Another atheist loses it.
When Street-Preachers are confronted by atheists, there is always a challenge. “Prove the existence of your God,” they demand. Then when you present them with the evidence they reject it as proof. It is a rather obvious conclusion that the proof for a Creator is the creation itself, as the Bible affirms. But atheists reject this. They have convinced themselves there is no evidence for the God of the Bible. Thus, one atheist threw down the gauntlet in a Facebook group:
So here is my challenge to anyone on this page. Make a positive argument for the existence of the Christian god that does not ultimately fall back on the “I know because of personal experience” position. If you are unable to do such a simple task then your position is ultimately untenable.
I took up the challenge, with a deliberate plan of how I was going to do it. And the way I did it frustrated this atheist. We pick up the dialogue:
Atheist: From what I can tell you do not have an argument for the Christian god.
Theist: From what I can tell you do not have any basis for assessing any argument in favor of the Christian God. And this is my point. You can’t tell whether any argument is true or false, right or wrong, correct or otherwise, and an atheistic worldview does not and cannot provide an epistemological leg to stand on. That’s because atheism does not allow the development of a worldview. It cannot, given its most basic assumption. So when you suggest I think you are “to (sic) incompetent to hold together a solid worldview,” I do not think you are incompetent to hold together a solid worldview at all. I am simply saying that atheism is not a solid worldview in the least. You ought to jettison it for a real worldview, the only worldview that holds together.
When you posted your challenge, you opened the door to any presentation that met your challenge. This was your challenge: “Make a positive argument for the existence of the Christian god that does not ultimately fall back on the ‘I know because of personal experience’ position.” But now you are trying to control my presentation to fit your timeline when that is the very issue in debate here. You did not say it had to be done in 46 comments or less, but now you complain about 46 posts. Yet if you understood the biblical theism you claim to reject, you would know that every word you and I have written in this thread is proof for the existence of the God of biblical theism.
Of course, you have a way out of accepting that. You say it is necessary to keep “in mind that the ‘standard’ you keep mentioning for evidence raises or lowers depending on the claim being made.” Now the question I have been pursuing is who determines what the standards are in any given situation? You? If there are no absolute universal standards available then standards are merely person-relative opinions.
But it is because you neither know nor understand the biblical worldview, that you cannot even recognize that every comment I have made has been one more step in the direction of meeting your challenge. I just chose not to put my argument in one comment, but work it out over as many comments as it may take to achieve my goal. I told you I would present my case my way, and I have no intention of being intimidated by your dictatorial demands.
There are several things about atheism that need to be recognized:
1) it has no coherent theory of factuality or of logic, and therefore cannot meet the demands of genuine intellectual exchange. While atheists cling to an ultimate abstractionism in the universe, they do not have any way of determining that factuality, logic, or even two words, have meaning. The only way they achieve this is by a pragmatic rejection of their atheism, and adopt the coherence of the personalized biblical worldview, which does not explain everything on the basis of an ultimate abstractionism, nor the existence of God on the basis of personal experience.
2) That atheism–>socialism–>totalitarianism are conjoined triplets. Because atheism cannot argue the correctness of its position, it inevitably demands obedience. And that, of course, is exactly what you are doing here. Demanding – even SHOUTING – that I “PRESENT YOUR DAMN ARGUMENT.” You do not even have the manners to ask, and say ‘please.’ Apparently you have the opinion that pressing ‘caps lock’ on your keyboard somehow elevates the status of your demand.
You say, there is a “refusal to even touch on your position,” yet everything I have done is exactly my position. You’ve stepped into a debate that apparently is over your head and you cannot handle it. You have such a wrong view about biblical theism and about atheism that you thought you had a trump card up your sleeve. “Ho, ho, ho, these Christians will never be able to meet my challenge because they have no proof for God except their personal experiences.”
Well, ho, ho ho, I’m here to argue and demonstrate that atheism is the most incoherent and illogical belief system known to man. That is why atheists never present an argument. All they do is complain. “Christians believe in myths. Christians believe a book written in the stone age (or some other age).” It never occurs to an atheist that these are not arguments; they are merely complaints. And complaints are not arguments.
Given what the Bible says, it is completely logical to conclude, as it does, that the creation itself is the evidence for the Creator. Everything in the Bible, therefore, hangs on the truthfulness of its opening proposition: “In the beginning, God created. . . .” The disagreement between atheists and biblical theists, then, is over the nature of factuality, the nature of logic, and the question, what is truth. Antony Flew, described as ‘the world’s most notorious atheist,’ but now a theist, makes this observation.
A far more important consideration is the philosophical challenge facing origin-of-life studies. Most studies on the origin of life are carried out by scientists who rarely attend to the philosophical dimension of their findings. Philosophers, on the other hand, have said little on the nature and origin of life. The philosophical question that has not been answered in origin-of-life studies is this: How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self-replication capabilities, and ‘coded chemistry’? Here we are not dealing with biology, but an entirely different category of problem.”
In order to address the challenge identified by Flew, you need a philosophy of factuality, a philosophy of logic, and a philosophy of Truth. If the God of the Bible is not true, then nothing is true in any absolute sense. Truth is only person-relative. The creation by a personal God provides a philosophy of factuality. Facts are not “brute” facts – that is, facts that are totally unrelated to anything else. The impersonal concept of chance merely leaves all facts hanging as total abstractions, without any inherent relationship to any other facts.
Similarly, a philosophy of logic based on the biblical concept of God makes logic an attribute of God in tri-unity. The atheist view makes logic merely another abstraction. In this view, logic can have no inherent meaning, merely what each individual claims is “logical.”
And finally, a philosophy of truth. God is truth, declares the Scriptures, again making truth personal, not impersonal and abstract.
If the world is, as the atheist declares, a world of chance, then all factuality, logic and truth implodes into nothing more than each individual attempting to make coherent what is inherently incoherent. If everything is an abstraction, then words cannot be strung together to give them coherence.
Yet the atheist cannot live in his world of brute factuality. He continues to write and argue as if there is a logic that is universal, a view of facts that is not merely abstractionism, and a view of truth that is beyond each individual. This is the best evidence for the God of the Bible – for it explains why facts, logic and truth exist. It explains why the atheist is capable of using words in a sentence, why he is a logical being. Man is what he is because God is what he is, and man is made in the image of God. There is no other explanation.
But the atheist does not want to give up his atheism so easily. So he brings up the fact that there are 38,000 Christian denominations, and uses this number as if it has some connection with the truthfulness of biblical theism. It’s another one of his “ho, ho, ho” moments where he thinks he has some issue he can use to discredit Christianity.
So it’s time to drive home, yet again, the real issue in the debate about biblical theism. Not only does the atheist assume there is some “logical” connection between the number 38,000 and Christian belief, he also assumes that the number 38,000 has some kind of negative connotation toward Christian belief. But what explanation can he offer that explains why it is his conclusion about the number 38,000 and Christianity is the right conclusion? What standard did he use to make this evaluation? Does he have some standard that is more than just his opinion, or the opinion of a few other irrational atheists? Obviously, he concluded there was some “moral” disapprobation with Christianity’s various groupings, so he assumed this was a weakness. He could have, on the other hand, assumed it was a strength, but he didn’t. Why not? Because he’s looking for any petty little excuse that you can make up to cast some kind of aspersion on Christianity in order to justify his unbelief. Anything, it seems, to avoid arguing the real question: What is truth, and how will you now that whatever answer is given is the correct one? And he wonders why I say atheism is intellectually bankrupt. The arguments atheists trot out against biblical theism are the evidence for this.
But to state the obvious — which escapes him because of his atheistic irrationality — people grow, they learn, they develop, in all areas, whether it is in religious belief, musical knowledge, or philosophical skills. But in typical atheistic-totalitarian fashion — I’ve already said these two views go together — he alleges differences of opinion are a sign of weakness. I’m sure if atheists had their way, there would be no allowances for differences of opinion in matters of religion. What the atheist wants is uniformity — and he will, when given the chance, dictate and demand and enforce with the barrel of a gun, that uniformity he expects. Enter stage right: Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, &Co. Fortunately, they all exited stage left to the trashbin of history as prime examples of the totalitarian and murderous failure of atheism.
The reality is that atheism cannot address the foundational questions of knowledge: what is truth, and how will you know that whatever answer is given is the correct one? And the day an atheist can answer these questions is the day he is no longer an atheist.
- Antony Flew, There Is A God, p. 124.↵back
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