Proving the Christian God vs. Theism in General

“Yeah, but you haven’t proven that the CHRISTIAN GOD exists!”

When skeptics encounter philosophical arguments for the existence of God, they often counter them by saying that the arguments, at best, could only establish the existence of some type of being that is not the same as the Christian God. For example, Richard Dawkins writes,

…there is absolutely no reason to endow that… [being] with any of the properties normally ascribed to God: omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes such as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Transworld Publishers, 2006), p.101.

In a sense, Dawkins is absolutely right. No philosophical argument(s) for the existence of God can establish all the different properties normally ascribed to God. However, the arguments, when properly presented, are not intended to establish every property. What they do form is a cumulative case for a being that is similar to God. For example, the moral argument can establish a being of moral perfection; the cosmological and teleological arguments can establish a being of great power and knowledge; the ontological argument can establish a necessarily existing being and so on. However, these arguments still do not *prove* that the *Christian God* exists, hence the need for faith. But if there is good reason to believe that something *like* the Christian God exists, then it takes a whole lot more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Transworld Publishers, 2006), p.101.

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