It’s time to examine Mehta’s second video containing short arguments against God’s existence. Will it be an improvement? Let’s see.
In part 1 we examined Hemant Mehta’s top 22 reasons to stop believing in God. They were, to put it gently, unsatisfactory, although a few legitimate concerns were hidden beneath the banana peels (just watch the previous video). Let’s see if this one is an improvement or more of the same.
1. There’s No Evidence!
There is plenty of evidence (i.e. the empty tomb, the Resurrection appearances etc.), we just need to find out what the best explanation for the origin of the proposed evidence is (i.e. is it just a story or is it historical?). Through honestly examining the various explanations of the evidence for the Resurrection and the classical arguments for God many (such as author Lee Strobel) have converted from atheism to Christianity. For a more in-depth study, I recommend Lee Strobel’s The Case For Christ, Gary Habermas’s The Case For The Resurrection of Jesus, and also J.P. Holding’s Defending The Resurrection.
2. God doesn’t stop the evil in the world, and God himself committed plenty of it.
Half of this has been repeated in the previous video so we needn’t answer it again. Concerning the second half, Hemant may be implying the Biblical account of the Canaanite conquest. To answer this we’ll direct readers to Glenn Millar’s article here.
3. Drowning just about everything alive?… not a sign of love.
Biblical love (i.e. agape love) is not the same kind of love we often associate with Christianity and God today. It sometimes involves harsh treatment against enemies of the greater good in order to aid the well-being of the collective group. In the context of the Flood, God gave two-hundred years in the attempt to save everyone, so it hardly seems fair to label the Flood as an act of evil when the unrighteous were given years to repent and the righteous would have been worse off had it never happened.
4. The opening lines of the Bible are wrong. Why believe the rest of it?
This is where my ability to answer is somewhat limited. I’m no scientist and it would be dishonest to claim to have the answer in an area I’m not well-read on. Hemant has provided no attempt to explain why he believes the opening lines are wrong, so we’ll conclude it is because they claim that God created the universe rather than some quantum vacuum. This does raise a question: if we’re attempting to argue against the existence of God, wouldn’t it be better to start inside the theistic position and work out rather than begin on the outside position? I’m beginning to question whether this video was made to challenge Christianity or to build New Atheist ego. Anyhow, I recommend this site for answers concerning objections related to science.
5. Prayer has never fixed anything physically impossible. Why won’t God heal amputees?
It’s more than likely Hemant holds a fundamentalist view of prayer, which I correct in my series here. The amputee’s argument isn’t much of an issue. That’s not to say God can’t heal them, He’s just not under any obligation to do so. A parody of this objection by J.P. Holding can be found here.
6. There are thousands of Gods you don’t believe in. What makes yours any different?
When comparing religions we need to examine their truth claims in light of what we know to be true. For example, I do not need to interview and investigate every known theory on the shape or function of the earth because I already know what science tells me about it. In regards to Christianity, the same blueprint applies. For Christianity, there is a wealth of evidence for its historicity and philisophical truth. If other religious beliefs contradict it we need to look at their individual historical claims (if they even make one) and compare them to what we know to be historically true. I recommend this site for a more in-depth analysis on Islam, for a start.
7. Where you’re born essentially determines what you believe. Why is the truth based on geography?
The answer is simple: it’s not. This objection contains a fault called The Genetic Fallacy. It amounts to nothing more than an insult and an attempt to avoid the real arguments concerning objective truth. In other words, it’s a cop-out. Tekton’s video below explains more and I give a further answer of my own here.
8. Who created God? And how does your answer to that make any sense?
Since this common objection falls into the field of science I’ll provide a link here that can answer it more sufficiently than I.
9. Pediatric cancer
This is another form of the natural evil side of the argument of evil, which I covered already in a prior post, so I don’t see a need to answer it again.
10. Unconditional love shouldn’t come with a list of conditions.
This is a misconception regarding Christian loyalty and service. We’ve given a related answer here. Only the entrance into the covenant is unconditional, after that loyalty and service are required and expected of us. I believe Hemant is confusing love for reward here, as if God’s love is to always bless and withhold discipline no matter what the client does. This simply isn’t so.
11. Every supposed miracle gets debunked eventually.
It’s worth asking how a miracle becomes debunked, exactly. Say, if someone has had a physical problem for their entire life and one day it suddenly disappears, does the miracle become debunked if we find a medical reason for the disappearance? Why is it a requirement that we cannot see how God does things? If we can see how God healed him/her does it cease to be a miracle? I don’t believe so and there is nothing Biblically speaking that requires this. In fact, we can readily see this happen in some major Biblical miracles, such as the parting of the Red Sea.
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Exodus 14:21 bold mine)
One of the most iconic miracles in the Bible is explained, in the Bible, by natural causes, being here a strong east wind. The miracle is not debunked simply because we can see how it happened. Mehta is spinning a false narrative here.
12. The Ten Commandments he gave left off Don’t Rape and Slavery’s Not Okay.
The question is, why would they need to include these? The chance of someone getting raped in Ancient Israel was very slim compared to today. Back then, everyone lived in close proximity to each other. If someone was “raped” in Biblical times it would have been through a form of kidnapping or seduction which the Ten Commandments both forbid. On slavery, I’m planning to do a full in-depth series sometime soon. For now, Glenn Millar’s thorough article here should suffice.
13. The movies and music that honor God… are awful!
And this is an argument against God, how? It also isn’t particularly true. Mainstream CCM can be bad but as someone who mainly listens to secular music the stuff on mainstream radio isn’t much better. I don’t think atheism is debunked because, say, Nickleback or Nicki Minaj exists. Moreover, I don’t agree with the notion that Christian music is the only media that honors God. Creativity that can speak to the human experience and the soul can honor Him too, even if the artist is unaware.
14. The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
We can make the same argument for human conciousness. Coming to a conclusion because it doesn’t register on one of the five senses is ridiculous. It takes further digging before we can conclude anything with certainty.
15. No hide and seek game lasts this long
I don’t think He’s playing any game. Those who say this are kinda like the child who closes his eyes while playing hide and seek, all the while believing you can’t see him because his eyes are closed. What it comes down to is ignorance on our part (and maybe a purposeful rejection). As apologists, our job is to not bring God out of hiding but to take off the blinders that hinder us from seeing.
16. Science explains so much of what we used to attribute to God
Zeus and Thor and all those other guys, yes, but attributing this to the Christian God is a category mistake as He is not just a mere explanation of how the universe was created. Again, Hemant has provided no examples of where science has explained something we attribute to Christ. I know of none, in fact, the core argument of creationism is that the universe had a definitive beginning at the big bang, and as far I know, science agrees with this.
17. The more we learn, the less reason we have to believe in God
If we’re to undermine Christianity, we need to at least attempt to understand its theology. The question we need to ask is if we equate God, an intelligent and living being, to nothing more than an impersonal, scientific explanation, necessity, or equation, how does atheism view the rest of life? The same way or differently? If differently, why shouldn’t we see God the same way?
18. If you tried to explain your religious mythology to someone who had never heard it before, you’d sound crazy
This argument is known as the “Outsider Test,” which I look at here.
19. If God didn’t exist, the world would look exactly as it does now
The answer to this one relies heavily on science and evolution so unfortunately, it’s not something I can sufficiently answer. However, I believe Hemant is relying on the same narrative he built for his argument on miracles, that if we can see or study it God must not have had a hand in it. There is no reason to think this nor does Scripture support it.
20. If God existed, he would smite me now.
Because you said so? What obligation does God have to answer you? Since Hemant is not in the covenantal bond with Christ God has no obligation to address his demands, especially one involving death.
And that concludes Hemant’s second video. For one, Hemant seems very confused about who his target audience is. Some objections seem to challenge Christianity, but then others take an abrupt left turn to boost the atheist’s ego. It’s extremely unfocused. The arguments themselves range from absurd to fatally fallacious. Few legitimate questions are raised here, in fact, even fewer than the prior vid.
The truth is there are Christians who feel challenged and even threatened by videos like these. The core audience of Hemant’s objections is those who take little thought to their religion. Apologetics just isn’t important to most churches, and it’s quite a shame. Two years ago, before I began reading apologetics, videos like these shook my faith, enough to make me scared. Obviously, that isn’t the case now, but I see far too many begin to doubt their faith because of this and we’re offering nothing more than “just have faith”. I attempted to answer these videos to show there really is nothing to worry about and we do have answers. If the church would offer a few books on apologetics I believe things would be a lot different.
In the end, if you find yourself fearfully doubting God because of videos like these, I want to encourage you that there are answers. Christianity isn’t the blind belief we’ve forced it to be. It rests on solid evidence, logical arguments, and truth. Before it grips the heart, it needs to embrace the head.