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    "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

    Just had a pretty interesting discussion with a friend, and thought some of the points discussed could benefit everyone here for Dawah purposes.

    Anyway, on topic. This is a response to a very typical atheist argument, where the atheist attempts to argue for the non-existence of God by appealing to (what they perceive to be) unfairness that either exists, or would exist if God is assumed to exist. In short; "God doesn't exist, because if He did, He would not allow X to exist." Substitute X with any of the various reasons usually given: whether it be suffering in this life, harshness of various divine laws, or even the reality of a judgment after death.

    The response from the theist side, is usually an attempt to justify the X argued for. To show that X, is not necessarily contradictory with the belief in the existence of God. The conversation then usually proceeds to a discussion about whether this justification by the theist, for X is valid or not. However, I do not feel this a very efficient way to handle the atheist's initial objection.

    Rather, the theist should demand from the atheist to substantiate his premises. The burden is not on the theist to prove that X is justifiable, but the burden is on the atheist to prove that X is impossible to justify. The atheist's argument looks something like this:

    P1. God has no reason to allow X to exist
    P2. God is able to stop X from existing
    C1. If God exists, then X would not exist (from P1 and P2)
    P3. X exists
    C2. Therefore either God is unable to stop X from occurring (impossible given P2), or God doesn't exist at all (from C1 and P3).

    While the form of the argument might be valid (a simple two step modus tollens) the conclusion will follow, only if the premises are proven to be true. The theist typically attempts to argue against C1, but the more efficient way to handle this objection, is to ask objector to substantiate P1. That is, for the objector to explain to us why he thinks it's impossible for God to have a reason to allow X to exist. And since the atheist cannot possibly do this, the argument just falls apart on its own.

    Of course this counter-argument is not limited to a defense of Islam, but works for any similar objection one could raise against any faith. It is also not limited to answering atheists, as it's not unusual for non-atheists to raise the same argument against another faith.

    #2
    Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

    Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
    Just had a pretty interesting discussion with a friend, and thought some of the points discussed could benefit everyone here for Dawah purposes.

    Anyway, on topic. This is a response to a very typical atheist argument, where the atheist attempts to argue for the non-existence of God by appealing to (what they perceive to be) unfairness that either exists, or would exist if God is assumed to exist. In short; "God doesn't exist, because if He did, He would not allow X to exist." Substitute X with any of the various reasons usually given: whether it be suffering in this life, harshness of various divine laws, or even the reality of a judgment after death.

    The response from the theist side, is usually an attempt to justify the X argued for. To show that X, is not necessarily contradictory with the belief in the existence of God. The conversation then usually proceeds to a discussion about whether this justification by the theist, for X is valid or not. However, I do not feel this a very efficient way to handle the atheist's initial objection.

    Rather, the theist should demand from the atheist to substantiate his premises. The burden is not on the theist to prove that X is justifiable, but the burden is on the atheist to prove that X is impossible to justify. The atheist's argument looks something like this:

    P1. God has no reason to allow X to exist
    P2. God is able to stop X from existing
    C1. If God exists, then X would not exist (from P1 and P2)
    P3. X exists
    C2. Therefore either God is unable to stop X from occurring (impossible given P2), or God doesn't exist at all (from C1 and P3).

    While the form of the argument might be valid (a simple two step modus tollens) the conclusion will follow, only if the premises are proven to be true. The theist typically attempts to argue against C1, but the more efficient way to handle this objection, is to ask objector to substantiate P1. That is, for the objector to explain to us why he thinks it's impossible for God to have a reason to allow X to exist. And since the atheist cannot possibly do this, the argument just falls apart on its own.

    Of course this counter-argument is not limited to a defense of Islam, but works for any similar objection one could raise against any faith. It is also not limited to answering atheists, as it's not unusual for non-atheists to raise the same argument against another faith.
    I think you need to add in a third proposition to make this fair - ie P3. God is good.

    This would not be a problem for any religion. A god doesn't have to be good. But it is a problem for Islam and Christianity.

    When you introduce this third proposition, then your answer is not sufficient.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

      Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
      I think you need to add in a third proposition to make this fair - ie P3. God is good.

      This would not be a problem for any religion. A god doesn't have to be good. But it is a problem for Islam and Christianity.

      When you introduce this third proposition, then your answer is not sufficient.
      Not at all. Can't defend Christianity, but Muslims don't believe the devil is on equal bargaining terms with God- such that the devil is the creator of all evil, and God is the creator of all good. Muslims believe that God is the creator of everything, both good and evil. And we define "good" to mean acting in accordance with God's will, so God cannot not be good.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

        Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
        Not at all. Can't defend Christianity, but Muslims don't believe the devil is on equal bargaining terms with God- such that the devil is the creator of all evil, and God is the creator of all good. Muslims believe that God is the creator of everything, both good and evil. And we define "good" to mean acting in accordance with God's will, so God cannot not be good.
        I have a problem with the statement in red you are saying it's impossible for God to be good but that just goes against Islamic doctrine afaik and is blasphemous as Allah says to speak good of Him and call Him by the best names.
        God is good because He does what's best for His creations, He's fair , just , merciful ,etc
        And God (Allah) is not subject to His laws.

        Why call Allah the greatest (Allahu Akbar) if you say God can't be good? You have to be good to be great no?
        I think you need to fix your statement whenever we speak or think of Allah it has to be good.
        Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
        I think you need to add in a third proposition to make this fair - ie P3. God is good.

        This would not be a problem for any religion. A god doesn't have to be good. But it is a problem for Islam and Christianity.

        When you introduce this third proposition, then your answer is not sufficient.
        Why do you have to include that third premise?
        Why does God have to be good in Islam or Christianity and why didn't you include Judaism (which relies relies on the Old Testament that Christians use)?
        Why can't it be like whatever God does is good so who are you to determine what is good or not?

        Atheists can't really judge what's good or not they don't believe in absolute morality.

        Anyways God being good or not is another argument and this argument brought forth is okay it can be structured better but I understand what he's trying to convey.
        Just because x exists doesn't mean God doesn't..it doesn't prove that God doesn't exist because of some evil occurrence or what not like how Atheists claim.
        Last edited by Qiyamah; 04-03-16, 05:13 PM.
        “Do not commit injustice, because injustice is darkness on the Day of Judgment." (Sahih Muslim)
        They will say, "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not be among the companions of the Blazing Fire." Qur'an 67:10 💚💙💜

        Comment


          #5
          Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

          Originally posted by Qiyamah View Post
          I have a problem with the statement in red you are saying it's impossible for God to be good but that just goes against Islamic doctrine afaik and is blasphemous as Allah says to speak good of Him and call Him by the best names.
          God is good because He does what's best for His creations, He's fair , just , merciful ,etc
          And God (Allah) is not subject to His laws.

          Read more carefully sister. I said God cannot not be good. Double negative.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

            Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
            Read more carefully sister. I said God cannot not be good. Double negative.
            Sorry I misread and double negatives are confusing...

            That's great to hear but then I don't understand why you put the argument as forward :/
            And we define "good" to mean acting in accordance with God's will, so God cannot not be good.
            And i don't think that definition of good is comprehensive, it works for somethings but not all.
            And I don't get how that premise led to God cannot not be good...God isn't subject to His laws.
            He's free no one has authority over Him. Maybe you can word it better or use a better argument er I just find the definition of good to be a little problematic.

            But thanks for correcting me I was like shocked when I thought you said the opposite.
            ---
            Edit::
            I kinda get your argument now :) you just needed to word it better for me to understand :up:
            It's good to follow God's commands so God is good since He ordered those commands.
            Last edited by Qiyamah; 04-03-16, 05:29 PM.
            “Do not commit injustice, because injustice is darkness on the Day of Judgment." (Sahih Muslim)
            They will say, "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not be among the companions of the Blazing Fire." Qur'an 67:10 💚💙💜

            Comment


              #7
              Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

              Originally posted by Qiyamah View Post
              And i don't think that definition of good is comprehensive, it works for somethings but not all.
              And I don't get how that premise led to God cannot not be good either...God isn't subject to His laws.
              He's free no one has authority over Him. Maybe you can word it better or use a better argument er I just find the definition of good to be a little problematic.
              God by definition, always acts according to His own will (since it's His own will). So it's impossible for Him to not be good, if good is defined as acting in according to the Will of God.

              God can Will for his creation to do something that He himself is not bound by. For example, God can end the life of an innocent, but humans (His creation) are not permitted to do this. Both cases (God's authority to end the life an innocent, and forbidding humans to do the same) are in accordance with God's will, so there is no contradiction. In this sense, the definition given above is comprehensive in my opinion.

              In short, just because you give out an order to someone, doesn't mean you yourself are necessarily bound to do the same. For example, a mother can tell her son that he's not allowed to wear gold (since gold is forbidden for males), but that does not mean she is bound by the same rules.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                Not at all. Can't defend Christianity, but Muslims don't believe the devil is on equal bargaining terms with God- such that the devil is the creator of all evil, and God is the creator of all good. Muslims believe that God is the creator of everything, both good and evil.
                You appear to be saying that Allah created evil?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                  Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                  Just had a pretty interesting discussion with a friend, and thought some of the points discussed could benefit everyone here for Dawah purposes.

                  Anyway, on topic. This is a response to a very typical atheist argument, where the atheist attempts to argue for the non-existence of God by appealing to (what they perceive to be) unfairness that either exists, or would exist if God is assumed to exist. In short; "God doesn't exist, because if He did, He would not allow X to exist." Substitute X with any of the various reasons usually given: whether it be suffering in this life, harshness of various divine laws, or even the reality of a judgment after death.

                  The response from the theist side, is usually an attempt to justify the X argued for. To show that X, is not necessarily contradictory with the belief in the existence of God. The conversation then usually proceeds to a discussion about whether this justification by the theist, for X is valid or not. However, I do not feel this a very efficient way to handle the atheist's initial objection.

                  Rather, the theist should demand from the atheist to substantiate his premises. The burden is not on the theist to prove that X is justifiable, but the burden is on the atheist to prove that X is impossible to justify. The atheist's argument looks something like this:

                  P1. God has no reason to allow X to exist
                  P2. God is able to stop X from existing
                  C1. If God exists, then X would not exist (from P1 and P2)
                  P3. X exists
                  C2. Therefore either God is unable to stop X from occurring (impossible given P2), or God doesn't exist at all (from C1 and P3).

                  While the form of the argument might be valid (a simple two step modus tollens) the conclusion will follow, only if the premises are proven to be true. The theist typically attempts to argue against C1, but the more efficient way to handle this objection, is to ask objector to substantiate P1. That is, for the objector to explain to us why he thinks it's impossible for God to have a reason to allow X to exist. And since the atheist cannot possibly do this, the argument just falls apart on its own.

                  Of course this counter-argument is not limited to a defense of Islam, but works for any similar objection one could raise against any faith. It is also not limited to answering atheists, as it's not unusual for non-atheists to raise the same argument against another faith.
                  i am not sure my example will be helpful or not... but i heard it somewhere so i am sharing & hoping if it might help....

                  if we take example of Light & Darkness then science defines light is a form of energy & has proof of its existence but what is darkness? it is just the absence of light... darkness itself is nothing, if there is no light we say it is darkness... similarly, we can say that Allah (God) has created only good things (justice, love, peace etc) and absence of these good things means injustice, hate, violence etc..... God didn't create anything bad, God created everything fair, absence of that fairness leads to unfairness.


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                    Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                    Read more carefully sister. I said God cannot not be good. Double negative.
                    It's better not to use double negatives because apart from creating confusion double negatives are sometimes used to emphasize the negation(not in your case though.)
                    Winning an argument doesn't mean you're on truth, losing an argument doesn't mean you're on falsehood.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                      Originally posted by Theistic View Post
                      God didn't create anything bad, God created everything fair, absence of that fairness leads to unfairness.
                      Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                      You appear to be saying that Allah created evil?
                      Just to answer both quotations: Yes, we believe Allah ﷻ is Creator of everything, good and evil. And this is documented in the Quran (and in some of the most widely memorized surahs too). One of the several examples that can be cited:

                      قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ ٱلْفَلَقِ * مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

                      Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak. From the evil of that which He created. (Quran 113: 1-2)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                        Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                        You appear to be saying that Allah created evil?
                        Allah swt did

                        Allah swt created everything

                        Then Allah swt said do X and there will be good do Y and there will be oppression and bad things

                        So you do bad things and then say ''why? does Allah swt allow this?''

                        Allah swt told you that you bring evil onto yourself with your own hands

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                          Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                          Just to answer both quotations: Yes, we believe Allah ﷻ is Creator of everything, good and evil. And this is documented in the Quran (and in some of the most widely memorized surahs too). One of the several examples that can be cited:

                          قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ ٱلْفَلَقِ * مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

                          Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak. From the evil of that which He created. (Quran 113: 1-2)
                          in which case, you can indeed contradict the atheist argument you mentioned - but not for the reason you think. When an atheist asks that question, he is posing the problem of evil ie if God is good, why is there evil in the world? But you accept that Allah created evil so for Islam, that's not the issue.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                            Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                            in which case, you can indeed contradict the atheist argument you mentioned - but not for the reason you think. When an atheist asks that question, he is posing the problem of evil ie if God is good, why is there evil in the world? But you accept that Allah created evil so for Islam, that's not the issue.
                            I don't feel comfortable defending other faiths, so we can leave it at that. But if you reflect on the opening post more carefully, I think you'll find that even for the theist who believes God did not create evil, that this "problem of evil" is still a weak argument.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                              Originally posted by nonameakhi View Post
                              Allah swt did

                              Allah swt created everything

                              Then Allah swt said do X and there will be good do Y and there will be oppression and bad things

                              So you do bad things and then say ''why? does Allah swt allow this?''

                              Allah swt told you that you bring evil onto yourself with your own hands
                              what about things like famine, disease, cancer? caused generally through nobodys actions or fault yet still kills innocent people?

                              There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. 'Good pride' represents our dignity and self-respect. 'Bad pride' is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.


                              Comment

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