“Why Don’t You Believe In God?”

Any non believer who has ever debated a theist would have probably noticed that there are a number of situations (most of which quite comical) that are reached during the debate. The following is an example of one of these scenarios which I have had on numerous occasions:

Theist: “Why don’t you believe in god?”
Me: “Because I see no reason to”
Theist: “What kind of reason do you need?”
Me: “The same reason I need for believing in anything – evidence”
Theist: “But you are the evidence. And so is everything you see around you. The whole universe is evidence of god”
Me: “Which god are you talking about?”
Theist: “I’m talking about god, the creator of the universe. For someone who keeps asking for so much evidence, how is it that you are able to dismiss god without any evidence that he doesn’t exist?”
Me: “There is no such thing as evidence for something’s LACK of existence. You got it backwards. It is YOUR job to prove that this deity DOES exist. Otherwise, how would we know that he isn’t just a made up character, like the thousands of other deities and ghosts and monsters and mythical creatures”
Theist: “That’s your own default position, not mine, or not necessarily anyone else’s”
Me: “Well, if your default assumption is that something exists, or even that it has a 50/50 chance of existing, until proven otherwise, then you will have to grant this assumption to all deities, monsters, ghosts and fairies until someone brings you evidence for their lack of existence”

And so it continues…

The funny thing is that most people never take the time to unpack the contents of such religious arguments, in order to realize just how bizarre and illogical they are. It begins with the assertion that reasons need to be produced for not believing in something rather than for believing in it, and then running along to accuse nonbelievers of irrationality. It then doubles down (actually, much more than doubles down) by employing this laughable line of reasoning for the sake of “proving” a tremendously large and improbable claim about omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator deities – make that ONE singular and specific omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator deity.

It takes very little effort to show just how nonsensical this line of reasoning is. Let’s simply revisit the above exchange with one little modification:

Theist: “Why don’t you believe in Lord Brahma?”
Me: “Because I see no reason to”
Theist: “What kind of reason do you need?”
Me: “The same reason I need for believing in anything – evidence”
Theist: “But you are the evidence. And so is everything you see around you. The whole universe is evidence of Lord Brahma”
Me: “Which lord Brahma are you talking about?”
Theist: “I’m talking about Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. For someone who keeps asking for so much evidence, how is it that you are able to dismiss Lord Brahma without any evidence that he doesn’t exist?”
Me: “There is no such thing as evidence for something’s LACK of existence. You got it backwards. It is YOUR job to prove that this deity DOES exist. Otherwise, how would we know that he isn’t just a made up character, like the thousands of other deities and ghosts and monsters and mythical creatures?”
Theist: “That’s your own default position, not mine, or not necessarily anyone else’s”
Me: “Well, if your default assumption is that something exists, or even that it has a 50/50 chance of existing, until proven otherwise, then you will have to grant this assumption to all deities, monsters, ghosts and fairies until someone brings you evidence for their lack of existence”

One can, of course, hypothetically substitute any name one chooses for god: Zeus, Allah, Odin, Amaterasu, etc. Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian deity, simply happens to be one Iron Aged tribal Middle Eastern deity – one among many – that had been adopted by a specific Middle Eastern tribe. In fact, there really is no reason for hypothetics at all, you can comfortably sit back and enjoy watching the different religions playing this name substitution game in real life right in front of your very eyes – and with complete sincerity at that.

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