Dswerling, author of One Christian’s Journey, wrote a post back in May entitled What Atheists Really Want. When I saw that title, I thought, “Oh great! Another Christian who thinks s/he knows my mind better than I do”. They’re not exactly in short supply.
But this one actually nailed it:
What they want is one thing: good old fashioned proof. […] They want academic, reasoned, logical study with as much empirical proof as possible […]
Bingo! What more can I say?
Of course, Dswerling goes on to admit that we’ll never likely get that kind of proof because, well, Christians simply don’t have it. It’s a matter of faith or trust, if you will, which brings me to the reason I felt the need to write this post:
Faith is a form of trust; trust in God or Jesus or Allah or Zeus or Ra or any other deity you pick, but at its heart all faith is trust that somehow things are going to work out just fine in the end, in one way or another. I think even a lot of Atheists certainly have this trust, they just can’t reconcile it to trust in something greater, a reality above the reality that we observe in the physical world. However, this is a personal issue for everyone. After all, how would you ever find scientific proof that say, your mother or girlfriend or wife or father or boyfriend or husband loved you? How would you ever truly know another person was trustworthy? You simply cannot know, you are left with an act of faith on some level, and no one ever talks of finding scientific reasoning for these trust issues. So if we aren’t trying to scientifically prove why we can trust our mother or father or any other humble human, why would we bother trying to scientifically prove why we can trust the infinite creator of the universe?
What Atheists Really Want
I would like to begin by addressing the last sentence there.
I have never seen or heard an atheist ask anyone to prove “why we can trust the infinite creator of the universe”. Dswerling may well have broken the record for the most logical fallacies crammed into one sentence. Here we have the terribly worn out strawman, the exhausted red herring and the boring false analogy, all of it paired with some question begging. I may have left out a few, but I think that’ll do for now, don’t you?
I’m not interested in proof for why we can trust any number of gods (or the Christian deity in this case) simply because I’m still waiting to see even a shred of evidence that any of them even exists.
With that out of the way, I will now answer the question of how I can possibly know that my husband is trustworthy and that he loves me. I’ll start by declaring that I am so confident in this that I will stand Mike up against God without hesitation or doubt.
Before I go into the issue of trust, I would like to point out that I know for certain Mike exists. Many other people know for certain that Mike exists. There is even legally documented evidence of Mike’s existence. I have thoroughly examined Mike with all five of my senses and I can assure you that he does, in fact, exist. That puts him miles ahead of God right from the starting line.
But how do I know that he loves me or that he’s trustworthy?
Well, for a start, I can actually hear him tell me that he loves me, uncountable times on any given day. I’ve never heard a peep out of God. I can call Mike at any time of the day or night and he is there for me. He listens to me and talks back to me, audibly. He offers practical solutions to problems, comforts me and gives of himself to help. God remains silent, too narcissistic to do so much as clear his throat just to let you know he hasn’t hung up on you.
Mike is consistent; he does what he says he’s going to do. He keeps his word and honors his obligations and responsibilities. That’s part of what makes him trustworthy. The god of the Bible is not true to his word; it makes promises and doesn’t keep them.
Mike has traveled, on several occasions, half-way across the globe to be with me, to spend time with me. He has done this at considerable cost, both financially and personally. He has made the same sacrifices, on two different occasions, to purchase airfare for me and our son to go and be with him in England. God hasn’t bothered to show his face to me in a single bush, even though it wouldn’t cost him anything to do it.
When I am in a financial bind, Mike doesn’t feed me some self-serving shite like, “Be still and know that I am your Husband; My grace is sufficient unto thee”. When I’m short on the rent, he sends cash via MoneyGram. Of course, one might argue that money can’t buy me love, and that’s not my point in mentioning this. But it does show that Mike is trustworthy (he sends money when he says he will, and he’s not rich by any stretch) and he’s not paying rent for strangers off the street. Paying the rent is more than God ever did for me.
But that’s not all Mike does. When we’re together and I’m hungry, he makes me food (and I’m not talking about taking credit for a neighbor bringing a casserole). When I’m thirsty, he brings me a drink. When I’m in pain, he massages me. I don’t have to ask or even know that he’s entered the room, and I’m not required to give anything in return or tell anyone that he did it.
When Mike goes to the shops, he brings me chocolate. He sings me love songs. When I cry, he cries. When I laugh, he laughs. I can count on finding a sweet email in my inbox every morning. I don’t have to wonder if he’s there or if he’s interested in me. Heck, just read his blog. You won’t get through more than a couple of posts at a time without seeing my name mentioned and hearing about how beautiful and wonderful I am.
I could go on and on listing ways that my husband shows his love for me. Does any of it prove, “scientifically” and beyond a doubt, that he loves me? Of course not. But the evidence is rather overwhelming in favor of his loving me and being trustworthy. Believing this does not require faith in the same way that faith is required to believe in God. That is a false analogy: apples and oranges.
When I see a shred of evidence (and take note: warm fuzzies are not evidence) supporting the existence of this alleged “infinite creator of the universe”, then we can move on to discussing whether or not it’s trustworthy. In the mean time, it would be nice if people like Dswerling would exhibit even a tiny bit of intellectual honesty by not making such blatantly fallacious arguments in a pathetic attempt to validate faith (trust) in something that they freely admit cannot be proven to exist.