On Behalf of the Atheist


#1

I was reading the latest issue of the National Catholic Register and ran across an editorial which said, among other things, that it is the burden of the atheist to prove there is no God, not the burden of the believer to come up with a proof of God’s existence.

I’m not familiar with too many atheistic proofs for God’s non-existence, so I’ve come up with some on my own:

  1. Given: Man has free will.
    Let God exist. If God exists, He has knowledge of all things - past, present, and future. In fact, according to Catholic belief, He has predestined some to heaven. However, such predestination precludes free will, which is absurd. Therefore God does not exist.

  2. Given: There is evil in the world.
    Let God exist. If God exists, He is supremely good. He is also the “first cause,” omnipresent, and omnipotent. Insofar as His goodness would pervade all things, there would be no evil in the world, which is absurd. Therefore God does not exist.

  3. Given: There is ugliness in the world.
    Let God exist. If God exists, He is the highest good, the highest beauty, and the highest truth. As we are made in God’s image, we should all be beautiful, which is absurd. Therefore God does not exist.

  4. Let God exist. If God exists, He is eternal and immutable. However, it is said that each baby is endowed with an immortal soul through the immediate act of God. Such act is an instant inside time (which is the numbering of the before and after), not an eternal action. Accordingly, God cannot exist.

  5. If God exists, He is immutable. However, one cannot give what it does not have (“non dat quod non got”). Since there is motion in the world, if would have to come from something which has motion to give. Since God is immutable, He cannot have given motion. However, the first mover is that which men call God. Since God cannot have been the first mover, God does not exist.


#2

Actually, these exact questions are answered in many Apologetic books.

One book that does so is a summary of Aquinas’ Summa Theologica: Peter Kreeft’s Summa of the Summa.


#3

…among other things, that it is the burden of the atheist to prove there is no God, not the burden of the believer to come up with a proof of God’s existence.

i would love to see that.


#4

You mispelled Calvinist.

Daddums :slight_smile:


#5

Ha ha!

My spelling is impeccable: newadvent.org/summa/1023.htm


#6

This is ridiculous. To prove a negative is only possible in an axiomatic system. The believers propose a hypothesis: namely that God exists. Therefore it is the believer’s responsibility to give arguments for the assertion, to bring forth evidence and maybe, just maybe provide a proof.

For the sake of arguments, let’s paraphrase it:

I assert that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists. It is the skeptic’s burden to prove that it does not exist. How does that sound? Pretty crazy, I would say. :slight_smile:


#7

I’m pretty sure that “God does not exist” is a hypothesis, as well.


#8

This is the most juvenile and easily refuted atheist canard of all, yet for some reason still the most popularly voiced. I guess that shows that most atheists aren’t at all inetersted in thinking about the issue, only in mouthing empty slogans to abuse theists.

You’re using “exist” in two radically different senses. “God” is not someone/something that either exists or does not exist, like you or I or “the Flying Spaghetti Monster”. “God” is the name which many people give to the very principle of existence itself.


#9

The burden of proof rests with whoever makes the claim. Christianity has met that burden of proof time and time again, and every atheist counterargument has been defeated time and time again. The atheist’s canard of “There’s no evidence God exists.” is mere denial, just a tissue of equivocation, question-begging, and a priori reasoning.

– Mark L. Chance.


#10

This is the juvenile and self refuting statement I’ve ever heard a crazy thiest say, and I’ve heard some bad ones. Yes, if you define an elephant as a spare tire, then I have an elephant in my trunk. God is not defined as “existence” by any stretch of the imagination. There are very very few athiests who would say existence doesn’t exist, and very few thiests who would say a cold, uncaring, purposeless universe would be “god”. Nor do I understand why somone would insist that evolution is wrong because existence created the earth and all life in it.

It’s not an empty slogan, it’s an example to try to make a basic philosophic princible within the grasp of slower individuals, but I guess that may also be lost on some. Burden of proof lies with the asserter. It really is rather irrelevent even if he is using two different definitions of exist.


#11

The pastafarians came up with the notion that a giant flying spaghetti monster created the universe shouldn’t they then be the ones who come forward with the proof to prove that it did?


#12

Then don’t confuse that god with the Christian God. From that god you have to prove/justify all of the attributes and actions of the Catholic God in order to say, “therefore, God exists.” (notice the capital and lowercase. Just because Christianity has capitalized on the word doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to argue anymore).

The pastafarians came up with the notion that a giant flying spaghetti monster created the universe shouldn’t they then be the ones who come forward with the proof to prove that it did?

-Abbadon

Exactly. Just as the Catholics have to do with their God.


#13

Then with your reasoning, the rejection of the existence of the tooth fairy, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Celestial teapot is just mere denial as well. I’ve never come across sound reasoning for the existence of God. Aquinas is too outdated, and there haven’t been any good new ones. Kreeft is laughable.


#14

hold on wait a second exactly how is there no tooth fairy? The way i see it if there can be a god there can be fairy’s…


#15

Right, there could be. Just analyze the evidence and decide whether or not you can believe it yourself. Once you realize this it just depends on your rationality. Is it reasonable to believe that a fairy puts money under your pillow for your teeth instead of your parents? Is it reasonable to believe that the Christian God for which you have no sound reasoning or evidence for exists and created the universe?

If someone came up to you and told you that either of those exist, it would be their responsibility to convince you with evidence and reasoning, not for you to convince them.


#16

And so is “the Easter Bunny does not exist”, “leprechauns do not exist”, “Santa Claus does not exist”. Do you really think that all these utterances have to be substantiated?

Formally “God does not exist” is a hypothesis of sorts. But does not assert anything positive. But most atheists do not even say that “God does not exist.” They say that “they do not believe that God exists”, in other words that the concept of God does not refer to anything in reality. Humanity came up with zillions of fictional characters, and none of them have any counterpart in reality. Should we take time and energy to “disprove” all of them?

In a court session it is never the defendant who has to bring up arguments for his innocence, it is the prosecutors who have to argue for his guilt.


#17

Yea exactly, the prosecution needs to prove that the person is guilty. Like the prosecution says this man committed this crime, fine, prove it. Before the prosecution made that claim that claim did not exist.

Just like. God has saved me. Thats fine, prove it, before someone uttered the concept of God it did not exist, so it’s up to that person to prove it.

So when Abraham said god told me to marry my sister shouldn’t they have asked him to prove it?


#18

I have a question for the athiests. Neither side can prove or disprove the existence of God. Theists believe in God through faith. If the theists are wrong and there is no God, when we die we will just cease to exist. If the atheists are wrong and you stand before Him in judgement… what will you say to him?


My hypothetical questions to God
#19

Good question. I will say a lot to him. First we assume that God is the being as the believers describe him - knowing, powerful, good, etc…

  1. I will ask why did he allow evil to get into the world? What is the point?

  2. Why did he give us reasoning powers and then demanded that we suspend them and rely on faith?

  3. Why didn’t he expose himself in a non-ambiguous manner, so faith would not be necessary?

  4. What exactly are the mitigating circumstances which will allow innocent beings (babies and animals) to live and die in horrible pain and which allow these events still to be judged as “good”?

  5. What kind of mental “kick” does he get from being “worshipped” by such lowly creatures as we are? Is his self-esteem so low that he needs the “worship” of such insignificant creatures?

  6. What was the point of creating the world in the first place - if he is self-sufficient?

  7. Why did he give us free will? (To give free will and rely on commandments to curtail unwanted actions is an inferior, lazy and lousy method of controlling the creation. A good creator makes unwanted outcomes impossible.)

  8. What is his definition of “justice” when a temporal misdeed is punished by everlasting torture?

  9. Why does he demand that we make up our mind about him when all we have is “hearsay” evidence, but does not allow us to change our mind when we have actual “proof” for his existence?

  10. Why did he not exercise restraint and why did he curse his own creation when Adam disobeyed?

  11. Why did he “entrap” Adam by exposing the tree of knowledge? If he knew the future, then he knew that Adam will disobey. If he did not want Adam to disobey why did he not place a cherub to protect the tree as he did with the tree of life?

Etc… etc…


#20

I brought up the proofs so they could be discussed here - I know there are other books which address these issues, but that’s not usually the point of one of these threads.


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