I often hear apologists use very illogical arguments to try to prove god’s existence. Here are a few of the top ones I hear all the time and what I think about them.
1. “The Bible is a historical document, Jesus was a real person according to secular writings, etc.”
Rebuttal: Just because Jesus may have been a real person and the Bible talks about some places and events that actually happened, does not mean that the supernatural claims are thus verified. Many religious texts from other religions and cults also reference history; Joseph Smith was a real person and so was Mohammed, but that doesn’t mean their supernatural claims were true.
There has to be specific proof to verify the supernatural claims, otherwise all that has been proven is that the authors of the book added in events and people they knew in real life.
2. “Intelligent Design proves God exists.”
Rebuttal: No it doesn’t. Even if you could prove that Intelligent Design was the way the universe came into being, who can prove what intelligence created everything? It could be an alien life form, a form of life we don’t know about yet, etc. If it IS a god, who can say whether it’s yours, or whether he is a personal god at all?
Proving intelligent Design does not prove your religion to be true.
This includes such arguments as “The un-caused cause”, “The universe is fine-tuned”, etc.
3. “You can’t prove he doesn’t exist.”
Rebuttal: The burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim, in this case the religious person claiming god exists. YOU have to prove that he EXISTS- not the other way around!
Hermione sums it up very well:
“But that’s – I’m sorry but that’s completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn’t exist? Do you expect me to get hold of – of all the pebbles in the world and test them? I mean you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody proved it doesn’t exist!”
4. “We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.”
Rebuttal: If he’s actually doing this, then he’s doing a terrible job- everyone thinks they have communicated with the “right” god and yet no one can agree on anything, while others have felt no drawing from god at all. If you believe that humans created god, then this makes perfect sense- “god seeking us” is really us trying to connect with ourselves. We all have a sense of longing at times- sometimes we attribute this to god, sometimes to our emotions, etc. In the end, it all results from our own inner feelings and outside influences, such as our culture that teaches us that god exists and is talking to us. That’s why he takes so many forms for people- he IS them.
If a single god was truly seeking us, then there should be no question of which god is real- everyone would know because he would have spoken to them. There would be no other religions, no different denominations- just a unified understanding of god.
Ask yourself this: When a Muslim or someone from a different religion tells you that their god spoke to them and thus their religion is verified, how do you respond? Keep in mind that your own religion is held to the same proof standards as theirs; you can’t discount their personal experiences without discrediting your own. If you do acknowledge theirs, then what does that say about whose god is the right one? Either way, there’s a serious problem.
See Proof of God: Part 2 for the rest!