Invisible Pink Unicorn, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Santa Claus and God
by Rich Deem
One of the most common objections to the existence of God comes from arguments about the existence of Santa Claus, invisible pink unicorns, and the flying spaghetti monster. Although it is not possible to prove absolutely the non-existence of Santa Claus, most people cease to believe in his existence by age 10. Although the existence of Santa Claus has not been disproved, the weight of evidence suggests that he does not exist. Likewise, although we cannot prove invisible pink unicorns or flying spaghetti monsters do not exist, we tend to reject their existence, since none have ever been detected. Shouldn’t the same logic apply to the existence of God?
God created by mankind?
Most skeptics believe that humans invented God as a means of comfort against an uncertain world that is filled with peril and disappointment. However, if people were to have invented the God of Christianity, it is unlikely that it would be the demanding God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is described as holy1 – without sin and without the ability to commit sin.2 The holiness of God is described as being above anything that humans can attain, such that no human can stand before Him as holy.3 Behaving more morally upright than most other people is not sufficient to escape from the punishment of the God of the Bible.4
It also seems unlikely that people would believe in the existence of a being who is known not to exist. For example, most of us believe in Santa Claus as small children, but give up that belief by age 10.5 People do not believe in false things, even if those things make them feel better. If people routinely believed in things just to make them feel better, we would all continue to believe in the existence of Santa Claus. Liberal atheist Sam Harris even debunks such claims in The Moral Landscape, giving the following example as being unrealistic of human belief:
I believe Jesus was born of a virgin, was resurrected, and now answers prayers because believing these things makes me feel better. By adopting this faith, I am merely exercising my freedom to believe in propositions that make me feel good. (Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape, page 137.)
In addition to the above problems, believing a lie contradicts the beliefs and teachings of the Bible. In fact, Luke, in the introduction to his gospel, says that he has carefully investigated everything so that the truth may be known.6 Christians are told to believe and practice only truth,7 and warned against believing and practicing lies.8 So, the idea that they would violate their conscious and beliefs just to feel better makes no sense.
Invisible pink unicorns?
Can we determine the existence/non-existence of invisible pink unicorns? Actually, the answer is “yes.” Unicorns would be pink if they reflected pink electromagnetic radiation (i.e., light). However, in order to be invisible, the unicorns would reflect no electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, the term “invisible pink unicorn” is self contradictory. Therefore, we know absolutely that they could not exist. I don’t know who invented the term “invisible pink unicorns,” but they were obviously deficient in their physics education.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s change the term and drop the “pink” part…
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