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Using Inductive and Deductive arguments, is it possible to prove the existence of God?

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Introduction

Using Inductive and Deductive arguments, is it possible to prove the existence of God? Many philosophers have attempted to prove the existence of God, although there is no argument as yet which proves without any doubt that God exists. A proof is the demonstration that something is true or, in this case, that God exists. There are 3 types of proof; direct, deductive, and inductive. A direct proof is when something is immediately obvious, so therefore, it cannot be used to prove God's existence. However, Inductive and Deductive Arguments could be used to prove the existence of God. An Inductive argument is a posteriori (based on experience) which is logic involving reasoning from effect to cause. Inductive arguments attempt to create and support a general conclusion based on some evidence (either physical or based on experience), without making it absolutely certain. The arguments cannot produce proofs that completely remove an element of doubt from the conclusion, so the conclusion does not follow the premises and therefore, certainty can no longer apply - Probability is used instead. Analogy can be used as a proof, e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Swinburne is said to have the humility to not seek absolute proof. His goal is to collect several weaker arguments (similar to the Cumulative effect) in order to prove that the existence of God is more probable than not. He has identified two different types of Inductive argument - P-inductive argument which makes the conclusion more probable than not, and C-inductive argument which uses even weaker arguments in order to make a more probable conclusion. Swinburne wants to accumulate a sufficient quantity of C-inductive arguments for theism, each of which will offer some support to his hypothesis, so that they will collectively constitute a good P-inductive argument, thus making the probability of the god hypothesis greater than one half. Whether he succeeds in achieving this is another matter. Deductive arguments are a priori - involving reasoning from effect to cause, and are arguments which make the conclusions certain, as long as the premises are accepted to be true. They are based on a series of assumptions, known as premises, and 'if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true' - this is known as a 'valid argument'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Using the passion argument, he said that passion is an essential feature of faith, and if God's existence if probable or proven, people would have less faith. Kant also said 'I had to set limits for knowledge in order to make place for faith'. Perhaps humans do not need to know everything, and therefore does it matter whether God's existence can be proven? There seem to be problems when trying to prove the existence of God using Inductive or Deductive proofs. Inductive proofs are seen to have un-certain conclusions, whereas Deductive proofs need for certainty can mean they are impossible to use. It is difficult to gather evidence for God's existence, and it has been questioned whether we are able to talk about God at all because he is so different from human experiences. Proof may be impossible, due to so many difficulties with any particular proof and because of the assumptions we make in order to prove things. These assumptions are that human reason is reliable and that our language actually corresponds to the common world. If this is not the case, then how can anything be proven? But perhaps, using Kant's argument, proof is not needed for the existence of God, because faith is more important. Laura Kantor ...read more.

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