A person who denies his own existence

by Matt Slick

This dialogue was generated out of an e-mail.  I asked this person to come into the chat room and discuss his e-mail with me.  You will see that he is not logical at all.

Matt: Okay, so you told me in your e-mail that you deny your own existence.
Larry: Yes
Matt: Okay, why would you deny your own existence?
Larry: There is nothing, therefore i never existed
Matt: Can you please explain why you would say you have never existed?
Larry: After death I won't remember anything. Existence will not exist for me.
Matt: If after death you don't remember anything, it doesn't mean you haven't existed now. For example, if I take a photograph of my car and it tore it up and burn it in a fire, it does not mean that the photograph never existed even though the photograph no longer exists.
Larry: But the photograph doesn't exist anymore. It vanished into "space".
Matt: Yes, so it doesn't exist anymore. But you just admitted "anymore" which means that it did exist at one time.
Larry: True, but where is the photograph now? It will be forgotten in your mind and after time it never existed
Matt: No disrespect meant but you're not making any sense. You just admitted that it existed. So, to say it never existed, even though it did at one time, is illogical.  Therefore, there is no reason for you to doubt your existence now.
Larry: Mmm let me see if can put it in better words or better yet let me give an example.  Or better yet let me give an example. Do you remember a guy who lived in 300 bc who at the age of 13 one Monday herd a flock of sheep and carried water to his mother at 3:00pm?
Matt: But your asking me to remember him implies that he existed in order for him to be remembered. You don't remember something that has not existed.
Larry: I just made him up there is no proof he existed. But if everything where to be wiped out one day, who would remember anything? This might not be making any sense. How would you explain the unknown?
Matt: You are right; it is not making any sense because you're not being logical.
Larry: What do you think happens when you die?
Matt: I will go be with the Lord Jesus Christ. I will dwell with him forever.
Larry: Provide me proof of this idea
Matt: I cannot provide you proof. If proof were possible, it would require God and the miraculous to be measurable, repeatable, and observable, which would imply that proof would rest in understanding the physical and natural phenomena of the universe. This would mean that in order for God to be provable, he would have to be part of the physical universe is subject to its laws. But then, that would contradict the issue of who God is and what we're trying to discuss and proof to begin with.
Matt: In addition, proof is different in persuasion. If I were to offer you sufficient evidence for the existence of God, the validity of the Bible, etc., it does not mean you would be persuaded because your presuppositions would probably not allow you to judge the information in an unbiased fashion.
Matt: But you are the one who's not being logical. You deny your own existence and say you don't exist because when you die, you believe you will stop existing, which denies your existence now. But this is self-refuting since you are saying that you will stop existing; hence, this means you exist now.

Larry: Its just hard to prove my point.
Matt: It isn't possible for you to prove your point because you have been illogical. You cannot offer proof when you contradict logic. But, please understand I'm not trying to be offensive. I'm simply pointing out that you have no ability to provide proof for your position when you think this way.
Larry: Yes I understand, but what makes you cling to ideas of God? Is it the unknown. Since you don't know the unknown you created a supreme force to hide these ideas?
Matt: It is not unknown. We know God through the person of Jesus.
Larry: And humans killed Jesus . . . Why would they want to do that?
Matt: Red herring. You are not staying on topic.

long silence

Matt: Well, I guess were done talking. You are not being logical at all. It is difficult to continue a conversation this way.
Larry: I will gather my ideas, write them down and come back.
Matt: Ok. Thanks for the brief conversation.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.