I came across a website called ‘Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries’ which had an article entitled ’ Strategies for Dialoguing with Atheists’, by someone who calls themselves ‘Ron Rhodes’. The site can be found here, but only those with a strong stomach for reading moronic drivel which bears as much resemblance to ratiocination as an elephant bears to a piece of Stilton cheese should bother to visit it. Nevertheless, for those with a particular penchant for studying abnormal psychology, a visit to Ron provides much of interest. He commences his delusional ramblings with this egregious nonsense…
No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians. And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist.
So, there you have it. According to Raving Ron, babies are born theists, but apparently during their subsequent development they make a deliberate choice, either to believe exclusively in the Xtian ‘god’ or none at all. Clearly this will come as some surprise to many of you, but especially all the Jews, Muslims and Hindus out there.
He also alleges that atheism is a “belief system”, but fails to explain why in his obviously febrile and delusional mind he thinks of it as such, though I will leave it to others to disabuse him in that respect. More important is the fact that he implies that ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ are synonyms, which, of course, they are not, and conveniently ignores the fact that belief can be substantiated by evidence and ratiocination, whereas faith represents the lack of these critical factors. Consequently, Ron’s conclusion that “It requires faith that [the Xtian] God does not exist” is complete nonsense, since the fact that no-one has ever been able to produce any credible evidence that ANY so-called ‘god’ exists, never mind the Xtian one, so it is a justified true belief, as epistemologists would have it, to believe that any and all so-called ‘gods’ do not exist.
By now Ron is getting into full stride, metaphorically speaking, and continues with this devastating development of his so-called ‘strategy’ for dealing with atheists…
Some atheists categorically state that there is no God, and all atheists, by definition, believe it. And yet, this assertion is logically indefensible. A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God. Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time — with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe — can make such a statement based on the facts. To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God
Poor Ron is clearly under the mistaken misapprehension that atheists are as stupid and ignorant as both himself and his fellow theists are, since this is a common argument put forward by theists who are either (a) not very bright, or (b) completely stupid – and that’s before I even get round to mentioning (c) the completely mendacious and duplicitous sophists, not to mention (d) the delusional and psychologically dysfunctional ones.
However, to get back to the argument quoted above, some prefatory remarks are apposite. Since theists cannot even agree amongst themselves what they mean, precisely, by ‘God’ (even when they limit themselves exclusively to speaking about the Xtian one), it demonstrates that either (a) they themselves do not ‘believe’ in the so-called ‘God’ of their fellow theists, or (b) that there is no singular ‘God’ at all, but a plurality them, neither of which is the same.
Despite the not inconsiderable problems arising as a consequence of the foregoing, theists remain undeterred, and have no difficulty in declaiming that their particular and singular ‘God’ exists, even though they are unable to provide one jot of independent, corroborative, credible evidence to support their claims. In either event, however, and until they can define precisely and unanimously what they mean by ‘God’, it is perfectly logical to “categorically state that there is no God”. Thus, Ron’s subsequent claim that “this assertion is logically indefensible” is both invalid and false.
As for Ron’s continuation statement, “A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God,” that would be true only if the requirements for “omniscient” and “omnipresence” were necessary for it to be so. However, since the previous paragraph shows that the statement that “there is no God” can be arrived at by other valid avenues, the requirements for “omniscient” and “omnipresence” are not necessary, therefore yet another of Ron’s claims is false.
By using the same method of rebuttal, Ron’s subsequent claim that, “Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time — with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe — can make such a statement based on the facts,” can also be shown to be false. Apart from that, astute readers will have noticed that it is simply a restatement of the preceding one using different terms, and that it is tautologous.
Which leaves us with Ron’s devastating summation: “To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God!”
Ineluctably, therefore, I am forced by Ron to arrive at the conclusion that I must be God, since I CAN say, “There is no God!”