Being atheist is to not accept a god as real. Theists argue that god is real. Many discussions about the theist god get lost in arguments about the argument or lost in the segues of multiple fallacies. It is important to focus on the core argument for a god when discussing the god. What follows is a discussion of the basic argument for the theist god.
The basic argument for a god uses premises without evidence and faith as a substitute for evidence. Theists claim that their bible is the true word of their god, so theists are bound to what the bible says and by the rules in the bible, they may not change what is written within the bible. That bible says to use faith as evidence to prove the god. Faith is not logical evidence; it is an emotional substitute for evidence, as explained in Hebrews 11:1. The basic claim for a god follows.
- There is a god.
- God revealed itself to prophets and told the prophets how that god “created” everything and then laid out rules for people to live by.
- The words of the theist god are written in the theist bible and the bible is the true word of that god.
- The bible says there is a god.
- Therefore, there is a god.
The simpler form of the argument is reduced to the last premise and conclusion. The bible says there is a god; therefore, there is a god.
As you can see, the premises in the argument lack evidence, as they are unvalidated statements and statements of opinion. The argument for a god commits many fallacies that include being circular, appealing to ignorance, appealing to authority, appealing to false authority, hasty generalization, causal fallacy, self-authentication, and others depending on how the argument for a god is stated. Discussion of the premises for the basic argument of a god follows.
There is a god.
The first premise, there is a god, that can also be there is a need for a god, assumes the premise is true, can be true, or should be true. Atheists do not need an idea of a god to settle anything or answer any question in their life, so the first premise is defeated as a false presumption, first as being an assumed necessity and second as being the conclusion of the argument. The premise raises the fallacy of Begging the Question or Circular Reasoning. Before the subsequent premise of a prophet having a vision of a god can be true, the question of why would we should want a god must be answered. Theists do not answer the question and the premise for a god is not logical on its own. But since the premise is also the conclusion we can accept the premise as rhetorical and proceed.
God revealed itself to prophets and told the prophets how that god “created” everything and then laid out rules for people to live by.
Since the first premise is defeated (or put on hold), the second premise must be logically true without the idea that a god is a necessary fact of reality. Theism is the belief that a god revealed itself to a person called a prophet. Without the prophets and their prophesies, words of god, there is no theism. The premise of prophets would have to be true 1) if a rational sane person saw a god, it would be reasonable for that person to accept that the god is real, and 2) that another rational and sane person learning the story would be reasonable to accept the story of that god and that god as real.
The premise of the prophets and their prophesies would be the same if a neighbor claimed to have seen a god. If it is reasonable to accept that the neighbor saw a god and that the god is real, then the first part of the premise is true. If it is reasonable to accept the god is real, then it would need to be reasonable to accept the rules of that god told to that neighbor are also reasonable to accept. If the neighbor said to kill all the male children in the neighborhood because the god “commanded death to male children in the neighborhood,” then the second part of the premise is reasonable to accept as real and people could kill neighborhood boys because that god told their neighbor that the boys must be killed.
It is not reasonable to accept that a neighbor saw a god that was real and that the god said to kill all male children in the neighborhood. Therefore, it is not reasonable to accept that a prophet saw a god and made commandments for all of humanity. Theists counter the argument for reasonableness by saying the times were “different then” and that those commandments were only for those people. That response is irrational.
Theists are not daunted by the irrationality of accepting that a person is said to have had a hallucination of a god and accepted that god’s laws as real. They accept their argument for a god by faith. Faith is a substitute for evidence but some theists will reject logical evidence in favor of their faith. Reflect on Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This is the evidence used by theists. Nestled in that substitute for evidence is the phrase, “things hoped for.”
“Things hoped for” calls back to the second premise of the argument for a god, that that alleged prophets received the word of a god and it was true. What a story those prophets told. The stories are rich with murder, mayhem, war, sexual domination, pedophilia, terrible abuses, slavery, bigotry, land ownership, and many other “words of god” that offend the sensibilities of empathetic and compassionate people. The stories of the prophets are presented as hallucinations of a god and there are no corroborating accounts of the stories, yet these stories are among “the things hoped for” for theists. The “evidence” for the premise that a god revealed itself to prophets lies in the hope that the stories of the prophets are true. This is not valid evidence, so the second premise is defeated as being illusory and as being irrational if accepted as true.
The words of the theist god are written in the theist bible and the bible is the true word of that god.
Atheists often muse that many Christians they encounter have never read the bible or are not familiar with its contents. Christians often claim that Jesus came to bring peace while in the biblical stories, Jesus said he did not come to bring peace but he came to bring war. Another claim is that Jesus replaced the laws of the Old Testament of the Hebrew bible, yet the words attributed to Jesus are that he will uphold the old laws. There are many other things in the bible people today reject, modify, reinvent, contradict, and find reprehensible. There are also many errors and contradictions within the theist bible. The theist bible is sensational, violent, and sexual.
All of the stories of a god talking to people are rejected by atheists as being obscene and perverted. Christians often retort, “But Jesus changed all of that,” rejecting the words attributed to Jesus that he came to uphold the old laws. Faith is to want the perversions stated by the prophets to be true. Atheists do not want such insanity. The third premise that the words of the theist god are written in the theist bible lacks any support for why this god’s words of depravity should be accepted as true. So the premise is defeated as being unsupported, although it is also defeated for being a defense of reprehensible obscenity.
The bible says there is a god.
The theist bible is self-authenticating and it is through faith that theists accept the bible as the true word of their god. Various verses of the theist bible says that the bible is “breathed out” by the theist god. Text in the theist bible says that it is infallible because it came from the theist god. Self-authentication has earned the book a unique fallacy called, self-referential incoherence. Theists and their bible raise many fallacies, some unique to theism, but self-authentication sends theists arguments into a spiral of cognitive dissonance from which no logic or rationality can escape.
Theists are inspired by the challenge of an improvable premise and many have woven word macramé to rationalize how a self-authenticating and self-referential book can be regarded as true. All theist arguments for why the theist bible is true tend to rest on two claims 1) historical records prove the theist bible has some historical accuracy and 2) many verses throughout the bible say it is true.
Theists sometimes argue that there is historical evidence that “proves” the theist bible. The theist bible contains some historical accounts and many historical inaccuracies. Modern fiction often provides more factual reliability than the theist bible, which is purported to be true. Proving the theist bible exists or that it was written at a certain time, does not prove the contents of that book. No historical accounts support the claim that the theist bible is the “word” of a god.
Some fictional stories have superheroes and high profile characters that are not real, while they detail some factual accounts. Some fictional stories have been believed by sound and rational people because they contain some true statements or seem believable. One example is a radio program in 1938 with Orson Welles narrating an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds that featured a Martian invasion and was told as a series of news bulletins during the regular radio broadcast. Some listeners believed that Martians had invaded earth and panicked. Other examples are all over the internet with people believing stories that are not real. Some stories are designed to get money from people. Other stories are used to lure people. All of the stories of fiction that people believe are touted as real but they are not. A story that says it is real is not real because it says so. A fictional story that contains some facts is not more reliable than any other fiction.
Some theists try to overcome the credibility issue of their bible by saying that it is so sensational, no person could say that if it was not true. Or, no one could ever come up with that idea on their own. Theists are mistaken, no story is too outrageous to be fiction. A self-authenticating story no matter how outrageous is not true without corroboration of the truth of the contents of that story.
The second theist claim to support the veracity of self-authentication is that many verses in the theist bible claim the bible is the true word of their god, it is breathed by the god, it is infallible, and it is many other things that make it true. A million repetitions of a false claim will not make a true claim, so the self-authentication of the theist bible is not authentic.
So, the premise, the bible says there is a god, has no veracity and is defeated.
Therefore, there is a god.
The conclusion of the theist argument for a god that is the basis for what they believe has no support from its premises. Theists have yet to show why anyone should accept their god as real. They have not provided any evidence to support any premise for their god. Therefore, the theists have no god. Without their faith, theists are atheist.