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Can Our Identity Point Us to God? (Presentation Notes)

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Does God exist? Absolutely! As Christians we have a plethora of evidences and arguments at our disposal by which we can show there are rational grounds to affirm the existence of God. In addition to popular arguments like the Kalam, Moral Argument, Teleological argument, etc. identity, more specifically the process by which we come to develop our identity relies upon rational faculties that are best explained by the existence of God. In essence, the very fact that we can form a sense of identity is better explained on theism than naturalism.


ARGUMENT SUMMARY


Given that identity formation is dependent upon rational processes, the existence of which is surprising if naturalism is true, the reality of identity formation in the human experience is not best explained on a naturalistic paradigm. Theism, however, can provide a plausible explanation for rationality and thus affords a more credible account of how it is that persons develop identity. Thus, with respect to rationality, consciousness, and identity development, these features of the human experience count in favor of theism.


Self Concept Argument Against Naturalism (SCAAN)


1. If naturalism is true, the self-concept cannot

be rationally maintained.


2. The self-concept can be rationally maintained.


3. Therefore, naturalism is false.


Alternatively-Modified SCAAN

1. The process of identity formation involves reason.

2. Theism offers a better explanation for our ability to reason than naturalism.

3. Therefore, our experience with identity formation gives us reason to affirm theism over naturalism.


KEY TERMS:


Naturalism (Strict/Strong) Self-Concept Physical Determinism

Mental Causation Intentionality/Aboutness


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

“The Soul: How We Know It’s Real and Why It Matters” – J.P. Moreland

“Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument” – J.P. Moreland

“C.S. Lewis’ Dangerous Idea” – Victor Reppert

“Who Are You Really? A Philosopher’s Inquiry Into the Nature and Origins of Persons

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