Argument from aesthetic experience
There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Therefore there must be a God.
You either see this one or you don't.
The argument can be varied with different works of art or natural wonders: "Look at the stars! therefore God."
- "I personally am convinced that there is another inspiration that convinces me there is a God; Art. Beautiful art."
"On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains … the majesty and beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ."
- "[...] when I read the Bible, I am filled with joy."
- "How do you explain a sunset if there is no God?"
This is a non sequitur, i.e., the conclusion does not follow from the premise. Aesthetic experiences do not automatically imply the existence of other entities such as God.
Aesthetic experiences are mental phenomena and do not require divine intervention to occur. There are many ways of achieving profound spiritual experiences, even though these experiences are relatively rare. They occur in many different religions, so the argument does not support any particular god.
- "aesthetic experiences are still, more than likely, internal excitations of the brain, as we see from the fact that ingesting recreational drugs can bring on even more intense experiences of transcendence. And the particular triggers for natural aesthetic experiences are readily explicable from the evolutionary pressures that have shaped the perceptual systems of human beings."
"If the beauty of nature can mean that Jesus really is the son of God, then anything can mean anything."
The most logically valid interpretation of the argument might be that Bach is God.
Exactly the same argument can be used to argue against the existence of God due to aesthetic experience:
"[God] was counter to the taste of mine ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like to say against him."
- "There is a wonder that you can access without needing religion. I can go to see a beautiful landscape and be transcended by the experience without needing 'booga-booga' for me to actually experience that. So it actually cheapens life to always have to contextualize it within the context of a big daddy in the sky."
- Matt Stopera, 22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution, Buzzfeed, February 5, 2014
- Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, 2011
- Sam Harris, The Language of Ignorance, August 15, 2006
- Open Goldberg Variations (free music download) composed by Bach and alleged proof of God.
- Argument from The Sublime, on doxa.ws