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Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist. This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion that "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" seems to come suddenly out of left field.

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You don't need to be a philosopher to realize that that conclusion doesn't follow from the six previous statements. Indeed, if we take these six statements as premises of an argument implying the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist," then the argument is patently invalid. No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises. A more charitable interpretation would be to take these six statements, not as premises, but as summary statements of six steps in Dawkins' cumulative argument for his conclusion that God does not exist.

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But even on this charitable construal, the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" does not follow from these six steps, even if we concede that each of them is true and justified. What does follow from the six steps of Dawkins' argument? At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe. But that conclusion is quite compatible with God's existence and even with our justifiably believing in God's existence.

Answering Atheism

Maybe we should believe in God on the basis of the cosmological argument or the ontological argument or the moral argument. Maybe our belief in God isn't based on arguments at all but is grounded in religious experience or in divine revelation.

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Maybe God wants us to believe in Him simply by faith. The point is that rejecting design arguments for God's existence does nothing to prove that God does not exist or even that belief in God is unjustified.


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Indeed, many Christian theologians have rejected arguments for the existence of God without thereby committing themselves to atheism. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection. We don't have an equivalent explanation for physics. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.


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  • Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist. This argument is jarring because the atheistic conclusion that "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" seems to come suddenly out of left field. You don't need to be a philosopher to realize that that conclusion doesn't follow from the six previous statements. Indeed, if we take these six statements as premises of an argument implying the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist," then the argument is patently invalid.

    No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises. A more charitable interpretation would be to take these six statements, not as premises, but as summary statements of six steps in Dawkins' cumulative argument for his conclusion that God does not exist. But even on this charitable construal, the conclusion "Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" does not follow from these six steps, even if we concede that each of them is true and justified.

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    What does follow from the six steps of Dawkins' argument? At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe.


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    • But that conclusion is quite compatible with God's existence and even with our justifiably believing in God's existence. Maybe we should believe in God on the basis of the cosmological argument or the ontological argument or the moral argument. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps.

      With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study. Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Classic Answers Collection Upgrade. Trent Horn has had a passion for explaining and defending the faith ever since he converted to Catholicism at age After earning a degree in history from Arizona State University, Trent traveled the country training pro-life advocates on college campuses to engage opponents in compassionate and persuasive dialogue.