God wants Non-believers to exist.

I fashioned this short argument recently and I want some feedback.

I know that there is no one single silver bullet against theism. However, justifying non-belief is much easier to accomplish. As you read… consider traditional Christian beliefs and other Christians you may encounter and what they believe about God. There are over 20,000 Christian sects, so this argument will not be effective to all.

Some would argue that God has a reason for why he does this… doesn’t matter, atheism is a justified position. Not many ways around it. If they have a problem with atheists, they must take it up with God.

More arguments HERE

Whatcha think?

In Reason,

The Infidel Guy
http://www.infidelguy.com

I’m not all kinds of enthusiastic about your argument, but I don’t have any quick demonstration of holes in it.

Rather, I want to present to you the idea that faith is not intellectual assent, but an emotion-based giving of trust.

God loves all men, and wants all men to come to know Him and love Him back – but of their own free choice, motivated by His prevenient grace, but with their willing consent a key element.

Using a sexual metaphor, being motivated by love, He will not rape them, forcing them to submit to His will, but court them and bring them to love Him and consent to His entering into their spirits, in an act of mutually desired love.

Your structure is logical – but logic is not key to the understanding of this. Interpersonal relationships, between God and man, are.

God loves unbelievers, and wants unbelievers to continue existing and not believing, until and unless they are ready to accept Him, put their trust in Him, “believe” in Him in the exact sense in which one person “believes in” another as someone who loves him/her and can be trusted implicitly.

And He is far more patient and caring than many of His followers, who in religion as in many another aspect of life, are convinced that what was right for them at a given time is therefore what everybody else should say and do.

And that’s not His style.

Court me? He’s never even bought me dinner or returned any of my phone calls.

And I woulda let him get to second base, too . . .

“Think you’ve got it bad? Have some sympathy for poor Mary!” :smiley:

Mayhap He’s waiting for a show of interest from you? A guy tends not to pursue a woman who’s been badmouthing him to their mutual friends, after all! :slight_smile:

The argument is actually quite old. (“No man has ever had an original thought.” — E. A. Poe) So, I’ll give you the standard refutation, but first I want to deal with this:

Because your assertion does not specify exactly what you are not believing in, it is ambiguous. Essence? Existence? Some particular trait? But assuming existence, you still have problems. Because your assertion covers such a broad aspect of theology, rather than just the Christian God, it is factually incorrect. Justifying non-belief is quite problematic. To justify nonbelief in God’s existence qua Supreme Being, you must assert the possibility that a Supreme Being does not exist. If Supreme Being is defined as a being Who is necessary, then your premise is untenable. In other words, you must assert that it is possible that that which exists necessarily does not exist in actuality — a dreadful proposition that I do not envy you in defending.

Now, to your argument about the Christian God in particular…

The audiatur et altera pars of your argument is twofold: (1) that God does not value freewill, i.e., that His omnibenevolence forces man to believe based upon what He deems to be sufficient evidence; and (2) that a man ceases to be a man upon his death. If your unstated premises are rejected, then AeAP (1) destroys your premise number 5, and AeAP (2) destroys your premise number 4.

You say you didn’t have a way to refute it, yet you then continue to preach a few paragraphs.

Based on your responses. I think you may not understand the implications of this argument.

You say God loves unbelievers. What’s love to you? I can’t envision someone that loves me sending me to a fiery eternity simply because I don’t understand something very well. If God wants unbelievers to exist, then good non-believers should be able to go Heaven too. This is contrary to biblical theology of course but you admitted yourself that God wants unbelievers to exist. If God wants them to exist, how can non-believers be at fault for believing exactly as God knew they would believe even before their creation?

You mentioned “trust”. God would also know that if he didn’t provide the necessary elements in place to allow one to “trust” in him, that one wouldn’t trust in him. Sufficient evidence must be there before trust is even a factor. I’m certain you don’t have faith or trust in Bridge Trolls or Tooth Fairies. If they wish for me to know they existed, they’d reveal themselves in a manner consistent with evidence (that is if they had the power, which God does). Just as when you wish for someone to know your presence, you make your presence known. And you make it undeniable and interactionary.

Many people have beliefs contrary to the Abrahamic monotheistic divinity. Earlier you mentioned, essentially, that God will not reveal himself “unless they are ready to accept Him”. What constitutes being ready?

Please explain how one can be “ready” to accept a particular deity. Don’t forget, God would have known what people would be “ready” for evidence and which ones wouldn’t be ready for evidence before their creation. If true, that man must attain some state of readiness, many people will never be ready because God still hasn’t supplied sufficient methods for everyone to develop a state of “readiness” that will lead them to the right God. What about Muslims, Hindus, Mithraic beliefs and the 100,000 other religions in the world? The “evidence” they receive is contrary to Christian theology.

Do they still go to Heaven?

In reason,

Reginald V. Finley, Sr.
The Infidel Guy

You must not understand logical syllogisms very well. Your legerdemain and non sequiturs have been duly noted and I shall quickly refute your rebuttal.

Thank you for your attempt at refuting my argument:

Your first paragrah is a waste of space. I made it clear that I was going to address the Christian God. Which I did. The argument alone displays to the audience that I am assuming the Christian God exists. Try again buddy.

Your second paragraph is a bunch of non-sequiturs.

1.) Freewill was implicated in the arguments. Notice that volition is key to the argument. Also, knowing that he exists in no way hinders freewill/freechoice. I keep hearing this fallacy and it has not yet been proven. Proof of this is that billions of people believe and still make free decisions related to religious ideology. We all know the sun exists and yet we still have freewill. :slight_smile:
2.) The afterlife is also assumed in the argument. That’s part of Christian theology. Your statement was odd at best. Another non-sequitur at worst.
3.) My premises are clearly stated. If are a Christian that accepts one and two the argument logically follows. If you don’t, then you aren’t a Christian that accepts the premises. You accuse me of audiatur et altera pars and yet no where do you show how my premises are not clearly stated.

Attacks the premises and why they are wrong sir. Everything else you stated was simply Ignoratio elenchi.

Well, we are bemused by its little snit. :smiley:

Frankly, I don’t think that a person whose argument consists of five premises and one inference ought to lecture someone else on syllogisms.

I would say that you’re welcome did I not fear your taking offense.

Interestingly, it was a response to yours.

Since we’re being all uppity, it’s two words, not one hyphenated word. It’s the negation of the third person singular present tense of sequ — to follow.

That’s why I said that it was audiatur et altera pars.

Again, that’s what I said. And if indeed there is an afterlife, then you do not know whether “all men are convinced of God’s existence”, since it is possible that all dead people are convinced of His existence, what with having seen Him face to face and all.

Since contradictions do not exist, either that assertion or the two you made above must be false.

Oh, goody. You have a link to the Infidel-dot-org’s abridged list of logical fallacies. Most impressive.

I don’t get this. What if I dontdefine a supreme being as a being who is necessary. I don’t even know what “a being who is necessary” means. Necessary for what? I guess atoms are necessary, since if all the atoms in the universe went away, we wouldn’t exist, but I’d hardly call atoms a supreme being. What if I define hippogriffs as beings who are necessary? Have I just summoned hippogriffs into existence?

I guess what you mean is a single being upon whom all the world depends. But what proof do you have that such a being exists, or that if it does exist it would have any of the other attributes commonly ascribed to God? I’m not a scientist, but it seems to me that we have a surprisingly thorough understanding of the universe from its beginnings to the present day and beyond, and from its tiniest constituents to its large scale structure. As far as I can tell, there is no need for a neccessary being. I know that science is fallable, and maybe we will discover some sort of cosmic superbeing behind it all someday. That’s why I’m agnostic, not atheist (about god most broadly defined, that is.) But we haven’t found one yet.

If you’re completely unfamiliar with the concept, then a reference to Kant himself might be a bit onerous. Here, instead, is a third-year philosophy lecture on the topic. See particularly:

If you have further questions, Larry, just let me know.

Nitpick:

Last I checked, the Christian God allows nonbelievers to experience wailing and gnashing of teeth and eternal torment and other such fun stuff. Doesn’t seem very “omnibenevolent” to me.

I don’t know about Tooth Fairies (there’s more than one?), but I’ve seen enough trolls around here to convince me of their existance.

1). The OP requested convincing evidence. This moves belief into faith out of logic, since not all those with convincing evidence will choose to believe anyhow. If you are convinced that your arguments are convincing for the existence of god, then you have accused God of the same sin you are objecting to in the OP. Thus if God truly wants belief to be a matter of free will, your logical arguments cannot be correct. You have contradicted yourself.

As for 2), since it is not of interest what one believes (if anything) after death, I fail to see the point of arguing if a man is a man after death. Basically we’d know then, correct, or else not know anything. Since we’d know, then the free will argument must be different at this point. Therefore the free will argument is either invalid, or there is something different between the dead and the living in terms of belief. Therefore your point 2) is invalid also.

As for you first point, the necessary existence argument says nothing about the existence of the Christian deity (and certainly nothing about Christ) but only proves that some supreme being, of some undefined desires, exists. This being might not be interested in us at all, and its existence in no way refutes the argument of the OP.

Actually, it did not. Yours was the first post in the thread to use the phrase “convincing evidence”.

If it is assumed that the Christian God exists, as stipulated by the OP, then it is reasonable to expect that all men will face Him (for their alleged judgment) when they die. Since dead men have seen God, it is reasonable to assume that they believe He exists. Therefore, the OP’s premise “Not all men are convinced of God’s existence” is false. (Dead men are convinced.)

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” — Romans 14:11, The Christian Bible

You’re a bit late with that. As I wrote in the post you say you’ve read, “Because your assertion covers such a broad aspect of theology, rather than just the Christian God, it is factually incorrect.”. (Added emphasis.)

Perhaps not in those words, but I consider “convincing evidence” a simple paraphrase of the OPs statements. Whatever.

Do dead men have knees or tongues? However you left out the important part of the argument. If the dead have free will, then their being in the presence of God would make them believe, despite their free will. If this is okay, why not provide similar convincing evidence (though perhaps not so clear) to the living? Or, is it the case that the dead have no choices anymore - that they cannot change their minds after death? In that case God is being cruel, by saying that while you had a chance, I withheld evidence, and now that you don’t I show it.

I know one Christian who got around this dilemma by believing that Jesus appeared to all the dying at the moment of death, and gave them a last chance. That’s a commendable belief, but I don’t know of any justification for it.

So the dead must be different in someway to qualify for a level of evidence that the living do not. (Dead must be different? We belabor the obvious here, don’t we.)

[/quote]

You’re a bit late with that. As I wrote in the post you say you’ve read, “Because your assertion covers such a broad aspect of theology, rather than just the Christian God, it is factually incorrect.”. (Added emphasis.)
[/QUOTE]

No. A deity who did not particularly care if ayone believed in him, and who brought all to heaven, would not be covered in the OPs argument. Similarly, if we all just died, the argument would not work. So the original argument is not one against all gods, just ones with at least some of the characterics of the Christian one.

The Jewish God never appeared to the gentiles (except in war, perhaps) because their fate was the same whether or not they believed (and which did not involve hell.) Since that is not true for the Christian God, Christianity has had to invent all sorts of things (limbo, virtuous pagans, etc.) to explain the fate of those not saved because God never bothered to show up.

You argue that God wants Non-believers to exist.

The Bible, God’s word states explicitly that:
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

You, like Job, can argue with God but His word is final!

Wow… so all non-believers will know that the Christian God exists. Interesting. This is what I thought! So if a God exists, I’m going to heaven too! Cool. :slight_smile:

Again, all of your earlier rebuttles are moot for you’d have to argue against some the primary foundations of Christian belief. Again I have not provided faulty or unclear premises. Even you understood the argument fine, you are simply pulling at straws. I think you are arguing for the sake of arguing.

The syllogism stands and you still have not refuted it. Bad try. Again, for you to try, would be for you to disagree with common Christian thought about man and God. If you are NOT a Christian, get out of the fire. This argument doesn’t apply to you.

God or man having freewill does not effect the argument at all, therefore not needed. It is common in Christian thought that man does have freewill, no need to bring it up in my argument. Again, nothing more than legerdemain on your part.

In Reason,

Reginald V. Finley, Sr.
The Infidel Guy

You have expressed the same ambiguity that the OP expressed. Believe what? As the OP framed the argument, it is given that the Christian God specifically exists. That is not at issue. The OP states that some men are not convinced. That is not a matter of will, but of knowledge. Feigning disbelief after personal contact is mere beligerence. But knowledge of His existence guarantees nothing about a man’s will to worship Him, or as the OP put it, to “be saved and go to Heaven”. Maybe there are people who do not want to be saved or go to Heaven. Maybe they don’t like God.

I almost agree with your friend, except that there’s no real lastness to it. After all, from the perspective of an eternal Being, every event has not yet happened, is happening, and will happen — all at once. The moral decision has long ago been made; the newly dead merely have a new realization.

Um, somehow, you missed the assertion that that point was addressing. The OP had written, “I know that there is no one single silver bullet against theism. However, justifying non-belief is much easier to accomplish.” (Emphasis added.) My first paragraph addressed his first paragraph. That’s why I quoted it.

You misspelled “Catholicism”.

Going? What is this “going” business? I would think that the authority on Christianity would be, you know, Christ. Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” — Jesus (Luke 17:20-21) You already are where you are going.

Isn’t that why we’re all here? That’s why they call it “debates”. To engage in argument by discussing opposing points — American Heritage.

What syllogism? There is no syllogism. A syllogism consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. You have a string of five premises (at least two of which are absurd), and a conclusion.

It affects your premise (5), as I stated. You tied omnibenevolence (premise 2) to forcing men to believe (premise 5), even against their own knowledge.

I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

It’s nice to know that Reggie F. presumes to know what it is that I believe, since underlying his criticism of my statements is an assortment of presuppositions as to what I think will happen to him and other non-Christians – which I believe a few moments straining the hamsters here would disprove from previous posts of mine.

While I remain as always pleasantly impressed by Liberal’s valiant efforts, I do believe that Lord Ashtar had the proper insight.