Saturday, January 11, 2014

Best of the Worst Arguments for Atheism

Decent arguments can be made for atheism.  Aquinas identified two, the seeming causal closer of the natural world and the existence of evil.  There are also many bad arguments for atheism, most of them made on the internet.  I have selected several of the most wonderfully bad arguments found on the collection at Thomism.org

ARGUMENT BY DEFINITION
(1) If you cannot agree on a definition of a thing, then it does not exist.
(2) People cannot agree on a definition of God.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM THOMAS EDISON
(1) Thomas Edison was an atheist.
(2) He invented the lightbulb.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM JUMPING TO A CONCLUSION WITHOUT USING PREMISES
(1) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM BRUCE LEE
(1) Bruce Lee was an atheist.
(2) Bruce Lee knew King Fu.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM THE SPANISH INQUISITION
(1) The Spanish Inquisition killed pretty much everybody.
(2) That's right. It killed everybody.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES
(1) Atheist: "It's interesting that miracles conveniently never happen around skeptics."
(2) Theist: "Well, I had a friend who used to be a skeptic until a miracle in his life happened."
(3) Atheist: "That doesn't count. He's not a skeptic anymore. I'm talking about real skeptics. The ones who stay skeptics even if they see a miracle."
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SWEDEN
(1) There are lots of atheists in Sweden.
(2) Sweden is pretty much the best country ever.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SANTA CLAUS
(1) Santa Claus does not exist.
(2) Therefore, God does not exist.

NON-SEQUITUR ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: "No miracle has ever been confirmed by science."
(2) Theist: "So, you think that disproves God's existence?"
(3) Atheist: "The Church hates gays."
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM UNIVERSE CREATION
(1) I define "Universe" as everything that exists.
(2) God could not have created the Universe because under this definition, He would have created Himself.
(3) If you object to my definition of "Universe," you can go screw yourself.
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

SIGMUND FREUD'S ARGUMENT FROM OEDIPUS
(1) The belief in God arises from the unconscious fear that your father is going to castrate you when he finds out you have a desire to sleep with your own mother.
(2) Obviously, only a crazy person would think that.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM ADULTERY
(1) I'm sleeping with another man's wife.
(2) I don't feel like believing in God right now.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SPEAKING IN TONGUES
(1) Padre Pio [or some saint] could speak to people in their native language even if he never learned it.
(2) No, he didn't.
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM RACISM
(1) Lots of white people believe in Jesus.
(2) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM DIVINE PRODUCTIVITY
(1) The evolutionary process is slow and inefficient.
(2) God would have made it faster.
(3) This is because God, being eternal, would have been pressed for time.
(4) Therefore, God does not exist.

ARGUMENT FROM SCIENCE AND STUFF
(1) Here's a picture of Neil Degrasse Tyson superimposed on a starfield background with an quote about how big space is.
(2) ...
(3) Therefore, God does not exist.


Check out the rest of the page for more hilarity.

2 comments:

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  2. In my experience, what usually follows any of those arguments is:

    (1) Religion is detrimental to human progress because it makes people shove their beliefs on others.
    (2) No one should push their beliefs or morals on someone else.
    [but wait, isn't that statement by itself an act of you pushing your moral standard on me and urging me to abide by it? By what authority can you make an authoritative statement to regulate my behavior, if you're an atheist?]
    (3) Some things are good and some are bad/evil. Its just like that. You don't need a god to tell you how to behave to be a good person.
    [But without an authority from which such standards can be derived, it is delusional to claim something is 'good' or 'evil' just because you feel so, while at the same time claiming or implying that we are unintended accidents without purpose].

    While the above argument analogy may seem ridiculous, I experienced it dozens of times as an atheist myself discussing with what I call "religious atheists". I can see how an atheist may try to argue for concepts of good/bad (like saying that natural selection promoted in us the predisposition for rituals and mores and we need to abide by some kind of fixed standard of behavior, etc.) but I think one can fairly say that 90% of atheists base their worldview on fallacious arguments like those above. That's why I respect a theist who vehemently sticks to his dogma as opposed to an atheist defending the existence of good or evil while rejecting the divine authority necessary to have such concepts (or even worse, a theist trying to fuse relativism with dogma to look modern, like gay episcopal bishops or "Bisexual Roman Catholic Womenpriests" [yes, they do exist]).

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