The argument goes like this: “it’s obvious that there is a god [or insert some other supernatural claim]. If you look around you [or inside of you, or whatever], you know that this is true because it’s self-evident. In fact, you already know deep down that it’s true, you just don’t want to admit it!”
As hard as it may be to believe, that’s really the nuts and bolts of this argument – though calling it an “argument” is clearly something of a stretch. It’s really more of a tactic, one script among many that believers fall back upon when they are attempting to argue in public – in situations where they must appeal to reason and evidence – and realize that they have no rational justification for what they believe.
Those who don’t regularly engage believers in arguments might think that no believer in his or her right mind would ever appeal to “it’s obvious!” as a serious argument, but such appeals come up with shocking frequency.
Read on for examples and analysis of this script at work.