Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Atheistic fairy tales...

“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,”
(Romans 1:21–22)

Yeah, wouldn't it be nice if, in the real world, things just popped into existence out of nothing?


Anonymous said...

So... no intelligence needed to create it... but a genius is needed to explain it. HHHmmmm.

And yes, just in case your wondering this comment created itself out of nothing. As a matter of fact if you come back and look at it in a week it will evolved into a bigger, better comment... and in ten thousand years it will evolve from blog comment into a blog of it's own. Isn't nothing cool and fascinating with all the stuff it can do? I hope I get nothing for Christmas so I can have a universe of my own in no time. :')


Mike Felker said...

lol, couldn't have said it better myself. Currently, i'm wishing for a million $ to appear in my checking account out of nothing. Hasn't gotten there yet.

Rey Discomfort said...

Is this real world the same world thats only thousands of years old where everything was specially created?

Hardly 'Atheistic' when it almost has nothing to do with God, nor the claim that 'God' doesn't exist hasn't been mentioned.

The Apologetic Front said...

Yes Rey, its the same world. And perhaps I should have called it "materialistic" fairy tales. Semantically, its hard to please everyone :-)

Rey Discomfort said...

If you believe the world is only thousands of years old, how can you even began to understand the basics of physics?

The Apologetic Front said...

Obviously, Rey, i'm not a physicist. And I can understand the basics of physics by reading a physics book. Allow me to pose a question back to you: if you believe that nothing can create everything, then how can you understand the basics of physics?

This is a whole can of worms here, but I would submit that in a materialistic universe, you can't consistently do science at all.

Rey Discomfort said...

If you understood the basics of physics you would have no problem understanding that the earth is not thousands of years old. Unless of course you do understand the basics; because you read a book but choose to ignore the basics.

I never said that I believe nothing created everything; something may have very well created everything, but this is something I don't know, nor do I claim to know. But if 'something' is needed to create 'something from nothing' as you put it, what created the something?

I don't understand your last statement, are you asserting that everything is random?

The Apologetic Front said...

Rey, do men like Dr. Jason Lisle (Ph.D in astrophysics) understand the basics of physics? Or how about Dr. Russell Humphreys? He has been employed in a secular workplace as a physicist, so obviously he must understand something! This tired old canard from evolutionists that "if you just understood...then you'd believe" is completely bogus. I'd recommend dropping it.

I'm glad you are honest enough to disagree with mainstream physicists. I do as well, so it looks like i'm in good company :-)

"Who created the something?" That's a good question. In your worldview, I have no idea how you could possibly defend either. In my worldview, nothing created God because God is self-existent and transcends space and time.

And no, not everything is random. In my worldview, God sustains the universe to work in a regulative and consistent way. Thus, Christian theists can make consistent predictions about the future based on their worldview.

I'm referring here to the problem of induction. It would probably be a bit far fetched to debate about this issue here, as it would require lengthy explanations on both ends. I have not written or addressed this issue in detail, but plan to in the future. If you get a chance, listen to this short interaction between Christian philosopher Greg Bahnsen and atheist George Smith and you'll see where i'm coming from:


Rey Discomfort said...

You're wrong; those 2 are anything but mainstream physicist, not because they're creationist, but because they contributed almost nothing to mainstream science.

The only thing I know that has come from either or the 2 mentioned is Humphrey's own cosmological model of the universe thats not a part of mainstream science and has been picked apart by other physicist.

Your worldview requires special pleading -- i.e God lives outside of time and space.

So what accurate predictions have christian theist made in regards to the future?

The Apologetic Front said...

Rey, I wasn't arguing that the creationists mentioned were mainstream. And even if they have contributed to mainstream science, would that really matter to you? My comment about "mainstream physicists" is that you seem to be disagreeing or at least claiming uncertainty about the views of men like Hawkings in his view that "nothing created everything."

How is it special pleading that God lives outside time and space? Are you claiming that God cannot reveal His eternal nature to us so that we can know it for certain?

As far as accurate predictions, let's use a very broad one: the future will always be like the past. And I have a basis for this: God's sustaining power in the universe. This is the only basis for which we can do science.

Rey Discomfort said...

I misunderstood you and thought you were assuming (which would be right) that I disagreed with the 2 creationists you mentioned.

I don't believe that Hawkins has stated that 'nothing created everything', but even if he did, again you'd be right in assuming I'm skeptical about that claim.

Can anything outside of space and time be proven or shown to exist?

As far as accurate predictions, let's use a very broad one: the future will always be like the past. And I have a basis for this: God's sustaining power in the universe. This is the only basis for which we can do science.

This really isn't saying much of anything, since God hasn't been demonstrated to exist.

The Apologetic Front said...

"Can anything outside of space and time be proven or shown to exist?"

Yes, the laws of logic.

As to your last point, this wasn't about "proving" the existence of God; this was about providing a basis for science to work. My view is that the existence of God is not something that I "demonstrate," but something that must be assumed or presupposed.

Anonymous said...

The laws of logic are a human construct and logical reasoning does not govern the universe. Can you show provide me with some evidence that shows that the laws of logic exist outside of time and space?

That's the point, and thats what I was getting at when I stated that your God outside of time and space is special pleading .. because you're assuming through ignorance that God needs to exist .. unless of course it wasn't a statement of ignorance and you're able to demonstrate that God exists.


The Apologetic Front said...

"The laws of logic are a human construct."

Oh really? So, before humans came along, the universe could both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same place?

"logical reasoning does not govern the universe"

Actually, in a materialistic universe, logic cannot even exist. If the universe is simply matter-in-motion, there is no such thing as material abstract entities.

But as far as this goes, the laws of logic do not depend on material things since they are not material by nature. I assure you, this is a bigger problem for you than it is for me.

"God needs to exist"

God doesn't "need" to do anything. But in order to have rational thought, laws of logic, mathematics, science, etc. God is an absolute precondition that one must hold to in order to be consistent.

That is, God is "demonstrated" through the impossibility of the contrary.

Anonymous said...

I'm an atheist, not a materialist. Even conceding that the laws of logic 'exist' independently still does not prove God.

And, even if I couldn't account for the 'laws of logic' how exactly does that = atheism cant account for the laws of logic and only christianity can?

Is it possible for God to create an object that he can't lift or destroy?


The Apologetic Front said...

Saying you're an atheist doesn't really explain what you do believe. I'm a non-Muslim. What would that tell you about me? So you agree that the universe is more than just matter-in-motion? I'd like to know how you know this.

I agree that the laws of logic don't "prove" God. The laws of logic are things that are intrinsic to his very nature, and cannot exist apart from God.

"And, even if I couldn't account for the 'laws of logic' how exactly does that = atheism cant account for the laws of logic and only christianity can?"

This is a good question. Christianity can account for the laws of logic because God is by nature logical. And because we are made in His likeness, we will think His thoughts after Him. Thus, if you can't account for logic and rationality, you have no basis for which to trust your own rationality, since you'd be assuming what you are trying to prove.

And no, it is not possible for God to create something that he can't lift because that is logically absurd, just as it is not possible for me to be typing this and not typing this at the same time and same place. God cannot do that which is contrary to His nature and character, just as He cannot lie.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with anything. I don't know that the universe is matter in motion and I don't know that it's not.

That's the difference between my claim and yours, i'll at least admit that i don't know.

Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism can all make the same claims, what makes Christianity different?

If you're going to define God, you're going to need to provide evidence for your definition .. i.e. how do you know Gods nature...

Mark Hunter said...

It always comes down to this question;
what makes Christianity different?

The empty tomb.

The Apologetic Front said...

Rey, I appreciate your admitting that you don't know. That's certainly commendable in light of a lot of the atheists I come across who believe that there is nothing but matter in motion, and would die on that hill.

I ask that you think about this: how do you know what you know? How can you trust your senses? Are you rational? How do you know that the future will be like the past?

These are not trick questions; they are epistemological issues that any beginning philosophy student would face. If your worldview cannot account for these basic starting points, then your worldview is seriously flawed. If such issues interest you, i'd be happy to send you some debates where you can hear both sides interact and decide for yourself who has the more defensible worldview.

Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism do not make the same claims. Each of these religions are radically different from the other. In fact, many Buddhists are actually atheists! So that should tell you right there.

And as Mark pointed out above, the empty tomb is what makes Christianity different. We have a risen Savior who atoned for our sins.

My definition of God is what is presented in the Scriptures. And I know God's nature because He has revealed it to us. To put it simply: God is all-knowing, all-powerful, personal, eternal, and self-existent.

Anonymous said...

I can't say that I've adopted a single worldview but I can't find any that I currently find satisfactory. The only reason I've adopted or am even willingly to call myself an atheist is because I just don't believe in a God: insufficient evidence; looking at the world around me is not a convincing argument.

You're right, they don't make the same claims, but there is no reason followers from any religion could not claim the same thing; This is a good question. X can account for the laws of logic because God is by nature logical.

I'm not sure that I'd call many Buddhist atheist, the religion doesn't reject God or the belief in God .. and i am aware that many atheist adopt Buddhist philosophy for whatever reason.

An empty tomb is not a convincing argument. I understand what that suggests, and, I agree thats what separates Christianity from other religions. We have a risen Savior who atoned for our sins.

Again, the scriptures, for me, are not convincing enough. Especially since they were written, translated and interpreted by fallible men, just like everything else.

I see no Good reason for why I should adopt the scriptures as 'truth' over any other religious claims, none.

I would say in my opinion, but it's not only my opinion, but from what we can know from science -- a christian, biblical literalist worldview does not make sense in the light of what we do know; That the earth is billions not thousands of years old (though I would argue that the bible makes no claims about the age of the earth as far as i know).

That simpler forms of life evolved over time; again, the bible doesn't make any statements in regards to this, it could have very well be understood to some degree and from what I understand it was referenced in one way or another.

Anyways, these are things that I'm not willing to debate, not because I'm dogmatic about them and unwilling to look at your point of view, but because I'm not interested in watching the same debates and reading the same material.

A debate doesn't necessarily prove anything, but who is the better debater. You'd be better off throwing both parties into a boxing match.

I feel that i'm familiar enough with creationist materials to come to the conclusion that most are being deliberately dishonest in both their tactics and the things that they claim.

Chris said...

I find humorous the claim that "what we know" is that the universe is billions of years old and that life evolved over millions of years. How do we "know" this? Through logical analysis of the evidence we perceive through our senses, based on the fact that the future is like the past?

On what basis do you justify assuming your ability to reason is valid? On what basis do you justify assuming your senses are trustworthy? On what basis do you assume the future operates like the past?

Christians rightly assume such faculties and laws are trustworthy, because we presuppose the existence of a God who is logical in nature, created us with the ability to sense the world correctly, and upholds the universe such that it operates consistently. Atheists, however, have no way of justifying those assumptions. Yet, they insist that what they "know" based on the presupposed validity of those faculties and laws is proof against the world view which can actually account for them.

Anonymous said...

Any religion can presuppose those claims; the fact of the matter is that those Christians (and other religions) who interpret their holy books literally cannot account for evidence that explains both the universe and life contrary to what their holy book says.

I'd wager the only thing presupposed by atheist is that the 'laws' have not changed.

Your belief in a logical christian god relies on faith; faith that a god exist; faith that the scriptures are true.

Chris said...

Whether or not any religion can account for those presuppositions is debatable, but what is not debatable is that atheists cannot account for them. You claim the only thing presupposed by atheists is that the 'laws' have not changed, but that's only what they profess; it's not what they truly believe as demonstrated by their behavior. They do, in fact, believe and live by the assumed validity and rigidity of logic, science and morality. Their world view just can't account for them.

Christians can absolutely answer evidential and logical objections leveled by atheists to their world view and Scriptures (whereas adherents to other world views cannot). However, the fact that such objections are made prove the atheistic world view false.

My belief in a logical Christian God certainly contains an element of faith. However, that faith is not exercised in spite of logic and evidence; quite the contrary, it is supported by it.

Anonymous said...

So why can't atheist account for them? I didn't claim, I more or less guessed; i can't speak on behalf of other atheist and i won't.

So how do Christians whose worldview is shaped by a literal interpretation of the bible explain; evolution; the age of the universe; a global flood that not only left behind no evidence, but could not be supported by modern science(s)

I never said that said objections prove an atheistic worldview, there is no such thing as an atheistic worldview; all atheism says about a person is that they lack a belief in a God. It would be stupid of an atheist to state there is no God when he/she doesn't know and can't currently know.

Faith is exercised in spite of logic. Maybe I'm assuming wrong; but your God can't do anything illogical since it's not in his nature

Yet he was able to conceive himself though a surrogate mother and some years later, die and resurrect himself. If a person dying and coming back to life is plausible; please, logically explain it to me.

The Apologetic Front said...


Atheists can't account for logic for the same reason you can't. When you have no basis for trusting your rationality, senses, etc., then there is no reason to appeal to things like logic, math, science, etc. And when you do, you are borrowing from the Christian worldview.

Your views on evolution, the age of the earth, etc. will always be interpreted in light of your presuppositions. But given your atheism, you must borrow from my worldview in order to disregard it because of "evidence." This is because my worldview, not yours, can account for science.

The resurrection is plausible as long as God exists. I know nothing that is illogical about this. And again, I can say this because I have a logical worldview, whereas you don't. And i'm not saying this to be mean or nasty. Presuppositions must be challenged and I have a biblical mandate for doing so; but more than that, its because I really do care about you and your salvation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but none of those things are exclusively Christian; i.e. math, logic, science, etc.

The basis for my rationality is trusting my senses; the same as yours; faith -- it's not borrowing from your worldview because your world view is borrowing and assuming based off of "laws" that are already present.

My views on evolution and the age of the earth are based on the evidence -- regardless of my faith or lack of; or yours, the evidence still exists -- unless of course it's all just a 'trick'.

A presupposition is just that, a presupposition; and what we can determine through science, math and logic is that a literal interpretation of the bible doesn't fit with the evidence; so, reject all evidence that is contrary?

Your worldview still relies on faith; because its based off a book that may have been inspired by God, but was written, translated and interpreted by man.

I have no more reason to accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ to be true because it's recorded in the Gospels than to believe that Alexander the Great as a demigod because it was written.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous, I agree that there are other theistic worldviews that can "account" for the laws of logic and such. When one is presented, I am happy to do an internal critique of that worldview.

However, atheism is not a worldview that can account for these things. Why? Because it has no basis. Its interesting that you talk about all of this "evidence," but yet your worldview is based upon the baseless trusting of your senses. But that only begs the question. How do you know your senses are reliable?

My trusting in my senses are certainly based on faith, but not a blind faith; it is faith based upon the revelation of God.

Anonymous said...

The revelation of God as described in the bible, am I correct? You've used the same senses, but have come to a different outcome. I have no reason to believe that reality isn't what it seems; if God exists, why would he 'trick' us?

I can only trust my senses, because they're the only things I can use to analyze and interpret to understand this this 'reality'.

The Apologetic Front said...

Let me boil it down for you this way: you trust your senses and I trust mine. Obviously, we have different reasons for doing so. But in your worldview, if we each trust our senses and find that our views disagree with each other's, then who are you to say that my perceptions of reality are wrong?

Anonymous said...

Nobody, and even if I was correct, would it matter?

Now, evolution, physics, math the age of the earth -- I can criticize, and can call accuse you of being wrong; regardless of whatever perception of reality we cling to these things exist and just are; I have no reason to not believe in evolution -- i dont think a christian worldview has anything to do with it, i know many christians who accept evolution, the age of the earth and other scientific findings contrary to a literal interpretation of the bible.