Six Dozen (or so) Arguments for Atheism

A popular view in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion is that while there are many arguments for theism -- cosmological, ontological, and teleological arguments; moral arguments; arguments from consciousness; etc. (by Plantinga's lights, two dozen or so) -- there are only one or two arguments for atheism, viz., the problem of evil and (more recently) the argument from divine hiddenness.

This is a misconception. Here are over six dozen:

10. The Free Will Offense (Schellenberg)
11. Schellenberg's new deductive argument from evil. (Schellenberg) 
12. The argument from the absurdity of life in a Christian (and, arguably, any traditional theistic) universe (Wielenberg)
13. An abductive argument for naturalism (Oppy)
14. The argument from ordinary morality (Maitzen)
15. An ontological disproof of theism (Maitzen)
16. The problem of theistic evidentialist philosophers (Lovering)
17. The argument from autonomy (Kahane, Rachels)
18. The argument from ugliness (Aikin and Jones)
19. The common core/diversity dilemma (Thornhill-Miller and Millican
20. The argument from the philosophy of nature (Cordry)
21. The argument from natural inequalities (Mizrahi)
22. The argument from social evil (Poston)
23. The argument from insect suffering (Crummett)
24. The argument from scale (Everitt)
25. The argument from religious evil (Kodaj)
26. The argument from idolatry (Linford and Megill)
27. The argument from indifference (Linford and Megill)
28. The argument from the requirement of divine interference (Maring)
29. The argument from eternally separated lovers (Hassoun)
30. The argument from peer disagreement
31. The argument from the impropriety of worship (Aikin)
32. The argument from the impropriety of belief (Nagel)
33. The argument from abstract objects (Davidson, Craig, me)
34. The argument from inhospitable environment (me)
35. The argument from teleological evil (me)
36. The argument from material causality (me)
37. The argument from revulsion (me)
38. The argument from the ineffectiveness of prayer (various)
39. The argument from divine evil (Lewis)
40. The argument from hell (Sider)
41. The argument from the meaning of life (Megill and Linford)
42. The argument from the demographics of theism (Maitzen)
43. The problem of no best world (Rowe, others)
44. The problem of incoherent/incompatible properties (various)
45. The problem of mitigated modal skepticism (me)
46. The structure and dynamics argument (me)
47. The argument from Mandevillian intelligence (me)
48. The argument from quantum mechanics (me)
49. The argument from wave function realism (me)
50. The argument from low priors (Draper)
51. The argument from decisive evidence (Draper)
52. Epicurean cosmological arguments for naturalism (me)
53. The argument from cognitive biases (Lucas, me)
54. The argument from the etiology of religious belief (De Cruz, others)
55. The argument from moral psychology (Park)
56. The argument from moral epistemology (Park)
57. The argument from meager moral fruits (Draper)
58. The argument from imperfection (Everitt)
59. Smith's cosmological argument for atheism (Smith)
60. The argument from tragic moral dilemmas (me)
61. The argument from substance dualism (me)
62. A Leibnizian cosmological argument for naturalism (me)
63. Arguments from order and fine-tuning against theism (me)
64. Arguments from sub-optimality (Darwin, Dawes, others)
65. Probabilitistic ontological arguments against theism (me)
66. Arguments from the success of naturalistic explanations (D. Lewis, Dawes, others)
67. The argument from lack of character (me)
68. The problem of divine authority (me)
69. The problem of polytheisms (Lataster and Philipse)
70. The problem of alternative monotheisms (Lataster)
71. An abductive argument for liberal naturalism (me)
72. The problem of demiurgism (me)
73. Sterba's deductive argument from evil
74. Another ontological disproof of classical theism (me)
75. The problem of natural nonbelief (Marsh)
76. Pragmatic arguments for atheism (Cockayne & Warman; Lougheed)
77. The argument from (1)-(76).

7 comments:

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Hi EA! Here are some additional arguments for atheism:

* The argument from the existence of the universe (Lowder)
* The argument from the continuing existence of physical reality (Lowder)
* The argument from the hostility of the universe (Lowder)
* The argument from the unimpressiveness of human beings compared to the abilities of God (Draper)
* The argument from the intelligibility of the universe without the supernatural (Draper)
* The argument from triumph and tragedy (Draper)
* The argument from moral progress and the lack of moral prophets (Lowder)
* The argument from biologically based nonbelief (Lowder)
* The argument from the demographics of evidence about God (Lowder)
* The Falsity of Divine Command Theory (Lowder)

Aron said...

The Argument from Cognitive Biases
https://infidels.org/library/modern/aron_lucas/cognitive-biases.html

Ryan M said...

Argument 60 is the strongest IMO.

exapologist said...

Jeffrey: Thanks for these! If anyone finds others, please feel free to post them here.

Aron: Thanks for the pointer!I'll update the link now,

Ryan: Agreed! ;-)


-EA

Unknown said...

A simplistic argument geared more towards laypeople would be Michael Martin’s reversal of the transcendental argument for God... the transcendental argument for the nonexistence of God. (https://infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/martin-frame/tang.html)

Also, The Arguments from Confusion and Biblical Defects (2006) - Theodore Dramge: https://infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_drange/confusion.html

The first of Drange’s arguments is just a variation of 7, but the second is more original.

downshifting_romania said...

R. Schoenig`s argument from unfairness is a very strong one:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1003499118636

downshifting_romania said...

The Argument from the Existence of Nondeities (2013)
https://infidels.org/library/modern/horia_plugaru/aend.html

The Argument from Physiological Horrors (2004; updated 2019) (similar to no 18 and 37)
https://infidels.org/library/modern/horia_plugaru/physiological-horrors.html

Argument from Insufficient Knowledge of the Bible for the Nonexistence of the God of Christianity (2005)
https://infidels.org/library/modern/horia_plugaru/aik.html

Intriguing New Paper on the Evidential Problem of Evil

BernĂ¡th, L., Kodaj, D. Evil and the god of indifference.   Int J Philos Relig  (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11153-020-09747-x Abstrac...