I have been experimenting with this argument on forums for a while now, but I have yet to use it in a formal debate. Seeing as I am not totally convinced by it. Something about it just doesn’t sit right with me as far as on argument against God goes. I feel like its rhetoric isn’t strong enough, and can be easily dismissed. Theodore Drange proposed a version of the nonbelief argument in 1996. He considers the distinction between culpable and inculpable nonbelief to be completely irrelevant, and tries to argue that the mere existence of nonbelief is evidence against the existence of God. A semi-formal presentation of the argument is as follows:
- If God exists, God:
- wants all humans to believe God exists before they die;
- can bring about a situation in which all humans believe God exists before they die;
- does not want anything that would conflict with and be at least as important as its desire for all humans to believe God exists before they die; and
- always acts in accordance with what it most wants.
- If God exists, all humans would believe so before they die (from 1).
- But not all humans believe God exists before they die.
- Therefore, God does not exist (from 2 and 3).
As far as I have seen, I have not been given a reason to think that God would want all of his followers to believe in him before they die. The obvious answer to this argument that the theist would present would be the God gave us freewill. This however is also a questionable assumption. People have suggested that this is an unreasonable demand for God. But I also don’t see how it is unreasonable for the most powerful possible being to make his followers believe in him from birth. Seeing as how one could consider creating the universe to be unreasonable. What was his reasons for creating our universe? I think the obvious answer would be that he wanted a loyal group of followers to follow him. So that could also be an interesting objection. I haven’t looked much into this argument, but I will be making future posts on it. I will try to explore all objections I can find, and objections to those objections(and so on). Hopefully I can arrive at the appropriate conclusion.