Yahweh did not exist. He is much too tribal of a god, created the world in conflict with the sea God Rahab, married to Asherah, accepted child sacrifice, commanded genocide, forbid worship of all other gods (didn't deny their existence), and chose Israel like the others gods did to other nations.Why is this a failed argument? Simple. What does it mean to be "too much of a tribal god"? Yahweh was the one who promised Abraham that through him all nations would be blessed. How does that mean that Yahweh is only concerned with Jews? Look at the promise God made to Abraham.
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nationWhat about sending Jonah to Nineveh so that the city would be warned to repent and when the people of the city humbled themselves and repented, they were not destroyed. Get a clue...the people of Nineveh were not Jews. Child sacrifice was completely condemned and was never accepted by Yahweh. If John Loftus has Jephthah in mind as evidence that the God of Bible accepted child sacrifice I sure would like him to point out where Jephthah was commanded to sacrifice his daughter (she was a young adult of marrying age too not a child) or where he was commended for it. He made vow that no one asked him for and he was bound to his word. Not God's fault. If Loftus has Isaac's near sacrifice in mind we must remember that Abraham was not required to go through with it and again we don't know how old Isaac was at the time. Some Jews teach that Isaac was adult who allowed his father to strap him to that altar - It was meant to foreshadow what Jesus would ultimately do for us.
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you." - Genesis 12:1-3
Also where does it say in the Bible that the world was created through conflict? Most creation myths say that...the Bible doesn't. No where in the Bible does it say God has or ever has had a wife.
The commandment was to have no other gods ahead of Yahweh. Anything can be placed too high in your life to be worshiped instead of Yahweh.It doesn't have to be an idol made of stone, wood, or gold or even some supernatural being. It could be yourself putting your desires above God's purpose for your life. Of course it doesn't deny the existence of other gods because it leaves room to cover anything and everything.
I'd also argue that Yahweh did not choose Israel like other gods chose their nations. The story of God choosing Israel does not start in Exodus. It starts when Adam was created and all the way through choosing Abraham. He picked one man...brought him out of his culture and trappings and made a nation that continues to exist today out of him! Who else is like that? I know what Loftus and others are suggesting: That people write stories about gods sponsoring their nations because they are special in some way. The problem with that logic is that Israel does not fit that model. In the Old Testament, God says why He chose Israel for himself out of all the other nations on earth.
33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?Do you really think a man would write that kind of humbling and scaring thing about why they were chosen by the most powerful and awesome God ever?! I don't think so.
35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. - Deuteronomy 4:33-36
6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:6-9
Lastly, the sentence "Yahweh does not exist" is a contradiction . The Tetragrammaton, YHWH (Yahweh), literally means "He is". The name literal means there has never been nor will there ever be a time when Yahweh does not exist! So in effect Lofus wrote: "HE is does not not exist." Truly a completely nonsensical statement.. just like the rest of the argument.
Debunking Christianity: God Cannot Exist if Yahweh Didn't.