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Fiona Snyckers

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Hundreds of proofs that God does not exist

The good people over at godlessgeeks.com recently came up with Hundreds of Proofs of God’s Existence – a fascinating and enlightening read. If one were a cynical and untrusting sort of person, one might almost suspect them of satire, but fortunately one is not.

The godless geeks have put a lot of time and effort into their list, so it clearly behoves one to return the favour with an equally thoughtful list of proofs that God does not exist. It’s only fair after all.

THE PROBABILITY THEORY ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: Look at my theorem based on Bayes’ theory of probability showing that God does not exist. *holds up theorem*
[Believer: Look at MY theorem based on Bayes' theory of probability showing that God DOES exist. *holds up conflicting theorem*]
(2) Atheist: Yeah? Well, my theorem is better than your theorem
[Believer: My theorem is kicking your theorem's butt around the room]
(3) Atheist: My theorem is headbutting your theorem and rabbit-punching it to the floor
[Believer: You just don't understanding simple maths]
(4) Atheist: YOU don’t understand simple maths OR science
(5) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM KIDDY FIDDLING
(1) Some Catholic priests have been shown to have molested children
(2) I disapprove of the molesting of children
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE TRAUMATIC CHILDHOOD ARGUMENT
(1) My father was a rabbi/imam/priest/pandit/minister
(2) I am rebelling against my religious upbringing
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE WHITE-MEN-SAVING-BROWN-WOMEN-FROM-BROWN-MEN ARGUMENT
(1) It is very cruel and terrible that Muslim women are made to wear hijabs/burkhas/niqabs
(2)They are forced to wear these oppressive garments by religious-fanatic Muslim men
(3) Muslim women who claim to wear these garments by choice are clearly deluded
(4) They need me to save them from themselves and to guide them towards enlightened humanism
(5) Therefore God does not exist

THE ALL-WARS-THROUGHOUT-HISTORY ARGUMENT
(1) All wars throughout history have been caused by religion
(2) I don’t like war
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE GOOD-ATHEIST, BAD-BELIEVER ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: Atheists are cool, gentle people who believe in human rights
[Believer: You mean like Pol Pot and Stalin?]
(2) Atheist: Tsk! No. Duh. Not them. I mean like Christopher Hitchens.
[Believer: The guy who thought and still thinks that the invasion of Iraq was an awesome idea?]
(3) Atheist: Well, apart from that…
[Believer: And his rampant misogyny.]
(4) Atheist: … and his rampant misogyny, he’s a very cool guy
(5) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM EVOLUTION
(1) There is a tiny fringe of creationists who believe that the world was created in 7 days
(2) I have studied high school biology and know all about evolution
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM SCIENCE

(1) I am a scientist who knows that the universe is an immensely complex place of which we only understand the tiniest fraction
(2) Therefore God does not exist

THE HOW-CAN-A-GOOD-GOD-LET-BAD-STUFF-HAPPEN ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: If God were really all-powerful and benign he wouldn’t let bad stuff happen
[Believer: God did not create us as automatons. He gave us the gift of free will]
(2) Atheist: Yes, okay, but not free will to do really bad stuff. A good God would have drawn the line somewhere.
[Believer: Free will is meaningless unless it is truly and totally free]
(3) Atheist: A good God wouldn’t let adult men rape babies
(4) Atheist: Baby-rape happens, and lots of other bad stuff too
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM CHILDHOOD CANCER
(1) If God existed, he wouldn’t let children get cancer
(2) Children get cancer
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM POVERTY
(1) If God existed, he wouldn’t let people be poor
(2) People are poor
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM CAR ACCIDENTS
(1) If God existed, he wouldn’t let people die in car accidents
(2) People die in car accidents
(3) Therefore God does not exist

(And so on, and so forth for many hundreds of examples)

THE ARGUMENT FROM NATURAL DISASTERS
(1) Atheist: If God were all-powerful and benign, he wouldn’t let natural disasters occur.
[Believer: Just as God gave us free will, he gave us a challenging planet to inhabit]
(2) Atheist: Maybe a little bit challenging, but not, like, full-on, hectic tsunamis and stuff.
(3) Atheist: Tsunamis happen
(4) Therefore God does not exist.

THE ARGUMENT FROM EARTHQUAKES
(1) If God existed, he wouldn’t allow earthquakes.
(2) Earthquakes happen.
(3) Therefore God does not exist.

THE ARGUMENT FROM FLOODS
(1) If God existed, he wouldn’t allow floods.
(2) Floods happen.
(3) Therefore God does not exist.

(And so on, and so forth for many hundreds of examples)

THE ARGUMENT FROM HOMOPHOBIA
(1) Some religious people are homophobic
(2) I hate homophobia
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE JESUS-WAS-A-HOMOPHOBE ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: Jesus condemned homosexuality
[Believer: No, actually He encouraged us by example to love those whom society condemned]
(2) Atheist: I’m sure it says so somewhere in the Bible. *pages through Bible*
(3) Atheist: Oh, okay then, it was Paul, not Jesus. Same difference.
(4) Therefore God does not exist.

THE ARGUMENT FROM EXTREME ANNOYANCE
(1) Any mention of God or religion makes me Very Cross Indeed
(2) I feel compelled to shout you down with long words and insults
(3) You disingenuous, unctuous, illogical, intolerant God-botherer
(4) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM ABORTION
(1) There is a tiny fringe of religious extremists who would rather murder a pregnant woman than allow her to have an abortion
(2) I think these people are horrible and loathesome
(3) Therefore God does not exist

THE ARGUMENT FROM ECOLOGICAL AWARENESS
(1) There are some far-right extremists who would be happy to destroy our entire planet to get at some oil
(2) Like Sarah Palin.
(3) And I really can’t stand her.
(4) Even though she is hot.
(5) Also, I am a tree-hugging vegetarian.
(6 Therefore God does not exist.

THE RELIGIOUS NUTCASE ARGUMENT
(1) Atheist: In order to believe in God you have to be an intolerant, right-wing bigot
[Believer: Er ... no, you don't]
(2) Atheist: Yes, you do.
(3) Atheist: I don’t want to be an intolerant, right-wing bigot.
(4) Therefore God does not exist.

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 8th, 2011 @10:45 #
     
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    You're nuts, Fiona. Lol

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    April 8th, 2011 @10:54 #
     
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    Brilliant *hearty and well-deserved teeth-jarring back slap*!

    I want to play too:
    The Christian Equivalence Argument (or the Dorkins Fallacy):
    1. Some Christians believe in a sky beard that micro-manages everything we do
    2. Christianity is a religion/spiritual movement
    3. Therefore all religions and spiritual movements believe in a sky beard that micro-manages everything we do
    4. Sky beards don't make sense
    5. Therefore God doesn't exist and all religions are wrong

    The Argument from Hating Authority:
    1. My parents told me God exists
    2. Parents suck and I hate them
    3. God sucks and I hate him too, especially because my dad won't let me buy that very reasonably priced $50,000 Emo-line Louis Vutton elbow comforter on Amazon.com. What kind of God are you? Duh!
    4. System of Down doesn't believe in God
    5. System of a Down is SO cool
    6. Therefore God doesn't exist

    The Argument from Everything Prior to 1789 was Wrong, mmkay?
    1. Everything prior to 1789 was corrupt and bad and unenlightened
    2. Then the French revolution happened, tens of thousands of people were murdered, everyone became Enlightened and saw through the Old ways
    3. Then the Soviet Union and Maoist China happened just to make extra sure
    4. We all became incredibly liberated
    5. Prior to 1789 people believed in God
    6. Therefore God does not exist

    The Argument from Sadism:
    1. The world is Bad (floods, car crashes, murders, wars etc)
    2. Therefore God does not exist
    3. Because the world is Bad some people invent God to create comfort, meaning and a moral framework for living with each other (do unto others as you would have them do unto you... I mean hellloooo?)
    4. Therefore in the name of compassion, humanism and enlightenment we destroy this belief
    5. People sink in depressed spirals of consumerist nothingness and end up watching hamster porn
    6. God would not allow hamster porn
    7. God does not exist (anyone got some good hamster porn?)

    The Argument from Superiority:
    1. People who believe in God are all stupid and prone to over-generalised, crude, simplistic thinking
    2. I don't believe in God and am therefore an enlightened Genius of the highest order and have read the God Delusion three times and have an altar to Richard Dawkins in the corner of my room
    3. As an enlightened genius I am omniscient, and well, pretty much a God
    4. God doesn't exist, at least not as something other than a metaphorical representation of my extreme geniusness

    And then just for fun, my proof for Evolution as compatible with God:
    1. God can be defined as perfect intelligence
    2. Nobody intelligent could be dumb enough to micro-manage the entire cosmos, atom-by-atom, day after day for eternity
    3. Evolution is the most intelligent device for propagating life - a self governing system that allows life forms to respond organically to conditions surrounding them, producing infinitely creative, expanding, self-regulating systems
    4. Evolution is compatible with perfect intelligence
    5. The only people dumb enough to believe in the micro-managing sky-beard are religious fundamentalists, tele-evangelists and atheists

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 8th, 2011 @10:59 #
     
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    Dear Sven,

    please go chat to Fiona at "Group" and leave us atheists to our baby-sacrificing and backwards-Led-Zeppelin-playing.

    Thanking you in advance.

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  • <a href="http://kathrynwhite.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kathryn</a>
    Kathryn
    April 8th, 2011 @11:04 #
     
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    Dear Louis,

    I think it's called Home Group of Cell Group. "Group" is for people who have had a nervous breakdown and have gone to watch the peacocks at Tara.

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  • <a href="http://kathrynwhite.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kathryn</a>
    Kathryn
    April 8th, 2011 @11:05 #
     
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    *of = or

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 8th, 2011 @11:06 #
     
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    I'm kinda pleased I didn't know that, Kathryn.

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  • <a href="http://imago.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sophy</a>
    Sophy
    April 8th, 2011 @11:08 #
     
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    Ke ke ke, peacocks at Tara, ke ke ke.

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    April 8th, 2011 @11:16 #
     
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    The Argument from Straw Men (for Louis):
    1. Some people who don't like atheism think that atheists are Satanists, plant satanic messages in rock songs, and like listening to things back to front
    2. Someone makes fun of atheism
    3. Therefore that person thinks that all atheists are Satanists, plant satanic messages in rock songs, and like listening to things back to front
    4. Therefore they're stupid and crazy
    5. Therefore they're wrong
    6. Therefore God doesn't exist

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 8th, 2011 @11:21 #
     
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    No, Sven,

    1. when God invented the record player, He made it go clockwise.
    2. The universe rotates anti-clockwise
    3. Therefore either God or Led Zeppelin does not exist
    4. I have a record by Led Zeppelin and no record by God
    5. Therefore God does not exist

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  • <a href="http://kathrynwhite.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kathryn</a>
    Kathryn
    April 8th, 2011 @11:24 #
     
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    THE ARGUMENT FROM FOOD
    1. If God exists, God made food.
    2. Food can kill you.
    3. Therefore god does exist.

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    April 8th, 2011 @11:27 #
     
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    If the universe rotates anti-clockwise then the record played need not rotate at all because the record will automatically turn beneath the needle. For record by God see Bach Air on G-String (not to be confused with Internet images of Bach exposed to air in a g-string).

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    April 8th, 2011 @11:29 #
     
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    THE ARGUMENT FROM LESSER SPOTTED SVENS
    (1) Discussions about atheism v. God-botherism draw Sven out into the open like some shy, woodland creature.
    (2) We like to draw Sven out into the open on comment-threads.
    (3) Therefore discussions about atheism v. God-botherism are good.

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    April 8th, 2011 @11:30 #
     
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    Also ... mega-lol at the peacock-watching.

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    April 8th, 2011 @12:13 #
     
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    Oh and I almost forgot. Presenting the all-important argument from evangelism:

    Argument from Evangelism (or the Dorkins Argument from Hypocrisy):
    1. The worst thing about religion is evangelism, and the tendency for religious fundamentalists to actively and aggressively suppress opposition to their beliefs as well as alternative theories and belief systems
    2. Therefore God does not exist
    3. Therefore atheists should pursue evangelism and actively and aggressively suppress opposition to our beliefs and alternative theories and belief systems

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  • <a href="http://synapses.co.za" rel="nofollow">Jacques Rousseau</a>
    Jacques Rousseau
    April 10th, 2011 @12:55 #
     
  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    April 10th, 2011 @14:03 #
     
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    Indeed. The Meta-Argument from Superiority - well spotted.

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    April 10th, 2011 @20:17 #
     
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    Love it, Jacques. And now I shall pinch it.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    April 10th, 2011 @21:18 #
     
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    Back after ten days of blissful disconnection, and terribly, terribly sad, I wandered over here. I did not think it possible that today I could have laughed as loudly as I just did (the peacocks! the g-string! the lesser-spotted Sven!). Bless all yr cotton socks.

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