"[Holy book] claims that [deity] performed many miracles in the past, and thus made their existence obvious. Therefore, [deity] would have no problems performing miracles these days. Miracles aren't performed these days. Therefore, [holy book] is probably wrong about the miracles, and thus [deity] most likely doesn't exist."

Argument from nonbelief seems close, but I don't think it's similar enough to this argument to count.

  • "probably wrong about the miracles, and thus [deity] most likely doesn't exist" seems like a plain non-sequitur. Even assuming that a book is wrong about the miracles and about the deity there is no logical connection to deity's existence. – Conifold Nov 18 '15 at 1:44

Depending on the additional words in the argument, the most obvious flaw is the presumption that a deity that CAN perform miracles at any point WILL perform them at any point. It could be thought of as an underestimation of the agency of the deity.

A counter example has to be tailored to the audience. For a science audience, an argument revolving around the Drake equation may be a reasonable analog. It has a similar pattern of an event happening in the past but not being recorded as happening in recent times.

A less contentious example which could work for any religion might be with regard to someone who used to make a killing playing high stakes poker with a unique talent of reading people's tells, but no longer plays. Therefore, that person probably didn't ever know how to read tells in the first place.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.