There is No Evidence for God
There is just no evidence for God’s existence.
Have you ever heard this?
How would you reply? If you’ve studied the issue, it’s tempting to say something like:
What!? Are you crazy? Haven’t you heard of all these arguments [insert a bunch of arguments] and all these smart people who believe in God [insert names of smart people] ?
While I’m sure you can score points that way in the conversation, I don’t think it’s the best tactic. It might insult the person’s intelligence. And it sounds patronizing.
Yet, there is definitely truth in that response. Frankly, the atheist should know better. The internet has made tons of evidence for God readily available. Click any of these buttons for some video examples.
A Tactical Reply
My advice: be patient and ask a good question. Here’s a great one I stole from Trent Horn:
That’s interesting you say there is no evidence. I’m curious, what is the best evidence you have heard and what do you think is the problem with it?
You’re off the hot seat immediately, and no one feels insulted. Next, recognize that they can answer in about three different ways.
A1: They have never heard any evidence.
A2: They have heard some evidence, but it is weak.
A3: They have heard some strong evidence, yet they point to a mistake in reasoning.
In all likelihood, they will respond with no evidence (A1) or weak evidence (A2). In both of those cases, you can affirm their skepticism based on such evidence (or lack thereof), and offer something more for their consideration (e.g. the Kalam or Contingency argument). You could say:
- You know, I’d have to agree with you. That support for God’s existence is pretty weak, but there are other philosophical arguments out there. Have you ever heard the Kalam or Contingency argument? Would you mind if I shared them? I find them to be good reasons to think God exists.
Naturally, you must prepare (see the 3 P’s) for this discussion to do well in offering the arguments. Much more to come on those specific arguments in future posts.
The Prepared Skeptic
Of course, there is a chance they will respond with strong evidence and assert a mistake in the reasoning (A3). This atheist or skeptic did his homework, and you should commend that! Moreover, you can reply to his objection, provided that you have a good understanding to the issue. You could say:
- That’s a good point and shows that you have looked into the issue seriously. Have you ever considered [insert a resolution to the issue he raised]?
If you haven’t studied his objection and don’t know how to answer, grant him the point. Also, let him know you’ll look into it and get back to him. It’s best to be intellectually honest.
Your Action Plan
Follow these three steps.
- Rehearse some arguments for God’s existence in your spare time.
- When you hear the no-evidence objection, respond with Trent Horn’s question.
- Reply accordingly to their A1, A2, or A3 responses.
Now go out there and do it! You got this!
For a survey of some great arguments, check out On Guard by William Lane Craig.
For a defense of Aquinas’s 5 Ways, check out Aquinas by Edward Feser.