more_you_know.jpgOften enough, I get visitors that read a post or two of mine and then leave a comment that they think is going to change my mind about all this atheism business. Sitting in my comments list, I routinely find nicely formatted arguments that invariably end with “Therefore, God must exist.”

Now let’s think about this for a moment. I run a website dedicated (mostly) to atheism and secular humanism. It stands to reason that I’ve done a fair bit of research about the things that I believe. I’m not just some “Sunday Atheist,” passively not believing in God. And I have no reason to cling to my ideas if I change my mind about their validity. In fact, a little over a year ago, I stopped eating meat. Previously an avid omnivore, I chronicled my decision and the reasons for my new-found vegetarianism on this blog. Clearly, I’m capable of admitting when I’m wrong about something when new information presents itself.

But therein lies the catch.

The ubiquitous little three-premise God Proofs that I mentioned earlier aren’t new.

Nearly every argument I’ve heard for the existence of God has been around for a long, long, long time. Ebon Musings has an unparallelled description of every argument ever publicly advanced for the existence of God. I recommend reading it, but please be aware that it’s a doozy of an article.

Faced with this information, there are really only three paths that an Evangelist can take.

  1. Refuse to research prior metaphysical arguments, and continue using half-formed Teleological arguments to campaign for God’s existence. This is clearly a bad idea. Surprisingly, however, it’s an extremely popular one.
  2. Find holes in the refutations offered. Oddly enough, many theists have tried this in the past without much luck. In fact, they’ve been trying it for centuries. It’s harder than you might think… But if you’re up to the challenge, I applaud your chutzpah.
  3. Invent an entirely new argument for the existence of God. This is actually what most theists or Pop Philosophers think they’ve done. The reality is that every argument I’ve heard on my blog, and in general, has been around for quite some time. If someone comes up with a new, irrefutable argument for the existence of God, I should hope they’re doing something more to publicize it than posting on my modest blog. But if he or she chooses to unveil it here, I’ll be happy to host the party.

But wait, I can anticipate your response: If the arguments for the non-existence of God are so old and so strong, why aren’t atheists the majority? Why do most social groups believe in some type of God figure?

Well first off, most people don’t examine their belief structures especially hard. As you’ll see when you research, theology is a complex and sometimes confusing matter. People are also heavily invested in belief. But regardless of all that, popular ideas aren’t necessarily good ideas. I mean, we used to think that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

And besides, you’ve just made an argument that’s been addressed many times before: The argument from popularity.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I never censor comments, so I don’t anticipate an end to those tidy little “proofs” I keep seeing pop up. And I will continue to address them as best I can. But even though I do make earnest attempts to engage in discussion despite my busy schedule, I can’t be everywhere all the time. Who do you think I am, God?

I simply hope that this blog post inspires some of the online Evangelists that happen upon it to read more and examine their own arguments. If someone comes up with a genuinely new argument, I’m as excited as you are to hear about it.