There are many philosophical arguments for the existence of God – like a lot. There are some arguments conveniently categorized for the readied inquirer: cosmological arguments, moral arguments, nomal arguments, teleological arguments, ontological arguments, transcendental arguments, arguments from miracles, cumulative case arguments for the Resurrection, and so on.
Although there may be some obscurely known arguments throughout the history of religious thought, they nonetheless fall under the schema of this categorization. Investigations into ultimate reality or Being can take many forms through experience or what can be known prior to or independent of experience.
This is essentially a list of those obscure arguments which are not often discussed in popular presentations on the existence of God. It’s not really that these arguments are really anymore convincing or persuasive than what’s being presented today, in my opinion, but they are hidden gems for sure. Insight may however be the grounds for persuasion.
I. Immanuel Kant’s Ontological Argument
The best way to approach the religious philosophy of Immanuel Kant is to have a good understanding of the epistemological/metaphysical project he set out on. To express this briefly, Kant brings a certain understanding to analytic and synthetic judgements as well as a priori and a posteriori judgements. This distinction led him to ask several questions:
- How are synthetic judgements in mathematics possible?
- How are synthetic a priori judgements in physics possible?
- How are synthetic a priori judgements in metaphysics possible?
The first question is answered in the Transcendental Aesthetic of his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), the second question is answered in his Transcendental Analytic, and the third is answered in the Transcendental Dialectic (TD). Kant essentially argues in TD that by the nature of reason the categories – which are necessary conditions for knowledge – extend beyond that which they are immediately given in space and time, hence, they are posited with the responsibility to prose possible solutions to metaphysical questions.