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Sunday, December 14, 2014

A summary of theist arguments & counterarguments

C for Christian/theist; A for atheist

C: If you're right, I lose nothing by believing. If you're wrong, you lose everything by not believing.
A: That assumes there are only two alternatives. You have yet to discredit the many others.

C: The bible says it, I believe it, that's end of it.
A: So what? Why? No. 

C: If you have no objective moral standard, morality is just a useful fiction.
A: Morality IS a useful fiction. So are language and money. Should we stop speaking English until we can prove it is the One True Language?

C: Living things are very complex like machines and works of art. A design requires a designer.
A: Living things reproduce. Machines and works of art do not. 

C: The universe is finely-tuned. If it were slightly different, we wouldn't be here.
A: And if the guy who won the lottery had bought a different ticket, he wouldn't have won. It makes no sense to talk about the probability of something that has already happened. 

C: Jesus died for our sins.
A: He didn't really die if he came back to life. 

C: The founders of all other religions are dead, but Jesus is alive.
A: OK, what's his address then? Perhaps you can introduce me to him. 

C: If there is no objective morality, there are no consequences. I could do whatever I wanted.
A: Tell that to all the people sitting in prison. 

C: Christianity is the only religion where god sacrifices himself for us.
A: Nope, but even if that's true, so what? Other religions are unique in other ways.

C: How could [fill in the blank] exist without god?
A: Argument from ignorance. 

C: You believe in arbitrary standards, but I follow god's word.
A: You follow a book that was written, compiled, and interpreted by people. 

C: The laws of logic are transcendent and universal. They could only come from god.
A: Math is also transcendent and universal and it clearly the product of human thought. 

A: Why does god permit evil?
C: God works in mysterious ways.
A: Try using that excuse with the IRS.

A: Why do you accept the divinity of Christ? 
C: The accounts of Christ's resurrection are reliable.
A: So why is it that most of the people on earth don't believe them? 

C: You must have faith.
A: So why bother trying to prove it?

C: Why do you criticize if you don't believe anyway?
A: Because lies are harmful and offensive to me. 

C: Hitler was an atheist.
A: He wrote that he was doing the lord's work. The Holocaust was largely carried out by Christians and it was justified with antisemitic propaganda Christians had promoted for centuries. 

C: Stalin [or some other bad guy] killed people and was an atheist.
A: Your god supposedly killed millions of people and you worship him. 

A: Does everything need a creator?
C: Yes.
A: OK, what created god?
C: God by definition does not require a creator. 
A: That's special pleading. Saying the universe was not created is more plausible than saying an un-created god created the universe.

C: Believing in god has useful consequences.
A: That is irrelevant to whether the claims are true. 

C: My religion has a holy book, miracles, revelations, etc.
A: So does every other religion.

C: You must have been mistreated by a Christian.
A: Show me on the doll where the scientist touched you. 

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