I challenge all theists and all their accommodationist friends to post their very best 21st century, sophisticated (or not), arguments for the existence of God. They can put them in the comments section of this posting, or on any of the other atheist blogs, or on their own blogs and websites. Just send me the link.
Try and make it concise and to the point. It would be nice if it's less than 100 years old. Keep in mind that there are over 1000 different gods so it would be helpful to explain just which gods the argument applies to.
Thing is, we've been asking this same question for many years on our show. We always rush callers to the front when the screeners tell us they claim to have proof that God exists. So far, we've been disappointed.
Pretty much everyone says he or she has proof that God exists winds up landing in one of the following categories, roughly in descending order of frequency:
- They wish to make a first cause argument.
- Before the call ends they will admit to being an atheist in disguise; they either thought it would be funny to offer a fake proof, or they (correctly) believed that they wouldn't get on the show unless they lied. Hot tip for people fitting this category: You almost certainly aren't funny and didn't impress any of the viewers. Try keeping the lines clear for actual theists instead.
- They offer some poorly drawn refutation of a particular scientific principle, and then assume that the only alternative to the science is their god.
- [Inserted after reading the comments] They cite a personal encounter with the supernatural which cannot possibly be verified, investigated, or duplicated.
- They have some pseudo-scientific argument that is based on some kind of misapplication of a science they barely understand, such as quantum mechanics.
- They have some kind of even worse pseudo-scientific argument that involves making up "laws" that don't actually exist.
- They have some kind of linguistic argument that relies on proving that "God" exists based on purely semantic properties rather than observed evidence.
When these various tactics fail, about half will resort to threatening us with some form of Pascal's Wager, most likely without knowing who Pascal is.
That about covers the supposedly sophisticated arguments that theology has had to offer in the last 200 years. Seriously. If there are many more then few theists are aware of them.