RickD wrote: ↑
Sat May 12, 2018 11:58 am
Kenny wrote: ↑
Sat May 12, 2018 9:51 am
The strongest argument for God? I would point to the fact that most people believe in some type of God/higher power. Sorta like popularity as an indicator of truth.
In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "argument to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so."
Actually, it isn't necessarily an informal fallacy. Come on Rick, don't be so obtuse, praise when its due.
Provided Kenny can provide further explanation for why the conclusion ("God or a higher power exists") is to be expected from the premise "most people believing in such", then it isn't necessarily fallacious. BUT, there must be a correlation or connection between the two, other than simply most people believe.
Consider what we might expect belief-wise in people given God does exist and created us. Mightn't we expect most people to believe in God (or some higher power) if indeed God created us? If you answer yes, then it isn't necessarily an ad populum
fallacy to draw a conclusion God exists based upon most people believing such.
Why does God creating us mean we might carry some deep seated beliefs about God and spiritual matters? Whether or not we fully acknowledge God's existence, I think it reasonable to expect our creator would have implanted certain truths within our psyche.
For example, Paul talks of the moral law in Romans 2 not simply as that which was given by the letter, but also that which has been written on our hearts. Thus, if God exists, it stands to reason also we'd expect many people to be moral and truly see as good that which is morally good, and bad that which is wrong (in accordance to how our author see such).
Scripture likewise talks of God setting eternity in our hearts (Ecc 3:11), so for example, unlike animals we have thoughts of immortality, spirtuality, beleive in an afterlife, and like -- thus it isn't fallacious to conclude that many in humanity possess these beliefs does point to God existing. Autonomy and free will I'd argue is another area many would believe in, though the correlation might be less obvious to some.
So then, I agree with Kenny, and must say am a little surprised. He is onto very strong arguments for God's existence as I see matters. Furthermore, I think it is an evident deep-seated wilful denial of God that leads someone to reject such truths (God belief, spirituality, eternality, morality, free will, etc), and as such, ultimately bury knowledge of God.
Some may not even know they're willfully denying God, yet on the subconsciousness level their hearts bear witness against them, and indeed this represents a more problematic deep-seated willful denial of God. More problematic because a person may not even be aware to it, think they're being logically sound in their conclusions and judgements of arguments, not realising their own hearts are decieving them.
Finally, no Christian should think themselves great in this respect, that they didn't deny God. Yes, we accept God now, but he can be denied in many ways even still. Further, it isn't necessarily credit to us that we realised the truth and came to Christ, but there is something about God's drawing, the working of the Holy Spirit and affectivities upon us, to which our hardness melted and responded positively. The vines around our hearts were broken, we merely allowed them to be cut perhaps, and who is to say others who currently deny aren't also progressively being tended to by God and set free?
So then, our acceptace of God isn't something we can boast about if Scripture is correct, as according to Scripture every single one of us denies God and don't seek after him in our [un]natural sinful state (Romans 3:11).