Do You Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist?

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Dr. Frank Turek guest hosts for Dr. Brown today, explaining why he doesn’t have enough faith to be an atheist and taking your calls. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: “If you have a moral law then you must have a moral law giver.  You don’t get a moral law unless there’s a moral law giver.” – Frank Turek subbing in for Dr. Brown

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: “There’s excellent evidence that the New Testament is true and if the New Testament is true then Christianity is true.” – Frank Turek subbing in for Dr. Brown

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Steve Noble Guest Hosts for Dr. Brown

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Dr. Brown and Dr. Frank Turek Talk Apologetics

92 Comments
  1. I can’t listen to this yet, but now as I think about the subject, there doesn’t seem to be anything revealed, or that could be known concerning an absense of God.

    Faith is about things not seen, but it’s also about substance.

    Though God isn’t actually seen by us, there is substance all around us, substance which has all been made by him.

    By the substance of things which we can see, it is possible to receive things which we do not see which also has substance.

    There are all kinds of things in my house that has substance and exists, and not any of these physical things exists without having someone either having made or manufactured it.

    My computer and keyboard exists. I can’t see who it is that made it, but I do believe they either exist or have existed.

    If they continue to make computers and keyboards, I can safely assume that those people exist, unless I believe they came about some other way, which to me would be impossible, if not simply ridiculous.

    I’ve heard it said that people tend to believe whatever they want to believe, and that truth isn’t always of importance to all people at all times. I think we all can relate to that.

    Some people believe whatever it is that they want to believe. To them, truth doesn’t matter.

    So why would anyone want to believe there is no God? Is is just that they don’t wish to be held accountable for anything? Is that it?

    But what about all the benefits of God? What about he air we breathe? It doesn’t hurt any of us to thank him for it.

    I’ve noticed that when I become thankful to God, my human spirit can be lifted, and I feel more filled with life.

    We are taught to be thankful to God by the scriptures are we not? Coincidence or not?

    I believe there’s a connection of truth there.

    And shouldn’t I base what I believe on truth, that is, shouldn’t truth be my foundation to build upon?

    And didn’t Jesus say that he is the truth? Doesn’tthe scriptures say that he is the foundation of the Church?…another coincidence?

    I believe there’s a true connection there. Isn’t it through these kind of connections that something is built? I suppose I could call it my faith in God.

    I would have trouble making these kind of connections if I had not heard the word of truth wouldn’t I?

    So then I can conclude that faith comes by hearing….That’s also in the Bible isn’t it?

    It does indeed make sense doesn’t it? God does teach us things doesn’t he? He does indeed exist.

    But where does an Athiest go? He seems to live in a cul-de-sac, that doesn’t go anywhere. He doesn’t seem to be on a journey.

    His way is a dead end.

  2. Frank Turek has way too much faith to be an atheist. It doesn’t take any faith to be an atheist. Frank’s book contains nothing new but just the same old Christian apologetic smoke and mirrors. Frank insists the universe came from nothing and so he demands atheists explain how nothing created everything. Only theists make that absurd claim. I don’t know any atheists or cosmologists who claim the universe came from nothing. The current scientific consensus, based on empirical observation tells us that matter and energy can neither be created or destroyed. Therefore the stuff the universe is made of has always existed in one form or another. This eliminates any need for God working special magic and completely annihilates the First Cause Argument which is based on the fallacy of Special Pleading anyway. For if God could always have existed so could have matter and energy. That at least has some explanatory power. Saying, “God did it” explains nothing at all.

    I just laughed so hard when Frank was trying to prove the New Testament is really historical. His proof that Jesus resurrected is that witnesses saw Jesus after he was in suspended animation for three days. However these “witnesses” are all part of the SAME STORY. You can’t use characters in a story to prove the story is true. We would need witnesses INDEPENDENT of the gospels for proof that this story is true and there aren’t any of those. So basically what Frank is doing is no different than proving Superman can fly by citing the testimonies of the key witnesses, Lois Lane, Perry White and Jimmy Olson. I mean talk about a circular argument! Yep, when you boil it all down there is really only one apologetic argument: “The Bible’s true because it says it is.” No Frank, that’s just not going to cut it.

    Dr. Brown doesn’t waste his listeners time talking about things he knows nothing about. Frank knows nothing atheism or science. No one who has ever gotten a whiff of science would ever fall for that silly First Cause Argument.

  3. But where does an Athiest go? He seems to live in a cul-de-sac, that doesn’t go anywhere. He doesn’t seem to be on a journey.

    The atheist searches for the truth. The theist mistakenly thinks he’s already found it and so has given up the search. And that is why the world is leaving theism behind, in the past where it belongs.

  4. Van,

    Imagine finding you here 🙂

    Have you read Frank’s book?

    I am not so sure you know smoke and mirrors if you took off your blindfold.

    Are you sure that the eyes of your heart have not atrophied from lack of use for so long?

    You wrote:
    ” No one who has ever gotten a whiff of science would ever fall for that silly First Cause Argument.”

    No one except Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon, etc. The founders of science think that you are the silly one.

    If the world is leaving theism behind, it is because it is going the wrong way following their blind leaders.

    Frank did a fine job logically, scientifically and historically. But you, Van, are completely irrelevant as to your supposed atheistic claims. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

  5. I didn’t hear all of Dr. Turek’s show.

    Has he ever led an atheist to the Lord with his arguments?

    I remember studying that book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” and thinking that if I could just memorize it well enough, I could argue atheists into faith.

    Never happened.

    Yes, I’ve know atheists who became believers. But it wasn’t through apologetic.

  6. Van said,
    >>therefore the stuff the universe is made of has always existed in one form or another. This eliminates any need for God working special magic

    Agreed. Either energy is eternal or God is eternal. (or something else is eternal.)

    But, at some point you have to believe in the eternal and this is a faith-based proposition, as far as I’ve ever heard.

    The energy of seventy septillion suns is a God-like force. So, atheists and believers are not that far apart, seems to me.

  7. If the universe always existed, are we to think that our computers and keyboards always existed also?

    I wonder which would be a bigger thing to happen, all the universe to happen by itself, or a computer or keyboard to happen by itself.

    I do not believe Atheists look for truth. Where’s the proof they look for truth?

  8. Ray,

    >>I do not believe Atheists look for truth. Where’s the proof they look for truth?

    I think you mean “The Truth.” i.e. a spiritual or transcendent truth.

    But, atheists are not different than anyone else. Some are agenda-driven. Others are more objective.

  9. Bo,

    >>No one except Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon, etc. The founders of science think that you are the silly one.

    I don’t know what the founders of science would think about this modern crop of atheist supremacists.

    But, I do know that lots of top-tier scientists are believers.

    Atheist supremacists have this mythology that they created and own science. It’s nonsense, of course.

  10. Let’s see if an Athiest will look for truth:

    True or False?

    If the universe happened by itself, it would be lesser of an event, odd occurance, or stranger event than all of the computers and keyboards in the world happening to exist by themselves. T or F ?

    If we really seached for truth wouldn’t we have to agree that it would seem more likely that all of the world’s computers and keyboards could happen to exist simply on their own, than for an entire universe to do so, because all of the computers and keyboards in the world do not compare to the greatness of an entire universe.

    Now let’s see if an Athiest will agree to that.

    Let’s see if it’s true that Athiests search for truth, or if it’s generally untrue.

    Here’s their opportunity. Let’s see what happens.

  11. If I truly believed that the universe happened by itself, and I lived true to what I believed, how could I ever think that letters that appear on a computer screen were caused by some kind of being?

    It would be a much lesser event wouldn’t it, that letters might appear on a computer screen by itself, than an entire universe happen all by itself, for which is the greater complexity?

  12. Ray,

    I think you are using the complexity argument. You think the universe is too complex to have happened without the guiding hand of a higher intelligence.

    I doubt you’ll win-over any atheists with this line of reason. They argue that with an infinite amount of time available, even the most improbable can and will happen.

    And, they don’t think it happened by pure random chance. They think the natural laws of energy and matter have an ordering effect. (like the Fibonacci sequence)

    — obviously, I’m being simplistic but I think I am summarizing their position accurately.

    TO BE CLEAR — I am a creationist. But, I do try to understand those who believe differently than I do. Have you really tried to understand the other side of this debate?

  13. I think the strongest argument against atheism is not from the head but from the heart.

    Where does atheism give any meaning or value to our lives?

    Atheism offers nothing more than a meaningless life followed by oblivion.

    This is hard to distinguish from my idea of hell.

    We Christians may condemn unbelievers to hell but atheists condemn everybody to hell!

    So, it’s no wonder that people don’t flock to atheism. It is the natural inclination for humans to seek out meaning and purpose.

  14. RE Van

    I just laughed so hard when Frank was trying to prove the New Testament is really historical. His proof that Jesus resurrected is that witnesses saw Jesus after he was in suspended animation

    Van, I have read your mocking posts,and why waste anytime if a mocker/talker. Your hear on a bent to spew your foolishness. Enough, glad you found your comedy, although inside you must really be in agony.

  15. jon,

    Personal attack like yours just cement Van’s position.

    I think this is why guys like Van come to sites like this one. Your response gives him fodder to strengthen his own skepticism.

    Instead of attacking Van, respond to his post with logic, clarity and, of course, faith.

  16. No one except Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon, etc. The founders of science think that you are the silly one.”

    > You only had to go back a few centuries to find legitimate scientists who might have thought the First Cause Argument was valid.

    If the world is leaving theism behind, it is because it is going the wrong way following their blind leaders.

    > We’re not following any leaders.

    Frank did a fine job logically, scientifically and historically. But you, Van, are completely irrelevant as to your supposed atheistic claims. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

    > I showed precisely why Frank did NOT do a fine job logically, scientifically or historically. Now that critique stands unchallenged for now. You have to show exactly why my objections to Frank’s arguments are not valid before you can say that Frank did a fine job in spite of them. So you can stick to your story all you want, however until you respond to my objections you’ve said exactly nothing and they stand.

    “If we really seached for truth wouldn’t we have to agree that it would seem more likely that all of the world’s computers and keyboards could happen to exist simply on their own, than for an entire universe to do so, because all of the computers and keyboards in the world do not compare to the greatness of an entire universe.”

    Computers look like they are the product of design because they are designed. However the universe does not look as though it was designed. Apparently it’s still expanding. In such a vast chaotic place pockets of complexity would form naturally. Under certain circumstances so would life in order to bridge the gap between the heat of the sun and the cold of space. So that is the purpose of life: to move heat. Since that’s all life is about we can make whatever else we want out of it. I guess that notion scares a lot of people.

    Greg Allen
    “I think the strongest argument against atheism is not from the head but from the heart.
    Where does atheism give any meaning or value to our lives?”

    > Atheists are free to give their lives whatever meaning and purpose they choose. Christians give a false meaning to their lives and waste their lives in intellectual servitude to false beliefs.

    Greg, you did a good job of explaining why atheists don’t buy into the various arguments theists often use. The thing is that we just don’t base anything on argumentation or ideology but only on data and evidence. We believe skepticism is a virtue and faith is vice. And I think everyone should read the Bible and decide for themselves if the extraordinary claims believers make about it are really true.

  17. Gen 1:14
    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    It’s wonderful to recognize the design of God which me ordered concerning the heaven and the earth.

    Each morning the sun arises and each evening it sets. Who does not recognize that this is by the design of God?

    Where would be the seasons and the years were it not for this design God made?

    How would we distinguish one day from another without God’s design?

    Can anyone prove all this is not by design?

    Why is it that Athiests always deny truth? Is it that they have a hatred for it? They seem to me to love denial. Do they ever build up anyone in the truth? Do they love truth for the truth’s sake?

    It seems to me that they want to destroy truth when they see it.

    Why is there such a thing as the study of astronomy?

    Isn’t it because there is an order to all that an astronomer sees?

    Or are they simply studying chaos? No. They are studying order and design, how things interact with each other.

    Have you ever seen schools that put many random objects in a mixer, turn it on, and they spend their time studying it’s contents?

    Why is it that people don’t do that? Isn’t it because they tend to study things that have a design?

    Should one study mathematics if numbers had no design? Or, should one study language if letters and sounds had no design?

    Even the sound a whale makes is by design.

    I suppose some might not recognize design of things because they don’t want to be aware.

    I suppose it’s because they have no love for the truth.

    Why?

  18. Greg, While you are right that we allow for opposing views that does not mean that we should not be intellectually honest about the intentions Van has done on this blog. Van is not hear to learn, he is an intellectual terrorist.

  19. Van,

    > Atheists are free to give their lives whatever meaning and purpose they choose.

    Everybody is free to do that — or not. This isn’t a belief intrinsic to atheism.

    I see nothing in atheism, itself, that gives meaning or value to any person or action.

    Nothing in atheism gives a logical reason to value Martin Luther King over Pol Pot. To value your own baby over Joseph Stalin.

    In atheism, none of them will be even a foot note in history because there will be no trace that any of this ever happened.

    So, hug your kid or shoot yourself in the head — it doesn’t matter. The universe is impersonal and you don’t matter one wit in it. Nor do I. Nor does anyone.

    In contrast — right or wrong — we Christians say you matter. You are loved by God and your life has meaning.

    So, I’m not too worried about “theism” fading away. If I’m correct — and there is a loving God — he will continue to draw people to himself.

    But,if you are right — it doesn’t matter one wit that I’m wrong. Or that you are right. Or that anyone was ever right or wrong.

    Soon enough, the universe will contract back in on itself and there will be absolutely no evidence that any of this ever happened.

  20. Jon,

    No offense, brother, but you pointed your criticism at Van, personally, rather than either addressing his argument or stating what you believe. This strengthens Van’s belief that atheists own logic and reason.

    As for Van’s “sincerity” — do we have any reason to doubt it?

    Clearly, he thinks people like us are bad for the world. While I don’t personally know Van, his post have all the hallmarks of a supremacist.

    Supremacism may be noxious but its typically sincere.

    And, it should be added, if he’s a supremacist — he’s probably alone here!

  21. “Each morning the sun arises and each evening it sets. Who does not recognize that this is by the design of God?”

    > If you were on Mars or Venus or any one of billions of other planets orbiting a star you would have a similar experience. We see stars being born, we see them burned out and in all stages in between. There is no reason to believe the star in our particular solar system is a special creation, or the moon which we know is the result of a huge collision.

    “Why is it that Athiests always deny truth? Is it that they have a hatred for it? They seem to me to love denial. Do they ever build up anyone in the truth? Do they love truth for the truth’s sake?

    > We deny your claim to have the truth. You have no evidence whatsoever that any of your “truth” claims even might be true.

    Everybody is free to do that — or not. This isn’t a belief intrinsic to atheism.

    > You aren’t as long as you are in intellectual servitude to the dogmas and doctrines of your particular religion. You are free to reject these any time and then decide for yourself what purpose you’d like to give your own life.

    “I see nothing in atheism, itself, that gives meaning or value to any person or action.
    Nothing in atheism gives a logical reason to value Martin Luther King over Pol Pot. To value your own baby over Joseph Stalin.”

    > That’s because atheism is simply a lack of belief in God. It doesn’t tell people what has value the way your religion pretends to. Atheism allows a person to make their own value judgments. That’s frightening for many people and so the cling to their religion.

    “In atheism, none of them will be even a foot note in history because there will be no trace that any of this ever happened.
    So, hug your kid or shoot yourself in the head — it doesn’t matter. The universe is impersonal and you don’t matter one wit in it. Nor do I. Nor does anyone.
    In contrast — right or wrong — we Christians say you matter. You are loved by God and your life has meaning.”

    > That is a very weak and absurd argument.Yes the universe is impersonal and we don’t matter. But we are social animals and we matter to each other. Nothing we do is going to matter billions of years from now. But it matters now. If there is no God life still has meaning although not very much if you waste it worshiping a God that does not exist.

    “Soon enough, the universe will contract back in on itself and there will be absolutely no evidence that any of this ever happened.”

    > If that’s what’s going to happen, and it probably is, then it will become extremely hot and dense and expand again into a new universe.

    “Clearly, he thinks people like us are bad for the world. While I don’t personally know Van, his post have all the hallmarks of a supremacist.”

    > Do you think atheists are bad for the world? You clearly implied that the lives of atheists have no meaning, besides calling them “lost” because they don’t believe what you do and have the gall to accuse someone else of being a supremacist. Don’t you think that demonstrates a lack of self-awareness?

  22. There is every reason to believe that God created everything by Jesus Christ. I know I couldn’t list them all.

    Nothing any man has ever seen in this world would suggest that the sun arises each morning and sets by accident.

    Has any man ever witnessed an accident that resulted in something so wonderful and amazing as that?

    Has anything good, really good, ever come about because of an accident? Without God intervening, or at least existing, during or after an accident, there would be no good to come out of any accident, ever.

    No accident ever resulted in something coming out of nothing. To believe so would require some kind of phaith, something I don’t have and wouldn’t ever want.

  23. I don’t even know what that is, but whatever it is I don’t want it. Whatever would cause me to not want to acknowledge God and give him the credit which is due his name, for making a sunrise, a sunset, and whatever else I see that is the work of his hands, I have no interest in at all, for what good could it possibly do?

  24. Van,

    >>> Do you think atheists are bad for the world? You clearly implied that the lives of atheists have no meaning, besides calling them “lost” because they don’t believe what you do and have the gall to accuse someone else of being a supremacist. Don’t you think that demonstrates a lack of self-awareness?

    It’s hard not to notice that you didn’t deny being a supremacist!

    You just accused me of hypocrisy.

    I’m fine with atheists, BTW. Atheism, as a movement, brings some positive things to the world. I certainly don’t think your beliefs are a “vice” as you called my beliefs.

    But, this new rise of atheist supremacism gives me the creeps, since my people were slaughtered and sent to labor camps in an attempt to make society better by purging society of religious people like me.

    In any regard — I was careful to stop short of calling you one. I don’t know you. But your posts do have the hallmark of supremacism.

    For example, atheist supremacists have a mythology that they created and own science and logic.

    (This is the same way white supremacists have a mythology they they created and own civilization.)

  25. Van said,
    >> That is a very weak and absurd argument.Yes the universe is impersonal and we don’t matter. But we are social animals and we matter to each other. Nothing we do is going to matter billions of years from now. But it matters now.

    This is where I doubt I’ll ever find common ground with a guy like Van.

    He will go as far as admitting that humans don’t matter. He will even acknowledge that he thinks we are animals.

    But I doubt he’ll accept the moral and ethical ramifications of that belief system.

    I alluded, in my post to him, that my relatives were slaughtered by atheists in an attempt to create an atheist state. You may have guessed that my relatives lived as Christians in Stalinist Russia. I’m not Jewish but that experience was group’s holocaust.

    Where does atheism make slaughtering and raping my relatives wrong?

    So, when I hear guys like Van call my religion a vice, I hear echos from history and it gives me the creeps.

  26. And, as an aside:

    Van’s statement “but it matters now” is a faith-based statement.

    Don’t get me wrong — I make plenty of faith-based statements myself.

    I just am rejecting the proposition that religious people are faith-based and atheists are logic-based.

    Both groups are a mix of both.

  27. He will go as far as admitting that humans don’t matter. He will even acknowledge that he thinks we are animals.

    > Do you Bible believers EVER pick up a science book? Humans are a species of ape, just as we are primates and mammals. And all the whining in world will never change that fact. Welcome to the animal kingdom.

    “But I doubt he’ll accept the moral and ethical ramifications of that belief system.
    I alluded, in my post to him, that my relatives were slaughtered by atheists in an attempt to create an atheist state. You may have guessed that my relatives lived as Christians in Stalinist Russia. I’m not Jewish but that experience was group’s holocaust.”

    > That is just not true. The Stalinists were trying to create a communist state where everyone shares everything just like the gospels demand. They failed because they rejected evolution by natural selection and instead adopted a form of biology that was called Lysenkoism. This led the Russian leaders to believe they could grow wheat on the frozen tundra. Your relatives starved to death because their leaders rejected modern science the same science you reject.

  28. Van said,

    >> That is just not true. The Stalinists were trying to create a communist state where everyone shares everything just like the gospels demand.

    My familied lived it. It’s true.

    We were killed and jailed because we were a “vice” — a drag the relgiion-free society. And we didn’t just starve to death (that happened, too) — we were arrested and sent to camps because we were not atheists.

    No offense, but your history revisionism is another hallmark of a supremacist mindset. It’s similar to the holocaust deniers.

    >> Do you Bible believers EVER pick up a science book?

    This kind of asbsurd stereotyping of those different than you makes you seem like a supremacist.

    If you think all scientists are atheists, you are living in a bubble of bigotry — not a fact-based reality.

    I, myself, LOVE science. I have a Bachelor of Science degree (in technology but still…) and really enjoyed the extra dose of science classes I had to take at my public university. (Several of my fantastic professors were believers.) My whole adult life I’ve kept studying and following science issues. Until quite recently, I tutored science to college-bound kids.

    But your own mythology about atheism “owning” science doesn’t allow for the millions of Christians, like me, who value science.

  29. Van, what does DNA tell us? Does it say that humans came from apes?

    People have looked at skeletons and concluded that birds came from dinosaurs. Crazy I say.

    What science can tell us from the study of DNA (by some very strong suggestion) is that both man and beast have the same maker.

  30. We were killed and jailed because we were a “vice” — a drag the relgiion-free society. And we didn’t just starve to death (that happened, too) — we were arrested and sent to camps because we were not atheists.

    > There’s a little more to it than that. Stalin was a power-mad, paranoid dictator and he killed loyal communists as well, and anyone else that he thought was a threat to his power, religious or not. Stalin demanded absolute loyalty to the State and so any other organization people might have some allegiance to such as the Church, the Stalinists attempted to get rid of. No atheists today defend that kind of political oppression and the current leaders of Russia certainly do not either.

    This kind of asbsurd stereotyping of those different than you makes you seem like a supremacist.

    > You said that I admitted that I thought humans are animals. The science books tell us that humans are a species of ape, we are primates as well as mammals. You are welcome to disagree but that is what they all say and you should know that.

    But your own mythology about atheism “owning” science doesn’t allow for the millions of Christians, like me, who value science.

    > It’s not atheism that owns science, it’s materialism. The reason for this is because it’s the only thing that works. Whether scientists are religious or not, when they try to figure out how things work in the natural world they look for naturalistic explanations. It’s the only way we can learn and therefore advance as a civilization.

    Van, what does DNA tell us? Does it say that humans came from apes?

    > The DNA classifies humans as a species of ape along with Chimps, Bonobos, Gorillas and Orangutans. All of these species share a common ancestor.

    People have looked at skeletons and concluded that birds came from dinosaurs. Crazy I say.
    What science can tell us from the study of DNA (by some very strong suggestion) is that both man and beast have the same maker.

    > Yes, Mother Nature. That’s what science tells us. Religion tells us that maker God. So science and religion are in direct conflict. To say otherwise is simply not true.

  31. Van, You need a new mother and a new nature.

    Galatians 4:26
    But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

    There’s a city from above whose builder and maker is God. Jesus is in charge of it and no one gets in without Jesus. He’s the only one that can get a man into it, for it is a city of righteousness and he is the only deliverance God has given us,
    for all men have sinned and fallen short except him.

    This world is bent on rejecting God. Therefore it rejects truth and in it’s exchange, it fabricates lies.

    In heaven when men meet the Lord and all their saved family members, there will not be found any king ape, chimp, or gorilla, that would be their first decendant.

    Myths, lies, corruption, deceit, deception, and all those that reject the truth will not be allowed in. Those who reject God and the free offer of salvation through the obedience of Christ, will suffer damnation. They will burn in hell, as they will find no way out of their sins.

  32. Van,

    Concerning the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of mass and energy)that you assume proves that there to be no creator:

    “Skeptics often scoff at the biblical creation account because it invokes a supernatural event for the origin of time, space, and matter. Yet, if we search the field of cosmology in the last one hundred years we find that the theories on the “natural” (as opposed to supernatural) origin of matter are few and far between. There are only two options for the origin of matter: it is either eternal or it appeared at a finite point in the past…

    The First Law of Thermodynamics is called a “law” because within the bounds of scientific observation it has been proven true beyond all reasonable doubt. In effect, the First Law states that you and I can neither create nor destroy matter. Therefore, it follows that if something which exists (you and I) cannot create matter, then something which doesn’t exist cannot create it either!

    Matter cannot create itself and, in the real world, cannot arise from nothing. Within the bounds of natural law all effects must have a cause…

    The creationist’s model begins with an infinitely intelligent, omnipotent, transcendent Creator who used intelligent design, expertise or know-how to create everything from the sub-atomic particles to giant redwood trees. Was it a miracle? Absolutely!

    Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter).”

    The atheist’s model begins with an even more impressive miracle – the appearance of all matter in the universe from nothing, by no one, and for no reason. A supernatural event. A miracle! However, the atheist does not believe in the outside or transcendent “First Cause” we call God. Therefore, the atheist has no “natural explanation” nor “supernatural explanation” for the origin of space-time and matter. Consequently, the atheistic scenario on the origin of the universe leaves us hanging in a totally dissatisfying position. He begins his model with a supernatural event. This supernatural event, however, is accomplished without a supernatural agent to perform it.”- http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/thermodynamics.html

    I thought you said that you did not believe in miracles and fairy tales…looks like you do.

  33. I should find it easier to believe that cows jump over moons than to believe that everything was made from nothing…..by nothing.

  34. If Nothing ever asked a man why he didn’t believe that Nothing made everything, the man could just tell Nothing to take a hike, for a man doesn’t need Nothing, as he would be no richer for receiving Nothing. He could simply take it or leave it.

    But if a man is asked of God why he didn’t believe God made everything, he would be required to give a legitimate answer, as God has power over everything he has made.

    Yes, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom as the Bible teaches. It’s the beginning of everything, for without any wisdom, what can a man receive?

  35. Ray,

    And do not forget…for nothing.

    If all this hogwash that Van believes is true nothing said on this blog means anything…whether by him or us. It is all just random chemical and electrical reactions. Our minds and thoughts are really just figments of our imaginations…except that there really would be no imaginations…just matter and energy in a meaningless spiral…disintegrating…and finally nothing once again.

    “I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn’t make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn’t be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona’s innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia’s love when it was proved: but that was too late. ‘His praise is lost who stays till all commend.’ The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn’t deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?”― C.S. Lewis

    Shalom

  36. Then again, if Nothing asked a man something, the man wouldn’t even be aware of the question, for the question would never have been asked. The man would simply be by himself with nothing.

    If nothing asked a man something, it seems to me that nothing would have been asked. At any rate, anything from nothing, is nothing, unless something was made from nothing by God.

  37. Atheism makes no sense. I tried, but it makes no sense. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” says the scripture. (I Thess 5:21)

  38. “Atheism makes no sense. I tried, but it makes no sense. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” says the scripture. (I Thess 5:21)”

    > The fact that most of the people in the world do not believe in this deity demonstrates that the existence of the Christian certainly has not been proved. Since the existence of God has not been proved it makes no sense to believe it does. Therefore the only thing that makes sense on the question of God is atheism. An atheist is usually just a person who thinks the evidence for God is on the same level as the evidence for werewolves.

    The problem for creationists is that they cannot prove there was ever just nothing, absolutely nothing. I challenge the creationists to prove that total nothingness is even possible. Scientists believe that there has always been something. So the stuff that makes up the universe has always existed. The First Cause Argument is based on the Fallacy of Special Pleading, which is why cosmologists and other scientists, philosophers, logicians and anybody who has learned the art of critical thinking rejects it. If God could have always existed so could have matter and energy. All these Bible quotes and absurd meanderings by C.S. Lewis prove only that you have no evidence or data to support any of your religious claims.

  39. It can easily be demonstrated that life cannot come from non life. It is absurd.

    The evidence for the existence of a Christian God (prophecy, resurrection accounts, ect..) is far beyond that of the evidence that conscious life could have somehow arisen from non-life. The naturalistic theory of evolution may actually be the most absurd creation myth that humans have ever believed.

    The scientific evidence suggests, that even the chemicals that make up life (proteins, DNA, RNA) could not form on their own, let alone in the correct sequence. How do you get these chemicals to stick together without contamination?

    For a simple cell to form, you have an almost innumerable amount of chicken and egg scenarios. DNA is required to make proteins. 50-100 specified proteins are required for protein synthesis. What made the proteins that have been required to make the proteins? There is no scientific answer to this, just wishful speculations.

    Additionally, the truth is that scientists have no idea how matter could suddenly develop the ability to think. There is simply no viable scientific theory for this. It has been said that “I think, therefore God is”.

    One could go on and on, but the evidence that life arose without the aid of a designer is not scientific or logical in anyway. We are all left to ponder the mystery of life and how we got here. Why isn’t there just nothing?

    I for one, find the evidence for the Christian God to be overwhelming. He has revealed Himself. He has not left us on the dark. He has told us things that were going to happen before they happened to prove that the message was from Him. This would be Dr. Brown’s area of expertise (Messianic prophecy).

    Blessings,
    Peter

  40. > It’s easy to make those kinds of ridiculous claims. However if it’s so easy to demonstrate that life cannot come from non-life then let’s see your demonstration. If you ignore this challenge then your argument fails. Just to let you know your argument is a logical fallacy known as a knowledge gap argument and so it fails anyway. What you are doing is like looking at a magic trick that you cannot figure out how it’s done and then assuming it was really magic. Just more proof that we atheists do indeed own logic. None of you Bible believers can recognize even the most obvious logical fallacies. Once a believer learns the art of critical thinking they reject their faith.

    The evidence for the existence of a Christian God (prophecy, resurrection accounts, ect..) is far beyond that of the evidence that conscious life could have somehow arisen from non-life. The naturalistic theory of evolution may actually be the most absurd creation myth that humans have ever believed.

    > Name it and claim it. What evidence?

    The scientific evidence suggests, that even the chemicals that make up life (proteins, DNA, RNA) could not form on their own, let alone in the correct sequence. How do you get these chemicals to stick together without contamination?

    > Why don’t you lick up a science book and find that out all by yourself? The reason is because you don’t want to know the truth about how things really work in the universe.
    For a simple cell to form, you have an almost innumerable amount of chicken and egg scenarios. DNA is required to make proteins. 50-100 specified proteins are required for protein synthesis. What made the proteins that have been required to make the proteins? There is no scientific answer to this, just wishful speculations.

    > Scientists only work with facts not wish-thinking. Wishful thinking is what you Christians do and it has never led to any knowedge whatsoever.

    Additionally, the truth is that scientists have no idea how matter could suddenly develop the ability to think. There is simply no viable scientific theory for this. It has been said that “I think, therefore God is.

    > The ability to think did not just suddenly develop. It took 4 billion years for this to happen. Since you cannot comprehend that vast amount of time there is no way you could possibly know what could take place over that long of a time-span.

    One could go on and on, but the evidence that life arose without the aid of a designer is not scientific or logical in anyway. We are all left to ponder the mystery of life and how we got here. Why isn’t there just nothing?

    > You could ramble on for ever and every one of your absurd arguments will easily be refuted. You haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.

    I for one, find the evidence for the Christian God to be overwhelming. He has revealed Himself. He has not left us on the dark. He has told us things that were going to happen before they happened to prove that the message was from Him. This would be Dr. Brown’s area of expertise (Messianic prophecy).

    > Wrong again. Dr. Brown claims Jesus is mentioned in the Old Testament. However he has lost every debate in which he has attempted to prove this. Evidence for a historical Jesus simply does not exist.

  41. Van,

    You wrote:
    “> Scientists only work with facts not wish-thinking. Wishful thinking is what you Christians do and it has never led to any knowedge whatsoever…

    > You could ramble on for ever and every one of your absurd arguments will easily be refuted. You haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.”

    That is not an answer or proof. It is just a claim that you cannot prove. Why do you not actually show us proof that life can come from nonlife. You cannot. If it is easy to refute Peter, do it instead of blabbing on and on about how silly you think he is.

    You are making claims and making fun and making accusations and making yourself irrelevant, but you are not proving anybody wrong or yourself correct. You did not demonstrate how life came from nonlife nor how basic proteins came into existence. You did not show how the ability to think came to exist. You just stated, without proof, that it did in 4 billion years. No proof. You are bluffing and you know it.

    Call! Show your hand.

  42. Wait, what? “Dr. Brown has lost every debate in which he has attempted to prove Jesus is mentioned in the Old Testament?”

    Christ or Messiah is mentioned many times throughout the Old Testament just not as Jesus. The link can be clearly made by comparing Old and New Testament scripture. I highly doubt Dr. Brown has “lost” any debate on this.

    It’s like reading about a tall, green and brown thing with part of it extending in all kinds of directions with green things extending from those parts. It grows in the dirt with water and Sunlight. Then later reading that it has been named Tree and we are supposed to refer to it as such.

  43. Hi there friends. I thought I would join in the fun.

    I have a question for you Van, in light of your challenges above on biogenesis, saying our position is not much more than a magician’s trick.

    Does the following statement sound reasonable to you?

    Various theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that in some average sense about half of the amino acid sites [in any given protein] must be specified exactly.

    The citation given for this claim (not necessarily a direct citation) was: H. P. Yockey, “A Calculation of the Probability of Spontaneous Biogenesis by Information Theory, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 67, 377-398, 1978; Information Theory and Molecular Biology, Cambridge University Press, 1992.’

  44. The problem with all of this is that it is assuming that what is at issue here is the facts. Now, it is true that people on both sides of the debate could be ignorant of the facts. However, the question is not necessarily what these facts are, but how they are interpreted.

    I would recommend that Dr. Brown do a program where he has Dr. Frank Turek and Dr. K Scott Oliphant on to discuss the relationship between theology and apologetics. This video is a perfect example of the kind of discussion that could be had out of it from Southern Evangelical Seminary:

    http://vimeo.com/80135319

    For example, as a Calvinist, I don’t believe that the atheist is just neutrally looking at the facts. As Romans 1 says, he is suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. It is not that Van is unaware of the facts. It is how he is handling the facts that is at issue. For example, he is well aware of folks like William Lane Craig who is a professional philosopher who argues that there was a point in time in which their was nothing due to the expansion of the universe. However, obviously, he doesn’t believe that Bill Craig is a credible source. Why? Because he is a Christian.

    Again, this really does get back to the issue of the unbeliever suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. That is why the approach that I take, and the approach that Dr. Oliphant takes in the above discussion, is not to just keep giving evidence, and prove that you have to have tons of faith to be an atheist. It is, instead, to show that the atheist is living on borrowed capital. He wants to say that the God of scripture does not exist, but then live his life as if he *does* exist.

    It is not just covenantal apologists such as myself who have pointed this out. Even atheists are starting to realize this. One of the problems for a naturalistic view of man simply evolving from biochemical evolution is the problem of intentional states of consciousness. The problem is simply this. If the brain is nothing but matter, then you can’t be thinking *about* anything. For example, a pillow cannot have any about-ness towards a rock. While I can think about a rock, a pillow cannot think about a rock. There needs to be some element of intentionality that is not an attribute of mere matter. Alex Rosenberg, who is very much into scientism and atheism, in this clip of a debate with William Lane Craig, admits that there is no solution to the problem from an atheistic perspective:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PU7LtHs3sc

    In fact, in his book, he mentions that the notion that we are thinking “about” something needs to be jettisoned by atheists if they are to be consistent with their scientism and atheism. However, as one atheist pointed out to him, that completely destroys science. I can no longer think about things in reality, and therefore, I can no longer comment on things in reality, because I cannot think about them. Hence, Van, and other atheists, simply can’t live and act consistently, either with the notion that we are nothing but matter and chemicals, or the notion that we can do science.

    More than that, if one accepts the premises of evolution, then how does one know that there is purpose in our senses? Richard Taylor used an illustration of someone riding a train from London to Wales, and while he is on the train he sees a rock formation that appears to convey the message “The British Railway Welcomes You To Wales.” Now, there are two possible interpretations of that. The first is that someone got up there and arranged those rocks in such a way to convey the message “The British Railway Welcomes You To Wales.” The second, much like the evolutionist, would be to argue that, over time, the rocks eroded from higher portions of the hill, and rolled down the hill due to erosion to the place that they are now, with no intelligence involved. They might even try to show how this rock rolled away from this larger rock, and down the hill into the position of what looks like a “T.” Now, while that interpretation would be highly improbable, it would not be irrational. However, what *would* be irrational on that interpretation is if you concluded that you had information that you are entering Wales from the rock formations.

    Now, compare that information to your senses. Evolutionists say that our senses developed slowly over time by naturalistic processes. If this is the case, then why do we assume that our senses function to give us information about the external world? Just like the rock formations could have formed in such a way to give us true or false information about our location, because there was no purpose to their formation given their naturalistic basis, how then can we be sure that our senses accurately convey information about the external world?

    In essence, an evolutionary worldview destroys science, because it takes away the ability for us to know that the senses we use in observation are giving us accurate information about what we are seeing around us. Aside from the problem of not being able to think about anything, it presents us with the problem of not being able to know that what we are sensing is real either.

    Then, of course, there is the problem of induction. Now, I need to begin by clarifying that I am not saying all of nature is entirely uniform and deterministic. If that were the case, it would destroy all belief, since the reason why I believe what I believe about God would be determined, and the reason why the atheist believes what he believes about God is simply determined, and there is no way to adjudicate. However, there are certain uniformities in nature. For example, I assume that, if I brush my teeth tonight and squeeze the toothpaste bottle, toothpaste will come spurting out of the tube in the future the same way as it has in the past. Now, as a Christian, I have the Noahic covenant which tells me that nature will continue in its order. However, if you reject scripture, then on what rational basis do you believe there is uniformity in nature? What rational basis do you have for believing that toothpaste will spurt out of the tube tonight the same way it has every night? If you want to say, “Because of air pressure constants,” then you simply beg the question, because constants and laws are examples of uniformity. How do you know that what you call “constants” are really constants, and what you call laws are really invariable? Again, as a Christian I have, not only the fact that the God who created this world is a reasonable God, but even his promises in the Noahic covenant. Thus, I can expect these kinds of uniformities. However, on what rational basis does an atheist base his belief in uniformity? In fact, none other than men like Bertrand Russell and David Hume have said that it is impossible to say that there is any uniformity in nature, and thus, it is impossible to say that there is any knowledge, because anything that is true a second ago might not be true now. Therefore, there is really no way of knowing anything.

    Hence, the science that Van is so insistent on really is destroyed by his atheism. Not only can he not have any scientific thoughts about things, since thoughts about things make no sense in a materialist universe, but he also cannot trust that what he is seeing is really there, because he can’t know that his senses are reliable. Also, not only could he not think scientifically about things, and not only could he not be sure he is sensing reality, but he could not know anything about that reality, because he cannot answer the question of how he knows that there is uniformity in nature. In essence, Van has to borrow from *my* worldview to get the concept of a mind, to get the concept of purpose in creation so he can have sense perception, and to get the very concept of laws of nature he is relying upon.

    Rosenberg is right that the only consistent atheist is a nihilist. Of course, a nihilist has nothing to debate, since he believes even that is meaningless. As long as Van wants to borrow these ideas of meaning, purpose, and uniformity in order to discuss science, I will maintain that he is borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to argue his points, and I would call upon him to be a consistent atheist, give up his science too, and give up reasoning altogether, and become a nihilist.

  45. For example, as a Calvinist, I don’t believe that the atheist is just neutrally looking at the facts.

    > Ah yes John Calvin, the man who was personally responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of unbelievers and even bragged about it. John Calvin who believed the earth is flat. You’re a Calvinist. You don’t see an ethics issue here?

    As Romans 1 says, he is suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. It is not that Van is unaware of the facts.

    > An evolution denier is accusing someone else of suppressing the truth!

    It is how he is handling the facts that is at issue. For example, he is well aware of folks like William Lane Craig who is a professional philosopher who argues that there was a point in time in which their was nothing due to the expansion of the universe. However, obviously, he doesn’t believe that Bill Craig is a credible source. Why? Because he is a Christian.

    > Wrong. Craig’s argument is based on special pleading. Craig claims animals don’t feel pain. Do you believe that? Have you ever owned a pet?

    Again, this really does back to the issue of the unbeliever suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. That is why the approach that I take, and the approach that Dr. Oliphant takes in the above discussion, is not to just keep giving evidence, and prove that you have to have tons of faith to be an atheist. It is, instead, to show that the atheist is living on borrowed capital. He wants to say that the God of scripture does not exist, but then live his life as if he *does* exist.

    > Wrong again because we don’t believe in an afterlife or any kind of reward or punishment after we die. We behave for our own selfish reasons.

    It is not just covenantal apologists such as myself who have pointed this out. Even atheists are starting to realize this. One of the problems for a naturalistic view of man simply evolving from biochemical evolution is the problem of intentional states of consciousness. The problem is simply this. If the brain is nothing but matter, then you can’t be thinking *about* anything. For example, a pillow cannot have any about-ness towards a rock.

    > If a mind is separate from matter then all bets are off on what can think and what can’t. So you can’t say whether a pillow or a rock can think based on your own argument.

    In fact, in his book, he mentions that the notion that we are thinking “about” something needs to be jettisoned by atheists if they are to be consistent with their scientism and atheism. However, as one atheist pointed out to him, that completely destroys science. I can no longer think about things in reality, and therefore, I can no longer comment on things in reality, because I cannot think about them. Hence, Van, and other atheists, simply can’t live and act consistently, either with the notion that we are nothing but matter and chemicals, or the notion that we can do science.

    Now, compare that information to your senses…. Aside from the problem of not being able to think about anything, it presents us with the problem of not being able to know that what we are sensing is real either.

    > The physical nature of intentional states are patterns of electrical activity in a network of cells that have specific physical properties. Scientists can map that pattern more and more precisely but for now we can measure and observe these patterns of activity. If we put someone in an MRI and ask them to think about different things or if we give them a few cognitive tasks we will observe that blood flows shift in the brain and different areas of the brain light up with different levels of activity. These purely physical properties are not observed in pillows or rocks because they lack the neuronal substrates that generate these patterns. So intentional states of the mind are entirely physical states because they are dependent on organized brain matter burning energy responsively in various different patterns. There is no evidence that thoughts require supernatural input..

    As long as Van wants to borrow these ideas of meaning, purpose, and uniformity in order to discuss science, I will maintain that he is borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to argue his points, and I would call upon him to be a consistent atheist, give up his science too, and give up reasoning altogether, and become a nihilist.

    > “Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.” Martin Luther
    It’s reason and science that tells me that the claims of Christianity not only do not stand up to scrutiny, they are ridiculous.

  46. Van,

    Ah yes John Calvin, the man who was personally responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of unbelievers and even bragged about it. John Calvin who believed the earth is flat. You’re a Calvinist. You don’t see an ethics issue here?

    Yes, I see an ethics issue of your slander of him. You are *not* a historian, so be very careful here. I am well aware of people who have argued things like this, and they are either taking him out of context, or cite incidents like the Servetus incident, unaware of the historical background. Here is an actual historian dealing with these issues:

    http://heidelblog.net/2013/04/the-calvin-as-tyrant-meme-2/

    He points out that people who make this argument are woefully unaware of the historical facts of Calvin’s life.

    Now, all of that being said, I am not a Calvinist because of John Calvin. While I have ethical issues with your slander and misrepresentation of him, I am a Calvinist because of the exegesis of the text of scripture. If you want to challenge my Calvinism, you will have to do better then the ad hominem fallacy:

    Calvin was a Calvinist.
    Calvin was bad.
    Therefore, Calvinism is wrong.

    Wrong. Craig’s argument is based on special pleading. Craig claims animals don’t feel pain. Do you believe that? Have you ever owned a pet?

    Heh, please keep me in context. Here is what you said:

    The First Cause Argument is based on the Fallacy of Special Pleading, which is why cosmologists and other scientists, philosophers, logicians and anybody who has learned the art of critical thinking rejects it.

    My point was that Craig was a professional philosopher, and that he accepts the argument. Hence, your statement is wrong. Now, you can reject the validity of what Craig says, but please do not argue that anyone who knows the art of thinking rejects this argument-unless you want to show bias big time. That was my only point. My point was not to even agree with Craig’s argument. Covenantal apologists don’t agree with it. My point was simply to show the bias of what you are saying, in that you are willing to rule out WLC a priori.

    Wrong again because we don’t believe in an afterlife or any kind of reward or punishment after we die. We behave for our own selfish reasons.

    So, it would be okay to murder someone else simply because you want their money? If it is okay to behave for your own selfish reasons, then that would seem to follow.

    If a mind is separate from matter then all bets are off on what can think and what can’t. So you can’t say whether a pillow or a rock can think based on your own argument.

    Depends upon where you begin your argument. I get my worldview from scripture, and what it says is my ultimate and final presupposition. Hence, the notion of reasoning about something simply goes back to the fact that man is created in the image of God. Understanding what a mind is as created in God’s image then allows me to look to other things to see if they have those same properties of consciousness. Yes, I agree, if man is not created in God’s image, then what you are saying is true, and we have no reference point for understanding consciousness at all. However, that is precisely the point. Disbelieve in what the Triune God of scripture has said, and you can’t make any sense of consciousness at all.

    The point is simply Van: compare the two worldviews. On atheism, you can’t think about anything. On Christianity, you can think about things. Not being able to think about things makes nonsense out of our experience, and therefore atheism is false.

    The physical nature of intentional states are patterns of electrical activity in a network of cells that have specific physical properties. Scientists can map that pattern more and more precisely but for now we can measure and observe these patterns of activity. If we put someone in an MRI and ask them to think about different things or if we give them a few cognitive tasks we will observe that blood flows shift in the brain and different areas of the brain light up with different levels of activity. These purely physical properties are not observed in pillows or rocks because they lack the neuronal substrates that generate these patterns. So intentional states of the mind are entirely physical states because they are dependent on organized brain matter burning energy responsively in various different patterns. There is no evidence that thoughts require supernatural input..

    The problem is, electrical signals are not a mind, and have no “aboutness” to them. When you ask a computer to perform certain tasks, it likewise will light up certain electrical signals in certain places. However, is anyone going to seriously suggest that a computer has thoughts about something with purpose and intentionality?

    No, the computer has no will to think about anything, and, if atheism is true, neither do we. What you call “thinking about something” is a crude symptom of the electrical state of our brain. If the brain is just matter, then it is nothing more than a supercomputer that only has a certain state in response to stimuli such as being asked something. What we call “thoughts about things” become nothing more than an indicator of a brain state that is brought about by either accidental or direct stimuli. There is no will or purpose to think about anything.

    Keep in mind, the idea here is not that “thoughts” require input, but that “thoughts about” something require input. How can “thoughts about” something be more than just a chemical and electrical state, unless there is purpose and intentionality?

    “Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.” Martin Luther
    It’s reason and science that tells me that the claims of Christianity not only do not stand up to scrutiny, they are ridiculous.

    Van, to be blunt, you have no *clue* what Luther is talking about there. Going to a Lutheran college and reading Luther, I *do* understand what he is saying. Luther is talking about the same thing I am. He is not talking about reasoning or thinking en toto; he is referring to *humanistic* reason that begins with man alone, and seeks to work its way up to truth. Yes, I want to see humanistic reason destroyed, because it results in the absurdities of not being able to think *about* things, not being able to know that are senses are giving us true information, and not being able to know that there are uniformities in nature. In essence, reason and science are destroyed by atheism. So, do I want humanistic reason in the sense Luther is talking about destroyed? Yes. However, what remains is a reasoning that is based upon the scriptures as our ultimate and final presupposition. If God has revealed himself to us, then we have something upon which we can base our reasoning about science. If God has not revealed himself, and we must start with ourselves, we will end up destroying science. That is precisely the argument I am making, and I am sure Luther would agree with it.

  47. Now, all of that being said, I am not a Calvinist because of John Calvin. While I have ethical issues with your slander and misrepresentation of him, I am a Calvinist because of the exegesis of the text of scripture. If you want to challenge my Calvinism, you will have to do better then the ad hominem fallacy:

    Your Calvinism is crippled by the fact that you have no evidence that any kind of afterlife is even possible let alone plausible.

    My point was that Craig was a professional philosopher, and that he accepts the argument.

    > A professional philosopher accepts an argument founded upon the logical fallacy of Special Pleading? Well for that and other reasons I dispute the claim that William Craig is a true philosopher. A philosopher is a lover of knowledge and so is a person who is a truth seeker. A fundamentalist like Craig clings to his dogma and so he has no interest in discovering the truth. because he assumes he already has it. This “truth” comes from a bunch of superstitious and barbaric peasants who lived in the desert thousands of years ago. Philosophy asks questions that may never be answered. Craig doesn’t do that. Religion gives answers that may never be questioned. That’s what Craig does. William Craig is a Christian apologist. That is his occupation.

    So, it would be okay to murder someone else simply because you want their money? If it is okay to behave for your own selfish reasons, then that would seem to follow.

    > It doesn’t take any special revelation to picture what kind of civilization we would have if everybody thought murder and stealing were okay. Or even just a few of us. I used the word “behave” as opposed to misbehave. Most people behave in a manner that helps them get along in the world whether they believe in God or not. People are good for their own selfish reasons because being a good person has many benefits: you have more friends and better friendships; your family will love you more, you’ll gain respect in the community and you’ll get ahead faster at work among other things.

    Depends upon where you begin your argument. I get my worldview from scripture, and what it says is my ultimate and final presupposition.

    > The Bible says it, you believe it, that settles it. I get it. That way you don’t have to think about difficult issues such as abortion, gay marriage, healthcare reform, wars, terrorism and so on. We’ve been wasting our time and energy in this nation all these years electing representatives to sort through difficult issues and come up with ways to deal with these issues when all along people like you have all the answers in a book that claims the earth is flat, never moves, sits on a foundation supported by pillars, has four corners and is orbited by the sun, which can be stopped from moving across the sky.

    Hence, the notion of reasoning about something simply goes back to the fact that man is created in the image of God. Understanding what a mind is as created in God’s image then allows me to look to other things to see if they have those same properties of consciousness. Yes, I agree, if man is not created in God’s image, then what you are saying is true, and we have no reference point for understanding consciousness at all.

    > That is a logical fallacy known as a non-sequitur. It does not follow that we have no reference point for understanding consciousness just because there is no God. Obviously scientists have made huge advances in brain science and while we don’t know everything about the brain, we know more and more all the time.

    However, that is precisely the point. Disbelieve in what the Triune God of scripture has said, and you can’t make any sense of consciousness at all.

    > That comment is about as arrogant a comment as a person can make. Billions of people know nothing about what the Bible says, many of them profess to be Christians. What you’re saying is that let’s say Chinese or Scandanavian neurologists can’t make any sense of consciouness at all because they don’t know what the Bible says. The Bible doesn’t make sense of the world it makes nonsense of it.

    The point is simply Van: compare the two worldviews. On atheism, you can’t think about anything. On Christianity, you can think about things. Not being able to think about things makes nonsense out of our experience, and therefore atheism is false.

    > Atheism is not a worldview, it describes a lack of belief in God. FYI on atheism you can think about anything. On Christianity there are things you can’t think about because you must keep your thoughts in captivity. Therefore Christianity is false.

    The problem is, electrical signals are not a mind, and have no “aboutness” to them. When you ask a computer to perform certain tasks, it likewise will light up certain electrical signals in certain places. However, is anyone going to seriously suggest that a computer has thoughts about something with purpose and intentionality?
    No, the computer has no will to think about anything, and, if atheism is true, neither do we.

    > What is your argument to support your claim that intentional states cannot exist in the brain? You can look through all of Craig’s propaganda and you won’t find one. So let’s see yours.
    I can tell you’re a fan of William Craig because you use the same tactics he does. The arguments are almost always worded like this: “There is some phenomenon that lacks an explanation which in this case is intentionality [but it could be morality, the universe, whatever] that atheism cannot account for. Then there’s a fallacious argument for why atheism supposedly cannot account for it. But theism can account for it. Therefore atheism is false and theism is true.” This argument is a logical fallacy known as Begging the Question. You demand that the atheists explain how intentionality can exist in a material world, but you cannot provide what would be the equivalent theistic explanation. How is intentionality possible on theism? Theism claims that there is an infinite mind, but fails to tell us how such a mind is possible. You need to explain exactly how theism is able to endow finite minds with intentionality. All you are doing is asserting that this happens without a shred of evidence that it does.

    Yes, I want to see humanistic reason destroyed, because it results in the absurdities of not being able to think *about* things, not being able to know that are senses are giving us true information, and not being able to know that there are uniformities in nature.

    You actually think that because you believe a bunch of Bronze Age religious fairy tales you can be sure your senses are giving you correct information and those who don’t believe these stories or have never heard of them cannot trust their senses. Our senses don’t give us true information. Our eyes have evolved so that we can navigate in the world we live in as have the rest of our senses. If the nucleus of an atom were the size of an orange, the nearest electron would be 4 miles away. We’re a bunch of empty space. That isn’t what our senses tell us though is it? We get just enough information to get by and we have to guess the rest.

    In essence, reason and science are destroyed by atheism. So, do I want humanistic reason in the sense Luther is talking about destroyed? Yes. However, what remains is a reasoning that is based upon the scriptures as our ultimate and final presupposition.

    > That is not reasoning, it is non-rational authoritarianism and absolutism both of which are dangerous and neither of which have any place in a free society. Of course you hate human reason because it is the only faculty we have to determine the truth.

    If God has revealed himself to us, then we have something upon which we can base our reasoning about science. If God has not revealed himself, and we must start with ourselves, we will end up destroying science. That is precisely the argument I am making, and I am sure Luther would agree with it.

    > Science is the study of Nature.Whether they believe in a deity or not scientists only look for naturalistic explanations for things because this is the only way they can expand knowledge. Therefore science is based on materialism because it’s the only thing that works. Your argument is another non-sequitur. It simply does not follow that humans will destroy our own study of something that has never considered God in the first place.

    I don’t want to go over all the logical fallacies in your arguments but your baseless assertions are a good indication that you cannot recognize even the most blaring logical fallacies.

  48. The world often treats Christians as if they are a dumping place for garbage, but God has a final place for all that is offensive and useless.

    I suppose it’s the place for things that are no good and will never be changed, those things that could never be transformed, recycled, or somehow
    made into something of eternal glory for God, by Christ Jesus.

    Is there anything in Atheism that would open a door for Christ to enter in?

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