- First cause
It seems to me that the first cause arguments, especially arguments like the anthropic principle and irreducible complexity, are today the most popular proofs of God's existence among smart believers. This is diabolical.
In He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer makes clumsy attempts at proving God's existence. What I love about this book, though, why I recommend it, actually, is that Schaeffer makes it clear that he's arguing for the existence of not just any sort of God, but the Personal-Infinite God.
If God's really real and really worth talking about, he'd interact with us in some personal way. Spinoza proved that God exists quite decisively, but in such a way that his God isn't worth writing Mom about. Scott Adams, my favorite Spinozist, says that this universe-God is even intelligent, in a sense. This isn't the same as God being personal.
I started writing this essay a year ago, and it stalled, because I thought that what bothered me most about these arguments from first cause is that they're deeply flawed. I realized that what bothers me more is that arguments from first cause don't work to establish God as a person who cares about us. That's the sort of God that I want to believe in.
That the most popular arguments for the existence of God don't point to the sort of God I need makes me think that God isn't real.
Jason doesn't buy the New Perspective on Paul because he doesn't trust theology that requires skill in parsing Greek verbs to be understood.
If God were real, we wouldn't fuss with learning modal logic notation to even understand Gödel's onotological proof of God's existence. We wouldn't mess with statistical mechanics to show that atheistic abiogenesis is unlikely. We'd say things like, 'Hey, you know Leper Larry? He's not a leper, anymore. Wild!' And we don't, and either God isn't real and I could be having a lot more fun getting into trouble, or he is and I am looking for him where he isn't, and you probably are, too.
*By wild coincidence, Wikipedia categorizes arguments for the existence of God into the same three categories that I do.