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." This is a silly argument for the following reason.
Imagine that we have a conversation one day and I say to you, "I believe in the gerflagenflopple. You cannot prove that the gerflagenflopple does not exist, therefore it exists." You can see that this is ridiculous. Just because I have invented something out of thin air does not mean that its non-existence is suddenly unprovable. There has to be some evidence that the gerflagenflopple exists in order to assert its existence. Since there is not, it is quite easy to say that the gerflagenflopple is imaginary.
Now let's imagine that we have a conversation one day and I say to you, "I believe in Leprechauns. You cannot prove that Leprechauns do not exist, therefore they exist." You actually have heard of Leprechauns. There are lots of books, movies and fairy tales dealing with Leprechauns. People talk about Leprechauns all the time. Leprechauns even have a popular brand of breakfast cereal. But that does not mean that Leprechauns exist. There is no physical evidence for the existence of Leprechauns. Not a single bit. Therefore, it is obvious to any normal person that Leprechauns are imaginary.
If you think about it, you will realize that there is no difference between God and Leprechauns. Lots of people talk about God as though he exists, but there is no actual evidence for God's existence. For example:
Here is a second way to look at the same question.
With every other object and phenomenon in our experience, we use the scientific method to determine whether it exists or not. For example, X rays are invisible, but we know that they exist. We can devise scientific experiments to prove that they exist. Then, once proven to exist, X-rays can be used predictably in all sorts of beneficial ways.
If you would like to hypothesize that God exists, then you should say to yourself, "Let's devise a repeatable scientific experiment to provide evidence that God exists." Every experiment we devise demonstrates, yet again, that God is imaginary.
Isn't it odd that God, unlike everything else in our universe, has been put into a special category? When we talk about God, we are supposed to do so "philosophically." Why? Why not treat God just like all other objects and devise experiments to detect his presence or absence?
The classic religious response is, "God must remain hidden. If he proved his existence, that would take away faith." This is clever -- here we have an object named God that proves its existence by completely hiding its existence. Of course, in the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary.
Even more interesting, this object called God, which is supposedly hiding its existence completely, is in the meantime supposedly writing books, answering prayers and incarnating itself. How can that be? This obvious contradiction shows how imaginary God is. When we look at prayer scientifically, we find that "answered prayers" are actually nothing but coincidences. When we look at the Bible scientifically, ethically or rationally, we find that the Bible is wrong. When we look at all of Jesus' miracles scientifically, we find that none of them left behind any scientific or historical evidence. Nor, for that matter, did Jesus, nor did Jesus' resurrection. Strangely, not a single historical source independent of the Bible ever mentions the resurrection.
The reason why we can find no empirical evidence for God's existence is not because "God is a magical being completely able to hide from us." It is because God is imaginary.
Last updated by Morgan Matthew Aug 20, 2008.