At first the question bugged me a bit because it's one of those that really doesn't have an answer. Then I realized that was my issue with it: it really doesn't have an answer. So many anti-Christian/anti-religion/Anti-God "proofs" out there are nothing more than these smoke-and-mirror questions that are designed to "stump" the faithful. Other examples are: "Can God make a rock He can't move?", "If God is good, why does evil exist?", "Can Hitler be in Heaven?" and on and on and on. This was just another in that category.
People who cite these questions as "proof" that God is a fantasy remind me of a bit from one of my favorite books, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In the universe the author created there exists a little fish that lives in your ear, called the Babel Fish. The fish allows the host to understand any language anywhere. Here's what the book has to say:
The Babel fish is small, yellow, leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.Those who like to argue for the non-existence of God are like that. Even when faced with something they can't deny is unexplainable, they flip it around to prove their point. If God were to open up the sky and stare them in the face, they would claim they were hypnotized, drugged, hallucinating, that Steven Spielberg was making a movie - anything to deny what is staring them in the face.
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the NON-existence of God.
The argument goes like this:
`I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'
`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'
`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.
`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book, "Well, That about Wraps It Up for God."
Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation. - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, page 42. (Seriously, page 42!)
Now, I'm not saying that the faithful are right and they are wrong. (I believe that, but that's not the point of this blog post.) My point is, if you are going to make an argument, make a real one. Don't base your debate on smoke-and-mirrors. Yes, these questions will stump an inexperienced debater, I've seen them used to stump even so-called experts. And, I've seen them used on both sides.
Let's get past these childish tactics and discuss things on a real level. Let's admit there are things we don't know, that there are things we CAN'T know. Let's acknowledge that there comes a point that you have to take a leap of faith and not everything can (nor should) be proven. Let's stop pretending that we know everything and really, honestly, talk. That goes for one side as well as the other.