There seems to be a pervasive view today that atheism has the intellectual high ground relative to theism. Atheist often perceive acknowledgment of God’s existence as being naïve or intellectually shallow. The basis for this perception is the common belief that all arguments theists propose for the existence of God are “god of the gaps” arguments (arguments where the theist posits God to fill in the gap created by a lack of natural explanations for a certain phenomenon). Such thinking leads atheists to define the believer’s acceptance of God as belief without evidence—a sort of a blind impulse of the mind, which is appalling and repulsive for an intellectually responsible individual. —Karlo Broussard
It is additionally intriguing that the current popular simulation theory receives no such equivalent criticism on being a “science of the gaps” argument, in which all unknowns will eventually be proven by materialistic observational scientific methods. Metaphysical arguments rely on the transcendental as evident to discuss as evidence for proof of a transcendent being. Thusly, getting the athiest to concede the metaphysical is already a victory in the discussion! Perhaps the standard scientific method is not adequate to prove or disprove the transcendent. —Arthur Kettelhut
Abstract Objects in the Metaphysical Arguments
1) Some abstract objects exist necessarily. (The reason for titling this site as Necessary Reason!)
2) Abstract objects depend for their existence on concrete objects.
3) So, at least one concrete object exists necessarily.
● E. J. Lowe, “A New Modal Version of the Ontological Argument,” in Szatkowski (ed.), Ontological Proofs Today (Ontos Verlag, 2012), ch. 8.
● Similar argument in Joshua Rasmussen and Alexander Pruss, Necessary Existence (Oxford, 2018), ch. 7.
Feser’s Augustinian Proof (Metaphysical Arguments)
Scholastic realism is a type of moderate realism. It falls between Platonism and nominalism on universals. Universals, strictly speaking, only exist in minds, but they are founded on actual relations of similarity in the world.
1) Abstract objects exist.
2) If abstract objects exist, either Platonic realism is true, Aristotelian realism is true, or Scholastic realism is true.
3) Platonic realism and Aristotelian realism are false.
4) So, Scholastic realism is true.
5) If Scholastic realism is true, abstract objects exist in a necessarily existent intellect.
6) So, there is a necessarily existent intellect. (necessary in the uncaused cause)
E.J. Lowe on Objects of Reason (Metaphysical Arguments)
1) If objects of reason exist, they are nonphysical, necessarily existent, and inﬁnite in number.
2) If objects of reason are nonphysical, necessarily existent, and inﬁnite in number, they are best explained by a nonphysical, necessarily existent, inﬁnite intellect.
3) Objects of reason exist.
4) So, probably, there is a nonphysical, necessarily existent, inﬁnite intellect.
● E. J. Lowe, “Naturalism, Theism, and Objects of Reason,” Philosophia Christi 15/1 (2013), pp. 35-45.
On Propositions for the Metaphysical Arguments
1) Propositions are distinctively thought-like.
2) Is propositions are distinctively thought-like, they are the thoughts of a necessary, inﬁnite mind.
3) So, propositions are the thoughts of a necessary, inﬁnite mind.
● Quentin Smith, “A Conceptualist Argument for God’s Existence,” Faith and Philosophy 11/1 (1994), pp. 38-49.
● James Anderson and Greg Welty, “The Lord of Non-Contradiction: An Argument for God from Logic,” Philosophia Christi 13/2 (2011), pp. 321-338.
● Richard Davis, “God and the Platonic Horde: A Defense of Limited Conceptualism,” Philosophia Christi 13/2 (2011), pp. 289-303.
● Lorraine Keller, “Against Naturalized Cognitive Propositions,” Erkenntnis 82/4 (2017), pp. 929-946.
● Lorraine Keller, “The Argument from Intentionality (or Aboutness): Propositions Supernaturalized,” in Walls & Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 11-28.
The Existence of Sets
1) Sets exist and have a certain nature: they are (i) non-self-membered, (ii) have their members essentially, and (iii) collectively form an iterated structure.
2) Either set-theoretic realism is true or activism is true.
3) Activism explains the existence and nature of sets better than set-theoretic realism ((iii) in particular).
4) So, the existence and nature of sets confirms activism over set-theoretic realism.
5) If activism is true, then there’s probably an inﬁnite intellect.
6) So, the existence and nature of sets confirms the existence of an inﬁnite intellect.
S = Sets exist and have a certain nature.
STR = Set-theoretic realism
A = Activism: sets are the product of intellective activity
I = An inﬁnite intellect exists
1) P(STR) + P(A) = 1 (either STR or A)
2) P(S|A) > P(S|STR)
3) So, S conﬁrms A.
4) The best explanation of A is I.
5) So, S conﬁrms I.
Christopher Menzel, “The Argument from Collections,” in Walls & Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 29-58.
The Existence of Facts
1) Facts exist and are unities of constituents.
2) Facts can be unities of constituents only if there is an external fact-uniﬁer.
3) Some fact or other exists in every world.
4) If some fact or other exists in every possible world, there must be an external fact-uniﬁer in every possible world.
5) So, there is an external fact-uniﬁer in every possible world.
6) The only thing that can be an external fact-uniﬁer in every possible world is a mind.
7) So, there is a fact-unifying mind in every possible world.
● William Vallicella, “From Facts to God: An Onto-Cosmological Argument,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 48/3 (2000), pp. 157-181
On Contingent Beings (Metaphysical Arguments)
1) All contingent beings are composite and temporal.
2) There is nothing intrinsic to contingent being that explains what holds them together through time.
3) That which explains what holds contingent beings together through time cannot be other contingent beings.
4) So, that which explains what holds contingent beings together though time must be a necessary, incomposite, atemporal, sustaining cause.
● David Braine, The Reality of Time and the Existence of God (Oxford, 1988).
The Existence of Unities: Wholes
1) If x is a whole, then x is made by an intelligent agent.
2) Some wholes cannot be made by embodied agents.
3) So, some wholes made by intelligent agents are not made by embodied agents.
4) Some wholes made by an intelligent, unembodied agent require that agent to be God-like.
5) So, there a God-like, intelligent, unembodied agent exists.
● J. Kronen and S. Menssen, “The Argument from Wholes: A Classical Hindu Design Argument for the Existence of God,” Faith and Philosophy 30/2 (2013), pp. 138-158.
The Existence of the Cosmos: Unity of the Cosmos
1) The unity of the cosmos requires explanation.
2) If the unity of the cosmos is explained by something internal to it, it is explained either by its parts or by natural laws.
3) The unity of the cosmos cannot be explained by its parts or by natural laws.
4) So, the unity of the cosmos cannot be explained by something internal to it.
5) So, the unity of the cosmos must be explained by something external to it.
6) Whatever is external to the cosmos that explains its unity must be timeless, immaterial, powerful, and plausibly a mind. (Leibnizian Monad)
Leibniz, G. and Strickland, L., 2014. Leibniz’s Monadology: A New Translation And Guide. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Paulo Juarez, “From the Unity of the World to God: A Teleo-Cosmological Argument for God’s Existence,” Scientia et Fides 5/2 (2017), pp. 283-303.
The Limits of Limits – Are Limits Limited?
1) Whatever is limited has an explanation.
2) If whatever is limited has an explanation, then, possibly, something is unlimited.
3) So, possibly, something is unlimited.
4) If something is unlimited, then it is perfect.
5) If something is perfect, it is necessary.
6) So, if something is unlimited, it is necessary. (4, 5)
7) If, possibly, something is unlimited, then there is something that is perfect and necessary (5, 6)
8) So, there is something that is perfect and necessary. (3, 7)
● Joshua Rasmussen, How Reason Can Lead to God (IVP, 2019).