Ontological, Cosmological, & Teleological Arguments for the Existence of God

The Cosmological Argument for God

This is a philosophical approach to the question of whether or not there is a God. This argument is presented in philosophy in a general way; ‘is there a God’? Not, ‘is there a specific being from any one religion’? The Cosmological Argument for God is the answer to the question; ‘where did all of this (everything contained in our universe; space/time, energy, matter, etc…) come from’?

The basic idea is this; nothing comes from nothing. If there was ever absolutely nothing, nothing could ever come into being; therefore there had to be something. This something must be transcendent. It must not be bound by space/time, since space/time is the very thing that had a beginning, that had to come from something.

This is why the Cosmological Argument is sometimes referred to as the “First-Cause” Argument. The first cause is God. Also, a similar title for God; the Unmoved Mover comes up as well. The universe is in motion…to have energy there needs to be “motion.” Nothing can begin to move unless acted upon by a force…so, there has to be something to act to get everything moving.

These things point at the logical conclusion of the self-existence of God. Many skeptics, at this point, ask; ‘Well, who created God, and where did He come from’? This question shows a basic lack of understanding of the philosophical arguments here. [God is transcendent and does not need a cause.]

One simplistic way to explain it is this; Every event (and effect) must have a cause and every created thing must have a creator. God is neither an event (nor an effect), nor a created thing; therefore He has no need of a cause nor a creator. God has no beginning, since that first “thing” would be transcendent, or outside of time. If there is no time, there is no “beginning” only self existence.

Now, does the Bible back this idea up? Absolutely.

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

God reveals truth in His names, and He is very clear here; He is I AM; eternally self-existent.

John 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto

them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Just further support for the Cosmological Argument pointing at the Christian God…and also support for the triune nature of God.

Again, as a remind, if you are taking a philosophy course this argument is presented for the general idea of a God. You can see that the Bible not only backs this argument up, but it also points directly at The One and only God; The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


The Teleological Argument for God

Many people just refer to [the Teleological Argument] as the Design Argument…however, it isn’t just limited to “design” as in the design of living organisms, but also of the apparent “purposefulness” of the universe; which includes the ordered nature of it, such as the laws of physics.

This would also include things like the apparent unity, and harmony of systems within the universe. I’ve posted before on Ecological Biodiversity, and how the whole system works together to the point that naturalistic explanations fall flat.

Paley often comes up in the discussion of the Teleological Argument for God; he and his famous watch analogy. If you happened upon a watch…even laying on the moon…would you believe it just happened to assemble itself, or would you assume it was designed by an intelligence?

The Intelligent Design movement has kind of resurrected this idea and really grounded it in more technical science. The mass amount of information contained in DNA is one example of a subject now scrutinized by ID…not only the amount contained in DNA, but also how that information is read and interpreted and if there can actually be any logical naturalistic atheistic explanation behind all of this, which, thus far, there is not.

If we want to move more to the specific, we find that indeed God Himself puts forth a teleological argument in several places in the Bible, for example;

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:


The Ontological Argument for God

St. Anselm is kind of the “go-to” philosopher for the Ontological Argument, and it revolves around the idea of God as [‘that’ of which] nothing greater can be conceived. Then, through different logical arguments winds up with the conclusion that God must then exist.

If God is defined, not as just a definition, but as a being that is the most perfect being in existence, or the greatest being possible, then the argument goes that He does indeed exist. Why? Because God is the greatest or most perfect being, and it is greater to exist than to not, therefore God must exist.

To put it simplistically; which would you rather have a million imaginary dollars, or a million real dollars? Which is greater? The big argument against the Ontological argument for God comes in the form of a question; Is the existence of ‘God’ [an important and meaningful idea?] Does the fact of existence actually add anything meaningful to the idea of God? The “second” argument of Anselm’s revolves around this notion; God is a greater being if He cannot not exist; if His existence is necessary. If His existence is necessary, then it would indeed be a predicate [(meaningful requirement)].

Basically the logical idea boils down to two possibilities; since God is not a limited being, either His existence is impossible or it is necessary. The existence of God is not impossible, therefore because of His nature and the nature of existence, His existence is necessary.

[Anselm postulated that] “things existing in reality are greater than things existing in the mind only; therefore God must exist in reality, or he would not be the greatest possible being. In other words, since God exists in our minds, he must exist in reality as well, since it would be absurd to be able to think of something that is greater than that which nothing greater can be conceived.” (tcapologetics.org)

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God…

The idea of God as the ultimate being is readily apparent as well:

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

His necessity is also clear, when we read of Him being The Creator of all things;

Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

God Himself has revealed to us that He is indeed the greatest being possible, that His existence is necessary, and that He does indeed exist.


“Because of the inability of this argument to lead to neither a rational proof of God nor a rational disproof, some Christian philosophers agree with Karl Barth that the Ontological Argument should be used more as an assurance to those who already believe in God than as an apologetic method for those who do not.” (tcapologetics.org)

Posted by petra1000

I am a born again christian who loves the Lord and I am taking bible classes online