Does Philosophy accept the existence of God? If not, then how would philosophers justify the
existence of all the Prophets who came, and some of gave their scriptures too? If philosophy denies
all this then how would it explain the ruined remains of the buildings and historic mounts still present
which were discussed in the scriptures?
I think your initial question has to be re-phrased before I can offer an answer. There are of course
areas of philosophy which are involved with religion and the existence of God. Some philosophers
who are interested in these areas support the idea of God's existence, others do not. Perhaps it
would be more appropriate to ask, "Do philosophers accept the existence of God?" I could then
answer, "some do."
For those who support the idea of the existence of God your reference to scriptures, prophets, ruined
temples, mounts, etc.would present no problem, all these things are included in the language of the
Christian religion, which is the religion I presume you are referring to. However, it is unlikely that a
philosopher would use such historical references in an argument presented in support of the
existence of God. These arguments are usually metaphysical in nature, often with a strict adherence
to logical correctness. Some would refer to design in nature, the existence of physical laws, the notion
that man is not an inventor but a discoverer, he discovers things that are already there, supplied by
God. Admittedly he uses the fruits of discovery for the benefit of mankind or, in some cases, to the
detriment of mankind.
Those not supportive of the concept of a God offer strong rebuttals to the metaphysical arguments
and they would most certainly not be impressed with your proffered reasons for a proof of God's
existence. The general opposition would be levelled at your notion that historical evidence of a past
culture, whether material or myth, constitutes acceptable proof for the existence of God. Your notion
seems to imply an attempt at an empirical proof of the existence of God. Unfortunately historical
factors do not supply such proof. In fact we have to ask whether it is humanly possible to establish
that there is a God by means of an empirical proof. Firstly, not only are there not established
procedures for putting such a statement as "There is a god " to the test, but it is not clear what those
procedures would be. Secondly, even if there might be, it would be impossible to engage in such a
test without the tacit consent of the god concerned.
An argument for the existence of God will only serve as a proof if it is deductivein character, if, that is
to say, its conclusion is put forward as following strictly from certain premisses. there are, indeed only
two sorts of argument which begin from premisses firm enough to merit consideration as possible
proofs of the existence of a god. In the one kind of case, all the premisses are allegedly established a
prioriwhereas in the other at least one premiss is based upon experience, is, that is to say, a
posteriori.Arguments of the first kind will be versions of what is called 'the Ontological Argument'.
Arguments of the second kind will be versions of what is known as 'the Cosmological Argument'.
These arguments are rather elaborate and detailed and cannot be entered into here without taking up
a lot of time and space. [These arguments have been discussed in these pages before: do a search
for 'ontological argument' and 'cosmological argument' in the Questions archive at
http://www.philosophos.com/knowledge_base.]However, I suggest you try to obtain a copy of, The
Existence of God,edited by John Hick, Collier — Macmillan, 1964. This is a very interesting
anthology which presents good examples of the arguments indicated above.
Although individualphilosophers will and have been prepared to argue for or against the existence of
God, the topic is highly controversial and a consensus amongst philosophers has not yet been
reached. Thus Thomas Aquinas, the thirteenth century, Descartes, in the seventeenth century and
Richard Swinburne in modern times are all philosophers who have put forward arguments for the
existence of God. However, these arguments have been heavily criticized and other philosophers
such as Bertrand Russell and Don Cuppitt have put forward arguments for atheism, which in turn
have been criticized.
This highlights the nature of Philosophy as an activity that aims to encourage critical thinking and the
development of analytical skills. Philosophy does not consist of a fixed body of knowledge that can be
used to provide definite answers to fundamental questions. It encourages us to think about issues for
ourselves and teaches us how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, encouraging
us not to just accept received opinions on important matters. No wonder there has been
disagreement! So will Philosophy ever be able to give us an answer to the question, does God exist?
Some theists assert that our minds are too limited to be able to prove the existence of God and we
should base our belief in God on faith and not on rational, philosophical arguments as these are
bound to be inconclusive. It is very difficult to refute the fideist (someone who holds that belief in God
should be based on faith alone) from the philosophical standpoint because fideists consider faith to
be more important than rational argument and therefore will not be swayed by logic, which is the
To answer the second part of your question, the scriptures do not provide conclusive evidence for the
existence of God. It is possible to argue that the scriptures are not divinely inspired but merely the
works of human beings. The existence of the scriptures could be due to our need believe in a divine
being to give meaning and purpose to our lives. Since this alternative explanation can be given, the
scriptures cannot be used to provide conclusive evidence for the existence of God. Ruined remains of
buildings that are mentioned in the scriptures provide some evidence for the historical accuracy of the
scriptures but this alone is not enough to prove the existence of God. After all, there are a number of
historically accurate secular books that are written by human beings alone.