Friendly Atheist Contest #15: What Would It Take to Change Your Mind? January 23, 2008

Friendly Atheist Contest #15: What Would It Take to Change Your Mind?

Last week, I ran this contest:

What is this dog thinking?


Here are the Top 5 comments (with submitters)!


“If I move my rear end two inches to the left, I can drop it right into his slippers.”



“What’s that you’re saying, God? Timmy’s little brother just fell down into the well? And it’s up to ME to rescue him?”



“Halfway onto the bed! Stay calm, don’t make the first move.”



“Oh mighty Anubis, even though he prays to false idols, please deliver him anyway to the Kingdom of the Dead.”



“Lord, I am your humble servant. Please grant me 72 bitches in the Afterlife.”


Congratulations to the winners! The top three will be receiving specially-made Friendly Atheist wristbands (in the color of their choice), sent to me by blog reader Shauna and her sister Danni!


If you’d like to win your own wristband, here is the new contest (suggested by blog reader Patrick):

What would have to happen for you to start believing in a God?

Funny and creative answers will have a shot at winning.

Good luck!

[tags]atheist, atheism, contest[/tags]

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  • I know this won’t win, but I’m 46 years old and I spent most of my life searching for God. I can’t really think of anything that would change my mind now. If evidence for God’s existence was out there, I’m fairly certain I would have stumbled upon it by now. I can’t see why God hides so well if he does exist and actually wants people to believe in him.

    If the God of the Bible exists, I wouldn’t serve or worship him even if I became convinced that he was real. I consider that to be tantamount to following Hitler. I mean, to follow Hitler to stay out of Auschwitz is evil, as is following the God depicted in the Bible to stay out of Hell. I hope I would have the moral fiber to resist both.

  • Dylan F

    $5,000,000 Euros in an offshore account.

  • MAC

    What would have to happen for me to believe in a God? I assume that since it’s capitalized, we’re talking about a supreme one, then.

    Bacon would have to sprout feathery wings and levitate into the upper atmosphere from my plate. On the off-chance that it gets sucked into a jet engine and causes the plane to crash, I would only believe God is good if the passengers were terrorists. If he’s evil, I want a refund for that bacon. Holy cow meat might do….

  • I like tea

    I would need to see a sequel to Genesis in which it’s explained that God isn’t actually against knowledge; instead, the fruit the Serpent tricked Adam and Eve into eating was actually the Fruit of Ignorance of Science and Logic. The actual Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil would be revealed, baked into a hot and delicious Pie of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and served to anyone who wishes it. God, like GI Joe, would then heartily approve of his followers being knowledgeable.

    And then I would need to see some actual proof of God in order to start believing in him, of course; the above was just a description of what it would take to make God into one I wouldn’t have quite so many problems following. (Up next: 2 Kings II: God Didn’t Really Kill All Those Kids With Bears.)

  • Billy

    How about a 500 foot tall angry ‘God’ who patiently explains to Dobson, Bush, Cheney, Sanitarium (sorry, Santorum), and all other narrow minded bigots: “You who use religion to control people that they have been bad boys and girls, have misused free will, and are going to hell. The rest of you rationalists can now live in heaven on earth without the narrow minded bigots.”

    I think that, or something close, would most likely bring me a lot closer to believing in a real god. Maybe. I don’t know. I guess I would have to ask ‘God’ how he can exist outside the universe (cause if he made it, he must have existed outside it?).

  • At least two completely impossible events occuring simultaneously. A few examples that would work for me:

    1.) “Don’t Stop Believing” becomes the National Anthem.
    2.) The US wins the FIFA World Cup.
    3.) Dane Cook tells a funny joke.
    4.) Dane Cook takes a vow of silence.
    5.) Mike Huckabee moves to Holland and changes his name to Johann Mangroper, grows a handlebar moustache and starts wearing only assless chaps.
    6.) Three more inches. No, make it four.

  • Dysentery

    Something about Hell freezing over?

  • Bill M.

    A full frontal lobotomy.

    Jimi Hendrix rises from the grave to play at my upcoming birthday.

  • It would require a miracle… The spontaneous regeneration of Ray Comfort’s brain.

  • E(Liz)a(Beth)

    Hell freezing over…

  • Alycia

    My dead father would have to claw his way out of his casket and his supposedly leak-proof crypt and transport himself to my house. He would have to say, “Hey, Doubting Alycia. Touch me and see if I’m real.” I would say “No, because you are worm infested and smell rather bad, Zombie Dad.”

    He would insist, so I would poke him in the eyeball which would explode and ooze gooey dark green juices onto the carpet. “DAD! Look what your post-mortem self did!” I would yell. “Putrified liquids never come out of such plush floor coverings!”

    “Ah-hah!” Zombie Dad would say, and wave what used to be his flesh covered hand over the fresh stain. It would disappear, leaving a slightly moist spot behind. In my astonishment, I would say, “Wow, there IS a god!”, to which Dad would reply, “Yep. You should see what I can do with ring around the collar.”

  • Billy

    Dysentery said,

    Something about Hell freezing over?

    Already happened.

    1. The Eagles got back together and made another album.

    2. The Red Sox won the world series again.

    3. The Patriots won a Super Bowl.

    Now if the Cubs could win the world series, that would come pretty close to proving the existence of ‘God’.

  • Robin

    An “American Idol” winner that actually doesn’t suck.

  • Nice to see my question here 🙂
    my answer: beer pouring from the sky instead of rain.

    6.) Three more inches. No, make it four.

    would be cool.

  • All god would have to do it shake my hand and pay off my wife’s student loans.

  • Dinesh D’Sousa and Alister McGrath being struck dumb at exactly the same moment.


    America electing an atheist president

  • Joseph R.

    three words: HOLY GHOST ENEMA!!!

  • God?!? First there’s the hurdle of believing that ANYTHING supernatural exists…after that I could believe anything.

  • Paineroo

    Adriana Lima turns out to not be a virgin, which means that some man has sold his soul to the Devil of that privilege, which means the Devil must exist, which means God must exist.

  • JBM

    Everyone melts like Jell-O when they open the Ark.

  • Pat Robertson would stop being a dick

  • America elects a black guy or a woman as president*

    * not valid in the event this happens

  • Oooh I have the ultimate answer


  • @ I like tea

    In God’s defense, those kids totally had it coming.

  • The Dinosaurs in the Creation Museum come alive and start eating the Creationists, especially Ken Ham and Ray Comfort.

  • Skep, how about the US electing a black woman President. Actually make that an openly lesbian, black, atheist who used to do stem cell research.

    Except that this is merely unlikely and I’d want a real miracle.

  • Angela Lord

    If Jesus shows up in any way that I can recognize in the minute following my submission of this post, I will sing his praises to high heaven. With a glad heart, I open myself up to you, Jesus, for you to show all these sorry sinners what’s really up. I’m serious. I’m letting go of my prejudices and actively seeking your presence. Please make it clear and unmistakable that it’s you and not Mitt Romney’s son, ok? Ready? GO!

    (update: c’mon, JESUS! I’m pulling for you!)

    (update update: ok, I’m giving you an extra minute. You might be in the toilet.)

    Final results: Nothing. I’m disappointed. This could have been a big moment for me, Hemant, and Jesus. Dang.

  • Autumn

    If God sent Jesus down to live with me and help me run a wine shop until I feel that it is time to retire. Think of the insane profit I would get of only having to provide the venue and water (Jesus will of course handle the wine making). Jesus will also need to upgrade his talent and turn the bread and fish into bruschetta and caviar for the big bucks! After I pay my bills and set myself up, all profits will go to secular charities.

  • A theist making an argument for God in my blog that doesn’t ultimately boil down to scripture, authority, or personal experience.

    That would be a bloody miracle.

  • And on a more serious note, I’d like to point everyone to Ebon Muse’s Theist’s Guide to Converting Atheists. It answers this exact question in beautiful and lavish detail. I’m not sure my list would be identical to his, but it would be pretty damn close.

  • Jen

    Automatic Orgasm Button!

    And, um, World Peace?

  • What would have to happen for you to start believing in a God? She’d have to show herself, you know, be there right in front of me and answer all my questions I have about everything (and not give me 42 as the answer!). Mostly questions like: how can she live with herself seeing all the evil on this world and not doing anything about it (and blaming that snake in the garden won’t cut it!).

    I would have to agree with Greta, though, believing in a God will take a bloody miracle!

  • Karen

    ROTFLMAO Jen! Forget god, how about training the power of science, technology, medicine and engineering on the development of the AOB? Think of the sales volume and the profits on that patent …


  • Ryan B

    I think in order for me to be convinced in the existence of a god, forget the Christian god, I think this would have to happen…

    While trying to eat clowns noses, because I hate clowns and enjoy in partaking in the cannibalistic pleasure of eating them, I would have to choke on the foamy red honker and be saved from actually dying and going to a hell made entirely from clown sympathizers and right wing nut jobs. BUT The saving would have be to be incredible. Short from stopping time and giving me a tracheotomy… It would have be something where visions of flying spaghetti monsters poof in front of me and slip spaghetti down my throat and remove the fuzzy clown nose, because you know spaghetti can easily be taken out of a throat. Then after the flying spaghetti monster removes the nose he would also have to heal the clowns who I had killed and eaten. Then just to spite the spaghetti monster I would end up believing in a totally different fictional deity so named God, because no one could come up with anything more clever…

    Maybe thats worthy of a win 🙂

  • Matt

    I walk out of the shower, my partner’s there with a towel, and he tells me the last 7 years of Bush have been a bad dream.

  • Frank Mitchell

    We all awake in Plato’s Cave, and an elderly and unexpectedly British voice says, “Oh dear oh dear, I let *that* one go on too long. I’ll let you uncramp your minds for a moment before I start the next Universe, shall I?”

  • Ryan B

    PLato’s Cave!! HAHA thats awesome!

  • Mriana

    Nothing. Life goes on. Or does it?

  • Mriana

    Oh wait a minute. That was “What WOULD HAVE TO HAPPEN to make you believe in God.”

    I don’t know. I thought love is god. Isn’t that a deity? No? It’s has to be Zeus-like? I can’t pick my own deity? 😕 Well then, I don’t know. I’m from Missouri, you’ll have to show me! Then I want a ton of scientist to go over Zeus to prove he’s really real.

  • Actually seeing demons being cast into pigs.
    Luke 8:33

  • Susan B.

    I’m with several of the commenters in that I would have to be convinced of two things: 1) that God exists, and 2) that God is worthy of being worshipped. I think after proving himself to me, God would also have to do quite a lot to prove how unlike the God of the Bible he is, before I’d be willing to worship him.

    Actually, come to think of it, all it would take for me to worship God (assuming the existence part was already taken care of) would be a clear, well-reasoned argument given by God admitting that the whole worship thing is truly a selfish need on his part, rather than a fundamentally Good Thing that I should do because it’s Right and commanded by God. I mean, if God needs to be worshipped because he has a few issues and needs to feel loved, or if he’ll actually cease to exist if he isn’t believed in (as Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books would suggest), I might actually be willing to worship him out of the kindness of my heart, provided that God could also explain to me why worshipping him would not cause any other harm to society (refuting all the points made in Richard Dawkins’ book would be a good way to do it). Basically, I’d want God to treat us humans as equals or at least partners in a symbiotic relationship, not as pawns or children.

    ‘Course, convincing me that God exists would be a bit harder. I don’t think random miracles are going to cut it (even if there is absolutely no way they could possibly be caused by anything in the natural world, that still doesn’t prove a magic man done it). It needs to be clear, direct communication from God to me in a form that can’t be explained by delusions or fuzzy thinking, and confirmed by a whole bunch of independent witnesses, and it has to hold up to rigorous analysis by scientists who are a lot better than me at explaining stuff, as well as by other people who are a lot better at seeing through hoaxes and frauds–a whole troupe of James Randis, perhaps. Something where there really is no known natural explanation, AND where “existence of a very specific type of deity” really is the best explanation for what has happened.

    Bonus points if said clear, direct communication also includes good rigorous proofs of the solutions to one or more big unsolved mathematical problems.

  • atheos

    The Hubble Telescope spots a very small porcelain teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. The sighting is confirmed by a manned space mission that intercepts the pot, and the astronauts, upon returning to Earth, hold a public tea party with the Pope at the Vatican.

  • atheos

    All Earth’s amputees are cured: simultaneously, instantaneously, and without medical intervention.

  • HM

    Jesus personally revealing to me that he came back from heaven to discover that all the real power’s in the entertainment industry, so he’s been performing under the stage name Criss Angel for a few years.

  • Heath Ledger ( 🙁 ) coming back from the dead to kick Westboro Baptist Church ass, then revealing that JC and the Big G said hi. That would pretty much convince me of their existence.

    To convince me that they were worthy of being followed, I would accept as evidence: 1) genuine, long-lasting peace in the Middle East, 2) everyone who has contracted HIV/AIDS to wake up tomorrow and be suddenly cured, or 3) no hurricanes, tropical storms, or other natural disasters in 2009, along with every Bible, Torah, and Quaran ever printed (in every language) being magically replaced by the same much shorter, much more acceptable version.

  • Robin

    A live webcam of Jerry Falwell being tormented in Hell.

  • Cade

    I’ll believe in God when all those people’s prayers at are answered. If you go, I’ll go!

  • I would believe in God if s/he had a taste for irony. Proof positive would be if I woke up one day and PZ Meyers was the Pope or if the words in Bibles all around the world subtly rearranged themselves once every couple of months.

  • Isaah Vincent

    I would have to receive a sweater from the devil himself ’cause hell itself will have frozen over before i start believing

  • Dammit, I was going to make a juvenile Adriana Lima comment, but Paineroo beat me to it.

  • Rovakur

    I simply cannot employ humor or creativity with this, only logic and reason. Nothing could ever lead me to believe in an almighty deity. Anything and everything I witness in my lifetime can be explained by physics. If I literally meet my “maker” after death, I could acknowledge only that it is a creature superior to humanity. Even if he touches me with his noodly appendage.

  • Philosopher Jeff

    Tabloids across the nation announce “Jennifer Anniston marries Philosopher Jeff”

  • anti-nonsense

    I could never believe in an completely omnipotent, omninescent, omnibenevolent God like the Chirstian god.

    But if every cancer patient, AIDS patient and amputee were to wake up healed tomorrow morning and the words “Love God” were to appear on their bedposts/wheelchairs whatever in glowing red letters that everybody regardless of language or actual literacy could understand, and my mother’s ashes were to reconstitute themselves into my living mother AND Fred Phelps, Dinesh D’Souza, and all the other loudmouth religious fuckwits suffered a change of heart for being fuckwits simultaneously AND Osama bin Laden appeared in a room from nowhere on international television and promptly apologized for murdering innocent people, then I might believe in some kind of higher being that was worthy of being worshiped. .

  • Philosopher Jeff

  • Obviously, all I need is to do is read some all-caps Bible verses on the internet. (This is, by the way, why I ignore such comments. 😉 )

  • Bill M

    Being locked in a room with Tom Cruise. I’d believe anything to get out of that room.

    “Yes, you are the greatest actor in the world.”
    “Oh yes, you did impregnated Katie”.
    “Invisible spirits are attached to me, sure thing. Can I get out now?”
    “Sure, an evil galactic dictator is trapped in a volcano with atomic bombs instead of nuclear warheads or something more advanced than the technology available at the time L. Ron wrote that book, rite on. You do have the key?”
    “For the love of Xenu somebody open the door!!!”

  • Amy Winehouse goes to rehab. No, wait, scratch that.

  • JimboB

    1. [Assuming Young Earth Creationism (YEC)] Darwin himself rises from the grave, announces he was wrong.
    2. Bibles everywhere suddenly becomes uniform & unchangeable. Their message must be clear, concise, and so precise that there is no room for debate about the meaning of even the smallest passages.
    3. God *directly* reveals himself to everyone, everywhere so that even if people don’t accept him for whatever reason, they wouldn’t be able to deny that he exists.
    4. Miracles for which there is no scientific explanation occur to people who accept God’s existence (e.g. people regenerating limbs, etc.).
    5. God pardons Satan, his minions, and every sinner once and for all… simply put: good triumphs over evil.

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