Its not a good argument for the non-existence of God… but you could use it to argue that nothing would be different if God didn’t exist… and therefore that he is in a way irrelevant. At least to the physical world. What happens to your soul is anyone’s guess if we have souls. Theists will counter argue that morality wouldn’t exist or something like that… meaning they would be raping and killing if they didn’t beleive in God or gods.
To turn it around on the OP, I’ve heard/read people propose the “you can’t make this stuff up” argument for God’s existence (and/or for the truth of the Christian religion): “If I were just inventing a God/religion, no way would I have come up with this.”
No, it isn’t. Your argument leaves out all the specifics of the various arguments, ignoring the details that are particular to each one. Far from encompassing them all, it ignores everything that’s specific about each one.
For example, your argument presumes that each and every argument for the existence of God can be boiled down to “Then why does God do this?” or “Why doesn’t God do that?” Yet there are arguments that cannot be reduced to those simplistic terms – the Kalam cosmological argument, for example. Similarly, the argument from design is premised on the notion that the nature displays earmarks of intelligent design, and thus, necessitates a creator. This is vastly different from saying “Why does or doesn’t God do that?”
For that matter, what of someone who claims to have a personal encounter with God? This is nowhere covered in your OP, nor in the simplistic reformulation that we’ve been discussing.
With all due respect, your argument does not encompass all the specific arguments. Instead, it ignores everything that’s specific about them.
With equal respect, a cosmological argument could be questioned thus: “Why would an infinite and infinitely powerful and perfect God suddenly feel the need for such insignificant company?” and the intelligent design argument would have to answer the question, “Then why did God put nipples on a man, or an appendix on anybody?”
My argument encompasses the responses to all of the “why” questions.
Oh, my word, it’s a reverse ontological argument! It’s just as silly as St. Amselm’s ontological argument, but in reverse!
No, seriously. We live in a reality where the popular conception of a given thing is likely to significantly differ from the reality. We live in a world with many conceptions of “god.” Necessarily, many of these, even from a theist standpoint, must be erroneous. To compare the (mis)conceptions of God in this reality to the concept of God in a truly atheist hypothetical world proves nothing about the real existence of a possible real God.
Here, listen to this:
Imagine a world with phenomena exactly like our own, & history broadly like our own, but created by the mating of the great slime beasts of Yrg-Sdikkerabt, which were then disinterested in the world & did not reveal themselves to its inhabitants. In that world so much like our own, the various conceptions of “god” would look, of course, like our various conceptions of “god.”
Does this prove anything about the great slime beasts of Yrg-Sdikkerabt?
Imagine a world with phenomena exactly like our own, & history broadly like our own, but created by a (less than self-revealing) Prime Mover or Great Architect, as in some Deistic thought. In that world so much like our own, the various conceptions of “god” would look, of course, like our various conceptions of “god.”
Does this prove anything about a Deist’s idea of a Prime Mover or Great Architect?
Imagine a world with phenomena exactly like our own, & history broadly like our own, but created by Gaea, as in Greek mythology. In that world so much like our own, the various conceptions of “god” would look, of course, like our various conceptions of “god.”
Does this prove anything about “Mother Gaea”?
Imagine a world with phenomena exactly like our own, & history broadly like our own, but in which everything in the Bible were true. In that world so much like our own, the various conceptions of “god” would look, of course, like our various conceptions of “god.” And the miraculous events in the Bible would have happened due to divine intervention, & really be true, & be told to us in the same way they really are. So the Bible’s conception of God corresponds to a real god in that reality.
Does this prove anything about the Bible?
Imagine a world with phenomena exactly like our own, & history broadly like our own, but in which everything in the Upanishads were true. In that world so much like our own, the various conceptions of “god” would look, of course, like our various conceptions of “god.” And the miraculous events in the Upanishads would have happened, & really be true, & be told to us in the same way they really are. So that Hindu conception of the divine corresponds to real gods in that reality.
Does this prove anything about the Upanishads?
Ah, so you’re arguing against the apologetics of those who believe in a highly interested Gawd, not for the basic principle of atheism. I see your real purpose has diddly to do with me, my Deist beliefs, or the great indifferent slime beasts of Yrg-Sdikkerabt, so I’ll let you annoy the Christians.
Neither one of those is an intellectually honest rephrasing. At best, they are merely counter-arguments (not refutations).
A counter-argument is NOT a rephrasing of the previous argument. Ergo, you have NOT reduced either the Kalam cosmological argument to “Why would/wouldn’t God do this?” Nor have you done the same with the argument from design.
And you have totally sidestepped the argument put forth by those who claim to have had a personal encounter with God. You may dismiss them if you wish (indeed, I don’t believe that all of those encounters are genuine), but they cannot be reduced to the formulas that you described.
The Ontological Argument assumes that a person can imagine a perfect being (God), and that because a perfect being isn’t perfect unless it exists, then the perfect being must exist.
Crazy talk. Yet still respectfully regarded. (Or am I imagining that.)
But doesn’t the O.A. depend on a concept of “perfect”?
In my mind a perfect being wouldn’t preside over such an imperfect universe. And if I can imagine a better universe, then God can’t be perfect. But God is perfect by definition, so if God is not perfect then He can’t exist.
Just about every culture on Earth has come up with some sort of concept of a higher power to explain the universe. These concepts do not agree, and many are in fact diametrically opposed and irreconcilable. Thus, it is more likely that people have a need to explain the world around them, and in the abscense of real evidence will make up any damn thing that comes to them rather than one them being right or all of them referencing one pantheon.
That is just off the top of my head though.
I’d be more concerned about the hideousness of what my shaved head would look like.
Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. You are depending on the assertion that the universe is imperfect. Just because a hypothetical universe might be better for you personally doesn’t mean it would be better overall, nor is it possible to objectively define the criteria of a perfect universe.
God is perfect by definition? Says who?
Why can’t one believe in a creator of the universe who didn’t make it to be perfect in the mind of a human being?
As for those who say something doesn’t exsist until there is proof that it exsists, how would you explain Pluto?
Before it’s discovery I’m sure there were those who speculated on it’s exsistance.
Only a fool would say “Well, since you can’t prove it and have no evidence, Pluto doesn’t exsist.”
A rational person would say “Maybe it exsists, maybe it doesn’t, right now there is no way of knowing.”
Actually the evidence is that nothing happens by sheer thought. And you know what I mean so forget about the mind controlling muscles etc.
The universe operates according to the properties of physics. Magical creation has not been observed to happen and there’s no reason to believe it ever did.
Some, actually many, do feel that holy books or tales are convincing enough but that is really all they have.