Can Someone prove to me that God doesn't exist?

I have been reading posts from many Dopers who claim to be atheists.

My question is this: If anyone can PROVE beyond doubt that God (or anything else for that matter) doesn’t exist, should we all then consider that person a god himself?

Let’s presume for a moment that God doesn’t exist. We still wouldn’t “know” it. For us to be sure that anything doesn’t exist we must have looked everywhere. Therefore, he who claims to “know” that God doesn’t exist must have looked everywhere, would that not make said person a god himself? It seems to me that atheism is a self defeating principal.

Now lets say God does exist. All we need to do is to look until we find Him. It’s a much easier process than looking everywhere.

Oh, and finally, if any (so called) atheists tries to tell me that they don’t “know” there is no God, they just “believe” it. Please feel free to refer to yourself as an agnostic.

geez, i KNOW that god doesnt exists, the Invisible Pink Unicorn told me so. :smiley:
Now probe to me that the IPU didnt told me that god doesnt exists.

You’re the one that believes in Him. So you’re the one that needs to prove that he does exist.

Where should we look?

We’ve been up in the clouds, He wasn’t there.

We’ve been above the clouds, He wasn’t there.

We’ve been to the top of Mount Olympus, He wasn’t there either.

Where should we look next? Is there anywhere that we haven’t looked?

Do you know there is a God? Do you have any scientific evidence? No?

What I’m getting from this quote is you’re saying that you don’t have any evidence there’s a God, you just “believe” it. So you’re agnostic too, huh?

One cannot prove a negative. No more than you can prove God’s name isn’t Zeus, Allah, Quetzacoatl, Pele, Odin, or the IPU instead of Yahweh (assuming you’re a Jew or Christian, if not flip them around).

Atheism is not a belief, rather a lack of belief. Most atheists are not declaring “there aren’t any gods”, rather asking “why on earth should we believe in a god?”

Try to think of it this way. If a person claims to have invented an antigravity device, it is not incumbent on others to prove that no such thing exists. The believer must make a case. Everyone else is justified in refusing to believe until evidence is produced and substantiated. They don’t have to look everywhere to prove there is no anti-gravity device.

So the question becomes: “Can you PROVE beyond doubt that a god does exist?”


Nobody can prove that absolutely no God exists. Proof of a specific God’s non-existence can be easier: Let’s say that Mrs. Aloysius Farnsworth (Jane Doe being overused and Ms. Roe involved with abortion threads at the moment) believes in a god who will manifest itself in response to her prayers in some specific manner. A skeptical observer is present at her prayers and said manifestation fails to occur. Ergo, the god she believes in does not exist. (If, however, she happens to be a devout Jew, Christian, Muslim, or Baha’i, that does not prove that the God of that faith does not exist – just the particular concept she espouses.)

I am a devout Christian. But I am quite happy to affirm to all and sundry that the God of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, or Fred Phelps does not exist – thank the One that does!!

Regarding “atheism” – we have been through that some dozen times in the two years I have been a member here. Search “atheism” in Great Debates with no time bracket.

In short, it is common courtesy to extend to a person the term by which they self-identify. Beyond that, the position taken by most active atheists here is that, in the absence of evidence supporting God’s existence, he may be presumed not to exist (in the legal sense – though it’s still debatable, the onus of proof is on the believers). Like this: I have seen absolutely no evidence that would prove to me the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn so beloved of god-parodiers here. Hence I presume that no such animal exists. I am, therefore, an anIPUnian. Though I would have to admit as a remote possibility that such a critter might exist and not be perceivable by me, I am not IPU-agnostic. I disbelieve in such a critter – there’s no evidence suitable to convince me (despite Gaudere and Tracer’s protestations that She has manifested Herself to them, which I do not accept as valid).

On such a line of reasoning, the folks who describe themselves here as “soft” or “pragmatic atheists” deserve to be so called, over and above the courtesy they are due as human beings.

How does that work for you?

Andrew Wiles proved that no nonzero integer solutions exist for X[sup]n[/sup]+Y[sup]n[/sup]=Z[sup]n[/sup] for n>2. Should we consider him a god? :rolleyes:

Thanks, but I don’t remember needing to check with you for approval. Move along now, or you’ll miss Barney.

I’ll bet He’s hiding in that pile of junk in my garage…

Here’s another question I’ve been pondering – what is all this shit about angels? Have you heard this? Three out of four people belive in angels. Are you fucking stupid? Has everybody lost their mind? You know what I think it is? I think it’s a massive, collective, psychotic chemical flashback for all the drugs smoked, swallowed, shot, and obsorbed rectally by all Americans from 1960 to 1990. Thirty years of street drugs will get you some fucking angels, my friend!
– George Carlin (source unknown)

What about Goblins, huh? Doesn’t anybody belive in Goblins? You never hear about this. Except on Halloween and then it’s all negative shit. And what about Zombies? You never hear from Zombies! That’s the trouble with Zombies, they’re unreliable! I say if you’re going to go for the Angel bullshit you might as well go for the Zombie package as well.
– George Carlin, You Are All Diseased

Not at all…it is the person who is trying to change another person’s mind that must do the convincing and/or proving.

If a theist is trying to change an atheist’s mind, then the atheist is absolutely correct in asking for proof that God exists before he converts, if that is what is required in order for the atheist to convert.

On the other hand, if it is the atheist who is doing the challenging, then it is up to the atheist to provide the proof of his assertions. Simply asking for proof that God exists and receiving does not prove the atheist’s position, but merely reinforces his beliefs. The atheist’s assertion that God does not exist still has not yet been proven.

Cyrin is merely asking those atheists who insist on attempting to change his mind about his faith to provide proof that God does not exist. If they cannot do so, then they are no better than theists who try to change the minds of atheists without proof. Not that either are bad, just they are equal.

First, if you are going to be capitalizing Invisible Pink Unicorn, it is only polite to also capitalize God…it is his name, after all.

Second, unfortunately, one could disprove your assertion by stating that the IPU cannot exist because it is essentially a contradiction in terms (if its invisible it can’t be pink), whereas God is not a fundamental contradiction in terms, merely a being whose existence can neither be proven or disproven.

Now if the the Invisible Non-Pink Unicorn were to tell you that God doesn’t exist…well, you may have an argument. :smiley:

You are correct about capitalizing “God” my bad, i apologize.
As for the contradiction in the terms “Invisible” and “Pink” i think that most of the usual definitions of God also fall in contradictions, however if you postulate a no-contradictions God i will like to Counter-Postulate that the Invisible Pink Unicorn can be called that way because if She were visible She will be Pink. :slight_smile:

It really isn’t. It’s his job description. “I am the LORD your God” and all that. His name is Jehovah, or YHVH, or Adonai, or somesuch. Or Jesus, if you’re comfortable with that.

but by the above rationale anything and everything conjured on whim and fancy therefore deserves equal consideration. I don’t see it that way. but hey, that’s just me.

if someone suggests blabla is blabla, must I acknowledge blabla at it’s mention?

You are correct about capitalizing “God” my bad, i apologize.
As for the contradiction in the terms “Invisible” and “Pink” i could say that most of the usual definitions of God also fall in contradictions, however if you postulate a no-contradictions God i will like to Counter-Postulate that the Invisible Pink Unicorn can be called that way because if She were visible She would be Pink. :slight_smile:


Here’s a challenge to you then, and to Çyrin:

Find me an atheist who claims to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is no God. Then we can address those claims.

But no atheist I know has made such a claim. I cannot help but feel the OP is attacking a strawman.

Atheism is a non-religion only in the atheist’s mind. To a Christian, Christianity is fact, not a religion. To a Hindu, Hinduism is a fact, not a religion. Everyone considers their own ideas fact, but they are all religions, including Atheism. You’re right about how there is no way to prove there is a God. In fact, part of what makes God God is the fact that we can’t prove He exists. If someone discovered and proved that God exists, then we’d all have a reason not to believe in Him. After all, we can’t assign God a face or a means of “appearing” to us if He is the Creator of us and has none of those features. If you want to see if God exists, just look around. If you see matter, then there must be a God. If you hear sounds, there must be a God. It takes a lot of faith to think that everything just happened to exist for no reason. If you have to see evidence of everything, then how to you know if the room you last left still exists? It may not. There is no solid evidence, just as there is no evidence of God. And we shouldn’t expect there to be.

Well, no. Atheism is simply that–“without belief in God.” Atheism is not a religion.

(And before you say it, no I’m not atheist.)

Did you mean to add that this was your opinion? It is impossible to prove an unrestricted negative, so, by logic, no one is going to be able to disprove the existence of god, nor is it fair to ask one to do so. No one can examine the entire universe for an entity that they would not know even if they tripped over it.

So does that mean he exists by default? No. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. You cannot simply claim the existence of the unknowable and immeasurable, then claim to be ‘proved’ correct when the inevitable conclusion is reached that any failure to measure the immeasurable doesn’t suffice as refutation.

Perhaps others think differently, but if you wish to believe, then simply state it is a matter of faith and I won’t (and can’t) argue. However if you start proclaiming existence in literal terms of the physical world, then you must provide proof of your extraordinary claim… which you can’t.

Neurotik, are you saying that if I believe in invisible pink unicorns that you must prove to me that invisible pink unicorns don’t exist?

I’m confused and not an expert here, but how do you go about proving that invisible pink unicorns don’t exist? I mean, I have no idea where one would even begin. Neurotick, how would you go about proving they don’t???


Çyrin, Çyrin, Çyrin

You know, you’re right, nobody can prove the non-existence of God, and you know what? that means nothing at all; nobody can prove the non-existence of the tiny orange potato people (they are out there, you’re just not looking hard enough), but that doesn’t automatically mean that they are real either.

Atheism (forgive me if I’ve got this wrong, as I’m not one)isn’t the certain knowledge or even the belief that there isn’t a God, it’s simply the lack of belief; the absence of belief, not the presence of unbelief or equivocal doubt, or that’s what the atheists tell me anyway.

It kind of depends of perspective. I’d call it “belief that there is no God.” I could just as easily say that Christianity is “without belief in athe absence of God.” It all depends on your reference point. As the OP pointed out, we can’t check everywhere to find God, so the atheist has to believe that God must not exist because there isn’t enough evidence. That still requires faith. You are correct, though, that it would not technically be a religion since, by definition, that requires a belief in a god, or god-like figure. But then I doubt that Buddhism is technically a religion either, unless you consider the pursuit of Enlightenment to be the “thing” they revere. Come to think of it, they’ve got an advantage. How do you know if Enlightenment exists, unless you try it?