Responding to: Three Sincere Questions for Atheists

Cameron Bertuzzi of Capturing Christianity posted a short video asking three questions for atheists:

  1. Do you believe that God does not exist?
  2. Do you believe in evidentialism?
  3. What is your evidence that justifies your belief that God does not exist?

Here are my answers:

  1. Yes, I am reasonably convinced that the God of Christianity does not exist. That is not to say that no gods could exist (whatever they might be), but that’s a different topic.
  2. Mostly yes, but not entirely. Most beliefs should be evidence based, but some beliefs can be derived from axioms (like in the case of mathematics), or simply accepted because they are pragmatic (like the existence of other minds.)
  3. Two reasons: Incoherence, and the evidential problem of evil (hiddenness could be a third)

Let me elaborate a little bit on my third answer. It’s pretty clear that Cameron is talking about his particular god thingy, and so I immediately have two big problems with God as Christians describe it.

The biggest problem is that God doesn’t even seem to be coherently defined. The Christian God is supposed to be trinitarian in nature (one god in three persons) but I find the concept incoherent. Some Christians also tell me that God is outside of space and time, but again, I have no idea what this could even mean as anything that I can meaningful describe as existing does so because it has a place inside of space and time. It’s seems to be asking if a being can exist outside of what it means to meaningfully exist. It’s just nonsense. Come up with a coherent definition of your God and we can start to talk.

If Cameron wants actual evidence against God’s (assuming it’s otherwise coherently defined) existence, then the problems of evil and grotesque suffering would seem to be a major blow to a being that is claimed to be all knowing, all powerful, and perfectly good. Sure, God might have some reason why it refuses to stop the horrendous suffering that happens every day, but whatever that reason is I simply do not know how to make sense of God being perfectly good while allowing conscious beings to seemly suffer unnecessarily and gratuitously. To me “God doesn’t exist” makes much better sense of suffering and evil than “God does exist.”

As a final point, I want to highlight the obvious problem with Cameron’s line of questions: Tell me Cameron, what evidence would you expect to find for the non-existence of something which makes almost no testable predictions in the real world? Should we remain completely agnostic about whether there is a teapot floating around somewhere in deep space outside of the view of all human observation, or should we be able to take some informed stance given what we know about teapots and human technology? Unfalsifiable claims can generally be dismissed because they are useless.

Further, I don’t see any reason to believe that minds can exist without brains, since minds are a product of brains, yet Christians want me to believe that there is a spaceless, timeless, all knowing, all powerful, disembodied mind, that wants me to worship it? Get real! Some ideas are so silly that they can be dismissed as absurd until good evidence is presented.

8 thoughts on “Responding to: Three Sincere Questions for Atheists”

  1. Many of the god powers claimed for Cameron’s god are quite problematic. If this god is “beyond space and time” that means it cannot change as change requires time, nor can it move as moving requires space. So, anyone planning on joining this god in his heavenly abode, would end up being frozen, unable to move or change. This is okay for the god I supposed, who is claimed to be perfect so it is incapable of changing in the first place, but this heaven business sounds very, very boring.

    Also this “beyond space and time” nonsense conflicts with other nonsense, that is the god power of omnipresence. So, this god is beyond space and time and simultaneously smeared out over all space and time. Nice trick, that. Actually omnipresence is a useless power to a god which is omnipotent and omniscient. Why does it need to be anywhere (He knows when you are naughty, He knows when you are good, . . . ) when He already knows all that you will say and do and when and where you will say and do it. Act he can act at a distance, having create whole galaxies ay great remove, or so they claim. Omnipresence only benefits the clergy as a threat of 24-hr per day surveillance. (Look out, you lot, e’s watching your kind!)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Personally, I think your “friend “Cameron asks wimpy questions?
    1. I KNOW his God does not exist. Further, there are no superbeings of any kind in charge of this universe, or cosmos, or whatever you want to call it.
    2. No, I do not use “evidentialism” as such, I use experience to base my knowledge on.
    3. I’ll give him all the facts I need by ripping apart anything he has that he calls evidence that his God exists. Of course there can be no “evidence” that something that does for exist does not exist. He is asking for the Moon to disappear from the sky, and then have someone tell him the Moon disappeared because all the “evidence” of it ever existing became moot when it disappeared.

    Believers love to ask questions they know cannot be answered because they ask them in a way no answer can be meaningful. The thing to do is to answer the questions they are afraid to ask, because those questions can be answered, to their total consternation.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think I would alter your comment just a bit … Believers love to ask questions they THINK cannot be answered. Of course, when the question is answered without prejudice, they disagree because to them, it can’t be answered. And around and around we go! Wheeee!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Sometimes I suspect these believers are trying to convince themselves subconsciously and I suspect many know in their deepest mind, that it is all BS.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Subconsciously I believe they do, but they are afraid to set off on their own. They believe there is safety in numbers. They will not know the freedom of living for oneself. Consciously, however, they shake in their boots at the thought of being one, of one. It does take a certain kind of strength to want to “not belong”!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. For me, the Problem of Confusion is a bigger obstacle to the existence of a “being that is claimed to be all knowing, all powerful, and perfectly good.” If this being wants humans to know if its existence, and to correctly understand what it wants from us, why allow tens of thousands of different religions to exist, without giving us a method for sorting out which is the correct one? We’re obviously not smart enough to work it out for ourselves! This would be consistent with an evil god, or a trickster god, or a god that doesn’t actually give a flip about humans, but is inconsistent with the existence of a loving omnimax god. (But is completely consistent with gods being nothing more than projections of the human ego!)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The problem of evil is certainly tops and also a god who would consign people to an eternal hell just for differing beliefs or non beliefs. Certainly no goodness or limitless love there.

    Liked by 1 person

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