Argument from incomplete devastation
The argument from incomplete devastation is one of the humorous "Therefore God exists" arguments:
- A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew.
- But one child survived with only third-degree burns.
- Therefore, God exists.
This argument relies on cherry picking — i.e., counting the hits and forgetting the misses. The survival of a lucky few is sometimes referred to as a miracle. The fact that someone survived a tragedy against all odds is taken as evidence of God's existence. The fact that many others perished in the same event is not taken as evidence against the existence of God.
The argument is a form of argument from observed miracles.
"Only the atheist realizes how morally objectionable it is for survivors of a catastrophe to believe themselves spared by a loving God while this same God drowned infants in their cribs."
- Argument from fortunate events
- Survivorship bias
- Problem of evil: why did God allow the disaster in the first place?