Refutations of the Arguments for the Belief in God
Apologetics is the branch of theology devoted to rationalizing religious belief. This is intrinsically difficult, since religious belief is based on faith, which exists independently (and in spite) of evidence. As such, apologists tend to rely on philosophical, metaphysical, and historical arguments. The scholarship of these claims is dubious at best: anecdotes -- even those of anonymous persons -- are uncritically accepted as data; and historical events and scientific theories are intentionally misrepresented to their advantage.
Be aware that Christians are notorious for using intentionally undefined their terms, so they can move the goalposts to suit their needs. Getting clergymen to clearly define their terms is necessary for a proper discussion -- and it automatically grants you a quantum of victory, since defining things limits them.
Again, do not argue with the clergyman. Our strategy is not one of confrontation; but of malicious cooperation. Victory will be determined by the length and fruitlessness of your conversations. Arguing will reveal yourself as a troublemaker, and you will be denied any further opportunity to consume their time, ending your journey. Besides, you can’t directly de-convert a priest; they’re pot-committed. De-conversion and burnout are processes of erosion. However, discussing these issues in front of others can aid in their de-conversion processes.
Refutations for the most common arguments for believing in God are provided below. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should be sufficient; most seminarians are not required to study apologetics, and those who do often take a single 3-credit course.
- Cosmological (First Mover) Argument.
- Teleological Argument (Argument from Design, or "Intelligent Design").
- Pascal’s Wager.
- Ontological Argument.
- Argument from common consent (i.e., the bandwagon argument).
- The existence of souls and the “spark of life”.
- Argument from the idea of God.
- Argument from miracles.
- Argument from beauty.
- Atheism leads to totalitarianism.