Bob Enyart’s Ten Caricatures of Atheism

I recently stumbled across a webpage by Pastor Bob Enyart which claims to disprove ten atheist clichés in “eight seconds or less.” All that he actually accomplishes, however, is tearing down ten strawmen of his own creation.

To see why, let’s stipulate that atheism is the belief that God does not exist.

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 1: There is no truth!
Theist Rebuttal: Is that true? [1 second]

The claim, “There is no truth,” does not follow from atheism. (It’s also self-refuting.)

Okay, well then…

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 2: Truth is unknowable!
Theist Rebuttal: How do you know? [1 second]

Again, the claim, “Truth is unknowable,” does not follow from atheism.

Well then, for certain…

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 3: There are no absolutes!
Theist Rebuttal: Absolutely? [1 second]

Yet again Enyart tears down a straw man of his own creation. There is nothing in the content of atheism that implies, “There are no absolutes.”

Well, okay, but…

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 4: Only your five senses provide real knowledge!
Theist Rebuttal: Says which of the five? [2 seconds]

Strawman. “Only your five senses provide real knowledge” also does not follow from atheism. 

Ouch. Got me there. Okay, well at least…

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 5: There is no such thing as absolute truth!
Theist Rebuttal: Is that absolutely true? [2 seconds]

Yet another strawman. This is getting boring. I’ll leave it as an exercise for readers to identify the falsehoods in each of his caricatures from here on out.

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 6: Only the physical realm is real!
Theist Rebuttal: That claim itself is not physical, so it’s self refuting. [3 seconds]

Yet another caricature of atheism.

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 7: Great suffering proves that a loving God cannot exist!
Theist Rebuttal: The unstated assumption is false, that suffering can have no value or purpose. [4.5 secs]

Enyart writes as if atheists had never heard of the Free Will Defense (FWD) and as if he has never heard of the evidential argument from evil.

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 8: Atheism is scientific, because science does not allow for a supernatural interpretation of an event!
Theist Rebuttal: This circular reasoning tricks atheists into assuming that which they thought they proved. [5 seconds]

Yet another caricature.

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 9: Widespread evil proves that a righteous God cannot exist!
Theist Rebuttal: The two unstated assumptions are false: that love can be forced; and that some love is not worth enduring much hate. [6.5 seconds]

See #7.

Atheist Cliché Enyart’s Caricature of Atheism 10: If theists claim that the universe could not have always been here, then God couldn’t have always been here either.
Theist Rebuttal: The natural universe is subject to the physical laws, so it would run out of useable energy; a supernatural, spiritual God is not subject to physics. [8 seconds]

Another caricature.

I don’t have much else to say, except the obvious. If this is the best Enyart has to offer against atheism, then he clearly doesn’t even understand atheism.

What if you Saw a Miracle?
Apologetics Infographic #1: Atheism and Nothingness
Rape them Atheists!
Geisler & Turek Rebuttal, Part 7: Chapter 8
About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • ctcss

    I keep wondering why anyone is bothering to concern themselves as to what someone else believes or doesn’t believe. I am a protestant Christian, although non-mainstream. I obviously don’t believe the same things as a Catholic Christian, or an Orthodox Christian, or most other protestant Christians. Likewise, I do not believe the same things as a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Wiccan, or a Pagan, or an agnostic, or an atheist, etc.

    Why bother? My theological beliefs are more than enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life, and then some. And the fact that all those other types assert different sets of outlooks from my own really doesn’t concern me. Their assertions don’t really impact my beliefs about my own, or cause me to question the validity of my own. If they like their own particular outlooks, more power to them. I know I like mine. That’s why I chose to follow it. There is plenty of room for everyone to pursue their own pathways without interfering with other people’s outlooks. People really shouldn’t be afraid that other people might have different thoughts than they have.

    However, if people misunderstand what my outlook is and make rude remarks about it, I might correct their mistakes, as you have sort of attempted here. (Have you tried to reach him directly just to offer him some friendly insight as to the points that he is missing? That conversation might be interesting to hear.) But other than that kind of possibly troublesome situation, I see no reason not to just live and let live.

    But it really would be interesting to read what Enyart might have to say to someone, such as yourself, who seems to be fair-minded and yet has thoughtful reasons of his own for pursuing a different pathway than Enyart’s own.

    This world could really use some healing in that regard.

    • L.Long

      As far as atheism is concerned, you can believe anything you wish and we could care less. Show real evidence and then we can talk till then play with yourself all you want to, no one really cares.
      Anti-theist atheists on the other hand still don’t really care what you say you believe and we are happy to let it be so. AS LONG as you don’t try making your BS into laws that force others to abide by your silly rules.
      And your assessment is correct as each sect doesn’t believe the other is true and nothing the other says really makes them change. But that is no reason everyone to get all pissy about things. I believe in fairies, you don’t, why beat each other up over that?? What’s the difference?

      • ctcss

        Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. I was commenting about Enyart’s problem with atheists and wondering why Enyart had an issue with those he considered as believing differently than himself. Jeff, as I said, strikes me as being quite reasonable and fair. I was just wondering if he had considered talking to Enyart directly, just to see if Enyart could consider altering his stance on those whom he considers to be “the other” such as myself and everyone else who believes differently. (I am quite certain Enyart would consider me to be an apostate, and thus, worthy of derision as well.)

        And I don’t care what you believe or don’t believe, either. As a non-mainstream Christian (and one who is far from being able to push people around politically because of small numbers), I am also sensitive to laws that impact me and others.

        You do realize that not every believer is against those who don’t believe, or who believe differently, don’t you?

        • L.Long

          Clarity can be difficult at times. I was not commenting against you but actually agreeing. But I was agreeing with you only so far as YOUR beliefs go. When (fill in the bigotry) tries to force that belief on others then I no longer agree and become concerned with the specific beliefs.

          And You not caring about my beliefs? You should care in so far as it concerns you—I do vote.

          • ctcss

            I vote, as well. However, I try not to target others with my votes. My main concern regarding proposed legislation and voting is to do what I can to make sure that laws don’t impact my individual or group’s constitutional rights adversely. And if legislation is proposed regarding some other group’s rights, I try to give it fair consideration before deciding how to vote. (The democratic process can be cumbersome and slow sometimes, and it takes as long as it takes for cases to be made, heard by others, and understood well enough in order for harmonious and healing action to be realized in practice.)

            But I thought you said you don’t care what I believe, as long as it doesn’t impact your rights. If that truly is the case, why should I be concerned about your ability to vote? And even if you did vote against my rights, and prevailed in your efforts, the democratic process is still available to me and mine. I assume we are not talking about coups and dictatorships here, right? And even if that were the case, since I regard God as a resource on which to rely for my safety, I have no problem seeking God’s help to lead me to a course of action and safety that will ultimately bring out a higher sense of healing, harmony, justice, and compassion for everyone, even those whom I might currently regard as adversaries or enemies.

            So, no, I am not really concerned about what you (or other groups) believe, even if it would seem to put me and mine at risk. Although I will seek accommodation and friendship with my fellow humans, I am ultimately not relying on human good will or materially favorable circumstances (both sometimes in tragically short supply) for my safety.

            But once again, I am not seeking to target others. I simply request that they not target me so that all of us can live peacefully, compassionately, and respectfully alongside one another as friends and neighbors.

    • getz

      “But other than that kind of possibly troublesome situation, I see no reason not to just live and let live.”

      Because they understand that they don’t live in bubbles. If merely liking a belief was enough, then all it would take to stay healthy is contempt for being sick. But that’s not the world we live in, and when people make bad decisions, cling to them stubbornly, and speak up primarily to object to having their beliefs questioned, it merely increases the level of concern the people who notice have.

      Generally speaking, people should try to make sure what they believe is as close to what exists as is possible, or in the very least, not deliberately avoid erring in that direction. When someone’s defense of their beliefs is an excuse for why they shouldn’t be criticized rather than an argument for why their conclusion is more reasonable than the criticism they face, then there’s a problem. They’re not concerned about whether their beliefs are true. They’re not willing to change them when confronted with reasons why they are not. And they expect to be left alone to make bad decisions and be a bad influence in peace, while remaining oblivious about what they’re doing, and turning their back on others doing the same.

      • ctcss

        “Generally speaking, people should try to make sure what they believe is as close to what exists as is possible, or in the very least, not deliberately avoid erring in that direction.”

        I must be missing something here. Since I was bringing up the concept of people having different religious beliefs (or no religious belief at all) what, exactly, are you going to offer all of these different people as proof that their particular belief is right or wrong? Any religious belief (or non-belief) regarding God or gods is not provable in any formal sense, so everyone is perfectly fine following whatever it is that floats their boat.Why should I, a Christian, try to tell a Jew that he is wrong for following Judaism? Why should an atheist tell a Hindu that he is wrong for following Hinduism? And (departing entirely from religion) why should a Red Sox fan tell a Yankee fan that he is wrong for rooting for the Yankees?

        It’s one thing to warn people not to use an open flame near a gas source. It’s another thing altogether to warn them against the evils of liking the color blue or the flavor of cinnamon and promoting the sound of violins and the touch of sandpaper instead.

        Now don’t get me wrong. I do prefer the notion of following something that makes sense vs something that doesn’t make sense. But I actually do think that what I follow does make sense. But my take on such things would not necessarily prevent a Jew (or an atheist or a Muslim or a Hindu) from telling me I am mistaken for doing so. And people definitely have told me that my reasons wouldn’t convince them. But their reasons for believing (or not believing) in their own pathway don’t convince me either. And none of us really have any actual basis for badgering the other person about their personal beliefs anyway. (Should we also make scathing comments about their choice of spouses as well? Most people would consider such a comment to be out of line, especially since they might not know or understand the reason one chose the spouse that one did. And it really isn’t any of their business anyway.)

        If they value what they follow, more power to them. I value what I follow as well. Why should an outsider making snap judgements about someone else’s private matters feel justified in being so self-righteous and judgmental? Who invited them to sit in judgement in the first place?

        Perhaps I am missing your point, but for private matters, it’s generally best to tread very lightly, if at all, on someone else’s turf unless they have specifically asked for such input.

  • L.Long

    Enyart may not be stupid in many areas, but he is beyond stupid here as, if he does believe, then he is delusional and with these statements totally dishonest. As we know that all atheism is is a non-belief in gawd. For me does gawd exist? Yes? No? who really cares, gawd is irrelevant.

    as far as his 10 points, who cares again, prove gawd exists 1st! then we can talk. Til then he is blowing smoke.

  • Danielle Kekoa

    There’s a serial killer in Denver the cops & FBI refuse to talk to: Call 1-800-8-ENYART — ROBERT ADOLPH ENYART = 666 = DAXIS = SON OF SATAN = GUILTY CHILD-KILLER! – DOB 1-10-59 – SSN# 152-60-4382 – FBI# – 678532LA7
    > Got PROOF? =>
    Listen to hours of Police Recordings:

    Alea iacta est = “The die has been cast” = A process is past the point of no return.
    Bob Enyart’s “small foreign faction” DNA was left on JonBenet.