"Quinquaginta Approbationes Simplices Existentiae Dei"
"Fifty Simple Proofs for the Existence of God"
PZ Myers received something interesting:
I just got an email listing 50 "proofs" for the existence of a god. It was also sent to a large number of skeptics, and included a plug for the dumb-as-bricks author's book — she's a flea who writes an imaginary scenario in which Richard Dawkins gets psychiatric counseling…from Jesus! If Debra Rufini's imaginary dialog is as bad as this list of "proofs" — more like a collection of cliches, bad quotes, and lies — I can't imagine wanting to slog through it.
Any one of these I'd happily rip to shreds, but 50 at once? The distilled dementia herein is overwhelming, and I'm sure she counts on that.
Well, I'd love to respond to these!
This is going to be fun.
It is easy to prove to yourself that God is real..the evidence is all around you.
So long as you drink the Kool-Aid.
Here are 50 simple proofs:
1. Whilst agreeing that random patterns occur naturally by chance, DNA however, consists of code, which requires a designer.
A designer that is just like all the other designers... except it is just different.
2. How do you explain the paranormal, such as people witnessing positive or negative sightings, like ghosts or angels? I saw a ghost with a friend of mine - I am not a liar, an attention seeker. Neither was I overtired when this happened.
How about considering the notion that you might have been deluded.
And you ought to consider the fact that you have already drunk that Kool-Aid.
3. Try praying. What good is it when a mind is set to coincidence & disbelief regarding the positive outcome?
Praying is like masturbation in that it just makes you feel good.
4. The law of cause & effect - in order to have an effect, there has to be a cause. Everything is caused by something.
Except God... and to admit an exception to your rule makes me question the rule itself, and so I don't even accept it.
5. Mindless nothing cannot be responsible for complex something.
This can only be true if universal complexity implies universal teleology, and we really have no idea what either actually means.
And then who is responsible for god? Saying that nobody is responsible is, again, saying that the god is just different. This is yet another case of special pleading.
6. Science can only be the detector of certain things. You cannot scientifically detect emotion, memory, thoughts etc., though scientifically we must.. These things which do not consist of matter are beyond the detection of science.
Nope, sorry, religious philosophy does not have some sort of monopoly on abstractions, nor does it get to say that abstrations are also immaterial.
And if we wanted to take this Greedy Reductionist argument further, we could say that science itself doesn't even have a leg to stand on because it is build up on non-scientific principles such as axioms and properly-basic beliefs.
7. Evolution has never been proved, which is why we call it the 'theory of evolution'. It's a fairy tale for grown ups!
Learn what the scientific definition of theory is before saying something like this.
Scientific theories are never proved. They explained that which has been proved.
8. Atheism is a faith in that which has not been proved. The disbelievers have not witnessed anything to not believe in, whereas the believers believe because they have witnessed. There is no 'good news' to preach in atheism.
Again, sorry, what you describe is practical atheism, whereby someone secretly believe in god or acts as if god did not exist to justify amoral behavior, et cetera.
There is plenty of "good news" to talk about in atheism. It is the collection of good things in reality.
9. How much of the atheist's faith relies on anger with God as opposed to genuine disbelief in God?
If you are talking about a Failed Job atheist, then probably most of it. But such people are probably technically theists, too.
10. Why do many atheists shake their fists & spend so much time ranting & raving about something they don't believe in? If they are no more than a fizzled out battery at the end of the day, then why don't they spend their lives partying, or getting a hobby?! Why don't they leave this 'God nonsense' alone?
Because this "God nonsense" won't leave us alone.
11. What created God? What came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not going to deny the existence of the chicken or the egg, merely because I don't understand or know what came first. I don't care - they both exist!
If atheists were also a-chicken-ists and a-egg-ists, then this would mean something.
Are you really comparing the "What came first" idea to God? If God was created, then God is not, you know, God.
12. Improbability is not the same as impossibility. You only have to look at life itself for that backup of proof.
And you also have to drink the Kool-Aid.
13. How could the complexity of human life possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells?
It is funny how while complexity implies a designer, the complexity of an existence-creating designer does not because... wait for it... it is different.
14. How could the complexity of the human mind possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells? Where does our consciousness come from?
Well, none of that can possibly come about if you think anything that is not god is completely and utterly worthless without that "foundation."
All of these "how could it just happen all by itself" questions or "arguments" really come down to the idea that nothing can be meaningful or worthwhile in and of itself. Everything (except god because, you know, he is different) has no intrinsic value and must be propped up by something that nobody has ever really defined other than it's different.
15. What/who knew that our hunger & thirst had to be catered for by the food & drink which we're supplied with?
Have you stopped beating your wife yet?
Not everybody buys into this idea of universal teleology (whatever it is).
16. Most of us are born with the five senses to detect our surroundings, which we're provided with.
What does that mean? That this universe was created with us specifically in mind? It's not so much that there is this or that intrinsic value, it's that we are somehow transcendently "special" in some way that is... diffrent?
17. What/who knew that had Earth been set nearer to the sun, we would burn up?
More of the teleology arguments.
Again, these arguments only apply if you suspend the disbelief in this idea that the god's purpose is just like ours... except it is, well, you know by now.
18. What/who knew that had Earth been set any further from the sun, we would freeze up?
19. What/who knew that had Earth been built larger or smaller, its atmosphere would be one where it would not be possible for us to breathe?
20. What/who knew that we require the oxygen of plants, just as plants require the carbon dioxide of us?
21. The concept that life came about through sheer chance is as absurd & improbable as a tornado blowing through a junk yard, consequently assembling a Boeing 747!
If anyone actually believed that, that would mean something.
And yet it is the case that god has no prior designer. He is different, different, different... and you can bring up that idea whenever you can't think of a better answer, or rather an answer that you personally find appealing.
22. We are willing to believe in physically unseen waves that exist through the air, operating physical forces & appliances to work, yet not supernatural God forces being responsible for the same.
Ah, a variant of the old Argumentum ad Ventum, the Argument from the Wind.
"What, Mr. Atheist? You don't believe in God? But you can't see the wind, and you believe in that! You hypocrite!"
Seriously, do people really think about these arguments?
23. Matter cannot organise itself. An uneaten tomato will not progress on its own accord to form a perfect pineapple. It will transform into mould, into disorganisation. The laws of evolution fall flat.
Now if only you could cite exactly which "laws of evolution" state that teleology appeals to matter in such away, that would be great.
Oh wait, you can't. Too bad for you!
24. Our 'inventor' of evolution, Mr. Charles Darwin had this to say to Lady Hope when he was almost bedridden for 3 months before he died; "I was a young man with unfathomed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions. wondering all the time over everything, and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire - people made a religion of them." Darwin then asked Lady Hope to speak to neighbours the next day. "What shall I speak about?" She asked. He replied; "Christ Jesus and his salvation. Is that not the best theme?"
This is a story that has been shown to be false by people who were actually there.
And what he did actually did say then has no relevance to the truth of his theory.
25. Where do our moral values held within our conscience come from? If the atheist is right, why then would we care about what we did?! If there is no God, then we've no-one to be accountable to.
Again, sorry, religious philosophy doesn't get to hijack moral philosophy. The Divine Command theory is just one theories of morality, and it is only "absolute" or "objective" so long as you drink that Kool-Aid... which makes it after all arbitrary and subjective.
26. If man has evolved from an animal, why doesn't he behave like an animal? Yet man is civilised.
He does behave like an animal... an animal who is civilized.
Be a dear and show us how "animals" should behave.
27. 'Chance' isn't the cause of something. It just describes what we can't find a reason for.
"Chance" in the way you're using it implies teleology, which is something that I do not accept. Provide an ontology for universal teleology without special pleading and then it just might mean something.
If "chance" just describes what we can't find a reason for, then isn't god the biggest chance of all?
28. Science & logic do not hold all the answers - many people are aware of forces at work which we have no understanding of & no control over.
And how are you defending that proposition?
To argue against logic is to presuppose that logic "works" in some way.
29. Look at the date/year on our calender - 2000 years ago since what? Our historical records (other than the Bible) record evidence of Jesus' existence.
Yeah... after you already bought into the idea that all of it is actually true, and you must do that by suspending disbelief.
I find it interesting that you don't cite some of those "our historical records (other than the Bible)."
30. Many people have died for their faith. Would they be prepared to do this for a lie?!
They don't have to "die for a lie" when they may be deluded and they have already drunk the Kool-Aid.
31. Much of the Bible deals with eyewitness accounts, written only 40 years after Jesus died. When the books in the New Testament were first around, there would have been confusion & anger if the books were not true.
Not unless the true believers really did believe it. Religion works in such a way that believers don't have to let reality stand in their way of believing.
That's what religious faith is all about!
Oh, and it was "only" 40 years, huh?
32. From as early as 2000 BC, there is archaological evidence to confirm many details we're provided with in the Bible.
And what are they? It is amusing to me how you are so vague!
You can find some real-life things and places mentioned in the Bible, but that doesn't make it all automatically true. The existence of Azabu Juban doesn't automatically imply the existence of Sailor Moon.
33. Not one single Biblical prediction can be shown as false, and the Bible contains hundreds.
You already have to accept the premise that the Bible can't be wrong.
34. The evidence from liturature & historical studies claim that Biblical statements are reliable details of genuine events.
Which studies? Which genuine events?
This is just an assertion that can mean just about anything.
35. From the birth of science through to today, there is no evidence to claim that Christianity & science are in opposition. Many first scientists were Christians; Francis Bacon, Issaac Newton, Robert Boyle, to name a few, along with the many who stand by their work & faith today.
Stone soup. Just as you don't need a special stone to make yummy soup, you don't need appeals to fantasy land to come up with the modern sciences (which go out of their way so they are not appeals to fantasy land).
And even if those brilliant men were religious, so what? That says nothing about the veracity of the the claims of transcendent beings that they happened to believe, nor does it say anything about the veracity about the transcendent claims that you happen to believe.
36. Science can explain 'how' something works, but not 'why' something works.
Sure, so long as science is the handmaiden of religion, and a "why" question is one pertaining to theological teleology invented by religion that can only be answered by religion.
Science can explain "how" questions, that is, the questions that pertain to mechnisms. It can also explain the "why" questions, that is, the questions that pertain to causes and effects.
Science is meant to describe reality, and there technically should be no realm of reality that is off limits to science.
Religion, on the other hand, gives us "pass-the-buck" answers. When we answer the question "Where did the universe come from?" by saying "Why don't know" or "It didn't come from anywhere," religion considers them acceptable. But when we answer the question "Where did god come from?" by saying "Why don't know" or "It didn't come from anywhere," religion considers them acceptable. These are the same questions after passing the buck off to something you can't even fully define.
37. Science is constantly recorrecting its findings. Past theories contradict certain beliefs which are held today. Our present 'discoveries' may change again in the future to rediscover how we originally came into existence.
Oh, so when religion is wrong, it is wrong forever?
The fact that science is a self-correcting process is not an internal criticism. In fact, that is what we consider one of its strengths! If our present 'discoveries' changed, they wouldn't change at random. They would change according to be more congruent with reality, not according to some willy-nilly appeals to fantasy land.
38. Evolution describes the way life possibly started, yet doesn't explain what made life start & why. Scientific questions fail to do that. Even if evolution were proved, it would still not disprove God.
Um, theism has been set up in such a way that it is so seemingly hermetically sealed that nothing can disprove god.
But whose problem is that? It is the atheist's or the theist's?
It is the theist's.
Why? Because what can't be disproved can't be proved either because there is nothing there to be used as a filter to tell you the difference between truth and bullshit.
The only way that religion "explains" things is passing the buck off to something else unknowable -- answering mysteries with even more mysteries.
39. The two people who discovered Jesus' empty tomb were women. Women were so low on the social scale in first century Palestine, so in order to make the story fit, it would have made far more sense to claim that it were male disciples who had entered the tomb. But it wasn't - we're left with the historical & Biblical truth.
Ah yes, the credo quia absurdum plea, whereby something may sound absurd, but the more absurd it is, the better the reasons for people to believe it. Its absurdity is itself a proof. But the proof given only applies of we already accept that it's proof in the first place.
40. Think about Near Death Experiences. It's naive to believe that they all are induced by chemicals or drugs. How do we account for a blind person having this experience, coming back to describe what they had never before seen, a person telling the Doctor that there is a blue paperclip on top of the high cabinet, which they couldn't have otherwise known, an african man being dead in his coffin for 3 days, coming back to life to tell of much the same events which took place as those of many others? We never hear of the witnesses describing "a dream". We're not silly - we know the difference between even the most vivid of dreams to that of reality.
But those people weren't actually dead. Their brains hadn't actually died yet.
Name a brain activity that isn't induced by chemicals. Oh wait... you can't.
And why is it that when people "see" things, those things just happen to be congruent with the philosophical framework they happen already to accept?
Why don't we hear of all of the rabbis coming out of this and saying "Oy! I was wrong about Vishnu!"
41. There are many skeptics who didn't believe in Jesus before his crucifixion, and who were opposed to Christianity, yet turned to the Christian faith after the death of Jesus. Just as the many who continue to do so today.
But none of that makes any of it true.
42. Albert Einstein said; "A legitimate conflict between science & religion cannot exist. Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind".
Science can survive just fine without appeals to fantasy land, and it seems that Einstine didn't use conventional definitions of words like "religion" and a "god."
Religion doesn't need the lack of science to be blind. Its religious faith makes it blind from the get-go.
What Einstein said about religion doesn't say anything about the veracity of transcendent claims. He is not some sort of secular prophet!
43. A speaker in Hyde Park who was attacking belief in God, claimed that the world just happened. As he spoke, a soft tomato was thrown at him. "Who threw that?" He said angrily. A cockney from the back of the crowd replied; "No-one threw it - it threw itself!"
This isn't so much an argument as just a "Ha-ha" story that theists tell themselves so that they can laugh together and say "Stupid atheist got his!"
The "No-one threw it - it threw itself!" isn't even a counterargument to the criticism of universal teleology because the speaker was surrounded by the same sort of teleological agents (the speaker's listeners) who were not conveniently, you know, different.
44. It is easier to believe that God created something out of nothing than it is to believe that nothing created something out of nothing.
But we have to buy into the idea of creation, which implies the idea of teleology, which requires universal teleology, which cannot be positively defined.
Seriously, what is with this projection? What is with you throwing these problems with your theism onto me? The problems that you accuse me of having would actually make a little sense if I were worshipping some sort of deity substitute. Do you fully understand that my atheism is not this religion in which I deify the absence of a deity? Can you actually comprehend that I don't buy into the very concept of theism at all? So long as you don't understand me, you are just going to look at my position as just another religious position, and we are going to be talking past each other.
45. Stephen Hawkins has admitted; "Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, but it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist?"
Now be a sport and admit that religion does not automatically get to have monopoly over coming up with answers to that question, especially when any answer that religion gives is a pass-the-buck answer that can be accepted only if we already accept it anyway.
46. We cannot confuse God with man. With God in the equation, all things, including miracles are possible. If God is God, he is Creator of all, inclusive of scientific law. He is Creator of matter & spirit.
In other words, god is this transcendent thing that is like us... but it's just... different. Have a problem? "Magic Man Done It."
47. If we are the product of evolution - by sheer accident, chance, then we are still evolving. Does it just so happen that we exist here today with everything so finely tuned for our living. as we now have it?
But how finely-tuned is finely-tuned? How finely-tuned does something have to be before we have to throw up our hands and say "Magic Man Done It?"
How many existence-creating Fine Tuners are all of us privy to? Exactly none.
48. Could it possibly be that the missing link does not exist?!
Could it possibly be that no matter what it found, the anti-evolution people are just going to stick to defining "missing link" as that which is (and cannot) be found?
49. God has proved himself to us in numerous ways, all around us. The atheist needs to put his glasses on. What more can God possibly do if man has shut his eyes to him?
What you mean by "put his glasses on" is "drink the Kool-Aid."
"Shut his eyes to him," huh? This basically comes down to the Emperor's New Clothes mentality, right? The emperor has clothes on after all, huh? I just have to open my eyes and see his clothes even though he only seems to be naked?
50. Jesus Christ is either who he says he is, or he is the biggest con man history has ever known.
Liar, lord, or lunatic?
How about legend or just plain de-luded.
I did. Thank you, but you have presented nothing new.
But you are welcome to try again.