The Noological arguments are a subset of the ontological. The main feature that separates the Noological is the logic part. The Noological is best on thoughts and reason rather than observation. Anselm in the 11th century is known as a primary source of the ontological in referring to God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” Since God is all good, it is better to exist, therefore the greatest being must exist.

The noological arguments don’t hold much sway for non-believers as their subject attitudes and presuppositions cannot deal with the implications of a thought experiment in a logically consistent form. A materialst would even deny thought exists since they see the mind as a symptom of the brain. The basis of the ontological and noological arguments only stand to reason when compared with objective absolutes. And objective absolutes are problematic for many. Let us know your opinion in the comments below.

Thinking of Thinking Things

1) There has always been something in existence.
2) Everything is either a thinking thing or an unthinking thing.
3) There are now thinking things.
4) Nonthinking things cannot produce thinking things.
5) So, there has always been at least one thinking thing.
6) Other thinking things cannot produce other thinking things ad infinitum.
7) So, a thinking thing that always exists must produce thinking things.

● John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
● Critical discussion in Oppy, Arguing About Gods (Oxford, 2006), pp. 382-385.

Psychophysical Laws

1) Mental states are connected to brain states by psychophyscial laws.
2) The existence of psychophysical laws is much more probable is theism is true than if naturalism is true.
3) So, psychophysical laws are strong evidence for theism over naturalism.

● Robert Adams, “Flavors, Colors, and God,” in Adams, The Virtue of Faith (Oxford, 1987), ch. 16.
● Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God (Oxford, 2004), ch. 9.
● Richard Swinburne, “The Argument from Flavors and Colors,” in Walls and Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 293-303.

Non-Physical Conscious States

1) Nonphysical mental states exist.
2) The explanation for the existence of nonphysical mental states is either scientific or personal.
3) The explanation for the existence of nonphysical mental states cannot be scientific. (Cannot be proven by the scientific method)
4) So, the explanation for the existence of nonphysical mental states is personal.
5) If the explanation for the existence of nonphysical mental states is personal, then it is theistic.
6) So, the explanation for the existence of nonphysical mental states is theistic.

● J. P. Moreland, Consciousness and the Existence of God (Routledge, 2008).

Consciousness in and of Itself (per se)

1) Consciousness exists.
2) Given the laws of nature, the existence of consciousness is very unlikely if naturalism is true but very likely if theism is true.
3) So, given the laws of nature, the existence of consciousness is strong evidence for theism over naturalism.

● Ben Page, “Arguing to Theism from Consciousness,” Faith and Philosophy 37/3 (2020), pp. 336-362.

Why is the consumption of food pleasurable? Naturalism will argue that it is the reward system developed by an evolutionary process. While it is agreed that our senses can be shaped and changed over time, the distinct pleasures of the senses do more than just reward the organism, they shape its life. To shape and define an organisms life suggests the reasonable probability of design. Is there any non-intelligent design? We will explore this topic in subsequent posts. –A. Kettelhut

Are all Pleasures Gratuitous?

“Assuming the necessity of food for the support of animal life; it is requisite, that the animal be provided with organs, fitted for the procuring, receiving, and digesting of its food. It may be also necessary, that the animal be impelled by its sensations to exert its organs. But the pain of hunger would do all this. Why add pleasure to the act of eating; sweetness and relish to food? Why a new and appropriate sense for the perception of the pleasure? Why should the juice of a peach, applied to the palate, affect the part so differently from what it does when rubbed upon the palm of the hand?

This is a constitution which, so far as appears to me, can be resolved into nothing but the pure benevolence of the Creator. Eating is necessary; but the pleasure attending it is not necessary: and that this pleasure depends, not only upon our being in possession of the sense of taste, which is different from every other, but upon a particular state of the organ in which it resides, a felicitous adaptation of the organ to the object, will be confessed by any one, who may happen to have experienced that vitiation of taste which frequently occurs in fevers, when every taste is irregular, and every one bad.” –William Paley

Gratuitous Pleasures (Noological Arguments)

1) If there are pleasures that are gratuitous given naturalism but expected on theism, they are evidence for theism over naturalism.
2) There are pleasures that are gratuitous given naturalism but expected on theism.
3) So, those pleasures are evidence for theism over naturalism.

● William Paley, Natural Theology (Cambridge, 1803; ed. 2009), pp. 518-519.

See Also: The Transcendentals and Does The Cosmos Explain God?