What is the Anthropologic argument for the existence of God?


Clarify Share Report Asked November 24 2016 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I'm certainly not well-versed in philosophy, but, as I understand it, the anthropologic argument for the existence of God could be any of a number of lines of reasoning that seek to prove God's existence by using observation of humans ("anthropos" being the Greek word for "human" -- either individually or collectively) and their characteristics as a starting point, and drawing conclusions about the existence of God based on those observations.

For example, the English Christian apologist C. S. Lewis started his argument for the existence of God by noting what he called "The Law of Human Nature" -- the fact that widely diverse cultures throughout recorded history (whether having any concept of the Judeo-Christian God revealed in the Bible or not) have been in general basic agreement about certain acts that are right or acceptable, and others that are to be condemned or avoided; and that these common standards were not merely the product of cultural conditioning, but an inner awareness that people were born with. That in itself is an indication of the existence of God. 

Also, if a person finds himself in a situation where two basically "right" actions are in conflict (such as self-preservation versus assisting someone who is in danger at a risk to one's own safety or life), there is a "voice" within people that urges them to take the risky course of action despite the danger involved. This "voice" cannot be originating from the person himself, but must be an objective standard by which the two alternatives are being judged, and must therefore have its source outside the individual. This objective standard (in all its forms) is a manifestation of the existence of God. (This same absolute standard is invoked whenever people make a judgment that one moral alternative is "better than" or "preferable to" another.) 

As a third line of reasoning, Lewis also argued that if humans find within themselves an innate desire that no experience or aspect of this world can satisfy, then that is an indication that this desire was designed and intended to be filled by something outside this world -- that "something" being God, as both the originator of the desire, and also its fulfillment.

(I would recommend Lewis' book Mere Christianity (which can be accessed through a web search for free at multiple sites online) for a far more detailed and accurate exposition of this viewpoint than I can give here.)

November 24 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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