I had an interesting exchange with a Christian recently that highlighted for me the absolute lack of respect for reason and evidence amongst the religious. It is interesting how willing the religious are to contrast their belief in god against reason and evidence themselves. It is very rare to find a Christian who believes that reason and evidence can actually be used to support the existence of a god. I felt that this was an important thing to share, so please check it out below. What I have posted is just part of our exchange, because the rest is largely irrelevant. Also, all spelling and grammar mistakes in the selection attributed to him are his own:
Christian: It seems our discrepancies come over what we are willing to take leaps of faith for. You're willing to believe that everything can be explained by human logic and put your fiath in that, whereas I believe that man cannot fully comprehend everything and put my faith in God. Also, you are starting with the logic as you have laid it out and from there are, point by point, explicating how God could not exist due to each. However, I start out with the existance of God as my absolute truth and pick apart the arguments from there. In your case, logical arguments are bigger than God and so God cannot exist within them. In my case, God is bigger than logic and so has power over the logical arguments and turns their absolute truths into fallacies. If you take a step back and open your mind to the fact that we as humans are only wired to understand a very small crossection of the greater universe, be it light, distance, sound, time, or what have you, then you may be able to realize that no human can fully define the laws of the universe or its existance.
Me: I think your argument really fell apart for me, though, when you said, “However, I start out with the existence of God as my absolute truth and pick apart the arguments from there.” If you presuppose your conclusion, of course you will arrive at it. This is a fallacy and therefore not a legitimate way to analyze a claim.
My aim is not to disprove the existence of a god with certainty. If you state that a god exists but has created humans and the universe in such a way that if we apply a logical and evidence-based analysis to the world around us, we will find that this god does not exist, I know of no way to disprove that statement. You have constructed an un-falsifiable claim that is inherently illogical.
Imagine if we did this with another issue, say politics. I tell you that I believe a careful study of economic principles and history shows that the supply-side policies advocated by Republicans will produce superior results to the demand-side policies advocated by Democrats. According to your logic it would be okay for you to reply, “Well, if you start off by using economics as the arbiter of economic truth, then yes, you are right. But I choose to use the Democratic Party platform as the arbiter of economic truth and then go back and decide what economic model works based on that. You and I just have different ways of approaching the problem.” This is absolutely not a legitimate way to think and analyze problems. A conclusion cannot be your starting point.
As I said, my aim is not to definitively disprove the existence of all gods by all possible definitions. My aim is simply to show that there is no good, positive reason to believe that a god exists when one analyzes the question objectively without presupposition in favor or against the existence of god. I also aim to show that there are good reasons to believe that the god of Christianity does not exist.
Given two thousand years, Christianity has failed to produce a single argument for the existence of a god that can withstand the rigors of logic and evidence, but atheists have developed many arguments such as the ones I have given to believe that this particular god does not exist.
The only recourse left for Christians such as yourself who wish to perpetuate their belief in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence is to denounce reason and logic themselves. As Martin Luther famously said, “Reason is the greatest enemy faith has.” When you contrast my acceptance of logic with your belief in god, you confirm this.