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. 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; Adolf Hitler - 20,946,000; 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)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

 

This article is also available in: Español

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison
 
 
CARM.org
Copyright 2014

CONTACT US:
CARM Office number: 208-466-1301
Office hours: M-F; 9-5 pm; Mountain Time
Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address: CARM, PO BOX 1353, Nampa ID 83653