Why Believe That There Is a God?

Document Type: Research Paper


Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford


This article presents an argument for the existence of God, showing that the evident phenomena are best explained by supposing that a God causes them. The argument is based on the inductive force of four very evident general phenomena: that there is a physical Universe; that it is governed by very simple natural laws; that those laws are such as to lead to the existence of human bodies; and that those bodies are the bodies of reasoning humans, who choose between good and evil.


1. For the fully developed account of my natural theology (including my treatment of arguments against the existence of God), see my The Existence of God, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2004; for a shorter version, see is There a God? Oxford University Press, 1996, Persian translation published subsequently.

2. For a full account of the nature of simplicity, see my Simplicity as Evidence of Truth, Marquette University Press, 1997; or my Epistemic Justification, Oxford University Press, 2001, chapter 4.

3. For my defence of the claim that humans have libertarian free will—that is, freedom to make choices, either good or evil, despite all the influences to which they are subject—see my Mind, Brain, and Free Will, Oxford University Press, 2013.