“God is imaginary”? Really? Part 17: Think about Leprechauns

Think about Leprechauns“, the writer of proof number seventeen on the website “God is imaginary” tells the reader. Okay, what would you have us think about?

Right out of the gate the writer makes a statement that is relatively reasonable:

Many believers will say, “It is impossible for you to prove that God (Allah, Ra, Vishnu, whatever) does not exist. There is no way to prove that something does not exist.”

The writer rightfully dismisses such a claim as “silly”, something I actually agree with. One can essentially “prove” a negative through argumentation, even arguing to prove that you, the readers of this post, do not actually exist, but then if one of you like this post, doesn’t that mean that you do? Too much thought for so early in the morning. Anyway…

The writer then takes us on a convoluted trip through modern fiction regarding Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, and something called a “gerflagenflopple”, to Leprechauns, the mischievous fairies of Irish lore.

Now, the writer makes a sound argument:  just because one can list characteristics for something, it does not follow that the thing you are describing actually exists. No problem there. But then, he begins to apply that to unsimilar accounts, such as the biblical flood account.

As we can see from this graphic, there is something to the biblical account. So the extraneous elements of what is contained in the story itself relate to something else, something that the prophet Isaiah said

21 “Present your argument,” says the Lord. “Produce your evidence,” says Jacob’s king.

22 “Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen! Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, so we may examine them and see how they were fulfilled. Or decree for us some future events!

23 Predict how future events will turn out, so we might know you are gods. Yes, do something good or bad, so we might be frightened and in awe. (Isaiah 41, NET)

There is something obviously different going on in the biblical story, and an honest review of the materials make it clear.

Second, I agree: there is no direct evidence for a global flood. But it does not follow that a catastrophic, localized flood did not occur at some point. The problem is that the Hebrew language makes no distinction between a mountain and a hill, using the same word for both. I’m willing to allow the text to define its own terms and for the cultural understandings of words, such as “world”, be understood in their proper context, rather than imposing a modern understanding to the terms. Because, earlier in the story itself, I believe, it sets up for us to understand that the flood was not a global inundation, but a localized event that was so sudden and remarkable that it affected dozens of cultures.

Now, for the typical bullet points that need to be refuted, with their links eliminated:

• God has never left any physical evidence of his  existence on earth. —I would actually challenge this based on a claim from the book of the Exodus, where it records God descending onto Mount Sinai, where His fiery presence lingered on it for months. Now, the popular commentary on this is that there is no evidence of such in the Sinai peninsula, but the Bible actually places Mount Sinai in the Arabian Peninsula, and later, non-biblical texts identify it as the modern Mont al-Lawz. Something discussed in this video, which clearly has been blackened by something unexplainable.

-All historical gods were imaginary and we know it. —There is some truth to this statement. We can argue from logic and reason that many of the gods do not exist (a plurality of deities is a logical impossibility, for instance) and any deity that arises from the creation would technically not be a god, but the Bible describes a Being that necessarily exists, something incredibly different. 

• None of Jesus’ “miracles” left any physical evidence either. —I’ve discussed that here, but then again, what were many of his miracles focused on? Healing the sick, the disabled, even restoring people who had died to life. His miracles were meant to be signs of his claim, his bona fidis to his audience at that time.

• God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone. —Why would he? The Christian assertion is that God has spoken fully and finally in Christ and in His revealed Word. And this is essentially a pseudo-task, something I believe that I answered earlier.

• The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone in a provable way. —The four gospels, which are composed of three eyewitness statements and an investigator’s report, say otherwise. The fact that the writer has summarily dismissed them is simply evidence of a presuppositional bias. 

• The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God. —Actually, no. The writer implied that it was “provably incorrect” by criticizing statements made in it, not by actually producing evidence that contradicted its claims. Something I answered here

• When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is “answering prayers.” —I find this series by Gary Habermas on the issue of doubt interesting on this. But I’ve also answered this. 

• Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God. —The problem of evil is not really a problem for Christians, because if God exists, He is the answer, but if not there’s nothing really to complain about or to.

Then the writer sinks into something of a category error by implying that, somehow, God is a phenomenon that should be scientifically detectable, criticizing the fact that God is, philosophically, in a separate category. The error is that he is attempting to import God into the empirical realm, when it is clear, from the biblical data, that God exists externally to the universe. In John 4:24, Jesus speaking about the worship of God says, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Since God exists in a manner that is external to His creation, he has given clear instruction on how he ought to be examined: in the substance of His existence, which is nonphysical. God, just like any other existing being is free to present Himself, to manifest Himself, in any way He chooses, or not to manifest Himself. The essential biblical claim is that He has, through His Son, as the Second Person of the Trinity, in the God-man, Jesus Christ, in a time and place of His choosing.

As a “proof”, it is a sadly desperate one.

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2 comments

  1. As a follow up to my earlier comment… I’ve just read this article, linked from the previous one, and saw the statement “there is no direct evidence for a global flood”. This could be true if evolution is true. But if you don’t believe in evolution, then the planet is full of direct evidence for a global flood. If you do some searching on sites like creation.com, answersingenesis.org, icr.org etc. you can find tonnes of material and evidence. Keep strong!

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