Saturday, 10 March 2012

Things Christians Say, Part 6: Can't prove there is no god

A weekly series of responses to the things christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

You can't prove that there's no god


With all due respect, I have to question why you use this type of argument at all because it does not establish anything useful.  I can't prove that there is no god any more than you can prove that you worship the right one when you have so many to choose from. 

You might even admit that God doesn't exactly make it easy for you to believe in him either.  The bible is often used as 'evidence' for his existence, but let's face it, it isn't good evidence.  The bible is supposed to be the inspired word of God, but The Old Testament includes other gods - Baal perhaps being Yahweh's greatest rival.  El and all the host of heaven appear from time to time too.

Many of the stories existed for centuries or millennia before they were written down as The Torah.

The gospels in the New Testament neither agree with each other, nor with the known historical facts from a region that was of great strategic importance to the Roman Empire, in a century that is particularly well documented.  e.g.  The Crucifiction Darkness and the raising of all the dead in Jerusalem would surely not have gone un-noticed.

I feel that these are some of the reasons to have a strong doubt about the existence of god(s) in general and your God in particular.



That's true.  And you can do better?  No, I thought not.  I can't actually prove the non-existence of the tooth fairy or unicorns but I'm an a-fairyist and an a-unicornist too.

If you disagree, you prove it!
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!
There is an increasing amount of evidence from brain science to suggest the reasons for our superstitious beliefs.

Last week:   Things Christians Say, Part 5: Just go out and kill!
Next week:   You're SO closed minded


Hilary said...

Hey whilst you are still berating and debating whether God exists or not and how awful these dreadfully stupid Christians are, I wondered whether you might like to join in something useful, and if not this particular (probably terribly offensive to you organization) organization then perhaps something like Plan, or others which caters for atheists too... :) ...extreme poverty CAN be eradicated in our lifetime, and I am sure many of you reading this already do a great deal towards that goal, but this book and film really show how possible it is, if we all, christian and atheist alike, work together to achieve this great goal...and of course this would just be the start, as even above $1.25 isn't exactly comfortable...

Many thanks,

Hilary said... the way, the number 58 is a reference to Isaiah 58 in which God sets out the way He expects His people to behave regarding injustice and poverty, that He expects His people to take a stand against injustice etc... a great deal of the Old Testament does actually speak of the Grace of God, and the need for mercy and compassion and that we need to be a voice for the voiceless and powerless...

Actually there is a great deal of consistency in both Old and New Testaments, and even the criticisms you make are actually not valid.

Andrew said...

I like this series. I'm an atheist, but i wonder... maybe somewhere in the universe, unicorns exist. I wonder how you stand on this. Do you claim there is no god, or are you like me and say it's highly unlikely there is a god? I mean.. God could mean so many things. Maybe there could be something supernatural that qualifies as a god. Then again, if god could mean anything supernatural, why do we need the word god anyway?

Derby Sceptic said...

In quotes about this film it is said that organisations cannot end poverty but God's church can.
Why then do we still have poverty - is over 2,000 years not long enough?
A study of the salaries paid to senior employees of the Church of England demonstrates they are in it for the money.

Plasma Engineer said...

There is a very well established cure for poverty. It works in every part of the world.

There is one drawback though. You have to treat women as equals and give them control over their reproductive rights. The male dominated religions of the world are afraid of doing this.

I mention that in today's post - see 12th March 2012 for details.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to see if you plan on doing the ever-prevalent "You're taking it out of context!"

Plasma Engineer said...

@anonymous - Thanks, I will add it to the list.

YouKnowI'mRight said...

He/She doesn't need to prove their existence to anyone. It seems to me the proof is shown repeatedly with every breath of air you take, if you've ever seen TREES or flowers grow, took a voyage on an OCEAN. seen a baby grow from a blob to a cool, young adult. These are just a few tiny examples that are there for the taking. It seems to be harder to prove there isn't one from the desperation I've read on these anti-Jesus, anti-God posts that really seem more sad than anything. I expect atheists to know their "stuff" but this atheist seems to keep trying to convince themselves it seems. To each their own and even Jesus would say Amen to that as long as it is all in love...

Unknown said...

Not absolutely clear on your reasoning there, - how exactly do you get from "look, a tree! " to "therefore there must be a god, and specifically some version of the Christian God"?

Plasma Engineer said...

Well said John. I didn't reply to that previous comment from someone who seems to be right. However, this particular atheist has heard all that nonsense before, and every time he hears it again it confirms his view that the religious people in this world are deluding themselves - aided by a predatory bunch of clergy of course. That is not to say that all of them are evil . . .but just that their livelihoods are at risk if they don't promote their wares.