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Atheism

by Matt Slick

Dealing with atheists is actually easy to do.  They don’t have any evidence for their atheism, and they can’t logically prove there is no God.  They can only attack the Bible and attack Christians’ ideas of God.  But, if you listen to them, you can soon find that their logic has many holes in it.  It takes practice, but you can do it.

The following statements are for copying and pasting into chat rooms.  Use them to see how atheists react.  Use them to learn how to respond better to atheists.  Please understand that these are not „stoppers.”  But, they can be challenging to atheists.  Also, see how long it takes before they become condescending.  Do not return their condescension.  Instead, ask them to give rational reasons for their positions.  In the process of interacting with them, learn how to argue with them better.

  1. Is Atheism a Worldview?
    1. A worldview is a perspective that someone has with which he interprets experience. Atheism is a worldview (or at least part of a worldview), because atheists have presuppositions with which they interpret the world. An atheists presuppositions necessarily include a conscious decision to exclude God as a possible explanation for experience. So, when seeking to answer questions related to our existence, rationality, purpose, morality, etc., atheists must automatically negate God as an explanatory option. This has huge philosophical implications. Therefore, atheism is a worldview since it is a perspective, or part of a larger one, with which a person interprets experience.
    2.  Is atheism a worldview or does a person’s worldview include atheism?
  2. Ways to Attack Atheism
    1. By asking questions
      1. Atheism is an intellectual position.  What reasons do you have for holding that position?  Your reasons are based upon logic and/or evidence or lack of it.  So, is there any reason/evidence for you holding your position that you defend?
      2. If you say that atheism needs no evidence or reason, then you are holding a position that has no evidence or rational basis?  If so, then isn’t that simply faith?
      3. If you say that atheism is supported by the lack of evidence for God, then it is only your opinion that there is no evidence.  You cannot know all evidence for or against God, therefore you cannot say there is no evidence for God. Your atheism then, is nothing more than an opinion.  But, if it is, should you derogatorily argue against Christians and in favor of your opinion?
      4. If you say that atheism needs no evidence to support it because it is a position about the lack of something, then do you have other positions you hold based upon lack of evidence…like say, screaming blue ants?  Do you hold the position that they do not exist or that you lack belief in them, too? People behave according to what they believe, not what they lack belief in. So, if you are an atheist and you work against the idea that God exists, then aren’t you behaving in a manner consistent with your beliefs?
    2. By using logic
      1. Atheist, how do you account for the laws of logic within your atheism? Isn’t logic a process of the mind?  Yes. Isn’t logical thought based upon the laws of logic?  If logic is conceptual (a process of the mind) and certainly appear to be universally true, then what are the conditions that must be in place in order for the laws of logic to be universally true so that you can cite them and use them?  How do the truth statements that we call the laws of logic obtain their universal nature? How do you know that the laws of logic are true?  Do you just assume they are true?
        1. This approach is a bit more complicated.  If you use this one, first be familiar with The Christian Worldview, the Atheist Worldview, and Logic.
        2. First of all, when using logic, you should be familiar with basic laws of logic and logical fallacies.  It is very useful to point out the various logical fallacies to atheists as they commit them.  Therefore, please be familiar with Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation.
        3. The laws of logic are conceptual by nature and are always true all the time everywhere.  They are not physical properties.  How do atheists account for them from an atheist perspective?
      2. Everything that was brought into existence was caused to exist.  Can you have an infinite regression of causes?  No, since to get to „now” you’d have to traverse an infinite amount of time to get to now. But, it is impossible to cross an infinite.  Furthermore, without a first cause, there cannot be a second or a third, etc.  So, it seems that there must be a single uncaused cause.  Why can’t that be God who is always existed and was never caused to come into existence?
      3. Examples of logical absolutes:
        1. Examples of logical absolutes are:  Something is what it is and is not what it is not (Law of identity). A statement cannot be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense (Law of non-contradiction).   A statement is either true or false (Law of excluded middle). If A=B and B=C, then A=C (Law of Proper Inference).
      4. If atheism is true:  The universe has laws.  These laws cannot be violated.  Life is a product of these laws and can only exists in harmony with those laws and is governed by them. Therefore, human thought, feelings, etc., are programmed responses to stimuli and the atheist cannot legitimately claim to have meaning in life or free will since his physical brain is nothing more than a series of chemical reactions that must always have a necessary outcome based on the physical laws of the universe.
      5. Human constructs?
        1. If the laws of logic are human constructs then how can they be absolute since humans think differently and often contradictorily?  If they are produced from human minds, and human minds are mutually contradictory, then how can the constructs be absolute?  Therefore, the laws of logic are not human constructs.
    3. The Universe exists
      1. The universe exists.  Is it eternal or did it have a beginning?  It could not be eternal since that would mean that an infinite amount of time had to be crossed to get to the present.  But, you cannot cross an infinite amount of time (otherwise it wouldn’t be infinite).  Therefore, the universe had a beginning.  Something cannot bring itself into existence.  Therefore, something brought it into existence.
      2. What brought the universe into existence?  It would have to be greater than the universe and be a sufficient cause to it.  The Bible promotes this sufficient cause as God.  What does atheism offer instead of God?  If nothing, then atheism is not able to account for our own existence.
      3. The universe cannot be infinitely old or all useable energy would have been lost already (entropy).  This has not occurred.  Therefore, the universe is not infinitely old.
      4. Uncaused Cause
        1. Objection: If something cannot bring itself into existence, then God cannot exist since something had to bring God into existence.  Answer:  Not so.  You cannot have an infinite regression of causes lest an infinity be crossed (which cannot happen).  Therefore, there must be a single uncaused, cause.
        2. All things that came into existence were caused to exist.  You cannot have an infinite regression of causes (otherwise an infinity of time has been crossed which is impossible because an infinity cannot be crossed).  Therefore, logically, there must be a single uncaused cause that did not come into existence.
    4. Atheism lacks the ability to account for our existence.
      1.   Atheism lacks the ability to account for our existence. Where did the universe, and us, come from? Atheism can only offer an impersonal cause. But an impersonal cause that precedes the universe must have always possessed the necessary and sufficient conditions to bring the universe into existence. If this pre-existing cause always existed, then it always possessed these conditions. But this necessitates an automatic generation of the universe, because when the necessary sufficient conditions are there, the result is automatic. But this means the universe would have been created an infinitely long time ago. But the universe is not infinitely old, therefore the impersonal cause of the universe cannot be supported from the atheist perspective.
    5.  Atheism lacks the ability to account for moral absolutes.
      1. Without moral absolutes, all morality is subjective. Subjective morality cannot be defended as „the right” moral system.  Therefore, when atheists object to something on a moral basis, they must either offer their own personal opinions (why should their opinions be the right one?) or they must borrow from the Christian worldview’s position on absolute right and wrong.  But, if they offer is their moral opinion, and why is it valid? Is this a society says something is right, then what happens when a society’s opinions changes? Do truth values and morals change? If they appeal to any absolute right or wrong at all, there are going against their own worldview and assuming the validity of the Christian one. Either way, atheism lacks the ability to account for moral absolutes. It can only offer moral subjectivity which is, ultimately, anarchy.
  3. Demanding Evidence
    1. When atheists asks for material evidence for a nonmaterial God, they are committing a logic error called a Category Mistake since immateriality (God) and materiality are different categories. The Christian God, by definition, is immaterial and transcends the universe and is not dependent upon it nor subject to its properties. Therefore, if atheists really want evidence for God (puerile mocking aside), then the atheists should look for evidence that has transcendental, immaterial properties.  Transcendental evidence would be phenomena that are not dependent upon the physical realm, or in other words, they would not be repeatable and or discoverable through examining the material world.  Transcendental evidences are those things not dependent on the physical realm, i.e., the Laws of Logic, absolute morality, super complex information structures.
    2. First, the Christian God, by definition, exists outside of our space and time. He transcends them. When atheists require physical/repeatable evidence for God based on material phenomena, that is a category mistake. We don’t find God under a rock or discover him in a chemistry lab.  Second, properties are attributes of things. If a property exists, it must be the property of something else. So, if we can find transcendent properties in the universe, then it would make sense to say we have found evidence of transcendent things. If we find transcendent abstractions, it implies a transcendent mind, since abstractions require minds. Third, some transcendent abstractions are such things as the Laws of Logic.  They are not based on human thought (lest they be conventions) nor are they properties of the physical realm (physical properties are measurable and the Laws of Logic are not).  These Laws are statements, abstractions.  Fourth, when atheists accuse the God of scripture of being a moral monster, they are appealing to moral absolutes that transcend our realm and apply universally; otherwise, atheists have no right to assert that God is wrong without appealing to their personal subjectivity which is meaningless.  But such an absolute moral appeal is an appeal to transcendent morals which are abstractions because they are statements of how things „ought” to be.  Fifth, when atheists appeal to such universal, transcendent abstractions, whether in Logic or Morals, they are working from the Christian perspective while arguing against the Christian perspective.  But this is self-refuting.  That which is self-refuting, cannot be true.  Therefore, the atheist ought to abandon his atheism.
  4. Death’s Under the Atheist watch
    1. Death’s of people under the Atheists’ watch: Joseph Stalin – 42,672,000; Mao Zedong – 37,828,000; Chiang Kai-shek – 10,214,000; Vladimir Lenin – 4,017,000; Hideki Tojo – 3,990,000; Pol Pot – 2,397,000 (carm.org/religion-cause-war)
  5. Materialistic Atheism is self refuting
    1. The perspective of materialistic atheism is self refuting.  Here’s why.  The human brain is restricted to physical laws.  Therefore, it will automatically respond in a predictable way based upon brain wiring and stimulus. This would mean that given the exact same circumstances, the exact same responses would always occur. This negates free will since every time the exact same circumstance arise, the exact same response must occur.  The person is not free to choose differently.  Furthermore, this he has no reason to trust his thoughts about reality, God, himself, others, or experiences since he cannot justify his own free will or that his conclusions are correct. Therefore, materialistic atheism is self-refuting. Materialistic atheism could never be known to be the right position to hold if the brain is merely reacting according to the physical requirements that govern it.
  6. Responding to Atheist Statements about God
    1. „I lack belief in a God.”
      1. If you say that atheism is simply lack of belief in a god, then my cat is an atheist the same as the tree outside and the sidewalk out front, since they also lack faith.  Therefore, your definition is insufficient.
      2. Lacking belief is a non-statement because you have been exposed to the concept of God and have made a decision to accept or reject.  Therefore, you either believe there is a God, or you do not, or you are agnostic.  You cannot remain in a state of „lack of belief.”
      3. If you lack belief in God, then why do you go around attacking the idea of God?  If you also lack belief in invisible pink unicorns, why don’t you go around attacking that idea?
    2. „I believe there is no God.”
      1. On what basis do you believe there is no God?
    3. „I don’t believe there is a God.”
      1. Why don’t you believe there is no God?
    4. „There is no God.”
      1. You cannot logically state that there is no God because you cannot know all things so as to determine that there is no God.
    5. „There is no proof that God exists”
      1. To say „there is no proof for God’s existence” is illogical because an atheist cannot know all things by which he could state that there is no proof. He can only say he has not yet seen a convincing proof; after all, there may be one he hasn’t yet seen.
    6. „All of Science has never found any evidence for God.”
      1. That is a subjective statement.  There are many scientists who affirm evidence for God’s existence through science.
      2. Your presupposition is that science has no evidence for God, but that is only an opinion.
      3. Science looks at natural phenomena through measuring, weighing, seeing, etc.  God, by definition, is not limited to the universe.  Therefore, it would not be expected that physical detection of God would be found.
    7. „What is God?” or „Define God.”
      1. God is the only Supreme Being who is unchanging, eternal, holy, and Trinitarian in nature.  He alone possesses the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.  He alone brought the universe into existence by the exertion of His will.
    8. „Prove your God is real.”
      1. I can no more prove to you that God is real than I can prove to you that I love my family.  If you are convinced I don’t love my family, no matter what I say or do will be dismissed by you as invalid.  It is your presuppositions that are the problem, not whether or not God exists.
      2. I can no more prove to you that God is real than you can prove that the universe is all that exists.  Your demand of proof precludes acknowledgement of many types of evidence because your presuppositions don’t allow it.
      3. The universe exists.  It is not infinitely old. If it were it would have run out of energy long ago. Therefore, it had a beginning.  The universe did not bring itself into existence.  Since it was brought into existence by something else, I assert that God is the one who created the universe.
        1. When the atheist complains, ask him to logically explain the existence of the universe.  Point out that opinions and guesses don’t count.
  7. Responding to Atheist Statements about the Bible
    1. „The Bible is full of contradictions.”
      1. Saying the Bible is full of contradictions does not mean it is so. Can you provide a contradiction that we can examine in context? There are many websites that address alleged contradictions. Here is one: www.carm.org.
  8. Responding to Atheist Statements about Evolution and Naturalism
    1. „Evolution is a fact.”
      1. That depends on if it is micro or macro. Micro variations occur, but macro variations (speciation) have not been observed.  The best we have are fossils and they have to be interpreted.  Besides, there are plenty of gaps in the fossil record.
      2. Have you read any books that discuss the contrary evidence to evolution?  If not, then how can you say you are educated enough to say it is a fact?
    2. „Naturalism is true; therefore, there is no need for God.”
      1. NaNaturalism is the belief that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.  If all things were explainable through natural laws, it does not mean God does not exist since God is, by definition, outside of natural laws since He is the creator of them.
  9. Responding to Atheist Statements about Truth
    1. „There are no absolute truths.”
      1. To say there are no absolute truths is an attempt to state an absolute truth.  If your statement is true, then it is self-contradictory and not true, and you are wrong.
Przeczytaj jeszcze  An examination of atheism’s truth claims

Relativism

by Matt Slick
11/23/14

Relativism is perhaps the easiest of all positions to refute.  When someone states that all truth is relative or that there are no absolute truths, then it is a simple matter of demonstrating the illogic of their position.  These short replies to their statements are just what you need.

Following are some statements made by those in relativism.  Find one that fits, copy and paste the reply into a window and see what they say.

  1. „All truth is relative”
    1. If all truth is relative, then the statement „All truth is relative” would be absolutely true. If it is absolutely true, then not all things are relative; and the statement that „All truth is relative” is false.
  2. „There are no absolute truths”
    1. The statement „There are no absolute truths” is an absolute statement which is supposed to be true. Therefore, it is an absolute truth; and „There are no absolute truths” is false.
    2. If there are no absolute truths, then you cannot believe anything absolutely at all, including that there are no absolute truths. Therefore, nothing could be really true for you–including relativism.
  3. „What is true for you is not true for me”
    1. If what is true for me is that relativism is false, then is it true that relativism is false?
    2. If you say no, then what is true for me is not true; and relativism is false. If you say yes, then relativism is false.
    3. If you say that it is true only for me that relativism is false, then I am believing something other than relativism; namely, that relativism is false. If that is true, then how can relativism be true?
    4. If you say that it is true only for me that relativism is false, then am I believing a premise that is true or false or neither?
    5. If it is true for me that relativism is false, then relativism (within me) holds the position that relativism is false. This is self-contradictory and can’t be true.
    6. If it is false for me that relativism is false, then relativism isn’t true because what is true for me is not said to be true for me.
    7. If you say that what is true for me is neither really true or false, then relativism isn’t true since it states that all views are equally valid and by not being, at least true, relativism is shown to be wrong.
    8. If I believe that relativism is false and if it is true only for me that it is false, then you must admit that it is absolutely true that I am believing that relativism false.
    9. If you admit that it is absolutely true that I am believing relativism is false, then relativism is defeated since you admit there is something absolutely true.
    10. If I am believing in something other than relativism that is true, then there is something other than relativism that is true–even if it is only for me.
    11. If there is something other than relativism that is true, then relativism is false.
  4. „No one can know anything for sure”
    1. If that is true, then we can know that we cannot know anything for sure which is self-defeating.
  5. „That is your reality–not mine”
    1. Is my reality really real or not?   If it is, then my reality states that relativism is false.  If my reality is not true, then relativism isn’t true either since it states that my reality is true.
    2. If my reality is different from yours, how can my reality contradict your reality? If yours and mine are equally real, how can two opposite realities that exclude each other really exist at the same time–especially since reality is that which is true?
  6. „We all perceive what we want”
    1. If we all perceive what we want, then how do you know that statement is true since I can want to perceive that your statement is false?
    2. If we all perceive what we want, then what are you wanting to perceive?
    3. If you say you want to perceive truth, how do you know if you are not deceived? Simply desiring truth is no proof you have it.
  7. „You may not use logic to refute relativism”
    1. Why may I not use logic to refute relativism?  Do you have a logical reason for your statement?  If not, then you aren’t being logical. If you do, then you are using logic to refute logic and that can’t happen.
    2. Can you give me a logical reason why logic cannot be used?
    3. If you use relativism to refute logic, then on what basis is relativism (that nothing is absolutely true) able to refute logic which is based upon truth since you must assume relativism is absolutely true to be able to refute logic.
    4. If you use relativism to refute logic, then relativism has lost its relative status since it is used to absolutely refute the truth of something else.
  8. „We are only perceiving different aspects of the same reality”
    1. If our perceptions of reality are contradictory, can either perception be trusted?
    2. Is truth self-contradictory?  If it were, then truth wouldn’t be true because it would be self-refuting.  If something is self-refuting, then it isn’t true.
    3. If that is true that we are perceiving different aspects of the same reality, then am I believing something that is false since I believe that your reality is not true?  How then could they be the same reality?
    4. If you are saying that it is merely my perception that is not true, then relativism is refuted.  If I am believing something that is false, then relativism is not true since it holds that all views are equally valid.
    5. If my reality is that your reality is false, then both cannot be true.  If both are not true, then one of us (or both) is in error.  If one or both of us is in error, then relativism is not true.
  9. „Relativism itself is excluded from the critique that it is absolute and self-refuting”
    1. On what basis do you simply exclude relativism from the critique of logic? Is this an arbitrary act?  If so, does it justify your position?  If it is not arbitrary, what criteria did you use to exclude it?
    2. To exclude itself from the start is an admission of the logical problems inherent in its system of thought.
Przeczytaj jeszcze  Atheism and Totalitarian Atheist Mass Slaughters
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