Who are some theistic mathematicians

Can the existence of a theistic God be proven?

Is the existence of a theistic God provable?

The question of the existence of God has been asked for centuries. And recently it has become more topical due to the rise of the “new atheism”. The patron of this movement, Richard Dawkins, rejects the existence each supernatural being.[1] In contrast, most theists do not just want to prove the existence of any being. For them, God must have certain properties, such as omnipotence, all-goodness and all-wisdom. The God who can unite all these qualities in himself is theistic. So it works in large parts of the Ask about God not just about the existence of a supernatural being. Rather, it is about the existence of a theistic God. But is proof of God possible? And if so, can it also be proven that it has all the necessary properties? In the following it should be argued that it is not possible.

First of all, it must be determined what successful proofs of the existence of God must provide. Can a conclusion (such as: “theistic God exists”) be supported by premises in such a way that the argument proves to be unequivocally conclusive and rises above any criticism? Since there is obviously no knowledge without preconditions, such premises are only wishful thinking. A proof of this strength can therefore not be given. Every argument is open to criticism in one way or another.

However, if one looks at somewhat weaker proofs, such as the proofs of mathematical theorems, one can see that from very obvious (even if not incontestable) premises are assumed. Hardly anyone will deny that mathematics is about very reliable knowledge. But the long debate about the proofs of God shows that the premises they contain are not as obvious and plausible as those of mathematics. The reason are premises that are repeatedly found in proofs of God and make statements about complexity, direction and logical or temporal sequences. Such premises must be weighed up (questions must be answered, such as whether there is no other explanation for the complexity or whether there cannot be other possible sequences as well). While it should be more reasonable to hold a single premise true than its negation, its truth is not obvious.

In terms of subjective persuasiveness, the evidence of God is confronted with additional difficulties (even if it does not say anything about the quality of the evidence). In addition, the existence of such a god has consequences for personal life. People are generally not so convinced by proof of God that they change their view of the world and, above all, their way of life. Therefore, the chances of success of finding evidence that everyone agrees on must be greatly reduced because of the problems mentioned. After all, there is always something to be found in an argument that can be criticized in hindsight if the conclusion does not lead to the desired result. Kelly James Clark has also observed this tendency while he has dealt intensively with various proofs of God. He remarks in his ironic way:

A suspicion arises: Theistic proofs and Christian evidences support what the Christian [...] wishes, with all her heart, to believe (and vice versa for the nontheist). Lucky (or providential) for her that all of the evidence comes out - forcefully, clear, and unambiguously - on her side. The suspicion ripens: The heart guides, for better or for worse, the assessment of the evidence (on both sides of the debate). (Clark 2000, 365).

In my opinion, this is reason enough to assume that there can be no proof of the existence of a theistic God. At least none of the z. B. would be comparable to the proof of a mathematical theorem. And if there were, most people would not be convinced if they did not want to.

The next difficulty that proofs of God must face concerns the attributes of God. Ultimately, the argument is intended to convince us of the existence of a theistic God. However, each of the classical proofs of God only aims at individual properties of God. The cosmological establishes the power of God by inferring an immobile mover from the movement in this world. The teleological shows his wisdom or intelligence, based on the impression that nature and life seem to be directed towards one goal. Other evidence establishes other properties. It is not enough to rely on a single argument to prove a theistic God. One would only come to a supernatural being with a certain quality. Hence, most theists today use more than one argument, each demonstrating a different attribute along with the existence of God.[2]


[1] See Dawkins 2006, 36.

[2] See Geisler 1999, 283.

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