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Clarify and explain two arguments for the non-existence of God.

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Introduction

a) Clarify and explain two arguments for the non-existence of God Intellectual atheism seeks to prove that the fallibility of theistic arguments, such as the teleological and ontological argument, is evidence that God does not exist. The absence of indisputable proof for God's existence is reason enough not to believe in Him. Two proponents of this atheistic school are Ludwig Feuerbach and Friedrich Nietzsche. Both extrapolate an argument from this initial claim by undermining the concept and existence of God in two different ways. Feuerbach has an anthropological disproof of God; that He merely satisfies a human desire as "man writ large". Nietzsche, however, denies the existence of any external God as an incredible and "dead" idea. Feuerbach (1804-1872) is the father of projectionist atheology; he insists that by studying the relationship between ideas about God and the societies from which they arose, one has evidence for God's non-existence. He is an empiricist who argues that God is the imaginary focus of human ideals that are a reaction to practical conditions and inadequacies. ...read more.

Middle

He ceases to exist because more and more people do not believe in Him. Furthermore, the fallacious and infantile notion of God serves as a "gross answer...(and) prohibition". Nietzsche saw Christianity as emasculating and suffocating as its proscribed morality enslaved great men ("´┐Żbermensch") from acting on their autocratic instincts. This is psychologically damaging; religion is little more than a "neurosis" which undermines and represses the virtuous will to power. This particular idea was later adopted by Freud as he too highlights the detrimental effect of sublimation. Belief in God only serves the interests of the weak as they receive an equitable share in life's good things. Nietzsche, in the vein of Marx, sees religion as a consolation to the "ordinary" as it extols the goodness of agape and being passive. b) Consider whether an atheological writer supports agnosticism or atheism. Feuerbach's projectionist account of religion is rooted in intellectual atheism which argues that the inconclusive proofs of God which theists put forward is reason not to believe in God. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet Feuerbach merely undermines the existence of God, not utterly refutes it. It being an inductive argument only makes it a probable rather than a definite conclusion. Hick argues that he commits a genetic fallacy, Feuerbach's hypothesis of the origins of religious belief does not result in it being completely false or unfounded with any validity. Moreover, this notion of God being nothing more than the manifestation of human desire is an oversimplification of religion. Religion can also counter and restrict what people instinctively want such as sexual gratification. Feuerbach does not offer a conclusive proof of God's nonexistence so much as encourages agnosticism. Unlike Epicurus' argument from the problem of evil, Feuerbach's account of the world does not categorically disprove the referent of theistic belief. In addition, his argument is conjecture; it is equally open to criticism as arguments for the existence for God are despite its empirical basis. His atheological explanation of the world may reaffirm an atheist's belief or suspend a person's judgment on whether God exists or not, however it would not necessarily convert His believers. ...read more.

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