1. Joined
    29 Dec '08
    Moves
    6788
    11 Nov '11 22:591 edit
    Let's pick this one apart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_nonbelief

    quote:

    Drange's argument from nonbelief

    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:[16]

    If God exists, God:
    1. wants all humans to believe God exists before they die;
    2. can bring about a situation in which all humans believe God exists before they die;
    3. 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
    4. 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).

    [JS add: Note that #3 includes the implication that moral free will and the resulting actions from moral free will do not conflict with, and are not more important than, God's desire that all humans believe before they die.]

    unquote
    The footnote is [16] ^ Drange, Theodore (1996). "The Arguments From Evil and Nonbelief".

    This makes me wonder why it is that God would bother to create any humans that do not come to believe before they die. After all, he knows the outcome beforehand. Simple enough to skip over them. There can still be plenty of moral mischief before people come to God.

    If I were arguing the theistic case, I'd argue for universal reconciliation but that's probably considered un-Biblical by many.
  2. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
    Brisbane,QLD
    Joined
    11 Apr '09
    Moves
    91553
    12 Nov '11 00:012 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    Let's pick this one apart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_nonbelief

    quote:

    Drange's argument from nonbelief

    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 e 'd argue for universal reconciliation but that's probably considered un-Biblical by many.
    (I am still noodling over most of the points you've raised here)

    All I can add at this point is that God gave us free will so that we may have the opportunity to learn. Just because It knows in advance the EVENTUAL outcome/destiny of all "souls" , we still have to go through the process of evolving ,(from big bang to us, now), to understand our true identities.
    What would be the point of this seemingly pointless exercise? Imo it is to bring "light" into this part of the universe, to extend the "enlightened kingdom" of "God".
    (Of course my explanation here is assuming a bit already. You have to fill in the gaps yourself. I doubt any out there would take my authority on the matter, and those that would prolly already get my gist.)
  3. Wat?
    Joined
    16 Aug '05
    Moves
    76863
    12 Nov '11 00:07
    Why can't philosophy itself be a God reigning sphere?
  4. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    12 Nov '11 00:39
    Originally posted by JS357
    Let's pick this one apart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_nonbelief

    quote:

    Drange's argument from nonbelief

    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 e ...[text shortened]... 'd argue for universal reconciliation but that's probably considered un-Biblical by many.
    My bone of contention is why 1?
    What's the point of making/wanting people to believe in you?

    It brings to mind the god's in discworld who gain their power and form from the people who believe in them.

    however if you are a universe creating super-being why do you need a bunch of puny temporary lifeforms
    to believe in you before they die?

    Even if you are the gatekeeper to the afterlife for them and have the power to condemn them to an eternity
    of heaven or hell, why make belief in yourself as not only one of but the deciding factor?
    Why not just judge on their treatment of others, good or bad?

    Proposition 1 seems very fishy to me.
  5. Joined
    10 Jun '11
    Moves
    3829
    12 Nov '11 00:43
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    My bone of contention is why 1?
    What's the point of making/wanting people to believe in you?

    It brings to mind the god's in discworld who gain their power and form from the people who believe in them.

    however if you are a universe creating super-being why do you need a bunch of puny temporary lifeforms
    to believe in you before they die?

    Even ...[text shortened]... just judge on their treatment of others, good or bad?

    Proposition 1 seems very fishy to me.
    mental illness.

    imagine you're the only conscious being in existence. and you have been so for eternity. madness sets in. it's inevitable.
  6. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    12 Nov '11 00:59
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    mental illness.

    imagine you're the only conscious being in existence. and you have been so for eternity. madness sets in. it's inevitable.
    I think the bigger impossibility is that any intelligent being would sit in dark empty nothingness for
    eternity before doing something about it.
    If god can make one universe, then he can make more than one.
    If god has existed forever, then god has made (and perhaps destroyed) an infinite number of universes.

    Which makes the idea that god needs us to believe in him even more ludicrous.
  7. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    12 Nov '11 01:176 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    If God exists, God:
    1. wants all humans to believe God exists before they die;
    2. can bring about a situation in which all humans believe God exists before they die;
    3. 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
    4. always acts in accordance with what it m I'd argue for universal reconciliation but that's probably considered un-Biblical by many.[/b]
    He assumes that the goal is for everyone to believe that God exists before they die. In addition, it assumes that merely believing in God is the goal that unites us to that God. Both assumptions are just that and not necessarily the case.

    From my perspective based upon belief, I would say that just believing in God does not save you. In fact, Biblically the Bible says as much and mentions that demons believe as well but that does not save them.

    Other stories we see in the Bible indicate that there are those who believe in God but have lost faith in him. Adam and Eve are perhaps the best examples. Other examples are the children of Israel as they witness the Red Sea part before them with pillars of fire going out before them and manna from heaven falling from the sky for them to eat. They then inexplicably forsake that God of miracles and build a golden calf to worship in his stead. Modern day examples might be Hitler who seemed to think that a divine hand was responsible for his rise to power, however, as we can see this belief did little in "saving his soul".

    So as we can see, believing in God probably is not the goal for God since it has done precious little to cause his creation to place their faith in him in the past. Therefore, faith placed in him IS the goal. If so, then God has no real interest in "proving" his existence. In fact, he might even mandate that his existence not be proven to better seperate the tares from the wheat, so to speak. Additionally, for those who would reject him and not place their faith in him if they knew he existed, they have the added benefit of not feeling coerced into obeying him since they can just glibly tell themselves that he is not really real anyway. My guess is that he has provided us the example of Christ and his teachings and welcome all those who agree and believe IN him, not just the mere belief that Christ existed and was a pretty good guy for the most part.

    What can I say? Different strokes for different folks. 😛
  8. Joined
    24 Apr '05
    Moves
    3061
    12 Nov '11 01:362 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    He assumes that the goal is for everyone to believe that God exists before they die. In addition, it assumes that merely believing in God is the goal that unites us to that God. Both assumptions are just that and not necessarily the case.

    From my perspective based upon belief, I would say that just believing in God does not save you. In fact, Biblically y good guy for the most part.

    What can I say? Different strokes for different folks. 😛
    I'm afraid your objection is not much relevant.

    You say, basically, that believing that God exists is insufficient in itself to be saved. Okay, but so what? Merely believing that God exists is still necessary for whatever it will take to have the faith in God that you think is sufficient for being saved, correct? And if so, then the basic argument still carries force.

    I do not really like the way the argument is worded/presented here; but so long as (1) believing that God exists is necessary for God's ultimate plans for us and (2) there are numerous instances among us where one never comes to believe that God exists; then there is a basic problem from ignorance (or non-belief) here for the theist.

    The rest of your post also makes no sense. Why would God reward those who put faith in him in the face of reasons insufficient to even justify the mere belief that He exists in the first place? If God is smart, he would know that epistemic irresponsibility is no basis for reward. And the idea that God's giving us good reasons to think He exists would somehow infringe on our freedom is likewise inane. Any one who is married has overwhelming reasons to think their spouse exists. Does that mean they are not really free to love and relate with their spouse?
  9. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    12 Nov '11 02:07
    Originally posted by JS357
    Let's pick this one apart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_nonbelief

    quote:

    Drange's argument from nonbelief

    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 e ...[text shortened]... 'd argue for universal reconciliation but that's probably considered un-Biblical by many.
    "If God exists, God:"

    "If God exists" is presumptuous. It should read rather; "God exists, therefore..."

    1. wants all humans to believe God exists before they die;

    Not true. Man already knows God exists. What God wants is for man to stop denying it, and to believe what God says.

    2. can bring about a situation in which all humans believe God exists before they die;

    Already the case. Everything in existence is proof.

    3. 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

    Man sets himself up for unbelief.

    4. always acts in accordance with what it most wants.

    And why not? God's will is perfect.

    If God exists, all humans would believe so before they die.

    Presumptuous again. God will not "cause" one to believe since believing is simply an acknowledgement of the truth based on the act of free will.

    But not all humans believe God exists before they die.

    But they do after.

    Therefore, God does not exist.

    Ignorant.
  10. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    12 Nov '11 02:12
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"If God exists, God:"

    "If God exists" is presumptuous. It should read rather; "God exists, therefore..."

    1. wants all humans to believe God exists before they die;

    Not true. Man already knows God exists. What God wants is for man to stop denying it, and to believe what God says.

    2. can bring about a situation in which all human ...[text shortened]... y die.

    But they do after.

    Therefore, God does not exist.

    Ignorant.[/b]
    I don't think you understand the meanings of the words you use.

    Starting with Presumptuous, I don't think it means what you think it means.

    YouTube
  11. Joined
    15 Sep '04
    Moves
    7051
    12 Nov '11 03:022 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    Let's pick this one apart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_nonbelief

    quote:

    Drange's argument from nonbelief

    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 e 'd argue for universal reconciliation but that's probably considered un-Biblical by many.
    I am not convinced. This argument seems to be set up specifically against a Protestant soteriology, which posits that explicit faith in God is requisite for salvation. Obviously many religions do not have the same soteriology and obviously many other Christian churches, Catholic and Orthodox, do not follow the view that faith is requisite. The Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church explicitly stated in its documents Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate that Jews, Muslims and atheists could all be saved through their desire to lead a moral life. That disposes at least of premise 1.

    I believe a sola fide Protestant could still reject premise 2. It would seem that belief in an omnipotent God would entail 2. I however am always troubled by this word 'can'. God's omnipotence posits that God can do anything in the sense that anything is within God's power. Yet there are many things that God cannot do, because he does not have the nature, inclination or desire for it. So there are two readings of 'can': one is dynamic, concerning God's power and ability, the other is potential, concerning what God may or may not do. God can lie in the sense that he has the requisite power; God cannot lie because his nature is truthful. Employing this second construal of 'can', a Christian would say that while God is omnipotent, there are many things God cannot do (i.e. commit a moral evil.)

    So a Christian could say that while it is within God's power to bring about a situation in which all humans believe God exists, they could say that God cannot do so, in the sense of the second construal of 'can', because such a divine would not accord with God's nature. Perhaps God has some higher wisdom allowing him to see that such a situation would not be in his best interest. Perhaps God's nature is inherently furtive and so God is disinclined to reveal himself in large crowds. Who knows?

    This is just a thought experiment for me because I do not believe in God. I do not in the end think this is a very powerful argument.

    A final point on premise 2. A Christian could argue that premise 2 is true and God does bring about a situation in which all humans believe in God before they die. There was a popular belief among Catholics that the Archangel Michael would come down to the departing soul and offer the person a last chance. Drange's argument wrongly assumes that current non-belief is proof that God does not exist. A Catholic here could counter that final non-belief would be proof that God does not exist. Obviously nobody could know whether the Catholic was wrong.
  12. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    12 Nov '11 03:061 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I'm afraid your objection is not much relevant.

    You say, basically, that believing that God exists is insufficient in itself to be saved. Okay, but so what? Merely believing that God exists is still necessary for whatever it will take to have the faith in God that you think is sufficient for being saved, correct? And if so, then the basic argument s spouse exists. Does that mean they are not really free to love and relate with their spouse?
    Everything hinges on free will. Why free will? It is because love demands a choice and God IS love. If you do not have a choice to love someone, is it love? If God forced us to accept or reject him, then it would only be God loving or hating himself back.

    Faith is also related. We place our faith in those we love. We have no empirical evidence that such faith is misplaced, rather, we simply love them for whatever reason and place our faith in them. In addition, when we place our faith in God we are agreeing with his word and he is then free to work in our lives whether it be for salvation or other things. Without such consent his hands are tied. After all, why would God give us free will only to take it from us? Either he wishes us to have it or he does not.

    You also say that there is no good reason to think that God exists yet fail to mention that atheists on a global scale are a minority. That makes no sense. In addition, I reject the notion that one has to believe that God exists for them to be saved. After all, what of the fate for those who are unable to grasp the concept of who and what God is such as the baby that dies or mentally retarded? How could God reject those who have not yet been afforded a choice? I assume that someday they will be given that choice.

    So what makes us fall in love with person A and not person B? That is the question. I suppose it has to do with what is inside our heart, no? Likewise, this is my view on what makes one place faith in God. We read the account of one Jesus Christ and his invitiation and we choose to accept or reject it.
  13. Joined
    15 Sep '04
    Moves
    7051
    12 Nov '11 03:12
    Originally posted by whodey
    Everything hinges on free will. Why free will? It is because love demands a choice and God IS love. If you do not have a choice to love someone, is it love? If God forced us to accept or reject him, then it would only be God loving or hating himself back.

    Faith is also related. We place our faith in those we love. We have no empirical evidence that ...[text shortened]... e read the account of one Jesus Christ and his invitiation and we choose to accept or reject it.
    How do belief and faith fall within the domain of free will? When God appeared to the prophets, was that a violation of their free will? I don't get it. Drange does not mention God coercing people to believe in him.
  14. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
    24 Jan '11
    Moves
    12693
    12 Nov '11 03:33
    Originally posted by karoly aczel
    (I am still noodling over most of the points you've raised here)

    All I can add at this point is that God gave us free will so that we may have the opportunity to learn. Just because It knows in advance the EVENTUAL outcome/destiny of all "souls" , we still have to go through the process of evolving ,(from big bang to us, now), to understand our true ...[text shortened]... ould take my authority on the matter, and those that would prolly already get my gist.)
    This is the kind of evolution I can believe in. The evolution of our
    understanding. But I would just as soon get rid of the word altogether
    and call this learning since the term conjures up an untrue idea to me.
  15. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
    24 Jan '11
    Moves
    12693
    12 Nov '11 03:40
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I think the bigger impossibility is that any intelligent being would sit in dark empty nothingness for
    eternity before doing something about it.
    If god can make one universe, then he can make more than one.
    If god has existed forever, then god has made (and perhaps destroyed) an infinite number of universes.

    Which makes the idea that god needs us to believe in him even more ludicrous.
    Why would God need to make more than one universe? This one is too
    big for us to measure and scientist think it is expanding perhaps faster
    than the speed of light as it is.
Back to Top