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I am aware of the several Metaphysical Arguments for the proof of God's existence (Cosmological, Teleological, Anthropological, etc.). And am familiar with the Logical Syllogisms showing the lethal flaws of Atheism.

But several modern Apologists mention and advocate the Transcendental Argument. What is it, and is it as effective as the usual proofs, or perhaps superior?

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  • This may be a better question for philosophy stack exchange. Also, are you referring to the transcendental argument for God?
    – Luke Hill
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 4:25
  • @Lesley Thank you for correcting the spelling of "Transcendental" (Transcendent)! Your answer was most enlightening, too.
    – ray grant
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 19:10
  • @LukeHill Be advised that it seems that Philosophy SE is not friendly to theistic philosophies or worldviews. They might just migrate it back to this site to avoid the implications it might engender.
    – ray grant
    Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 21:45

1 Answer 1

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According to Wikipedia, the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) goes like this:

God is a necessary precondition for logic and morality (because these are immaterial, yet real universals).

People depend upon logic and morality, showing that they depend upon the universal, immaterial, and abstract realities which could not exist in a materialist universe but presupposes (presumes) the existence of an immaterial and absolute God.

Therefore, God exists. If He didn't, we could not rely upon logic, reason, morality, and other absolute universals (which are required and assumed to live in this universe, let alone to debate), and could not exist in a materialist universe where there are no absolute standards or an absolute Lawgiver.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_the_existence_of_God

From a Christian source, TAG attempts to prove God’s existence by arguing that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose the theistic worldview and that God’s transcendent character is the source of logic and morals. It argues that without the existence of God it is impossible to prove anything because, in the atheistic world, you cannot justify or account for universal laws. The article concludes:

The transcendental argument for the existence of God argues that atheism is self-refuting because the atheist must presuppose the opposite of what he is attempting to prove in order to prove anything. It argues that rationality and logic make sense only within a theistic framework. Atheists have access to the laws of logic, but they have no foundation upon which to base their deductive reason within their own paradigm.

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/transcendental-argument.html

That is a brief summary of the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God. As for whether it is as effective as the usual proofs, or perhaps superior, you will need to make up your own mind.

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  • @LesleyFor clarification, while the Medieval proofs for the Doctrine of God started with the physical entities, this TAG starts with the abstract entities (logic, morality, etc.) that seem necessary to exist "before" any discussion can even get started, right? This preliminary "proof" seems reasonable, if not actually necessary! So if TAG is not "superior" it is still a prerequisite for meaningful argumentation, eh?
    – ray grant
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 19:23
  • Seems a bit like the "which came first, the chicken or the egg" conundrum. Being able to think and apply logic may be a prerequisite for the philosopher, but there is also a spiritual element that (for me) transcends any (and all) human thinking. Interesting subject and one I shall look into further.
    – Lesley
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 10:05
  • Good point! Indeed the spiritual element in the Garden of Eden preceded the Tree of Knowing. God walked with man in the cool of the evening, and introduced "the trust and obey" spiritual principle right off the bat. Faith in the providence of the Great Spirit (Jehovah God) was primus. Then came human thinking, and...
    – ray grant
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 22:40

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