All Traditional Arguments For God’s Existence
This article explores all traditional arguments for God’s Existence.
The existence of God is too evident to need any arguments. Some saintly scholars have stated that God Himself is more manifest than any other being, but those who lack insight cannot see Him. Others have said that He is concealed from direct perception because of His Self-manifestation’s intensity.
♠ Everything is contingent, for it is equally possible that they will exist or not exist. Anything can exist anytime and anywhere, in any form, and with any character. Nothing or no one has a role in determining the way, time, and place of its coming into existence, or its character and features. So, there must be a power that chooses between a thing’s existence and non-existence, and that gives it unique characteristics. This power must be infinite, have absolute will and all-comprehensive knowledge. Necessarily, it is God.
♠ Everything changes. Therefore it is contained in time and space, meaning that it begins and ends. That which has a beginning needs a beginningless one to bring it into existence, for it cannot originate itself, as this would require an infinite regression of originators. As reason cannot accept such a situation, an originator who is infinitely self-existent, self-subsistent, and immune to change is needed. This original originator is God.
♠ Life is a riddle (scientists cannot explain it with material causes or discover its origin) and transparent (it displays a creative power). Given this, life declares: “God created me.“
♠ Everything that exists, and the universe as a whole, display a magnificent harmony and order in themselves and in their interrelationships. The existence of one part necessitates the existence of the whole, and the whole requires the existence of all parts for its own existence. For example, a deformed cell may destroy an entire body. Similarly, a pomegranate requires the collaborative and cooperative existence of air, water, soil, and the sun, as well as their mutual and well-balanced cooperation, for its existence. This harmony and cooperation point to a creator of order, who knows the relationships and characteristics of everything, and who can order everything. The creator of order is God.
♠ All of creation exhibits an overwhelming artistry of dazzling worth. Yet it is brought into being, as we see it, with great ease and speed. Furthermore, creation is divided into countless families, genera, species, and even smaller groups, each of which exists in great abundance. Despite this, we see nothing but order, art, and ease in creation. This shows the existence of one with an absolute power and knowledge, who is God.
♠ Whatever has been created has a purpose. Take the example of ecology. Everything, no matter how apparently insignificant, has a significant role and purpose. The chain of creation up to humanity, its last link, is clearly directed to a final purpose. A fruit-bearing tree’s purpose is to yield fruit, and its whole life is directed toward that goal. Similarly, the “tree of creation” yields humanity as its final and most comprehensive fruit. Nothing is in vain; rather, every item, activity, and event has many purposes. This requires a wise one who pursues certain purposes in creation. Since only humanity can understand those purposes, the wisdom and purposiveness in creation necessarily point to God.
♠ All living and non-living beings cannot meet almost none of their own needs on their own. For example, the universe can operate and maintain itself only by such universal laws as growth and reproduction, gravitation and repulsion. But these so-called “natural laws” have no actual external, visible, or material existence; they are nominal. How can something nominal, completely devoid of knowledge and consciousness, be responsible for such a miraculous creation that requires absolute power and absolute knowledge, wisdom, choice, and preference? So, one who has all of these attributes has established these “natural laws” and uses them as veils to cover His operations for a certain purpose.
♠ Plants need air and water, as well as heat and light, to survive. Can they fulfill their own needs? Humanity’s needs are infinite. Fortunately, all of our essential needs, from our beginning in the womb to death, are met by someone who is able to meet them and chooses to do so. When we enter this world, we find everything prepared to meet all the needs of our senses and intellectual and spiritual faculties. This clearly shows that one who is infinitely merciful and knowledgeable provides for all created beings in the most extraordinary way, and causes all things to collaborate to that end.
♠ All things in the universe, regardless of distance, help each other. This mutual helping is so comprehensive that, for example, almost all things, among them air and water, fire and soil, the sun and the sky, help us in an extraordinarily prearranged manner. Our bodily cells, members, and systems work together to keep us alive. Soil and air, water and heat, and bacteria cooperate with each other to benefit plants. Such activities, which display knowledge and conscious purpose, by unconscious beings show the existence of a miraculous arranger. That one is God.
♠ Before humanity began to over-pollute the air, water and soil, the natural world was cleansed and purified continually. Even now, it still preserves its original purity in many regions, mostly where modern life has not yet taken hold. Have you ever wondered why nature is so clean? Why are forests so clean, even though many animals die in them every day? If all files born during the summer survived, the Earth would be covered completely with layers of dead flies. Nothing is wasted in nature, for each death is the beginning of a new birth. For example, a dead body decomposes and is integrated into the soil. Elements die and are revived in plants; plants die in the stomachs of animals and people and are promoted to a higher rank of life. This cycle of death and revival is one factor that keeps the universe clean and pure. Bacteria and insects, wind and rain, black holes and oxygen in organic bodies all sustain the universe’s purity. This purity points to one who is all-holy one, whose attributes include cleanliness and purity.
♠ Innumerable human beings have lived since Adam and Eve were created. Despite their common origin-a sperm and ovum, formed from the same foods consumed by parents-and their being composed of the same structures or elements or organisms, every person has a unique countenance. Science cannot explain this miraculous uniqueness. It cannot be explained by DNA or chromosomes, since this difference dates back to the first differentiation of individuals in the world. Moreover, this difference is not only in countenances; all human beings are unique in character, desire, ambition, and ability, and so on. While members of animal species are almost the same and display no difference in behavior, each human individual is like a different species that has his or her own world within the larger world of humanity. This obviously shows one with an absolutely free choice and all-encompassing knowledge: God.
♠ We need about 15 years to direct our lives and to understand what is good and bad. But many animals have such knowledge very soon after they are born. For example, ducklings can swim as soon as they hatch, and ants start digging nests in the ground when they leave their cocoons. Bees and spiders quickly learn how to make their honeycombs and webs, respectively, which are marvels of handiwork that we cannot reproduce. Who teaches young eels born in the waters of Europe to find their way to their home in the Pacific? Is the migration of birds not still a mystery? How can you explain such astounding facts other than by attributing them to the teaching or directing of one who knows everything, and has arranged the universe and its inhabitants in a way that every creature can direct its life?
♠ Despite enormous scientific advances, we still cannot explain life. Life is the gift of the Ever-Living One, Who “breathes” a spirit into each embryo. We know little about the spirit’s nature and relation with the body, but our ignorance does not mean that the spirit does not exist. The spirit is sent here to be perfected and to acquire a state appropriate for the other life.
♠ Our conscience is the center of our inclinations toward right and wrong. Everybody feels this conscience occasionally, and most people are inclined to turn to God on certain occasions. For us, this inclination and belief in Him are intrinsic. Even if we consciously deny God, our unconscious belief in Him occasionally shows itself. The Qur’an mentions this in several verses:
It is He Who enables you to travel on the land and the sea; and when you are in the ship, and the ships run with a favorable wind and they rejoice in it, there comes upon them a strong wind, and waves come on them from every side and they think that they are encompassed. Then they cry unto God, making their faith pure for Him only, (saying): “If you deliver us from this, we truly will be thankful.” (10:22)
Then [Abraham] broke them [the idols] into pieces, all except the large one, so that they might turn to Him. [When they returned and saw this] they said: “Who has done this to our gods? Surely it must be some evildoer.” They said: “We have heard a youth talk of them; he is called Abraham.” They said: “Then [at once] bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may testify.” [When Abraham was there] they said: “Is it you who has done this to our gods, O Abraham?” He said: “Nay, their chief has done it, so ask them, if they can speak.” At once they turned to themselves and said: “You, you are the wrongdoers.” Then they were utterly confounded, and said: “O Abraham! You know that these do not speak.” Abraham said: “Do you then worship, besides God, those things that cannot profit in anything at all, nor harm you? Woe unto you, and all that you worship instead of God! Do you not use your intelligence?” They said: “Burn him (immediately) and protect your gods, if you are doing anything.” (21:58-68)
So, the human spirit and conscience are a strong argument for the existence of One God.
♠ Human beings are innately disposed to good and beauty, virtue and moral values, and are adverse to evil and ugliness. Therefore, unless corrupted by external factors and conditions, we naturally seek universal good and moral values. These turn out to be the same virtues and morality promulgated by all Divine revealed religions. As history witnesses, humanity always has had some kind of religion. Just as no other system has superseded religion in human life, the Prophets and religious people always influenced us the most and have left indelible marks on us. This is another irrefutable proof for the existence of One God.
♠ We feel many intuitions and emotions that are messages from immaterial realms. Among them, the intuition of eternity arouses in us a desire for eternity, which we strive to realize in various ways. However, this desire can be realized only through belief in and worship of the Eternal One Who inspired it. True human happiness lies in satisfying this desire for eternity.
♠ If a few liars come to us several times and tell us the same things, we may, in the absence of reliable information, believe them. But when tens of thousands of Prophets who never lied, hundreds of thousands of saints, and millions of believers, all of whom have adopted truthfulness as a most essential pillar of belief, and then agree on God’s existence, is it reasonable to reject their testimony and accept the individual reports of a few liars?
♠ The proofs for the Qur’an’s Divine origin are also proofs for God’s existence. The Qur’an teaches with great emphasis and focus, as indeed do the Bible’s Old and New Testaments, the existence of One God. In addition, tens of thousands of Prophets have been sent to guide humanity to truth. All were justly renowned for their truthfulness and other praiseworthy virtues, and all gave priority to preaching the existence and Oneness of God.
By M. Fethullah Gülen
The Qur’an teaches with great emphasis and focus, as indeed do the Bible’s Old and New Testaments, the existence of One God. In addition, tens of thousands of Prophets have been sent to guide humanity to truth. All were justly renowned for their truthfulness and other praiseworthy virtues, and all gave priority to preaching the existence and Oneness of God.