02 Nov 2012
Every person asks whether God exists or not. Philosophers, theologians and other thinkers have spent a lot of time trying to answer this question but they end up in contradicting answers. There are many questions and issues that are directly related to this question for example why are people believers? Does God exist? What is the essence of religion? There is no specific answer to any of these questions and therefore one would ask why are people asking these questions to begin with? There are two major groups of people in reference to this issue; the believers and atheists. The believers will always raise arguments that prove the existence of God while atheists will always prove that God does not exist. This is a clear implication that there can never be an answer to the question of whether God exists or not. It can neither be proved nor disapproved and therefore this question is futile. The side taken by the atheists and believers is based on faith in which a person believes in something that s/he has no proof of its existence. The argument whether God exists or not is therefore not necessary. This essay is a manifestation that we don’t need proof of God’s existence.
Whether God exists or not depends on faith of a person. Believers will always be convinced that God exists and will always abide by the doctrines of their religions (Holley, 2011, p. 750). On the other hand, atheists will always argue that God does not exist and as such there is no need for religion. Faith is therefore the major aspect that determines the stand of an individual person on whether God exists or not. For example in 1943, Sartre in the analysis of Bataille’s L’Expérience intérieure known as, that even for Sartre, Bataille and many others “God is dead” (Hoven, 2010, p. 75). Sartre further asserts that people have not become atheists despite this. Sartre also says that it is not simple to become an atheist since it took him a lot of time to leave Christianity. This happens to many other people and therefore they are held up by the doctrines of their religion. If the religion advocates for people to believe in existence of God, this is what they take. Faith is therefore a strong virtue that determines the stand that one takes about the universe and existence of God. Faith develops gradually from childhood depending on the family and the community in which a person is brought up. A person grows with these virtues and believes in whatever the family and the society believes in, whether backed by evidence or not. In the arguments of Pascal that we all sail in the same boat, it is clear that the arguments of Sartre are based on a strong Christian tradition (Hoven, 2010, p. 76). It has previously been discussed in this essay that it was not simple for Sartre to leave Christianity. This is because he grew up in strong Christian faith that made him believe in God and doctrines of the Christian church. This is the same case with all people whether believers or atheists. Their faith is the major determining factor of whether they believe in existence of God or not. Any arguments by philosophers, theologians and other thinkers will therefore not have a significant impact in shaping the beliefs of people. This proves the thesis of this essay that we don’t need proof of God existence.
People are diverse and will therefore always have different opinions on whether God exists or not. As such, existence of God is not a matter of discussion. In the modern world, there is a de facto debate on religious issues ranging from pluralism, atheism and Islam (Peters, 2007, p. 84). Under Pluralism, the claim of any religion is respected (Siniscalchi, 2010, p. 51). This gives the freedom of worship and therefore any person is given the right to believe in what s/he thinks is the best. As such, there can be many religions and people can opt to believe in God or not. In atheism, the claim of no religion is respected and therefore people will simply say that God does not and have never existed and if he did, he is already dead (Hoven, 2010, p. 75). Islam respects the claims of its religion and that all other religions are not right. Despite these claims, the Christians still believe that their God is gracious and powerful. This means that people are diverse and will always have different views and beliefs about the existence of God. This is a matter that depends on the locations in which people are based and therefore arguments that try to proof whether God exists or not are not necessary. These arguments will always create conflicts and hatred among people since no specific group is ready to go against the beliefs of their religion to follow those of other people. God’s existence will always be a matter of discussion since people are diverse. It would therefore be best if people are allowed to believe in whatever they want since no single religion has been proved to be right or wrong and no thinker has proved the existence of God by facts. Everything discussed about the existence of God is phenomenal and only based on theories that have not been proved yet. The diversity of people and the existence of different religions increase confusion on whether Gods exist or not. Even the atheists have mixed reactions on whether God exists or not for instance religious atheists respect the beliefs of those attached to different religions (Peters, 2007, p. 88). This is clear illustration that people are diverse and will always have different views on religion and existence of God. Believers cannot explain succinctly why they believe and so do non-believers. This shows that matters or religion are phenomenal and no one can explain why some people believe in certain aspects while others do not. This is natural divergence and should be respected at any time. This proves the thesis that we don’t need proof of God’s existence.
Studies that have been conducted about existence of God have not defined one particular way of proving the existence. For instance in Proslogion, Anselm has presented a proof that God exists and this has attracted a lot of researchers since the late medieval period (Schumacher, 2011, p. 88). Anselm argued that it would be impossible to recount all the arguments that have been made on existence of God. Another person who has tried to proof the existence of God is Benedictine monk but his approach is very general and therefore it can be easily criticized. Different philosophers of religion assert that these proves can be accepted especially in cases of priori or ontological proofs. Thomas Aquinas has also attempted to prove existence of God through five ways that are based o the natural order. Different religion philosophers have argued that the statements of atheists are persuasive but there are those who have been opposed to this statement (Schumacher, 2011, p. 87). The different explanations that try to prove existence of God are questionable which implies that the attempt to prove God’s existence is not necessary at all. For instance, all the people who have been discussed in their attempts to prove God’s existence use different arguments which raises questions for example why do they use different explanations to prove the existence of one being? Which of the ways discussed to prove God’s existence should we believe? What is the rationale behind any explanation that attempts to explain God’s existence? The different numbers of explanations that attempt to explain God’s existence create room for criticism among the atheists. They will raise questions that oppose any attempted proof which increase confusion. People should respect that many philosophers and theologians have attempted to prove existence of God but they have always been criticized (Aijaz & Weidler, 2007, p. 7). The arguments of atheists always appear to be stronger than those of believers who always try to convince on issues that have not been proved yet and there are no signs of prove either. It would be to the best interest of human kind if arguments about existence of God do not continue. This is because every person believes in what s/he knows about God despite many explanations. God does not exist and if does, he do not want human beings to be aware of his existence otherwise he would have proved his existence. People should respect this and stop any arguments that try to prove the existence of God as this just increases confusion and hatred. The fact that no single study has absolutely proved the existence of God beyond doubt justifies the thesis of this essay that we don’t need proof of God’s existence.
The essay is based on a clear thesis that we don’t need proof of God’s existence. This has been discussed through three strong points in the essay. The first point states that people’s beliefs on existence or non-existence of God are based on faith and not theories or arguments that have been developed by philosophers and theologians. For instance Sartre asserts that it took him a lot of time to leave the Christian religion and become an atheist. This is because the doctrines of the Christian church and the belief that the God of Christians is gracious had dominated his mind and thoughts. In addition, it is stated in the essay that most of his arguments were based on the Christian faith. This means that faith plays significant role in determining the belief of a person about God’s existence and hence there is no need of proof. The other major point that proves the thesis is the fact that people are diverse and will always have different views and opinions about existence of God. The essay has discussed atheists, Muslims, pluralists and Christians who have been found to have different arguments about God. These groups of people will always exist and therefore no need of trying to prove God’s existence. This is because each of the named groups will have its own views and opinions about this issue. The other point that proves the thesis is the fact that different studies have been conducted but no particular one has been able to prove the existence of God absolutely. All the studies are based on phenomenal theories which are always open to criticism. People should therefore be given freedom to believe in what they know about God.
Aijaz, I., & Weidler, M. (2007). Some critical reflections on the hiddenness argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion , 16 (7), 1-23.
Holley, D. M. (2011). How can a Believer Doubt that God Exists? Philosophical Quarterly , 61 (254), 746-761.
Hoven, A. V. (2010). Sartre and Atheism. Sartre Studies International , 16 (2), 75-84.
Peters, T. (2007). Christian God-Talk While Listening to Atheists, Pluralists, and Muslims. A Journal of Theology , 46 (2), 84-104.
Schumacher, L. (2011). The Lost Legacy of Anselm’s Argument: Re-Thinking the Purpose ff Proofs for the Existence of God. Modern Theology , 27 (1), 87-102.
Siniscalchi, G. B. (2010). Knowing that God Exists: Retrieving the Teaching of Dei Filius. American Theological Inquiry , 3 (2), 45-68.