is sufficient historical evidence for Jesus's resurrection to support his claim to be the son of God and indicates, a fortiori, God's existence.[16]
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism, similarly asserts that the miraculous finding and translation of the Book of Mormon establishes the truth of Mormonism.
  • Thelema's Liber Al Vel Legis is generally offered as proof of the existence of a supernatural being of some sort, the internal evidence for which deals heavily in Qabalistic theory.

For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... For other people named Muhammad, see Muhammad (disambiguation). ... A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. ... The Quran (Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ... This article is about the supernatural being. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ... The Christological argument for the existence of God is a relatively modern argument. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Clive Staples Lewis (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an author and scholar. ... Lewiss Trilemma (or the Lewis Triumvirate) is a form of apologetics intended to prove the divinity of Jesus. ... The Alpha course is a basic course on the Christian faith, commonly advertised as an opportunity to explore the meaning of life. It has spread all over the world and is currently run in 152 countries by many different denominations. ... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... For other uses, see Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (disambiguation). ... For more general information about religious denominations that follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... The Book of Mormon[1] is one of the sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement. ... For more general information about religious denominations that follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Thelema is the English transliteration of the Ancient Greek noun : will, from the verb θέλω: to will, wish, purpose. ...

Inductive arguments

Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning. Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ...

  • Another class of philosophers asserts that the proofs for the existence of God present a fairly large probability though not absolute certainty. A number of obscure points, they say, always remain; an act of faith is required to dismiss these difficulties. This view is maintained, among others, by the Scottish statesman Arthur Balfour in his book The Foundations of Belief (1895). The opinions set forth in this work were adopted in France by Ferdinand Brunetière, the editor of the Revue des deux Mondes. Many orthodox Protestants express themselves in the same manner, as, for instance, Dr. E. Dennert, President of the Kepler Society, in his work Ist Gott tot?. [17]

For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... For the steel manufacturer, see Arthur Balfour, 1st Baron Riverdale. ... Year 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Ferdinand Brunetière (July 19, 1849 - December 9, 1906) was a French writer and critic. ... The Revue des Deux Mondes is a monthly literary and cultural affairs magazine published in the French language. ...

Arguments from testimony

Arguments from testimony rely on the testimony or experience of certain witnesses, possibly embodying the propositions of a specific revealed religion. Swinburne argues that it is a principle of rationality that one should accept testimony unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.[18] Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ... Richard G. Swinburne (born December 26, 1934) is an eminent British professor and philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. ...

  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and throughout the ages. A variation of this is the argument from miracles which relies on testimony of supernatural events to establish the existence of God.
  • The majority argument argues that the theism of people throughout most of recorded history and in many different places provides prima facie demonstration of God's existence.

This page has been linked from the Arguments for the existence of God page. ... This article is about witnesses in law courts. ... The Argument from Miracles is an argument for the existence of God relying on eyewitness testimony of impossible (or extremely improbable events) to establish the active intervention of a supernatural supreme being (or supernatural agents acting on behalf of that being). ... The Argument from consensus or argument from common consent purports to prove the existence of God. ... Look up prima facie in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Arguments grounded in personal experience

  • The Scotch School led by Thomas Reid taught that the fact of the existence of God is accepted by us without knowledge of reasons but simply by a natural impulse. That God exists, this school said, is one of the chief metaphysical principles that we accept not because they are evident in themselves or because they can be proved, but because common sense obliges us to accept them.
  • The Argument from a Proper Basis argues that belief in God is "properly basic"; that it is similar to statements like "I see a chair" or "I feel pain". Such beliefs are non-falsifiable and, thus, neither provable nor disprovable; they concern perceptual beliefs or indisputable mental states.
  • In Germany, the School of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi taught that our reason is able to perceive the suprasensible. Jacobi distinguished three faculties: sense, reason, and understanding. Just as sense has immediate perception of the material so has reason immediate perception of the immaterial, while the understanding brings these perceptions to our consciousness and unites them to one another.[19] God's existence, then, cannot be proven (Jacobi, like Immanuel Kant, rejected the absolute value of the principle of causality), it must be felt by the mind.
  • In Emile, Jean-Jacques Rousseau asserted that when our understanding ponders over the existence of God it encounters nothing but contradictions; the impulses of our hearts, however, are of more value than the understanding, and these proclaim clearly to us the truths of natural religion, namely, the existence of God and the immortality of the soul.
  • The same theory was advocated in Germany by Friedrich Schleiermacher (died 1834), who assumed an inner religious sense by means of which we feel religious truths. According to Schleiermacher, religion consists solely in this inner perception, and dogmatic doctrines are inessential.[20]
  • Many modern Protestant theologians follow in Schleiermacher's footsteps, and teach that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated; certainty as to this truth is only furnished us by inner experience, feeling, and perception.
  • Modernist Christianity also denies the demonstrability of the existence of God. According to them we can only know something of God by means of the vital immanence, that is, under favorable circumstances the need of the divine dormant in our subconsciousness becomes conscious and arouses that religious feeling or experience in which God reveals himself to us. In condemnation of this view the oath against modernism formulated by Pius X says: "Deum ... naturali rationis lumine per ea quae facta sunt, hoc est per visibilia creationis opera, tanquam causam per effectus certo cognosci adeoque demostrari etiam posse, profiteor." ("I declare that by the natural light of reason, God can be certainly known and therefore his existence demonstrated through the things that are made, i.e., through the visible works of creation, as the cause is known through its effects.")

Thomas Reid Thomas Reid (April 26, 1710 – October 7, 1796), Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment. ... For other uses, see Common sense (disambiguation). ... The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ... Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (January 25, 1743 - March 10, 1819), was a German philosopher who made his mark on philosophy by coining the term nihilism and promoting it as the prime fault of Enlightenment thought and Kantianism. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... Kant redirects here. ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778) was a Genevan philosopher of the Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. ... For other uses, see Soul (disambiguation). ... Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (November 21, 1768 - February 12, 1834) was a theologian and philosopher. ... Year 1834 (MDCCCXXXIV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Modernism, modernist Christianity, and liberalism are labels applied to proponents of a school of Christian thought which rose as a direct challenge to more conservative traditional Christian orthodoxy. ... For Christian theological modernism, see Liberal Christianity and Modernism (Roman Catholicism). ... Pope Pius X (1903-1914), pictured in 1904, wearing the 1834 Triple Tiara of Pope Gregory XVI Saint Pius X, né Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, (2 June 1835 - 20 August 1914) was Pope from 1903 to 1914, succeeding Pope Leo XIII. He was the first pope since the Counter-Reformation Pope... THIS IS A FACT Creation is a doctrinal position in many religions and philosophical belief systems which maintains that a single God, or a group of or deities is responsible for creating the universe. ...

Arguments against belief in God

Each of the following arguments aims at showing either that a particular subset of gods do not exist (by showing them as inherently meaningless, contradictory, or at odds with known scientific or historical facts) or that there is insufficient reason to believe in them. Reductio ad absurdum (Latin for reduction to the absurd, traceable back to the Greek ἡ εις το αδυνατον απαγωγη, reduction to the impossible, often used by Aristotle) is a type of logical argument... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... This article is about the study of time in human terms. ...


Empirical arguments

Empirical arguments depend on empirical data in order to prove their conclusions. In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ...

  • The argument from poor design contests the idea that God created life on the basis that lifeforms exist which seem to exhibit poor design.
  • The argument from nonbelief contests the existence of an omnipotent God who wants humans to believe in him by arguing that such a god would do a better job of gathering believers.
  • The argument from parsimony contends that since natural (non-supernatural) theories adequately explain the development of religion and belief in god,[21] the actual existence of such supernatural agents is superfluous and may be dismissed unless otherwise proven to be required to explain the phenomenon.

The Argument from Inconsistent Revelations, also known as the Avoiding the Wrong Hell Problem, is an argument against the existence of God. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ... For other uses, see Evil (disambiguation). ... Suffering is any aversive (not necessarily unwanted) experience and the corresponding negative emotion. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The argument from poor design or dysteleological argument is an argument against the existence of God, specifically against the existence of a creator God (in the sense of a God that directly created all species of life). ... The argument from nonbelief, also known as the argument from divine hiddenness, is a recently-developed argument against the existence of God. ... Look up parsimony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... There are a number of models regarding the ways in which religions come into being and develop. ...

Deductive arguments

Deductive arguments attempt to prove their conclusions by deductive reasoning from true premises. These arguments inherently depend on specific definitions of the term "God". Deductive reasoning is the kind of reasoning where the conclusion is necessitated or implied by previously known premises. ...

  • The omnipotence paradox suggests that the concept of an omnipotent entity is logically contradictory, from considering a question like: "Can God create a rock so big that he cannot lift it?" or "If God is all powerful, could God create a being more powerful than itself?".
  • Another argument suggests that there is a contradiction between God being omniscient and omnipotent, basically asking "how can an all-knowing being change its mind?" See the article on omniscience for details.
  • The argument from free will contests the existence of an omniscient god who has free will - or has allotted the same freedom to his creations - by arguing that the two properties are contradictory. According to the argument, if God already knows the future, then humanity is destined to corroborate with his knowledge of the future and not have true free will to deviate from it. Therefore our free will contradicts an omniscient god.
  • The Transcendental argument for the non-existence of God contests the existence of an intelligent creator by suggesting that such a being would make logic and morality contingent, which is incompatible with the presuppositionalist assertion that they are necessary, and contradicts the efficacy of science. A more general line of argument based on this argument seeks to generalize this argument to all necessary features of the universe and all god-concepts.[22]
  • The counter-argument against the Cosmological argument ("chicken or the egg") takes its assumption that things cannot exist without creators and applies it to God, setting up an infinite regress. This attacks the premise that the universe is the second cause (after God, who is claimed to be the first cause).
  • Theological noncognitivism, as used in literature, usually seeks to disprove the god-concept by showing that it is unverifiable by scientific tests.
  • It is alleged that there is a logical impossibility in theism: God is defined as an extra-temporal being, but also as an active creator. The argument suggests that the very act of creation is inconceivable and absurd beyond the constraints of time and space, and the fact that it cannot be proven if God is in either. [23]

Listen to this article ( info/dl) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2007-09-04, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is the power to do absolutely anything. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... The argument from free will is an argument against the Existence of God which contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible, and that any conception of God which incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... Free-Will is a Japanese independent record label founded in 1986. ... The Transcendental Argument for the Non-existence of God (also called TANG) was first explicitly formulated by Michael Martin in a 1996 article in New Zealand Rationalist & Humanist [1]. It was first intended as a reply to the Transcendental argument for the existence of God, which argues that logic, science... The cosmological argument is a metaphysical argument for the existence of God, traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, and also as an uncaused cause argument. ... Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like God (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. ...

Inductive arguments

Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning. Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ...

  • The atheist-existentialist argument for the non-existence of a perfect sentient being states that if existence precedes essence, it follows from the meaning of the term sentient that a sentient being cannot be complete or perfect. It is touched upon by Jean-Paul Sartre in Being and Nothingness. Sartre's phrasing is that God would be a pour-soi [a being-for-itself; a consciousness] who is also an en-soi [a being-in-itself; a thing]: which is a contradiction in terms. The argument is echoed thus in Salman Rushdie's novel Grimus: "That which is complete is also dead."
  • The "no reason" argument tries to show that an omnipotent or perfect being would not have any reason to act in any way, specifically creating the universe, because it would have no desires since the very concept of desire is subjectively human. As the universe exists, there is a contradiction, and therefore, an omnipotent god cannot exist. This argument is espoused by Scott Adams in the book God's Debris.

For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement emphasizing individualism, individual freedom, and subjectivity. ... Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology (1943) is a philosophical treatise by Jean-Paul Sartre that is regarded as the beginning of the growth of existentialism in the 20th century. ... Jean Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905–April 15, 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist, novelist and critic. ... Ahmed Salman Rushdie KBE (Hindi: Urdu: سلمان رشدی; born 19 June 1947) is a British-Indian novelist and essayist. ... Grimus is a 1975 fantasy novel written by Salman Rushdie. ... Scott Raymond Adams (born June 8, 1957) is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several business commentaries, social satires, and experimental philosophy books. ... Cover of Gods Debris. ...

Subjective arguments

Similar to the subjective arguments for the existence of God, subjective arguments against the supernatural mainly rely on the testimony or experience of witnesses, or the propositions of a revealed religion in general. Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ...

  • The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and from the past, who disbelieve or strongly doubt the existence of God.
  • The conflicted religions argument where specific religions give differing accounts as to what God is and what God wants. All the contradictory accounts cannot be correct, so many if not all religions must be incorrect.

Conclusions

Conclusions on the existence of God can be divided along numerous axes, producing a variety of orthogonal classifications. Theism and atheism relate to belief about the existence of gods, while agnosticism relates to belief about whether the existence of gods is (or can be) known. Ignosticism concerns belief regarding God's conceptual coherence. Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... “Atheist” redirects here. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... Ignosticism is a word coined by Rabbi Sherwin Wine to indicate one of two related views about the existence of God. ...


Theism

The theistic conclusion is that the arguments indicate there is sufficient reason to believe that at least one god exists. Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ...


God exists and this can be demonstrated

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following the Thomist tradition and the dogmatic definition of the First Vatican Council, affirms that it is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that God's existence has been rationally demonstrated. For the proofs of God's existence by Saint Thomas Aquinas see Quinquae viae. Many other Christian denominations share the view that God's existence can be demonstrated without recourse to claims of revelation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC, is an official exposition of the teachings of the Catholic Church, first published in French in 1992 by the authority of Pope John Paul II.[1] Subsequently, in 1997, a Latin text was issued which is now the official text of reference... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. ... The First Vatican Council was summoned by Pope Pius IX by the bull Aeterni Patris of June 29, 1868. ... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... According to St. ...


On beliefs of Christian faith, theologians and philosophers make a distinction between:

  1. doctrines arising from special revelation that arise essentially from faith in divinely inspired revelations, including the life of Christ, but cannot be proved or even anticipated by reason alone, such as the doctrines of the Trinity or the Incarnation, and
  2. doctrines arising from general revelation, that is from reason alone drawing conclusions based on relatively obvious observations of the world and self.

The argument that the existence of God can be known to all, even prior to exposure to any divine revelation, predates Christianity. St. Paul made this argument when he insisted that pagans were without excuse because "since the creation of the world [God's] invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made".[24] In this Paul alludes to the proofs for a creator, later enunciated by St. Thomas[25] and others, but that had also been explored by the Greek philosophers. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the Christian Trinity. ... Look up incarnation, incarnate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... General revelation is a theological term which refers to a universal aspect of God, his knowledge and of spiritual matters, discovered through natural means, such as observation of nature (the physical universe), philosophy and reasoning, human conscience or providence or providential history. ...


Another apologetical school of thought, a sort of synthesis of various existing Dutch and American Reformed thinkers (such as, Abraham Kuyper, Benjamin Warfield, Herman Dooyeweerd), emerged in the late 1920s. This school was instituted by Cornelius Van Til, and came to be popularly called Presuppositional apologetics (though Van Til himself felt "transcendental" would be a more accurate title). The main distinction between this approach and the more classical evidentialist approach mentioned above is that the presuppositionalist denies any common ground between the believer and the non-believer, except that which the non-believer denies, namely, the assumption of the truth of the theistic worldview. In other words, presuppositionalists don't believe that the existence of God can be proven by appeal to raw, uninterpreted (or, "brute") facts, which have the same (theoretical) meaning to people with fundamentally different worldviews, because they deny that such a condition is even possible. They claim that the only possible proof for the existence of God is that the very same belief is the necessary condition to the intelligibility of all other human experience and action. In other words, they attempt to prove the existence of God by means of appeal to the alleged transcendental necessity of the belief -- indirectly (by appeal to the allegedly unavowed presuppositions of the non-believer's worldview) rather than directly (by appeal to some form of common factuality). In practice this school utilizes what have come to be known as transcendental arguments. In these arguments they claim to demonstrate that all human experience and action (even the condition of unbelief, itself) is a proof for the existence of God, because God's existence is the necessary condition of their intelligibility.-1... Abraham Kuyper (October 29, 1837, Maassluis – November 8, 1920 The Hague; name officially Kuijper) was a Dutch politician, journalist, statesman and theologian. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Herman Dooyeweerd Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977) was a Dutch juridical scholar by training, who by vocation was a philosopher, and the founder of a new approach called, the philosophy of the cosmonomic idea. ... Cornelius Van Til Cornelius Van Til (May 4, 1895 - April 17, 1987), born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, was a Christian philosopher, Reformed theologian, and presuppositional apologist. ... Presuppositional apologetics is a school of Christian apologetics, a field of Christian theology that aims to (1) present a rational basis for the Christian faith, (2) defend the faith against objections, and (3) expose the perceived flaws of other worldviews. ... In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


God exists, but this cannot be demonstrated or refuted

Others have suggested that the several logical and philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God miss the point. The word God has a meaning in human culture and history that does not correspond to the beings whose existence is supported by such arguments, assuming they are valid. The real question is not whether a "most perfect being" or an "uncaused first cause" exist; the real question is whether Yahweh or Vishnu or Zeus, or some other deity of attested human religion, exists, and if so, which deity. Most of these arguments do not resolve the issue of which of these figures is more likely to exist, although all empirical arguments suggest that none of them do. Blaise Pascal suggested this objection in his Pensées when he wrote "The God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob — not the god of the philosophers!", see also Pascal's wager. For other uses, see Yahweh (disambiguation). ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being (i. ... For other uses, see Zeus (disambiguation). ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ... Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ...


Some Christians note that the Christian faith teaches "salvation is by faith",[26] and that faith is reliance upon the faithfulness of God, which has little to do with the believer's ability to comprehend that in which he trusts. For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ...


The most extreme example of this position is called fideism, which holds that faith is simply the will to believe, and argues that if God's existence were rationally demonstrable, faith in its existence would become superfluous. In The Justification of Knowledge, the Calvinist theologian Robert L. Reymond argues that believers should not attempt to prove the existence of God. Since he believes all such proofs are fundamentally unsound, believers should not place their confidence in them, much less resort to them in discussions with non-believers; rather, they should accept the content of revelation by faith. Reymond's position is similar to that of his mentor, Gordon Clark, which holds that all worldviews are based on certain unprovable first premises (or, axioms), and therefore are ultimately unprovable. The Christian theist therefore must simply choose to start with Christianity rather than anything else, by a "leap of faith". This position is also sometimes called presuppositional apologetics, but should not be confused with the Van Tillian variety discussed above. In Christian theology, fideism is any of several belief systems which hold, on various grounds, that reason is irrelevant to religious faith. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Calvinism is... Robert L. Reymond is a Christian theologian of the Protestant Reformed (Calvinist) tradition. ... Gordon Haddon Clark (August 31, 1902-April 9, 1985) was an American philosopher and Calvinist theologian. ... For the algebra software named Axiom, see Axiom computer algebra system. ... Presuppositional apologetics is a school of Christian apologetics, a field of Christian theology that aims to (1) present a rational basis for the Christian faith, (2) defend the faith against objections, and (3) expose the perceived flaws of other worldviews. ...


An intermediate position is that of Alvin Plantinga who holds that a specific form of modal logic and an appeal to world-indexed properties render belief in the existence of God rational and justified, even though the existence of God cannot be proven in a mathematical sense. Plantinga equates knowledge of God's existence with kinds of knowledge that are rational but do not proceed through proof, such as sensory knowledge.[27] Alvin Cornelius Plantinga (born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Frisian ancestry) is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. ... In formal logic, a modal logic is any logic for handling modalities: concepts like possibility, existence, and necessity. ...


Atheism

The atheistic conclusion is that the arguments indicate there is insufficient reason to believe that any gods exist. For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ...


Strong atheism

Strong atheism is the position that a god or gods do not exist. The strong atheist explicitly asserts god's non-existence[28]. Some strong atheists further assert that the existence of some or all gods is logically impossible, for example claiming that the combination of attributes which God may be asserted to have (for example: omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, transcendence, omnibenevolence) is logically contradictory, incomprehensible, or absurd, and therefore that the non-existence of such a god is a priori true. It needs to be noted that believing the qualities of a particular God to be contradictory is not the sole basis of strong atheist; many strong atheists would assert that, owing to the lack of evidence, even a god described in a manner that was not contradictory is still unlikely to exist. It should also be noted that many religions credit human achievements to God, many strong atheists consider this to be outrageous, and contend that human achievements are the result of millions of years of inspiration and innovation. Strong atheism, sometimes called positive atheism, hard atheism or gnostic atheism, is the philosophical position that no deity exists. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. ... Omnipresence is the ability to be present in every place at any, and/or every, time; unbounded or universal presence. ... In religion, transcendence is a condition or state of being that surpasses, and is independent of, physical existence. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ... The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ...


Weak atheism

The term weak atheism is used of those who neither believe that a god or gods exists, nor believe that no gods exist. This is orthogonal to agnosticism which states that the existence of God is either unknown or unknowable. There is some controversy in the use of this term. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion uses the term "strong atheist" but not "weak atheist" [29] Weak atheism (also called negative atheism) is the lack of belief in the existence of deities, without a commitment to the necessary non-existence of deities. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ...


Psychological Issues

In his book "Minds and Gods: The Cognitive Foundations of Religion," Todd Tremlin argues that universal human cognitive process naturally produce gods. In particular, an agency detection device (ADD) and a theory-of-mind module (ToMM) lead us to expect an agent behind every event. We err on the side of attributing agency where there isn't any - a trait that no doubt served our ancestors well.


We ask why we are here and whether life has purpose; we are anxious about being alone. Religious beliefs may recruit the cognitive mechanisms. William James emphasized the inner religious struggle between melancholy and happiness, and pointed to trance as a cognitive mechanism. Sigmund Freud stressed fear and pain, the need for a powerful parent to care for us, the obsessional nature of ritual, and the hypnotic state a community can induce. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Melancholia (Greek μελαγχολια) was described as a distinct disease as early as the fifth and fourth centuries BC in the Hippocratic writings. ... Trance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ...


See also

Apologists are authors, writers, editors of scientific logs or academic journals, and leaders known for taking on the points in arguments, conflicts or positions that are either placed under popular scrutinies or viewed under persecutory examinations. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the Hebrew word. ... This article is about the veracity of Jesus existence. ... Buddhism is usually regarded as a religion without an absolute God who created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing) and to whom devotion and worship are due (although veneration and worship of the Buddhas do play a major role in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The fundamental belief of Sikhism is that God exists, not merely as an idea or concept, but as a Real Entity, indescribable yet knowable and perceivable to anyone who is prepare to dedicate the time and energy to become perceptive to His persona. ... Gödels ontological proof is a formalization of Saint Anselms ontological argument for Gods existence by the mathematician Kurt Gödel. ... History is often used as a generic term for information about the past, such as in geologic history of the Earth. When used as the name of a field of study, history refers to the study and interpretation of the record of human societies. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... Philosophy of religion is the rational study of the meaning and justification ( or rebuttal) of fundamental religious claims, particularly about the nature and existence of God (or gods, or the divine). ... Look up Polemic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... According to St. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... The Spectrum of Theistic Probability is a way of categorizing ones belief about the existence of a deity. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ...

Further reading

Internet Infidels, Inc. ...

Notes

  1. ^ see eg The Rationality of Theism quoting Quentin Smith "God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s". They cite "the shift from hostility towards theism in Paul Edwards's Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1967) to sympathy towards theism in the more recent Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. ^ Consider the sales and lively discussion of a whole raft of recent books arguing for and against theism, such as The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and The Language of God by Francis Collins
  3. ^ Both following Aquinas, see Quinquae viae.
  4. ^ A modern re-statement, see [1]
  5. ^ Following Anselm's Ontological argument
  6. ^ See Swinburne's Does God Exist? or Polkinghorne
  7. ^ See the articles on them, and especially Einstein's 1940 paper in Nature
  8. ^ Hebbar, Neria Harish. The Principal Upanishads. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.
  9. ^ Agreed by everyone from Dawkins to Ward to Plantinga
  10. ^ Polkinghorne, John (1998). Belief in God in an Age of Science. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300072945. 
  11. ^ see his God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God Cornell (1990) ISBN 0801497353 and Warranted Christian Belief OUP (2000) ISBN 0195131932
  12. ^ See eg the Beale/Howson debate published in Prospect May, 1998
  13. ^ see eg The Probability of God by Stephen D. Unwin its criticism in The God Delusion, and the critical comment in that article.
  14. ^ PLANTINGA, ALVIN (1998). God, arguments for the existence of. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved March 03, 2007, from [2] he attributes this to Charles Hartshorne
  15. ^ See the books by Nicky Gumbel on the subject.
  16. ^ Polkinghorne, John. Science and Christian Belief, pp. 108-122.  Contains a highly scientifically-aware discussion of the evidence.
  17. ^ (Stuttgart, 1908)
  18. ^ Swinburne, Richard (1997). Is there a God?. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198235453. 
  19. ^ (A. Stöckl, Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, II, 82 sqq.)
  20. ^ (Stöckl, loc. cit., 199 sqq.)
  21. ^ Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought, Pascal Boyer, Basic Books (2001)
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ Baake, David. Cosmological Arguments Against the Existence of God. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.
  24. ^ Romans 1:20
  25. ^ For the proofs of God's existence by Saint Thomas Aquinas see Quinquae viae.
  26. ^ 2 Timothy 3:14-15 NIV "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.)
  27. ^ Plantinga, Alvin (1974). The Nature of Necessity. New York: Oxford University Press, page 63. “An object has all its world-indexed properties in every world in which it exists. So if we take an object x and a property P and worlds W and W* such that x has the properties of having-P-in-W and having-non-P-in-W*, we will find that x also has the properties of having-P-in-W-in-W* and having-non-P-in-W*-in-W” 
  28. ^ Richard Dawkins is the most famous contemporary example, in a line stretching back through Russell and Marx to the 18th Century
  29. ^ The God Delusion p50

14. ^ See eg The Probability of God by Stephen D. Unwin, its criticism in The God Delusion, the critical comment in that article, and elsewhere. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a major encyclopedia of philosophy that was first published by Routledge in 1998. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... According to St. ... Anselm may refer to any of several historical figures: Saint Anselm, 8th-century Abbot of Nonantula Saint Anselm of Canterbury (ca 1033 - 1109), Archbishop of Canterbury Anselm of Laon (died 1117), Medieval theologian Anselm of Liège (1008-1056), chronicler Saint Anselm of Lucca (ca 1036 - 1086) This is a... An ontological argument for the existence of God is one that attempts the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. ... Richard G. Swinburne (born December 26, 1934) is an eminent British professor and philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. ... John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, PhD, ScD, MA, (born October 16, 1930 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is a British particle physicist and theologian. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The Reverend Professor (John Stephen) Keith Ward (born 22 August 1938) is a British cleric, philosopher, theologian, and scholar. ... Alvin Cornelius Plantinga (born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Frisian ancestry) is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. ... John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, PhD, ScD, MA, (born October 16, 1930 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is a British particle physicist and theologian. ... Look up prospect in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Stephen D. Unwin is a physicist and author best known for his book, The Probability of God. ... Stephen D.Unwins book The Probability of God argues that a mathematical equation developed by Thomas Bayes can be used to calculate the probability that God exists. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... Charles Hartshorne (June 5, 1897 – October 9, 2000) was a prominent philosopher who concentrated primarily on the philosophy of religion and metaphysics. ... Nicholas (Nicky) Glyn Paul Gumbel (born April 28, 1955 in London) is an Ordained Anglican priest, Vicar and author. ... John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, PhD, ScD, MA, (born October 16, 1930 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is a British particle physicist and theologian. ... Richard G. Swinburne (born December 26, 1934) is an eminent British professor and philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. ... Albert Stöckl (Möhren, near Freuchtlingen, in Middle Franconia, Bavaria, 15 March 1823-Eichstädt, 15 November 1895) was a German neo-scholastic philosopher and theologian. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Epistle to the Romans is one of the epistles, or letters, included in the New Testament canon of the Christian Bible. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... According to St. ... This article or section should be merged with First Epistle to Timothy The Second Epistle to Timothy is a book of the canonic New Testament, one of the three so-called pastoral epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and the Epistle to Titus). ... Alvin Cornelius Plantinga (born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Frisian ancestry) is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. ... Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... Stephen D. Unwin is a physicist and author best known for his book, The Probability of God. ... Stephen D.Unwins book The Probability of God argues that a mathematical equation developed by Thomas Bayes can be used to calculate the probability that God exists. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ...


References and Further Reading

Philosophy Portal
  • Broad, C.D. "Arguments for the Existence of God," Journal of Theological Studies 40 (1939): 16-30; 156-67.
  • Jordan, Jeff. "Pragmatic Arguments for Belief in God", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2004 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Cohen, Morris R. "The Dark Side of Religion," Religion Today, a Challenging Enigma, ed. Arthur L. Swift, Jr. (1933). Revised version in Morris Cohen, The Faith of a Liberal (1946).
  • FreeThoughtPedia "Common Theist Arguments" and "Theological Criticisms"
  • Haisch, Bernard. The God Theory: Universes, Zero-Point Fields and What's Behind It All. Red Wheel/Weiser Books, 2006.
  • Hume, David. 1779, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Richard Popkin (ed), Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998.
  • Mackie, J.L. The Miracle of Theism. Oxford, Eng.: Oxford Univ. Press, 1982.
  • Nielson, Kai. Ethics Without God. London: Pemberton Books, 1973.
  • Oppy, Graham. "Ontological Arguments", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2005 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Paley, William, 1802, Natural Theology. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963.
  • Plantinga, Alvin. Warranted Christian Belief. Oxford Univ. Press, 1993.
  • Pojman, Louis P. Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Fourth Ed., Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2003. ISBN 0-534-54364-2.
  • Ratzsch, Del. "Teleological Arguments for God's Existence", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2005 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Rouvière, Jean-Marc, Brèves méditations sur la création du monde L'Harmattan, Paris (2006), ISBN 2-7475-9922-1.
  • Swinburne, Richard. The Existence of God. New York: Clarendon, 1991.
  • Everitt, Nicholas (2004). The Non-Existence of God: An Introduction. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-30107-6. 
  • Mackie, J. L. (1982). The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the existence of God. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-824682-X. Retrieved on 2006-10-27. 
  • Matson, Wallace I. (1965). The Existence of God, xv–xvii. 
  • McTaggart, John & McTaggart, Ellis (1927). The Nature of Existence. Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sobel, Jordan H. (2004). Logic and theism: Arguments for and against beliefs in God. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-87975-307-2. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Existence of God (6615 words)
existence of an infinite series of such beings, supposing such a series to be possible.
existence of the Divine, and the fact that this belief has withstood repeated assaults during so many ages in the past is the best guarantee of its permanency in the future.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: because that which is known of God is manifest in them.
Existence of God - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4625 words)
In philosophical terminology, existence of God arguments concern schools of thought on the epistemology of the ontology of God.
The problem of evil in general, and the logical and evidential arguments from evil in particular contest the existence of a god who is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent by arguing that such a god would not permit the existence of perceivable evil or suffering, which can easily be shown to exist.
One simple argument that the existence of a god is self-contradictory goes as follows: If God is defined as omniscient and omnipotent, then God has absolute knowledge of all events that will occur in the future, including all of his future actions, due to his omniscience.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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