If God Were Real…

Posted: September 5, 2011 by Amy Hall in God is Real

In part of last week’s challenge, an atheist claimed that if God were really loving, He would prevent all evil. So for the featured article this week, I address this kind of objection:

It’s the temptation of some who reject the reality of God’s existence to use the following kind of reasoning as part of their evidence: “If the Christian God were real, He would [X]. However, He does not [X], therefore He is not real.”

The problem with a person using this kind of reasoning is that he presumes to know what God would do, and often he does this without the proper knowledge of God’s actions in the past, His character, or His overall purposes. The reasoning turns out to really be: “If I were God, I would do [X]. The Christian God does not do what I would do (in light of my purposes and goals), therefore He is not real.” But God is a person. He has His own specific goals and purposes. Because the reasoner’s assumption is based on faulty understandings of these aspects of the Christian God, his prediction of what God “would do” is also faulty.

Some examples of this type of reasoning: “If Jesus had really come back from the dead, He would have started a revolt against the Romans.” Or, “If Jesus had really physically risen from the dead, He would have stuck around instead of ascending to heaven.” Or, “If God really existed, He would appear to everyone and prove He exists.”

Matthew 27:39-43 gives another great example of this kind of objection…

Read the rest of the article at STR Place to find out who in the Bible made this same kind of argument and how we can respond when we hear people making these kinds of claims today.

Comments
  1. If God were real, God would wisely follow my rules.

  2. Bryan Meyer says:

    Another way to state it is: if P then Q; P, ergo Q. Or if P, then Q; not P, then not Q. Can’t do if P, then Q; not Q, then, not P. The form is invalid. The atheist that uses such an argument would lose on form alone, i.e., case closed.

    • Amy Hall says:

      Bryan, the form, if P then Q, ~Q, ergo ~P, is actually valid. It’s called modus tollens. It’s valid because if P always causes Q, then if Q is not present, P couldn’t be present (because P always brings about Q — if P is there then Q will be there, so if it’s not there, we know P isn’t there). Does that make sense?

      The invalid form is, If P then Q, ~P, ergo ~Q (denying the antecedent). It’s invalid because something else could have caused Q besides P.

      So the argument is valid, even though it fails due to a false premise.