Posts Tagged ‘folly of atheism’

It is important for Christians to understand and note that, when the Bible refers to those who deny the existence of God as ‘fools’ (Psalms 14:1), it is not merely engaging in name calling.  This is the proper term for someone who willfully refuses to acknowledge that which has been so plainly and openly revealed.  Imagine this:

You have agreed to participate in a live formal debate.  After weeks of preparation, the big day arrives and you take your place on stage behind your podium as the auditorium begins to fill with people.  You look to your left and see your opponent behind his podium with a confident look upon his face.  The moderator gives the introduction and then it’s time to start.  Your opponent goes first and begins his opening statement.  His position? That air does not exist (an a-airist?).

Now, what would you say in response to such an obviously absurd position?  Sure, you could produce graphs, charts, tables, and endless other pieces of evidence to show that air does indeed exist (which your opponent may or may not find compelling and which he may even be able to explain away and rebut via his counter arguments), or you could take a decidedly different approach:  You could simply expose the glaring inconsistency of his position by pointing out that, if air did not exist, he could not possibly be doing what he is doing.  You could (and should) draw attention to the fact that, without air, he could not possibly be breathing, and, as a consequence, he also could not be talking since there would be no air in his lungs to create the vibrations in his vocal chords and, therefore, no way to produce the sounds used to form his words.  Not to mention the fact that, if air does not exist, there wouldn’t even be anything to convey the sound waves from his mouth to the ears of his hearers anyway!  In short, his entire ability to breathe and speak (much less to argue) depends completely upon the very thing that he is denying—-air!  He is defeating his own position with every breath he takes and with every word he speaks, since any argument he puts forth AGAINST the existence of air actually turns out to be an argument IN FAVOR OF the existence of air!!

Such is the predicament of the professing atheist.  The Bible teaches that the existence of God is so obvious, that no one has an excuse for denying him (and are, in fact, behaving foolishly if they do so–Romans 1:18-22).  In other words, the evidence is all around us, but there are many who do not wish to accept it, and who will even go to great lengths to deny it.  So what do we do?  I submit that, just as in the example above, we should gently and lovingly expose the inconsistencies of such positions in hopes that the unbeliever will come to see the folly of what they are doing and repent.  For instance, suppose someone puts forth a moral argument against God (e.g. claiming that He is evil, that certain acts in the Bible are immoral, etc.).  Now, we could spend a lot of time and energy providing evidence as to why that is not the case (only to likely have our evidence discarded or dismissed due the presuppositional bias of the unbeliever), or we could simply ask them how they arrive at absolute, objective standards of behavior in a universe without God in the first place.  After all, if God does not exist, there could be no absolute moral Authority and, therefore, no binding standard of behavior by which anyone (least of all, God) SHOULD conduct themselves.  If moral standards are arbitrarily stipulated, then the unbeliever loses any rational foundation for their complaint against God.  In fact, the argument itself reveals the internal inconsistency of their position and, as a result, makes this objection AGAINST God’s existence a valid proof FOR His existence!

Now, let’s suppose the argument comes in the form of a ‘logical’ complaint against God (e.g. the Bible is illogical, Christianity is nonsense, etc.).  Again, much time and energy could be spent providing ample solid evidence to the contrary, only to likely be told “well that doesn’t prove anything.”  Instead of putting God on trial before the unbeliever, the more effective (and Biblical) approach would be to expose the self-defeating nature of such an argument by simply asking how there can exist any objective, universal standard of logic and reasoning in a world without God.  Obviously, if there is no Ultimate Authority, then there can be no absolute standard by which we should think and reason.  Therefore, no thinking or reasoning could ever be said to be ‘incorrect’ or ‘illogical’—just ‘different‘.  This internal inconsistency yet again testifies to the inescapable, self-evident truth of God and that, like the air, one must assume His existence to even begin to argue against it (which makes doing so the very epitome of ‘foolishness’).  To paraphrase Acts 17:28, it truly is IN HIM that we LIVE and MOVE and HAVE OUR BEING!

As Keith, the ex-atheist, so accurately pointed out in #10 of his expose’ here:

https://christianammunition.com/2014/06/25/how-to-be-an-atheist/

The ultimate goal of the atheist is not to remain rational or logical in these types of discussions, but to just keep arguing no matter what—due to the emotional nature of their beef with God.  Such is the tell-tale sign of someone who simply has an ‘ax to grind’ and, as a result, cannot ultimately maintain any meaningful rational standard or logical integrity with regards to their argumentation.  Hence, the folly of the unbeliever is exposed for what it really is–suppression of the Truth.  It has been rightly stated that the professing unbeliever cannot find God for the same reason a criminal cannot find a policeman.

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.        ~C.S Lewis

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At least that’s what the bumper sticker on the van in front of me said.  It was one of literally several dozen, plastered all over the back of the vehicle, declaring the non-existence of God and the intellectual superiority of atheism.  I couldn’t help but find the irony (and humor) in all the time, energy, and resources that were no doubt used to create this rolling billboard designed for the sole purpose of telling the world that God does not exist.  After all, if there is no God, and therefore no ultimate meaning to the universe, why bother to go through all the trouble of trying to convince anyone of anything?  Not to mention, for the sake of consistency, shouldn’t all ‘so called’ non-existent entities be treated with the same contempt and given their proper sticker space on the back of one’s vehicle?

This was not the case, however, as I noticed that I didn’t see even one sticker declaring the non-existence of Santa, the Easter Bunny, Harry Potter, Bigfoot, or even the Tooth Fairy……only God. The reason for this can be summed up in one word: Authority.  According to Romans Chapter 1, everyone knows that God exists, but some choose to suppress that truth in unrighteousness. That is, they work very hard at pretending that God does not exist as a means of (unsuccessfully) avoiding accountability to Him.  In short, some people would just rather be their own god than submit to the one true God of Scripture.  This is perfectly consistent with what the Bible tells us about the depraved nature of mankind and our inherent desire to rebel against our Creator.  It has been rightly stated that:

The atheist can’t find God for the same reason a criminal can’t find a policeman.

They simply don’t WANT to, as they have made themselves the enemies of God and have transgressed against His righteous Authority, through their sin and rebellion. The sole remedy for rebellion against God is complete surrender to Him, through obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Of course, this can only be brought about via the regenerating work of God’s Holy Spirit upon the heart of the unbeliever.  As such, the type of self-deception that the professing atheist engages in is not only very foolish and dangerous, it also ultimately means that, by definition, atheism is…..you guessed it…..pretend.  Now that’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see!

I was recently engaged in a very lively debate, regarding the validity of the Christian worldview vs. non-Christian worldviews, over at Debate.org.  Believe it or not, a very simple challenge, put forth to those who hold to worldviews which deny the God of the Bible, turned into a discussion thread of over 800 comments (well above the norm)!  I have included the link to the discussion for anyone who is interested in seeing how non-Christians fared when asked to account for the most basic, fundamental concepts (i.e. logic, truth, knowledge, the foundation of the scientific method, etc.), required for making sense of the world around us, in their worldview.  Warning: it ain’t pretty!

http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

NOTE: What you’ll notice in these types of discussions is that those who deny God and the truth of the Bible will always ultimately be reduced to ‘vain and foolish’ reasoning, just like Scripture states (Romans 1:18-22, I Corinthians 1:19-20).  In particular, notice how the unbelievers’ positions are always shown to be based upon nothing more than blind-faith and mere opinion, having no logical foundation whatsoever upon which to rest.  As I always enjoy pointing out, that is the very definition of an irrational (and, therefore, untrue) position.  The more familiar Christians become with these arguments, the easier it is to then (hopefully gently) expose the errors in the unbeliever’s reasoning and to pull down the ‘intellectual strongholds’ that prevent them from considering and, subsequently, receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Remember, no one will receive with their heart what their mind rejects as false, making the mandate of 2 Corinthians 10:5 especially relevant to us today:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

I welcome your thoughts.

This was compiled by a former atheist who is now a Christian.  Very accurate from my experience debating atheists online.

 

How to be an Atheist:

 

1)  Dismiss everything in the Bible because men wrote it.


2)  Believe and quote other writings of men to prove that the Bible is wrong.


3)  Completely ignore the inconsistency between steps 1 & 2.


4)  Call yourself a “freethinker” and “open minded” but don’t practice such virtues when it comes to Christianity.


5)  Try to laugh out loud every time a Christian makes a statement about what they believe even if you don’t think it’s really that funny. This helps avoid a “serious” conversation.


6)  Always bring up Zeus, Allah, and Santa Claus to prove that if you must believe in one God then you have to believe in all of them otherwise it’s just not fair.


7)  When referring to the Bible use the word “myth” as often as possible and call believers whatever names you want because the goal is to frustrate the Christian so that his sinful nature comes out and he gets angry and then you can call him a hypocrite.


8)  Set your own moral standards very very very low so that you’ll never look like a hypocrite yourself. The lower the better.


9)  Never answer a question directly but quickly change the subject to make a completely different point. If you’re asked why you keep changing the subject just repeat this step as necessary.


10)  Be as argumentative, sarcastic and verbal as possible – there is no need to make sense or use logic in your arguments – just keep arguing.


11)  Use words like “strawman,” “ad hominem,” “fallacy,” “red herring” and non sequiturs” against every argument whether you understand those terms or not.


12)  Claim that atheism is rooted in “common sense” even though less than 10% of the human population claim to be atheists.


13)  Reject all notions of faith even though you must put your faith in pilots, cars, food, doctors, evolution, and the next chair that you sit in.


14)  Always ask for evidence for God but never accept anything presented to you. At the end of a discussion remind them that all you needed was some evidence for God.


15)  Quote only the Bible verses that make God look mean and unfair.


16)  Talk about being a good person remembering that you are allowed to define good however you would like because there is no objective moral standard.


17)  Say that you have read the Bible and that you understand what it teaches whether this is true or not.


18)  Only pick on Christians – you don’t want to get killed in a Jihad. However, be sure to say that there is no difference between Radical Muslims and Fundamentalist Christians.


19)  Always use the crusades to make the point above.


20)  Remember that you are looking for faults in other worldviews not trying to defend your own – do not try to prove atheism! Remember, it’s much easier to destroy than build up.


21)  Make the claim that you only have one life and don’t want to waste it on religion.


22)  If your conscience begins to bother you because of moral guilt you can numb it with drugs, alcohol, sex, or pride. You can give up the first three but never give up your pride.


 

 

Interesting title, huh?  Now that I have your attention, please consider the following illustration:

Once upon a time, a young man believed he was dead.  For months, his friends and family tried desperately to convince him that this was not the case, but to no avail.  Finally, at their wits end, they decided to take him to see the family doctor in hopes that he could offer some sort of medical counsel to help the young man come to his senses.  After two unproductive hours of talking with the young man and reasoning with him using the latest medical journals, charts, and photos, the good doctor had an idea!  “Son, do dead men bleed?”  He asked.  The young man thought for a moment and then responded, “well, if a person is dead, there is no heartbeat to pump the blood and, therefore, no blood pressure to force the blood out of the body, so, no, dead men do not bleed.”  Upon hearing this, the doctor took a needle and pricked the young man’s index finger.  As the blood began to ooze from the small wound, the young man grabbed his finger and cried with great excitement, “well, what do you know! Dead men DO bleed after all!”

The point (pardon the pun) is, it is impossible to convince somebody of something that they do not wish to be convinced of, no matter how much evidence is provided to them or how valid it may be.  After all, many of the people who witnessed Jesus’ miracles were the same ones who demanded His crucifixion.  Why do you suppose they were not convinced by the marvelous feats of the dead being raised and the blinded eyes receiving sight in their presence?  It was simply because they did not WANT to be.  Likewise, the young man in our story had a predetermined belief which he was unwilling to surrender, despite being shown ample proof that it was false.  The overwhelming evidence given to him did not change his mind, but, rather, his mind changed the evidence to make it fit his presuppositional bias (now there’s a mouthful!).  Presuppositions are the most foundational assumptions/beliefs that we each hold, and through which we examine and interpret the world around us, including any (and all) evidence presented to us.  For instance, Christians begin with two basic assumptions which form the basis of our view of the world (our worldview).

First, we assume that God exists and secondly we assume that the Bible is His inspired Word.  It is through the ‘lens’ of these two assumptions that we then begin to reason and form our conclusions about the universe in which we live.  That’s why Christians and unbelievers can examine the exact same piece of evidence and then reach two totally different conclusions about it; it’s because we have two completely different starting points from which we perform our assessment of the evidence we are given.  

Whereas the Christian begins with the previously mentioned assumptions about God’s existence and the truth of the Bible and then reasons from that position,  those holding to anti-Christian worldviews assume the contrary (i.e. God does NOT exist and the Bible is not true) and then proceed to reason from that position.  Therefore, the real issue is not one of evidence at all, but of those foundational assumptions through which we interpret the evidence in the first place (our presuppositions), and whether or not they are logically sound and rationally defensible.  First, let’s examine the Christian presuppositions to see if they pass this test:

  1. God Exists:  This presupposition is justifiable/provable after the fact, in that God has revealed Himself to all mankind both directly and indirectly via natural and special revelation.  Natural revelation is God’s revelation of Himself by natural means (through His Creation), while special revelation pertains to God’s revealing of Himself via supernatural means (the Bible, His Spirit, and His Son, Jesus Christ).  Through these avenues, God has made it possible for us to be certain of who He is and what He expects from us with regards to our behavior, reasoning, and salvation.
  2. The Bible is true:  This assumption is also provable after the fact, by the impossibility of the contrary.  That is, the contrary position (i.e. The Bible is not true) ends in absurdity and irrationality, which makes it false.  Consider what the Bible says about this in Romans 1:21-22:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

According to Scripture, when someone rejects or fails to acknowledge God and the truth of the Bible as the foundation of their thinking and reasoning, we can expect their thoughts to become ‘vain’ and ‘foolish’ (illogical).  Let’s see if that’s what we get when we examine the unbelievers’ presuppositions that God does not exist and the Bible is not true: First, it should be pointed out that, when someone makes these assumptions, they are forced, by default, into the position of embracing evolution as the means and mechanism by which life as we know it exists on earth today (as opposed to the Biblical account of creation as found in Genesis).  As such, there are several other assumptions that they also have to accept as a consequence of this position.  Namely:

  • In the beginning there was nothing.
  • Nothing somehow turned into something.
  • The something which came from nothing somehow blew up and became everything.
  • Life somehow arose from that non-living matter
  • Randomness somehow became ordered.
  • Intelligence somehow came from non-intelligent matter.
  • Morality somehow evolved from amoral matter.
  • Absolute (unchanging), immaterial (not made of matter), universal (applying everywhere and at all times) laws of logic, math, science, and morality somehow came from a strictly material, constantly changing, random chance universe.

The problem with these assumptions is, they are all unjustified and unjustifiable.  Each of them is contrary to sound reasoning and good science, as they are not consistent with reality nor are they based upon ANY observable data or evidence gathered through actual repeatable testing and experimentation.  Rather, they stem from a flawed belief system about the unobserved past and, as such, are based upon nothing more than blind faith.  It should be pointed out that believing something and acting upon that belief with no logical reason for doing so is but one form of irrationality.  This makes those who hold to anti-Christian positions alot like the young man in the story above;  they do so in spite of any logically sound reasons, not because of them.  Without exception, this is the sad end result when one abandons the absolute Truth of God and His Word in favor of ANY competing non-Christian worldview (including those which advocate the existence of a ‘deity’ other than the God of the Bible).  I think the following quote from Christian Author Ken Ham sums this up nicely.  He says:

It’s not a matter of whether one is biased or not.  It is really a question of which bias is the best bias with which to be biased.

Just as the idol Dagon was physically reduced to rubble in the presence of God’s holy Ark of the Covenant (see 1 Samuel Chapter 5), so the false ideologies of our day are exposed and eviscerated by the ‘quick and powerful’ Word of that same living God.

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?                                                      ––1 Corinthians 1:19-20