A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical , logical , empirical , or subjective. In philosophical terms, the notion of the existence of God involves the disciplines of epistemology (the nature and scope of knowledge ) and ontology (study of the nature of being , existence , or reality ) and the theory of value (since concepts of perfection are connected to notions of God).
The Western tradition of philosophical discussion of the existence of God began with Plato and Aristotle , who made arguments that would now be categorized as cosmological. Other arguments for the existence of God have been proposed by St. Anselm , who formulated the first ontological argument ; Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Thomas Aquinas , who presented their own versions of the cosmological argument (the kalam argument and the first way , respectively); René Descartes , who said that the existence of a benevolent God is logically necessary for the evidence of the senses to be meaningful; and Immanuel Kant , who argued that the existence of God can be deduced from the existence of good. Philosophers who have provided arguments against the existence of God include the aforementioned Kant, David Hume , Friedrich Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. In modern culture, the question of God's existence has been discussed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking , Francis Collins , Lawrence M. Krauss , Richard Dawkins and John Lennox , as well as philosophers including Richard Swinburne , Alvin Plantinga , William Lane Craig , Rebecca Goldstein , A. C. Grayling , Daniel Dennett , Edward Feser , David Bentley Hart and Sam Harris.