Evidence for the Existence of God – Aesthetic Beauty

15 03 2009

I know that I wrote about aesthetic beauty a few weeks ago; however, it is actually a very effective argument for the existence of God.  I was thinking about this argument as I sat through my daughters’ piano recital today.  As you might expect, my daughters performed the pieces that they selected to play beautifully, as did the other 25 performers.  Of special treat at these events are the performances of the Billingham kids, two sons and a daughter of Dr. William Billingham, the assistant conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  They are also trained by our daughters’ piano instructor.  A few times, including today, we have had the opportunity to hear Dr. Billingham play a duet with one or both of his sons.  Today he played Mozart’s Concerto, No. 20, K 466 (I. Allegro) with his younger son, Adam and Mendelssohn’s Concerto, No. 1, Op. 25 (I. Molto allegro con fuoco) with his older son, Josh.  The recital was held at our nearby Steinway music store on two Steinway concert grand pianos (retail value of $130,000 each).

As you can imagine, it was a beautiful and emotional experience to hear them play together.  As I sat there, I could only wonder why, if we are the product of random processes and natural selection as many would have us to believe these days, would this music even exist, let alone move a person to emotion?  It really doesn’t make any sense at all as it does nothing to add to our survival as a species.  It doesn’t gather any more food for us (although we did have snacks afterward – but we, the parents even brought those), it doesn’t lead to an increase in the population, and the lessons actually cost money, as do the instruments on which the music is played.  It just seems nonsensical that people would create music that has order and does something to us that we identify as emotions, which themselves don’t make sense from an evolutionary viewpoint.

Boston College professor of philosophy, Dr. Peter Kreeft developed a simple, but thought provoking argument for the existence of God on which I will leave you to ponder.  It is a short argument in number of words, but a deep argument in the ideas that it can evoke.  Here it is:

Premise: There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (or, you could substitute Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, or any number of classical composers)

Conclusion: Therefore there must be a God.

Kreeft finishes this argument by saying, “You either see this one or you don’t.”  I hope you get it.  Today was a reminder that I do.

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