My question for you is fairly simple and straightforward. What are the best arguments for atheism and why don’t you find them convincing?
A good question. It is always advisable to understand the best argument of those with whom we disagree. Sometimes we might even change our mind if we are willing to consider the arguments of those we believe are wrong. In the case of the question of the existence of God, this is not a likely result!
My first suggestion is that you consider listening/watching the debate we at ARS sponsored between Douglas Jacoby and Michael Shermer. The premise of the debate was, Does God Exist. Shermer did a good job of presenting his argument, but if you listen to the debate, you will agree with me that Doug “won” the debate, hands down. The reason Doug won was not principally because he is such a good debator. He IS a good debator, but at the time of the debate, Shermer had much more experience and was at least as skilled a debater as Doug. The reason that Shermer lost is because his arguments were so weak. Bottom line, his only realy argument, other than using some rhetoric, was to declare that the fall back argument is that God does not exist. In other words, his argument was that, unless we can prove the existence of God, then God does not exist. Anyone can see that this is in fact not an argument.
I have taught a lesson on the existence of God a few times. I will copy and past the section in which I list what I believe are the most common arguments that God does not exist. The rest of the outline and a power point are available in the power point section of the web site.
Let me know if this is not sufficient.
I. Arguments of Atheists Against the Existence of God.
A. You cannot see him.
Yuri Gagarin: “I don’t see any God up here.”
People disbelieve in the wrong God.
A question to ask: What God do you NOT believe in?
(angry, vindictive, distant, vengeful, old man in sky, cosmic bellhop,…)
Guess what: I do not believe in that God either.
Can you see an electron? Can you see the wind? Can you see hope, love consciousness?
How do we know such things exist? Because from their effects we can logically and reasonably infer they exist.
B. Hypocrisy of Believers
First of all, we can acknowledge that much evil has been done in the name of Christianity.
But this does not logically invalidate the truth of the central claims of Christianity.
This is a smoke screen.
Christians claim that their God is perfect, not that they are without sin.
Besides, the most egregious acts were not performed by Christians.
The difference between Christianity and atheism is that when we abuse, steal, are arrogant, violent, etc. we have a standard which tells us that this is wrong.
C. The Problem of Suffering
If God is all knowing and all loving, then that God obviously does not exist.
This argument is based on false premises.
How do we know that God’s goal is to prevent suffering?
Given the existence of free will (which, admittedly, would have to be established) God allows, rather than causes most suffering. It actually is because he loves us.
Natural Causes of Suffering
Suffering is NOT evil or even a bad thing.
God suffered too
D. Unbelief is the Default Position.
Michael Shermer/Douglas Jacoby.
Says who? This is not even an argument. Given that the majority of intelligent, psychologically stable people in the world have some sort of faith, this is an unwarranted presupposition.
II. Why Atheism Fails.
A. Belief in Atheism is Based on Circular Reasoning.
God, by definition, exists outside of time and space. The only way we could prove he does not exist is to exist outside of time and space. (Flatland)
BBC TV show: How do you know that there is no supernatural—that the only real thing is that which is observable by experiment?
I just know it to be true.
There is no absolute truth!!!! How do you know that there is no absolute truth?
B. Atheism Cannot Answer the Hard Questions.
Science can answer:
When, where, how many, for how long, by what means?
Science cannot answer:
Why am I here?
What is my purpose?
Should I do this?
Does God exist, and does he answer prayer?
Why is the universe ordered and understandable?
Why does anything exist?
How valuable am I?
Is there absolute truth? What is that truth?
If Materialism/Naturalism is right then:
“I” do not exist. Consciousness is just random moving around of chemicals.
No soul, no spirit, no non-physical reality.
Belief in God is just a “meme” the unfortunate accidental result of brain evolution.
Life has no value. Human beings have no value. What is value?
Love is chemicals moving around (vs
C. The Bankruptcy of Atheism.
Has the experiment been done? Can a society thrive when it takes atheism as its basic belief?
USSR, Red China, North Korea, Pol Pot, Myanmar, French Revolution..