Another Look at How to Argue Against God
by Randy Everist
The previous entry discussed both the inconsistencies and insufficient definitions of the article entitled, “How to Argue That God Does Not Exist.” I don’t want to focus on this too much, but I did want to continue in examining two more areas: the irrelevancies and inaccuracies. It should prove somewhat interesting!
III. The Irrelevancies.
Something is irrelevant just in the case its affirmation or denial can be accepted by either party who disputes some other claim. So, for instance, that the North Pole is north of Canada is irrelevant to whether or not the 40th president was John F. Kennedy. Its truth doesn’t have any implications for the claim under consideration. With that in mind, we turn to a couple of examples in this article of irrelevancies.
First, he claims that “morality does not require any religious belief.” That seems a bit ambiguous, but fortunately for us, he explains what he means. “The ability to distinguish right from wrong does not require any religious beliefs.” While this disambiguation is itself ambiguous (is it really the ability to distinguish right from wrong does not require God or that religious belief be true, or the ability to distinguish right from wrong does not require belief in God or belief in religious claims? It’s not 100% clear, but I lean toward the latter for his meaning.), it seems he is reacting against
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the perceived claim that atheists act immorally. Well, taking his meaning, I think we can agree. It seems obvious that atheists can act immorally or morally, independent of their religious beliefs. However, this is just irrelevant to the truth of the Christian God’s existence (or really, any god). It doesn’t follow that God doesn’t exist from the truth of “atheists can act in such a way as to conform to moral duties and obligations.” It doesn’t even follow from that that the argument for God from morality fails! That is, one is completely consistent in affirming this claim and the claim that God grounds morality.
Second, it is claimed that religion has been used to control the masses. Again, it’s not clear what’s being claimed here: does he mean that, for every religion, there is at least one instance of it being abused to control people? Or does he mean that, for every religion, it is always and only used to control people? Or does he mean that, for every religion, it is usually used to control people? Let’s say the first definition is under consideration. What’s supposed to be the argument? There is none given, so we have to infer it…