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The Problem with GodWhy Atheists, True Believers, and Even Agnostics Must All Be Wrong$
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Peter Steinberger

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163545

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163545.001.0001

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Atheism …

Atheism …

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The Problem with God

Peter J. Steinberger

Columbia University Press

This chapter refutes the atheist's claim that God doesn't exist. Under the logic of cause and effect, the world, if it exists, must have had a cause. The existence of the world absolutely requires that there was a First Cause—an Unmoved Mover, God—that caused the world to exist in the first place. In a sense, we cannot not believe in God. Atheism is simply unavailable to us. No one in his right mind can truly be an atheist. Theism—the belief in God—is equally unavailable to us. Because if God did exist—a First Cause or an Unmoved Mover—then under the logic of cause and effect something or someone must have caused it to exist. And if something caused it to exist, then it cannot have been the First Cause or Unmoved Mover or God. The thing that caused it came first, but that thing must itself have been caused by something else; and so on, ad infinitum. So God simply cannot exist. The impossibility of atheism is matched by the impossibility of theism.

Keywords:   atheism, God, cause and effect, existence, First Cause, Unmoved Mover, belief, theism

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