Here’s a quoted section from the Illegible Post. It’s obviously not completely illegible since I can indeed recognize letters of the alphabet in it. However, comprehension is quite an effort when it comes to our current Christian’s writing. I’ve broken it up a bit to try to isolate individual points for the sake of clarity. This is verbatim except for those breaks.
“8. No such thing as evidence that any one thing could not have happened unless it is a physical impossibility which is not something she addresses in this post. I suppose she’s actually provided evidence against the Flood of Noah Later and we’ll review and discard them as necessary.
9. Magic is not invoked and no serious of honest person, especially me, will cower behind such a fantastic or unfounded claim. So, ha ha.
“10. You cannot find evidence for the non-existence or falseness of something, so far as I know (if you know of evidence that supports the non-reality of Santa Clause, let me know)
I contest, rather that since truth is manifested through evidence(proved) that only an idea or truth, as it were, that is contrary to the untruth can be provided with credible evidence.
For example, I cannot find an ancient carving, an eyewitness account, or a new species of animal that will disprove the existence of vampire cows. All I can do is find that any reported sightings of such an aberration to have been some drunk mistaking a pelican for the evil cow, and so forth.
Thusly, no evidence is ever needed to “disprove” the existence of Santa because such evidences as Christmas morning presents and the mysterious disappearance of cookies are accounted for by other persons (i.e. mom and dad) and a fat little man cannot, as a physical impossibility, be carried around the world in one night by reindeer which cannot fly without the aid and appeal to magic (a child’s adorable, yet genuine cop-out).
Magic can look down its ugly warted nose at any fact, so I never appeal to it. He does not need “proof” of a mythical person’s existence . She will no doubt use this to prove that she, thus, does not need evidence against the God of the Bible because there is none.
In response to such a conclusion I would say: First there are some things that cannot be accounted for by physical means (bible codes, mathematical living structure sequences, cellular complexity, life and consciousness). Second, if we are dealing with a creator God he has the ability to do what He will do with His creation (parting the Red Sea, maddening the known world’s supreme ruler and restoring him in greater grandeur, healing the blind and lame) (unlike Santa Claws who never has been suspected with creating the universe by the word of his mouth and judging sin against him(unless you think of coal).
Fantastic claims are made of God, but if anyone were able to “bend the rules of nature”, He can, but he will not unless it is recorded in His word (miracles and wonders in pre-Exodus Egypt) or in accordance for His word (that is prayer and fasting, imploring God to intervene in a loved one’s life, though He is not forced to act outside His will for the individual, and surely He does work as a matter of documentation, praise His name!) Thus claims that God is a myth like Santa are end.”
My, that was painful. And I *still* have the feeling, that this Christian is an atheist pulling my leg, with the stereotypical claims and presentation. It’s always fun to watch someone declare a discussion is at an end and that he’s won. It’s a gold standard when it comes to figuring that the claimant knows he’s failed and really hopes no one will contest his claims.
Now, I am going to assume that our Christian meant the following and address his thought processes:
- One cannot prove the non-existence of a thing.
- Physical impossibility (e.g. actions cannot occur and break the laws of physics as we know them) *is* evidence and a valid reason to judge that something is not true.
- He has not and has never invoked magic as an excuse for his claims of what his god does.
- As long as we can point to evidence counter to his claims e.g. physical impossibility, that means his claims are wrong.
- He thinks that cells, the Bible, DNA, etc aren’t physical or based on physical laws.
- He thinks that God is not omnipotent but is restricted by what’s in the Bible as he interprets it.
- He thinks that God answers prayers if the Bible’s words are followed in a certain way that he has determined.
- He thinks that prayers are only answered if God feels like it.
- He thinks that the bible is evidence of God since it claims that God works miracles and claims that God created the universe. And,
- He may think that pelicans look like cows. Even drunk, that’s a stretch.
I’ve addressed many of them in one form or another in various blog posts. They all boil down to: can the existence of a god or gods be shown to be anymore likely than the existence of a fictional character, in this case Santa Claus? Just about any fictional character with magical powers will do in this exercise. Darth Vader is always fun.
The most glaring issue to address is that many theists want to create a separation between their god’s “abilities” and magic. The term seems to be considered either too lowly to describe their god or too “evil”. Their god’s magic is fine and indeed to be desired, but when it’s discussed in the context of Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons and the Force, then it’s very very bad. It’s bad because it’s not their tribe’s magic and if their god is not in charge, then what is?
Magic is defined as: extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural (of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil) source – Merriam-Webster. This definition seems to cover the acts of gods quite nicely and thus, the acts of the Christian god. It covers those acts that are known to be physically impossible, such as the healing, raising from the dead, walking on water, parting a sea, causing a global flood, etc (and yes, at some point perhaps humans will have the technology to mimic such things, but they didn’t in the supposed biblical era). As I have discussed in the post about the flood, physical laws show the flood could not have happened without magic, the suspension of physical laws. Bible literalists have tried very hard to come up with natural mechanisms for this flood but their ignorance of physical laws has defeated them every time.
These physical laws do a very good job of being the evidence that something has never happened or has never existed. Our Christian has essentially admitted this when he has claimed that physical impossibility is a reason to disbelieve something. We do not need “an ancient carving, an eyewitness or new species of animal”, we have that gravity works, friction works, hydrodymanics work, chemical bonds work, etc. They work, we have evidence they have worked in the past (radioactivity, meteor craters, sedimentary deposits, organic chemicals), and they have not been show to randomly fail; this is not a Seussian universe (auto playing sound on link). In the same way that we have evidence that Santa Claus does not exist – other forces involved – parents, physical impossibilities – flying reindeer, we also have evidence that at the least the Bible is wrong since it claims things that require magic, e.g. the physically impossible, to be true.
Invoking magic is indeed a “cop-out” as our Christian says when it comes to trying to claim a supernatural being exists in reality. However, he invokes magic consistently, in the guise of “God’s abilities” to get around physically impossible events that the bible claims that the Christian god has done. If these claims are shown to not have happened, then we have little reason to trust the bible to be valid when it claims a god as the actor in these events. The Christian has claimed that his bible is literally true and that proves that his god is real. But if the bible is not literally true, and there is no reason for this god to be “suspected with creating the universe by the word of his mouth and judging sin against him” then we have no Christian god, at least not the one he believes in.
To drive the point home with a bit of satire:
Fantastic claims are made of Santa, but if anyone were able to “bend the rules of nature”, he can, but he will not unless it is recorded in “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (miracles and wonders, chimney travel, “he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake) or in accordance for his word (no pouting, no crying and “you’d better be good for goodness sake”, imploring Santa to send that gift you want by letter) though He is not forced to act outside His will for the individual (Santa can’t get ponies down chimneys), and surely He does work as a matter of documentation (songs and books) praise his name!
Postscript: Anyone have any idea what the heck our Christian means here claiming his god did this: “maddening the known world’s supreme ruler and restoring him in greater grandeur”?