"I want there to be a God so maybe there is a God"

The argument from desire, “Everything we desire can be obtained so we only desire what we can get. We desire God therefore he exists. We know we can desire the impossible but this is not an innate desire but an acquired one. The reason the desire for God is different and proves God exists is because it is innate and natural” (page 78, Handbook of Christian Apologetics).

The argument is a trick.  A desire is a desire.  There is no reason why an innate desire can be for something that is not possible.  They are assuming God put the desire for him in you innately and that the desire does not come from you.  They are begging the question.

"I desire God.  God put the desire in me.  Therefore the desire shows he exists."  That is as bad as "I desire the fountain of youth.  The magic power of the fountain put this desire in me.  Therefore the fountain of youth exists."

As stupid and crafty as the argument is, it is probably supreme in the Christian's head and heart.  They want to believe in God otherwise they would not make such a huge effort to defend belief in him rationally.  The argument is there even if they don't say it is.  But it is irrational to try and give reasons when the reason you really care about is nonsense.

Do they want what matters most to them?  What would they do if it had to be one or the other?

Religion says we desire God for he gives us perfect happiness and we desire it. So if they were honest they would frankly state that we do not desire God but perfect happiness. Hence the desire argument fails totally. We would settle for a lot of happiness. We wouldn’t want perfect happiness unless we are childish and selfish. The way something causes us to feel is what matters to us and not the thing. We desire the power to change our very form and we cannot have that power. The perfect happiness might exist and be possible but it does not mean God has to necessarily exist. Being well and feeling well have nothing to do with whether God exists or not.
We are naturally selfish and unable to love anything for itself except happiness.

Those who use the desire argument never deal with the objection, “We can desire innately or naturally what we shouldn’t have. The paedophile innately desires children. If we desire this sin we desire what should not exist, what ought not to be. There is no difference between desiring what should not exist and what does not exist as regards the result. The result is that our desires no matter how strong or innate do not mean they should be fulfilled or that something should be there to fulfil them. To say that if we innately desire something such as God, then God must be out there somewhere for us is inane. We can desire what does not exist.”
They might say the paedophile’s desire is unnatural because it is harmful. So only good innate desires imply there should be something to fulfil those desires and that it must exist because it should exist. But the goodness or badness of the desire has nothing to do with it. You can desire what does not exist. We desire everlasting youth or health on earth and that doesn’t mean it’s possible.
If innate desire implies the existence of the possible fulfilment of the desire then it makes no difference if the desire is good or bad. What if the paedophile will never act on his desires because of his goodness?
We have an innate desire for sanity on earth and yet we are mad half the time. The Christians might say that this desire is only an acquired one. They say that God put the desire for him in us and that is different. This desire means then that God exists. So their logic is, “God gave us the desire for him therefore the desire proves he exists.” But that is circular reasoning. It begs the question. It assumes what is to be proven.
Their assertion that the desire for sanity is acquired and that the desire for God is the only desire that is 100% certain to be innate is ridiculous for it is tantamount to saying we have no natural inclination to happiness. The point is acquired and innate desires are hard to tell apart. Both change as well which is another problem.
If the desire is really 100% then it follows that no desire should be respected as much as the desire for God. It follows that people can be forced to do what God religion wants.
To say that something exists because you naturally desire it and cannot not desire it begs the question. The proof of this is that acquired desires are nothing but aspects of the innate ones. They are manifestations of the acquired ones. For example, just as 2+2=4 is a manifestation of your intelligence so all your desires are manifestations of your innate inclination towards happiness. You would not acquire the acquired desires unless it was already in your innate desire to do so. For example, you cannot make most children interested in maths. So we see that though there is a difference between innate and acquired desires there is no distinction or separation between them. This destroys the argument from desire for God that there is a God for desiring God is no different to desiring to be Superman. They may answer that you can’t become Superman. But what if that is what happens to you when you pass over to another world at death? They say you find God at death so there is no difference.

The Handbook of Christian Apologetics answers the objection, “But I have no innate desire for God”. It answers that if you admit you are not perfectly happy now and get all the best blessings on earth like millions of dollars and plenty of women you will still not be perfectly happy. Since the earth cannot satisfy there must be a God.

But wealth does buy happiness if you keep it quiet. Money does not buy happiness but it helps you get there so it certainly does buy SOME happiness. If God is so great then why do lonely people who have no money find no satisfaction in God? If they did they wouldn’t do anything about their plight. Doctrines like God alone satisfies are meant to program you to need nothing else and they don’t care about the bad consequences that will bring. Anyway plenty of women is unsatisfactory – but satisfactory as a short-term phase - for it is better to commit yourself to one loyal and loving woman. You might say that no matter how happy you are the fear of death will still be there. If religionists overcome it by self-deception then it is not a necessary fear. The objection, “I am perfectly happy now without God”, is dismissed by the handbook as dishonesty and its giving such a judgement is but an implication of the doctrine of God and taught by the Church (Apologetics for the Pulpit, page 79). The Church says God has made us for himself so it says anybody who is happy without him is a liar. The arrogance and bigotry of the judgement is obvious. Perhaps a person could have a mental disorder that makes them happy without God and they are telling the truth. Perhaps this is not a disorder at all and the rest of us who don’t feel like that are the disturbed ones. Buddhists are perfectly happy without God. They have the ecstasy of Nirvana to enjoy. But nevertheless since God is supposed to be the supreme source of joy the Christian has to accuse anybody who is happy without God of being evil or a liar. God is a fundamentally sectarian and self-righteous belief. The fear of death may still exist if you believe in God and trust him. The Handbook itself says we should be afraid of giving God up and going to Hell. So belief in God does not produce perfect happiness after all. How could it if we are all sinners as Christians say for that means that our hearts are not fully submissive to God and the happiness he brings. You cannot receive the complete happiness unless you forgo all sin forever.

The Handbook replies to the objection that to say desire for God implies that God exists is as bad as saying that the idea of God means God must exist like in Anselm’s argument. The reply is that it is not like that at all but is only arguing from the premise that innate desires can be fulfilled so if you have an innate desire for God there is a God to fulfil it.  If you say I have an innate desire to stay alive you cannot use this as argument that you never die. Many will say it does not mean you will not die but that you will live on after death. But this is dishonest because you are more sure you will live on if you don’t die on earth so the desire is not for everlasting life only but for everlasting freedom from death. This desire refutes the idea that desire for God proves God for the desire for life in this body is up against it for you cannot have God if you live forever on earth. Those who have no desire for God are telling the truth. But the point in all this is that the objection is right. It is a version of Anselm’s bad logic.

The argument if it worked would only prove that there was a force like God that is the fountain of eternal bliss and peace. But this being would be energy and not a God.

It is hypocritical how the Handbook says that sex is one of the innate desires and then that God is one of them too when not all desire sex – some people have no sex drive at all – so then how can all desire or necessarily desire God?

The argument that we human beings generally desire God or a God of a certain type such as the Christian one does not fit science. Science has found in testing that generally we have no significant desire for God.  Believers who become atheists do not commit suicide over there being no God.  In this light, even if science has no problem with the idea of God creating from nothing or as a designer this is more important. It would mean that God as in one who is about relationships and love is out. It is obvious that the deep interest in religion about how things came to be and seemingly organised presumes that the desire they have for God is valid and they want to find God in nature and creation.  Arguments for God are no good if we don't care or don't want him.  Science shows that only some report and have a desire.  A God that wants us to find him will implant a desire in all of us.  It is safe to say that as desire for God needs to be behind the pro-God arguments and tell us something about what we are looking for, the desire not being there means that the arguments for God don't lead to a sensible kindly helpful God who wants to be with you and who wants to be found.

No Copyright