Three Top Apologists Reject the Force Of Arguments To God's Existence

First, Alvin Plantinga: “I don’t know of an argument for Christian belief that seems very likely to convince one who doesn’t already accept its conclusion.” [Warranted Christian Belief, p. 201.] Sure, Plantinga offered "Two Dozen Or So Theistic Arguments" but he doesn't back down from saying they're not very likely to convince one who doesn’t already accept their conclusions. [BTW: a 504 page anthology has been released attempting to defend these arguments.] Second, John S. Feinberg: “I wouldn’t try to prove God’s existence first, if at all, in that I am not convinced that any of the traditional arguments succeeds.” [Can You Believe it’s True: Christian Apologetics in a Modern, Postmodern Era, p. 321].

Third, Richard Swinburne rejects the force of two theistic arguments in particular: "In the course of this book...I shall not discuss a priori arguments...I think ontological arguments for the existence of God are very much mere philosophers' arguments and do no codify any of the reasons which ordinary men have for believing that there is a God. The greatest theistic philosophers have on the whole rejected ontological arguments and relied on a posteriori ones." [The Existence of God, 2nd, ed., pp. 9-10].

Swinburne again: "I cannot however, see that, given that there are conscious men acquiring knowledge of the world, that man's awareness of moral truth is something especially difficult to explain by normal scientific processes. Men living in close proximity and needing fellowship might well be expected to grasp concepts of fairness and justice, especially when it would be of advantage to one group to bring home to other groups their moral obligations. A long tradition of writing on human evolution beginning with Darwin's The Descent of Man showed how man's moral awareness might be expected to develop by evolutionary processes, as man evolved from lower animals."

Swinburne considers a Kantian argument. "(1) Promise-keeping is always obligatory. (2) But an action is obligatory if and only if it conduces to the perfection of the universe--what Kant calls the summum bonum. (3) It is more probable that promise-keeping will conduce to the summum bonum if there is a God than if there is not. This argument is valid, but its first and third premises are highly questionable...As it stands, the argument is not a good argument." He argues, "I cannot see how anyone who holds one of the first and third premises but not the other is going to be persuaded by a process of rational argument to hold the other, unless he is first persuaded by some other argument that there is a God. For this reason I cannot see any force in an argument to the existence of God from the existence of morality.” [The Existence of God, 2nd, ed., p. 213-15.]

If they don't accept them why should we? Why should anyone?

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