Does Beauty Point to God?

This series, on arguments for God, is by Jeff Cook (info at the bottom). His argument today is about beauty — does beauty point us to God? Does it you? How so? 

Deep Beauty

  1. There are sunrises.
  2. There is the music of Bach, John Coltrane, and Sigur Ros.
  3. There are the hands of an infant.

Therefore, there must be a God.

You either see this or you don’t.

When I presented this Top Ten list to my Philosophy of Religion class, this was the favorite argument of two of my students who were once atheists.

It is not a sound argument (the premises do not lead to the conclusion), but I know a handful of folks who have moved from disbelief in God to belief because they experience some deep natural beauty and are moved.

Immanuel Kant concluded his Critique of Practical Reason,  “Two things fill me with ever new and increasing admiration and awe: the starry sky above and the moral law within. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.”

Some argue that God-belief is properly basic (like believing in other minds or the past) and arises within us when we see such deep beauties.

What say you?

Jeff Cook teaches philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado and is the author of Everything New: One Philosopher’s Search for a God Worth Believing in. He pastors Atlas Church in Greeley, Colorado.


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