Is God a Space Genie with Magical Powers?

Is God a Space Genie with Magical Powers?


In my book, ‘Apologetics Made Simple,‘ one of the keys I share for an unstoppable apologetic the importance of making sure that the terms in a discussion are defined. The transcript that follows is a good example of how holding someone to the definition of their terms can stop their assault on Christianity in its tracks.


Atheist: I deal with creationist liars every day. Believe me, I know patience.

My Friend: What I find quite amusing is that if atheism is true, *lying* has no objective meaning.

Atheist: And how does introducing an evil space genie named Yahweh change this?

Me: What is a “space genie?” And how do you discern “evil?” What is “evil?”

Atheist: Which question would you like to discuss first?

Me: Let’s start with you answering all three and we will go from there.

Atheist: I don’t fall for Gish Gallops. Pick one.

Me: Don’t be an idiot. You are the one who hurled elephants. I just asked you to define your terms. Are you going to say that Socrates was guilty of “Gish Galloping?” It’s called the Socratic Method. Have you ever read a book on philosophical discourse?

Atheist: Let us break down the term. Do you know what space is? Do you know what a genie is?

Me: You are the one who used the terms. You need to define what you mean. People cannot understand what you mean if you don’t define your terms. After all, words are symbols that are used for propositional expression. Don’t ask me to define your terms, I am not the one who used them.

Atheist: Okay. Well space is in reference to space.

Me: Space is space? Okay, genius.

Atheist: Genie is a magical creature from mythology.

Me: As for your other descriptor, “magical creature from mythology,” you are begging the question concerning your rejection of Christianity. The proposition you are arguing for is arbitrary.

Atheist: Thus far, Mr. Yahweh seems to fit the bill.

Me: Based on which Bible verses?

Atheist: Pretty much every one that describes him casting his magic spells.

Me: I am not aware of any Bible verse that references “magic spells.” What is your definition of a “magic spell?”

Atheist: An act of mythological/supernatural power

Me: This begs the question by assuming the proposition that you are arguing for (God is mythological).

Atheist: that affects the physical universe in ways that violate the laws of physics.

Me: The laws of physics cannot be violated. They are only descriptors of how we think the universe works (they are subject to change. For instance, the transition of Newtonian Physics to General Relativity). They are not prescriptive.

Atheist: Correct.

Me: Then your definition of “magic” is meaningless because it assumes that those laws can be violated.

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