Objections to the Atheism Test

Several of you have objected to the atheism test, and, in fact, the test has been modified many times based upon your feedback. The most common objection is reproduced below, with my answer.

The test does not prove anything and could be applied to anything that does not exist. For example, you could run the test based upon whether or not unicorns exist and come up with the same conclusion.

I actually agree with the statement above, although I contend that the objection raised does not invalidate the test. First, the test does not prove, nor is it intended to prove that God exists. The only purpose of the test is to demonstrate that the strong atheist position (that one can claim to know that God does not exist) is logically flawed.

Let's examine the existence of unicorns to see if we fall into the unicorn-atheist or unicorn-agnostic category. Most people who bring up the unicorn objection believe that life arose spontaneously on the earth through natural chemical processes. In fact, they even believe that the conditions necessary for the appearance of life are common throughout the universe, such that thousands of planets exist within each galaxy that could support the appearance of the life and the evolution of that life to produce intelligent life. Given that there more than a billion billion galaxies in the universe each containing thousands of planets with life on them, it is likely that millions of planets have produced mammalian-like animals. Through the process of evolution, it would be likely that one of these mammalian-like species would evolve to form a single horn on the center of its forehead (i.e., a unicorn). Therefore, to claim to know that there are no unicorns in the entire universe would seem to be foolhardy, at best.

The existence of God is not confined to the universe, so to categorically believe that God does not exist is even more illogical than to believe that unicorns could not possibly exist anywhere within the entire universe.

Are you now a unicorn-agnostic or unicorn-atheist?

I do not believe that the conditions necessary to produce life and for it to evolve in this universe. Even so, I would not take the position that there are no unicorns anywhere in the universe. Maybe God created life on other planets and even unicorns. For this reason, I would even classify myself as a unicorn-agnostic. I am not a strong aunicornist.

Last updated March 31, 2008


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