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What do philosophers think of the existence of God?
(Part 2)

II. Introduction

As announced in the first article of the series[1], the ease of understanding of the readership matters and the decantation of each content must be crystal clear. Thus, the very first of this series took into account the approach of scientists with regard to the considerations made on the person of God.   This aspect was approached by considering the notion of the origin of the Universe. This one, on the other hand, will take into consideration the point of view of the philosophers, as for the person of God and his existence, by taking account of their reasoning on the origin of the things, in particular of the Universe.


II.1 The beginning of the Universe

In this section, we are not going to dwell on the different philosophical currents to enter into an eternal reflection without wanting to end up with an answer about the existence of God. On the other hand, for a logical deduction, we will preferably consider the different logical, rational and coherent reasoning of philosophers. The philosophical question of the existence of God is one of the most fundamental; because it touches the origin and the finality of all things[1]. Which undoubtedly leads to questions like : Is the universe really the ultimate reality? Or is there a superior being who surpasses it? Was the universe created?[2]


The Big Bang theory is one of the major scientific discoveries of the 20th century that has upset many people's conception of the Universe and, beyond its scientific field, has given rise to numerous philosophical and even theological comments. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to make her say what she does not say. In particular, contrary to popular belief, the Big Bang theory tells us absolutely nothing about a possible “beginning” of the Universe[3]. This is why Einstein maintained that if there is an era before the creation of space, time and matter, an era before the big bang, this is no longer a matter of science but rather of metaphysical quest[i]. Now, metaphysics is that discipline which takes as its object what escapes all possible experience, going beyond sensible, physical reality, such as God, the soul, death, etc.[4] , pour traiter les causes premières et les principes premiers[5] : Dieu existe-t-il ? Is the time over? … What is man? Is it a biological fruit emerging from the chance of evolution or a unique being wanted, desired and expected? Such questions belong to philosophy and go far beyond science. This, to mean that for the notion of finality, there is often a misunderstanding linked to a confusion between the fields of science and metaphysics. In fact, there are two types : one at the level of science and therefore of immanence (immanent finality[ii]); the other at the level of transcendence, outside the field of science[6] (transcendent finality[iii]).

Thus, our concern, in this second paper, consists in bringing out that the existence of God thus proves to be the most reasonable answer to the fundamental questions. But there will still remain a certain number of questions, even after having elaborated on the philosophical aspect of the existence of God, such: if God exists, who is he? Does it show up? And if he reveals himself, by what means did he make himself known? In short, questions to which we will provide answers in a new article which will not be part of this series.


II.1.1 What is a philosopher?

The meaning of the word " philosophe " varies with the times, which makes it difficult to attribute an exhaustive definition to the latter. It is therefore very difficult to identify this word without any difficulty. However, to simplify the work, a philosopher is a researcher who is in perpetual quest to reflect on the great questions of existence as well as their causes, in an often rational and coherent approach, to seek the truth. For Popper, this is the ultimate goal of philosophy.


II.1.2 Philosophical approaches to God and the genesis of the Universe

Nowadays, people are often confronted with the idea that science can explain everything, without any reference to God and,   in return, they are often made to believe that what is not science is not credible. Today's culture absolutizes the value of scientific knowledge and casts doubt on other forms of knowledge, suggesting that only the scientific method can tell us the truth. Other methods of seeking truth, such as theology and philosophy, are not taken seriously[7]. However, taking a step back, we can notice that scientists as well as philosophers seek the truth about man and about the world. However, they do it differently. Thus, atheist philosopher Michael Ruse  said: “  Creation followers believe that the world began miraculously. But miracles lie beyond science, which by definition deals with what is natural, repeatable,  and governed by laws_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_[2]”.


Note that Ruse did not say that miracles contradict science. In a nutshell, he says that the purpose of science is to find natural answers, and therefore miracles lie beyond the realm of science[2]. Which simply means that science takes into account all that is material, having an immanent finality, in the sense that it can experience them in a physical way. On the other hand, philosophy, in particular metaphysics, attempts to take into account the immateriality of beings and things while basing itself on an approach of rationality. Moreover, it is not only philosophers who believe in this dimension : that the Universe was created by a reasonable and transcendent God at its creation. In this sense, the exemplary statement of nuclear physicist Hugh Siefken confirms this idea :


My faith can be summed up in this single paradox : I believe in science, and I believe in God, and I want to continue to witness for both[2].


He and many other scientists see no conflict between their profession and the conclusion that a miracle God is responsible for creating the universe and keeping it alive. In the same sense, the philosopher George Berkeley, a fervent defender of immaterialism, also believes that the existence of a logical system explaining nature implies that thinking beings claim such a system[8]. And, this confirms for the latter the proof of the existence of God. According to him, the material world only exists as an object of perception which must be supported by a thinking mind[9]. Indeed, since its origin, philosophy has proposed indirect proofs of the existence of God, from its effects. In the same way that we can prove the existence of an artist from his works, we can prove the existence of God from the Universe itself[10].


Philosophers as well as scientists believe that the world (the Universe) did not happen by accident. In this sense, Charles Darwin, the founder of the theory of evolution, asserts :


“  Never have I denied the existence of God. I believe the theory of evolution perfectly reconcilable with faith in God. It is impossible to conceive and prove that the splendid and infinitely marvelous universe, like man, is the result of chance; and this impossibility seems to me the best proof of the existence of God.[11] »


In the same vein, David Hume, the famous skeptic who doubts everything including even the foundation of his own skepticism, made this statement :


“…I have never asserted such an absurd proposition as that which would say that nothing can happen without a cause[2]”


This means that something that comes out of nothing makes no sense. Furthermore, as the agnostic Antony Kenny of the University of Oxford puts it : "A follower of the Big Bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that... the 'Universe comes from nothing by means of nothing'. He continues: “The real default position is neither theism nor atheism, but agnosticism (...) the claim to knowledge must be justified; it suffices to admit ignorance[12]”.  Indeed, we are all ignorant at some level even if we are not all ignorant of the same things. This is to say that atheism does not provide a conclusive answer to the question of the existence of God[iv]. However, agnosticism also has no more evidence to affirm the non-existence of God. Agnosticism[v] consists in affirming neither the existence nor the non-existence of God[3]. But since it does not affirm anything, it cannot be a definitive position. Because, in this attitude of thought, either God exists or he does not exist, but there is no third way. Moreover, since the absence of proof of the existence of a thing is not the proof of its non-existence, then it is obvious that these currents of thought cannot be authoritative in matters of conclusive philosophical arguments. about the existence of God.

Patrick Glynn, of Harvard University, a doctor of philosophy and a convinced atheist from his youth, abandoned his atheism to become a Christian in view of the extraordinary precision shown by the Universe. For him, this offers a strong indication of the existence of God given by reason and by science. In his book " God : The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World " which talks about the evidence of God, he demolishes other theories about the creation of the Universe to conclude the following :


Ironically, the picture of the Universe bequeathed to us by the most advanced science of the 21st century is closer in spirit to the vision presented in the Book of Genesis than anything that science has been. able to offer us since Copernic[2].


This, to reinforce the idea that for everything, there must be a cause for its existence. From this point of view, atheists themselves recognize that everything that comes into existence has a cause. In this sense, one of the most famous atheists today, Kai Nielsen, once said : if there should be a cause for a little “_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_bang » tonitruant et que vous me demandiez : « Qu'est-ce qui a causé ce bruit_cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_? " -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_» You would never accept my answer as logical. So wouldn't it make sense to think that there must be a cause for a big " bang "?[2]. So, for there to be a "Big Bang", it is legitimate to have a "Big Banger".


Now it should be perfectly legitimate to ask “ what is the origin of God ”_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_?  The answer is that there cannot have been a cause for its existence, just as there cannot be an infinite regress of causes either[2]. Also, if you had read the previous paragraph carefully, the question wouldn't even have had a place, since there was no assertion like that everything had to have a cause. The principle is that everything that comes or begins to exist must have a cause.  Such is not the case for God.  For his part, William Lane Craig, Doctor of Philosophy and Theology,  argued well with logical and coherent reasoning, called the cosmological argument from contingency:


“First, everything that comes into existence has a cause; second, the Universe began to exist; and thirdly, therefore, the Universe has a cause…and the supernatural cause must be a being that has no cause, invariable, outside of time and immaterial [2]”


In this sense, it follows from these three premises that God exists. Along the same lines, René Descartes, considered one of the founders of modern philosophy, had to say : of God to exist. It is a proof by essence[vi]. ”,  (Metaphysical meditations of Descartes). And, therefore, the explanation of the existence of God lies in the necessity of his own nature, for, as even the atheist recognizes, it is impossible for God to have a cause[13]. So all of this means that God exists outside of time and space, as Saint Augustine  asserted:


“ God exists outside of space and time and that he is able to create them as he forged the other aspects of the world. What was God doing before creating the world? According to Saint Augustine, time itself being part of the divine creation, there was simply no before.


Thus, according to the contingency argument, the personality of the first cause of the Universe (world, creation) is implied by its timelessness and immateriality. The only entities that can possess such properties are spirits or abstract objects such as numbers. But abstract objects are not in cause and effect relationships. Therefore, the transcendent cause of the origin of the Universe must be an unembodied spirit, God. Indeed, it is consistent to affirm that God is a transcendent being, external to the world. He is not somewhere in creation, but rather outside of creation and exists beyond of it. This partly reveals the limits of science with regard to this aspect since it is only interested in what is natural, material and contained in creation.




All in all, we have noticed that throughout the history of philosophy, the proofs of the existence of God vary according to the type of argument chosen to found them[15]. Therefore, scientists as well as philosophers, taking into account the complexity, the specificity of the creation and development of life, agree that the Universe is not the work of chance or accident. Insofar as such results are more difficult to achieve by chance than by the fruit of intelligence, it seems much more probable that the Universe is the result of an extraordinarily intelligent cause. And, this same reflection, faced with all these precisions measured in the smallest details, pushed the renowned atheist philosopher Antony Flew to convert to theism. By the same token, we understand that many people, including well-known and respected scientists, simply do not want there to be anything beyond nature ; it is their conception of God that seems fragile, not God himself.


According to the teleological or physico-theological argument, a purpose needs an author and that therefore, objects endowed with an obvious purpose must have been created for a purpose[16]. But objects do not set goals for themselves. They were arranged by something or someone. For Thomas Aquinas, the agent of the first order and finality can only be God[4]. So his concern is to show that reason can point in the direction of God. Therefore, for him, the Universe needs a designer external to itself, that is to say supernatural. Consequently, the most plausible explanation for the existence of the Universe is God.



General Secretary of Standing 4 Christ Ministry 



[1]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ R. Saint-Paulin, The existence of God,  what do scientists think?

[2]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ L. STROBEL, Plea for Faith, Vida. France: Graphic Presence-Monts, 2002.

[3]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ R. Saint-Paulin, “Do not conform to the present century”.

[4]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ A. McGRATH, Building bridges: the art of defending the Christian faith, Éditions la Clairière. QC, Canada: Christian Publications Inc., 1999.



[2] Same









[9] Same






[12] What I Believe, ch. 3 3









[i]   For more information on the concept, you can visit the following links :


[ii] Immanent (definition) : Which contains in itself its own principle and does not require the intervention of an external principle. Immanent peut être rapproché de « intrinsèque », « interne » ou «_cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_inherent ”. These words are sometimes synonymous.


*At the scientific level, to speak of finality is nothing other than to say for example that a cell has (among other things) as a function the production of another cell. For this, a set of conditions, often complex, must be met. It is up to biologists to specify these conditions. Thus the latter implicitly recognize a kind of finality inscribed in the organization of the living and essential for the living to live. This is how we understand the scientist's wonder at the beauty of nature and the prodigious adaptations we encounter there.


[iii] For Kant, transcendent is that which goes beyond the limits of possible experience. Transcendent is opposed to immanent. An element is transcendent when it belongs to a different and superior order to another. God is transcendent to the world, but the world is not transcendent to God. The world is a creation, it is inferior to its creator.

*However, many cannot help but ask the question, which is no longer a matter of science and which should not be mixed up: where does this adjustment of cells or organs come from, without which the living would not live? Where does this immanent finality come from?


[iv] For atheism to claim to be a rational position, it would have to prove the non-existence of God. But such a thing seems very difficult to do, because   to be able to affirm that a thing does not exist, it would be necessary to be able to know all of reality, including imperceptible realities, and to note that it is not there.


[v] Faced with the absence of empirical proof of the existence of God, and the impossibility of concluding thereby that he does not exist, it might seem more reasonable to choose the path of agnosticism._cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ Agnosticism affirms a certain state of knowledge, but it affirms nothing about reality. It is therefore always doomed to be exceeded. To make agnosticism an unsurpassable position would be to say that we will never find proof of the existence of God. But to assert such a thing would amount to establishing a dogma. How to prove that we will never find proof of the existence of God? Even if one cannot experience God immediately, maybe there is another way to prove his existence?


[vi] Essence (concept) ... The concept of essence (from the Latin essentia, from the verb esse, to be, cognate of the Greek ousia) designates in metaphysics a distinction of being. It designates “what the thing is”, as opposed to the concept of existence which defines for it “the act of existing”.



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