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Feedback archiveFeedback 2011

Responding to common atheistic arguments

Published: 31 December 2011(GMT+10)

This latest feedback deals with responding to common atheistic arguments. CMI’s Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Dr Robert Carter respond.

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Matthew F. from the United States writes:

I’d like to go ahead and say that your website has helped me strengthen my Christian faith greatly and debate atheists more effectively. I live in a rural area of America, one that’s heavily Christian, but the internet and college has exposed me to atheism and the New Atheist movement. Two of my best friends now declare themselves members of this movement and I’ve heard and read things so vulgar and shocking that my own family doesn’t believe such things are being said.

It’s been so pressuring that it’s really tempted me to turn away from Christ on numerous occasions, but I’m growing stronger in my Christian faith as time goes on and I learn more and more.

Anyways, I do have a few questions, which I can’t seem to find on this website (I may have overlooked them). One question, which I ask to atheists I debate and I’ve yet to get a convincing answer from them….why does believing in atheism matter? Why does a complete atheist world matter?

I get a wide variety of answers, mostly saying it promotes knowledge and fun in life. Someone even said it would greatly enhance my future writing/history career, but when I asked how it would specifically enhance it, I received the “you’ll be a free thinker” answer.

However (my answer), it doesn’t matter at all! In their view, life and the universe is an accident and worthless, and the universe will eventually be destroyed, so everything is ultimately worthless. So the question again, why does being an atheist matter and how does an atheist world (like the New Atheist promote) matter?

That’s the question and my answer to it, but just wondering how you all would answer it?

The next question comes from a common response I hear from the above question. “Atheism allows us to hunt and obtain the ultimate knowledge.”

After hearing this a few times, I began to wonder if this is a major gimmick in the movement, but I’ve not heard Dawkins or any other leader talk of it, though they talk about atheism being the sign of a healthy mind.

The way my atheist friends talk of this “ultimate knowledge” is what it says…the knowledge of everything! I’ve been told that simply giving up my faith will set me on the path to obtaining that knowledge, possibly within my life time. I find it sounding like a sci-fi novel plot to be honest (Being a writer myself, it has inspired me as well). Have you all heard anything about this “ultimate knowledge” gimmick from this movement or is it just something that my friends are saying?

One final thing to close out this feedback. A friend recently debated me, and he got on saying that Christopher Hitchens says that deathbed conversions to religion were inappropriate, and that Sam Harris says Christian morality was psychopathic. I like to touch on the morality issue.

I’ve been hammered by atheists, who attack two areas. They say being a Christian limits fun in life (mainly sex and alcohol to them). The other is they claim being a Christian makes you a psychopath. I was once told, “Believing in God means you will pick up an Ak-47 and kill people.”…yet, when I responded, “How does me being taught to love and forgive everyone mean that I’ll murder?”, I was met with a hateful, “Don’t you dare take this a personal level!”

Overall, I’ve noticed taking the whole morality issue to the personal individual level really makes atheists mad it seems. But, I do wonder what you take on the whole “deathbed conversions are inappropriate” and “Christian morality is psychopathic” issues.

As I’ve said, your website has helped strengthen my faith greatly, as well as debates. The things I’ve learned on here are a lot more helpful and effective than my former theistic evolutionist views, which were horribly ineffective. I have been recommending your website to my friends, praying it aids them as well. I look forward to your response!

Sincerely,

Matt

CMI’s Dr Jonathan Sarfati responds:

Dear Matt

Thank you for writing. I’m glad our website has been helpful.

First of all, in response to “It’s been so pressuring that it’s really tempted me to turn away from Christ on numerous occasions”, the Bible tells us to flee temptation. This outside article contains good advice, I think: Dealing with Temptation. Meanwhile, make sure you are equipped to deal with the “new atheists”; they really have little of substance. For example, our site links to Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation: Answer Key, a point-by-point refutation of Sam Harris.

Our Q&A pages Creation: Why It Matters and Atheism, agnosticism and humanism: godless religions should answer the questions about the harm of atheistic evolution. The hundreds of millions of victims of atheistic democidal regimes might also tell us something.

“Atheism allows us to hunt and obtain the ultimate knowledge.” It also allows us to be totally indifferent. But historically, it was the biblical worldview that encouraged the growth of science, while it was stillborn in cultures lacking this world view

It’s rather inconsistent for them to get personal then get angry when you also respond on a personal level. But then, atheists have no reason, under their own belief system, to be logical or avoid hypocrisy.

Biblical rules (as opposed to some church legalism) are for our good. Read the Song of Solomon for a healthy view of courtship, marriage and sex. Superficial fun like drunkenness and promiscuity is fleeting and damaging in the long term.

About shooting people, it’s notable that the kids who murdered their classmates in both Columbine and Finland were rabid evolutionists, practising the morality they were taught in the government schools! See Inside the mind of a killer, How to build a bomb in the public school system and Tragic truth.

It’s rather inconsistent for them to get personal then get angry when you also respond on a personal level. But then, atheists have no reason, under their own belief system, to be logical or avoid hypocrisy.

Hope these comments help.

Sincerely

Jonathan Sarfati


Michael K. from the Philippines writes in response to article Adam, Eve and Noah vs Modern Genetics:

Your article re Noah and genetics is complete and utter pseudo-scientific nonsense. No amount of apologetics will disguise the fact that there is overwhelming evidence for evolution and nothing for “creationism.” Creationists are in the minority because the concept is absurd and laughed out of the legitimate scientific community. P.S. I like your “consider a small gift” solicitation to keep the lies in your website going. Hypocrites.

Whether or not one side or the other is in the minority is a side issue (consider the history of science).

CMI’s Dr Robert Carter writes:

Dear Mr. K.,

  • I would love to engage in some creative discussion with you, but, sadly, you provided nothing substantive in your message. I understand that in the evolutionary scheme of things there is not supposed to be any evidence whatsoever for the creationist position. Yet, my colleagues and I feel like we have a very strong case and that our case is getting stronger over time. Whether or not one side or the other is in the minority is a side issue (consider the history of science). The funny thing about your message is that I had the exact same reaction to creationism the first time I ran across it. When I made an honest attempt studying it, however, the evolutionary blinders came off and I realized that the evidence for creation was very strong indeed. I would encourage you to dig a little deeper. Specifically, I would refer you to Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, which deals with evolutionary theory using the words and mathematics of evolutionary population geneticists. See also
  • Plant geneticist: ‘Darwinian evolution is impossible’ and From ape to man via genetic meltdown: a theory in crisis.

Sincerely,

Robert Carter

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