Here’s another round of arguments atheists can use against theists when you ask them what they believe and why, or they ask you why you don’t, and why.
God’s Existence: While it might not be possible to prove absolutely that God doesn’t exist, one can certainly put a massive dent into the probability that God exists. As examples…
*Just saying that God exists (without any supporting hardcore independently verifiable evidence) doesn’t make it so.
*No up-close-and-personal encounters with God in the Bible (Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel; Noah; Moses; Jonah, etc.) can be independently verified by any historian or by any other historical recording. In fact no person who related an up-close-and-personal encounter with God can themselves be historically verified as ever actually existing. If Adam and Eve never existed then their encounter with God never happened.
*All images of God are human constructions. They are all man-made, none of which are based on any eye witness testimony. There are no photographs of God; no sound recordings either.
*If God were the only deity ever conceived of that would be one thing, but God is just one of literally thousands of supernatural deities all equally conceived of and worshipped by humans as intelligent as the humans who invented and worship the concept of God.
*Just saying that the Universe had a beginning and therefore there must have been a cause that caused that beginning does not lead of necessity to the conclusion that therefore God done it. Alternative explanations do exist.
*God’s hometown, Heaven, is conspicuous by its geographical / terrestrial or astronomical / extraterrestrial absence. Heaven seems to have all of the actual reality of Alice’s “Wonderland”.
*”In God We Trust” printed on American currency or as America’s motto (a relatively recent addition within American culture in any event) is in no way actual evidence for God’s existence as is the use of the word “Creator” in America’s Declaration of Independence.
*In any text that mentions “God”, just substitute the word “Pixie” or “Pixies” for God and the text will still make perfect rational sense. It’s just substituting the name of one imaginary entity for another.
*If God actually exists, you would expect some kind of hardcore, non-disputable evidence, readily accessible and available to all. It would be the kind of evidence that God and only God – not a false god – could have produced, accomplished or enacted. There is no such evidence. If there was, the debate over God’s existence would have been concluded long, long ago.
*God is NOT the default position on any issue.
Jesus: The character of Jesus is not acceptable as part of the other two major Abrahamic religions. The vast majority of other religions – Jesus who? So much for the alleged massive evidence for the existence of a supernatural Jesus.
Jesus 2: Using rational logical reasoning to justify the assertion that Jesus existed, one could just as easily use that same rational logical reasoning process to justify or even prove the assertion that Sherlock Holmes existed. We ‘know’ what they said. We ‘know’ what they did. They both appear in an actual book (or in the case of S.H. – books). Both have appeared in films and plays and both have been quoted extensively. They both appear in actual well established historical settings and both perform outstanding feats within their own areas of expertise.
Morality: According to theists, morality is derived from God. While there are many. higher animals (mammals and birds) of which numerous examples could be cited. Animals who have absolutely no knowledge of God. Perhaps morality is purely an emergent complex form of biological evolution.
The Invisible Wind: When atheists challenge theists to actually show them their God – which they of course can’t actually do – theists often tend to reply that atheists can’t see the wind yet believe in the wind’s existence. That argument is bogus and total nonsense. You can see the wind. Wind is just the molecules that collectively comprise the air that are in motion. If any of these molecules happen to be visible, like water molecules in the form of water vapour that’s condensed into actual clouds, then you can see the wind. In any event, sight is just one of the five senses. You can of course feel the wind and hear the wind and some air molecules, like ozone, have an odour that you can smell. The air is also composed of many pollutants which are visible and have odours and they too are detectable since they too become part of air in motion. So, another theist argument bites the dust.
The Impossible Bible: Stars fall from the sky! That’s according to the Bible (Matthew 24: 29; Mark 13: 25; Revelation 6: 13). Now perhaps the authors of the Biblical texts which claim this astronomical oddity might have been perhaps inspired by ‘shooting stars’ or meteor showers or isolated meteor impacts into our atmosphere. So astronomically ignorant people living thousands of years ago could be excused for believing that stars were in fact small and relatively close to Earth. But given how far away the stars actually are, we’re in no real danger of stars (plural) falling to Earth. And even if one did, that would be the be-all-and-end-all for the actual existence of the third rock from the Sun and the rest of the solar system would be in a chaotic shambles as well.
The Impossible Bible 2: The Biblical warrior Joshua is associated with commanding the Sun and the Moon to stand still in the sky as a military tactic (Joshua 10: 12-13). While the writers of the Book of Joshua couldn’t be expected to know that the Sun and the Moon move daily across the sky due to the rotation of the Earth on its axis (after all the Earth was the centre of everything and stood still while everything else revolved around the Earth), we know differently today. For the Sun and the Moon to stand still in the sky, the Earth would have to stop its rotation. The Earth would have to stop on a dime. Anyone who knows anything about physics knows about momentum and angular momentum. The obvious example we’re all familiar with is that if you slam on the brakes to try to stop your 60 mph car on a dime, you’re going to be thrown forwards. And when you go from standing still to 60 mph as rapidly as possible, you are thrown backwards. Given the mass and rotational velocity of Planet Earth, going immediately to zero mph would toss everything not tied down into high up into the atmosphere if not launched directly into space itself. The G-forces alone would have killed everyone including Joshua. In fact the Earth itself might even have torn itself apart due to the forces involved. No matter how you slice and dice things, how you crunch the numbers, if Joshua’s story was true, you wouldn’t now be here. And by the way, no other society reported any such an anomaly. It never happened.
The Impossible Bible 3: Jonah has a whale-of-a-tale to be told, and tell it he does (Jonah 1: 17; Jonah 2: 1-10). If you swallow a goldfish (an actual fad at one time) the goldfish doesn’t survive to be passed out of the other end alive and well and swimming, a passing which would take less than three days to happen, three days being the time of Jonah’s ordeal. So conversely, if a very, very large goldfish or just a very, very large plain fish or even a marine mammal of any kind (like an actual whale) were to swallow you, you’re not going to get out of that predicament following three days therein and live to tell the tale. The Jonah story is just a whale-of-a-tale, the sort of a story that fishermen (and women) tell all of the time, like about the one very, very large fish that got away.
Noah’s Ark: If you compare and contrast Ken Ham’s life-sized (one to one ratio) recreation of Noah’s Ark (in Williamstown, Kentucky) with the data given in Genesis for the actual creation of Noah’s Ark, you have such a vast gulf that the Biblical account has to be nonsense. The vast amount of man-hours required to build Ken Ham’s Ark dwarfs anything relative recorded in Genesis. The highly advanced technologies required to construct Ken Ham’s Ark dwarf anything that was available to Noah. The same applies to the energy sources available to Ken Ham versus what was available to Noah. The cost of building Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark (over one hundred million dollars) was so over-the-top relative to the real cost of building the Ark that the real Ark would have been unaffordable to Noah and his relatively few family members.
Noah’s Ark 2: Compare and contrast the size (area) required and the number of animals housed and the number of staff needed to look after said animals in 1) Noah’s Ark and 2) a typical animal park or zoo. The Ark had more animals housed into less volume and looked after by less staff relative to any animal park or modern zoo. A typical or average zoo only has several hundred animals, hundreds of staff and covers a large number of acres. Noah’s Ark had 2 (or sometimes 7) of EVERY animal and only 8 staff? Something is screwy somewhere.
Noah’s Ark 3: While there have been many flood myths, those myths aren’t universal nor do they all happen at the same time. It would also appear therefore that the Biblical flood event was just plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh which had a near identical scenario enacted. The remains of Noah’s Ark, despite many alleged finds, haven’t ultimately ever been found. The remains of Noah’s Ark is missing in action. And how did a 600 year old man – not 600 years of age – along with his 100 year old sons, construct the Ark and take care of all of the millions of animal species that inhabit Planet earth? Finally, how did the platypus or the kiwi bird or the buffalo get to the Middle East – and get back home again?
The End Times: Christian theists, especially right-wing fundamentalists or evangelists like former congresswomen Michele Bachmann or ex-convict Jim Bakker, who are among a seemingly endless supply of Second Coming fanatics, keep preaching that the End Times are (nearly) here and that Jesus is coming back with all of the associated baggage that goes along with End Times prophecies and the Book of Revelation.
*Firstly, there is no independent non-Biblical source that testifies that Jesus had any supernatural powers at all. If Jesus existed he was mortal and thus he’s dead. Thus no resurrection and thus no Second Coming. Each and every time the Second Coming is nearly at hand, Jesus has been a no show. Why, because Jesus is DEAD, that’s assuming Jesus even existed in the first place, and not all scholars agree on that, although I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. However, IMHO, the real Jesus was just another self-deluded mortal, albeit a charismatic figure, who attracted a following (that’s gotten out of hand and out of control) and was given the death penalty for his troubles. Now if archaeologists were to uncover and verify and date a stone stele (or equivalent) that had inscribed the words that “Jesus of Nazareth will give a free public sermon on the topic of his divinity and the End Times on Tuesday afternoon at 3 P.M. at the Public Square, and perform miracles upon request. All are welcome to attend” – well that would put the Biblical cat among the doubting pigeons. Alas, no such object (or equivalent) has yet to be found.
*Secondly according to Biblical texts, the Second Coming should have happened within the lifetime of many who actually knew and heard Jesus, so a resurrected Jesus has either overslept or forgot to set his heavenly alarm clock.
*Thirdly, the geopolitical conditions required for the Second Coming (i.e. – wars, rumors of war, earthquakes, etc.) have been present and accounted for ever since there ever was a concept of the Second Coming.
*Fourthly, if I had a fiver ($5 bill) for each and every time someone, even Biblical scholars, not to mention hordes of televangelists, fundamentalists, extreme right-wing End Times fanatics (like Michele Bachmann) and related and often self-proclaimed prophets (like Cindy Jacobs) predicted the imminent return of Jesus, the Second Coming, the rapture, etc., then the tax man would be very happy, my bank manager would be very happy, and I would be very happy and very, very rich. Despite thousands of predictions that the End Is Nigh, there’s been a 100% failure rate in the End Times actually coming to pass which inspires zero faith in today’s right-wing fundamentalists. I can put absolutely no faith in Christian theists who keep endlessly prophesying the immediate “Second Coming” of Jesus when all the prophecies (tens of thousands of them) of the Second Coming have to date been 100% wrong. My knees will bow down due to arthritis way before Jesus returns!
*In conclusion, the odds that Jesus will return, that Second Coming, is about as likely as my winning the lottery twenty times in a row. It ain’t happened in the past; it’s not happening now; it won’t happen in the future – foreseeable or long term. In fact if it ain’t happened by now it ain’t ever gonna happen.
Complexity: Life, the Universe and everything (LUE) is just so absolutely complex that it is obvious only an omniscient and omnipotent deity (i.e. – God) could have created this! No, sorry theists, it’s not obvious at all! Firstly, what is, or is not complex is just plain relative. What once was complex might now be less complex. What’s complex to Person A may not be complex to Person B.
*What powered the Sun to make it last billions of years was once a complex question that eluded answering until the discovery of nuclear fusion, then everything fell into place. What powers the Sun is now taught in high school.
*A radio would have been considered highly complex, complexity personified, back in Biblical times, but millions of kids have now built crystal radio sets and a radio is no longer considered complex. It’s a well understood piece of technology.
*Sickness isn’t quite the complex hit-or-miss issue it used to be – as in back in Biblical times with spirits and demons acting in unpredictable ways – now that we have the germ theory of disease and modern antibiotics and other medications.
*I personally find the whole business of computer hardware and software and programming and connections (i.e. – the Internet) to be a vastly complex subject of which I have little actual understanding, but not so to actual computer experts. And therein lies the rub. If you study something long enough and hard enough then complexity gives way to understanding and eventually to relative simplicity. Quantum mechanics, general and special relativity, higher mathematics, even medicine aren’t as complex to the experts who study these areas relative to those who don’t. The list could be extended almost indefinitely.
Complexity 2: So, is LUE really complex? The other side of that coin is compared to what? If we had other examples of LUEs to compare and contrast our LUE to then we would be in a much better position to state exactly how complex our LUE really is. You can’t tell how complex our LUE really is without a comparison. You can’t tell how typical something is from a statistical sample of one.
Design and Fine-Tuning: Theists like to claim that God designed a bio-friendly Universe. The Cosmos is finely-tuned for life, and egocentric as we are, for human life (though if God created us then He would have done so in such a way as to fit His cosmic design and not designed the cosmos to fit us since it was cosmos first; humans second). But in any event, 99.9999% of the Universe is not well designed for life (as we know it). It’s either too hot or too cold or too wet or too dry or too much a vacuum or there’s too much pressure or it’s all too toxic, etc.
Design and Fine-Tuning 2: As with the topic on complexity, we can only ascertain exactly how designed and fine-tuned the (our) Universe actually is only by comparing and contrasting our Universe to other universes; being as other examples; being as other possibilities. Since we have no other universes as examples, as possibilities that we can examine, we’re not in any actual position to say exactly how designed and fine-tuned our own Universe actually is, far less say that God done it.
Design and Fine-Tuning 3: The human body is not a finely designed and tuned bio-machine I don’t care what Genesis says about God’s creation of Adam and Eve. While there is nothing patently absurd about the design of the human body as explained by Mother Nature acting via the unplanned and unpredictable forces that govern natural selection, any Bioengineering 101 student worthy of his or her academic salt could of done a hell of a lot better job of designing from scratch the human body. God’s design of the human body is a near total failure.
*While we get two of a lot of the essentials like eyes and ears and lungs and kidneys – even two brains (the left and right hemispheres) – we only get one heart, even though heart disease / failure is right up there in being the ultimate death of us.
*Our immune system is good but not great. Lots of viruses, bacteria and multi-cellular parasites can harm and even kill us. You only have to watch something like “House, M.D.” to get a handle on the thousands of things that can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong with human anatomy and physiology.
*Our body can turn on itself with dozens of types of cancers. No part of the body is immune from become cancer-ridden. The phrase “find a cure for cancer” has been around for yonks’ and researchers haven’t totally cracked that cancerous nut yet.
*And how about all those unnecessary body parts like tonsils, the appendix, a vestal tail, etc.
*And if God doesn’t care for male foreskins, why did He create males with foreskins?
*The waste elimination and reproductive systems shouldn’t b cheek-by-jowl and there shouldn’t be a shared common passage used for both eating / drinking and breathing.
*One of the biggest flaws is our two-legged bipedal status without even the benefit of a balancing tail (like birds or kangaroos, etc. have). As a result, we are balanced as it were on a knife’s edge, ever prone to trip and fall or just plain lose our balance and break bones and cause internal bleeding, etc. Accidental falls are one of the most common ways we hurt ourselves. Any 4-legged or 6-legged or even 8-legged animal is far better positioned for stability, not to mention centipedes and millipedes. It’s hard to knock those dudes over!
*Teenage males have way, way, way too much testosterone in them.
*And what’s the point of balding? Or wrinkles?
Design and Fine-Tuning 4: So who or what designed and fine-tuned the designer and fine-tuner? If a computer program has a computer programmer; if a building has a designer (an architect) and a builder (tradesmen) – collectively a creator (a building-maker); and if the Earth had an Earth-maker and if heaven had a heaven-maker (Genesis 1: 1), and we call that maker “God”, and on the premise that everything that begins to exist (computer program, building, Earth, heaven) has a cause (i.e. – God), then who or what was the God-maker and in turn the maker of the God-maker, and so on down the line unto an infinite regression? You don’t get away with the blatant assertion that God and only God doesn’t have a cause. That’s a case of special pleading based on exactly zero evidence and even less logic. And even if God didn’t have a cause then you still have an infinity problem!
Why is infinity a problem, or more specifically, why is the concept of an infinite past of concern? Well according to some who make a study of mathematical philosophy, if there is such a thing as an infinite past, that is a past that has no temporal endpoint, then it is literally impossible to ever get to this, the present moment or “now”. To to them, not even God can have existed forever and ever before creation LUE, and you can’t have an infinite regress of gods creating gods creating gods creating gods. But if you eliminate gods, then you’re still stuck with an infinite past because the First Law of Thermodynamics states that matter / energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Therefore, matter / energy has always existed and thus there still is an infinity problem with respect to time. The flaw I believe lies with the idea that a past that has no temporal endpoint, making it literally impossible to ever get to this, the present moment or “now”. My solution is no matter where you are on a timeline, even a timeline with no endpoints, you exist in that timeline in the present moment or “now”. You don’t have to travel forward in time in order to get to the present moment.