In a lecture titled “TWO DOZEN (OR SO) THEISTIC ARGUMENTS,” philosopher Alvin Plantinga (I heart Alvin Plantinga; he’s seriously amazing) makes an argument for God’s existence based upon . . . music

(U) The Mozart Argument

On a naturalistic anthropology, our alleged grasp and appreciation of (alleged) beauty is to be explained in terms of evolution: somehow arose in the course of evolution, and something about its early manifestations had survival value. But miserable and disgusting cacophony (heavy metal rock?) could as well have been what we took to be beautiful. On the theistic view, God recognizes beauty; indeed, it is deeply involved in his very nature. To grasp the beauty of a Mozart’s D Minor piano concerto is to grasp something that is objectively there; it is to appreciate what is objectively worthy of appreciation.

I think this line of reasoning is a very strong argument against naturalism (the belief that all of life emerged from matter, energy, chance, time, and the principled workings of evolution).  If the need to survive has determined biological history, then the emergence of humanity’s aesthetic faculty is unlikely.

To differ with Plantinga, I would suggest Mozart’s Requiem or Chopin’s nocturnes, as the evidence for this argument!

What about you?  Have you experienced the assurance of God’s existence from hearing beauty in music?

 

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