• Play-doh
    9
    I am wondering if sensus divinitatis should be used in the argument for the existence of God.

    Sensus divinitatis is a feeling of divinity that people are said to experience, for example, when looking at a beautiful scene of nature. This is supposed to show that belief in God is innate because we are drawn to such thoughts or overwhelmed with emotions when experiencing a particularly moving piece of God-made nature.

    However, can sensus divinitatis really be used in argument for the existence of God? A feeling does not necessarily prove the existence of something. The joy of looking at a Christmas tree in anticipation of Santa Clause does not prove the existence of Santa. This feeling is tied, instead, to one of expectation or hope but not of truth.

    If atheists feel this “sensus divinitatis”, is it because of man’s innate knowledge of God, or is it instead an innate attraction to beauty and understanding of nature? If it is the latter, are theists then just attributing sensus divinitatis to God?

    However, belief in a divine power (or powers) has been prominent in ancient religions, especially in relation to nature. The Greek gods were modeled after natural phenomenon witnessed by their believers.

    But are theists attributing these natural phenomena to a divine power because we as people need order and would like them to be attributed to a maker?

    Bringing in the Fine-Tuning Argument, theists believe that because the world seems so perfectly designed to maintain human life, there must be a Creator who perfected nature for our living. Are theists afraid of believing in the atheistic many-universes hypothesis because it claims that it was due to chance that we happen to live in this perfectly designed world – that if one thing went array in chance, then we wouldn’t exist today? Does our nonexistence scare us so that theists choose to believe in God’s existence – for us to have a greater purpose than simply to exist?
  • Relativist
    862
    I am wondering if sensus divinitatis should be used in the argument for the existence of God.
    It seems to me to be a reasonable epistemic justification for believing in some sort of god(s). In theory, it is a sensing of the existence of god(s), and if true - it can be deemed as trustworthy as any of our other senses. But it's not a basis for an argument for God's existence - your alleged sense of God carries no weight with me, who does not have it. I think you're mistaken in attributing the sensation to God, while you think I'm mistaken for failing to accept what my senses are telling me, or defective for failing to have these senses.

    The hypothesis that there is such a thing as sensus divinitatis is based on the idea that all peoples in all cultures throughout history have believed in god(s). Appealing to this basis has the problemaic implication that the sense is very non-specfic - all this sense can be telling anyone is that some sort of god or gods exist, not that some particular conception (or religion) is true.
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