This book accuses atheists of engaging in twisted thinking where they use ideas from God against God.  That is a very big claim.  It says that every atheist who sees this will potentially deceive others and pretend they can have their godless cake and eat it.

Quote: Atheists sometimes compare their nonbelief in God to their nonbelief in Santa Claus. But the comparison fails because there is not only no evidence for Santa Claus, there is positive evidence against Santa Claus. Our knowledge of physics and the great distances involved provide positive evidence that it’s physically impossible for one human being to dispense gifts to six billion people all over the world in one night using a sleigh and reindeer. In other words, we don’t just “lack a belief” in Santa Claus; we have reasons to believe he doesn’t exist. On the other hand, as we’ll see later in this book, there is positive evidence for the God of the Bible and no evidence that would make His existence impossible. In fact, some classical theists call God a “necessary being” because His existence appears necessary.

Comment: So no evidence for God and or positive evidence against God would put him in the same league as Santa.

We are told the Santa thing is absurd. But if Santa is like an angel or God gives him the power of miracles then this assertion is wrong. It refutes a straw man Santa. That is not an honest approach at all.

Lacking belief in Santa makes you count as rejecting his existence. So some say the same applies if you lack belief in God. Turek says the difference is Santa is not needed to explain why there is something rather than nothing but God is.

The point about God is that he has magic power. It is that simple. It is not about the magic being able to turn nothing into something to make all things or if it is turning a child's wishes into Christmas presents? It is just the magic. It is not even about if it is God or Santa. The magic rules both out as nonsense. The bigger the wizard the bigger the nonsense.

If you can say there is more than just evidence lacking for Santa but there is evidence that he is not real the same holds true for God. Santa is not God and God is not Santa but that is not even the point. The point is they represent magic and do magic. To refute Santa you have to assume his magic does not happen so the same must be done for God. Fair is fair.

Remember too that religion calls God spirit.  Spirit means something that is non-material.  It has no parts.  But it is real.  This is not a clear statement.   It could still be anything.  Santa Claus could be the best image of it.

Quote regarding atheists debunking a silly version of God:

“To be fair, many Christians don’t have the proper conception of God either. They think God is something like a big angel or just a bigger version of themselves.”

Comment: Then how do you show that you are not worshipping such a travesty? The angel version is the God everybody wants. It is seen as his job to fix everything that you have a problem with in your life. And when nothing happens the way you want you turn against him. This God is not a bigger version of you as such. You are making him all about what you want from him not him. It is outrageous selfishness especially when people are starving in the world. So this God is a reflection of what you are like but you can go a step further and when you Joseph worship God you direct it towards a big Joseph in the sky. And many do that it seems. Or do all do it? A person who is doing that will hide it for its embarrassing. There is no way to tell. There is a lot of grey there. A person who seems to love God for God’s own sake may still mostly or significantly be adoring something that is too much about them or too much like them. The selfish side explains their "devotion".

Quote: If you are mad at me for these comments, it means that in an important sense you agree with me.

Comment: People being angry at you shows that they strongly feel you are right but only when they cannot give good arguments against you to show you that you are wrong.  You can be angry at stupidity or what you think is dishonesty.

Quote: Chesterton said, “Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain. Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.”

Comment: Interesting. Turek argues then that we end up numb if we are atheists or don't make God central. "No wonder atheism ultimately leads to despair. Life is meaningless and no amount of temporal pleasure can cure that." That does not fit the many atheists who spend time doing good works and who deny that their life is bland and pointless.

What about barely-religious Christians who are happy? If they are weary of pleasure and are thus happy to sacrifice themselves and suffer for others then so what?

Notice how Turek is getting at the notion that atheism and its disciples are harmful - very harmful indeed. They supposedly rob the vulnerable of meaning.  That can cause suicides it seems.  Christians tend to think that atheists are directly or indirectly to blame for many suicides. It is hate towards atheists. Yet it is obvious that if God alone matters then you have to say there is no point without him. Worship is passive-aggressive against us atheists.

If getting weary of pleasure is what robs us of meaning and that makes atheism dangerous then it also makes Christianity dangerous for even then if you take the pleasure you can get and offer it to God it still lets you down.

Religious people report spiritual pleasure. Many like to pray for that reason. When that pleasure disappoints and lets them down then the one good thing the one perfect thing God or faith in him has failed you. It teaches you that you have nothing left to lose. If that makes you feel flat or disappointed everything else will only be worse. That loss can drive Islamists and Christians to seek death as martyrs or kill others in the name of holy war. Read Ariel Glucklich's Dying for Heaven: Holy Pleasure and Suicide Bombers—Why the Best Qualities of Religion Are Also Its Most Dangerous


Here is that wonderful quote again, “While it is true that one can use bad philosophy, it is impossible to use no philosophy.” I hope I have answered the bad philosophy somewhat on this page.

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