How Do You KNOW There Is No God by Frank R. Zindler American Atheist Representative, Ohio

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********************************************************* How Do You KNOW There Is No God? by Frank R. Zindler American Atheist Representative, Ohio ********************************************************* BELIEVER: How do you *know* there is no god? What proof do you have? ATHEIST: How do you *know* there is no Easter bunny? How do you know there is no Santa Claus? Have you disproved the existence of Thor and Osiris? BELIEVER: Be serious! Those are just myths made up by men. I'm talking about god! ATHEIST: Well, the burden of proof is on you to prove that a deity exists. I don't have to prove a negative. The burden of proof is always on the person who alleges the existence of something. BELIEVER: I don't buy that. You have to *prove* that my god does not exist. ATHEIST: Your god? Singular? How do you know there aren't lots of gods? Have you disproved the existence of goddesses? BELIEVER: Don't be silly! I'm talking about the existence of god -- the creator of the universe. ATHEIST: Ah! Now we're getting somewhere! You're talking about *me*! BELIEVER: Since when are you god? ATHEIST: Since just a bit more than an infinite length of time. Of course, I created *you* just three minutes ago. BELIEVER: That's crazy! I'm fifty-seven years old! ATHEIST: Of course you *think* you are: I created those memories in you, and I altered everyone else's memories also, to make it appear that you were around before three minutes ago. BELIEVER: I suppose you created my birth certificate too! What evidence do you have to support such an absurd idea? ATHEIST: Ah! So you're beginning to understand that the burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim of god's existence. Don't you think you should try to disprove the claim that I am god? BELIEVER: Well, maybe. If you're god, why don't you perform a miracle? ATHEIST: Good question. Unfortunately, I don't do miracles anymore. I could if I wanted to, but I've decided that from now on, people have to believe in me through faith. Being god, I've just now read your mind and I see you're thinking that you might be able to torture me into confessing that I'm not god. Well, scrap that idea! I might very well decide to pretend to be in pain and confess all sorts of silly things. But believe me, I would punish you for eternity after you die! BELIEVER: Hey, that's not a legitimate argumentation. There's nothing I could ever do to disprove your claim of divinity. You could always wriggle out of it by claiming you'll show me after I'm dead! ATHEIST: Very true! You're learning how impossible it is to prove a negative. But you're learning one even more important lesson. BELIEVER: What's that? ATHEIST: You're learning that it is stupid to argue about propositions that can't be tested even in the imagination. For every test you could imagine to try, I could come up with a way to evade your net -- in just the same way as the preachers tell me *your* god doesn't want to get involved in *my* tests. My claim to divinity can't be tested. Your claims of the divinity of Jehovah or Jesus can't be tested either. If I call upon your god to strike me with lightning if I'm wrong, I guarantee nothing will happen. Your god won't get involved any more than I will. Claims that can't be tested even in the imagination are meaningless. They can't even be false. We don't need to waste our time trying to disprove them. You aren't going to waste your time trying to disprove my claim to divinity, and no sane person will waste time trying to disprove the existence of your untestable god. Of course, when you accidentally make a claim about your divinity nominee that is testable, sane people might take the time to show you how the test results turn out to be negative. But in general, no one is going to waste time trying to prove that Jehovah and I are not gods. Copyright American Atheist Press. All rights reserved. Printed copies of this pamphlet can be obtained from: American Atheist Press P. O. Box 140195, Austin, Texas 78714-0195. Stock #8342. Please refer to current catalog and price list for pricing and availability. *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: http://www.atheists.org * * PO Box 140195 FTP: ftp://ftp.atheists.org * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: avtv@atheists.org * * Info on American Atheists: info@atheists.org, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org * * and put "info aanews" in message body * * * * This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other * * otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of * * origin credit is given to American Atheists. * * * ***********************************************************************

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