22 Reasons to STOP Believing in God
Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, may have better reasons for not believing in God than most of what he presents in this YouTube video, because there’s really only one here with any real force, and you would think a popular, intelligent, and influential atheist would have at least considered the responses I offer below before presenting such a largely lackluster list. Yet, thousands of skeptics soak up his supposed arguments and smirkingly think he’s just buried theism, never to rise again.
Not so fast, skeptics. This list has not only not destroyed theism…it has barely left a mark. Let me address each one.
1. If God knows everything we are going to do in the future, then we don’t have free will. But we do.
Determinism simply does not follow from God’s foreknowledge. If you freely choose bacon and eggs for breakfast tomorrow, God’s omniscience enables him to know right now that you will. If you freely choose cereal instead, he knows that instead.
2. If God doesn’t know everything we’re going to do in the future, then he is not really omniscient.
See answer to number one.
3. God couldn’t stop a murder when there were only four people on earth.
The fact that Cain killed Abel does not in any way indicate that God couldn’t have stopped it. To suggest that if he exists he would have is to effectively deny the free will that you affirmed in reason 1.
4. If we’re supposed to be God’s special creatures, then the universe is full of a lot of wasted space.
How does that follow? If the universe was filled with countless other creatures, it seems to me that reality would be more likely to call into question our uniqueness. Nevertheless, “waste” as a concept only applies if there is an unmet need which the resource can but doesn’t fill or if the resource is limited, neither of which is relevant here.
5. Myth of a great flood and a virgin birth were around long before Jesus came around. Maybe those are just elements of an interesting story.
The supposed borrowing from ancient myths that the Bible authors are accused of is a desperate claim that only internet “scholars” propagate. The mythological god Mithras is said to have been born of a virgin, but what the record actually says is that he was born out of the side of a rock. And if there was a great flood, it only makes sense that other people groups might also have a record of it.
6. Virgins can’t get pregnant. Not without modern medicine anyway.
If naturalism is true, virgins can’t conceive. But assuming naturalism is begging the question. If God exists, miracles are possible.
7. Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin: Christian. Barney Frank: not a Christian.
8. God seems to agree with YOU about everything; isn’t that a coincidence? And isn’t it also a coincidence that God seems to agree with all those Christians who also disagree with you?
This says absolutely nothing about whether or not God exists, only about the limits and difficulties humans have in perception and understanding.
9. If you ever wrote a book with that many contradictions in it, your publishers would have to pull it from the shelves.
Even if the Bible did contain contradictions, that would not disqualify it as a generally reliable historical record. Still, every single supposed “contradiction” can either be fully explained with an accurate understanding of the text, or at least cleared up enough to earn it the benefit of the doubt.
10. If God made us in his image, why do we have vestigial body parts and organs that often fail?
Any reasonable, fairly intelligent atheist should know that “made in God’s image” does not refer to our physical bodies. But if the objection is to “poor design,” then the very most that the objector can argue is that God’s design is not optimal according to their perception of the meaning and purpose of our existence.
11. 99.9% of all the species God ever supposedly created are extinct. How many do-overs does God need?
This is an infantile objection. No refutation is necessary.
12. God doesn’t exist because I said so. What…you don’t like that reason? Because that’s the same reason a lot of parents and pastors give to children to convince them God does exist.
Poor arguments for God’s existence do not offset good arguments. Just as all these weak arguments against God don’t minimize the force of the one good one on this list…which is number 13.
13. The Holocaust.
The problem of evil and suffering is a problem for every worldview, but Christianity provides the most credible response.
Tomorrow I’ll look at the remaining reasons.