Response to criticism of "Is atheism viable?"
The following is my response to the first portion of an atheist's critique of two of my papers dealing with atheism. His original criticism was one page, but I have broken it up into two pages relating to each paper he addressed.
The article was posted on infidelguy.com, an atheistic website, and that is the only reason I am responding to the paper which, in my opinion, does not present its case very well. Nevertheless, I have copied the entire article with the author's permission and reproduced the two halves; one here, so that it can be more easily addressed. His original comments are in black, and my comments are in green. I have left his typo's and grammar errors intact.
"Is atheism viable?"
This is my refutation of Matt Slick's other article, "Is atheism viable?". I'll show why he is wrong again, point by point. Follow along in his article.
Atheism is a negative position. This is true. It doesn't sound so good, and this is what he's looking for, to make atheists look bad, but it is technically true.
Mr. Lonovy is trying to play the mind reader. He does not know if I am trying to make atheists look bad or not. In fact, why would I want to do that? Making an atheist look bad isn't how truth is established. Rather, I attempt to tackle the issues and not the individuals -- unlike Mr. Lonovy who has stated in his original paper that I am an idiot.
Matt says he doesn't hear any evidence for atheism when he has discussions with atheists. I'm sorry that there are so many stupid atheists, then. There is proof against God's existance, even if Matt doesn't discuss it with atheists who know this. Is it enough to completely rule Him out? No. It is enough to say what He does and does not do. As I stated earlier, the only scientific place left for Him is the Big Bang. People used to believe He did many different things, until science proved that they could function on their own without Him. Is that not a good point against Him? It is hard to prove He doesn't exist, because it is proving a negative, but we can prove the negative that His Christian interpretation is false by proving positives - That things like evolution, abiogenesis, and an atheistic [without God] Big Bang can and have actually occured. These things are strongly rooted in truthful science. There is our best weapon.
Mr. Lonovy not only insults me, but now he insults atheists.
For him to say there is proof that God does not exist is really quite a statement. How do you prove a negative? How do you prove that God, the creator of the universe, who exists outside of time and space, does not exist? That is a tall order and I would truly love to see the proof. If it is indeed proof, I will abandon my Christianity. After all, proof is proof. I have asked atheists for proofs and have not yet seen one offered that has stood the test of cross examination.
Mr. Lonovy fails to understand that even though science has answered many issues about life, medicine, mechanics, the universe, etc., it does not invalidate God's existence, nor is it in any way a proof or evidence that God does not exist. The only thing science does is explain things using naturalistic principles. But, since Christians define God as being outside of time and space (yet able to interact within it), explaining things naturalistically does not effect the proposed existence of God or not, since He is not limited to a naturalistic system. After all, the Bible states that God created the naturalistic principles working in the universe. Since these principles exist, how would that mean that God does not exist? It doesn't. Therefore, Mr. Lonovy is again failing to make his point.
As for the rest of the paragraph, Mr. Lonovy again begs the question regarding evolution, abiogenesis, et. al. He assumes that all of it occurs due to naturalistic principles in the universe, though he has not offered any evidence for this. The topics he introduces are too deep and varied to address here (as they have been addressed elsewhere on my site), but the principle of his presuppositions clouding his objectivity is, to me, very obvious.
Atheists don't hold their position by faith, as a Christian does. Faith is defined as being belief in something for which there is no proof. There is proof that things other than what the Bible says have occured. We prove the negative by proving a positive that will contradict it, and therefore render it false. But even with this, how dare a Christian say someone else can't hold their position by faith? With this logic, we should all be agnostics! Attacking yourself in the process of attacking someone else doesn't help you. It leaves a level playing field. Why do it?
I appreciate that Mr. Lonovy attempts to define faith. But I do not accept his definition as being sufficient, though there is some merit in it. I would agree that if something had proof, then there would be no faith. But that isn't all there is to it. Faith can rest on evidence. That is, a person can decide to have faith based upon evidence. I am sure Mr. Lonovy lives this kind of faith regularly. Let me illustrate. I assume Mr. Lonovy drives a car. Can Mr. Lonovy offer proof before he takes his next drive, that the next time he drives to the store he will make it there alive? No, he cannot. But, past evidence of him being able to drive, people abiding by driving laws, and previous successes of him getting to the store and back safely, are all evidences by which Mr. Lonovy decides to have the faith that he will be able to get to the store alive...even though there is no proof that he will. He is acting faithfully to the evidence. So, Mr. Lonovy's definition, though true in part, is insufficient and does not reflect the biblical representation of faith which rests on evidence (i.e., the resurrection, Jesus' miracles, etc.).
My proposition that atheists hold their position by faith is based upon the idea that there is no proof for atheism; there is no evidence that God does not exist; and that atheism only succeeds if it can refute all theistic proofs and evidences -- which they can only hope to do. Therefore, I conclude that there is a large measure of faith that the atheists use to hold to their atheism since there is no proof.
Again, atheists do attack Christian claims. It is the duty of a skeptic to do so. It is not only this 'evidential vacuum' that atheism gains it's justification, but it is one of the ways. Proof for things which contradict the Bible is much more effective, though.
I have not yet seen any "proof" offered by an atheist that contradicts the Bible. There may be something out there that does, but I have not yet seen it. So, I really cannot comment beyond that.
Atheism can only be defended by it's status as a possibility? Wrong. Science and logic have clearly shown that it is much more than a simple possibility. But what right does a Christian have to say someone else can't believe something because it's a possibility? That's exactly what they do.
Again, Mr. Lonovy begs the question. Science has not shown that there is no God, nor is there any logical proof (that I am aware of) that there is no God. Since atheism is the position of "no God" either in belief or "lack of belief," and since there is no proof that God does not exist, then faith must make up the difference.
Either atheism is absolutely true or it is possibly true. Since it cannot be proven that atheism is absolutely true (i.e., prove that there is no God in all space and time, etc.), then all that is left is a possibility that it is true -- or, dare I say, that it simply is not true.
Furthermore, Mr. Lonovy seems to believe that because science can explain things it means there is no God. But this is not logical, as I have demonstrated above.
Finally, people can believe what they want to believe. I simply question the evidential and logical validity of the atheistic belief system.
The ice cream factory on Jupiter really shows Matt's stupidity. Why would anyone believe that there actually is an ice cream factory on Jupiter when there is no evidence for it and many other things, like the planet Jupiter itself, contradict such a possibility? I don't know, but this is exactly what Christians do with God.
I suggest that the reader actually read the article in question and read the context of my statement about the ice cream factory on Jupiter. It was merely an illustration. Nevertheless, I will quote the relevant material from that paper:
"...stating that something is possible doesn't mean that it is a reality, or that it is wise to adopt the position. If I said it is possible that there is an ice cream factory on Jupiter, does that make it intellectually defensible or a position worth adopting merely because it is a possibility? Not at all. Simply claiming a possibility based on nothing more than it being a logical option, no matter how remote, is not sufficient grounds for atheists to claim viability in their atheism."
Again, attacking me personally is not the best way to establish a point. Whether or not I am stupid is, I am sure, a debatable issue among the atheist community, but it should be best left aside when addressing issues of truth.
Refuting 'evidence' for God's existance doesn't prove atheism true. This is correct. What about this: Does proving atheism false prove Christianity true? No, it doesn't. It works both ways. But I'm quite sure I've shown that we have many other ways to prove that the Christian god doesn't exist, so his point is null.
Finally, Mr. Lonovy is logical. However, he has failed to show proof that the Christian God does not exist.
An atheist can't say he knows everything in the universe. Can a Christian? No. Then, how can he say God does exist? Again, Matt's logic attacks his own religion, too. How stupid. An atheist can know many, many things, though. Enough to come to a logical conclusion that God, at least the Christian interpretation of such a being, does not exist.
As a Christian, my belief in God rests on evidence, experience, and decision. I see the biblical evidence, experience the work of God in my life, and I have chosen to continue in belief based upon these factors. What I lack in absolute proof, I complete in faith.
I certainly agree that an atheist can conclude that God does not exist, but it does not mean that his conclusion is correct. I can conclude that screaming blue ants are spying on me, but that doesn't mean I am right.
An atheist can say that there is more than just no available proof for God's existance. There is proof that contradicts the Christian notion of God. Science has shown us how many things in this universe occured, esspecially the appearance and evolution of life. The truth of these things is for a different discussion, though.
Again, I have not seen this proof Mr. Lonovy keeps mentioning. If there is such a proof, why is it that the atheists are not unanimously using it?
I do not believe in macro evolution, but even if it were true, it is not proof that God does not exist.
An atheist must acknowledge that there may be proof for God in the future if they are truely intelligent. Atheism isn't a dogmatic religion like Christianity, atheists are allowed to do this. This doesn't make the atheist an agnostic. It makes them open minded. You can accept that such a being may exist without actually believing it does exist. Why don't Christians accept that there may be no God? If Matt wants atheists to be agnostic because they accept that God might exist, then why isn't he an agnostic? It works both ways. That is by far the stupidest thing he's said in his papers.
As a Christian, I can accept the possibility that there might not be a God. However, I most definitely believe and affirm that the God of the Bible exists and is the only true God. This does not make me agnostic; that is, it does not mean that I don't know if God exists or not. On the other hand, the atheist states, basically, that there is no God. But if this same person states that God may exist, then doesn't that mean he isn't sure, that he doesn't know if God does or does not exist? That is not the same position I hold at all.
That is not why atheists attack Christianity. They don't even need to. I've shown this already. Christianity makes irrational claims about God that make me think the Christians are high. [LOL] Their claims no more "poke holes in my vacuum" than someone claiming that there is an ice cream factory on Jupiter. I've shown why already.
I am sure that there are Christians who make irrational claims about God. I am also sure there are Christians who make rational claims about God.
I do not like my "vacuum". I'd much rather there be a loving god who would take us all to Heaven when we die. I'd extremely afraid of dying. I'd give up my atheism for immortality in Heaven any day!
I am glad to see this honesty. But, God allows us to have what we want. If you want your sin and independence from God, He will let you have it and He will not reveal Himself to you. The evidence is there in the Bible.
We like having ourselves as gods? We're not all that egotistical. How dare you say this, Matt? Not only is Matt stupid, he's an as***le to atheists, too. All too much like a typical Christian. I've shown why I believe him to be this way. Thank you for reading. Again, anyone who sees my points, please urge Matt to take down his fallacious articles. We don't need him lying to people about what we believe. [I substituted three asterisks in the cuss word with which Mr. Lonovy referred to me.]
Mr. Lonovy is referring to my closing statement quoted here...
"This is why atheists need to attack Christianity. It is because Christianity makes very high claims concerning God's existence, which challenges their atheism and pokes holes in their vacuum. They like the vacuum. They like having the universe with only one god in it: themselves."
Of course, the context is that God is the true sovereign and that atheists want that for themselves. In this, they take the place of God and set themselves up as master of their own lives, future, etc.
Again, Mr. Lonovy uses a personal attack in his paper. This is definitely a poor way to address an opponent.
Conclusion: I am always open to intelligent dialogue with atheists and have even changed parts of my site in response to some well intentioned and well delivered correspondence from atheists. However, Mr. Lonovy demonstrates a lack of tact and logical acumen. He has not established his case, nor has he 'refuted' my paper.
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