An atheist argues for disbelief
Published: 23 January 2016 (GMT+10)
In a response to our article, “The hardest ones to reach …”—which looked at the influence of evolutionary/atheistic teaching throughout the education system—a reader’s comment reflects how impactful such indoctrination is.
In pointing out that casting doubts on such things as soft tissue findings would not persuade her, Meg W., wrote:
I’d like to share a few points on this article.
Firstly, I don’t think people’s reluctance to engage in a discussion of Christianity can be reduced mainly to the effects of teaching evolution. I am an atheist but I am only minimally interested in the details of evolution, and feel similarly about physics, astronomy etc. For me personally then, evolution is not central to my disbelief in the Christian god (or any god). You may find others are the same—so why you might be able to engage someone in a conversation about this, attempting to cast doubt on soft tissue findings or whatever won’t be persuasive in many cases.
Also, in terms of schooling - I would say it is not evolution specifically, but more likely a teaching of the scientific method and critical thinking skills, and the increased general awareness of the world around them that leads to many people leaving a faith or religion once they graduate (i.e. children are naturally more impressionable).
Also, I realise that you believe “No one is beyond God’s reach”, and I am unlikely to dissuade you, but think of it like this. How likely am I (or anyone else) to pursuade you that God does not exist? Or that in fact the god of another religion exists but yours does not? What evidence or proof would you need, to discard your faith? … I imagine you believe yourself to be impervious to pursuasion. Well I and many other atheists feel just as strongly about our own conclusions. I base my disbelief on scientific, but also logical, moral, and philosophical grounds.
One last thought—if you want to engage atheists or agnostics, you can’t just talk about salvation and quote the bible. We don’t believe the bible, so if you approach people like this, expect the walls to come up.
CMI-Canada’s Calvin Smith responded:
Hi Meg, thanks for your email.
All thinking atheists must believe in evolution to explain how they got here without God (there is no third option for origins). So evolution is the central belief of all atheists. See: What all atheists have to believe
Not being interested in the details of evolution, it sounds like you are an example of someone who believes in evolution simply on faith (likely faith that others have shown it to be intellectually sound, etc). You’d believe it regardless of whether it has good evidence or not. See: Atheism needs evolution
Much like many Christians who simply believe what they believe but can’t defend or explain it, etc. Most people believe their faith position that way.
That’s why showing many atheists soft tissue, etc, won’t cause them to change their minds, because they don’t care what the evidence shows, they are committed to their faith position and aren’t open minded to changing their position.
As for schooling, if it were the scientific method and critical thinking that persuaded people as to their faith position (rather than indoctrination) then showing people that evolution is not derived from the scientific method (what repeatable, observable test can you set up in a lab showing me ape-like creatures turning into people for example?) and that critical thinkers should be able to determine that soft tissue doesn’t last for 70 million years, or that coded language systems cannot arise from inanimate matter; would cause people to reject evolution.
It is because schools constantly indoctrinate students to believe unscientific things like living things just ‘make themselves’ (that hydrogen gas turns into people if you give it enough time) that children accept it.
The chance of you being persuaded away from atheism is likely quite low, as people have a natural inclination against God. But I was once an atheist, and we know it happens all of the time. Atheists typically describe themselves as ‘free thinkers’ and people who are ‘open minded’ (although I find most are not) so one can only pray that God will open their eyes to the truth.
On one hand you say you aren’t interested in the particulars of science and then say you base your belief on scientific grounds. What scientific grounds?
And logic isn’t being used if you don’t examine the particulars of the arguments either. Actually, atheists can’t account for logic in their worldview. Where does a universal, unchanging, immaterial entity like logic come from in a universe that is supposed to be derived from matter and energy that is constantly changing?
Atheists also cannot account for morality, as determining right and wrong requires a standard on which to judge why something is more or less ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ than something else. What is your standard for right and wrong in an atheistic worldview? (Note that I am not saying an atheist cannot live a moral life without God, I am just saying the morality they live by is not derived from their ‘might makes right’/survival-of-the-fittest evolutionary worldview).
And philosophy requires one to account for knowledge. How do you know what you know (epistemology)? Atheists cannot account for knowledge in their worldview because there could always be something they don’t know that could overturn what they think they do know.
One last thought, the Gospel is the only thing that matters, otherwise who cares? That is why we talk about things like science, logic, critical thinking, philosophy, etc. Because we pray that God would show non-believers that their worldview makes no sense under the very framework they live by, and that salvation through Christ can save them from eternity in Hell because of their rejection of their Creator.
if any -genuine atheist- were to sincerely- ask God to reveal himself to themselves with the commitment to accept that GOD exists will be visited upon by the Holy Spirit with a revelation of WHO GOD IS,
Saul who became the Apostle Paul was a slaughterer of Christians, BUT HE WAS SINCERE, looking for God and in his determination to worship God as he believed worship needed to be enacted,this is not a challenge to Athiests,
this is a promise to the sincerity of any man/woman
I can't help noticing there doesn't seem to be any atheist responses to Mr. Smith and while I have a theory as to why this is, perhaps this post will be the first atheist response to Mr. Smith allowed. My aim is to show Smith fails to adaquately address any of the points Meg raises.
First, I was born to a devout Christian family, attended a Christian school K-12, and for the first 20 years of my life was a devout Christian. If anyone was indoctrinated it was I, and I left my faith for atheism as I had read the bible cover to cover many times and found it deeply flawed in almost every way.
Anyway, with all respect to Mr. Smith it seems he lacks a basic understanding of atheism as he makes numerous untrue statements about it throughout his post; claiming that atheists must 'believe' in evolution and can account for neither morality nor knowledge. None of these claims are true and the very way he words some of them demonstrates he does not understand that atheism is a rejection of the theist's god hypothesis; atheists do not 'believe in' evolution as belief entails accepting by faith when atheists rather accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution.
Atheists account for morality as a human construct rooted in simple altruism, and this not requiring an absolute source seems far simpler than trying to explain a god into the equation. Atheists are also not burdened by accounting for knowledge as we accept that the world is most likely as we perceive it as we have no evidence to suggest otherwise.
Mr. Smith comments on the untenable nature of evolution, demonstrating in the process that he has simply not kept up with the science as there is more evidence for evolution than I could list in 1800 books, much less these 1800 characters. Google TalkOrigins if you're interested.
Hi Josh, thanks for your email.
Note that all responses from anyone are welcomed on our site (for up to two weeks after an article is posted) as long as they do not contain foul language etc. You can look up countless articles on our site that demonstrate this.
If your aim was to show that I failed to adequately (not 'adaquately') address any of the points Meg raised then I think you have failed yourself.
First, I was born into a non-Christian family. I went to public state run schools, watched secular TV programming and read secular literature all my life. If anyone was indoctrinated into atheism (founded on evolution) it was I. So please don't tell me I don't understand atheism because I grew up as one.
You may have been born into a devout Christian family but you (like everyone else) were not born a Christian. You were born a sinner with a predisposition against God. Regardless of how you came to believe in atheism (whether you believed in biological evolution or not beforehand), once you did you had to embrace evolution if you were to give an intellectual account for your existence (note that the concept of evolution was around long before Darwin. See- creation.com/evolution-ancient-pagan-idea creation.com/charles-darwins-illegitimate-brainchild creation.com/atheism-needs-evolution).
Atheists have no choice but to believe in evolution. If you have a third option to either creation or evolution please state it. I have never had an intellectually sound response in over 12 years of lecturing whether at a University, church or any other audience where I have spoken nor have I come across it in any book or presentation I have attended.
Saying you don't know which of the two is intellectually sound (you need more information or haven't examined the data enough yet etc) is legitimate (but not actually providing a third option). But please note that 'there may be something we haven't found yet' is not an intellectually sound response (providing a third option).
Can you imagine a police officer responding to his police chief that way?
Police Chief- "Well officer, did Mr Jones die from natural causes or did someone kill him on purpose?"
Police Officer- "I believe neither sir."
Police Chief- "What?!!!"
Police Officer- "You see sir I think there may be a third way it happened."
Police Chief- "Really? What is it?"
Police Officer- "Oh I really don't know but there may be some way we just haven't thought of yet and someday we'll find it".
Police Chief- "You're relieved of duty officer!"
As for atheists accounting for morality, they cannot. Determining right or wrong is predicated on determining how an action relates to (conforms to or contradicts) an absolute transcendent moral law. If the law is not absolute then no action deemed 'right' or 'wrong' based on it can actually truly be absolutely correct or incorrect. It's just an opinion.
Laws need an absolute transcendent law giver. Humans cannot provide such. God has.
Knowledge is based on the fact that you can know things for certain. So as an abstract example, if someone says “I believe ‘A’”, and someone else asks “Why?” and the responder says “Because of ‘B’”, they cannot keep doing so forever (infinite regress) because humans do not have all knowledge.
The problem for the atheist is they can never know anything for certain because there could always be a bit of information they don't know that could overturn what they think is true.
But if the God of the Bible exists and can give knowledge to His creatures so that they can know things for certain then knowledge becomes possible. So theists can account for knowledge, atheists cannot.
Finally, saying that I have not 'kept up' with the theory of evolution is (respectfully) ridiculous. Having lectured on the subject for over a decade and having been continuously immersed in the subject for years beyond that (on both sides of the fence) has given me perspective that few people likely have.
By the way, stating that atheist don't have to believe in evolution and then sending a link to a pro-evolution website highlights the connection between the two probably better than anything else (actions speak louder than words).
Perhaps you should take the time to examine some the articles on our website pertinent to the topic so you can get a better understanding of the creationist position (creation.com/qa).
I hope this helps.
In response to Tomislav O:
Can you see by the response that all positions are based on faith, that is on some unprovable axioms which are believed to be true? By clinging to a position in spite of the evidence against it, the athiest shows his stance is one of faith.
Of course the Christian accepts the Bible as truth.
The question then becomes: which beliefs best explain reality? And the answer that I and many others have arrived at is: the Bible.
Having read with interest the reply to Meg the atheist, I was dismayed to read again this idea that non-believers will spend eternity in Hell.
The philosophy of people burning forever in eternal torment is contrary to God's loving nature (1Jn4:8)
Of course judgement will come and is inevitable. Sin will be dealt with. Indeed it has been at the cross. Those who refuse God's invitation will suffer His indignation (Rev14:11) but only for as long as it takes. Once the earth is cleansed by fire (Rev20:14,15) a new earth will be created where God's people will dwell with Him forever.
Whilst I love Creation Ministries, and contribute regularly, a serious study of Revelation is also needed to provide clarity and balance to the message. Surely there is a need for your readers to know the truth about the end as well as the beginning.
Yes I'm a Seventh Day Adventist.
Hi Graeme, thank you for your email. CMI does not hold to the belief that Hell does not exist. Here is an article that explain why, which is the same reason we take Genesis as real history (I.E. The plain reading of God's word supports it).
«/ One last thought—if you want to engage atheists or agnostics, you can’t just talk about salvation and quote the bible. We don’t believe the bible, so if you approach people like this, expect the walls to come up. — Meg /»
Well, God in the Bible is all about redemption from sin (i.e. salvation from sin and death), from alpha to omega, from the beginning of time to the ending of time. And the Bible contains a clear and unambiguous message for all those who deny the existence of the Creator of the universe and refuse to engage with Him on his terms of redemption from the sins of doing wrong to your fellow humans.
Dave K: well said!
Tomislav O, when the sun fuses hydrogen into helium, the sun’s density increases and so the fusion rate increases over time. So if life began on Earth a few billion years ago, the sun would then have been 40% dimmer and the Earth average temperature would have been about -2 degrees C.
A cool sun at the dawn of life is hostile to the origin of life and doesn’t “mesh beautifully with Darwin”. Similarly there are many other evidences that don’t support the Earth being as old as atheists want it to be: see creation.com/age-of-the-earth.
Are you the ‘unbeliever’ you mention? Whatever the case, why do atheists continue in their confidence, their blind faith, that abiogenesis and information arising from nothing must be possible?
Don’t Atheists simply refuse to face the implication that the evidence points away from their faith theory that there is no god? As Marxist atheist Lewontin admited “… we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
In rejecting god, atheists have no alternative but to invent their own creations myths - miracles of atheism to fill in the gaping voids in evidence supporting their faith system. In my comment (23 Jan above) I list four miracles atheists and millions of years evolutionists must believe, even if they are not aware of it:
Creation of the universe from nothing;
Abiogenesis, or creation of life from inanimate matter;
Evolution or increase of information by accident;
Aentropy or reverse decay necessary to explain how any life could survive for millions of years without going extinct via genetic entropy.
Well put response! Being brought up as a Jew, an atheist and a science lover, the most persuasive issue was finally seeing that real Science points to a designer, and that if I am designed, then the Designer who made my mouth, ears, and brain can communicate with me, and the one who gave the the ability to love, loves and cares for me. This was THE crucial issue, the never-ending evidence that this world has order, that chance and time make things less orderly, that if anyone is paying attention, they can see the daily miracles, the beauty, the life, the love. It's all there, you don't even need to leave home to see it. Just look at your hand, just look into your kid's eyes. This is ALL God's handiwork!
Joe says 2+2=4
Fred says 3+3=4
Fred has no proof.
Joe proves his assertion by demonstrating that the square root of 4=2.
It is later found that the square root of 4 has nothing to do with 2+2.
Joe is wrong.
Does that mean that Fred wins?
I think Fred should realize that 2+2 still equals 4, so he is still wrong :)
Hi Calvin, good answer, although could not be convincing with people like our friend Meg W. who defends or retreat herself behind a wall of unconcern. It is true that by nature we are all enemies of God but willingly or unwillingly our inmost reveals traits of good in our behaviour - like hints of morality because no one, broadly speaking, wants intentionally hurt its neighbour. But morality is the revealing of our feelings which are an integral part of our humanity both of believers and unbelievers. Also hope is a virtue common to everyone; a window open to the impossible that goes beyond our experience. This is my position: until we are young and strong we feel at the top of the world. When we're getting more and more mature we start to be concerned about our soul-mates and eventually spouse, families, children and the like. Feelings like apprehension, concern, start to walk through the twists and turns of our mind ... and we start to think about the future ... their future. Ten, a loved one get a cancer ... or become victim of un accident or whatever. Do I lose him/her forever? Atheism position, although in pains sais YES! Death is a one way trip. But ...hope? Hope is a common feeling that goes against any logic! But all of us does have its tender spot on it. From where hope comes in? Would there be hope in? ... perhaps, just perhaps, the childish story of a good jesus that brings resurrection? Couldn't it turn to be possible? To see him/her again? Let's have a look ... let's explore the matter.
May be ... My sorrow is so engulfing me! Too much against any reason ... any logic?
Hi Gennaro, thanks for your comment.
Your message (and please excuse me if I misinterpreted what you were saying) seemed to indicate that it is most likely that it is when people get into trouble (illness, grief, etc) that they are more open to the Gospel (which may be true in many cases).
An observation of my own is that some Christians seem to have taken this to the extreme and basically do not share the Gospel vigorously with those they suspect don't appear 'vulnerable'.
This is just an encouragement to all of us believers to share the Gospel with everyone. When I got saved I was a happy sinner going to hell and didn't think I needed anything (I was married, had 2 great kids, was physically fit etc).
Those with an intellectual bent often don't appear in need but all of us suffer from the affliction called sin. Many people in our culture are not deficient materially but are in desperate need of correct information. CMI is a great source of intellectual 'nourishment' for needy people.
Many people reject a belief in God because they have hardened their hearts and wish to be accountable to no one, least of all to their Creator
They have been taken in by the original scammer- the devil- who says we can work it out for ourselves. This is what he told Adam and Eve-they can be like God-the original concept of evolution right there in Genesis 3:5.
Atheists would do well to follow Job's example in Job 42:1-6.
Nothing makes itself, that is blind illogical "faith" akin to believing in fairystories
Jesus has already addressed belief and unbelief and why they exist. Meg may one day become a believer, but it will be by the will of the Father and the work of the Spirit in convicting her that 1)Jesus is who He said He is and, 2)His doing what He did for needy sinners like all of us. Jesus said in John 6:44, 45 & 65 that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws them. He also said that everyone who is taught by the Father will come to Him, In verse 37 He said all the Father gives Him will come to Him and goes on to say He will preserve them and raise them up on the last day. So obviously either Meg and all other unbelievers have not yet been or may never be drawn by the Father to come to Jesus. We do not decide or judge this. That is God the Father's sovereign will and purpose to draw or not to draw a person. We however are to faithfully proclaim the Gospel to everyone because we may be the messenger of truth to those who the Father is drawing to the Son. Jesus said this is His followers responsibility in Matthew 28:18-20 . As we do this the result will either be conversion then or later or final rejection. Jesus also addressed those who reject the truth in John 8:42-48. Here he proclaims those who do not believe are of their father the devil because they succumb to his lies. Because of this Jesus says they can not hear His word of truth. It is all rather simple if one just trusts what Jesus has said. We can pray for lost souls like Meg, but unless the Father wills her to come, she never will. It is our job to proclaim the truth is love, but it is not our job to coerce or convince by man's logic anyone to come to Christ. Unless a person recognizes there lostness in sin, their hopeless estate and need for Christ.... there is no hope for them.
Well stated, Calvin. Meg, I worked in the Science Industry in analytical laboratories for 27 years. The first thing you MUST have before you analyze anything is a standard for comparison. For example, f I am looking for benzene in a sample to create a sharp peak on a gas chromatograph, I first must know what a pure standard of benzene looks like when it is injected into the instrument. Peaks appear just like line graphs, with an outstanding, pointed spike that comes out at the same time as the pure benzene standard's spike. Without that standard, the peak could be anything within a similar range of hydrocarbons. Likewise, you can have moral standards, but you must have a narrow, readily identifiable standard of comparison. Why is it okay to abort a baby in utero and it's not okay when the baby is a year old? That represents a wide margin for error within the same standard of the value of life.
Atheists don’t seem to realise that, "the very fact atheists understand each other proves an immaterial God."
An atheist don't talk to the physical body, they talk to the mind, personality, the ‘Them-ness’ and ‘Me-ness’ i.e., the immaterial ‘Them’ or ‘Me’. It's our minds that "interpret" the oral and written patterns meaning, not inanimate chemicals or objects.
To derive meaning from our communication we use reason to have a rational discussion. We cannot be rational without using logic. Without the laws of logic we could not reason rationally or do science. The laws of logic are immaterial, absolute and transcendental. The only place absolutes can come from is God, for the only alternative worldview (evolution i.e. change over time) denies and cannot justify absolutes or the immaterial.
The proof is under the atheist’s very noses and either side of their eyes. (i.e. mouth, ears)
The first thing God did when creating us was to say "let us” Genesis 1:26, which indicates meaningful communication.
The conclusion is that, the very fact we talk and understand each other proves an immaterial God.
Meg says she does not care about the facts, (that's blind faith). To me this proves that belief in evolution is not about the observations but a stubborn unwillingness to accept Gods redemption, (obedience). We creationists could present to her all the evidence for special creation and she would remain unmoved in her assumptions because she doesn't want to be moved. Thank goodness most people are willing to at least listen even if it doesn't cause conversion at that moment. So as you pointed out Calvin, when presented with the two world views, she will choose to ignore our view because God allows her to reject him, (you can't force someone to love you).
I believe in these last days God is pouring out his spirit of knowledge so no one is without excuse. Evolutionist's have to constantly change and abandon their assumptions for new and approved ones to keep their, (just so) religion alive.
Praise God that the more we learn about our world and his creation, (the things not seen) the more confident we can be in our faith.
God is not a man that he should lie! Num 23:19
P.S. As Jonathan Sarfati pointed out in his book, (The greatest hoax on earth) we have to stop calling evolution a theory because origins are not provable by the scientific method.
frank toureck's book, "i don't have enough faith to be an atheist" is a great book that details the questions and arguments re: logic / philosophy , science, historical proofs etc
Firstly may I thank you, Meg, for the courteous tone of your letter. Sadly it is unusual in this sort of discussion.
May I re-iterate what has often been said on this site, that modern scientific methodology grew primarily out of the work of Christian creationist scientists. They, because of their faith in a creator God, expected to find order throughout all the facets of the universe they were investigating and they did. No atheist/evolutionist can reasonably have such an expectation.To suggest that a belief in the Genesis account of creation is unscientific is at best fatuous as well as being, in any evidential sense, utterly wrong.
A second thought is that, when some awful catastrophe strikes, it is noticeable that distressed people don't go rushing off to the nearest branch of Atheists Inc. for comfort and consolation - instead they go rushing after God. Their spirit goes beyond a prideful trust in human wisdom and logic and reaches out for the One the soul knows will always be there.
Lastly, just because you don't believe the Bible to be true doesn't mean that it isn't. To suggest that a meaningful conversation could take place between a creationist and an atheist without the authority of the Bible being used by the creationist would be akin to asking a mechanic to fix your car without the benefit of a manual.
Meg, I hope that you will have the courage to re-examine the beliefs that keep you from experiencing the most amazingly life in Christ's love.
Good to see you writing again, Cal (well, you do always write but at least so far as with every new article published every time I visit CMI, Lol).
I have come across different atheists from G+ and I can tell you, none of them actually cogently argue for their supposed intellectual grounds. I saw a video by Ken Ammi in which he exposes Atheism itself and, lo and behold, it's a matter of denoms. So you ask yourself: wait what? Atheists sects? Well yeah, some groups of atheists get organized and are aware of other groups and they say the others are wrong and mistaken on certain topics and the one thing they can't get straight is their own position as atheists, that is why there is such a thing as a weak/implicit atheist, simple atheist (i.e: 'atheist next door'), strong atheist, militant atheist and agnostics. So one is 'I won't believe until evidence..', the other is 'I don't believe in God no matter what..' the other 'I just don't believe in God..' and of course, 'I don't believe in God and must not believe in God and no one mustn't..' But you see, their argued grounds are mere band-AIDS or surfaces arbitrarily concocted to supposedly cover their soul-motivating disbelief in YHVH, they argue for critical thinking but won't examine the evidence but merely debunk with rhetoric and dissent, others just sit back and dismiss evidence a priori or simply because 'it's not extraordinary enough', others argue emotionally (no surprise), others out of evidence but looking closer it is selective evidence and probably out dated or recently refuted and won't examine it. They don't have grounds but merely their priority position. Pointing them out that, they will merely assert unsubstantially that you are asserting things, logical fallacies without honestly explaining how. A priori.
Great response Calvin... I agree that we need to pray for non-believers that God Himself will open their eyes, ears as well as their hearts and lead them to the Truth of the Salvation through Jesus Christ...Thanks again for your amazing CMI ministry as it is so much appreciated by so many...In God's love Vlad
(1) The Bible itself is proof of the existence of God, because (a) no man or group could have ever produced the knowledge of the future contained in Daniel 2, just for starters. It concludes with exactly what we see happening today: the current impetus toward the Prophesied Ten Toes; that is, the "New World Order" that the governments are all pushing toward, which DOES involve ten divisions (b) it Prophesied the very foundation of today's atheism, in 2 Peter 3 ("uniformitarianism")
(2) The reason for atheism is clearly spelled out, in 2 Corinthians 4:4 - which in itself is another example of the divine insight of the Bible.
(3) My degree is in the physical sciences and I have for over 40 years debated and taught on this subject, well received. But I still consider the strongest argument that of Daniel 2, which is apart from the physical sciences. As to the physical sciences, however: a science is defined to be based on OBSERVATION. Since there was no observer (human) before the "age of man" of course Evolution is NOT a science.
Some (too many, including some Christians) claim that therefore, neither is Christianity.
But, there WAS an observer! How about God, Himself, Who did it all; AND TOLD US ABOUT IT!
The only reply to that you could give, would be to find ANY fault with anything He said.
I've never seen a one, with any sense in it.
And this proves, atheist, in your case, 2 Cor. 4:4.
Christ Died to Save You
Well put Calvin! It's kind of sad that atheists are skeptical about everything except their own skepticism and claim to be "open-minded" crediting themselves as the voices of reason, yet fail to question their own position and the very ground they are standing on.
Obviously Meg has not researched much of anything to give support to her position. In this case, Meg doesn't even have any evidential reason to believe what she believes, except that it is a more “attractive” position to her? Meg, if unguided naturalistic/materialistic processes(evolution) did not put you here, then a guided process must have done so. If evolution did not make you, then what did?! Great article Calvin, you guys are awesome!
Firstly, that's a brilliant response from Calvin Smith, he hit all the nails on the head, IMHO.
Meg, what I will say is it is a bit of a fallacy for atheists to always ASSOCIATE themselves with science and logic, having debated many atheists over the years, and having a bit of knowledge of logic myself, what I can tell you is they like to associate themselves with those subjects so that that they can IMPLY that Christians are not logical and scientific, but they are as atheists. It is a bit of a false dichotomy, that you are, "either religious and accept things by faith or you are a scientific, rational, critical thinker.".
The position of atheism is not a position based on logic and science, and if you read the articles put out by CMI, more regularly you will see how cogent and inherently logical their arguments are. For example the soft dino-flesh, young intact remains, are logically evidence of youth, it would break the law of non-contradiction to say it represents age. So that is one example of how creation is inherently a logical argument, whereas it seems to me evolution it patently illogical, for how can something with no intelligence be capable of creating the most astounding and omniscient level of design? (lifeforms) That is a contradiction.
So in reality, my experience is that evolutionists only entertain logic when it suits their beliefs.
Meg has politely made some interesting points. I would like to make three comments.
Firstly Meg invites a believer to consider how they would not be moved away from their position. To put themselves in her shoes.
While it is helpful for a Christian to realise how strong an entrenched position of belief or unbelief is, we must remember we are not relying on arguments alone to convert a person. We believe in the true and living God. When Assyria had destroyed many other nations and then besieged Judah saying that they would destroy them too (2 Kings 19:15). The other gods were nothing at all and had no power to help whatsoever. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Secondly. As a Pastor my aim is not to change people from one belief system to another, from evolution to creationism or an Atheist to a Baptist, but to have people brought to feel and see that they are sinners and to come to saving faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. This is God’s work and vital for salvation and eternal life. Paul tells the Ephesians that the power that makes a believer is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 1:19-20)
Lastly Meg says “you can’t just talk about salvation and quote the bible.” Etc. Yes we can and must. This is God’s promised way of salvation. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) there is no other way to saving faith. Don’t any of God’s people be deterred from proclaiming, spreading or speaking God’s word. Paul says “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
Buddhists, who are religious atheists, believe that the universe or even the earth has NO beginning. This is the third option.
Believing that the universe has no beginning is not an intelligent '3rd option' for the atheist's own origin.
The question of human origins has two possibilities. Either God created people or humans have evolved from simpler creatures over time.
The idea of an eternal universe itself does not make sense due to the laws of science (see http://creation.com/who-created-god).
Please let me be another person who thanks you for your courtesy in writing.
In your striving to be a fair-minded person, I trust that you can affirm the following statements and proposed actions to be fair and reasonable ones:
In the bible, in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, we are told to "test all things, hold fast what is [proven] good". OK, so far? Reasonable?
What happens if we clamp onto something prematurely, without testing? We run the risk of obligating ourselves to things that haven't been proven true (and might be wrong) but that we think are true. Agreed?
When such happens, we wrongly inform our conscience--and our conscience nags us to hold onto those supposedly-true wrong things. If we are challenged to think otherwise (such as by CMI), the instinctive response is that they (or whoever) are trying to get us to VIOLATE intellectual INTEGRITY. We get locked into a prison of false obligation. Is that at least a possibility for your thinking up till now?
How bad or extreme is such imprisonment? The bible describes it (in Colossians 2:8, in the Greek) as being captured, with battlefield intensity, unto slavery! Wrongly informed consciences INTENSELY bind us to wrong ideas, in our noble desire to hold onto integrity.
Please ask yourself, "If I was to move away from my atheist position, how would I violate my integrity?" Then, take the answers that come to you, and please INVESTIGATE them, towards true intellectual honesty. Are they real objections, or are they misconceptions?
And I pray that you will end up making the same journey that Calvin did.
All blessings, and thanks again for writing courteously and constructively.
Lord Kelvin was a vociferous critic of Darwinian evolution, so much so that he thought he had an airtight argument against it: the age of the sun. Based on his calculations regarding the mass of the sun and the energy from the heat that ought to be radiated from it via gravitational pressure, the sun couldn't have shined long enough to supply the required heat necessary for life to evolve. By his understanding of physics, he was fully justified in believing this. There wasn't any evidence of some fancy process called "nuclear fusion" which could have supplied the necessary energy to support this hypothetical evolution.
However, the evolutionary biologists decided to believe in evolution despite the fact that it contradicted scientific evidence, hoping without evidence that this magical ad-hoc energy source would be discovered that would save their theory. As you well know, that energy source really was discovered, but much after Darwin's death.
So this leads me to ask the question: why are you so confident that the laws of information which forbid complexity from arising out of nothing and the laws of physics that prevent abiogenesis simply won't be falsified, and that the new theory that replaces it will mesh so beautifully with Darwinian evolution, just like the discovery of stellar nuclear fusion completely blew Lord Kelvin's criticism out of the water and meshes beautifully with Darwinian evolution?
I am genuinely curious, as the "15 questions" have been brought to the attention of an unbeliever, and this was (more or less) the gist of his response, and I found it to be very reasonable, because it draws on the fact that a similar challenge has been brought to evolution before, and evolution won.
Hi Tomislav, thanks for your question.
The famous British evolutionist (and Communist) J.B.S. Haldane claimed in 1949 that evolution could never produce ‘various mechanisms, such as the wheel and magnet, which would be useless till fairly perfect.’
(Dewar, D., Davies, L.M. and Haldane, J.B.S., (1949). Is Evolution a Myth? A Debate between D. Dewar and L.M. Davies vs. J.B.S. Haldane, Watts & Co. Ltd / Paternoster Press, London, p. 90.)
Therefore such machines in organisms would, in his opinion, prove evolution false. Recent discoveries have shown that there are indeed ‘wheels’ in living organisms. This includes the rotary motor that drives the flagellum of a bacterium and the enzyme that makes ATP, the ‘energy currency’ of life. Also, turtles, monarch butterflies, and bacteria have magnetic sensors for navigation.
These molecular motors and magnets in living things have falsified Haldane’s criteria.
So Creation won...
Hmmm, not that simple is it? These examples show that people have presuppositions (Creation is correct/evolution is correct) and that and 1 opposing piece of evidence will usually not be sufficient to convince them away from that belief.
However, when a position is internally inconsistent with how they use the same evidence it shows their position to be weak. Take the information argument for example. All of our observations show information comes from an intelligent mind, period (notice this isn't an example like a sun we've never visited).
So to say you are 'scientific' while going against all of our observable evidence shows your pre-commitment to a humanistic religious view regardless of observations (this is like an 'evolution of the gaps' mindset- we don't know how it happened but evolution must have done it).
Evolutionists say (when it suits them) that there must be some way for information to come into being without intelligence, so that information isn't proof of intelligence.
However, evolutionists involved in the SETI program (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) reverse this. They say a coded signal with a high level of specified complexity would prove that there was an intelligent sender, even if we had no other idea of the sender’s nature!
So evolutionists (as are nearly all SETI proponents) are prepared to use high specified complexity as proof of intelligence, when it suits their ideology, but discard it when it doesn't. This shows once more how one’s biases and assumptions affect one’s interpretations of any data.
So there is no silver bullet in this debate- http://creation.com/silver-bullets-natural-selection-fossils
Those who look at the 15 questions, have no answer and then say 'Well, some day we'll have an answer' are showing they are operating on faith, not science. Creationists also admit they operate on faith but are usually criticized for it.
However, the vast majority of facts we observe are easier to interpret in a creation based model than an evolutionary one.
I hope this helps.
You say you don't believe the Bible, but I'm sure you don't know why you don't - other than that people have told you it's wrong. It won't be because you have read it, and studied it, and seen what Christians have said about it. Why would you bother, since you already know it's wrong? Right?
But check out the people who told you it's wrong. Have they read it, studied it and seen what Christians have said about it? Unlikely.
Do you know, for eg, that the Bible has been shown to be historically infallible? No discovery has shown it to be mistaken.
Do you know that it says things about the future (after things were written) which have either happened, or are still to happen? No mistakes there either!
Do you know that it talks about an historically verified person named Jesus who must have died and come back to life, as there is no other plausible explanation for what happened after that?
You will have been told that all this is nonsense, but you'll have a hard time supporting that view with evidence.
You say you base your disbelief on 'scientific, but also logical, moral, and philosophical grounds'. I'll bet you think God and suffering are incompatible. Read on this site and you'll find that's not so.
As for logic, I'll bet you haven't heard a well-thought-out logical argument for Christianity. We don't believe in fairies. Our belief in God is founded on impenetrable, undeniable logic, as well as on scientific, moral and philosophical grounds. In my work, I prepare reports for court cases-over 700 reports so far. Each relies heavily on logic. I have applied exactly the same logic to the question of whether there is God, and if so, which 'religion' puts us in touch with Him.
You can't logically be an atheist without looking properly at both sides of the argument.
So you don't believe the Bible, my question to all atheists then is so what parts of history do you believe? Most of history is simply what was written down by witnesses at the time. We can visit the places today that the letters and records of the Bible talk about, they are real places and events. Not believing in the Bible still leaves major unexplainables for atheists, even without the Bible we know where Jesus was born, where he grew up, that he healed thousands, was crucified under Pontius Pilot, 3 days later rose from the dead and was worshipped as the son of God by the least to most important in society (we know the son of God walked the Earth, so how do you logically have a son of God without God?). The Bible is history. Simply saying I don't believe the Bible is saying I don't believe anything that doesn't fit my atheism.
Atheists should acknowledge the faith behind their belief. Logically they rely on at least four miracles held by faith:
1. CREATION: that everything (time, matter, energy & space) began for no reason whatsoever - against the known laws of science: that the sum of energy and matter remain constant; and, that nothing happens without sufficient cause.
2. ABIOGENESIS: that totally sterile dead stuff became alive for no reason whatsoever - against the known laws of science: that life only ever comes from life; and, that nothing happens without sufficient cause.
3. EVOLUTION: that simple life become complex and conscious for no reason whatsoever - against the known laws of science: that natural selection culls rather than creates information; that mutations damage rather than create information; that nothing happens without sufficient cause.
4. AENTRPY (to coin a word): ignores the fact that Entropy or disorder inevitably increases such that time is the villain that destroys - rather than the hero of evolution. Consider this: our human genome is wearing out by the relentless accumulation of minor mutations that can't be eliminated by natural selection. We are doomed to extinction in, at most, tens of thousands of years. So how could humanity last millions of years? See creation.com/time-no-friend-of-evolution.
The 4 miracles of atheism, CREATION, ABIOGENESIS, EVOLUTION and AENTROPY, are clearly faith beliefs held despite the evidence and despite the known laws of science.
Belief in the all powerful transcendent God, who exists independent of his creation, and who created us for a reason (as described in the Bible) takes less faith, is more rational, suggests sufficient cause, and fits the evidence better than blind atheistic faith that implies that life is meaningless.
Very good and to the point reply. It is simple if you just want to believe, you have hope, if you just do not want to believe you have everlasting death.
The only motivation for non believers is that they have not to follow God laws. They are prepared to follow His scientific laws but not his social laws.
It is that simple.
A good response I believe. At least the lady was polite.
I find so many atheists to be rude (on the internet).
I find it amazing that so many people are happy with their decisions and beliefs, without really investigating the basis for those beliefs
Indeed, atheists can’t account for logic in their worldview. So it is a mater of time, perhaps in another millions of years, 2.0 plus 2.0 would mutate to yield a new result of 4.5 because 4.0 is an archaic logic!!