John Henry Newman's Moral Argument from Conscience for the Existence of God

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Theology, faculty of Moral Philosophy, Qom University, Qom, Iran

2 university professor


Bishop John Henry Newman is one the most prominent theologians and philosophers in 19th century up until now. His groundbreaking moral argument for the existence of God through conscience enjoys great originality. Although so many researches have been done pertaining his argument, but this paper aims at thorough dissection of his argument, to do so, we bring up his related epistemological ground i.e. assent, apprehension and inference and their relation to each other and their application to the argument. Newman attempts to prove the existence of God through certain common feelings among human being which is produced by our conscience, by investigating the nature of these feelings like fear, shame and guilt, he concludes that these feelings need only one Divine Being, before which conscience invokes these feeling, this paper offers a novel formulation of his argument in seven steps, in order to make it more persuasive. At the end, we mention two main opponent of Newman’s argument and try to answer their objections by Newman’s own replies.