Some theist arguments reversed


"I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him." -- Mikhail Bakunin (God and the state)


Introduction

I think there are so many silly arguments for the existence of god out there. Sometimes it is hard to see what's wrong with them, and some are just obviously false. To illustrate how silly they are I have turned them into arguments to believe that there is not a god. I strongly believe that arguing with a theist and putting up these little modifications of their arguments when they tell you their favourite one will put them out of balance. Since they already believe in all the premises, except the little one which turns their argument into an argument against their god, it will probably appear very convincing to them.

I do acknowledge that there are stupid arguments in favour of atheism too, but this page is dedicated to the theist ones. If you know of any other theist arguments which can be reversed in the same way, plase don't hesitate to The E-mail is

The Moral Argument

The moral argument says that there exists an objective morality out there; some kind of moral code which exists just like the law of gravity, and which we can find out about. Of course they usually claim that this moral code is written in the bible, but some, such as the german philosopher Immanuel Kant, say it is written in our hearts. Because there would be no morality without a god, they say, there must be a god. The argument can be put as follows:
  1. If there is no god, then there is no objective morality
  2. But there is objective morality
  3. Therefore there is a god
What the theists fail to realize is that often he justifies the first premise by claiming that if and only if there is a god, then there is an objective morality, which implies that if there is no such morality then there is no god. Thus an atheist argument can be put up:
  1. If there is no objective morality, then there is no god
  2. There is no objective morality
  3. Therefore there is no god
Now, what can be said about objective morality? Is it possible to prove or disprove the existence of an objective moral code? I think a strong case can be made that morality is relative, but that is too big a subject to cover here.

Pascal's Wager

Pascal's wager is a kind of bet, which says that theism has a greater benefit than aheism. The argument in a simplified form says that if there is a god, he will benefit believers while punishing unbelievers. If there is no god, then it doesn't matter what you believe, so believing in god will be a safe bet. Nothing can be lost and all can be won. This may sound good at a first glance, but what if you reverse the argument?

Let's see what happens if we assume that there is a god who punishes unbelievers, and that Christianity is false. After all, considering all the religions out there, shouldn't it be much more probable that Christianity is false than all other religions being so? And what if we consider the logically possible religions which have not yet been created here on earth? You wouldn't want to upset these gods, would you? I think you'd better stick to non-belief then.

Another argument could be made that god would want us to use what he has given to us. There is no reason to believe that there is a god, so if there is one after all, he will benefit us from not claiming to believe that he exists. If we, on the other hand, give up reason, he is likely to punish us. So the benefit is from being honest and holding the belief your minds says is the true one. If you do not believe in a god, the reversed argument says you should satisfy with that.

The Ontological Argument

The ontological argument exists in many versions. What they all say is something like this:
  1. When we refer to God, we refer to the greatest
  2. If the greatest does not exist, then there is something even greater
  3. Thus the greatest must exist
  4. Therefore God exists necessarily
Now, the atheist could come up with a similar argument, like this:
  1. When we refer to God, we refer to a supernatural personal soul without a body
  2. If something has no body it has no soul, if something is supernatural it is not part of reality, etc
  3. Therefore God cannot exist
or even simpler:
  1. When we refer to God, we refer to a made up literal character that doesn't exist in reality
  2. Therefore God does not exist
My personal favorite is this one:
  1. When we refer to God, we refer to a square circle
  2. If something is a square it cant be a circle and vice versa
  3. Thus square circles can't logically exist
  4. Therefore God cannot exist
This last argument probably won't convince any theist, but it will show to them how silly ontological arguments are.

Summary

As you can see, I need more arguments. at


Mi casa Back to Fredrik Bendz' homepage
Created: Sunday, March 21, 1999
Last update: Sunday, March 21, 1999

© Fredrik Bendz
S-mail :  here
E-mail :