February 26, 2008

Is It Possible To Argue For The Existence Of God Without Using Logical Fallacies?

In my countless attempts at trying to have reasonable conversations with the religious it has become apparent that every line of argument they take essentially boils down to a logical fallacy. A mode of reasoning that is entirely flawed.

It has drawn me to the conclusion that no argument for the existence of god can ever be logically sound, And as such any argument for the existence of god can be dismissed.

The most popular fallacy used is the argument from ignorance. The theist will assume that your inability to answer a question they pose or give an explanation of something is in fact evidence for their explanation. They will ask how the big bang came about, As if our current lack of an explanation gives credibility to their "magic man done it" theory. This is some times referred to as the "god of gaps". They wait for a gap and shove their god in to fill it.

The second most popular fallacy is the argument from design. The theist assumes that because the laws of physics appear to be fine tuned that they must have been fine tuned, And because no explanation can be given as to how this may occur naturally they invoke the god of gaps and say "magic man done it".

The third most popular has got to be their good old straw man argument where the theist will say "Scientists believe we evolved from rocks.. So how long does it take a rock to evolve in to a cat?". They completely misrepresent the claim made by science and turn it in to something they feel equipped to counter and ask you a question based on their misrepresentation.

Last but not least, A fallacy that all religious people are guilty of, And a fallacy which name escapes me at the moment, Is when a conclusion is reached and then evidence is gathered to support that conclusion. The theist will already be of the opinion that a god exists and after the conclusion is reached they go off looking for evidence to support than conclusion. They have the scientific process back to front.

So are there any arguments for the existence of god that are at least logically sound? are there any arguments that can't be dismissed straight away as being abominations in logic?


  1. The theist will already be of the opinion that a god exists and after the conclusion is reached they go off looking for evidence to support than conclusion.

    You could say that the atheist does the same thing, "there is no god, let's find proof there is no god."

    You cannot have a perfectly sound argument for or against god. The reason is that there is no proof for or against god. You can disprove god as well as I can prove god.

    Most atheists use logical fallacies as well. You say that because it cannot be proven true, it must be false, the negative proof fallacy. You also use another logical fallacy fairly often, the straw man argument. So don't go all 'high and mighty all religious are dumb asses while the superior atheists are masters of logic" when you use many of the same fallacies everyone else does.

  2. Quote: "Last but not least, A fallacy that all religious people are guilty of, And a fallacy which name escapes me at the moment, Is when a conclusion is reached and then evidence is gathered to support that conclusion. The theist will already be of the opinion that a god exists and after the conclusion is reached they go off looking for evidence to support than conclusion. They have the scientific process back to front." Endquote

    It's called an Ex Post Facto argument. See here:


  3. Excellent blog.

    It makes me warm inside to see that other people "get it". I live in baton rouge Louisiana, and am surrounded by religious fanatics everywhere I go. it's disgusting.

    I will say this much, you've inspired me to resume work on an old project of mine: KatholicPope.com

    I went to catholic boarding school, and while there I found a website that would let me nationally register my own religion online, as long as you met some basic criteria.

    Anyways, for about fifty dollars, I registered the Katholic faith (catholic with a K). I then built a church (my dorm room), and served beer and crackers on football sundays, as the body and blood of christ. Then a group of advisors and myself got together and crowned a new Pope. Of course, I was the new pope, and as first order business as pope, I quickly made some necessary revisions to the bible.

    First off, the commandments have been shortened significantly. 10 are too many for anyone to remember. The new commandments became:

    1. The Pope is never wrong.
    2. In the case the Pope is ever wrong, refer to commandment one

    I tried my damnedest afterwards to get all the teachers to refer to me as "Pope Frank", and I just ignored them if they didn't comply, then I got reprimanded with "Saturday School" which put an end to it.

    Anyways, a while back I registered "www.katholicpope.com" and envisioned it as a website where I'd post my vast collection of "religious" articles, quotes, and sell indulgences (this is when you pay the priest in advance for a sin you're GOING to commit, so that god will "look the other way"... the church sold these for hundreds of years)

    You've inspired me to take up this project again and do my best to make a mockery of religion and spirituality.

    Also, I've listed a few of my favorite religious quotes below, I hope you get as much pleasure out of reading this post as I did out of your blog


    Dear God. We paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.
    - Bart Simpson

    The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.
    - Benjamin Franklin

    Man created god in his own image
    - Self

    Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder
    - Homer Simpson

    I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
    - Galileo Galilei

    We must question the story logic of having an all powerful God, who creates faulty Humans and then blames them for his own mistakes
    - Gene Roddenberry

    The reign of Virtue shall begin when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. Or so 'twas said many reigns of Virtue ago.
    - George Will (one of my absolute favorites)

    During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they not be allowed to live. Therefore the church...imprisoned, torture, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been
    - Mark Twain

    Thank god for the missionaries in Hawaii, what a tragedy it would be if those beautiful people went on living in paradise forever never knowing there was a hell
    - Mark Twain

  4. And by the way, theist constantly try to attack atheist logic (eg: evolution), but I'd love for once, to hear one of them give a good explanation of the talking snake, the apple of wisdom, and how one man built a boat big enough to house every animal on this earth, from elephant to kangaroo, then kept them fed and alive for months during a magical giant flood.

    Not to mention, if you ask the average priest / Christian minister how old the world is, he'll say about 6-8k years. Then when you ask him how the hell he knows that, he'll tell you that the church simply added up the ages of everyone in the bible...

    How fucking scientific.

    Just for once, I'd love to hear him explain how dinosaurs fit into his grand equation of things, without side stepping the issue.

    At catholic boarding school, at about 13, I asked every priest that question in front of as many students as possible. Each one side stepped the issue, except for one, who explained that there was no such thing as dinosaurs, and the fossils were put there to "test our faith". He got laughed at so much, that I didn't see him back for months.

    And to think that our great president here in the US openly professes to believe this same insanity.

  5. "You say that because it cannot be proven true, it must be false, the negative proof fallacy."

    When have i said that? Or are you creating a straw-man argument?

  6. You have said that on multiple occasions, you have said "there is no proof, ie testable evidence, of god, therefore, it must be false."

  7. hahah matt has hit the nail on the head. And ironically all the xtians trying to refute him are yet to present a logically sound argument for the existence of god.

    theists, just admit he is right, no argument for god can ever be logically sound.

  8. Ok, fine, I will let you believe what you want to believe.

  9. I agree with this post and I've spent time on my blog exposing both these fallacies and the "tricks" theists use to try and win arguments.

    Case in point, the very first comment here contained a straw man. Atheism doesn't assert there is no god, merely that considering the evidence (ie - zilch) it's not reasonable to think there is such a thing.

    I'll also point out another favorite, the naked assertion. Example:
    "Most atheists use logical fallacies as well".
    Really? MOST do, and more than one? Shocking. And the support for this assertion would be....

    I won't hold my breath waiting.

  10. Another favorite argument of theists is Argumentum ad Nauseum, or repeating the same, discredited arguments over and over again, until we're all sick of hearing them.

  11. I read your 'Ben Stein' blog post.

    Well, well, well, (Now that’s a “Deep” subject) it appears that Ben Stein has a lill’ movie.

    I have a wee film/research too but unlike Mr. Stein mine illuminates AND entertains in about five minutes and, A-N-D, it’s FREE!

    Mr. Stein (BTW: moi’s film/research tells how the Jewish people REALLY came about) charges you for propaganda and I give the human race knowledge for free, ain’t I a moron? Perhaps.


    And here is moi’s, officially ignored, film/research
    into the origin of Christendom.

    Since the film is
    the awful facts it must be disregarded by those that tout
    the beautiful untruths.

    The Religious Authorities, and those that GAIN from there being religions [e.g., People in the “Business” of Atheism], always say NOT to view that which they DO want you to see and avert their eyes, and remain quite silent, about that which they hope you will not chance upon.

    Part I


    Part II


    If there were a place, and there is, where intelligence that rises little higher than our human brain stems’ capacity WERE allowed Mr. Stein WOULD be found there, hence. . .check your local theater listings for Mr. Stein and murmuring mermaids and yammering yaks - talkin’ terrorists - pontificating puppies - babbling babes – enunciating elephants – answering ants – zinging zombies - replying Rambos a al lambos – and many more such “Levels,” though a basically base intellectual strata they t’were, ‘tis and t’will be.

    However, Ben Stein is only doing exactly what moi tells people TO DO and that is,
    suck-up to the prevailing mythology in the CULTure you happen to be surrounded by.
    Hence, Ben Stein is flying first class and considering buying a private plane and moi ‘tis takin’ the bus and considering purchasing some meat, for WifeyWu, if’in moi can budget it in.

    Stay on groovin’
    (Ain’t ya glad moi didn’t alliterate from A to Z?)

  12. Tor,
    I watched your Ovid as Jesus creator vids. Interesting idea; I'll have to look into it further. I liked the filming of the vids for the most part. The travel back through time was kinda hokey. And I would have preferred the narrator (you?) had spoken in a normal, level voice, rather than trying to introduce all the dramatic flair, which to me was just annoying. Sorry. Just my thoughts. And couldn't the two pieces be combined into one video?



    Many theists don't have knowledge of logical fallacies and don't understand that they're even committing them. Some of the more studied apologists are much better at avoiding the pitfalls.

    If you want to see a fallacy master at work, take a look at a blog called Christian Cross Talk by Ed Gordon. Sorry I don't have the url for ya right now, but if I navigate away from this page to get it, i"ll lose everything I've written. Fair warning--this guy may make your head explode. He's a fundaMENTAL of the first degree, who wants to establish a national church and outlaw atheist speech! Some people think he's playing at satire, but I think he's just a right wing loon. I tried reasoning with him for a while, but I realized I was feeding a troll in his own home, so I went away. But he's kind of an interesting case study, in a look, but don't touch sort of way. ;-)

  13. Matt,
    I, as a Christian, agree with you. Most arguments Christians use in apologetics are not sound logically. They approach apologetics from the wrong starting point. They argue with the presuppositions of the non-theist which is not rational. We must start with the presupposition that the Bible is the word of God. Then we can appeal to it as the final authority and when we do this we see the issue clearly. Romans 1 says:

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools
    The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Ro 1:18-22 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

    So then we can see that there really are no atheists, there are only those who do not want there to be a God because of their unrighteousness. Now before you accuse me of self-righteousness I am no more righteous than any atheist, I have just been forgiven on Christ's account.

  14. Philly, yes it does assert there is no God.
    1.the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
    2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings."

    Sorry, I meant "most atheists I know."

    I honestly hate the self-righteous, religious zealotry I have seen on this site. Many of the people I have seen post here are as set in their beliefs as any right-wing conservative christian. You both 'know' that you are right and you feel like you have some sort of duty to be right and to prove everyone else wrong. Especially you, matt. For a 'champion' of rational thinking, you are as closed minded as any other zealot.

  15. D is up to his old tricks again. After failing to win by telling blatant lies and making unsubstantiated claims he resorts to his wild branding of atheists as fundamentalist zealots.

    If i am right and it is impossible to argue for the existence of god without using logical fallacies you should have the intellectual courage to say so. What am i talking about, Intellectual courage? You are a christian. Intellectual cowardice and lying are more your cup o' tea.

  16. "You cannot have a perfectly sound argument for or against god. The reason is that there is no proof for or against god. You can disprove god as well as I can prove god."

    I quote myself. I said you cannot argue for or against god without using logical fallacies.

    Plus, I am no longer very Christian. I am my own religion, so to speak.

  17. D,

    If one rejects the claims made for a god or gods due to lack of evidence, then it's only logical to have disbelief in them. That's not asserting absolutely that Odin, Wakantanka, and all the other deities don't exist, just that there's no reason to believe they do.

    I can't speak for everyone, but honestly I don't care what you believe, kiddo. You say you have your own religion? Great. Now if you can
    1. Not bother anyone else with it
    2. Not allow your beliefs to do anything that harms others
    3. Not try and tell me it's "real", you "know" anything because of it or that it gives you some Truth
    then we're cool. If you can't, well, then I know I'll call you on your shit, and no doubt others here will do the same.

    Now I would think if you REALLY want to make a point, try giving some credible argument for your religion without using a logical fallacy. Now THAT would be something, and you could justifiably strut around all full of yourself. So what will it be, kiddo?

  18. That you just mentioned is asserting that they do not exist.

    I agree, you leave me in peace, I will leave you in peace. That's not to say I will stop debating, because I do enjoy a good debate (although it is near impossible to have one on the internet without it turning into a flame war)

    I said, if you guys listened, that it is impossible, or at least improbable, that someone can argue for the existence of god without using a logical fallacy. I also said that it is impossible to argue against the existence of god without using a logical fallacy.

    As I mentioned, saying "there is no proof, therefore it does not exist" is called the "Negative Proof Fallacy." Now, whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but the argument itself is still a fallacy.

  19. D,

    Rejecting a claim for something's existence because the claim is unsupported IS NOT THE SAME as claiming that thing absolutely doesn't exist.

    We at least agree that arguing for a god seems dependent upon logical fallacies. Arguing for a god not existing I don't see as requiring logical fallacies. Sure, no one can absolutely prove there isn't one, but that hardly means arguing for one not existing means you have to resort to logical fallacies. Would you say you'd need a logical fallacy to argue against the existence of the Easter Bunny?

  20. You are right, those are different, however, I know some atheists who do, in fact, assert there is no god. This website often asserts there is no god.

    Yes, you would. As I said, the argument itself is a logical fallacy. I never said whether it was right or wrong. It may be right for all I know. But the argument is still based on a logical fallacy.

    Also, when I said I am my own religion, it's more just I have not discovered what to worship yet, if I even need to worship it. Sorry, I thought that needed clarification.

  21. So are you saying then that logical fallacies are also necessary for arguing that belief in the Easter Bunny is unwarranted?

  22. For all intents and purposes, yes that is what I am saying. Unless, of course, you say that it was created by the Germans in the 16th Century as a symbol for Easter, as it was first mentioned there.

    But I do see where you are going with this, and it does appear that you have backed me into a corner. Well, if you are smart you know you have. And since I just told you, let's see if you can figure it out.

  23. Well I guess I should admire that you fight until the bitter end with the line "let's see if you can figure it out" rather than simply tipping over your king. ;)

    Anyway, best of luck to you finding a religion that fits I guess if you're convinced you need one. Try and pick one that doesn't make you impose on others, ok? That would be great.

    See ya

  24. I will not impose my religion on others unless I can find one with self-evident gods, even then, you don't have to believe, I will just be able to argue it.
    Thanks, and nice talking to you.

    Also, be happy that I had the integrity to realize when I lost, unlike many other religious people.

  25. That's because you haven't picked a religion yet. Once you do and you subscribe, then I believe you'll have to forfeit that integrity. There's always some sort of bit about that in the fine print, so beware. ;)

  26. That's very true, which is part of the reason I like having my own religion, so to speak.

  27. Quote: "Last but not least, A fallacy that all religious people are guilty of, And a fallacy which name escapes me at ...."
    Incidentally, this statement is a logical fallacy called Sweeping Generalization. All religious people is a good tip off.