The village atheist rejection of God is hugely dependent on an argument from personal incredulity. Such was the essence of Curt Cameron’s interesting leprechaun response to my analysis of protest atheism. The logical structure of these “arguments” is rarely if ever articulated explicitly. But so far as I can see the argument proceeds like this:
(1) The idea that p’s exist is silly.
(2) q’s are analogous to p’s in a relevant way.
(3) Therefore the idea that q’s exist is also silly.
Consider the latest comment from Curt. He begins as follows:
“Randal, it’s a little frustrating because I know you’re being intentionally obtuse.”
Let me translate that for you:
“I’m not winning this argument so I’ll accuse you of being ‘intentionally obtuse’.”
Curt continues by reiterating his argument from personal incredulity:
“Do you agree that the concept of “protest a-leprechaunsim” is silly? If you agree with that, and you don’t somehow agree that “protest atheism” is silly, can you explain why you see a difference.”
So Curt’s argument can be taken like this:
(1) The idea that leprechauns exist is silly.
(2) Gods are analogous to leprechauns in a relevant way.
(3) Therefore the idea that Gods exist is also silly.
But what do we mean by “God”? In my initial response to Curt (linked above) I explained the concept that protest atheists are reacting against. Here is a distillation of that discussion down to a simple definition:
God: an intelligent agent who brought the universe into existence through an act of will and sustains the processes within the universe.
For the sake of argument I’ll grant Curt (1). Even so, he still has an evidential burden ahead of him. He must defend (2) by explaining why the concept of God as defined here is “silly” in a way relevantly analogous to the existential claim about leprechauns.
I hope that is not too “obtuse”.