Some atheistic arguments against religion are exceedingly simple to dismiss. For example, consider this common argument:

1. It is only rational to believe in something that has been empirically proven.
2. The claims of religion, such as the claim that God exists, are not empirically proven.
3. Therefore, it is irrational to believe in the claims of religions, such as the claim that God exists.

This argument finds its roots in a European philosophical school called Positivism. Contemporary philosophers, however, by and large do not take Positivism seriously and believe it to be a debunked school of thought. Why?

Because point 1 itself has not been empirically proven, i.e., there is no empirical proof that it is only rational to believe in something that has been empirically proven. Therefore point 1 is self-referentially inconsistent and false, and the argument fails.

Even though academic philosophy has long thrown Positivism in the trash bin, you still find laymen and popular personalities, e.g., “new atheists” like Sam Harris, using these types of arguments and appeals to science and empiricism to attack religion. But many of their arguments can’t stand up to simple logical scrutiny.