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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Saturday, 16 May 2009

'Great' arguments against God's existence

A list of top logical arguments against the existence of God. Use these in internet debate and you'll win every time...

- Argument from comparison
1. The idea of God shares many of the qualities of the existence of Santa
2. Santa Claus doesn't exist
3. Therefore, God doesn't exist

- Argument from ridicule
1. Theism is stupid
2. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from objective morality
1. Objective morality doesn't exist
2. God performed objectively morally repugnant acts
3. This makes God a disgusting monster
3. Therefore, God doesn't exist

- Argument from philosophical preference
1. The universe gives the impression of design
2. Design is not necessary because evolution has happened
3. Since design is not necessary, a designer is not necessary
4. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from comparison (2)
1. The Jesus Story exhibits many of the attributes of other ancient stories
2. Therefore, Jesus didn't exist and neither does God

- Argument from outrage
1. God did abominable things in the Old Testament
2. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from intellectual superiority
1. Atheists are smarter than theists
2. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from misunderstanding
1. The ontological argument is hard to understand
2. Therefore, God doesn't exist

- Argument from hand waving
1. Theology is so stupid its not worth debating
2. Therefore, God does not exist.

- Argument from a priori ruling
1. Theists can only use logical fallacies
2. The argument from contingency is a logical argument
3. But theists can only use logical fallacies
4. Therefore, the argument from contingency is a logical fallacy
5. And God doesn't exist

Argument from lack of proof
1. There are no proofs of God's existence
2. The ontological argument is a proof of God's existence
3. But the ontological argument is stupid
4. So there are no proofs of God's existence
5. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from narrow evidentialism
1. God cannot be measured using the scientific method
2. We should not believe anything which cannot be proven by the scientific method
3. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from burden of proof
1. There is no hell
2. There is no God
3. Theology is stupid
4. The scientific method is the only way of knowing things
5. Atheism is the most sensible position
6. Therefore, the atheist does not need to provide any evidence for anything...ever.

Argument from fear
1. We absolutely do not want a return to the dark ages
2. Therefore, God does not exist

Argument from hypotheses
1. If there was a God we would expect to see uniform perfection in the world
2. We do not see uniform perfection in the world
3. Therefore, God does not exist

Argument from personal experience
1. I've never experienced God
2. Therefore God does not exist

Argument from molestation
1. The Catholic Church exists to molest young boys
2. Therefore, God does not exist

Argument from lack of knowledge
1. If someone has experienced God, they should know everything
2. No one knows what happens to babies when they die
3. Therefore, someone who has experienced God does not have all the answers
4. Therefore, God does not exist

Argument from parenthood
1. My parents made me go to church when I was a child
2. I hated it
3. Therefore, God does not exist

Argument from subjective truth
1. It is absolutely true to say that there is no absolute truth
2. Oh...



Sae said...

Then there is the Douglas Adams argument, which goes something likes this:

"The Babel fish," said The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leechlike,and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy not from its carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

"The argument goes something like this: `I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.' "`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'
"`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.

"`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

"Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys....

Ranger said...

What a great list! Very funny...

I personally enjoyed the argument from lack of evidence. I've had so many instances similar to that situation. I present an argument, and they respond, "Well, that argument may make sense, but I've never personally seen God, so it can't be a true argument." I respond with another argument and get, "Yeah, but should proving God's existence be so difficult?" I present another argument and the person says, "See, you theists simply can't give any evidence that your God exists..." Logic, philosophy and rationality don't seem to count as evidence so they get written off. And somehow from their perspective this makes me irrational, haha.

Makarios said...

Very funny stuff. I've encountered every single one of those.

steph said...

Makarios: You must be lying:-). I haven't heard one of those as an argument against God's existence. They're just something made up and scribbled...;-). So what are the arguments for his existence again? Arguments both for and against are always pretty lame IMO - especially the 'moral' argument (whose morals?) which I see as more about evolution and human development. Not that it bothers me - I'm just a happy agnostic...

Edward T. Babinski said...

Another happy agnostic here.

My story's online and in the book, Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists, see the chapter in the "Agnostics" section, or google it up via the title, "If It Wasn't For Agnosticism I Wouldn't Know WHAT to Believe"

Anonymous said...

Criticizing your opponents for being illogical when your argument is in itself one big fallacy? Tsk.

For example, your summary of the argument from outrage:
1) God did atrocious things
2) Therefor God does not except.
Is actually an improper summary of the statements made by JC Holdings(or whoever he took the idea of them from) against secular humanist arguments against innerantist christianity.

This is about as accurate a reflection of the secular humanist argument as a statement saying that the teleological argument is simply:
1)The universe exists
2)God Exists

The actual "argument from outrage"
1)God killed babies through the various complete genocides he ordained
2) The bible claims God to be omnibenevolent and infallible.
It follows, then, that either
a) the wholesale slaughter of defenseless women and children is morally permissible
b) The bible is errant to such a degree that it can't even agree with itself.

Holding's argument is that humans are utterly pathetic, and without an all powerful universal dictator, virtue does not exist. This argument is obviously entirely degrading to humanity and stands in the face of economics,philosophy, and even theology.

Beyond that, some translations of the bible themselves translate the ten commandments to include "thou shalt not kill," which god would clearly have commanded his men to do in these circumstances.

What's ironic here is that Holding references an "argument of outrage," which is really just an innerantist framing of the "argument from emotion." Holdings arguments are, of course, full of

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, his name was "JP Holding." My bad