Chapter Six

Does God Exist?

Adams (U.C. Los Angeles): Yes. If the question is "Do we know that 
God exists?" or "What sorts of reasons would we have to have to 
believe in God?" well then the answers get pretty complicated. But 
the question is "Does God exist?" I believe that God exists.

Arntzenius (University of Southern California): I respond that I have 
no idea how you can decide such a question; you can have your opinion 
one way or the other. My [sense] is that I'm not exactly sure what it 
means to say that God exists. I just can't say how you could argue 
for or against it.

Beckner (Pomona): Well, my view is that God does not exist. So, I 
would classify myself as an atheist. However, I cannot prove that he 
doesn't exist.

Blake (Loyola Marymount University): Yes! Yes, he does and I think 
that there are grounds for believing that which are not simply 
matters of faith. I guess I do think there are good indications in 
human nature and physical reality to indicate there is a Creator. I 
think there are good indications here in the very nature of human 
history to [suggest] that there is some kind of personal God, who is 
benevolent. Now what might I believe beyond that I would attribute 
more to faith than reason, but I do think there are rational grounds 
for thinking there is a God.

Cohon (Stanford University): I don't know. It would be nice if God 
did exist. But I don't think there are any successful proofs of God's 
existence, nor are there other sorts of objective evidence, so the 
only grounds for belief are personal religious experiences, and I 
have not had any of these.

Copp (U.C. Riverside): No, unless the context and considerations of 
politeness dictate otherwise.

Davis (Claremont Scripps College): I will respond by saying yes; I 
believe God does exist.

Dreyfus (U.C. Berkeley): I would say that the old God is dead, what 
Heidegger calls the Ontotheological God, which means a god which is 
outside of the world and is the  ground of the world and explains 
what caused it and makes it intelligible. 

Dumont (Mt. Saint Mary's College): I believe in God but not in the 
traditional Western European male sense. I think there is a power or 
force greater than myself. I think of it in very female and earthly 

Fischer (U.C. Riverside): I do not believe that there is a god. I 
don't know if he does exist;  he might. I just don't know. You might 
want to say that I am an atheist or agnostic.

Friedman (U.C. Davis): Agnostic toward Judeo-Christian God. Favorable 
toward God as Nature as God.

Griesemer (U.C. Davis): I respond by asking what is God? And why do 
you capitalize the word (if you're not even sure God exists, aren't 
you presuming an answer by capitalizing the word as if God were a 
person)? Also, there are various things one might mean by existence 
(physical objects and concepts might both exist, but not in the same 
way), so I'm not sure which sense applies to God because I don't know 
what sort of thing God is supposed to be.

Jubien (U.C. Davis): I don't know whether God exists but, unlike 
Pascal, I would bet against it.

Lloyd (U.C. Berkeley): Well, the first thing I would say is that's a 
very difficult question. There are a number of different ways to 
decide. Some people think that whether God exists should be decided 
by reason; some people think it should be decided by faith. I think 
that reasons can't prove the existence of God, and I also think that 
that's not a reason to believe.

Matson (U.C. Berkeley): Negative.

McCann (University of Southern California): What I am interested in 
knowing is why somebody wants to know or what they think hinges on 
the answer. One of the reasons I am especially interested in Kant, 
one of the reasons why I think he is an important transitional figure,
 is that by contrast with Newton and Locke and others Kant was trying 
to lay the foundations for mechanistic science in a way which would 
not require any appeal to God, to God's actions and attributes at all.
 In fact, he showed that no such claim can be rationally defended. So 
let's say for the purposes of developing a metaphysical model that is 
going to be the foundation of natural science, you should not have to 
worry about the question whether God exists or does not exist. For 
any purposes in philosophy you should not ask or wonder about the 
question at all. It should not play a role in any kind of 
philosophical debates. If you want to get a good theory of morality, 
you better get one that does not depend on there being a God or not 
 a God. If it is a matter of personal belief then I would just be as 
interested to know what the person who wonders about this, what they 
are looking for, or what need they feel they have that is settled one 
way or another by an answer to that question.  I find it interesting 
that a lot of people ask the questions without context, out of the 
blue. That does not, even to me, make sense to start talking about 
unless you know why you want to know and what difference it would 
make what the answer would be.

McGray (University of San Diego): Of course God exists. The 
interesting question is what kind of being God is.

Needleman (San Francisco State): Yes.

Pippin (U.C. San Diego): In my view the answer is no. But that can be 
confused with a commitment to scientism and naturalism which I 
disagree with. The right answer is probably something like: it 
depends on what you mean by God.

Ring (C.S.U. Fullerton): I am rarely asked, but if I were I would say,
 "Don't be silly."

Rosenberg (U.C. Riverside): I believe I would say no.

Shallinsky (U.C. San Diego): No. First, there's no empirical data; 
second, hypothesizing God's existence serves no explanatory end.

Sircello (U.C. Irvine): No. Just no.

Smart (U.C. Santa Barbara): God exists, but isn't at all what people 
think. It depends on who you listen to. If you listen to preachers on 
television it would seem as if they had a telephone line connection 
with God. God isn't as crude as that.

Wollheim (U.C. Davis): No