Der Gottesbeweis

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Der Gottesbeweis

"Der Gottesbeweis" is a 41 page evangelistical pamphlet by Kornelius Novak sold as paperback pocket book. It's primarily sold to Christians as propaganda material. The author attempts to prove the existence of God logically. AFAIK the book's title was "Der logische Gottesbeweis" earlier.

Summary and rebuttal[edit]

  • If we knew what the Bible really is we would read it all day long and not put it away again (chapter 1).
  • “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matthew 22, 29) (page 6)

Scriptures: Numerous people including me, Matt Dillahunty and many more (add your name here if you wish) all share the same experience: The more you read the Bible and the better you know it, the more obvious it's blatant contradictions, factual errors, the barbaric and sadistic character and the fallibility of the god described therein become and the more it becomes obvious that the Bible can by no means be divinely inspired.

Power of God: It can't be observed or measured. We only have anecdotal evidence and testimonies which doesn't count.

  • When Jesus talks about Scriptures he talks about many books. The author points out that the Bible consists of 66 different books written by 40 different authors over a period of several thousand years in all kinds of places like palaces, prisons, on journeys through the desert etc. (page 7)

The author fails to mention that 27 of the 66 books of the Bible are New Testament and didn't even exist in Jesus' times. When Jesus refers to "the Scriptures" he talks about the 39 books of the Old Testament and maybe the Apocrypha, depending on which flavour of Christianity Jesus prefers.

  • The Bible is an enumeration of prophecies and fulfilments. They are evidence for the existence of God (page 7).

No, they don't. The only acceptable evidence for the Bible would be rock-solid extra-biblical facts like archaeological findings. Circular evidence and bronze age barbarians reinforcing each other's legends don't count.

  • The Bible contains 6408 verses of prophecy, 3268 of them have been fulfilled exactly, about half of them will be fulfilled in the end times. (Page 8)

Fulfilled exactly – says who? Once again: The Bible. See above.

  • The fulfilment of prophecy can be examined scientifically. (pages 8 and 11)

Please note: E-mail-correspondence with the author clarifies, that when he talks about "science" he also includes "spiritual sciences" which we would call "theology".

Looking at the Bible from a theological point of view doesn't count as "scientific examination". The fulfilment of biblical prophecies doesn't stand up to real scientific scrutiny using e.g. archaeological methods.

  • Biblical prophecies come directly from God, extra-biblical prophecies don't. Example: Nostradamus (pages 9 – 10)

All prophecy, clairvoyance and oracles are nonsense. None of these have ever been established to be reliable and neither has biblical prophecy.

  • Numerous scientists converted to Christianity. (page 11)
  • Example: The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin asked "one of his best scientists" to prove the Bible wrong. He found Jesus in the process.

Argumentum ad verecundiam aka argument from authority – who cares?

Also: The author fails to name this "one of the best scientists" of Stalin presumably not knowing what he's writing about.

  • The author explains the "prophetic logic" using an example: Jeremiah prophesised 70 years of captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 25 Bible-icon.png). Daniel reads about Jeremiah's prophecy (Daniel 9 Bible-icon.png), acts accordingly and the prophecy is being fulfilled as a result. (page 13)

Once again: Biblical reports don't count as evidence. You could use the very same argument to affirm the Qur'an, the Bhagavad-Gita and all kinds of "holy books".

  • The history of Tyrus has been fulfilled to the point thus being evidence for the validity of the Bible.

It hasn't. It isn't. Here's an analysis of Ezekiel's prophecies about Tyre.

  • Fulfilled prophecies are evidence for God (chapter 7)

If there were any they would. However: There aren't any.

  • Jesus himself fulfilled at least 330 prophecies (chapter 8)
  • The most important prophecy of all is Jesus' sacrificial death, prophesised in Isaiah 53 Bible-icon.png (chapter 9)
  • Jesus fulfilled more than 30 prophecies on the cross. (page 26)
  • Jesus' resurrection is evidence for his godliness (page 31)

Jesus' existence, miracles, crucifixion and resurrection are to be doubted. There are literally no reports about Jesus outside scripture (including non-canonical Gospels and other spiritual writings). These books themselves have been written many decades after the actual events. There are no eyewitness reports, no archaeological evidence, Jesus is not mentioned in any contemporary documents. What reason is there to even believe he existed?

  • We can observe the fulfilment of prophecies today (chapter 11).

Oh yeah?

  • Worldwide expansion of Christianity

Finally a hit! But: Many founders of many cults have prophesised that their religion would spread worldwide. Many sects and cults have disappeared again. Here we have a cult that managed to survive and spread and we immediately talk about fulfilled prophecy. Nice!

  • Persecution of Christians

Here comes the emotional part of the review:

Persecution? What persecution? Here we have a perfect case of the Munchausen-Syndrome. Those countries persecuting Christians also persecute about anything else. It is just as dangerous to be Hindu or Buddhist in Islamic countries as it is to be Christian. Only our perception is distorted massively because nobody in the western world gives a crap about persecuted Hindus and Buddhists and everyone cries "they persecute Christians".

It's the other way around. Look at the atrocities performed by Christians throughout history. The Christians performed the Crusades, the Christians performed the Inquisition, the Christians suppressed science threatening geniuses like Galileo Galilei with torture, death and hellfire. The Christians brought war, death and disease to the Americas almost eradicating the native population completely. It was a Christian who started World War II and tried to eradicate the Jews, exploiting their workforce in the process. You Christians even butcher each other - see Ireland. The list is endless and all of it happens in the name of God!

Oh, I know, that was that other sect. It's "that other sect" when it comes down to accepting responsibility - but it's "us" when we talk about statistics, ja? When suddenly 1/3 of the world population are Christians, ja?

And look at the behaviour of Christian bullies in the USA today. They try to suppress gay marriage by attempting to ammend the constitution, they try to suppress real science in school and replace it with "Intelligent Design", they bomb abortion clinics, again: The list is endless!

You don't get to cry "persecution" when officially sanctioned and led prayer is removed from school because it's unconstitutional. You don't get to scream blue murder and "persecution" when Dr. Kent Hovind gets thrown in the slammer for tax fraud. You don't get to lament "persecution" when a Catholic priest gets apprehended for molesting altar boys. You don't get to yell "persecution" when the churches get cut down to size during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. You're not being persecuted, you liar, we just defend ourselves against you persecuting us!

  • Example: Alleged report about the persecution of Christians and the current wave of conversion in China reported "recently in some socialist newspaper" (page 35)

First of all the author fails to mention his source. Secondly China persecutes all kinds of political dissidents. If they also happen to be Christians – bad luck. They also censor the internet massively but Anon doesn't complain about persecution, now, does he?

  • The author doesn't fail to mention eternal damnation in hell (page 36). Very shortly, but still...

It would have been a real miracle if he didn't. Pascal's Wager all the way - someone call Jeff Dee!

  • The rest of the book is the usual give-your-life-to-Jesus-mumbo-jumbo and largely uninteresting. I didn't even bother to read that part, the headlines were enough.

Bottom line[edit]

Most of the pamphlet employs the Bible as evidence for the Bible - circular reasoning deluxe! The few extra-biblical pieces of evidence he brings up can be and have been refuted numerous times. The author does not once provide any piece of evidence or sources that can be checked, but still he has the bowels to talk about science.

Book of Opinion, Chapter 1, Verse 1: I don't expect much of a paperback pocket book but this pamphlet is a waste of paper and completely worthless. Good thing he gave it to me for free when he learned that I'm an atheist, bad thing that trees had to die for the paper!