Let’s dive right into the last two arguments for defending Christianity! The first argument up is the Conscience or Moral argument, which are more or less the same.
This is part two of a short series. If you have not read part one, you can read it here!
Conscience, as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the sense of consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with feeling of obligation to do right or good.
The argument from conscience says that we each have an inner voice that tells us when we should or should not do something. This voice, or conscience, serves as an authority in our lives that we trust.
The argument claims that this small voice that we often hear inside ourselves is God, or at least proof of an objective moral law. God is our conscience, the moral authority by which we try to live by.
Not many people will argue against the idea that we all have some degree of a moral compass. We’ve all had moments where we made decisions against our better judgment.
But what is this “better judgment”?
Sure, you can argue that this inner voice just happens to be there. Why does it have to be attached to a god, one might ask.
An apologist using the conscience argument as their premise to prove God’s existence must explain why the conscience, or moral authority, must come from a personal God. That is the purpose of the argument.
So, the questions is: what is this conscience? By what authority does this conscience operate? What or who’s moral law governs this conscience?
In a nutshell, this argument takes the stance that we all have a moral conscience. That conscience generally tells us what’s right and wrong. There are universal “rights” and “wrongs” that we all subscribe to. And the source of this conscience or universal “right” and “wrong” must be an objective source outside of our world because we are subjective beings.
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Next, we’ll jump into what is called the Ontological argument. I will keep this overview brief for two reasons. 1) This argument is very perplexing. And 2) In my opinion, I just don’t think it’s a very good argument for defending Christianity if I’m honest.
This argument takes the standpoint that it is a contradiction to say that God does not exist. This argument attempts to prove the existence of God by using the very definition of God. God, being defined as the greatest possible being, is alone enough to prove God’s existence.
I’ll give it my best shot at simplifying this complex idea:
- Anyone and everyone can universally agree that if God exists, He is the greatest possible being.
- So, if you imagine God, you imagine a being that no other being in existence is greater than.
- However, imagination is not real, and is only as great as the limits of your mind.
- And a real, actual God trumps an imaginative God any day.
- Therefore, in reality, you cannot imagine the “greatest possible being” if that which you imagine can be surpassed by a real, actual God.
- What you have imagined is not actually the “greatest possible being” since something else (a real God) can exist greater than it.
- A real God is greater than an imagined God.
- Therefore, God must exist as the “greatest possible being” because an actual God is greater than what you have imagined.
More confused? Yep…sounds about right.
Let’s try again.
We cannot simply imagine the “greatest possible being” because the “greatest possible being” would be a real being, which would surpass our imagination. So if a real God is greater than an imagined god, then what you have imagined is not actually the “greatest possible being”.
The problem with this argument is we can apply this rule to anything and conclude that a thing exists simply because a real version is always greater than the imagination.
The argument just does not hold up for me. Maybe more skilled apologists can use this argument to get the point across. But this one just isn’t my cup of tea. It seems to be a play on words and goes around in confusing circles.
Not all arguments are the same. But there are several angles from which to approach the question of God’s existence. But defending Christianity and learning how to defend God’s case is so crucial.
For each of the arguments I’ve shared, I’ve made an honest attempt at simplifying them. Not just for you, but for myself as well. Ha!
I hope this sparked your interest enough to do your own research.
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