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 IAmAnAtheist » Is Proof Possible

Is Proof Possible

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

Two atheist roommates after dinner.

Saul: I get so sick of Christians trying to prove that God exists. It’s like they just keep parroting the same seven arguments over and over, and every time they bring one up they act like it’s the most original, mind-blowing thing ever.

Terry: It does get old.

Saul: What’s sad is that they act shocked when you aren’t instantly bowled over by their brilliance.

Terry: And if you give them an intelligent response, half the time they can’t respond because they don’t really understand their own argument in the first place.

Saul: Right! They think they have the "atheist killer" argument and don’t know what to do when you point out what’s wrong with what they’re saying. I wish they’d get a clue that it’s stupid to even try and prove God exists.

Terry: I don’t know about that. Someone could have an argument that’s compelling, or at least one that’s compelling enough for them.

Saul: How? How could you possibly prove that God exists? It’s impossible.

Terry: Why would you say it’s impossible? Even if all the arguments you’ve heard are bad, there might be one you haven’t heard or one nobody’s thought of yet.

Saul: No way. There’s no possible way to prove that an immaterial thing exists.

Terry: What if there was a logical impossibility that could only be solved by something immaterial existing? Like, what if there was some property of the mind that it was completely impossible for a purely material thing to have?

Saul: Even if there was such a thing — which there isn’t — it would still be more likely that we’re just not understanding the brain than it is that immaterial things exist. It’s the same for miracles and things like that. It’s always more likely that something unusual or that we didn’t think of happened than it is that a miracle happened.

Terry: Like what?

Saul: Christians always use the resurrection as proof that Jesus was God. But it’s more likely that there was some confused misunderstanding than it is that an all-powerful supernatural being brought someone back from the dead. No matter how unlikely a situation would have to be to explain everything, it would still be more likely than omnipotent beings existing and resurrection of the dead.

Terry: But what if God decided that He wanted you to believe He existed? He could just use his powers to make you believe it was true.

Saul: If he did that, it would still be more likely that I was insane than it would be that God had changed my mind.

Terry: But you wouldn’t think you were insane.

Saul: I’d still doubt that this so-called knowledge really came from God.

Terry: No you wouldn’t; not if God didn’t want you to. You’d believe anything God made you believe and He could remove all doubts.

Saul: It still wouldn’t be evidence that God existed. Other people would still think I was insane.

Terry: It would be compelling evidence to you, even if it wasn’t compelling to anyone else. It would be proof that God exists, but it would be proof only you had access to. If God wanted other people to believe, He’d have to change their minds, too.

Saul: If that’s the best possible proof you can come up with for God, it’s pretty sad.

Terry: It’s at least one possible proof, though.

Saul: I guess.

 


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Posted on June 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

One Response

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  1. Written by Joakim Rosqvist
    on June 23, 2013 at 12:25 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Which list of “seven arguments” were you thinking of?

    First cause
    Argument from design / fine tuning
    “I feel it in my heart”
    God must be there to bring justice so we’ll behave morally
    God is perfect and perfection implies existence
    Miracles
    Pascal’s wager

    The most compelling argument for belief I can come up with is: If you’re living in a place were the difference in the treatment you’ll get as a believer vs non-believer is greater than the benefits of being a non-believer, you’d better join the herd of sheep.

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