How to win an argument with God

I found the top half of this image on Facebook, and added my response at the end:

  • Darren


    • Kansas City Anti Athesit Troll Team Member

      So why don’t you atheists combine to do more to help?

      A single church in our area has done more to provide assistance than all the atheist groups in the area in the past ten years have done.

      • Elle

        And that has something to do with the topic of the post because…?

      • Gingerbaker

        Of course, just *not* raping thousands of little boys and girls, covering it up, and fighting reparations in court makes us atheists a lot more helpful than the Catholic Church – so what are you complaining about?

  • Bronze Dog

    I think I encountered some version of that pseudo-zinger from theists once, and my response was pretty much the same, minus the profanity. We’re limited, so it makes sense our methods would produce some bad results, even if we have good intentions. We just have to keep working to find better ones. Their god is essentially defined as lacking our excuses, which is why we can hold him to such high standards.

    • asonge

      Most of the people that like to have this debate on the Christian side just will not grant the moral intuition that knowledge or power heighten’s one’s moral responsibilities. In fact, with the more conservative Christians it’s hard to get them out of the pre-enlightenment when it comes to their religion, specifically…the enlightenment was good for man, but the moral advances we made don’t apply to their views on God.

      • Rieux

        Which presents an interesting psychological problem, viz., how the conservatives you mention can handle the screaming cognitive dissonance that comes from believing that Action X (or Omission Y) is acceptable for God when it’s disgustingly immoral for human beings.

        Mark Twain was uncommonly good at showing the stupidity inherent in this double standard, in stuff like this:

        There is much inconsistency concerning the fly. In all the ages he has not had a friend, there has never been a person in the earth who could have been persuaded to intervene between him and extermination; yet billions of persons have excused the Hand that made him – and this without a blush. Would they have excused a Man in the same circumstances, a man positively known to have invented the fly? On the contrary. For the credit of the race let us believe it would have been all day with that man. Would persons consider it just to reprobate in a child, with its undeveloped morals, a scandal which they would overlook in the Pope?

        When we reflect that the fly was as not invented for pastime, but in the way of business; that he was not flung off in a heedless moment and with no object in view but to pass the time, but was the fruit of long and pains-taking labor and calculation, and with a definite and far-reaching, purpose in view; that his character and conduct were planned out with cold deliberation, that his career was foreseen and fore-ordered, and that there was no want which he could supply, we are hopelessly puzzled, we cannot understand the moral lapse that was able to render possible the conceiving and the consummation of this squalid and malevolent creature.


        We hear much about His patience and forbearance and long-suffering; we hear nothing about our own, which much exceeds it. We hear much about His mercy and kindness and goodness – in words – the words of His Book and of His pulpit – and the meek multitude is content with this evidence, such as it is, seeking no further; but whoso searcheth after a concreted sample of it will in time acquire fatigue. There being no instances of it. For what are gilded as mercies are not in any recorded case more than mere common justices, and due – due without thanks or compliment. To rescue without personal risk a cripple from a burning house is not a mercy, it is a mere commonplace duty; anybody would do it that could. And not by proxy, either – delegating the work but confiscating the credit for it. If men neglected “God’s poor” and “God’s stricken and helpless ones” as He does, what would become of them? The answer is to be found in those dark lands where man follows His example and turns his indifferent back upon them: they get no help at all; they cry, and plead and pray in vain, they linger and suffer, and miserably die. If you will look at the matter rationally and without prejudice, the proper place to hunt for the facts of His mercy, is not where man does the mercies and He collects the praise, but in those regions where He has the field to Himself.

        It is plain that there is one moral law for heaven and another for the earth. The pulpit assures us that wherever we see suffering and sorrow which we can relieve and do not do it, we sin, heavily. There was never yet a case of suffering or sorrow which God could not relieve. Does He sin, then? If He is the Source of Morals He does – certainly nothing can be plainer than that, you will admit. Surely the Source of law cannot violate law and stand unsmirched; surely the judge upon the bench cannot forbid crime and then revel in it himself unreproached. Nevertheless we have this curious spectacle: daily the trained parrot in the pulpit gravely delivers himself of these ironies, which he has acquired at second-hand and adopted without examination, to a trained congregation which accepts them without examination, and neither the speaker nor the hearer laughs at himself. It does seem as if we ought to be humble when we are at a bench-show, and not put on airs of intellectual superiority there.

        Thoughts of God

        Read the whole thing; a lot of the rest of it (that’s too long for me to excerpt here) is similarly powerful.

  • Daniel

    I challenge god to a debate. The topic: “Do you, god, exist?” All god must do is show up, and he wins. If he doesn’t show up, his backers will come up with all kinds of excuses why he didn’t appear (people have sued god for real, and god never showed up, but the plaintiff couldn’t get a default judgment because god had sovereign immunity and no one could find him for service of the complaint on him). LOL.

    • Rieux

      Sovereign immunity?! Feh!

      The failure-of-service holding is legit, though. That’s what I’d do if I were a judge presiding over a suit filed against a deity.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    How to win an argument with God:
    Show up, and win by forfeit. God has a persistent reputation as a no-show.
    This ties into my position on blasphemy laws: I do not oppose laws against blasphemy, I just don’t think they should allow third party filings. Any deity who thinks he/she/it/they have been blasphemed is welcome to show up in court and file charges.

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