This paper was written by Richard Spencer and all credit goes to him.
In the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the defense attorney played by Laura Linney echoes the sentiment of many philosophers in her closing statement when she says that God either exists or he does not--and either thought is astonishing. In this essay I’m going to discuss which of these two equally striking alternatives holds true in reality. Before I present my arguments, I need to first say a few words about my terms and my method. Any discussion about the existence of God must begin with a clear definition of what is meant by the word “God.” For my purposes here, I have in mind an eternal being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and morally perfect who created us and who takes special interest in us; a being who created and transcends the universe, and yet is imminent in it. Although no one can prove or disprove God's existence with one hundred percent certainty, my method for this essay is simple: Because a hypothesis that offers the best explanation for the widest range of evidence is more likely true than other competing hypotheses, what we need to do is contrast the two competing hypotheses before us--that God exists, and that God does not exist--and determine which hypothesis better explains the available evidence. Then, using that information, we can come to the most reasonable view possible and should accept it as our own. In what follows I will offer twelve arguments supporting the claim that atheism possesses a greater explanatory scope than theism and that it is therefore reasonable to be an atheist.
The following arguments will all seek to show that God does not exist in all probability. However, showing that it is unlikely, and thus reasonable not to believe, that God exists is only one way of demonstrating God’s nonexistence; the other way is by demonstrating that the very idea of God contains within it logical inconsistencies that render the existence of God impossible. For example, if we could demonstrate that God is supposed to possess trait X, yet no being could possibly possess trait X, or that God is supposed to possess trait X and Y at the same time, yet no being could possibly possess both traits X and Y at the same time, then we could effectively demonstrate that God cannot exist. I find this type of argument somewhat problematic. Incoherency arguments and definitional disproofs of God’s existence could perhaps be amusing to those who already disbelieve, but believers will simply go back to the drawing board and redefine their terminology. For example, William Lane Craig states, “Theists find that antitheistic critiques of certain conceptions of God can actually be quite helpful in formulating a more adequate conception... Thus, far from undermining theism, the antitheistic critiques of theism's coherence have served mainly to refine and strengthen theistic belief .” Though it seems peculiar to me that Dr. Craig claims theists were content to believe half-truths about God before atheists came along and stirred things up, his point should not be missed. In order to formulate a definitional disproof of God’s existence, we must either restrict our arguments to specific conceptions of God, or restrict our arguments to essential characteristics of God--but what are those essentials? Well, the lack of a consensus answer to this question is demonstrative of the whole problem. So, while I enjoy reading incoherency arguments and attempted definitional disproofs of God’s existence , I’m not personally willing to embrace any until I study them in greater depth.
On a final prefatory note, let me say something about the scope of my arguments. As the careful reader will observe, the following critiques of God gain strength the more we suppose God is actively and continually involved in the world while they lose strength the more we suppose God is unconcerned with the world. The reason for this is simple: A detached, indifferent God would leave little to no empirical evidence of its existence. Because the following arguments are evidentially based, they have little to say about a God that, for example, created the world intentionally to appear as if no God exists, a god that is merely an impersonal first cause, or a deist God who created the initial state of the universe and left everything else to chance. Gods such as these are what Victor Stenger has referred to as “functionally equivalent to nonexistent ;” disbelief in them has no conceivable consequence, and, since they serve no explanatory function, belief in them represents an unnecessary multiplication of hypotheses. Thus, what Doug Jesseph has called “the principle of conservatism” should compel us to at least suspend judgment on the existence of such gods and it may be the case that valid incoherency arguments exist that would justify our belief in their nonexistence. In any case, I refer the reader back to my original definition of God--it is clearly not compatible with a God that is functionally nonexistent. The God I have described there is subject to the arguments I now present .
Number 1: Atheism offers the best explanation for the physical forces that cause natural disasters. In December 2004 on the day after Christmas, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean created a tsunami that killed approximately a quarter of a million people. Then, less than a year later in August of 2005, hurricane Katrina killed almost two thousand people in New Orleans. What are the explanations for these events? We can't blame man's free will for natural disasters because God could have created the world without the forces that cause natural disasters without ever hindering our free will. Moreover, man's free will isn't the cause of natural disasters anyway--unless ancient people and the Christian Coalition are right in claiming that natural disasters are God's way of punishing sinners. However, if God is just then this explanation makes no sense at all. Even if a few guilty parties were killed by Katrina or the tsunami, considering all the otherwise innocent people who also died, that would be like God sentencing a man to death by firing squad then placing him in the middle of a group of children and shooting at him with a shotgun from twenty feet away. God would surely have the ability to punish sin with a little more precision. Furthermore, to claim that the devil is to blame makes even less sense than holding God responsible. Surely, if God exists, the death and devastation caused by natural disasters is absolutely baffling. However, if atheism is true, such natural disasters are no less tragic, but at least we can explain them: They are the products of mindless forces like plate tectonics and tropical weather systems operating in a universe blind and indifferent to our struggle for survival. Thus physical forces that cause natural disasters are evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 2: Atheism offers the best explanation for the presence of unjustified pain and suffering in the world. Let me be clear: I do not mean to imply that God could not allow some pain and suffering if he exists since it would be possible for an all-loving God to allow pain that we can learn from, like that felt after touching a hot stove, or maybe even pain that leads to some greater good, like that felt after a root canal. In these cases, pain is justifiable. Instead, my claim is that there is no way for a morally perfect God to allow unjustifiable suffering: like pain that teaches us nothing and leads to no greater good seems to be. For example, consider the severe pain felt by most people suffering from advanced cancer: There is no conceivable justification for it--they're going to die anyway. As caring, compassionate human beings, we do all we can to ease their suffering with the limited means available to us. But if God exists, then he is even more caring and compassionate than we are and has an even greater ability to alleviate pain than we do. Since we could not be morally superior to a morally perfect God, we would expect God to also do something to ease the entirely unnecessary pain of cancer victims--but he doesn't (that is, assuming that helping to ease pain is morally good). Yet, as even theists admit, if God exists, then gratuitous pain and suffering cannot--there must be some ultimate justification; but God hasn't shared it with us, and those speaking on his behalf haven't figured it out yet. In contrast, if atheism is true, we have an explanation: The sensation of pain evolved naturally as our body's way of warning us when something's wrong. But, since evolution isn't an intelligent process, it never figured out a way to turn the pain off when there was no more need of warning. Thus, since only atheism is compatible with unjustifiable pain and suffering, and because it appears that unjustifiable pain and suffering exist , the existence of unjustified suffering in the world is evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 3: Atheism offers the best explanation for God's silence in the face of adversity. Consider the great theologian and Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer; he writes, "God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us… Before God and with him we live without God ." Really? The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us? Out of context, these hardly sound like the words of a pastor; but Bonhoeffer's circumstance makes perfect sense of the words: He writes from prison in Nazi Germany where he died. And Bonhoeffer is not the only one who ever felt abandoned by God; many people do when the trials of life come their way--so much so that a great deal of preaching is devoted to helping believers maintain their faith even when God seems to be no where around. Thus we can understand Bonhoeffer's claim that God forces us to live like he's not there as a rationalization for the severe circumstances Bonhoeffer found himself in--but is it a good rationalization? Not really. Consider all the parents who take their children to receive immunization shots at a young age. I remember vividly being one of those children. I didn't understand the purpose of the shots; I only knew that they hurt! Since I was too young to understand what was happening, my mother simply did her best to comfort me, just as any decent parent would. Now, if God exists, he's not just any decent parent--he's the standard of decency itself! Thus, when we go through our trials and tribulations, which are mostly minor when compared to Bonhoeffer's, it is commonly assumed that God has a plan we just don't understand; but, in this situation, wouldn't we expect God to at least comfort us just as a loving parent would? Bonhoeffer probably expected as much, but when his expectations weren't met, he came up with an alternative, though strange, explanation. But there is at least one more potential explanation: If atheism is true then God doesn't exist, thus we would expect him not to comfort anyone. Now, it may be objected that many people claim they have felt God's comforting presence during adversity, thus my argument fails. But isn't it possible that the people who believe they have felt God's comforting presence are mistaken? Of course it is, otherwise no one would question God’s existence; all it would take would be for one person to claim, "God helped me get through it," and the issue would be settled. But the issue isn't settled. We all know that the very idea of God, acting as a placebo, could help believers through adversity without God ever truly existing. Consequently, both atheism and theism can explain claims of feeling God's comforting presence equally well; but this is not true when it comes to explaining instances where God's comfort isn't felt--only atheism has a good answer for that. Thus God's silence in the face of adversity is an objective problem for theism and constitutes evidence for atheism.
Number 4: Atheism offers the best explanation for the physical dependence of minds on the brain. It is commonly assumed by theists that somehow connected to the body is an immaterial soul. It is this soul that receives credit for our higher mental capacities such as the ability to make free choices, think rationally, and even continue living after the death of our body; in short, we identify our soul as the source of our mind. But is there any evidence that such a soul exists? Unfortunately, there is not. The idea that our mind exists independently of our physical body is directly contradicted by everyday observations--like the fact that alcohol and other physical substances can change our conscious states, that degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's or physical injuries can seriously impair or even destroy conscious states, and the fact that we don't expect young children to be capable of the types of abstract reasoning that require more fully developed brains. As Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, has stated, "advances in … the sciences of the mind, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, in particular" have led to the rejection of the "belief that that the mind or the soul interacts with--but is metaphysically independent of--the body ." And as Marvin Minsky, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stated, "minds are what brains do ." Indeed, extensive evidence suggests that all of our conscious mental states correspond to some physical brain state. Since it appears there is no way that a mind can exist apart from a functioning physical brain to generate it, we are justified in drawing the inductive conclusion that disembodied minds do not exist . However, this implies a serious difficulty for theism: If disembodied minds don't exist, since God is supposed to be a disembodied mind, this would strongly suggest that God does not exist. Therefore, the physical dependence of minds on the brain is evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 5: Atheism offers the best explanation for divine hiddenness. If God exists and wants his existence to be known, then it is strange that the evidence for God's existence isn't stronger. Think about it: Aren't there many ways that God could have made his existence much more obvious? As Sam Harris observes , God could have included in the Bible a flawless discourse on mathematics so advanced that it would still be useful today. It would be hard to deny the divine inspiration of such a passage of scripture; and, given all the space the Bible devotes to sharing whom begat who and pronouncing doom on ancient nations, there was certainly room for it. At the same time, consider the biblical account of Jesus. It is said that Jesus' resurrection was the supreme vindication of his claim that he was God in the flesh. But then, after rising from the dead, he ascended into Heaven forty days later--so why only forty days? Couldn't he have stuck around a little longer, perhaps a year, or ten, or a thousand? Certainly. In fact, Jesus could still be alive on earth today proclaiming his message of divine love and surely almost everyone would be convinced. But instead, as the story has it, Jesus took the first flight back into Heaven floating away into the sky like an elegant superhero. Why? I doubt Jesus had urgent business in Heaven that required his immediate attention. And these are just two examples of ways God could have made his existence more evident; you can probably think of plenty more. Thus, if God exists, he must be choosing to withhold evidence of his existence from us--but this makes no sense if it is true that God truly wants us to believe in him. After all, what explanation for God’s hiddenness could there be? Claiming that God wants us to believe in him by faith doesn’t get the theist out of trouble since it would mean that God would prefer us to believe in him not for good reasons, but for insufficient reasons, or simply no reason at all. As Theodore Drange asks, “Why would a rational being create people in his own image and then hope they become irrational? … Is picking the right religion just a matter of lucky guesswork? Is salvation a kind of cosmic lottery? Why would God be involved in such an operation ?” Moreover, there is no apparent reason for which God should not want our decision to accept or reject him to at least be informed. However, if atheism is true, the reason for God's hiddenness is quite clear: He's simply not there. Thus divine hiddenness is evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 6: Atheism offers the best explanation of religious history. If it were true that God has revealed his message of salvation in any of the world's religions, then we would not expect that religion's success to be explicable through historical contingencies or natural cultural diffusion, but rather would expect that religion to display unique and undeniable signs of divine favor. However, there is no religion in existence that satisfies these expectations. For example, despite the fact that Christians like to romanticize their history and imagine that their religion has achieved its success through divine providence, this is clearly not the case. Christianity only began to genuinely thrive after it had the support not of God, but of the Roman Empire. Equipped with the ability to eliminate competing religions, and passing laws that called for their extermination, Christianity embarked on a lengthy reign of terror--burning books, burning people, destroying cultures, launching religious crusades and genocides, and excommunicating or murdering any so-called heretics, that is, anyone who dared question their authority. And so we have it: The largest religion in the world today has the bloodiest history of totalitarian intolerance and groundless indignation. Is this any surprise? It certainly is if Christianity is the outgrowth of an all-loving and compassionate God. If God exists, regardless of which religion is true, we would not expect him to have sat idly by and let all this happen. Instead, we would expect God to have intervened to either set Christianity straight, or to have defeated Christianity in the name of whatever other religion might be true. But, if atheism is true, then there is no God to interfere in any religious warfare or offer divine favor to any group of believers; there would be no religion that displays evidence of God's favor, and, indeed, there is not. If Christianity is merely the product of human invention, as surely most religions must be, then it is not at all surprising that Christianity has dominated the world's religious scene by being the most violent, not the most reasonable. Therefore, religious history constitutes evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 7: Atheism offers the best explanation for religious confusion. About five years ago I had recently left Christianity but still believed that God existed, I just didn't know what to believe about him. For the first time in my life I was open to considering all possible religious paths. I encourage you, the reader, to place yourself in the same position I was in for a moment. Which religious path would appear to be the correct one? If God exists, we would expect that he would have made the path he desires for his followers to take clear and obvious so that we could have no confusion about it. In fact, it would seem that doing so would be God's moral duty--especially if there were consequences for choosing the wrong path. However, consider the rich diversity of religious claims made worldwide. We have already seen that Christianity does not display any clear sign of God's favor; did you think of any other religion that does? Probably not, and I didn't either. After all, the religious landscape is hopelessly confused and cluttered by conflicting opinions about the nature of God and the supernatural; there are hundreds, some would say thousands, of religions in the world today: only one of which is Christianity, and there are over thirty-three thousand denominations within it ! This is all pretty odd if we imagine that God is aware of the situation and has the slightest bit of care about it. However, if atheism is true, there is no truth in the God hypothesis that believers can discover, thus no reason to expect them to agree about any of it. Therefore, religious confusion is evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 8: Atheism offers the best explanation for the uniformity of religious experience. When I was a Christian, the argument that caused me to maintain my faith as long as I did was that of religious experience: I simply was not ready to admit that my relationship with Jesus had all been in my head. However, what I didn't fully realize was that as real and convincing as my religious experiences were to me, members of other religious groups possess the same kind of certainty about the truth of their faith that I possessed about mine; and for good reason, for as it turns out, the different religious experiences of believers in all faiths are all caused by stimulation in the same areas of the brain (that is, of course, before hallucinatory and other types of drugs enter the picture). In fact, one can even be induced into feeling that he or she is having a religious experience when those parts of the brain are artificially stimulated and the believer will interpret that experience according to whichever faith he or she holds . What is the explanation for this uniformity in worldwide religious experience? It certainly can't be that all religions are true . But, if we imagine that one of them is true, it would be very strange to suppose that believers experience the real God by means of the same brain states as those who claim to experience other gods whose existence is ruled out by the true religion. Thus, uniformity of religious experience is not what we would expect if there truly were a God who communicates with us through a select religious channel. However, if atheism is true, then the uniformity of religious experience is to be expected as no religious experience would be caused by anything genuinely supernatural; instead, religious experience would find its root in the human brain and thus display certain uniformities due to universal similarities in human psychology and physiology. Since this is precisely what we find to be the case, the uniformity of religious experience constitutes evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 9: Atheism offers the best explanation for the evidence of evolution. Since the publication of Darwin's The Origin of Species, evolution by natural selection has proven to be one of the most successful scientific theories ever. The evidence for the occurrence of evolution is immense and secure; it includes the fossil record, comparative anatomy, the geographical distribution of species, embryology, and the rapidly growing base of molecular evidence, such as protein and DNA functional redundancy, transposons, and redundant pseudogenes. This evidence is so convincing that according to one report, less than one in a thousand scientists in relevant fields worldwide reject evolution in favor of creationism . It is of course logically possible, as many theists believe, that God has simply chosen to create life through the process of evolution. However, as Paul Draper put it, “theistic evolution is a happy marriage,” that, “must end in divorce .” As Draper further notes, we would be wrong to infer from the fact that there is no inconsistency between theism and evolution that there is also no conflict between theism and evolution. Moreover, evolution shows no signs of intelligent direction but instead fumbles along blindly producing vestigial organs and other biological systems that are not entirely efficient. Only one percent of all species that have ever lived still survive today, and, as Darwin pointed out, beneficial mutations are produced by the same means as harmful ones. Without doubt, evolution appears to be a very odd method for an all-powerful God to use considering all the other more efficient methods he could have used. However, on atheism, evolution by natural selection is the only process we know of that has the ability to produce complex organisms like those alive today. Thus evolution constitutes evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 10: Atheism offers the best explanation for the scale of the universe. Consider what kind of universe most ancient people, such as the authors of the Bible, thought they lived in. They speculated that the universe was a few thousand years old, relatively small, and that the earth, since it was at the center of God's attention, was also at the center of the universe. Furthermore, they believed in a flat earth covered by a dome, and above that dome was the literal location of Heaven; and this is all quite reasonable considering that the only the hypothesis they were working with was that God had created the universe. In fact, only this view of the universe makes sense of otherwise bizarre Bible stories such as the Tower of Babel where God feels threatened by the construction of a skyscraper. However, we now know that the universe imagined by the authors of the Bible is not the universe we live in. Instead, we live in a universe so large that no one knows how big it really is, but we do know that the earth isn't at the center of it. Remembering that if the God of theism is rational then God must have good reasons for all his actions, there is no apparent reason that God could have for making such an unimaginably large universe. If God created the universe with us in mind, then much of it is surely a complete waste (filled with senseless dangers such as meteors, black holes, life-hostile vacuum, and maybe, just maybe, green men with laser guns); but this strongly implies that a rational God didn't create the universe. However, if atheism is true, then we would expect the universe to be very large and very old so that the improbable circumstances required for life to develop naturally would have the time and space to arise. Thus only when we do not pretend that the universe was created with us in mind does the enormous size of it make sense. Consequently, the scale of the universe is evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 11: Atheism offers the best explanation of seemingly poor design, or dysteleology, in nature. We have already considered some possible examples: Geological dysteleology in the physical forces that cause natural disasters; cosmological dysteleology in the scale of the universe; biological dysteleology in feeling pain when it serves no survival function and vestigial organs. Let me be clear about the argument from dysteleology; it is not that bad designs in nature cause suffering thus God wouldn’t have created them--that’s just a reformulation of the argument from evil. Instead, we can view certain processes that, from a theistic perspective, must be designs, yet they serve their ends poorly. Even a decent designer, much less a perfect one, could have achieved the purposes served by these designs more effectively and efficiently. Now let's consider some biological examples, like the fact that living organisms require food. If theism is true, then God doesn't need food and other supernatural beings probably don't either, so why do we? God could have created us so that we could live without food thus eliminating many of life’s perils such as starvation, the bloody food chain (on theism, there is no reason for which living, sentient beings must also be edible), and deaths caused by choking. Speaking of choking, isn't that another instance of poor design in nature? There is no reason for which God had to make our windpipe intersect with our digestive system . In fact, since God doesn't need to breathe, why do we? The need to breathe only causes more perils such as suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning. This kind of biological dysteleology does not make any sense if we suppose that God is ultimately responsible for it, as he must be if he exists; after all, he’s neither incompetent nor cruel. However, if atheism is true, there exists no God who could have made things any better; all appearances of design in nature are the result of mindless forces such as the messy trial-and-error process of evolution by natural selection: thus, for atheists, bad designs in nature accompanying the good ones are not surprising at all. Therefore, dysteleology is evidence for atheism and against theism.
Number 12: Atheism offers the best explanation for the modern scientific evidence that our universe  began in a primordial state of quantum unpredictability. According to modern cosmology, at the Big Bang, our universe began expanding at the Planck time from a region the size of a Planck sphere within which there could have been no structure or organization--only absolute chaos . Thus what will emerge from the expanse of a region of space equivalent to a Planck sphere is inherently unpredictable; in other words, what will emerge from a Planck sphere is genuinely undetermined and not merely determined in a manner we don’t know how to predict. If this is true, it is highly unlikely that God created the first state of the universe. We may safely assume that if God created the universe, then he intended for the universe to contain life. However, because the initial state of the universe was in a state of total chaos and not guaranteed to lead to life-producing states, God could not know that the universe he created would contain the life he wished. In fact, if it is true that the probability of the so-called anthropic coincidences arising by chance is very low, then the chances of a universe containing life emerging from a region of space-time equivalent to a Planck sphere is also very low. Thus, if God created the first state of the universe described by modern cosmology, he created the universe in such a way that it would in all likelihood not lead to the universe containing life he desired. As Quentin Smith explains, this notion implies that “God created a universe that time and again was probably headed toward the very opposite result than the one he wanted and only through interfering with its natural evolution could he ensure that it would lead to the result he desired .” Thus, if God created the universe, considering all the other ways God could have created the universe, using the initial state of our universe described by modern cosmology is quite strange--even reckless. However, if there is no God, then we can accept the picture of cosmological origins presented to us by modern science with no real philosophical problem; of course, the picture isn’t complete and it could turn out that quantum unpredictability is epistemic instead of ontological. If and when that happens this argument should be dropped ; but until that time, the evidence that our universe emerged from a primordial state of absolute chaos is evidence against theism and thus evidence for atheism .
Conclusion: I have now presented twelve arguments against the existence of the theistic God. Although I have briefly addressed some potential responses to my some of the arguments, I’m certainly aware that there exist many objections that I have not addressed. (In truth, I have reasons for being skeptical of some of the arguments I have presented, but nonetheless believe they still add weight to the cumulative case against God’s existence in the end.) An adequate consideration of all these potential objections would be far beyond the scope of this relatively short essay. I can only hope that the reader will be encouraged to further investigate atheological arguments and their theistic critiques.
 William Lane Craig, "Theistic Critiques of Atheism," in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. Michael Martin (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 72.
 Many notable examples are to be found in Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier, The Impossibility of God (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2003).
 Victor Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis--How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2007), 234.
 Doug Jesseph, 1996, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/jesseph1.html
 Though I will give some specific citations where appropriate, I want to broadly sketch my primary sources in compiling my twelve arguments. Jeffrey Jay Lowder’s opening statement in his debate with Phil Fernandes provided me originally with my first, second, third, fourth, seventh, and ninth arguments, though I have changed some of the relevant terms. I don’t remember where I originally became familiar with my fifth argument, but it is certainly not original to me; a decent discussion of the argument can be found in Martin and Monnier (The Improbability of God, 2006, p.337-426). The inspiration for my sixth argument is primarily from Richard Carrier (Sense and Goodness Without God, 2005, p.258-270). My eighth argument is the only argument I can claim to have formulated with significant originality; others may have produced similar arguments, but I did not consult their work. My tenth argument is drawn primarily from Nicholas Everitt (The Non-existence of God, 2004, p.213-226). My eleventh argument is a compilation of observations I have drawn from James Lazarus, Richard Carrier, and Sam Harris. My twelfth argument is drawn primarily from Quentin Smith (The Improbability of God, 2006, p.41-60) though formulated with cosmological observations from Victor Stenger and with the criticisms of Graham Oppy in mind (Arguing About Gods, 2006, p.154-168).
 As William Rowe states, “The truth is that we are not in a position to know that [gratuitous evil exists]. We cannot know with certainty that instances of suffering of the [gratuitous] sort…do occur in the world. But it is one thing to know or prove that [gratuitous evils exists] and quite another thing to have rational grounds for believing [gratuitous evils exist] (“The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism” in The Evidential Argument From Evil, 1996, p.4).” Accordingly, it seems to me the burden of proof rests on the theist to construct an objective case for theism that evidentially outweighs the case for gratuitous evil if the theist wishes object to the existence of gratuitous evil on the basis that God exists.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letters and Papers from Prison,” trans. Reginald H. Fuller (New York: Macmillan, 1953): quoted in Robert M. Price, The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2006), 111.
 Owen Flanagan, The Problem of the Soul (New York: Perseus, 2002).
 Marvin Minsky, Minds are Simply What Brains Do. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/2truth03.html
 In other words, because all of the minds we have ever encountered are dependent on physical brains, and because it further seems that this must be the case, induction would suggest that all minds that exist are dependent on physical brains. Even substance dualism holds that our physical brains are a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for our having a mind. However, it is logically possible that God exists as some other kind of mind, but what this could mean is quite unclear (if it means anything at all). So, while it is true that God could exist as an ontologically different kind of mind, this only rules out a deductive argument from the physical dependence of minds on the brain while the inductive version of this argument still stands.
 Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation (Knopf, 2006)
 Theodore Drange, “The Argument from Nonbelief,” in The Improbability of God, ed. Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2006), 351.
 Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm
 For example, see Scott Atran, “The Neuropsychology of Religion,” in NeuroTheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality and Religious Experience, ed. Rhawn Joseph (San Jose: University Press, 2002), 147-166.
 The TalkOrigins Archive, Claim CA111. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111.html
 Paul Draper, “Evolution and the Problem of Evil,” in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, ed. Louis Pojman (Belmont: Wadsworth, 1998), 220-221.
 Sam Harris, Ibid.
 In this argument, I use the term “universe” to refer to our region of space-time as opposed to the totality of existence.
 Victor Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis--How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2007), 117-121.
 Quentin Smith, “Atheism, Theism, and Big Bang Cosmology,” in The Improbability of God, ed. Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2006), 49.
 Though the notion of ontological quantum indeterminacy may not always be supported scientifically in the future, I still find it significant that it seems true today. If we couple this observation with the argument from hiddenness, then we are faced with the problem of a God who not only conceals evidence of his existence, but also allows bogus evidence against his existence to appear reasonable.
 I would like to point out an interesting feature of the combination of my first, second, and twelfth arguments: The theist is capable of responding that God could somehow know what would emerge from the initial state of the universe, despite its indeterminacy, by virtue of his eternality and complete transcendence to space-time. One of the multiple problems with this position is that it places the theist in an interesting quandary given the nature of typical responses to the first two arguments I presented. I take it for granted that the free will defense is not coherent given a God with infallible foreknowledge of all future states of the universe. Thus, only the position of open theism is capable of accounting for free will without the problem of divine foreknowledge as it asserts that God cannot possibly know the future actions of truly free agents. Moreover, according to the free will defense, just as the initial state of the universe described by modern cosmology is ontologically undetermined, so are the actions of free human agents also ontologically undetermined. The problem this creates for theism should now be obvious: If God cannot know the future outcome of ontologically undetermined events, then the free will defense is a potential solution to the evidential argument from evil, but the theist is then stuck on my twelfth argument--God could not know that the universe he created was the universe he wanted. If, however, the theist argues successfully that God can know the future outcome of ontologically undetermined events, then my twelfth argument fails, but the free will defense becomes of no use to solving the evidential argument from evil.