Is seeing believing? An argument for the existence of God
This paper aims to demonstrate that the following argument is unsound: "Since all knowledge comes from sensory impressions, and there are no sensory impressions of God, God does not exist". The conclusion of this argument is the proposition "God does not exist". The premises are "All knowledge comes from sensory impressions" and "There are no sensory impressions of God".
The formal structure of the examined argument is as follows:
1. All knowledge comes from sensory impressions
2. There are no sensory impressions of God
3. God does not exist
The argument under analysis is a deductive argument. The second premise of this argument is convincing. However, the first premise is not persuasive. A deductive argument is sound when its premises are true and the conclusion is valid. A valid deductive argument is that, whose conclusion follows with the force of absolute logical necessity from the proposed truth of its premises (Cronk 20-21, 24-25).
Since the conclusion of a valid argument of this sort follows necessarily from the proposed truth of its premises, it is logically impossible for this argument to have true premises and a false inference (Cronk 21). Therefore, if the premises are true, then the conclusion of this argument must be true, and the argument as a whole can be considered sound. On the other hand, if the premises are false, the argument can be considered unsound. If all our knowledge would come from sensory impressions, and there were any sensory impressions of God, then the conclusion of this argument (God does not exist) would have to be incorrect.
The second argument is not debatable. So far, there have not been any proven sensory impressions of God. To the contrary, the...