The argument is an argument that God does not exist. In other words, it’s an argument for atheism or the truth of atheism.
Before we get started, what do we mean by induction? Well induction is reasoning from a sample to a broader audience or population.
For instance, “Every swan that I’ve ever encountered has been black. Therefore, the next swan I see will probably be black.”
Or, “Everyday for thousands of years, the sun has risen. Therefore the sun will probably rise tomorrow.”
It’s important to note that an inductive argument like the ones given about do not guarantee the conclusion, rather they make their respective conclusions probable.
The historical argument is as follows:
1. Most religions of the past have been shown to be false
2. If the vast majority of religions are false, then probably every religion is wrong
3. Therefore, every religion is probably false
This argument is valid, but is it sound?
When we deal with probabilities, we always assess probabilities in terms of background knowledge. When we say that the sun will rise tomorrow, we are granting the assumption “all things being equal”. It is not probable that the sun will rise tomorrow, if God destroyed the sun. Of course we would have to have evidence to believe something like that was going to end up happening tomorrow.
The problem with the atheist argument that I have talked about, is that it assumes that all probabilities are equal.
I don’t think every religions is equally likely to be true. A religion that says that the earth lives on the back of a turtle is less credible than a religions that claims that there is a God who’s existence is necessary. This God is Omni-max, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, uncaused, unchanging, eternal, infinite, self-existent, personal, and impassible,
This sort of being is totally different from the ancient greek gods and Egyptian gods.
Why is God different from these beings? Because we can give multiple reasons and arguments that God exists. With the other gods, there were no good reasons to think that they existed. When asked why you believed in Poseidon that would say because water existed. But this would clearly be begging the question because it’s not giving us a reason to think Poseidon is real. Rather, we can just say that water came from somewhere else.
But with God we can state the principle, “God exists because we can’t make sense of reality if He doesn’t.” I don’t mean god-of-the gaps here. I mean something along the lines of:
Objective moral values and duties exists in the world
But they couldn’t exist without God
Therefore, God must exist
This argument is not arguing from what we don’t know. It’s arguing from what we do know. We know that these values and duties do exist and we know they couldn’t exist without God.
Another way we could argue that God exists is from the origin of the cosmos. We would start by stating that since the cosmos had a beginning there must be a cause. One could argue that the universe just popped into existence out of literally nothing. But this is obviously absurd. And by nothing I mean not anything. In other words, I am not talking about the Quantum Vacuum. The Quantum Vacuum us not nothing because the Q.V. is something.
Since the cosmos couldn’t have created itself because it began to exist. The universe and everything else that begins to exist, must have a cause. For instance, I began to exist. Therefore, I need a cause. The cause of me is my parents.
The cause of the universe is God.
But wait you might add, who created God? Well the objection does not hold water when we to what the being of God is like from the argument itself.
As the cause of the cosmos (All of space, time, matter, and energy) , God must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, eternal, uncaused, personal, and enormously powerful.
Since this being is eternal and uncaused, the question, “Who created God,” is meaningless because God never began to exist. God is eternal and without cause.
So I hope that what I have laid out shows the difference between Classical Theism and religions that offer gods that are very anthropomorphic.
And with these arguments, we can see that it is possible that we can give enough evidence to overturn the argument from historical induction. What do I mean? I mean to say that we can give evidence to show that Theism has enough plausibility to exempt it from the continual failure of other religions. Why? Like I said, because there’s such great likelihood for Theism because of all the evidence.