Argument against God's existence from God's love and reasonable non-belief

by Matt Slick

Argument

  1. If God exists, then God is perfectly loving.
    1. God is defined as the being who necessarily exists, is immaterial, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and morally perfect.  
  2. If God is perfectly loving, reasonable non-belief does not occur.
  3. Reasonable non-belief does occur.
  4. Therefore, God is not perfectly loving.
  5. Therefore, God does not exist.

Refutation

  1. If God exists, then God is perfectly loving.
    1. The problem begins with what is meant by "perfectly loving."  It is an ambiguous term that makes the argument against God's existence indefensible.  First of all, how does someone properly define what love is?  Second, how can someone tell us how God will exhibit such love in all circumstances so as to maintain the conclusion that "if God is perfectly loving, then reasonable non-belief should not occur"?  Third, by adding "perfectly" to "loving," an additional difficulty arises by implying that the person arguing against God's existence can tell us how God is supposed to behave when it comes to our belief and non-belief.  But this is problematic since it means the argument is based on the subjective, emotional behavior (love is an emotion) of an infinite being--a being that cannot be comprehended sufficiently so that a person can then tell us how God is supposed to be regarding love and our belief.  Therefore, the argument against God's existence cannot be maintained since it is based on subjectivity--not logic.
    2. Some atheists have further argued that if God exists, he will desire to have a loving relationship with his creation as soon as individuals are mature enough.  After all, for God to love is also to desire a relationship with his creation.  But, this is another assumption based on the ambiguity of a single emotion:  love.  It ignores other characteristics of God such as justice, holiness, mercy, righteousness, etc., which all play a part in the total makeup of God and influence his behavior.  Whenever a single attribute of God is used to represent God, then error is the probable outcome.
    3. Some atheists have argued that since God is "perfectly loving," he will therefore provide sufficient evidence for people that would enable them to believe.  But this is another assumption.  According to the Bible, God is love (1 John 4:8).  Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9).  Yet, Jesus spoke in parables so that people would not be saved (Mark 4:10-12).  The reality is that God does not behave in a manner that atheists (and other critics) want him to so as to be able to attack his character and behavior.  Therefore, this cannot be used as an argument against God's existence.
  2. If God is perfectly loving, reasonable non-belief does not occur.
    1. Since the first point is not sufficiently grounded, explored, and/or explained and since there is the huge problem of the ambiguity of the term "perfectly loving," then the rest of the argument can't be logically maintained as sound.
    2. There is another ambiguous term found in "reasonable non-belief."  What is reasonable to one person may not be reasonable to another.  Therefore, this part of the argument is not sufficient either.
  3. Reasonable non-belief does occur.
  4. Therefore, God is not perfectly loving.
  5. Therefore, God does not exist.
    1. The argument fails due to the issues in 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, and 2C.

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison