by Matt Slick
This dialogue occurred on 12/15/2012 on Paltalk.com in the Christianity section. The atheists and other unbelievers have been increasing their presence there as they seek to attack the Christian faith. I went into a room run by atheists. This is the dialogue.
Matt: So, how do you know your atheism is true? Does it represent reality properly? Does your denial of God's existence properly represent actuality? If you cannot demonstrate that your atheism is true, then you are believing in something by faith.
Atheist: What is there to defend?
Matt: Your position. Do you hold your position based on evidence of logic or by faith?
Atheist: What position? I have no position to defend.
Matt: Smart, are you an atheist?
Atheist: I just don't' much give a ******* . . . do I believe in the god of Xianity . . . no.
Matt: Ok, so I want to offer a statement to you.
Atheist: I can't wait
Matt: I would assert that someone behaves based upon what he believes and not on what he doesn't believe in. Would you agree with that?
Atheist: I would agree with that
Matt: Okay, thank you. Now I want to make an understatement. The Bible says that God exists. Therefore God exists. I'm asking for a reason.
Atheist: Salem Lots also says Jerusalem, Maine exist.
Matt: If you attack that statement as being invalid, then I would say that you are behaving based on what you believe in--not what you don't believe in. In other words, your statement would reflect your belief that God does not exist in the Bible is not true--rather than "a lack of belief." What I'm trying to do is get you to see that you behave based upon what you believe. And, you actually believe that there is no God--is not just simply that you don't believe in God. Rather, you openly deny that God exists. That I'm trying to demonstrate.
Atheist: There is no historical evidence of the existence of the Xain god; it's that simple.
Matt: Do you know what a category mistake is? I asked because I believe you just committed it.
Atheist: Yes, I do.
Matt: For those who are still listening/reading, a category mistake is when you assign a characteristic to something that belongs to a different category [For example: Trying to judge the value of a painting by how much it weighs is a category mistake since it assigns the category of weight to an aesthetic value].
Atheist: You said a book says something, thus, it is true . . . I merely posted to that comment
Matt: The Christian God is transcendent and immaterial. Yet you said that is no historical evidence for the Christian God. What kind of historical evidence would you be looking for? Archaeological evidence? Are you committing a category mistake by asking for a type of physical evidence for the non-physical being?
Atheist: A book is a book . . . the Bible says god exists; Salem's Lot says Jerusalem, Maine exists
Matt: Do you want non-transcendent evidence for a transcendent being? I'm trying to engage you.
Atheist: Then just admit it's your belief. You're trying to force me to see things from your viewpoint.
Matt: I'm trying to show you that I suspect that you might be committing an error in logic by requesting physical evidence for non-physical being. If the logic that I'm asserting forces you, then perhaps you might want to succumb to it. But if my logic is not valid, why not point out that it is invalid?
Atheist: Fine with me. It is.
Matt: I'm only asking you to refine your criteria for determining a transcendental being. If the Christian God exists, he is transcendent, autonomous, non-contingent, etc. What kind of evidence would you expect from a transcendent, autonomous, non-contingent being? A footprint?
Atheist: I really don't care if a transcendental being exists or not.
Matt: But, you are in a Christian section in a room where you are an administrator. The room is called "Atheists versus Christians," and you tell me that you're not interested in whether or not the Christian transcendent being exists?
Matt: Now you're being inconsistent
Atheist: I am in my own room, if it bothers u, you are free to leave.
Matt: I know you are in your own room. I was only trying to point out that I think you're being inconsistent. That's all. If you think you are being consistent, could you please explain that to me?
Atheist: Do you take the bbl stories to be historical events?
Matt: Depends on which Bible story. Some are narrative. Some are parables. Some for poetry. And, I notice that you are not able to deal with what I was saying about your inconsistency, so you have to change the topic.
Atheist: How about the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. Do you believe it its true?
Matt: Of course I believe that the story of the crucifixion of Jesus is historically true. But look. You were the one who created this room in a Christian section and named the room the way you did. You know as well as I do that that is an invitation for Christians to come in here. So that's why I'm here. If this examination of your position is too much for you, please let me know. That is why you keep changing the subject.
Atheist: I didn't' change the subject . . . I simply don't care if such a being exists or not
Matt: If you don't care of such a being exists, why are you administrating a room in the Christianity section titled "Atheists versus Christians"? I find it to be inconsistent. You say that you don't care about it, but yet here you are.
After this, the conversation quickly deteriorated; and he ignored my inquiry regarding his consistency.
by Matt Slick