Class Warfare Blog

August 17, 2018

What Would It Take?

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 7:46 am
Tags: ,

A common question thrown at atheists is “What would it take for you to believe in God?” Of course, they mean “their god.” I used to throw the question back at them by asking “Which god do you mean?” which in response they tend to be incredulous, as if there is only one conception of their god.

But tonight I was watching, for the umpty-umpth time, the sci-fi move Lucy. (I really like movies in which there is a strong female lead.) The lead character, played by Scarlett Johansson, has forced upon her a massive, massive overdose of a psychoactive drug, which unlocks previously unexpected powers of her brain. As a scientist, played by Morgan Freeman, tries to introduce her to three of his colleagues he stumbles a bit and finally just states that she has … powers (she does). One of the scientists immediately asks “Like what (kind of powers)?” Lucy steps up and places a hand on that scientist’s shoulder and tells him that he had a six year old daughter who was run over by a car, a blue car, with a toy bird hanging from the mirror. The scientist who is recalling this event as she is describing it gets tears in his eyes. The scientist believed she “had powers” at that point. (Even more bizarre proofs followed, but the point was made.)

We are asked to believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful magical being that created the entire universe. Some people have claimed to have had interactions with this being. Others have claimed to have relationships with other such beings. But this god cannot or will not provide any direct evidence, such as Lucy made of her powers.

Lucy didn’t stop to determine if the scientists were worthy of proofs of her powers. She didn’t hesitate or hem or haw. She simply demonstrated her powers in a way that convinced. A god should be able to divine what would convince me and be able to do that with a minimum of effort. Even if you lump together all the numbers of different Christians (the Unitarians, the Trinitarians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Baptists, etc.) there would still be several billion people who are not convinced.

Whether it is “will not” or “cannot” provide such proofs is irrelevant. So far it is “has not.”

So, in answer to this question I now say “Ask your god, like the character Lucy, it should know.”



  1. This is the response I always make as well … after the perfunctory ”Which god?”, question. ( Just to piss ’em off a bit).
    If their god can’t make me believe in him …. sorry Him … then no damn half-wit re-born Christian is ever likely to.

    Never watched Lucy. ( Other than when she was with Desi 😉 ) I am sure someone in the house has the movie. I must make inquiries.


    Comment by Arkenaten — August 17, 2018 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  2. “Which god?” is a great response. Another response I’ll use is “My passcode. I have a passcode – it’s a sentence that would never come up in casual conversation. I’ve never written it down or told anybody what it is, but I’ve thought it lots of times. If there’s a god who knows everything, then he already knows what it is. If he’s all-powerful and communicates with humans, then he could tell some human what it is. If he wants a preacher to reach me, then all he has to do is tell that preacher to go say my code to me. If a preacher ever does start their sermonizing with that sentence, then they will have my undivided attention.”

    Is that the only thing that would convince me? Of course not. But that is the minimum level of how astonishing a theist’s evidence has got to be for me to consider it (which their god should already know, if he existed). Anything short of that, and I’m not buying it.


    Comment by Ubi Dubium — August 17, 2018 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  3. “Ask your god, like the character Lucy, it should know.”

    Ooooo, I love that response Steve! Are you familiar with Dr. Theodore Drange’s argument/book, Nonbelief & Evil: Two Arguments for the nonexistence of God? On the question of literal hiding (or even being blurred, distorted, veiled, creating endless ambiguity) he writes:

    …there is no good argument or evidence for God’s existence. […]

    Even theists sometimes say such things as “God is hidden” or “the world is ambivalent or ambiguous (as between being governed by God or being totally natural).” Whether such a statement is made in terms of “hiddenness” or “ambivalence” or “ambiguity,” it runs counter to Saint Paul’s (General-revelation) idea, expressed in Rom. 1:20, that “God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” So if it is a statement made by Christian writers at all, they would not be Calvinists or evangelical Christians, but rather Christians of a more liberal persuasion.

    But you’ve made excellent use of an excellent film and character(s). Well done! 😉


    Comment by Professor Taboo — August 17, 2018 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

    • I will check out the book! Thanks!

      On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 12:41 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 17, 2018 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

    • Ooh … expensive! (I’ll wait.)

      On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 12:41 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 17, 2018 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

      • Hahahahaha! Yes, it is… but I think it is well worth it. At least to have another potent .88mm high-explosive shell in your/our anti-Christian arsenals. 😉


        Comment by Professor Taboo — August 17, 2018 @ 12:53 pm | Reply

        • I have added his argument from non-belief to my list of proofs that gods do not exist. It is ensconced in 19th place.

          On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 12:53 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — August 17, 2018 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

          • LOL… 19th place, huh? Well, I know that is good because you likely have about 75 – 100? Maybe more? 😉


            Comment by Professor Taboo — August 17, 2018 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

            • Nope, 20, I added one more just today. (I add the new ones to the bottom of the list.)

              On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 2:54 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Steve Ruis — August 18, 2018 @ 10:50 am | Reply

    • We agree about this!
      The “God is mysterious” argument is stupid. I will stand beside you and ridicule those Christians who use it.


      Comment by John Branyan — August 17, 2018 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  4. If I understand your article correctly, the syllogism is:

    1. If God exists, He would make it impossible for Steve to doubt His existence.
    2. Steve doubts God’s existence.
    3. God does not exist.

    Lucy already possessed the powers she had in the movie. The drugs amplified the workings of her brain. Presumably, we all have those powers but they are unrealized without the drug. My question is, how did humans come to possess those powers?


    Comment by John Branyan — August 17, 2018 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

    • Lucy is fictional. The story line is based upon the false claim that we use only 10% of our brainpower.

      So, are you claiming now that fictional characters get fictional powers from your fictional god? It makes a weird kind of sense.

      On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 2:05 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 18, 2018 @ 10:50 am | Reply

      • Dude. You’re the one using movies to illustrate your point.
        The syllogism stands even if you’ve decided to abandon Lucy.


        Comment by John Branyan — August 18, 2018 @ 10:55 am | Reply

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