I don’t know, how many of you as my readers are familiar with YouTube but there is one guy, who has issued the following challenge to Atheists a few years ago: “Please provide proof and evidence that Atheism is accurate and correct!”
The guy I’m talking about goes by the name “Shockofgod” he is a former Atheist turned fundamentalist Christian and Young Earth Creationist. I know, that after all these years I might be a little late to the Party but I still want to give my response to this request here, since he and others are still posing this question to Atheists these days.
Now first of all in this request is a confusion of terms: Atheism doesn’t address whether God exists or not, it addresses the state of mind of a person. The same is true for theism: A theist believes in the existence of deities an Atheist doesn’t believe in the existence of deities. What Shockofgod and others who pose this question really should be asking is this: “What is your Proof and evidence that a god or gods do not exist?”
To address such a request I would first need a coherent definition of the proposed deity. After all I can’t possibly know in what deity my interlocutor believes in. Even among Christian circles you hear all kinds of definitions and I have no idea in what deity which particular person believes in. Assuming right from the start, that we both know what the terms mean probably won’t lead to a fruitful discussion.
The second point, that needs to be made is, that we can’t possibly disprove all God concepts that are proposed now or will be proposed in the future. If it turns out, that the universe is eternal then Pantheism/Pandeism would still be an option. I can’t possibly hope to refute concepts, that have yet to be proposed by a future theist, based on data, that has yet to be collected. So can I disprove all possible gods, that have been proposed are believed right now and will be proposed in the future? No I can’t.
The third point I, that needs to be clarified is what the person means by “proof and evidence”. Are you talking about deductive proof (100% certainty) or is it sufficient to present a convincing case, that in all likelyhood this God doesn’t exist? I think I can do the latter in many cases (like the fundamentalist version he believes in) but I can’t offer deductive proof. Asking for deductive proof however is unreasonable, because we can’t offer deductive proof for most things in our lives. I can’t offer deductive proof, that I’m not a brain in a vat, I can’t offer deductive proof, that the reality we experience is not an illusion (the problem of hard sollipsism) but that doesn’t mean, that all of us should fall back in a state of global skepticism. Why? Because it’s unpractical. Nobody lives in a world where you only believe things based on deductive proof.
The last point is this: Nobody who poses this question is posing it in good faith. They’re not open to being convinced. You might present them, with the (in my mind convincing) arguments for Atheism, like to problem of nonbelief etc. but they don’t want to change their minds. They merely want to throw out the question and when you offer them, what you have to offer, they dismiss you on the basis, that you can’t do what is humanly impossible to do!
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation