I’m sure we’ve all seen this exchange before, now represented by images on Facebook:
Teacher: Can you see God?
Teacher: Can you touch God?
Teacher: Then there isn’t a God!
Student: [raises hand] Sir, can you see your brain?
Student: Can you touch your brain?
Student: Oh okay, so you don’t have a brain!?
This kind of misrepresentation of atheists and atheism is not new. Christians have been doing this for a long time. They come up with half-assed little things like this in an attempt to look smart.
And man is the logic flawed. How so? I could say the same thing right back to the Christian about their heart, their lungs, or any other internal organ. Hell, I could say it about their liver: "Well I guess you don’t have a liver, so go on and drink all you want and be merry. After all, you don’t have a liver to worry about damaging." Imagine saying something like this to teenage girls: "Well since you can’t see or touch your uterus, you must not have one, so you can fuck all you want without having to worry about getting pregnant!"
Now we don’t take it on faith that the brain exists, or the heart, lungs, uterus (in the case of women), or any other internal organ. We can demonstrate that such exists quite readily. Want to directly see or touch your brain? It can happen. Find a surgeon willing to crack open your skull to expose your brain, then wake you and hand you a mirror.
If we could demonstrate that God exists in a similar, unequivocal manner, atheism would not be a valid concept. After all, anyone would be able to see God! His existence could be demonstrated in such a manner that the person denying his existence would be left making the stupid arguments or employing very unsound reasoning to back up their assertions. Just prompt any conspiracy theorist about anything from TWA-800, JFK or 9/11 to… well almost anything else for an idea of the kind of brain-dead assertions people will make merely because neurons are firing and what they’re saying sounds good.
Beyond this no atheist worth his or her salt will say that just because you cannot see a god or touch a god, that god doesn’t exist. Instead an atheist will say that he or she has yet to see convincing evidence that shows definitively that the god claimed to exist actually does exist. On that mark, the Christian has much working against them.
The reason for this is something most Christians are blissfully unaware, but most atheists are very acutely aware: the vast majority of those who are religious had no choice on the matter in any regard, not even on the religion they believe. Instead they were forcefully indoctrinated as children in various ways by parents and other individuals holding authority over them. The power of childhood indoctrination is quite immense.
And they stay religious because of fears of eternal punishment after death, or fear of being ostracized or shunned by everyone they know and love, while finding numerous ways to convince themselves their indoctrination is factual in nature.