Proving God with the Help of Two Coke Cans

Dave is putting God to the test.

Which Christians would say is a big no-no. But hear him out on this…

Dave is an atheist. He says he’ll believe in God if he sees a miracle:

Burning bushes, disembodied hands writing on the wall, talking donkeys, water into wine – there are any number of Biblical precedents for things that I’d readily accept as evidence for God. But it doesn’t have to be anything fancy like that. Any small thing, that I could verify as being impossible by natural means, would at the very least force me to reconsider things very carefully.

There’s a standard argument against this, that I wouldn’t really reconsider anything; that my dark atheist soul is too far gone, and that I don’t want to believe in God for my own evil reasons, and wouldn’t change even if Jesus himself appeared before me. Apparently such people have some special insight into my mind and soul that I don’t have, because I’m pretty sure that I would change my mind.

All God would have to do to make Dave reconsider his atheism is take these soda can tabs…

Tabs

… and link them together like so:

Tabslinked

And if that happens, Dave will post the photo, go to church, and “tentatively accept the existence of God.”

I’m doing this to put my money where my mouth is, and show that my atheism [has] nothing to do with not wanting to believe in God, but rather not having the evidence to believe in God.

Of course the tabs will never get linked. Prayer doesn’t have that kind of power.

But if anyone here knows Dave, I have this *terrific* idea for a prank you can pull… :)


[tags]atheist, atheism, religion, faith[/tags]

  • Tyler

    Hey guys, enjoying the site! I’m a conservative Christian and find all the stuff you guys post here very cool. It’s nice to see your viewpoints on certain subjects.

  • http://prosthesis.blogspot.com macht

    Thankfully this experiment tells more about Dave’s view of what God should be like than about God’s existence or lack thereof.

    “Therefore, go and get people to go to church, entertaining them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and getting them to tentatively accept my existence.”

    Amen.

  • Steven Carr

    Yes, God is getting pretty fed up with people testing him like this by ordinary people, rather than heroes of faith

    Judges 6
    36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised- 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

    39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

    Dave is one of those pesky fundamentalist atheists who thinks he can find out what God is like by reading the Bible.

    Idiot!

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    “Therefore, go and get people to go to church, entertaining them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and getting them to tentatively accept my existence.”

    lol, well put macht.

    And if God does decide to prove his existence through silly parlor tricks, will I then be worshiping God or Penn & Teller?

  • http://groundedinreality.blogspot.com Bruce

    Personally, I find these sorts of things a little boring. We all know that the miracle isn’t going to happen and that the religious will have a hundred plus one excuses for why it didn’t.

    Actually, I’m kind of tired of the whole “What would make you believe in God” meme. If there truly is a god and this god is as all knowing as it is claimed then this god should know exactly what it would take for me to believe. And since god knows this and is all powerful, then god can easily make it so. The fact that it hasn’t happened yet means either god doesn’t care to make me a believer or god doesn’t exist. I’ll let you be the judge of that one.

  • Eliza

    The fact that it hasn’t happened yet means either god doesn’t care to make me a believer or god doesn’t exist. I’ll let you be the judge of that one.

    Or: god doesn’t believe in Bruce…

  • Richard Wade

    Or maybe God only likes Pepsi instead of Coke.

  • http://www.cogspace.com/ Katie Molnar

    I like the idea of offering up trivial challenges to a supposedly omnipotent being. It demonstrates very simply that there is indeed no omnipotent and omniscient being… Certainly not one such as is professed by Xians.

    Their deity supposedly made the entire universe in a week, and apparently did so in such a way as to make it appear as though it arose naturally. Of course, if the universe can appear as though it arose naturally, then it must be able to arise naturally, which makes the whole “God solution” pointless anyway, solving a question which is admitted to be answered more simply by science… But that’s another topic.

    Point is, if he could do that, surely he could link two soda can tabs together.

    He could also solve a scrambled Rubik’s cube placed under a pillow without waking up the person sleeping on it, if he’s truly all-powerful.

    Of course, if he’s *truly* all-powerful, he could make false be true, otherwise his power would have a limit, yet making false true is not possible by any entity however potent. False simply is not true. He might be able to suddenly make us all think false is true, but it still would not be the case.

    So, logic damns omnipotence to the graveyard of fun ideas that just don’t work, even in concept. It’s right there next to perpetual motion and talking sense into creationists.

    I’m going to pry off two soda can tabs and hide them under my pillow. Surely God can manage more than my dad, playing the tooth fairy.

  • Richard Wade

    Be sure they’re Pepsi tabs.

  • Siamang

    I once heard an atheist tell a story about how he would demonstrate that he was stronger than “God”.

    He’d drop his car keys, and then have the believer ask God to pick them up for him. When the keys didn’t rise into the air, he’d pick them up himself and thus prove that he was stronger than God.

    I think these questions are good to think about WHY such things don’t happen. This is like the question “why won’t God heal amputees?”

    Everyone knows the answer to that one… but many Christians keep that part of their brain from ever, ever talking to the rest of it.

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  • http://my-faith.blogspot.com I Could Use My Real Name But I’m Too Chicken

    Their deity supposedly made the entire universe in a week, and apparently did so in such a way as to make it appear as though it arose naturally.

    Huh? What are you talking about Katie? Made it appear as though it arose naturally? When you look at the universe in detail, you can see that it was carefully created, not ‘arose naturally’…. :)

    He’d drop his car keys, and then have the believer ask God to pick them up for him. When the keys didn’t rise into the air, he’d pick them up himself and thus prove that he was stronger than God.

    Siamang, the atheist didn’t prove that he was stronger than God, he proved that God could use an atheist to do His work… ;)

  • Susan B.

    Actually, this would seem more like what a Hypersphere from the book Flatland (or its sequels) would do to demonstrate its existence. And quite frankly, I’d find that a lot more interesting.

  • stogoe

    When you look at the universe in detail, you can see that it was carefully created, not ‘arose naturally’….

    Are we looking at the same universe here?

    Siamang, the atheist didn’t prove that he was stronger than God, he proved that God could use an atheist to do His work…

    Predictably, your god gets all the credit and none of the blame. Sweet racket, if you can get it.

  • Richard Wade

    When the keys didn’t rise into the air, he’d pick them up himself and thus prove that he was stronger than God.

    Siamang, the atheist didn’t prove that he was stronger than God, he proved that God could use an atheist to do His work…

    If he’d had the keys on a Pepsi keychain it might have worked.

  • http://skeptigator.com Skeptigator

    @ Richard

    Heresy!!! Your Pepsi god is a false god, what kind of god would create Pepsi Clear.

    All hail, our Lord of the Immaculate Coke tabs.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com NYCatheist

    Susan, I like your Hypersphere comment. It reminds me of this neat comic book story I found through Boing Boing:

    http://againwiththecomics.blogspot.com/2007/10/beyond-humanity-liesthe-hypernaut.html

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    The fact that it hasn’t happened yet means either god doesn’t care to make me a believer or god doesn’t exist.

    I agree Bruce. I think you’ve summed up the two possibilities well. These experiments don’t necessarily prove that God doesn’t exist. They might. Or they might prove that if God exists, he really isn’t that concerned about making sure that every single person believes in his existence no matter what.

  • Claire

    When you look at the universe in detail, you can see that it was carefully created, not ‘arose naturally’….

    Really? So, how do you get your computer to connect from your universe to this one where this blog is? Now that’s a nifty trick, it would be nice if you could come talk to our IT department, they can barely connect stuff inside of one office.

  • http://my-faith.blogspot.com I Could Use My Real Name But I’m Too Chicken

    Really? So, how do you get your computer to connect from your universe to this one where this blog is?

    Duh, It’s just random blind luck. ;)

  • Old Beezle

    Fundies always claim that you’ll be struck down if you demand a sign from god, but I have yet to see the sign or the striking down of the doubter. What gives? Could someone please explain the lack of follow through on god’s part, please? Anyone? Anyone?

    …Bueller?

  • http://paxnortona.notfrisco2.com Joel Sax

    Ever read the part about the Temptation in the Wilderness?

    If you’re going to knock Christianity….

  • Old Beezle

    Joel Sax said,

    December 7, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Ever read the part about the Temptation in the Wilderness?

    If you’re going to knock Christianity….

    Are you referring to the bible story? Please elaborate.

  • Darryl

    Of course this is meant to amuse, and it does, but its triviality reminds me of how we have become habituated to not expect what we should expect: a God such as the Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe in ought to be as visibly active in the present as their holy writings claim he was in the past. With the mountains of physical evidence that we should have, for anyone to think to deny his existence ought to be like someone denying that the Earth is spherical. It strains credulity to conclude that only the religious access the evidence of God’s existence. Absent other reasonable explanations for why the universe is as it is (i.e. the scientific knowledge of which our ancestors were ignorant), deism was a reasonable deduction for our ancestors to make.

  • Steven Carr

    Would God do parlour tricks such as finding a coin in the mouth of a fish?

  • Old Beezle

    I would if I were god…

  • Richard Wade

    And he said unto them, “Verily, is this your card?”


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