Six Ways of Atheism is an undervalued and underrecognised little book

These are six new arguments against the existence of God presented by Geoffrey Berg in his book the Six Ways of Atheism. Not all of them are meant to be understood as disproofs of God but merely proofs that we should consider God's existence unlikely.  The book deserves more credit that it gets.

The arguments are,

1 it is too far fetched that a range of perfections, perfect love, perfect everything should just happen to one being.  One being might have say just perfect wisdom but even that is unlikely.  God having them all is too much.

2 Human beings are nothing compared to the truth and the universe so how could they recognise a God even if he was there in front of them?

3 Says that God explains nothing.  It says that as we can do without him as an explanation we should line up to Occam's razor and drop him.

4 God could have created the best possible world and this is not it so there is no God.

5 Nothing in the universe is certain of things so God cannot be certain either.  A doubting God is a contradiction in terms.

6 Says that God should not have the role of giving our life purpose.  The implication is that this is no better than saying a brick that hits you on the head has a purpose for you.  The coincidence of God having the role is too far-fetched.

Berg rejects the psychological disproofs of God because even if believers are just worshipping a projection or externalisation of their own needs there might be a God. True. But even if there is a God, he does not want to be God over us. He has left us worshiping a semblance of him that we have created ourselves.

The most important arguments are the ones that show we owe no obedience to God. I'd be happy with proofs that even if there is a God he has no rights over us or has given them up. Practical atheism, living as if there is no God, is the most important atheism of all.

Berg should have considered the definition of God a bit more. God is supposed to be an essence that is not made of parts. All books debunking God should start with this. When we see the word essence in relation in this context we think of God as being a gas that fills the universe and which has no parts.

Believers in God always work from the idea that God is an utterly simple essence. If somebody says, who made God they reply that he was so simple that he didn't need a maker.

A God that is so simple cannot be a mind. A grain of sand is more complex than God. It can't think or reason. So why should we believe that God can do it?

The Christians can't explain how God can be a mind. What they do is they work out that there must be a simple essence and because the universe is apparently designed that this essence made it and designed it. That is like reasoning that there was always one grain of sand. It made the universe and designed it therefore it is intelligent. But that logic is clearly wrong. The creation of the universe and its seeming design do not prove that the grain of sand really has those properties.

The believers are smuggling assumptions in. They are unfair and biased. Until they can explain how a simple essence can have intelligence and know all things and be conscious or do an experiment that proves it they are merely depending on opinions and guesses and dressing it up as faith. Faith is bigger and better than mere opinion or guessing.

You can't ask people to adopt the opinion that there is a God and expect them to take him seriously. That is mad not to mention unfair and bigoted.

Believers in God feel Berg failed to understand that God is transcendent - he is not a thing in the universe. His book certainly refutes the Mormon God who is merely an exalted man.

If you assert that there is a God, then it is up to you to provide evidence for it and to deal with the evidence against it if any. If you assert that there is no God, you don't have to look for evidence that there is no God. You don't look for evidence that there is no tooth fairy. You just assert she doesn't exist.

It is far easier generally to disprove a theory or doctrine than to prove it.

The book needs to say this.

The book is a little too logical. I think books defending atheism need to stir up people's emotions to make them feel revulsion for God. As long as the feelings are provoked by logic there is nothing wrong with them.

Here is an example. There is something revolting about a pampered priest or monk stating during some natural disaster that befalls other nations that God has a good purpose for it and knows what he is doing.

The humility of God believers is false. They zone in on their inner needs and feelings and imagine that these are God. They assume that prayer works when they get the things they asked for and they forget and excuse the times they did not get what they prayed for. They pretend that they have evidence that it is effective. They just care about what they want to be true not what is true!

Prayer is obnoxious.

And so is belief in God. Berg did a great job.

Geoffrey Berg, The Six Ways of Atheism (2009).


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