Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Question for Atheists: The Book of God's Existence

Atheists maintain that rejection of faith is superior to practicing faith. However, despite this commonly held view, one may at least force an atheist to admit he/she is capable of practicing faith. Simply ask this question:

Suppose there exists a book simply titled "The Book of God's Existence" which, using formal logic and reasoning, proves the existence of God. However, if one who does not already believe in God reads this book that person is doomed to eternal damnation. Many prominent and vocal atheists have read the book intending to prove it wrong, but in each case they immediately become depressed believing their fate in Hell is assured.

You, as an atheist, are not convinced that the book is correct. In fact, you're almost certain that it can be proven wrong since you discover it is simply a modified ontological argument and have successfully found logical fallacies in numerous other similar arguments. What do you do?

There are only 3 valid actions that an atheist may take:

  1. Refuse to read the book, but continue to deny God's existence. 
  2. Refuse to read the book, but accept God's existence.
  3. Read the book.
Each action requires a display of faith, either in God or one's self. Here's why:

1. If they respond with "I wouldn't read the book, but I wouldn't believe in God either" they express a blind faith that the book is fallacious without examination of its contents and in direct conflict with the evidence that every atheist who has read the book believes in God--even those who were most vocal about their non belief.

2.If they respond with "I wouldn't read the book, but I would believe in God's existence" they express a blind faith that the book is correct without examination of its contents and accept the testimony of those who have read it as correct without any real proof to validate their claims. Most importantly, however, they also express a faith in God.

3. Unfortunately, this is the choice most atheists would make. If they respond to the question with "I would just read the book" they express a blind faith that their intuition of the book's fallibility  is correct without any evidence. Further, they show a faith that the testimony of all the atheists who read the book is misguided despite the fact that each person who read the book was a strong atheist before, most likely including others that had also successfully refuted other ontological arguments. However, the greatest faith they place is in their belief that they will not be damned to Hell for reading the book without assurance.

Final Thoughts

In the end, each person is "granted a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3) by God, and an atheist is no different. Despite the claims that they will not express any faith, they are quite capable of doing so in many different situations. This question is simply a thought experiment to point out that they are indeed capable of faith.


Although not clearly explained in the question, one may assume that the reason for eternal damnation after reading the book is because a proof of God's existence means a person does not exercise faith in God or Jesus Christ, but instead logic. For this reason, the person commits blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (the only unforgivable sin) for essentially having no faith in God. After all, one doesn't have to have faith the sky is blue or any other proven thing.

Further, you can assume that the number of atheist who read the book is irrelevant.  Their combined knowledge covered every facet of atheism, agnosticism and ignosticism as well as every refutation for every argument for the existence of God. Suffice it to say they, as a group, represent the summation of all of atheist thought.

Finally, one can assume that the knowledge of the nature of the argument (ie. it's ontological) alone does not damn one to Hell, and this knowledge was gained from others who had read the work previously.

No comments:

Post a Comment