Recently I saw a bumper sticker – actually, it was on the rear of the car, on the PAINT! – that stated in simple black and white, “There is no god.”
I guess, because it was meant to strike at the very core of what I believe, along with every other person with a positive view of the existence of deity, it caught my attention, so much so that I took a picture with my cell phone.
But instead of getting angry or indignant – I mean, what’s the use? – instead, I started thinking about the statement itself: there is no god.
The significance of the little “g” instead of a capital one should not be overlooked; it was certainly intentional (I am supposing…and I’m going to be generous in my assumption, here…that the creator and user of the sticker were cognizant of the theological implications). To have used a capital “G” instead of a small one would have only addressed the existence of the personal being whom we collectively refer to as “God.” Therefore, whether the God of Christianity or not, the creator and user of this sticker could not limit their four-word statement; it had to be all-inclusive. To only say that there is no God (with a capital G) could leave open the possibility that there is, still, other gods.
But this does raise at least one question that I will also assume the users of this sticker are prepared to answer. Were they actually referencing the words of the God of the Bible? Was it a brilliantly disguised doctrinal declaration? In Deuteronomy 32:39 we read:
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Emphasis added)
If so, instead of assuming the sticker “There is no god” is an atheistic statement, should we infer a pro-monotheistic, Judeo-Christian intent? I mean, words matter, right?
But a second question came to mind shortly after the first: Where’s the evidence?
You see, for the longest time, even from the Bible days, there have been those who not only question the existence of God but ask believers for evidence that supports the existence of God. “Show me the evidence” has been the first and most successful weapon in their arsenal, for it has often silenced and reduced, even intimidated believers into all they could bring to the table was a non-scientific, faith-only kind of argument. However, it shouldn’t be so!
“Where’s the evidence” should not be an exclusive question from the atheist or agnostic; believers should be quick to ask the same thing. If the sticker is meant to be a dogmatic statement, and we can only assume that it is, where is the evidence that supports such a declaration?
Now, here’s the thing: if you want to use the same condescending, arrogant, elitist response that the atheists use, whatever the sticker’s owner says, no matter what they present as evidence for their conclusion, your only reply needs to be, “Well, that’s not evidence,” or “That’s not good enough.”
What’s so funny, you see, is that there IS evidence and it’s all over the place for BOTH sides of the argument! As a matter of fact, the crazy thing is that it’s the SAME evidence! The key to the argument before the judge and jury is how the evidence is to be interpreted. For example, in a murder trial you may have a truck load of evidence such as bloody carpet, a gun, a body, fingerprints, DNA, powder residue, personal effects, and eyewitness statements. But depending on the ability and the agenda of the lawyer using the evidence, what should be a key piece that leads to conviction ends up being a parody of the whole trial. Anyone remember the bloody glove and the saying “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”?
But then there’s another thing. Why is it that those who insist there is no god can at the same time be adamant that extraterrestrial life is a statistical necessity? Where’s the logical consistency in that?
I mean, if the universe is so infinitely huge that it is juvenile and arrogant to think we might be the only ones living in it, considering the untapped depth of research into things like quantum physics and parallel dimensions and the constantly repeated statement of “This might change all we know about da da da…,” who is more arrogant, the one who says, “Based on the preponderance of evidence, I personally conclude that there must be a Creator, for the universe, as complicated and beautiful as it is, could not have come into existence out of nothing or create itself,” or the one who can sum up all knowledge in a bumper sticker that says, “There is no god.”?
Fortunately, my wife won’t let me put stickers on our cars.