That being said, lets examine this question:
First of all, everyone knows (or should know) that proving the invisible, unknowable and untouchable to be false is impossible. Proving that God is imaginary beyond a shadow of a doubt is completely impossible. Yes, I said it - I can't prove that God does not exist. That also being said, Christians can't prove that Santa Claus, Odin, Thor, Osiris, The Tooth Fairy, Goblins, Dragons, Unicorns (both the regular and the invisible, pink variety), Baal, fairies and Helios don't exist. If any Christian can prove any of these don't exist, please feel free to comment with your proof. However, Christians get their feelings hurt when you claim that Yahweh does not exist, but happily agree that Santa Claus is completely fictitious. How silly is that, when they can not prove that Santa is imaginary?
Recently, a self-proclaimed Christian replied to an email with this:
"What evidence do you have that God does not exist?"
What a sad excuse for an argument. There are several things wrong with this question. I mentioned the first problem, but I'll repeat it so we can see the errors in a list. Here goes:
- Disproving the imaginary is impossible. One can not prove that something does not exist. We can prove that something DOES exist, but not that it is imaginary.
- This response came after a very powerful response from myself, and is usually presented as a "hail mary" play - one last effort to win a debate against logic. This is known as a "face saving" move. The response I receive after retorting is usually this: "Well, you can believe what you want to believe, but you're going to burn in Hell anyway. Have a good time with your master, Satan!" How rude!
- The whole point of Christianity is that they can not prove their God. This is called "rationalization". Rationalization is making conclusions and then trying to find evidence to support your conclusion. Science is completely opposite, as scientists find evidence and then draw conclusions directly from the evidence. To do otherwise is illogical and superstitious.
- This question is an example of faulty common sense. In no way did the author examine his or her own thinking before asking such a question.
- This question is intellectually lazy. No thought was put into what their own point of view might effect their questioning process.
- This question makes an unwarranted assumption - namely, that such evidence could ever be presented to disprove the imaginary. The author of the question is obviously not a critical thinker.
- The question is a precursor to a "strawman". A strawman is a misrepresentation of the facts or someone else's argument that you can then knock down very easily. By asking the question and waiting for the obvious "no" answer, the author's next move is to say, "Really? Then if you can't prove God doesn't exist, and I say he does, you are affirming a negative which means you are wrong!"... or some such thing. This argument is vacuous.
- The author is attempting to shift the burden of proof from his- or herself onto the one who does not share their belief. It is the responsibility of the person making the claim to back-up the claim with facts, or at least with real premises that can be investigated and argued. Saying that my disbelief based on finding no reason to believe is wrong is a dirty trick that a lot of people fall for. I, however, did not fall for it.
I still stand by my statement: If you can prove to me that God exists, then I will believe. Until then, I see no reason to believe.