The Ontological Argument: The most underrated argument for the existence of God

The Ontological Argument for the existence of God is perhaps one of the least satisfying arguments.  I also think it’s one of the most underrated due to its complex and precise use of terms, but in my opinion, is one of the more philosophically powerful once it’s properly understood. Because it is so complex (due to its reliance on precise definitions), it’s often confused with being too simple and therefore not much of an argument.

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

I think the most prevalent misstep when considering the weight of the argument is the misunderstanding that maximally = the most possible. This is what leads to the false analogies of maximally perfect islands or whatever.  Maximally great, as used for the argument, describes a quality, not a quantity.

So it’s not that God must possess the most of a particular property in order to be maximally great.  It’s not that He be the most loving, or the most benevolent, or the most just; it’s that His greatness in those areas cannot be improved upon.  He must be perfectly loving, benevolent, and just.  For example, I love it when I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the perfect ratio of peanut butter to jelly.  The correct amounts of each make for the best sandwich.  The entire jar of peanut butter and the entire jar of jelly make for a terrible sandwich.  Likewise for God to be maximally great, He need be perfectly just and perfectly benevolent, for example.  It is the perfect balance and application of His properties that makes God maximally great, and not the sheer volume of each.

 

Comments

  1. Er …. we did say evidence for your Man – God John, did we not?

    I have no interest in the ontological argument for the existence of a creator deity.
    And if you are going to stick a capital G on god then you must stipulate which </em. god .
    That was what this post was supposed to be about.
    Think you do an honest post now?

    • I’m not done with it. What does your comment have to do with THIS post?

      • What! You said you were going to do a post with evidence for your man-god, the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth.
        If I’d wanted to read another goddamn boring ontological argument I could have accessed any number of Youtube videos or simply logged on to that dickhead William Lane Craig and listened to him!
        This stuff is garbage and meaningless.

  2. I note that nobody seems interested enough to comment on this argument/post.
    Have you not got anything really interesting as per the evidence lined up?

  3. paynehollow says:

    Come on, John, you’re making it much worse by ignoring this simple request. It makes it appear as if you have something to hide, as if you’re embarrassed by your conversion story. Don’t be. Some may not like it, but it’s your story, there’s no shame in passing on your story.

    As the Peter says… ” Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander…”

    I did this for my “conversion” from opposing all efforts to “normalize” and accept “gay behavior” to where I am now. It really happened. Others may not find the story compelling or your reasoning sound, but they can’t deny the facts: You once were an agnostic and THESE sets of circumstances caused you to abandon agnosticism/atheism and take up belief in God.

    It’s your story. Own it. Share it.

    You don’t have to go in great detail, either. It could be as simple as, “My wife was a Christian and I saw the great joy this faith brought her, but I didn’t really have any belief in the notion of a god, much less the Christian God. It sounded dubious to me, where was the hard evidence for this God? I was doubtful, but because the VERY REAL witness of my wife’s peace and joy were undeniable, I looked into it with an open heart and I found…”

    and describe in just a few sentences what it was that convinced you.

    Share your story, John. Why not?

    ~Dan

    • Just so you’re clear, I don’t do things based on the demands of others. Especially demands from disrespectful people who think they can tell me what I need to do.

  4. paynehollow says:

    Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander…

    St Peter

    He didn’t say, “When people ask nicely…” He said “always.” And to do so with respect and gentleness. The Bible also says that a soft answer turneth away wrath. You could defuse a lot of that “disrespectful demands” by simply pre-emptively answering the reasonable question, it seems to me.

    Just a suggestion.

    ~Dan

    • So what if the Apostle Peter said “always”? You’re just taking his quote out of context and placing it in the legalistic/rule-following approach to Bible-reading and interpretation.

      And so what if the Bible says that a soft answer turns away wrath? The Bible says LOTS of things.

      If you find a rule from the pages of the Bible, and you THINK “Hey, maybe we should take this as a universal rule and insist that this interpretation of this rule is a command from God…” you have misunderstood the Bible because IT. IS. NOT. A. RULE. BOOK.

      Right?

    • Dont entertain a fool – King David

      Don’t cast pearls before swine – Jesus

      • paynehollow says:

        And you think Ark, I and others who ask these questions are fools and swine?

        Well, that sort of silly name-calling makes it convenient for you to not answer a reasonable question, I guess, the question remains reasonable and the point, salient.

        I will note that you appear to be calling us “fools” merely because we disagree with you and ask you reasonable questions. As to why you might consider us pigs, I don’t know.

        Do you disagree with the wisdom of providing a simple direct answer to a reasonable question?

        Do you think it is unreasonable for us to ask, “What was it that caused you to turn from a non-believer to a believer…”?

        Do you think I’m mistaken in suggesting that you could avoid some animosity if you just directly answered questions?

        Reasonable questions all. I suspect you could agree with me on most of those points, but what do I know? I’m but a poor fool and a swine…

        Peace,

        ~Dan

  5. paynehollow says:

    Well, while I’m not a literalist when it comes to snipping words out of the text, but this is exactly the sort of way that you all read it. Am I mistaken?

    Do you not say, “How do we know if God wants us to let gay folk marry? Well, LEVITICUS 18! Also, ROMANS 1!. So, no, God does not want gay folk to marry one another.”..? Is that not how you all use it? To determine what rules we should follow, how we should behave?

    “We should behave like X, because The Bible…”

    Am I mistaken?

    Regardless, I happen to agree with St Peter, it IS reasonable to be “always prepared to give answers…” at least as a general rule. Reasonably speaking, John COULD defuse a lot of the frustration and anger directed his way if he just answered these reasonable questions directly, instead of putting them off, hinting that maybe he will, IF the person proves worthy of deserving an answer, etc.

    Regardless of what the Bible says, do you not find it reasonable that if someone says, “I used to believe NOT X. Now I believe X, even though X may be hard for you to believe…” and someone else says, “Well, tell me, what caused you to move from NOT X to X?” isn’t that a reasonable question that deserves a reasonable answer and that respectful, helpful communication can be improved by simply answering the question directly?

    If not, why not? On what basis do you oppose simple, direct answers to reasonable questions?

    Or, if you think asking “What was it that caused you to change from not believing in God to believing in God…?” is unreasonable, on what basis do you think the question is unreasonable?

    Or do we actually agree on this point?

    Must you argue about everything?

    ~Dan

    • Dan, we don’t “snip words out of the text,” but if you think our approach to interpreting Scripture is irrational and even monstrously immoral, Pharasaical and even idolatrous, you shouldn’t try to emulate that approach to make a serious point.

      It makes you look like a hypocrite.

      About this issue, a seemingly reasonable question can come from a person who has proven himself either unwilling or unable to address a Christian’s answer in good faith. Since we don’t have a literally unlimited amount of time in our lives, it may make sense to be selective in our approach, following Jesus’ teaching about evangelism in Matthew 10:14.

      • paynehollow says:

        Bubba, reasonable people use quotes all the time to illuminate points. I may be trying to say something but Moliere, Ben Franklin, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Mohammad… may have said something similar in more colorful, beautiful or commanding words. And so we use quotes. It isn’t to suggest that we think Franklin Gandhi or Mohammad are infallible, it’s just a helpful quote to make the point. AND, for those who value the teachings of the source, then it may lend some authority, but not infallible authority.

        So, that I don’t use quotes the way you do is not to say that I’m a hypocrite, it’s to say that I don’t use quotes the way you do.

        Understand?

        And again, MUST you argue every little thing a person says?

        ~Dan

        • I have no problem with using quotes, Dan.

          My problem is that you accuse us of grossly abusing Scripture in our approach, only to turn around and use the same approach when it suits you.

          “MUST I argue” isn’t a serious question, because you ought to know by now that when I agree with you or am even simply willing to concede a point for argument’s sake I do so.

          I don’t argue “every little thing” a person says generally, and I don’t even argue everything YOU say. You ought to consider the possibility that I actually do object to a lot of what you write and do so in good faith.

          Or are we back to your insinuation in our discussion of the extent of infallibility, that everyone can be wrong about anything except yourself?

  6. paynehollow says:

    So, in case you missed my direct answer to your question, Bubba: I’m not appealing to St Peter because “the Bible…” I’m appealing to reason and just quoting ol Pete because what he says is reasonable.

    ~Dan

    • Ah, the essence of Christian discipleship: following the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles only when you find them to be reasonable.

      • paynehollow says:

        You do this, too, Bubba. You do NOT pluck your eye out. It is obviously not reasonable to take that passage literally and you don’t. You used your reason to get to that conclusion.

        Just as I use my reason to get to my conclusions.

        Reason is not a bad thing, Bubba. Are you suggesting that if someone says “The Bible says… X! We should do X!” that we should do X, no matter how unreasonable that suggestion is?

        The Bible says Israel was commanded by God to kill the enemies’ babies, we should do that, too, when we go to war!

        The Bible says to kill disrespectful children! We should do that, too!

        No, Bubba, we use our reason to sort through things.

        Not, “Hey, we should do THIS because ‘the Bible says…'”

        But, “Hey, that is a good thing to do, we should do that… that is a bad thing to do, we should avoid that…”

        Use your head, the Bible never tells us not to do that and I can’t seriously believe you’d argue against using our God-given reasoning. I’d hope not.

        ~Dan

        • I do not do the same thing, Dan, and with all your griping about mind-reading and people putting words in your mouths, it’s stunning that you presume to know the rationale behind my interpretation of Matthew 5:29-30.

          You’re right, Dan, I haven’t gouged out my eyes, but do you wanna know why? Because it’s not my eyes and hands that cause me to sin, but habits of the mind that I truly ought to mortify just as ruthlessly.

          If one’s eye or hand was the literal cause of a person’s sin — if they were cursed, like in one of the Evil Dead movies — it actually would be reasonable to remove them so that one could live a righteous life maimed rather than a sinful life whole.

          The other passages, I actually do believe God commanded ancient Israel to wage wars of annihilation and use capital punishment for a number of breaches against the law of Moses, but we don’t do so today, not merely because we don’t find it reasonable to do so, but because the Bible itself shows the transition from the OT covenant with the nation of ancient Israel to the NT covenant with the church, and the differences between those covenants are often quite clear.

          Your position seems built on the assumption that the theologically conservative approach to Scripture is ultimately arbitrary — and if theirs is, yours can be too, picking the passages that fit with your politics — but that’s simply not true.

          At a minimum, you should argue AGAINST OUR ACTUAL ARGUMENTS to show that they’re actually arbitrary. It’s arrogant for you to presume that they’re arbitrary when you don’t seem willing to deal with the substance of our arguments — and when you’ve shown very little understanding of the theological conservatism that was a part of your past.

          • paynehollow says:

            sigh…

            Bubba, none of this is on topic here, and I have no comments on the topic of the post, so I’m just going to address this silliness and move on.

            I haven’t gouged out my eyes, but do you wanna know why? Because it’s not my eyes and hands that cause me to sin, but habits of the mind that I truly ought to mortify just as ruthlessly.

            And on what basis do you know that your eyes and hands are not the cause of your sins? Do you use your reasoning to figure that out? I mean, if someone is tempted to shoplift, removing the hands WOULD remove that which enabled them to sin. Surely Jesus was not suggesting that the hand CAUSED the person to sin, but was what enabled them to sin, right? Otherwise, why would he command us (and clearly, it IS a command, right?) to chop off our own hands?

            On what basis do you know this is all metaphorical? Did you not use your reasoning?

            Are you seriously arguing against using our reasoning?

            If it’s your mind, and not your eyes and hands, that cause you to sin, then wouldn’t the literal application of Jesus’ words, taken literally, mean to gouge out your brain? To stick an ice pick between your eyeballs, perhaps? That would do it, stop those urges to sin.

            No, you use your reasoning to sort this all out, of course you do.

            So, when I say…

            You do this, too, Bubba. You do NOT pluck your eye out. It is obviously not reasonable to take that passage literally and you don’t. You used your reason to get to that conclusion.

            And you respond…

            I do not do the same thing, Dan

            Are you SERIOUSLY saying that you do NOT use your reasoning to reach your conclusions??

            If so, well, them’s your words, not mine.

            gee whiz…

            Bubba…

            you should argue AGAINST OUR ACTUAL ARGUMENTS to show that they’re actually arbitrary.

            Try to do this all the time, by asking reasonable questions that clarify and/or point to holes in what appears to be your actual arguments, but you all tend to leave those questions unanswered, so, what’s a fella to do?

            But here, Bubba: On what basis do you cut the hair on the side of your head. God CLEARLY literally commanded men not to do that. Why would you go against God’s commands?

            Did you use your reasoning to sort out that this is not some sort of universal rule applicable to all people? God forbid you’d use your reasoning, surely not!

            ~Dan

  7. paynehollow says:

    I could also have quoted Moliere…

    A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.

    and made a similar point. AND, the point would NOT have been, “Moliere is infallible, so do it!” but, “This is a reasonable point, here’s how Moliere put it…”

    Do you see the distinction I’m making between reading the Bible as wisdom literature and reading it as a source for rulings on behaviors? One appeals to reason, the other to “’cause the Bible…”

    I favor the former, as I think the Bible teaches (which, again, is not an appeal to an authoritative (too often, authoritarian) source, just a seconding of the point from a source I respect as wise…

    ~Dan

  8. Dan, as a genre, only a few books of the Bible qualify as “wisdom literature,” most prominently Proverbs. Even so, let’s look at Proverbs 3:5.

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

    This is not only a keynote teaching of the Bible that highlights the essence of both the faith praised in Hebrews 11 AND the devotion emphasized in Christ’s greatest commandment: it’s an entirely reasonable idea, that a limited and fallen creature should humbly trust wholeheartedly in the clear revelation of an omniscient, holy, loving and faithful Creator.

    The Bible does claim to be that clear revelation, and Jesus affirmed its authority — in His ethical teachings, in His controversies with the religious leaders, in His temptation in the wilderness, and in His own understanding of His mission.

    To put it mildly, Dan, you do not emulate Christ’s approach to Scripture and — more generally — you do not often exhibit the humble trust in God that’s encouraged in Proverbs 3:5.

  9. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    most prominently Proverbs. Even so, let’s look at Proverbs 3:5.

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

    THIS, Bubba, THIS is what I mean by treating the Bible like a rule book or a HM8B.

    Should we lean on our own reasoning, O Holy 8 Bible?

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

    Oh, okay, then we have our answer: NO, we should NOT use our reasoning or lean on our own understanding…

    No, it is not a Holy Magic 8 Ball, Bubba. It never makes that claim and it is irrational and unbiblical to treat it that way. Not to mention at least potentially horribly criminal.

    ~Dan

  10. Dan, in pointing out Proverbs 3:5, I don’t say, “it’s there in the Bible, so we should do it,” and I don’t just point out that the principle is key to the overall message of the Bible.

    I argue for this verse on your territory: I appeal to its eminent reasonableness.

    As I say, “it’s an entirely reasonable idea, that a limited and fallen creature should humbly trust wholeheartedly in the clear revelation of an omniscient, holy, loving and faithful Creator.”

    You apparently disagree, and THAT, Dan, THAT is a very clear indication that you do not exhibit a Christian’s humble faith in God.

  11. paynehollow says:

    You think it is reasonable to not use our reason??

    ??!

    ????

    If you are interpreting that verse to mean, IN YOUR OPINION, not that we should not use our reason, but that we should trust God, even when it may seem contrary to reason to some degree…, I can agree with that. It may, for instance, be difficult to trust in God for our defense rather than a large military, but ultimately yes, we should trust in God and not mere SHALLOW reasoning that says “The way you handle violence is with more and larger violence…” But not that we should abandon reason.

    Are you saying we should abandon reason, that this is your interpretation of that passage?

    Or that we should use our reason and trust in God, too? And that this verse is just a way of reminding us to trust in God, NOT saying that we should abandon reason?

    I find it hard to believe that you are arguing against using our reason, which was my only comment here that you appear to be objecting to. But then, if you are abandoning all reason, maybe that would explain some things…

    ~Dan

  12. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I argue for this verse on your territory: I appeal to its eminent reasonableness.

    Again, this is not on topic at all, but dealing with this: Are you saying, then, that your appeal to Lev 18 and Romans 1 is based upon their reasonableness? And that people should heed your appeal to not allow (maybe even legislate against?) gay folk to marry NOT because “the Bible,” but because you personally do not believe it’s a good idea?

    If so, then argue that, but then, you have to allow others to do the same and not denigrate them because “the Bible…”

    We who support marriage equity do so because of its innate obvious morality, its beauty, its reasonable-ness and for the justice of it all. And we are winning the day based on this appeal to morality, justice and reason.

    What we hear from you all is, “Nope, the Bible…” I think, perhaps, because you recognize that an appeal to morality or reason is a losing proposition (and to be fair, it is being shown to be a losing proposition, but so is, “nope, the Bible…”). But if you want to argue against it based on reason, then do so. Don’t use the Bible as a source for a ruling, that is not rational.

    ~Dan

  13. Shakes head.
    Stay away for a few hours, pop back hoping for some genuine answers and what do we find? The Christians engaged in yet another round of bitch-slapping.
    You never reply to direct,questions with an honest answer and always have some snide retort at hand to deflect and send the questioner down a different path.
    You consider this is clever? Intellectually honest? Indicative of your sincerity?Think this demonstrates how good Christians you are?

    Sad to say,none of these. You are, in the main, grossly ignorant of even your own religion.

    Truly,you behave like a bunch of spoiled adolescents in a pissing contest with the notable difference that you are pissing on each others’ shoes.

    To the casual visitor it is so utterly ridiculous.

    • Ark, you assume the things argued over are not worth arguing.

      • Oh, they may very well be, worth discuss but the way you argue is infantile, and you try to do is point score.

        You have also been asked to post evidence for your god claims re: Jesus more times than I can count and all you do is deflect then argue with each other once more like kids.

        As I said, you are simply pissing on each others shoes.
        Same old same old.
        It is very silly.

  14. Dan, I think we certainly ought to use human reason to understand God’s revelation, but there’s a huge difference between that and using human presumption to override God’s revelation.

    With the former, one recognizes the impossibility of contradiction; with the latter, one presumes the impossibility of miracles.

    A concrete example of using reason to understand revelation is tackling Jesus’ command to His disciples that they hate their parents (Lk 14:26). Reason tells us that Jesus was probably not being literal here, NOT just because we balk at the command — maybe Jesus meant to be provocative! — but because we read of Jesus’ giving the general command to love your neighbor, giving the specific command to love your enemy, and criticizing the Pharisees for ignoring God’s command to honor your parents (Lk 10:27, 6:27; Mk 7:10-11, cf. Lk 18:20).

    (Notice here how often I’m citing Luke’s gospel. To believe that Jesus meant us to hate our parents literally, we must not only conclude that Jesus was being inconsistent, we must conclude that the quite careful Luke didn’t notice it. It’s better to give both Jesus and Luke the benefit of the doubt and assume a consistent message.)

    We know that Jesus also taught, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Lk 16:13) His use of “hate” here is probably also hyperbole, because it’s conceivable that a servant could have fond feelings for two masters, but the point is that it is impossible to serve both masters, at least when their commands are in direct conflict.

    Going from Luke 16’s use of hate as hyperbole back to Luke 14, we could reason that Jesus’ point is that a true disciple is so committed to following Christ that he is willing to disobey all other authorities when they are in conflict with Him: in obeying Christ, he’s willing to disobey his parents, even when his parents would take such disobedience as a sign of hatred, which I know from personal experience DOES happen.

    A concrete example of letting presumption trump revelation is rejecting Jesus’ command not to worry and to trust God’s provision (Mt 6:25-34). A man could look at the world and reason out to himself that it’s a dangerous place, every man for himself; he could see that the most faithful Christians sometimes face poverty, privation, leprosy, persecution, and even martyrdom. He could decide that he’s going to look after himself the best way he knows how, even if that means directly disobeying God’s law.

    Coming back to the topic of sexuality, you talk about my “appeal to Lev 18 and Romans 1,” but I DO NOT PRIMARILY APPEAL TO THESE PASSAGES and I’m tired of your not recognizing and remembering that.

    (My point wasn’t to suggest that every clear teaching of Scripture is self-evidently reasonable, but to point out that PROVERBS 3:5 is reasonable, and so it ought to be obeyed even by your standards: it *IS* reasonable “that a limited and fallen creature should humbly trust wholeheartedly in the clear revelation of an omniscient, holy, loving and faithful Creator,” which is the point of that proverb.)

    On marriage, I appeal primarily to Matthew 19, where we see that Christ Himself affirms that God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

    I don’t think you have ever submitted to the clear implications of that teaching, nor have I ever seen you wrestle with its implications, Instead, you write that you support the radical redefinition of marriage “because of its innate obvious morality, its beauty, its reasonable-ness and for the justice of it all.”

    The “morality” of treating marriage as essentially androgynous isn’t obvious at all, and here I believe you’re allowing your presumption to trump clear revelation.

    That’s dangerous in the general case, because we “preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,” and the gospel is “folly to those who are perishing.” (I Cor 1:18, 22) The good news Christians proclaim is contrary to the supposed wisdom of the world — and in our own walks, we may be asked to obey God’s clear commands even as we don’t understand them. See also, Abraham, Moses, Peter in the fishing boat, and the servants at the wedding in Cana.

    And in a more specific case, people can dismiss the claims of the miraculous because such claims seem TO THEM to be unreasonable.

    That’s certainly the case with you and the early chapters of Genesis, with the Deluge and at least certain interpretations of the Creation. I wonder why it’s not the case with the Resurrection.

    Is it not “obvious” that a human being couldn’t be flogged, crucified, and impaled evidently through the heart and lung, only to walk the 7-mile hike to Emmaus approximately 48 hours later?

    • The very first mistake you make is presuppositional – that this so-called revelation via the bible /Yahweh/ resurrection is factual.
      And that is where all the wheels fall off. Always.

      • You keep saying presuppositional as though it is somehow an inherently flawed perspective. You also imply that I and others simply were told the bi Le is true and we just believed it. Both of which are false.

        • The use of the term is based on the fact that there is no evidence to back the claims you make: that what you believe is based on faith, via indoctrination and erroneous scripture.
          Unless you can offer evidence to alter this line of reasoning then faith is ALL you have got, I’m afraid.
          and thus both, the flawed perspective and presupposition are true,

          • Your presupposition that God does not exist is false and where all your going wrong starts.

            • I can not say that there is no creator deity – of course not, and no atheist worth their salt will ever say this. What can be said is this:, based on the evidence presented so far every claim made by theists in this regard can be summarily dismissed and the claims by Christians just as easily, if not more so.
              You have nothing and you know it!

              • So you’re an atheist because other people are poor articulaters of their views? Then you don’t hold your views based on your own wherewithal, but rather because of others inabilities. That’s lazy.

              • No because of the evidence – or rather lack of.
                I am, surprising as it may seem, able to read big words and books without the use of my index finger or mouthing the text as I go along.
                What you believe in is unsubstantiated nonsense. And that is the overriding fact on this thread.

              • Do you also eat babies because they can’t give you good reasons not to?

              • Ah …and that comment qualifies you for the title ”Dickhead.” Well done, John.
                You now join the proud ranks alongside marshal art.
                A fraud, phony and hypocrite.

              • I know what you mean, I’m only a theist because atheists haven’t given me evidence.

              • Evidence for what? What would you like, John?

              • Give me an argument that God doesnt/can’t exist.

              • Which god?

              • Just the concept of a deity. Argue that a deity of maximal greatness cannot exist.

              • I cannot argue that a deity cannot exist.
                Are you remedial? I have already stated it is impossible to know one way or another.

                What I am saying is the evidence presented so far – especially by theists such as yourself is a) laughable and b) fallacious and can thus be dismissed without a second thought.

                THIS is why I keep asking you to present evidence for the god you are so sure of. So we can test this evidence.
                THIS is why Dan keeps asking for the evidence that convinced you that there IS a god and this god is the one you find within the pages of that stupid chuffing rag you call the bible.

                Are we clear, John? Do you U-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d, John?

                So let’s see it.

              • It’s not impossible. I’ve even offered such an argument on this very blog. Some other atheist I know offered an ontological argument against God’s existence that I addressed here. You’re just not up to the task.

              • No, that argumnt is speculation, just as your ”For’god” argument is. Some atheists like the convoluted approach but they end up with the same problem. No evidence.
                I do not have enough of a scientific background to enter into such a silly discussion.And the philosophical argument you can wide your backside on.
                And no true atheist will ever state categorically that they can prove or demonstrate there is no creator deity. And it isn’t even necessary or relevant. Do you no understand?
                The atheist has not need for any god. Only the theist requires it.
                Thus, you claim you have the evidence to demonstrate that you are right and we (atheists and every other person of every other religion are wrong.
                You need to understand, John, I do not give a shit one way or another. It means nothing, other than the fact some that claim there is a god; such as extreme Muslims and fucked-up politicians such a George W who will go to war because of such beliefs.

                Now, if you want to show me why I am so very , very wrong, then simply show me.
                Surely you have the courage of your convictions?
                You believe. You believe so fervently that you would willing die for this god and even kill for it.
                Some may consider this admirable – loyalty at its most profound.
                I say its screwed up.
                But then I don’t believe. YOU DO.
                Show me why, John?

              • “…so far every claim made by theists in this regard can be summarily dismissed…”

                Summarily dismissed, sure. Proven false, not even close.

              • Hey, dickhead! I wondered where you’d got to.
                When I use the term ”Summarily dismissed”, I use in the same way as you would use it when considering the story of Mohammed flying to Jerusalem and heaven on a winged horse; and neither of us can prove that false either, now can we?
                Tell, me do you go to special classes to become such a Jerk or does it come naturally to one so indoctrinated?

              • That’s where you’re wrong, Ark, Muhammad flying into Jerusalem on a horse isn’t “summarily dismissed”. Unlike the Gospels which were written within a generation of Jesus’ life when the witnesses were still alive, the account of Muhammad was written more than a hundred years after his death in the Hadith.

              • What chuffing witnesses? Evidence, John. Evidence.
                As for Mohammed, the tale was passed along via word of mouth, just like many of the Jewish tales in the OT.
                Are you really calling Muslim liars, John.?

              • “Tell, me do you go to special classes to become such a Jerk or does it come naturally to one so indoctrinated?”

                Tell me, Arkie. How can you sit there and refer to me as a jerk, wondering how I come by it, while calling me names like “dickhead”? The irony and hypocrisy is galling, but not unexpected. This is every bit the example of “take the plank out of your eye” that lost people like yourself throw at Christians with impunity.

                As to summarily dismissing, it is as John says regarding islam. It just doesn’t have the evidence of historical recordings or archeological findings that exists to support the likelihood of the truth of Scripture. And as for what muslims passed down, it is for that which there is nothing BUT their word which truly supports it. That is to say, there is little they say about Mohammed that is in dispute except for this status as prophet and all they he claimed in terms of revelation for which there is no witness. This isn’t the case with Jesus and the whole of Scripture.

              • Ah, my dear Dickhead, you have yet to provide a shred of evidence for your god claims.
                Maybe if you do we can have a sensible discussion about them, yes?
                Meantime, you are nothing but a chuffing ignorant hand-waving – hypocrite.

      • LOL! Presuppositional? Here? Seriously? You do realize that has more than three syllables, which become progressively more difficult to pronounce depending on one’s number of teeth.
        And obviously there are studies that say the more Christian one is, the less teeth they have (C. Rikey 2007 Oxford, and B. Ugger 2000 Harvard)
        The only presupposition we can agree on here is that Mr. Barron is an individual who has a criminal record and who didn’t attend university- as is the case for most in his milieu.

  15. paynehollow says:

    Do you also believe in unicorns because no one can give you evidence that they don’t exist? Of course not. What’s the difference?

    For me, I’m a Christian because I believe in the teachings of Jesus, not because someone can’t convince me that Jesus didn’t exist.

    I’m just not following the logic. To be a believer in anything only because others have not convinced you it does not exist seems to be a fairly slight reason to believe in it.

    ~Dan

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