I’m going to piggyback off an excellent post by The Uncredible Hallq on the topic of whether there are any good arguments for God. You often hear Christian apologists protest that, when you disprove Apologetic Argument X, you still have not disproved the existence of God, because you haven’t addressed Apologetic Argument Y (and when you address Y, then they’ll claim you need to address Z, etc. etc.). All the apologist has to do is keep drawing one more line in the sand, indefinitely, in order to claim that the skeptic has failed to cross the right one.
Despite this ingenious exercise in goalpost-moving, though, the nature of the arguments themselves is enough to establish the fact that there are no good (i.e. valid and reliable) arguments for the existence of a deity like the Christian God.
Let’s shift the debate for a minute to forestall any religious biases. Suppose instead of talking about the existence of God, we’re talking about the existence of chupacabra. You have two arguments in favor of chupacabra‘s existence. Argument 1 is that your cousin Ernie, an alcoholic, says he actually saw one during one of his binges. (He’s also seen snakes with legs, flying monkeys, and George Washington.) The other argument is that your neighbor Pat saw one attacking some goats, and shot it, and took pictures of the body, and had a vet do some dissection of it, and then had a taxidermist stuff it and mount it, and you can stop by and see it if you like.
If you were trying to persuade a skeptic that chupacabra was real, you’d obviously use argument 2 instead of argument 1. Argument 1 is just a bad argument, notoriously unreliable and unconvincing, whereas argument 2 is pretty conclusive. Likewise, if you invent a chupacabra whistle, and every time you blow it, more of them show up, you’ll use that as evidence they exist. When you want to convince someone, you’re going to use the best argument(s) you know.
There are only two ways, then, that you can have a lot of different, equally-popular arguments for the existence of something. One way is if they’re all equally good, and any one of them ought to be reasonably convincing to an honest skeptic. The other way is if they’re all equally bad, and none of them is really sufficiently good evidence to rise to the top (like your neighbor Pat’s stuffed chupacabra) and crowd out the bad evidence. Even granted that some of the good arguments might get a bit technical, and be out of the intellectual reach of the average layman, a good line of evidence is going to stand out versus any number of bad arguments (as in Special Relativity, or the Big Bang).
When we look at the evidence for the Christian God, what do we see? We see a vast jungle of generally poor arguments, all competing for the available pool of gullible minds. As we look at these arguments one by one, we find that each of them is as unreliable as Cousin Ernie, and depends on superstition, and rigged scorekeeping, and double standards, and so on. Apologists can keep drawing lines in the sand, and insisting that the best answers are on the other side, but we know this is not true, because if Argument Z were really the valid and verifiable argument, no apologist would waste time trying to push the inferior arguments X and Y. Every argument we look at is going to prove as false and unreliable as the last one, because they’re all equally bogus. This endless series of lines in the sand is itself proof that Christian apologists have nothing solid to put on the other side.