You say that there are good arguments for theism, and you list those who you think made good arguments. For the sake of those of us who haven't read these people, why don't you give us what you see as the strongest argument for theism.What I said was that there are rational arguments for theism, and I said this because a poster had said there weren't. Some of these (and I didn't say this before, but I'll say it now) I not only find rational, but convincing. And to say that they are the product of a mind akin to "a five year old," as the person I was responding to claimed, is simply ludicrous.
St. Thomas Aquinas offers his "five ways," all of which I think are sound, but the third seems to me the most convincing:
We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Question 2, Article 3)The soundness of such an argument certainly shows theism is rational, although just because something is rational doesn't mean it is persuasive to them. I find it persuasive, and others don't. But I think few people come to a belief in theism as a result of going through some reasoning process. I don't think people reject theism because it is irrational, and on the other hand, I don't think they accept it because it is rational.
I believe it because it makes more sense of things than any other view of the world. Or do I?
I can't prove it, but I think most people know God exists intuitively, and only abandon the belief because it gets in the way of other priorities. In the final analysis, if you ask me how I am persuaded God exists, I can only sort of stare blankly at you and say: "Love, the law of non-contradiction, sunsets, the Fibonacci Sequence, horses, the Sistine Chapel, something funny my son said this morning, poetry, Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor, the taste of chocolate, Flannery O'Connor's short stories, seeing my first son being born, Godel's Theorem, charity, a sunny day at the beach ..."
In other words, in the final analysis, I just think the existence of God is intuitive. But I don't know that you can really argue that point. It happens all the time that people look at the very same thing and yet see two completely different things. If you don't think it's intuitive, I think you're mistaken. You either see it or you don't.
Jesus didn't say the Pharisees were irrational; He said they were blind.