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Sep 28 2010

It’s time to put up or shut up

John Shook, Director of Education at the Center for Inquiry, has written an essay attacking those whom he calls “Know nothing” atheists who supposedly attack religion while being ignorant of sophisticated modern theology. Larry Moran, professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto, has had enough of this kind of vague accusations and issues a very direct challenge [link fixed].

The question before us is whether there is a God or there isn’t. So far, I have not been convinced by any argument in favor of supernatural beings. Every single argument that I’ve encountered seems flawed. Many of them are stupid and nonsensical.

I challenge all theists and all their accommodationist friends to post their very best 21st century, sophisticated (or not), arguments for the existence of God. They can put them in the comments section of this posting, or on any of the other atheist blogs, or on their own blogs and websites. Just send me the link.

Try and make it concise and to the point. It would be nice if it’s less than 100 years old. Keep in mind that there are over 1000 different gods so it would be helpful to explain just which gods the argument applies to.

I don’t care where they post the argument, just get on with it. I’m not interested in any other details about theology. Those points only become relevant once you’ve convinced this atheist that you have a rational argument for the existence of God. Don’t bother telling me how you reconcile your God with evil, or why you believe in miracles, or why transcendence is important in your life, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Don’t insult my intelligence by pointing out that religion has done a lot of good things in the past as if that were proof of the existence of the supernatural. Don’t be silly enough to try proving god by telling me that religion makes people feel good. So does chocolate, and wine.

That sounds reasonable to me.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Haseeb Najam

    Logic 1:
    The pain is not tangible BUT it do exist. you can fel it.
    God do exist. YOU can feel it.

    Logic 2:
    you guys claimed that the world begin due to BingBang.. tell me one thing that has been created due to result of a big blast :)

    Logic 3:
    If the wine and chocolate cannot be produced on there own..How can this whole world was created on its own?

    Logic 4:
    Because God tends to be more logical than the other option, which is an infinite regression.

    1. Humans first thought that the only thing that existed was the Earth.
    2. Then they found out they were part of a solar system and circling the sun.
    3. And later on they found out they were in a galaxy (Milky Way) circling a black hole.
    4. Then they found out there were a lot of galaxies and we were actually in a “Universe” that is a closed body system.
    5. Then they found out the Universe was created by the Big Bang.

    Guess what?
    There’s probably something that caused the Big Bang.
    6. Cause of Big Bang.
    7. Cause of Cause of Big Bang.
    8. Cause of Cause of Cause of Big Bang.
    9. Cause of ………

    See we’re either going to go back infinitley, or we’re going to hit God.
    Now then just as God isn’t an acceptable answer, neither is going back infinitley because it also defies common logic. How does something occur without being caused? And furthermore nothing goes to infinity either, because for example you can’t go past the speed of light, you can’t get colder than absolute zero, the Universe has a closed and fixed amount of Energy, you can’t get infinitley hot, and even some mathmatical models work around black holes going to infinity.

    So God exists as a cause with no cause.
    Otherwise you have to go back forever…

    Yeah so you don’t have a logical choice for existence

    In short:
    If you want to believe in GOD you can do it without any logics :)
    and if you don,t, nothing will change your mind except GOD himself

  2. 2
    Eric

    Haseeb –

    1) Pain is noticeable because most of the time, you don’t feel it. When I’m injured, my nerves send electrical impulses that my brain recognizes as pain, as opposed to the electrical impulses that it recognizes as “not pain.” Please tell me the specific difference between feelings of “god” vs. “not god.”

    2) Gravel.

    3) Gravity.

    4) False – if you have a universe’s worth of matter in a compact space, in a universe in which gravity, light, and electromagnetism work the way they do here, then pretty much everything else was a matter of physical inevitability. Where did that matter come from originally? They’re not sure yet, but they’re working on it. Not knowing the answer yet is NOT the same thing as giving up, saying “God did it,” and going out for coffee.

  3. 3
    Steve LaBonne

    The long comment thread to Larry’s blog post (the link is broken by the way; here’s a good one: http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2010/09/challenge-to-theists-and-their.html) is worth reading. None of the apologists can come up with anything that’s meaningfully better than Haseeb’s blather, even when their contributions are superficially more literate.

  4. 4
    Scott

    Even without rational explanations of Haseeb’s arguments, none of them prove there is a god. If they prove anything, they prove that science has more to discover and understand. Those arguments are equally valid if you were saying that Zeus, Odin, or Amon-Ra created the universe, rather than Jehovah.

  5. 5
    Matt

    Scott,

    You forgot the one true deity, the flying spaghetti monster. To paraphrase Haseeb – YOU can feel the love of his noodly appendage.

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