If God exists, then...

Following are four attempted proofs for why God does not exist, which have been taken from the CARM atheism discussion board.  I have reproduced them and addressed each one.

First

  1. If God exists, he would make himself clearly known to me.
  2. He has not made Himself clearly known to me.
  3. Therefore God does not exist.
    1. Premise:  If God exists, he would make himself clearly known to me.
      1. Response:  It is not logically necessary that if God exists, he must make himself known to any individual.  There is no "must" or "ought" or "would" to it as required by this atheist.  If God exists, he can do what he wants whether it is to remain undetected, or detected, to anyone.
    2. Premise:  He has not made Himself clearly known to me.
      1. Response:  This may or may not be the case.  It may be that such a person has indeed encountered a revelation of God.  But, if the person has a presuppositional base that excludes the existence of God, then such evidence of God would be discarded and missed.
    3. Premise:  Therefore God does not exist.
      1. Response:  Since premise one and two are not logically true, the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises.

Second

  1. If God exists, then literalistic fundamental Christianity would integrate seamlessly with all natural science.
  2. Literalistic, fundamental Christianity does not integrate seamlessly with all natural science.
  3. Therefore God does not exist.
    1. Premise:  If God exists, then literalistic fundamental Christianity would integrate seamlessly with all natural science.
      1. Response:  This is a subjective statement, and subjective statements do not make logical proofs.  Nevertheless, there is nothing in the Bible that contradicts scientific fact.  Evolution of species from inorganic material is not a scientific fact.  It is a theory.  Science agrees with the Bible; see Scientific Accuracies in the Bible.
      2. Response:  Macro evolution is not a scientific fact.  It is a scientific theory.
    2. Premise: Literalistic, fundamental Christianity does not integrate seamlessly with all natural science.
      1. Response:  This is another subjective statement and is over-generalized.  Furthermore, it assumes that the Bible and Science contradict each other.  This is not true.  See Scientific Accuracies in the Bible.
    3. Premise: Therefore God does not exist.
      1. Response: Since premise one and two are subjective statements that are not true in and of themselves, there is no logical reason to require the conclusion; and it is still possible that God exists.

Third

  1. If God exists, there would be convincing proofs of his existence.
  2. There are no convincing proofs of his existence.
  3. Therefore God does not exist.
    1. Premise: If God exists, there would be convincing proofs of his existence.
    2. Response: This is not a logical necessity.  To say there would be convincing proofs of His existence is an unfounded statement.  If God exists, he may or may not choose to provide sufficient proof for his existence. 
      The Bible teaches us that God works through people and history, and that there is evidence for his existence.  But people dispose of the evidence due to the hardness of their hearts, i.e., their presuppositions that negate God's existence.
    3. Response:  It may also be that there are convincing proofs of His existence, but people choose to ignore them, explain them away, or are not aware of them.
    4. Finally, the premise admits the possibility of proofs of God's existence.  But since all proofs cannot be known by any one person, it is possible that there are proofs that exist but are not known.
  4. Premise: There are no convincing proofs of his existence.
    1. Response:  This is an opinion since the word "convincing" is included.  For some, there is convincing proof of God's existence.  That is why this is a subjective statement--an opinion.  Because it is subjective, it is not a proof.
  5. Premise: Therefore God does not exist.
    1. Response:  Therefore, because of the subjective nature of the alleged proof, this attempt does not disprove God's existence.

Fourth

  1. If God exists in the real world, there would be a coherent definition of Him.
  2. There is no coherent definition of God.
  3. Therefore God does not exist outside the human mind.
    1. Premise: If God exists in the real world, there would be a coherent definition of Him.
      1. Response: "Coherent definition" is not defined.  Therefore, it is not possible to sufficiently respond to the statement since there is not enough information with which to draw logical conclusions. 
        Many things exist in the world which are not defined because they have not yet been discovered.  They do not suddenly exist just because they are then discovered and defined.  Therefore, existence is independent of definition; and whether or not God is defined properly does not mean he does or does not exist.
    2. Premise: There is no coherent definition of God.
      1. Response:  Depending on what is meant by "coherent definition of God," this statement may or may not be true.  But since no meaning is given to the statement, logically necessary conclusions cannot be drawn.
        Furthermore, to say there is no "coherent definition of God" may be presumptuous since the person cannot know all things to know whether or not there is a coherent definition of God.  In other words, he cannot say there is no "coherent definition of God" because he does not know all definitions of God.
    3. Premise: Therefore God does not exist outside the human mind.
      1. Response: The conclusion does not follow from the premise since a thing defined does not make it real or not real and also because all definitions of God are not known by the critic so as to make a logical assertion.

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison