Analysis Of Nielsen's Argument For The Existence Of God

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Throughout history, Religion and belief in God have been deeply rooted in culture. To question God’s existence was considered shameful. In early ages, questioning God’s existence was considered personally insulting to many people and their religions, therefore few people broke away from the norm. However, with the introduction and advancement of science into cultural, individuals gained a groundwork for they're questioning. With factual evidence arising, providing proof for the creation of the earth and the development of natural disasters, many ideas people viewed as “God’s miracles” were disproved. This opened up the door for many philosophers, such as Kant, Tolstoy, and Nielsen, to argue for or against God’s existence. Some philosophers …show more content…
Similar to Kant and Tolstoy, Nielsen believes there is not proof for the existence of God. However, he has never believed in God arguing that God is unnecessary for humans to live morally and for life to have meaning. Following Nietzsche’s argument that, “God is Dead,” Nielsen states that it does not matter one way or the other whether God is dead. This is because humans can find a basis for the meaning of life and action based purely on rational analysis, fully excluding religious commitments. He continues on to propose a model that provides a layout for human conduct and life’s significance. This model is completely secular and is based on the idea that the goal of life is to achieve happiness. While happiness is a broad idea that can be experienced in many forms, there are ideas regarding happiness that most can agree on. He describes the contributions to happiness as, “freedom from pain and want, enjoyment, security and emotional peace, human companionship and love, meaningful work, art, music, and dance. This list could also include the desire to alleviate suffering and to contribute to the well-being of others.” Nielsen explains that compassion is not a feature attributed only to religion-based morality, it can also be attained without belief in God. His argument is constructed based on two main ideas: happiness is good, and humans should treat every person as an end and not a means …show more content…
They feel humanity shouldn’t blindly believe in a God without proof or reason. However, with this being said they both come to the same conclusion, that even without solid proof they believe God exists. For Kant, the driving factor is the idea that virtue must be rewarded in an afterlife, and an afterlife must guarantee a God. For Tolstoy, it is an internal feeling of calm he attains in fleeting moments when he feels God, and the troublesome thought that without God all that life has to offer is death. Growing up in a religious family I have always been surrounded by the idea of God, however, God’s existence has always seemed unreasonable to me. Religious people’s basis for God’s existence starts and ends with stories told in the Bible and miracles that are factually absurd. Coupled with the fact that scientists have offered facts to prove the causes behind God’s miracles that in fact have nothing to do with God and much to do with nature, finding irrefutable evidence for God’s existence seems very improbable to me. Nielsen’s argument is based on the same idea as Kant and Tolstoy’s argument, that there is a lack of factual evidence for God’s existence however, he comes to a different conclusion. Unlike Kant and Tolstoy, Nielsen doesn’t come to find God, he instead confidently believes humans can lead a meaningful life without the existence of God. Taking into account all of these arguments I’ve

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