Atheists know there is a God

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This argument is made against atheists. Theists claim that the existence of God is so axiomatic that nobody can deny God. Often, rather than actually providing proof or valid argument for their God claims, they resort to claiming that the evidence is all around us. Others may claim that we already know God because He created our souls and gave us life, or that God is a part of each of us. Christians, for instance, often cite Romans 1:20 "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; that they are without excuse." Basically, the claim is that the evidence for God's existence is so clear that to deny it or fail to accept it is inexcusable. Based on this assumption, theists may try to paint atheists as hypocrites by claiming that all atheists merely pretend not to believe in God.

Counter apologetics

The claim is probably both non-verfiable (at least given the current state of medical science) and non-falsifiable. Indeed, any failed attempt to prove an atheist doesn't believe in gods (polygraph, FMRI, etc.) could be construed as either a failure of the equipment to detect deceit, or as deception by Satan, or any other ad hoc/post hoc explanation. The efficacy of polygraph tests has been questioned, and evidence against their reliability as a tool for the detection of deceit has led to their inadmissibility in many courtrooms. This aside, the theist who is claiming the atheist knows there is a God likely has no reasonable, accessible means by which to substantiate this claim.

It is not axiomatic, obvious, or self-evident that there is a God. Rather, it seems the theist who makes this argument is blinded by his or her own faith-based beliefs. He or she may be under the delusion that because such beliefs of self-evidence are so cherished by the individual, they must also be universally experienced in the minds of every human on Earth. Unfortunately for the theist and the atheist alike, there is no way to know what any given human actually thinks or believes, so this argument depends on a great deal of wishful thinking.

An atheist could simply turn this accusation around and claim, "Theists know there is no God. In fact, everyone is born with the knowledge that we are just a natural product of the universe!" A responsible atheist should make no such assertion, as both the "God exists" and "God does not exist" forms are equally indefensible. If it is easy to spot the ludicrousness in the claim, "You know that universal invisible sky pixies exist, but you just pretend not to believe," it should be easy for a theist to recognize that arguing about the inner thoughts of an atheist likewise is obnoxious.

As for appeals to Bible verses like Romans 1:20 (cited above), such appeals represent a fallacious argument called Argument from scripture. Besides, relying on a particular religion's scripture puts one in the position of circular reasoning; using Bible verses is just as valid to Christians as using verses from the Koran is to the Muslim. For instance, a Christian can deny Allah all he or she wishes, but according to the Koran, they are without excuse. The Primordial Covenant in Islam states that Allah created our souls and we all have testified that he is our God before we were even born (7:172-174: "When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam -from their loins- their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (Who cherishes and sustains you)?" They said: "Yea! We do testify!: (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful;" or lest ye should say: Our fathers before us took false gods.) It is common for religions to include a system that links all human beings as being created by a specific creator and humans are without excuse. Thus, the presentation of any single one of these systems is not particularly impressive to the atheist.


v · d Common objections to atheism and counter-apologetics
Personal   Why are you trying to tear down other people's faith? · Why can't everyone just have their own beliefs? · What are your qualifications? · Atheists believe in nothing · You are a communist · Why do atheists inspire such hatred? · That's not my God
Religious   That's not in my Bible · They're not true Christians · You just want to sin · Atheists know there is a God · It takes more faith to disbelieve than it does to believe · God doesn't believe in atheists · Science is a faith · Atheism is a religion · Atheists worship materialism · Hypocrisy of celebrating religious holidays · Atheism is based on faith
Science and logic   You can't prove God doesn't exist · Science can't touch god · God can't be defined · So you think we came from nothing / pondsoup / monkeys? · If God didn't create everything, who did? · That might be true for you, but its not true for me · Religion is another way of knowing · God is trying to trick you with dinosaur bones · Satan is trying to trick you with dinosaur bones · Tides come in, tides go out. You can't explain that.
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