Asking me to prove there is no god is like asking the child to prove that the emperor isn’t wearing clothes

The Emperor’s New clothes is a story I loved and hated as a child. I loved that the child could see through the bullshit and prove everybody else wrong, but I hated it because I could not understand how everybody could believe something that was so obviously false.

But I understand now. Sure, the story is about pretence rather than faith, but that doesn’t matter. The fact is, being an atheist nowadays is like being that child, crying out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. The difference is, nobody joins in the chant. Nobody starts singing, “The King is in the all together, But all together the all together”… Nobody.

That’s what it’s like… That’s the reality of being an atheist, when some idiot asks me to prove that there isn’t a god. That’s what it’s like when you dismiss my criticism of your Bible… That verse over there – is allegory. The pseudo-scientific explanations you give for the curses of the old testament… You don’t realize that by choosing to provide “explanations” for impossible events, which reveals that you disbelieve in the separate impossible events, yet continue to believe in your god, you don’t prove my criticism wrong. No, you dismiss the Bible itself. You dismiss the very claim, but continue to believe anyway, despite having no evidence for that belief. You’re like someone in the parade, watching the naked emperor go by, giving me explanations for why his dick is hanging free… Maybe the clothes are allegory in that instance? In every instance, you have an explanation, and you rationalize away why you can see every bit of his skin from every angle, yet the rationalization somehow does not conclude the obvious solution… that there are no clothes. There is almost certainly no god.

The other day someone asked what we, as atheists, would accept as evidence of god.

That’s a very good question, but one that is of course, impossible to answer. Ask any believer what god is. Go ahead, try it… There is no single definition of god, not even among believers who belong to the same denomination of the same church. Yet I am asked not only to prove that this thing, this thing which clearly is not real, does not exist! Further, I am asked by someone who doesn’t even have a fucking clue what their own god is, what I would accept as evidence. What the fuck? I would accept God Himself, revealing Himself in some way that was clear and unambiguous. I can’t define how that would happen, but I can say that no words, nothing any person says or does, would ever convince me. The only thing that would convince me is God Himself. And I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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4 Responses to Asking me to prove there is no god is like asking the child to prove that the emperor isn’t wearing clothes

  1. Kirstie says:

    Hey
    Great blog and some thought provoking stuff. Do you know of any atheist/ free thinking ex- addict groups that meet in Johannesburg? I came across your blog while looking for same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerome says:

      I wish I did. If you find any, let me know because I am also in Johannesburg. I stay in Lyndhurst and work in Bedford Gardens. I don’t feel like I need a program, but it is always good to meet people I can identify with. (But I hate meeting former addicts who still call themselves addicts and who believe in the 12-step nonsense.) I am not the type of person who could start such a group myself…

      As far as I know, although a secular approach to recovery and 12-step groups without a higher power is catching on overseas, that is not the case here. To get reunified with my son when he was in foster care, I had to complete a SANCA outpatient program, and I went to Phoenix House because I hated the one in the Johannesburg CBD. It’s a nice place, but their program is the normal 12 step one, including NA meetings. My point is, I hated that, but SANCA drug tests are the only ones recognized by the family court.

      Like

  2. kirstie says:

    Hi Jerome

    Thanks for your reply. I keep looking every couple of months in case something new (i.e an atheist group) has started in JHB & I’ve missed it. I do think there is some value in getting together as a group particularly as ex-addicts, so we can support and identify with each other, our successes, issues, thoughts etc….

    I’m mulling over the idea of seeing if its feasible for a group to get something going- with shared skill sets and a collective, the volume of work involved would divided up and thus easier. I’m happy to get involved, not to do all the work 🙂

    I find the AA/ NA and 12 step approach very dated and fairly ridiculous. That’s before you get to the imagined deity that’s supposed to save you from your sins- I mean addiction….

    Internationally, the success rate of recovery is dismal, its sad because with a more progressive outlook, the inclusion of verified scientific data and an overhaul and revisal of the 12 step rehab and recovery programs, a lot more could be done. It should be done.

    You’d probably enjoy Dr Lance Dode’s books and thoughts- he’s the retired assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard and a long standing critic of the AA/NA.
    A quote from Lance Dodes (note he’s referring to the US)

    “Any substantive conversation about treatment in this country must reckon with the toll levied when a culture encourages one approach to the exclusion of all others, especially when that culture limits the treatment options for suffering people, ignores advances in understanding addiction, and excludes and even shames the great majority of people who fail in the sanctioned approach.”
    ― Lance Dodes, The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry

    Liked by 1 person

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