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"God Is Something You Make Up in Your Mind" - How To Answer Skeptics

Updated on July 5, 2016
Asa2141 profile image

Asa is an autodidactic Christian apologist. He currently lives in Idaho with his family.

Do we make God up in our minds?

Source

Prove It!

So, you are sitting there pecking away at the keyboard on your next Hub, when a notification appears in the right-hand corner. You click on it and find some angry skeptic has left you a comment saying that God is just something you make up in your mind.

How do you answer?

One of the easiest ways to answer this allegation is to ask the skeptic to "prove it".

Skeptic: God is just something you make up in your mind.

You: Oh really? Where is your proof for this? What is your empirical evidence for this claim?

That's it! That's all there is to it! The skeptic has no evidence. It is impossible for anyone to disprove God's existence.

If you are arguing with an angry skeptic, however, the conversation will probably not end just like that. He will probably use the line all skeptics repeat - "the burden of proof is on you". Many modern atheists cling to the idea that, no matter what they say, it is up to the Christian to "prove" God to them.

But is it reasonable and intelligent to declare the burden of proof on Christians? Not in this instance. The skeptic is making the claim: God is something you made up in your mind. Therefore, it is up to the atheist to back up this claim.

Here is how you might handle it:

Skeptic: God is just something you make up in your mind.

You: Prove it. What is your empirical evidence for this claim?

Skeptic: No. No. The burden of proof is on you!

You: Actually, it isn't. You just stated that God is somthing I made up. The burden of proof is on you to back up this accusation.

Skeptic: No, you don't. If you say God exists, the burden of proof rests with you!

You: That is not the issue. You just told me that God is something I make up in my mind. It is up to you to back this up. Do you have any proof to back up your claim?

When any skeptic proclaims God is a figment of your imagination, he is making what lawyers call an "unsubstantiated allegation" - an allegation or accusation that is not backed up by evidence.

If I were a lawyer in a courtroom and I said, "The witness is just inventing stories to make it look like she was not at the crime scene!", then it rests on me to prove this to the jury. I have to prove the witness is lying. I have to back up my claim.

Source

Billions of Spiritual Experiences Just Made Up?

So the skeptic has no proof or evidence that God is invented in people's minds, nor can he prove this.

Besides this, think about the billions of people living in the world the very minute you are reading this and the billions of people that lived before us. What the skeptic is saying is that the spiritual experiences or impressions of billions of people today (and throughout history) have been made up out of thin air. If even one of these spiritual experiences or impressions really happened, then the atheist worldview is dead wrong.

Without diving into some deep discussion about why people believe in God, consider how narrow-minded and ignorant it is to declare that God is something made up in our minds. It is narrow-minded because the skeptic starts with an unprovable assumption and does not allow for any other possibility, and it is ignorant because it assumes nobody has any proof, evidence or reason to believe in God...

I don't know of a single person who is omnipresent. Do you?
I don't know of a single person who is omnipresent. Do you? | Source

An Additional Thought

Here's an additional thought: For anyone to claim that there is no God means that he believes that he knows what is happening in every part of the universe, simultaneously, in order to verify the nonexistence of God. They are stating their belief in their own ability to be omnipresent, or every where at the same time! But......if someone was able to be in every part of the universe at once, that would mean they are some sort of god, thus refuting their own atheist position!

Consider mentioning this to the skeptic who challenges you.

One of my personal favorites on Christian Apologetics

Have Your Evidence Ready

Having a skeptic tell you God is imagined can be a great opportunity to present some evidence to them. If they are honest, they will at least look at the evidence and be challenged; if they are not honest, they will at least think twice before they again spout off about God being your "imaginary friend". Follow it up by suggesting a great book like "Jesus on Trial" by the lawyer David Limbaugh. Or "A Case for Christ" which is written by Lee Strobel, a man who set out to disprove Christianity, only to be converted by it.

Of course, you have to have the evidence ready and be able to explain it, but this should be a part of our every day studies as Christians.

1. Peter 3:15-16 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

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    • Asa2141 profile image
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      Asa Schneidermann 18 months ago from Boise

      First, I want to point out the blaring contradiction in your comments. You tell me to be more “Christ-like”. Wow! Using your own logic, who are you to tell me what God is like? How do you know what Christ-like is when no one can really know ‘that God is like this or that’?

      Second, (using your own logic) Christ is not real since neither you or I have seen, tasted, touched, heard, or smelled him. Christ is therefore, in your imagination. Why are you using an imaginary friend to try to convince me to treat you more kindly?

      Third, you obviously don’t understand what “Christ-like” means. Christ called the religious leaders of his day white-washed sepulchers, broods of vipers, snakes, liars and many other things. There is nothing sinful with me calling you an idiot if you are acting like one. Your comment was idiotic, therefore, you are an idiot. (it’s also really funny that you’ve walked back your “gullibility” comment as you noticed your hypocrisy)

      But what’s funny about this whole thing is that I was not actually calling you an idiot in that first comment. You missed the point. My whole comment was facetious. I did that to show you the idiocy of your logic - that just because something cannot be perceived with our 5 senses, it does not exist. Calling someone an idiot for believing in our Founding Fathers is funny - and I was using your logic to show to you the idiocy of your comment.

      Spare me your pretended interest in truth. I will not be engaging you in any “discussion” (is that what you call it what you are doing?) as you are obviously not an honest or seeking skeptic. Using your own logic, “truth” is not real anyway because you cannot see, taste, touch, hear, or smell “truth”. What’s the point of a discussion? To find out which side is TRUE! Since “truth” is not real (according to your own logic), there is no point for you to discuss or debate anything!

      If however, you do wish to know why I believe in God, feel free to read my Hub: https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Answers-t...

      Best wishes from a rational, down-to-earth believer.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 18 months ago from Tasmania

      In my previous comment, that mention of gullibility was a bit off the mark, I realise. So please ignore it if you can. Similarly, if you could withdraw the notion of my being an idiot, that could be helpful, too.

      One further point for discussion: In your Hub, you ask for "empirical evidence" that God is something made up in the mind. But how can you present any empirical evidence for that God in the first place? After all, "empirical" refers to first hand evidence obtained by interaction with our senses. It implies that something can be proven, without any doubt. Surely?

      Thank you.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 18 months ago from Tasmania

      You are quite right, Asa. Since they are in the past, they don't exist. They exist via the history books, only in your mind ... and the minds of everyone else. The only "real," for any one of us, is what we are aware of, here and now.

      By convention and convenience, we speak of things from the past as "real," in other words, they have an influence upon us as if they are real. The media of the written word, our modern facilities of film, video, recordings of all kinds, help us to recall and consider what was in the past. We can (hopefully) learn from those things of the past.

      Yet, if you are really honest, the [i]only[/i] [b]Real[/b] is what we experience in the here and now.

      Before you reply, please observe some Christ-like behaviour, and try not to perceive me as an Idiot. Make the discussion as bold and factual as you like, please.

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 18 months ago from Boise

      Jonnycomlately,

      George Washington cannot be seen. He cannot be touched. He cannot be smelled. He cannot be heard. Therefore, George Washington is in your imagination. If you want to bolster your imagination by reading your so-called "history" books, and coming up with so called "proofs" feel free to do so. But don't go around talking about our so-called "founding fathers" as "real". Since I cannot perceive them with my 5 senses, they don't exist! You idiot!

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 18 months ago from Tasmania

      Your "God" cannot be seen. Cannot be heard. Cannot be tasted. Cannot be smelled. Cannot be touched. Your "God" is in your imagination.

      Therefore your "God" is in your mind, Asa. Now, you can bolster your mind's imagination by reading from your bible, conjuring up all manner of spurious "proofs," arguing with people who don't have your imaginations. You can say your "God" is like "this," or like "that," and you can describe all the aspirations you claim of your "God." In the final analysis, your "God" is in your mind. As is the "God" of each and every other person who claims to "know God."

      Since you claim to be auto-didactic, then all the things you think you know are self-taught. Are you therefore in an authoritative position to teach others?

      You are, of course, free to continue in your beliefs and in your imaginings. And anyone who is gullible enough to be sucked in by your teachings is free to do so.

      With best wishes from a down-to-earth, rational, skeptic.

    • dreamtarget profile image

      ALAN BOWMAN 2 years ago from NORWAY

      http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?... A video to absolutely blow your mind . Have we got God in a little box? God is not asking our permission to come from our rational mind to do the absolutely astounding .... Lets all say it like this " God is love and AMAZING " Enjoy the video and we can all write books or receive a revelation

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 2 years ago from Boise

      I see what you are saying now. I got confused because we see "Agnosticism" differently. Most people, I know, who say they are agnostics claim that no one can really know if God exists or not (and we can never know). I disagree totally with that view.

    • dreamtarget profile image

      ALAN BOWMAN 2 years ago from NORWAY

      God is not a book , the Bible, but through Jesus and the Holy Spirit come real divine manifestations ( speaking personally here and for many others too ). God can prove himself to all . And on one particular day He will and there will be no doubt in anyones mind that He is real and living and loving .

    • dreamtarget profile image

      ALAN BOWMAN 2 years ago from NORWAY

      Agnosticism "makes sense " because its all we have that our 5 senses can use . God is known fully by our spirit to Holy Spirit relationship when we receive Jesus .

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 2 years ago from Boise

      Thanks for the comment Hannibal (although I disagree with you completely that nothing can be proved either way).

      Peace.

    • Hannibal1994 profile image

      Anon 2 years ago from Jordan

      and that is why my dear ,, only agnosticism makes sense .

      you can't prove anything either way , if you want to believe something just do , without forcing others to follow .

      I surely don't mean you personally and this does not include discussion the existence of god where all sides are well mannered and respectful to the other .

      peace

    • abdussalaam profile image

      Abdus Salaam 2 years ago from Luton

      Interesting article :-)

    • dreamtarget profile image

      ALAN BOWMAN 2 years ago from NORWAY