It seems difficult for some people to consider hypothetical situations. For religionists this difficulty is compounded by the fact that they hold dogmas that there are some ideas which, if even considered, will doom them in some way. This results in an inability for many to imagine a reality without a god.

During the course of debating with Christians I realized that many of them have probably never seriously considered the possibility that there could be no god, and are unable to imagine it. Even when confronted with someone who disbelieves they respond with "you believe, you just hate God!" At this point there is no debate.

I came up with a litmus test for theists after this. If they fail it then there is little point arguing with them. It is the following question.

If there was no god, no creator of the universe, would you want to know it?

This question demands that they consider the possibility, however briefly. It also indicates how open-minded they are if they answer. I think it's a fun question. I used it on my father when I first "came out" to him and he was fairly stymied by it.

Do you have any good show-stopper questions or statements?

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Comment by Stephen Turner on May 2, 2010 at 4:07am
Great question. Unfortunately, no theist will even try to wrap their head around it.
Here's another: If God loves me, and he loves you (and wants us all to know of his love for us), then why would he have guided us into this argument (via his sloppy and unwieldy dictation in the Koran, the OT, and the NT)?

Oops...sorry...that's the one they've been dodging for centuries.
Comment by ryan cameron on April 29, 2010 at 8:24am
Thats a good one. I will try to remember it.

Another one that has so far stymied christians, albeit unrelated to the question you posit above is:
"God loves the sinner and hates the sin, right? " (usually get a few Amen's here) "So, why not just send the sin to hell and keep the sinner in heaven?" (so far, all I've gotten is surprise, hmms, and wow good question...etc)
Comment by Tom Thompson on February 23, 2010 at 1:59pm
@Nate, those are good questions but they do not address my main point here. Namely, they do not require a theist to consider the non-existance of a god. Instead, they ask the theist to put themselves in god's position or to judge god, which is an unthinkable proposition.
Comment by Colin on February 23, 2010 at 12:07pm
Yeah, good question to ask theists!

I have the same problem in discussions with religious people. They can't seem to take a step back and look. I ask "what if the Bible didn't exist, how would you know there was a God?" and they ALWAYS reply with "But the Bible DOES exist, so HA!". *facepalm*



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