Chapter 3: Philosophy of Religion
Proofs for the Existence of God
Argument from Revelation
There is an argument to prove that god exists. It is based upon sacred scripture. It is based on the belief that god has revealed god’s existence to humans through the creation or inspiration of the text, which is then thought to be a sacred text. Humans experience the text directly and through that experience many believe that they have contact with the deity.
Argument from Revelation consists of:
· Inspired by the deity/intermediary
· Dictated by the deity/intermediary
· Written by the deity/intermediary
This argument or proof is not accepted by rational careful thinkers as it has problems or flaws in it. There are leaks in this "raft". There are different sorts of problems with this argument:
(1) LOGICAL PROBLEM:
Fallacy: Classic circular argument
This argument assumes what it is trying to prove and thus is considered to be one of the poorest arguments of all those offered to prove the existence of god. Premise 2 and 4 actually contain the conclusion in it. But the argument is supposed to lead you to the conclusion and not assume the conclusion within the premises. You must accept that the book is from god in order to accept it as being truthful and accurate and then when you accept it as being truthful and accurate you read in it that there is a deity and so conclude that there is a god and that is what you needed to think in order to accept the book as being truthful and accurate in the first place.
This circular reasoning would not convince a rational person who was not already a believer in a deity that three was a deity.
(2) PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM:
In addition today there are many people who refuse to believe that the texts are accurate descriptions of events that occurred long ago. People are aware of the psychological phenomenon whereby people who repeat tales are inclined to exaggerate or otherwise distort what actually occurred. Events might have been seen in retrospect as having been directed by a deity or as having some meaning in terms of a plan devised by a deity or as symbolic of the deity.
(3) Finally, it is now known that what have been considered to be sacred texts were voted upon by the leaders of the religious movements. Certain texts were excluded and others included by deliberate calculation of the practical results desired by those who had the power to declare the texts to be officially inspired or written by the deity.
The use of texts that are considered by some to be sacred are not likely to prove to the non-believer that they are sacred. The use of the texts to prove to a non-believer that there is a sacred source for the inspiration to the authors of the texts is not likely to be convincing when there are alternative explanations for what was created so long ago. Those alternative explanations having to do with human psychology and sociology are being accepted by steadily increasing number of people, including those who claim to be religious. Most simply can not believe that the reports contained with the scriptures are accurate or true and fewer and fewer can accept the texts as being directed by the deity.
(4) TRUTH PROBLEMS
What sacred text is the most sacred or the most true? What version of the sacred text are we to use? and B) the text reports events that can not be true and that can not be verified and that can be falsified.
A ) Variations in Sacred Texts
If the Argument from Revelation or Scripture is thought to be acceptable by some then there is the need to explain why one scripture is preferable to another and how the other scriptures that contradict the preferred scripture are to be disproved or disallowed.:
So which sacred scripture is more sacred or more holy or more true: Bible, New Testament, Koran, Vedas, Avestas ????
B) VARIATIONS in the SACRED TEXTS of the western religions:
What version is the official version of the "holy book"? Why?
What versions of these sacred scriptures are to be taken as the OFFICIAL and the truthful versions? In all three traditions of the West: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there are records to indicate that there were and are variations on the sacred texts. In all three traditions a time came when the community needed to determine what the official version or the Canon would be.
The cannon is the Tanakh is also called מקרא, Mikra or Miqra, meaning "that which is read", referring to the Jewish practice of public reading from the Scripture while in synagogue .On the development of the canon for the bible today used by the Judaic tradition.
There are books that are not included in the Hebrew Bible. They are Apocryphal and include: Tobit, III and IV Esdras and another omitted book is that of the Book of Enoch. Read one translation of it here. ARTFL Project: This site offers various online versions of the Bible in different languages. The site is organized to facilitate comparison of the versions.
Dead Sea Scrolls: A selection from the scrolls is available for on-line scrutiny. This site provides information on the historical context of the scrolls and the Qumran community from whence they may have originated. It also relates the story of their discovery 2,000 years later. In addition, the site aims to introduce us to the challenges and complexities connected with scroll research.
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures: This site contains abstracts from articles published in the Journal, as well as some bibliographies concerned with the Hebrew Scriptures.
CHRISTIANITY What books? What testaments? What gospels?
On the development of the Christian Cannon or the New Testament read this material.
New Testament Web Resources: Maintained by Mark Goodacre, this excellent site is an up to date, annotated guide to good academic New Testament web resources. This site will be of interest to both students and teachers.
Society of Biblical Literature: This site provides an interesting list of Electronic Resources for Biblical Studies:
On the New Testament:
Here is a collection of early Christian writings that includes gospels that were not accepted into the official cannon. See more on theThe Gnostic Gospels
ISLAM On the Quran:
Origins: --by scholar - Ibn Warraq
see more on this here Origins of the Koran
PROBLEM: there are VARIATIONS in the Koran
B) NO VERIFICATION of stories in the BIBLE or VERIFICATION not Possible
Bible , Truth and Knowledge
This argument or proof does not
establish the actual existence of a supernatural deity. It attempts
to argue for the existence of such a being by assuming what it sets out to
prove and that is not rationally legitimate.
While the argument can not be used to convert
a non-believer to a believer, the faults in the argument do not prove that
there is no god. The Burden of Proof
demands that the positive claim that there is a supernatural deity
be established by reason and evidence and this argument does not meet that
standard. The believer
in god can not even use this argument to establish the mere logical possibility that there is a supernatural deity or at least that it is not irrational to believe in
the possibility that there is such a being because the argument is so
The argument does not establish any degree of probability at all
when there are alternative explanations for the contents of the sacred
texts. The veracity of the contents of the sacred text and its
reports has not been established.
This argument or proof does not establish the actual existence of a supernatural deity. It attempts to argue for the existence of such a being by assuming what it sets out to prove and that is not rationally legitimate. While the argument can not be used to convert a non-believer to a believer, the faults in the argument do not prove that there is no god. The Burden of Proof demands that the positive claim that there is a supernatural deity be established by reason and evidence and this argument does not meet that standard. The believer in god can not even use this argument to establish the mere logical possibility that there is a supernatural deity or at least that it is not irrational to believe in the possibility that there is such a being because the argument is so logically flawed. The argument does not establish any degree of probability at all when there are alternative explanations for the contents of the sacred texts. The veracity of the contents of the sacred text and its reports has not been established.
PROBLEMS WITH THE BIBLE
The shape of the planet would need to be one of a FLAT EARTH if the Bible is literally true. The flatness of the earth's surface is required by verses such as these:
Daniel 4:10-11. the king “saw a tree of great height at the centre of the earth...reaching with its top to the sky and visible to the earth's farthest bounds.”
Isaiah 11:12 "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
Matthew 4:8: "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world"
Luke 4:5: "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time."
Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye shall see him...”
Revelation 7:1 "And after these things I saw four angels standing on four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree."
OTHER PROBLEMS WITH THE BIBLE, NEW TESTAMENT and OLD
holds for a Stationary and Flat Earth
StaBible holds for a Stationary and Flat Earth
1. The scriptures say that God exists. (Bible, Koran, Vedas, etc.)
4. God is the source and guarantee of truth
CONCLUSION: God Exists
Problem with argument:
1. _X___Premises are false or questionable
2. ____Premises are irrelevant
3. _X___Premises Contain the Conclusion –Circular Reasoning
4. ____Premises are inadequate to support the conclusion
5. __X__Alternative arguments exist with equal or greater support
This argument or proof based on Revelation has flaws in it and would not convince a rational person to accept its conclusion. This is not because someone who does not believe in a deity will simply refuse to accept based on emotions or past history but because it is not rationally compelling of acceptance of its conclusion.
It would be a mistake in thinking, a violation of logic and a fallacy to think that because this argument or attempt to prove that there is a deity of some type does not work or has flaws that the opposite conclusion must be true, namely that there is no deity of any type. The error is known as the fallacy "argumentum ad ignoratio" or the appeal to ignorance. It is the mistake in thinking that if an argument cannot prove a proposition or claim P is true then P must be false. OR if you cannot prove that P is false then P must be true. It is a mistake to think that way., a logical error.
Proceed to the next section.
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