The author of the article (http://blog.myspace.com/defmar) has given me permission to reproduce it and respond. The original article is in brown. My responses are in green.
The following is a rebuttal of an article written by Matthew J. Slick,
which can be found at http://www.carm.org/atheism/
The article is titled, "Answers to positions held by atheists"
In the first segment of his article, Mr. Slick directly declares the statement "there is no God" to be illogical. Why? Because we do not know all things, therefore, it is illogical to come to said conclusion.
Given Mr. Slick's stance as a theist, thereby knowing his assertion that "god does exist" would be, at best, equally illogical - I do not understand his motivation to make such a claim, much less his pseudo logic in concluding it.
The issue at hand is not the statement "God does exist." Instead, it is "There is no God," a position held by many atheists. That is the topic -- as my initial article states.
To refute, one, the statement that "there is no god" IS logical. Two, Mr. Slick is referring to logic in some kind of absolute sense. Assuming knowing ALL knowledge is a pre-requisite for logic, and then there would be no such thing as logic at all (as no one knows everything). Mr. Slick's reasons for declaring the statement illogical are inherently, illogical.
I do not understand what the critic means when he says that I am "referring to logic in some kind of absolute sense." Though I could assume conclusions from his statement, he has not explained it sufficiently.
It is not logical to state that you must know all things as a prerequisite for logic. Statements and conclusions from those statements are logical or illogical, whether or not someone has all knowledge. Furthermore, his conclusion is not logically sound, because logic is not dependent upon knowledge. The critic has not made his point, but has instead established the fact that he does not have sufficient understanding of logic.
His next lengthy segment deals with the claim that "belief that there is no god" is a choice. If he is meaning "belief" as "confidence", then it is completely irrelevant. If he is playing on the notion that atheists claim they "have no faith in any god" then Mr. Slick is being deliberately deceptive.
Again, the issue is belief that there is no God. The critic does not address the issue sufficiently. Instead, he goes into "if then" statements in an attempt to conclude that I have been irrelevant and/or deceptive. But, if an atheist is confident there is no God, it means he has to believe there is no God. As far as implying that I am being deliberately deceptive, the atheist should not use ad hominem attacks. That is, he should not attack my character or supposed motives. Instead, he should address the issue at hand. As far as a statement "have no faith in any God" goes, I've yet to find an atheist who claims to be an atheist and has faith in any god at all.
An interesting note that Mr. Slick added in was that he is defending the bible God, which means I can now assume all references to God are either to Yahweh or Christ. Before now, I have been defending atheism vs. all gods as a whole (because atheism is so broad - it levels the playing field to be fair to theists), now I will refine my arguments to align specifically with these two gods (or one if you insist on the trinity [to simplify I will refer to Christ only because, if the trinity is how it happened, Christ is both the sky god, Yahweh, as well as the flesh-born god man, Jesus] which is what I will assume). I will pull back to a stance versus all gods later on.
Unfortunately, this atheist uses demeaning terminology in reference to the God of Christianity. The term "sky god" is inherently degrading. It would be refreshing to encounter atheists who are capable of intelligent and non-degrading terminology when discussing Christian theism. However, I do not expect such refreshment in the near future.
Now, if I was going to say that "there is no Christ", that statement would be EXTREMELY logical. Especially if we make the assumption that the bible is this Christ's revelation to mankind. Let us begin with the creation account of the bible in Genesis 1:
A statement is not "extremely" logical. It is either logical or it is not.
The paper this atheist has proposed to respond to is an article I have written. But, in the following responses by him, he digresses by going into Genesis and tries to draw similarities between it and Sumerian theology. Instead of addressing the actual article, he attempts to change the topic instead of dealing with the initial issues the article raised. This is a failure on his part.
On the first day god made the heavens and the earth (no sun, moon or stars yet, as they come into place on the fourth day). This begs the questions: is the earth yet spinning on its axis? What is the earth orbiting? Is the bible attempting to say the earth is the middle of the universe? On this day he also makes light. Interesting. Where is this light coming from? Is the earth covered in magma at this time, so it can provide the light? And then there was morning and evening (even though there was no such thing as the sun or moon, thus far).
On the second day god makes the firmament. Does your god think the earth is a flat, circular disc with a dome-shaped firmament above it separating the high waters (clouds) from the lower waters (bodies of water), along with the sun, moon, and stars flung into it as lamps for us? Much like the ancients believed? According to the wording of the second day, it would appear so. And there was the morning and evening without the sun or moon, again.
On the Third day god "brings forth" all plant life. This seems like a bad idea when you take into account that if the light god made on day one is coming from the earth, then the earth is a huge lake of lava. If the light is coming from who knows where else, then what is heating the surface of the earth? Is it sub-zero temperatures on the surface because the sun isn't around to warm it? And what about the plants' photosynthetic process? Where is the sun to provide this? And there was morning and evening on this day without the sun and moon, again.
On the fourth day, god finally brought in the sun, moon, and stars - which he proceeds to throw into the firmament. (The sun is not just a few miles away as a lamp hanging in the sky to govern daylight; it's a gigantic star that is millions of miles away that our planet orbits. The moon is not just a few miles away as a lamp to govern nightlight, it's a huge rock that orbits our planet. The stars are not tiny little lamps hanging a few miles above the earth; they are gigantic and mega-gigantic stars that are millions of light-years away.) God brought in the sun at a time when it is safe to assume that the plant life has all deceased, so this would leave god the necessity of re-doing day 3. On this day, we FINALLY have morning and evening with a sun and moon.
Need I go on? The biblical creation account is absolutely absurd and unrealistic; the second chapter of genesis has a contradictory account that is still ridiculous. It is just a rehashed combination of Sumerian and Canaanite mythological creation accounts. How about the flood?
Again, the weak attempt made by this atheist to analyze the first chapter of Genesis is not germane to the paper that he claims he is responding to. He can voice his opinion about the Genesis account being absurd, but he fails to take into account, due to his apparent ignorance on the topic, that there are viable explanations regarding the account of Genesis. One is that it is a typological representation of the creative act of God -- which I will not expand upon here. Another is called the Framework Hypothesis. The one I enjoy the most is the explanation that the Genesis account is from the perspective of viewing the accounts from the earth. In this perspective, the sun would have already existed and was giving light, but it's rays were not visible on the earth because the earth was formless and void with a cloudy atmosphere that allowed only the penetration of diffused light which is sufficient for plants to photosynthesize. One of the byproducts of cosmic rays from the sun and photosynthesis is that the atmosphere is cleared up. Thereby, this would reveal the presence of the sun. The order of the account of Genesis would make perfect sense from this perspective. Now, lest you think I'm making this up, I got this idea from reading a science journal where the author of an article offered this perspective. He did not mention Genesis, but when I read the article I noted the stark similarity.
Nevertheless, though I might offer overly brief explanations for Genesis, they are irrelevant to the initial topic. The critic needs to address the issue of the paper to which he allegedly responds, instead of digressing and essentially attacking a straw man. He needs to address the issue at hand. So far, he's failing to do this with any competence.
There is a similar story in Sumerian mythology. Noah collected at least two of all the millions of different species there are? And we should, logically, include marine life because if the salt and freshwater mixed, they would all die. The flood account in the bible claims that they entered the ark in one day (Gen 7:13 &14), which would mean at least 100 animals per SECOND would have to enter the ark to accomplish this, only there isn't even a fraction of the required space in a 300 x 50 x 30 cubit ark, even if you took babies. And then you would still need space for food, and the extra thousands of people you would need to bring to tend to them.
What does a similarity between Sumerian mythology and biblical theology have to do with the issues raised in my article? Nothing. Instead of the atheist logically addressing the topics I've raised, he seems to ignore them and raises other issues. Again, he has failed in his attempt to answer the article, and inadvertently reveals his apparent inability to rationally deal with the issues.
By the way, the flood account does not require that all the animals entered the ark in one day. Also, all that is necessary is that "kinds" enter the ark in order for some variations of species to survive. This atheist has exemplified the profound lack of knowledge on this topic and the proposed answers to criticisms. He should become sufficiently familiar with something in order to address its arguments, instead of blindly jumping into the fray and revealing his ignorance.
The bible has this and more than 200 other conflicts with (mostly) basic science that we simply know better than. Like referring to bats as birds in Lev. 11:13 or that the hare chews its cud in Deut 14:7 & 8, or referring to the earth as a flat disc like the top of a footstool that god rests his feet on in Isaiah 40:22
The atheist has made the mistake of imposing modern biological classifications upon ancient biblical categories. Nor does the Bible say that the earth is a flat disk. Again, the atheist is not addressing the issue in the article, and again displays his ignorance.
It should be unanimously agreeable that the god of the bible (Christ) lead oknows very little, if anything, about science. Not only this, I would pry you to alert me of any story in the bible that is historic. Some of the characters mentioned throughout the bible are historic, such as Caesar, however, the events surround them are have no historical verisimilitude. Characters such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus have no historical record.
Apparently, the rest of this article continues on in the same vein, ignoring the issues raised in my original article and attempting to effectively refute unrelated biblical issues.
When I also take into account that the story of Jesus is virtually synonymous with the Egyptian messiahs, Osiris and Horus, whom predated the story of Christ by 1500 years, whom ALSO were born on December 25th (in some manuscripts, by a virgin), visited by wise men bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, teaching in their temple(s) at age 12, having a history that goes blank to come back at age 30, to come lead their ministry, be transfigured before Ra and other Egyptian mythological characters (depending on which manuscript), and begood morning or you crucified on a cross for the redemption of mankind, what am I suppose to make of Jesus?
Though the critic is inaccurate in his assertions, I must ask again, what does this have to do with answering positions held by atheists, as my article addresses?
Am I suppose to treat Jesus' story as special? What is it that makes Christ any more real than Osiris or Horus? Do you deny these gods also?
Not only this, but then you add together the events surrounding the First Council of Nicaea of 325 AD and emperor Constantine's involvement with the fabrication of the bible, and it simply does not hold.
The bible is absolutely untenable. If there is a god that is concerning it, this god definitely does not exist. The god of the bible is an obvious creation of man.
I must ask again, what do these inaccurate criticisms have to do with answering positions held by atheists, as my article addresses?
So, if I say "there is no Christ", I am drawing from a list of claims made by your bible alone, along with the claims that would be required to retain it (such as "Christ is real") and weigh them against not only a void of evidence, but additional evidence that would point out its definite fabrication.
I must ask again, what do these inaccurate criticisisms have to do with answering positions held by atheists, as my article addresses?
The claim "there is no Christ" IS logical AND conclusive.
Perhaps this atheist would consider taking a course in logic. I certainly would recommend it.
Likewise, if you are defending the god of the bible (Christ), then the rest of the article is absolutely irrelevant and asinine.
Now I shall pull back to viewing your site as defending all gods.
Your article is based on your pretense of what you want to believe is true about the nature of atheistic thought.
Why don't you explain on your site WHY I should accept the claim that any god does exist, as logical?
What makes accepting an idea without any evidence logical? And what makes denying an idea without any evidence illogical? Are you aware that everything you refer to as "evidence" for a god NEVER passes the point of pleading for that god's existence?
I have yet to see any proof (meaning empirical data) for any god's existence. It is logical to conclude claims based on this. Why did science throw out spontaneous generation theory? Because there was no evidence to support it. Would you claim it is illogical to deny this theory in absolution? Given what we know does it make any sense to give the theory that flies develop spontaneously from decaying meat a shred of validity?
There is no god in any mythology (including the bible) that has a creation account that should be given a shred of validity, just like the spontaneous generation. All the while evolution has overwhelming evidence, even though it does not deny gods, but rather the gods' untenable creation accounts that deny evolution.
There isn't any point in addressing the numerous mistakes this person is making in his thinking, and it should be obvious that there is perhaps only a fleeting initial relationship to the original article to which this person alleges a response. It is obvious to me that he is not a critical thinker, and is rather ignorant about historic and biblical facts. I can only hope that this individual did not represent atheist capabilities.