The anthropological arguments seek to define the cause of the universe and the source of human longing for the divine. Is our desire for God a sign of God’s existence? Is love? Do our lives have any objective meaning? What of happiness and the afterlife? Philosophical points that have been under debate since before Socrates. In modern times quantum mechanics has shown observing changes or at minimum participates in outcomes proving we have an effect on our world. Are humans able to create or merely procreate?

Natural Desire

1) Natural desires (generally, if not always) imply there is something that can satisfy them.
2) We have a natural desire for things only God can satisfy.
3) So, probably, God exists.

● C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
● Robert Holyer, “The Argument from Desire,” Faith and Philosophy 5/1 (1988), pp. 61-71.
● Sloan Lee, “As If Swallowing Life Itself: C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire II,” in Baggett, et al. (eds.), C. S. Lewis as Philosopher: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (Liberty, 2017), pp. 327-346.
● Philip Tallon, “The Theistic Argument from Beauty and Play,” in Walls and Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 321-340.

Modality of Desire

1) Natural desires imply there can be something that satisfies them.
2) We have a natural desire for things only God can satisfy.
3) So, there can be a God.
4) If there can be a God, God exists.
5) So, God exists.

● Todd Buras and Michael Cantrell, “C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia: A New Argument from Desire,” in Walls and Dougherty
(eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 304-320.

God as Motivational Center (Anthropological Apologetic Arguments)

1) If x is the motivational center of many peoples’ lives, that is evidence that x can exist.
2) God is the motivational center of many peoples’ lives.
3) So, that is evidence that God can exist.
4) Evidence that God can exist is evidence that God does exist.
5) So, that God is the motivational center of many peoples’ lives is evidence that God exists.

● Alexander Pruss, “The Ontological Argument and the Motivational Centers of Lives,” Religious Studies 46/2 (2010), pp. 233-249.

Is Love Merely Reciprocal Altruism?

1) Our richest and most profound displays of love strongly suggest that they are not just evolutionary byproducts of kin selection or reciprocal altruism.
2) If our richest and most profound displays of love strongly suggest that, then we’re justified in thinking they’re not just evolutionary byproducts of kin selection or reciprocal altruism.
3) If we’re justified in thinking that, then we’re justified in thinking there is a deeper, non-naturalistic source of love central to reality.
4) If there’s a deeper, non-naturalistic source of love central to reality, it’s probably God.
5) So, probably, God exists.

● Jerry Walls, “The God of Love and the Meaning of Life,” in Walls and Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 304-320.

● William Lane Craig, “The Absurdity of Life Without God”.

Life as Objectively Meaningful

1) Our lives are objectively meaningful.
2) Something has meaning IFF it is endowed meaning by one or more personal agents with the requisite authority and control.
3) So, our lives are endowed meaning by one or more personal agents with the requisite authority and control.
4) The only personal agent with the requisite authority and control to endow our lives with objective meaning is God.
5) So, God exists.

“And if all of this is outside our control, we do not have
the requisite control to see to it that our lives are
completely meaningful, through and through, from first
to last. We can create islands of meaning in this sea of
existence we’ve been given, but it is beyond the power
of any of us to endow with meaning the entirety of life
itself or the entirety of any of our own lives.” — Thomas Morris

● Thomas Morris, Making Sense of it All (Eerdmans, 1992), ch. 4

Objective Meaning as Narrative

1) Our lives are objectively meaningful.
2) Our lives can be objectively meaningful only if they form a narrative.
3) Our lives can form a narrative only if there is a narrator/author of our lives.
4) So, there is a narrator/author of our lives.
5) If there is a narrator/author of our lives, it’s God.
6) So, God exists.

● Joshua Seachris, “The Meaning of Life as Narrative: A New Proposal for Interpreting Philosophy’s ‘Primary’ Question,” Philo 12
(2009), pp. 5-23.

The Naturalness of Belief in Objective Meaning

B = Belief that life has objective meaning is natural to us.
T = Theism
N = Naturalism
1) Pr(B|T) >> Pr(B|N).
2) Pr(B|T) >> Pr(B|N), then Pr(T) > Pr(N).
3) If Pr(T) > Pr(N), then, probably, live has objective meaning.
4) So, probably, live has objective meaning.
5) If life has objective meaning, probably, God exists.
6) So, probably, God exists.

● Trent Dougherty, “Belief that Life has Meaning Confirms that Life has Meaning: A Bayesian Approach,” in Seachris and Goetz (eds.),
God and Meaning: New Essays (Bloomsbury, 2016), ch. 4.

Happiness and the Afterlife

I would substitute meaning for happiness in the below syllogism. Happiness is fleeting and futile as goal onto itself. The search for meaning is more profound and provides the mind with more overall satiety. If meaning causes happiness then so much the better.

1) What makes life worth living is happiness.
2) If what makes life worth living is happiness, it is rational to forego happiness in this life for the sake of duty only if there’s an afterlife where happiness and morality perfectly align.
3) It is rational to forego happiness in this life for the sake of moral duty.
4) So, there’s an afterlife where happiness and morality perfectly align.
5) If there’s an there’s an afterlife where happiness and morality perfectly align, then probably, God exists.
6) So, probably, God exists.

● Stewart Goetz, The Purpose of Life (Continuum, 2012).

See Also: Standards for Morality