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Ricardo's picture

How to refute this Theistic argument?
It is impossible to prove the non-existence of God!
Theists always make this point in conversations with me!

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Nyarlathotep's picture
Kundalino - It is impossible

Kundalino - It is impossible to prove the non-existence of God!

It is also impossible to prove the non-existence of leprechauns, Frosty the Snowman, and Cthulhu.

David Killens's picture
This is a tactic of

This is a tactic of attempting to reverse the proof.

Kundalino the proper response is to accept that no one can prove the non-existence of a god, but you (Kundalino) are not making the claim. They are the ones claiming a god. Do not accept their conditions, point out that since they are the ones claiming a god, the burden of proof lays at their feet.

Ricardo's picture
They claim that it is

They claim that it is possible to prove some negatives.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kundalino - They claim that

Kundalino - They claim that it is possible to prove some negatives.

Perhaps ask them to demonstrate this by proving Cthulhu isn't real.
Technically it is true you can prove some negatives, like in mathematics for instance. But in the real world, you can't prove negatives, or positives for that matter.

Cognostic's picture
@Kundalino: "Prove" would

@Kundalino: "Prove" would not be the correct word outside of mathematics. "Offer evidence for or against" is much more proper. Scientific theories do not prove anything. They merely explain the facts and evidence to the best of our ability. Science creates models that explain facts and when the facts improve or change, so do the models. I gave you "proof" as much evidence as possible, for the non-existence of God or gods in the "Bear Cave Analogy." It does not conclude with a "proof." It merely concludes with all evidence and facts, known to date, supporting the idea that there is no bear in the cave / there is no God in the sky. (A more liberal reading would be at a minimum be; "There is no reason to believe in a God or gods." The actual atheist position.) The real issue is that science does not "prove" anything. Nothing can be known 100%. The only way to get to 100% belief is blindly with faith.

jeevion's picture
It is equally impossible to

It is equally impossible to prove the non-existence of the flying spaghetti monster.
It is unjustified (ie. no evidence) to posit the existence of God in the first place.

The statement also presupposes God, therefor the statement is null from the onset.
You could argue it is technically impossible to prove the non-existence of anything that has NO EVIDENCE, so kindly ask the theist for theirs.

If they ask "why is there something rather than nothing?", kindly remind them that people make somethings (ie. "God") out of nothings (ie. no evidence) all of the time, and it is quite common.

Hit them back:
If God is all-knowing, this must necessarily include knowing all who/what/where/why/when/how and if *not* to "believe", and because "belief" is required for a "believer" to "believe" that evil is good (equiv. Satan is God), it follows that any/all false/untrue "beliefs" adopted and/or taken as true (while not being true) are necessarily *not* (of) an all-knowing God and are liable to conflate evil with good. Therefor, "belief" in ANY all-knowing God is untenable.

"Belief" means unknown to a certainty but taken/acted upon as true.
"Knowledge" means/serves to "know" what *not* to believe.
"Belief" is not so much a virtue as knowing what *not* to "believe" is, thus renders knowledge as necessarily superior to belief.

Belief is necessarily ignorance (ie. unknowing).
Knowing serves to avoid "belief"-based ignorance.

The theist can not deal with these - they will default back to their own personal "beliefs" and, if wrong, they *might* be "believing" in a satanic god (ie. believe that evil is good, such as Islam).

Ricardo's picture
Can theistic cognitive

Can theistic cognitive dissonance be detrimental to them?

Cognostic's picture
RE: Cognitive Dissonance: In

RE: Cognitive Dissonance: In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person's belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person.

Enough Cognitive Dissonance and they lose their faith and become Atheists. How is that a bad thing?

The negative affects would be fight or flight. A common trait among theists. Point out a problem with the theist position and you will either be in for a fight, you filthy amoral sinner who is bound for the pits of hell, or, you will experience theist flight in the form of rejection, avoidance, shunning.

Certainly the fight or flight response to challenges can be detrimental in the form of bigotry, prejudice, ignorance of science, ignorance of the world around them, and the supposition that they actually have answers to some of the greatest questions in life. (That's fairly detrimental.)

Ricardo's picture
They also say to me, WITHOUT

They also say to me, WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MORALITY ... how can I refute this theistic argument?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kundalino - They also say to

Kundalino - They also say to me, WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MORALITY ... how can I refute this theistic argument?

That isn't an argument.

Ricardo's picture
Why ?

Why ?

xenoview's picture
Ask them to prove that morals

Ask them to prove that morals aren't subjective.

Nyarlathotep's picture
That isn't an argument.

That isn't an argument.

Kundalino - Why ?

Arguments start with (presumed) facts, then deductions are made (hopefully with logic) regarding those facts, supporting some kind of conclusion.

The statement :"WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MORALITY"; is not an argument. It is just someone demanding that their controversial opinion is truth.

boomer47's picture
You don't have to refute

You don't have to refute anything .It is they who are making the claim. The burden of proof is theirs.

Cognostic's picture
@Kundalino: RE: WITHOUT GOD,


I assume you are referring to "The Argument From Morality" and not the simple assertion you have written. For the comment you have written, you can simply ask, "How do you know that?" "How can you demonstrate that?" Each of the assertions that follows will have no link to a God.

This is William Lane Craig's Argument from Morality:
1. If god does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore God exists.

Premise 1: This is an unfounded assertion with loads of problems.
A. It assumes god into existence. You must assume god exists and that he has something to do with moral values before you can make the claim.
B: It assumes a single cause for morality; God. Yet we learn moral behavior from our parents and cultures.
C: Moral dictates are not the same as moral values. If I tell a child not to hit his sister and I will reward him with a cookie, does the child act morally when he does not hit his sister? Of course not. He is seeking a reward. He is acting out of greed. If I tell a child, do not hit your sister or I will beat the hell out of you, and then the child does not hit his sister, is the child acting out of morality? Of course not! The child is acting out of self preservation and fear; selfishness again. A God that offers bribes and punishments can never be a source of morality. Morality does not come from external dictates but from a sense of self and internal responsibility towards our fellow man.
D. The only way to get an objective moral value is within an agreed upon social context. (Like a game of chess. To get objective morals from Christianity one must assume the subjective reference point of Christian Dogma and Divine Command Theory. Is it moral because God says it or does god say it because it is moral. You can also get objective morality from the Objective reference point of Buddhism, Islam, Secular Humanism, and Consequentialism.

The first premise is false as it is a completely subjective point of reference. Choosing your god as a reference point for morality is no different than choosing Secular Humanism as a reference point for morality.

SOME MORE IDEAS (It was getting long so I found a good video. Rationality Rules is a very good source for these kinds of questions.)

jeevion's picture
RE: They also say to me,

RE: They also say to me, WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MORALITY ... how can I refute this theistic argument?

It is actually the other way around: with God, there is no morality. It begs the "belief" problem again: if someone "believes" to know good/evil (ie. God, or take an idol such as Jesus/Muhammad as a "good" model) and is WRONG (which they actually are), they might "believe" evil is good (which they actually do). So, morality would entail not "believing" to know God, but rather "knowing" what not to "believe" in case their "believed"-in God, is actually Satan. Remember: Satan *requires* "belief". You can not succumb to Satan unless you are a "believer". Knowing all what not to "believe" would render Satan impotent, thus the person will tend closer and closer to "morality" as it is untainted by evil/Satan.

I really should formalize these arguments. Maybe I will turn the WTD thread into a general arguments thread that fleshes these out.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Aggie

@ Aggie

I really should formalize these arguments. Maybe I will turn the WTD thread into a general arguments thread that fleshes these out.

Please don't. There is enough tedium in my life.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Oh I'd love to see them

A Gnostic Agnostic - I really should formalize these arguments.

Old man shouts - Please don't. There is enough tedium in my life.

Oh I'd love to see them presented formally; but I'm betting that never happens.

Cognostic's picture
@A Gnostic Agnostic: More

@A Gnostic Agnostic: More inane unsubstantiated bullshit from our friend who suffers from diarrhea of the keyboard.

LogicFTW's picture

It is actually rather easy to prove "god" (all forms of) is a human created idea.

This also works for leprechauns, unicorns, and everything else that is completely unevidenced except by written or spoken word.

What makes religion/god ideas especially vulnerable to this basic concept that "god" is solely a human created idea is:
Billions of people have been trying to evidence their god ideas for thousands of years and in all that time.... still not even a tiny piece of actual evidence that is more than simple written/spoken human words. And you can evidence yourself that humans are capable of fiction/lying anytime you like by testing this yourself at anytime as many times as you like.

They also say to me, WITHOUT GOD, THERE IS NO MORALITY ... how can I refute this theistic argument?

In my opinion they are correct, if we assume they mean: there is no UNIVERSAL morality. In that statement of: no god no morality.

Definition of Morality:
principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

In that definition and most other commonly accepted definitions of the word "morality" is nothing about an all encompassing universal morality. But I am well aware many theist consider that way.

So taking the common theist definition of morality (universal) they are right, no god no morality. It would take some sort of god entity to create a magical fairy land "universal" morality. Even worse, suppose this "god" does exist, it is plainly obvious that there currently and always has been no "universal" morality. People base their morality on their own needs, and influenced by the culture they are a part of. So it is 2 for 1. Not only does this strongly point to no "morality" god. But it also points that if somehow there's actually a god, it is plainly obvious this "god" thing does not give a shit about some sort of universal morality that we humans are supposed to follow. Because morality is about as diverse as we humans are.

Or in short: only the fantastical fictional god idea could possibly create the fantastical fictional idea of a universal "objective" morality.

And since any and all god ideas are just that, human created ideas with no tie to reality, aka fiction, the idea of a universal morality is also fiction. Both of these concepts should be obvious to a third grader, but no one here should underestimate generations of brainwashing that typically starts at a very young age, and done by kid's own trusted parents/elders etc.



I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.

Ricardo's picture
They also use the following

They also use the following argument. THERE ARE NO ATHENS IN TRENCHES! How to refute this other theistic argument?

boomer47's picture
Again, no refutation is

Again, no refutation is necessary, The burden of proof is with the person making the claim.

Of course you could reply that atheists are not stupid enough to be found in a trench. A stupidly facile question deserves a facile answer.

Cognostic's picture
Kundalino: Um... It is not

Kundalino: Um... It is not an argument. There are plenty of atheists in the army. The assertion here is that when times get tough, everyone turns to god. It is just an unfounded assertion. The late Christopher Hitchens died of throat cancer and was an active speaker against religious insanity right up to the day he died. The idea that Atheists will resort to "Death Bed Confessions" or turn to a god in times of stress is just not grounded on anything.

Ricardo's picture
There are no atheists in

There are no atheists in foxholes

LogicFTW's picture
There are no atheists in

There are no atheists in foxholes

Have not really heard that one before. Possibly because it is a rather silly concept?

What do you think people that say "There are no atheists in foxholes" are trying to convey?

Give me more precision, and I will be happy to discuss this statement.

Also remember: an atheist is a negation of a concept. Atheist are simply the negation of theist.

Like: "not a stamp collector" is the negation of a stamp collector.

Ricardo's picture
@LogicFTW: "What do you think

@LogicFTW: "What do you think people that say "There are no atheists in foxholes" are trying to convey?"

This argument means that during the tribulations and sufferings in life, for example the diagnosis of a fatal disease, the atheist becomes a believer in god.

David Killens's picture
Then tell those theists that

Then tell those theists that I, David Killens faced life-threatening surgery and did not flinch in the face of death, or call out for a god.

There you are, I am an atheist and I was/am in a foxhole. Therefore their statement is incorrect.

LogicFTW's picture

Makes sense, even the strong atheist that I am, If:

I was going to die of a horrible fatal disease of which I can do little to nothing about, telling myself a fiction of an afterlife, to make my passing easier for myself is an easy lie to myself to make. Toss in a cocktail of mind altering drugs and I will probably believe it, because I will so badly want to.

Then again, I can tell myself a similar lie with a similar outcome that is not quite so patently ridiculous as the various religion/god fictions. Especially considering its a lie based institution that is hoping you will donate a large portion of your estate to said religious institution you decide to believe in to escape the reality that you are going to die, (all tax free too!)

Simon Moon's picture
This is extremely inaccurate

This is extremely inaccurate.

I can speak from personal experience.

I am a lifelong surfer. I have almost drown several times in big surf. Never once did I ever ask any god or gods to save me. It was my skills and experience that saved me.

Another time, I was surfing on an island off the coast of Mexico. I got appendicitis. It was touch and go for my entire trip to hospital, not once did I pray to any god or gods. Doctors said I almost died.

I had other experiences where I could have died.

Still, no gods appealed to.

You are loaded with just about every bad argument, fallacy, muddled thought there is, aren'tyou? Well done.

Ricardo's picture
Another argument from Theists


How to refute this other theistic argument?


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