Category Archives: Debate

Answering Atheists Vol. II

“The reason you are having so little success convincing atheists is probably because you have a very low standard for what you consider evidence.”

The reason you’re having so little success being convinced is that you have an artificially high, rigged standard of evidence for God, ensuring you needn’t worry about being convinced. You’re asking for direct physical evidence for a non-physical reality. Even if God appeared to you personally it would not be enough, since you could always appeal to delusion. Perhaps you had a hallucination or dream. Anyone can talk themselves out of anything they don’t wish to believe.

“Either a person is convinced or they aren’t. It’s not a matter of choice. If an argument is logically sound and valid, then I have no choice but to accept it.”

It is definitely a matter of choice. People can refuse to accept sound argumentation all day long if it doesn’t fit their worldview and they aren’t willing to reconsider it.  You’re in denial. I think the only reason you’re engaging in all this is to give yourself some artificial reinforcement- so you can say you’ve ‘had it out’ with theists and not been convinced.

“Again you are arguing backwards from your religious assertions. Before you claim that God does X or Y, give me a reason to believe he even exists. You claim that God exists necessarily but contradict yourself by claiming that you cannot prove it.”

Saying God exists necessarily can mean different things in different contexts. It could refer to the ontological argument, which I do not ever attempt to use; or it could refer to the design argument, which I most certainly use. But in my case, at least, it doesn’t refer to the idea that we can prove with 100% certainty that God exists from a human standpoint. No one has that level of certainty in life for almost any belief they hold. You’ve created a double standard. My aim is only to show that the theistic worldview is more plausibly true than false, and I’ve done that.

“You claim that God has property X. I ask you, “How do you know that?” You appeal to the Bible. I ask you, “How do you know the Bible is true?” Because God wrote it? Don’t you see how hopelessly circular your position is?”

At no time have I said “The Bible is true because God wrote it, and we know God exists because the Bible is true.” That would certainly be easy to refute, so perhaps that’s why you’d prefer me to have said that. We believe the Bible is true because of both internal evidence and external evidence giving strong reason to accept its truth. I have gone through quite a bit of it with you, and you’ve chosen to ignore it. Now you’re resorting to intentional mischaracterization of my arguments.

“Your delusions are harming you and those around you. By providing you with enough information, eventually your delusions about the afterlife will shatter under the pressure of cognitive dissonance and you’ll end up being a more productive member of society.”

What utter rubbish! Down through the ages, the vast majority of the most productive members of society in the West have not only been theists, but Christian theists. Clearly being a Christian is no obstruction to being a productive member of society. But what’s more, considering your view, why should anyone bother trying to be a “productive member of society”? Who cares? All of our “production” will be reduced to space dust in a few million years whether we like it or not. At that time it will be unknowable whether those things ever even existed in the first place. On your view I don’t have free will, so it’s not up to me or you (both illusory concepts themselves) what either of us do or believe. It’s up to the Universe. So if you don’t like what I do or say, please take it up with The Universe- your only god.

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Answering Atheists Vol. I

I deal with atheists online regularly as a result of my online presence as a Christian apologist and a creationist. As such I have become well-acquainted with the types of comments or attacks they make. This series will share those with you all and in the process I hope to give some idea as to how they can be responded to effectively.

“I’m searching for the evidence for God with an open mind, but there just isn’t any which stands up to scrutiny.”

For your sake I really hope you are examining your worldview as you say. But the evidence I’ve seen from our exhaustive interactions does not really show it to me. Your behavior has been not unlike that of virtually all atheists I’ve come across on the internet. They put on pretense of asking for evidence, but when shown evidence after evidence, they choose to remain ignorant of them all and reject them. They don’t really want evidence, because they’ve already made up their mind they don’t want God.

“I’ve heard your arguments, but, sorry, I’m still not convinced.”

You’ve never actually defeated my arguments here, you’ve just made a personal decision not to be convinced. It’s so easy of course to do that. Not being convinced by an argument is as easy as saying the words. But defeating the argument- that’s something entirely different.

“Prove that God exists.”

Of course I cannot prove to you with absolute certainty that God exists. That’s not what this is even about. It’s about showing that the theistic worldview I hold is more plausible than its alternatives. That I have certainly shown. God has specifically designed this experience such that people are forced to make a free and personal decision to seek God and have faith in Him. He has given plenty of evidence to show any reasonable person that He exists, but has left enough room for doubt so that people can delude themselves if they choose, and ignore that evidence. This is the most loving thing He could do; God doesn’t want forced “love” or people submitting to Him out of fear alone without actually loving Him.

“I’m failing to shake you out of your theistic delusions. Let’s regroup and figure out what went wrong.”

This statement here just proves how inconsistent you are with yourself. This is the kind of fissure that develops and displays the inherent problems in a worldview. You have just admitted you’re trying to change my worldview, yet, if I take yours seriously, it makes no sense whatsoever to say a thing like that. First of all, you deny free will. So neither of us are free to make decisions about what to believe. Secondly, even if we could decide what to believe, it wouldn’t matter, since we have no solid foundation on which to rest our assumption of the reliability of human reasoning. We have to have blind faith in the ability of a physical instrument with no designer to do something it didn’t develop for- namely, to understand abstract “truth”. And thirdly, it doesn’t matter what a person believes if there is no God and no afterlife. We all end up in the same state. So, if I believed as you do, I’d just shut up about it and let people believe what they want- whatever makes them happy.

…. but you don’t. You can’t. You innately know that truth does matter and we can know it and we can decide to believe it. So you are at war with yourself, and I only need to stand back at a distance and watch you tear yourself apart.