I have been an atheist for a long time and I talk to a lot of religious believers. Sadly, they all tend to use the same old boring arguments that have been refuted a million times before. I am forever in search of an original argument.
Many Christians have never met an open atheist or if they have, they haven’t met many who debate religious believers as much as I do. So every time they do meet an atheist like me, it is a new thing for them. They often use the arguments that their pastor tells them will convert any heathen. Sometimes they will rely on some book by a religious apologist in which the apologist usually tell their readers to use the same old arguments.
Apologist Scott M. Sullivan, for example, was urging his base to learn the First Cause Argument, The Argument by Design, and The Moral Argument. These arguments are nothing new and have been refuted lots of times centuries ago. Still, I gave a brief breakdown of them in my series refuting Sullivan’s videos.
Awhile back, a Christian told me that he could prove God existed to me. He said that he has done this many times with atheists and his proof has never failed. He wouldn’t get into the details through e-mail so I eventually set up a skype call with him where he laid it out for me. Basically, he wanted me to sincerely pray to God for evidence. I did this while on skype with him and surprise… nothing happened. But this wasn’t the first time I tried that experiment and it certainly won’t be the last. Just the other day a Christian friend of mine demanded that I sincerely pray. I told him that I did that many times before and got nothing. He “reasoned” that if I got nothing, I obviously didn’t sincerely pray because the Bible says that anyone who sincerely prays gets something.
That’s the backward logic of it. If I do what they want me to do and get nothing, then I obviously didn’t do it right. The thought that maybe it didn’t work because there is no God just never occurs to them.
But that’s beside the point. The point is that Christians so rarely have original arguments to present. And why should they? Christianity has been around for over two-thousand years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Their religion has been able to trick people for over two-thousand years with these same old boring arguments. Why would they change it up now? It doesn’t matter that a quick Google or Wikipedia search would point out the flaws in these old arguments, they still keep using them.
The worst part is that these arguments still work to convince people. It wasn’t that long ago that an atheist blogger converted to Catholicism because of The Moral Argument. I was shocked for a few reasons. For one thing, she is a very intelligent person who was not just knowledgeable about religion, but also knowledgeable about religious arguments and yet she fell prey to an old argument that has been refuted many times before.
Those arguments aren’t going to do it for me. If a religious believer really wants to convert me, he or she will have to bring something new to the table. Don’t ask me to debate you or come to hear your pastor unless you or your pastor has something new to offer.
- Response: ‘5 Lies Atheist Tell’ (examiner.com)
- An Atheist Visits Church To Speak About Atheism (skepticink.com)
- Refuting: ‘How To Argue With An Atheist: Tips #5 and #6: Red Herring/Strawman’ (skepticink.com)