When a Christian has doubts, and asks me to refute some religious dogma, here is my simple, surefire response. Insert Vishnu, the blue-skinned, four-armed god worshipped today by a billion people. Arguments for God evaporate, better than a miracle.
For example, if someone says "The first fact that proves God's existence is the existence of the universe", it becomes "The first fact that proves Vishnu's existence is the existence of the universe." The Vishnu version does not convince the Christian in the same way the God version does not convince an atheist.
Below are examples which are supposed to combat atheism's lie. I used their arguments word for word, except I substitute God for Vishnu. You can't convince theists of anything, but the Vishnu treatment makes it obvious to the questioning mind that these arguments don't hold water.
The first fact that proves Vishnu's existence is the existence of the universe. No rational person doubts that the universe exists, so how and why did it get here?
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no Vishnu." (Ps. 53:1). A person has to intentionally fail to use his mind and logic in order to come up with the ludicrous conclusion that Vishnu does not exist. If Vishnu 's does not exist, how does one explain the fact that the universe exists, unless a person wants to deny the existence of the universe?
The second proof of Vishnu 's existence is our ability to consider Vishnu . I call this a Vishnu -consciousness. This Vishnu -consciousness is universal. It is inside of every human being. The Bible explains why we think of Vishnu at all. It says, "Then the Lord Vishnu formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being" (Gen 2:7). The description is beautiful. Vishnu took something of Himself (Bible use the pronoun Him to refer to Himself1) and puts it into humans. By doing so, humankind is made in the image of Vishnu . He and she has something inside of them from Vishnu . This is Vishnu 's connection to humankind.
Vishnu put a connection of Himself into human beings, so they would be able to think about Him. The fact we can contemplate Vishnu 's existence at all is proof that He exists and wants to be connected with us.
Vishnu gives humans the freedom to deny the divine connection. That is what atheists do: they say that Vishnu does not exist. But Vishnu does not give them the freedom to not think about Him or have a consciousness of Him. They cannot help it. Even atheists think about Vishnu , they just don't want to think He exist.
Anthropologists have often concluded that humans appeared hard-wired to believe in Vishnu . It's as if they cannot help it. It is difficult to be an atheist. One has to try very hard to deny the inner consciousness of Vishnu.
Animals, on the other hand, do not think of Vishnu at all. They are not atheists; they are "non-theists." That is, they do not think one way or other about Vishnu . They neither say "yea" or "nay" to Vishnu . They don't contemplate Vishnu at all. The Bible gives us the reason: Animals were not made in Vishnu 's image. Vishnu did not breathe into animals the breath of Himself. He did not put a divine connection inside of animals.
The reason we can believe in Vishnu is because we alone have the power to speak words. We can communicate intelligently. This should not surprise us, because being made in Vishnu 's image means we should, to a certain degree, be able to imitate Vishnu . The most important fact of creation is that our Creator made everything by speaking words. "And Vishnu said." Then after making us, we have the ability to speak words like the Creator. The first thing Adam does, according to the Bible, is name the animals. This involves logic and speech. It is the ability to speak words that creates within us the consciousness of Vishnu .
We are the only creatures on the earth that talk. This is another connection we have from Vishnu and also contributes to our Vishnu -awareness.
The third proof of Vishnu 's existence is the fact that He made a moral universe. Morality is divine. Morality is unchanging. There is a right and wrong; good and evil. C.S. Lewis, who was an atheist turned Christian, argued that a moral universe proves a moral Vishnu . As an atheist, he had wondered how he got the concept of good and evil. There could only be one logical explanation: The universe is moral. Not only does morality prove Vishnu 's existence, but it reveals the kind of Vishnu He is.
For atheists, ethics keep evolving; however, morality does not. Right is always right. But the trouble with atheism is there is no outside, verifiable right and wrong, since they deny Vishnu and, with Him, divine morality. They become their own Vishnu s to create an ethical system by which others must follow. There is great evil that comes from this system. For example, the Nazis gave orders calling for the "final solution." This law gave officials legal authority to kill the people in the concentration camps. Now was this law evil? Was killing people in the camps evil?
Atheists cannot really logically answer in the affirmative, because they deny the Vishnu who makes a moral universe. But those of us who affirm Vishnu 's existence confess that morality exists first with Vishnu and then He makes it known to us through our conscience. Thus, the holocaust was evil.
The conscience connects us to Vishnu 's justice. We are the only creatures with a conscience. This inspires us to act in very noble ways, something beyond the scope of animals.
Our conscience is proof that Vishnu , along with giving us a Vishnu -consciousness, also gives us a moral compass by which we are accountable to Him to live our lives properly. We feel guilt when we do wrong. Even if the wrong is not illegal, we still feel guilt, because the conscience is accountable to the Creator, not to government or society.
So the existence of the conscience and its accountability to unchanging morality is another proof of Vishnu 's existence.
The fourth proof of Vishnu 's existence is our consciousness of eternal existence. What I mean is this: We do not have the ability to imagine ourselves not existing. We can imagine our death and even our funeral, but in doing so, we are always on the outside looking in on our death or funeral. We can't imagine not existing forever.
Solomon recognized this and he explained why, Vishnu has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what Vishnu has done from beginning to end" (Eccl. 3:11). It was his theological and poetical way to describe the human soul that cannot die. He is basically saying that Vishnu made us believe in eternity, because He put eternity in our hearts. Because we are made in Vishnu 's image, we cannot help but think in terms of eternity. Since Vishnu is eternal, it is logical that humans would have the element of eternity in their souls.
As much as atheists try unsuccessful to shake off the consciousness of Vishnu , they also try to shake off the consciousness of eternity, but even they cannot imagine themselves not existing.
Would these Vishnu arguments convince a Christian? No. For the same reason, a Christian's God arguments do not convince you.
It's easy to see these arguments are circular, self-referential and specious by changing just one word.