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Argument from Disbelief

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Having a foundational understanding of what apologetics is, and how it applies to us, we were able to move on to cover the first apologetic argument in our series: the argument from reason. Next, we'll spend time studying the Argument from Disbelief. Again, these arguments will enable us to better equip ourselves, not only in defending our faith, but in fortifying it.

The argument from disbelief is that the presence of sincere non-believers proves God cannot exist. It suggests there are many people willing to believe in God, if only they were given sufficient evidence. The fact that these people have not been given proper evidence is seen as proof that there is no loving God to provide such evidence or that such evidence is simply non-existent. This claim is also referred to as reasonable non-belief, inculpable disbelief, or occasionally the philosophical objection.

Simply put, the argument from disbelief claims that, if God is real, He would make Himself known in such a way that anyone who was sincerely willing would in fact believe in Him.

The argument from disbelief operates under two primary assumptions; both of which you'll see the falsity within. First is that there is such a thing as an objective, sincere, and willing non-believer. The second is that God has failed to provide enough evidence to lead to the truth. There is also a third premise, somewhat hidden in the argument, related to whether or not God is obligated to meet some minimum standard for revelation. The logic behind this claim is extremely inadequate, to the point that is rarely, if ever, applied to any other topic

The clearest explanation of why the argument from disbelief is false comes directly from Scripture itself. The book of Romans tackles this argument more or less head-on, debunking both faulty premises in no uncertain terms:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

– Romans 1:18–25

Briefly stated, disbelief is not ultimately grounded in sincerity or even ignorance but in a fundamental refusal to follow the truth. In fact, the Bible indicates that what’s happening is the suppression of the truth. Those who do not believe in God may be sincere in the sense that they legitimately do not believe in God. But the evidence God has placed in human experience is more than enough for everyone to follow it to the same logical conclusion. Even the most sincere atheist, at some point, is insincerely and deliberately rejecting or ignoring some level of evidence for God. They are brushing aside or choosing not to pursue the things “clearly seen, being understood from what is made” (Romans 1:20).

Beyond that, Scripture indicates that God has put evidence of Himself in nature (Psalm 19:1) and will respond to anyone who actually seeks Him (Matthew 7:7–8). The Bible also explains how a person’s intent always overrides evidence: a person has to want to know the truth before evidence or logic makes any difference (John 7:17). No amount of evidence will ever convince a person who is resistant (Luke 16:19–31), and the more a person claims, “I just need more evidence,” the more he’s proving that no evidence will ever really be enough (Matthew 12:39).

That brings us to the third false premise of the argument from non-belief: that God must provide a certain level of evidence, according to a certain timeline. This premise fails because it’s rooted in the same problem that leads to atheism in the first place: an assumption that God must do as the atheist would do. A person can be sincere, and sincerely wrong; God is not required to adhere to any manmade epistomelogical standard.

This is not to say that conversion for atheists is impossible. But, in almost every case, converted atheists admit that at least part of their problem is a deliberate unwillingness to believe. They recognize, after the fact, that they were allowing prejudice and preference to override evidence. Quotes from famous atheists are rife with emotion, angst, and outright admission that they do not want God to be real. This is why emotional arguments are by far the leading force in resisting belief in the existence of God.

Even further, common sense says that some who presently claim to see insufficient evidence for the existence of God will convert at some point in the future. If the argument from non-belief has any meaning, such conversions would strongly imply that God does, in fact, exist. There, again, the non-believer will have to resort to some form of the No True Scotsman argument or other dodges to avoid the logic of his own position.

Scripture and simple observation show that both major premises of the argument from disbelief are false. People are not inclined to objective rationality, and the idea of God is not trivial. The question of God’s existence carries major personal implications, so there is no reason to believe anyone can ever view it in purely objective terms. It’s unreasonable to claim that the only possible reason a particular person has not been convinced of God’s existence is that God has not given him, personally, enough evidence.

May we establish, nurture, and grow a sincere love for the word of God, and study it lovingly & faithfully.

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

Love you much.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!

-Humble Servant

P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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