God Is Not Imaginary | Arguments 11-20
This one is titled "Notice That There Is No Scientific Evidence". Well, before I go on I have to point out a very elementary concept that the writer seems to forget: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. With that said, I'll begin. The writer starts out with the line "There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that". He then goes on to list bullet points of God's "lack" of evidence. I'll mention a few:
- God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth
- The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone
- Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God
He then concludes with "Let's agree that there is no empirical evidence showing that God exists", let's not. In the first point the writer seems to forget the obvious: the Church. I'm not speaking of the physical churches we see today, I'm talking about the body of Christ (the believers). Trying to explain the rapid spread of early Christianity throughout the hostile Roman empire without any divine influence is near impossible. The second objection rejects Paul's open words that "these things were not done in a corner", in fact there are reported to have been over 500 people who witnessed the resurrected Jesus. At the very least the apostles would have had to have seen Him post-resurrection; I doubt they would have been so readily accepting of death for preaching the Gospel if they hadn't. The third objection complains about God's non-reaction to evil...yet you need God in order to have evil so this point is moot.
"See The Magic" or so the writer says. He is committing the bandwagon fallacy here again. He has what I like to call Santa Claus syndrome as well. ☺ The writer talks about prayer yet again (come on) then rehashes argument 11. There actually isn't anything new in this one.
In this argument the writer wants us to "Take A Look At Slavery". Before I defend Biblical slavery, let me just mention that the writer is yet again invoking the argument from evil which, as I've already pointed out, ends up actually becoming an argument FOR God's existence. Back to slavery... now we need to remember that Biblical slavery was not the back-breaking life of torture that it is commonly portrayed as. Biblical slavery was more like a servitude or life-debt. There were many rules and regulations that dictated how a slave was to be treated. In fact, you can even read the verses that the writer uses in the argument itself to see what I mean. Go ahead, read them for yourself. Once you observe the rules in their proper context, you can see that they actually made it so that the slave owner was forced to take care of his slave. In that time, slavery was a very common way to handle debt and favors that couldn't be easily repayed other ways. Lastly, this argument is completely ridiculous, it doesn’t matter what kind of slavery God condones or whether He likes it or not...it has absolutely no bearing on whether or not He exists.
Rehash of argument 11 again.
And this one just combines argument 11 with argument 1, and two illogical arguments put together do not make a logical one.
This one is titled "Contemplate the Contradictions". I can safely say that this argument is entirely built upon misuse of context. Conveniently, I have already written about this in a previous post, so I'll simply provide a link to it if anyone is interested. You can find it here.
"Think About Leprechauns" is the humorous title to the 17th argument. Besides being another rehash of argument 11, the writer brings up the subject of universal negatives. He starts the argument out by claiming that "Many believers will say, 'It is impossible for you to prove that God (Allah, Ra, Vishnu, etc...) does not exist. There is no way to prove that something does not exist.' This is a silly argument for the following reason." He then goes on to repeat himself in a conversational manner. He is in fact correct about this beginning part, although it isn't for the reason he believes it to be. When someone claims that you cannot prove that God does not exist, they are trying to say that you cannot prove a universal negative. In actuality it is very easy to prove that something does not exist. For example, you can show that there are no living Tyrannosaurus walking around today, or that there are no Muslims in the state Senate. Alternatively, you could prove that God does not exist by showing that the concept of God's existence is incoherent (contradiction is the most powerful defeater). The writer makes another point that I want to address as well. He states that
Imagine that we have a conversation one day and I say to you, 'I believe in the gerflagenflopple. You cannot prove that the gerflagenflopple does not exist, therefore it exists.' You can see that this is ridiculous. Just because I have invented something out of thin air does not mean that its non-existence is suddenly unprovable.
Christopher Hitchens once tried to pull a tactic like this in a debate and was quickly put in his place. Mr. Hitchens used an example of a teapot that floats around Mars' gravitational pull. He said that, according to Christian logic, because we cannot prove it doesn't exist it therefore must exist. However, both the writer and Mr. Hitchens fail to see that the reason we do not believe in that teapot is because we have good reason to believe against its existence. It would be absurd to say that someone has launched a teapot into Mars' orbit. In this way, we don't believe in Santa Claus or Leprechauns because we have good reason not to. There is no such reason for not believing in God, and if there is then why bother with these 50 "proofs" and not just show us that evidence?
Here, we are invited to "Imagine Heaven". The writer goes through a ridiculous made-up conversation with another Christian who claims the validity of his beliefs on the Left Behind saga. Additionally, the writer says that because each Christian seems to have a different version of Heaven in mind it must be false. He proclaims
There is also the absurdity that comes when you compare any two people's views of heaven. Everyone's fabrication of heaven is different. For some it involves harps and clouds and halos. For others it involves hot and cold running virgins.
Besides committing the bandwagon fallacy yet again, the writer doesn't seem to understand basic theology. In all honesty, there really isn't too much time spent describing heaven in the Bible, all we are told is that it exists and it is beyond anything we can imagine. Is it really any mystery that people fill in the details with whatever they want to? Just because some people have wacky notions of heaven, does not in any way warrant the conclusion that God is imaginary or that heaven does not exist. If you would like more information about Heaven from a reliable source then you should check this book out.
This argument is titled "Notice That You Ignore Jesus". The writer quotes several verses and concludes "The message is clear. If you want to follow Jesus, you need to "sell your possessions and give to the poor." Instead of wasting my time on this one I'll simply refer you to what I said on argument 16.
This argument is titled "Notice Your Church", and it might be surprising to know that I actually agree with part of this one! He rightfully points out the exuberant wealth of modern churches (mega churches) and the resulting hypocrisy. I have a very strong opinion on this subject and have written about it previously in one of my posts. However I believe this to be more of a result of man's heart than God's misapplication of blessings. This is a good argument against modern Christianity, but not the existence of the Christian God.
(Beyond this point I slow down on naming the specific fallacies of the arguments since so many of them are repeated in subsequent "proofs".)