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The apologetic claims the argument is logically valid by modus tollens. The somewhat detailed version is:

Premise 1. If Argument A for God's existence is sound, then God exists.
Premise 2. But God does not exist.
Conclusion. Therefore, Argument A for God's existence is not sound.

Another variant is:

Premise 1. If E is evidence for God's existence, then there is some evidence for God's existence.
Premise 2. But there is no evidence for God's existence.
Conclusion. Therefore, E is not evidence for God's existence.

We know that only two conditions for the existence of God can be true:

  1. God exists.
  2. God does not exist.

Is this a logical proof?

Source: http://shenvi.org/Essays/RefutingArgumentsForGod.htm

  • I'm posting this as a comment because I think it isn't related to the main question: "only two conditions for the existence of God can be true" Disagree. Assume there are two worlds naturally exist. One of them is a world of gods, and one god managed to create a world that is exactly the same as the other world that naturally exists, everywhere in time and space. Then for the other world, "Some instances of our world has God, and some doesn't." It's because "we" are the us from every such world simultaneously. – user23013 Apr 3 '15 at 12:02
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the argument advanced is clearly presented as spurious by its own author in the context of the page in which it is presented. It's a loose parody of arguments which the original author has encountered. – Chris Sunami Apr 7 '15 at 20:32
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The premise

Premise 2. But God does not exist.

is begging the question. Whether it's true is clearly very debatable.

The second 'variant' is actually a different argument because the second premise has a very different meaning. Yet, also this second premise is debatable. Unfortunately, the author doesn't support the premise at all in the rest of his 'essay'.

In short: don't believe everything on the internet (in particular note from the author's biography that he has no relevant education or publications, except for his own website).

  • 1)Is this really Modus tollens or begging the question as there is no proof of the second premise? 2) I have a question.As per wikipedia An argument is sound if and only if The argument is valid. All of its premises are true.Is there any argument for the existence of God which qualifies this condition? – Arun Mar 29 '15 at 18:02
  • @Arun 1) it is a modus tollens. 2) argh! I mixed them up again! In that case the first premise indeed makes sense, but the second premise is indeed begging the question. I'll edit my answer. – Keelan Mar 29 '15 at 20:04
  • "All of its premises are true." there you go again. assuming your premise is true when the premise is your conclusion. i've seen a lot larger circles of logic. – robert bristow-johnson Mar 30 '15 at 1:33
  • 1)The heading of my question is misleading. The author of the argument attempts to discredit the atheist who refutes the arguments for the existence of God.The argument is for the atheist so from the point of view of an atheist the second premise is true. 2)Is there any sound argument for the existence of God? – Arun Mar 30 '15 at 2:23
  • @Arun truth is absolute, not per person - and therefore soundness is as well. So, 1) no, 2) possibly, but if it were known there wouldn't be so much discussion. – Keelan Mar 30 '15 at 7:06
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From the same linked page (emphasis mine):

Is this satire?

Yes and no. Yes, because I doubt that anyone would actually use the 'Preemptive Argument' explicitly. But no, because I suspect that almost every one of us -Christian or non-Christian- uses this argument implicitly when our views are challenged or when we confront evidence that doesn't conform to our preexisting beliefs. Like our imaginary interlocutor, we often do not "honestly reexamine our own beliefs and question whether they are correct." We frequently assume that our beliefs are true (premise 2) and then conclude that the evidence in question must be flawed.

2

Premise 1. If Argument A for God's existence is sound, then God exists.

This is very much untrue. Existence is not contingent upon argumentation. Argumentation for true propositions may very well be poor and the proposition true. That may lead to unconvincing arguments but still that does not disqualify the issue from existing.

Premise 1. If Argument A for God's existence is sound, then God exists. Premise 2. But God does not exist. Conclusion. Therefore, Argument A for God's existence is not sound.

Even if all this is true all you have really done is proven the arguments unsound which by itself can still lead you towards Theological Agnosticism. So as an argument for atheism it is somewhat ineffective.

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The logical fallacy in this case is not in the proof, but in the heading. In the context of a discussion on whether God exists or not, the second premises in both cases would just state what the author tries to prove:

Premise 2: God doesn't exist

or in the second part:

Premise 2: There is no evidence for God's existence.

Presupposing what one wants to prove does not count as sound logic, as far as I know...

If the question was "Will anyone not believing in God accept arguments or evidence to the contrary?", the conclusion would provide a valid answer...

  • "Presupposing what one wants to prove does not count as sound logic, as far as I know..." (no shit.) as far as i know, too. – robert bristow-johnson Mar 30 '15 at 1:31
  • The argument is for the atheist so from the point of view of an atheist the second premise is true. – Arun Mar 30 '15 at 2:23
  • That would be (and after reading the article, that is) one atheist without a clue how to apply logic. – gnasher729 Mar 31 '15 at 1:34
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You can say quite reasonably: 1. If Argument A for God's existence is sound, then God exists. 2. I am utterly convinced that God does not exist. 3. Therefore, I am utterly convinced that Argument A for God's existence is not sound. 4. And here is what this blog is missing: Since I'm utterly convinced that Argument A is not sound, I will look for the actual reasons why it is not sound, and I'm sure that I will succeed and find the fault(s) in the argument. Alternatively: 4: Since I'm utterly convinced that Argument A is not sound, I cannot even be bothered to find out why Argument A is not sound.

But what the author wrote is actually just a lengthy way of writing: "God does not exist because God does not exist. " Which is a statement that is quite useless.

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These arguments are both logically valid, but the conclusion of even a valid argument is only as good as the premises, and the second premise is offered without any support. If the conclusion is intended to be that God does not exist, then the reasoning is circular --it could only be persuasive to someone who already accepts the conclusion from the start, it offers no additional support to that conclusion.

In context, it seems that the arguments are posed as a critique on arguments purporting to disprove the existence of God. The writer feels that the typical atheist apologetic assumes God's non-existence from the start, and discards all possible counter-evidence as a result of that assumption.

Depending on how accurate this critique is, the writer's arguments might be considered either as accurately revealing structural weaknesses in the critiqued arguments, or as "strawmen" that discard the effective portions of the original arguments in order to make them seem easy to defeat.

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There's no logical fallacy as such here. It's just not a proof of anything substantial. Argument A's soundness or Evidence E and Premise 2 clash in both cases; the question as to which should take priority isn't one that this argument addresses.

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