By: LARRY SITES
Re: No god?
Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.
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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?
ATHEIST: 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
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
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
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