Argument from prodigious genius

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An uncommon argument for the existence of God is to claim that

"God makes men great, by bestowing upon them distinguished genius and talents. [1]"
"You cannot compose a symphony at the age of eight and ascribe it just to chemistry or biology. [...] But [Mozart] never produced anything second rate, which is why I propose him as a proof that there exists a God who does great things through his creatures.[2]"

The argument is closely related to the argument from aesthetic experience.

Counter arguments

Of course, the argument is an argument from ignorance.

"We may not know enough about genetics, neuroscience, and cognition to explain exactly what makes for a Mozart or an Einstein, but exploiting this gap to argue for supernatural provenance is an example of The Fallacy of Arguing from Ignorance. [3]"

Variants: Jews prove the existence of God

Various writers including John Adams and Mark Twain have commented that Jews have been particularly productive in the arts, sciences and industry.

"I will argue that Jewish exceptionalism provides us with concrete evidence for the existence of the God of Israel. I call this “The Argument from Jewish Genius,”[4]"

This is sometimes combined with the Israel proves God exists argument.

Apart from the objections above, it is also possible that sociological reasons may account for the claimed effect in talent. The Jewish people have lived as a diaspora for centuries but still maintained their strong sense of community. Jews are also traditionally literate, which was required to regularly read scripture.[5] Most other social groups were illiterate which allowed Jews to largely abandon farming and take on careers with more influence.

References

  1. J. Erskine, D. D., The Agency of God in Human Greatness, Preached 17th June 1793
  2. Father George William Rutler. "Mozart: A proof of God." From the Pastor (March 17, 2013).
  3. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, 2011
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
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