Below is a concise clarification of the argument offered in the video titled, The Definition of Atheism… Again.
Traditionally, the statements “I do not believe God exists” and “I believe God does NOT exist” have been treated as equivalent. The new, social media definition of “Atheism” does NOT treat these as equivalent (or at least not necessarily).
Thus, where as the traditional definition of atheist has been one who says “God does not exist” the new social media definition says an atheist is merely one who lacks a belief in God. Or, as above, the self professing atheist is merely saying “I do not believe God exists” and is not necessarily saying “I do believe God does not exist.”
Burden of Proof
Naturally, this definition removes from the Atheist a burden of proof, because the statement “I do not believe God exists” is merely stating a fact about the atheist- noting an absence of a particular belief in his worldview. In their view, asking them to defend their lack of belief is like finding out that someone DOESN’T have a five dollar bill and asking “Where did you get that?” The question is nonsensical, because there is no origin for something which isn’t, and the lack of it is its own explanation.
This differs from “I believe God does not exist” because this statement immediately raises the question “WHY do you believe God does not exist?” The person saying that something IS (in this case, is absent) shoulders a burden of proof, meaning, for their position to be logical and rational, it must be based on an intellectual foundation. Both the person saying “God exists” and the person saying “God does not exist” have this same weighted burden of proof, for there must either be reasons for their position, or their position must be irrational.
Thus, the new definition allows the Atheist to declare himself an atheist without shouldering a burden of proof. Or it would, if the conversation ended there. But it does not.
Insisting that the conversation ends at the declaration that one lacks belief in God’s existence is intellectually dishonest. It is dishonest to the persons with whom they converse, and it is dishonest to themselves if they never continue the conversation with themselves to discover their own underlying intellectual foundation.
While the statement “I do not believe God exists” does not carry a burden of proof, because it is not asserting a statement about anything except the speaker, it does raise an immediate question: “Why?” And there are only two possible reasons why.
Reasons WHY one lacks belief in God
- They are confident in the absence of God
- They are NOT confident in the absence of God
It is worth noting that this is not referring to their emotional state, but to an intellectual confidence- meaning their position is built on a foundation of reason. How strongly they feel something is or is not, or how much they WANT it to be so does not matter in this discussion. Position #1 believes there is information which leads logically to the absence of God, where as position #2 does not have that information.
Because position #2 lacks the information to build a case against the existence of God, their position by default admits that God’s existence is a possibility. Clearly they do not have (or accept) the information to build a case FOR God’s existence as they have declared themselves to be an atheist, but neither do they have the information against God’s existence. On both grounds they are ignorant, and thus their position is Agnosticism. Again, it does not matter how they feel or what they want to be so. They are ignorant of the data it would take to build a intellectual foundation for the acceptance or rejection of God’s existence, and thus Agnosticism.
Just as above, as far as their intellectual position is concerned, it is merely, “I don’t know” which carries no burden of proof. The way many “atheists” of this kind adopt a burden of proof is by making claims based on their emotional or volitional positions instead of their intellectual position. If they say, “I don’t know” they have nothing to prove, because they have not made any assertions about the world, but only about their own ignorance. But many will make statements beyond this, such as “I don’t know, and neither do you,” or “No theist has ever proven the existence of God.” Once they start making statements like this, they have adopted a burden of proof because those statements are asserting a proposition.
For an atheist who believes they have a rational basis for asserting the absence of God, there can be any number of ideas they can point to for their own defense. However, the true burden of proof for the atheist is specific and significant. Because God’s existence is metaphysically necessary, the only way to argue against his existence is to prove that his existence is impossible.
While this is easy to state, the weight of this burden of proof is insurmountable. To be a rational atheist, one must literally prove that something which MUST exist CANNOT exist. This is akin to writing an essay to persuade the reader that words do not exist. Clearly no atheist has ever succeeded in this task, and very few have even claimed that it can be done. Because of the impossible nature of this task, no atheist has, and no atheist ever will make the argument for atheism and against the existence of God which is required to make a confidence in God’s absence intellectually justifiable.
Therefore, no one has earned the right to call themselves (on my definition) an atheist. Because they are unable to meet the intellectual foundation for a rejection of God’s existence, all must, by default, admit that His existence is possible, whatever they may feel about the matter. In summary, this means that all atheists (on either definition) are in fact Agnostics, and the use of the word atheist to describe any person is inaccurate and counterproductive.
The two points which are concluded in this argument are:
- Anyone using the word “Atheist” to describe themselves is in fact admitting to being an Agnostic
- Atheists do not exist
What evidence do you have that Her existence is metaphysically necessary?
First off, I’m a big fan of your hit, The Choice is yours (This or that). That song ruled when rap was king.
And while I respect your question, I would remind you that I am a Christian, thus defending the existence of the God of the Bible, and His preferred pronoun is “He,” so I would humbly ask you to respect His chosen gender pronoun identity.
That said, I am planning to do a video on this soon, but here is the short version for now:
Everything falls into one of three categories:
Impossible (Meaning it CANNOT exist, like a square circle, or a married bachelor), contingent (meaning it owes its existence to something else, the way you owe your existence to your parents, and they to their parents, etc) or Necessary (Meaning it HAS to exist and does not require any other thing or process to bring it about, like the number 5.)
So, God is either Impossible, Contingent, or Necessary. The God of the Bible is not contingent (though many other depictions of ‘gods’ are contingent), so He must be either impossible or necessary. SO what evidence is there that God is Necessary? I believe in efficiency, so I present for you: The entire Universe.
The universe cannot be eternal in its past, and it cannot have made itself, so it needs a cause which is timeless, space-less, immaterial, transcendently powerful, and intelligent. That description is the first paragraph on God’s resume`. SO, as we can see, if the universe exists (it does) then God MUST exist.
More can be said, but I think that should get you started. And as I am sure you can see, even before we prove that God is necessary, it is intellectually indefensible to assert that God is Impossible. No argument can or ever has been made for that proposition. We have three options, and when you rule out the two which cannot be so, then the third must be so, and if the universe exists (and it does) then obviously God is necessary to get it started.
I hope that helps, Black Sheep. I’m looking forward to your next album, and thanks for your comments.
Thanks for your response Orange. I will admit “Her” was a bit of a cheap shot, but I was just curious how you would handle it. For your benefit I will refer to your supposed creator of the universe as a “Him” for the duration of this conversation. I would like to add though, that even if there is a God being that is “necessary” and not contingent or impossible in regards to the creation of the universe we are still a long way from being able to positively identify that being as the God depicted in the Christian Bible.
A couple of things from my perspective, I am not so quick as you to rule out impossible, and contingent as you. Let’s start with contingent. How do we know the God of the Bible is in fact not contingent? We know that he claims he is not contingent, but we only have his word that he is telling the truth in that regard. Since we do not know exactly what caused the universe to be created how can we be sure that if the God being depicted in the Bible does exist that he himself is not a result of that universe creation process, and then only later claiming to be the cause of it?
As far as impossible and necessary are concerned you can’t really talk about one without the other. Now science leads us to believe the universe as we know it resulted from the big bang of course, however we do not know what existed and it what form immediately proceeding the big bang. Now the God hypothesis, whether it is the God of the Bible or another entity is certainly a convenient hypothesis, especially since you can morph it to be anything you need it to be, but we don’t know it and you can’t prove it. I watched an interesting video a few days back, and unfortunately I can’t remember the specific one I watched or I would link you to it, but Neil deGrasse Tyson was discussing intelligent design in the scientific community through the ages. He begins with Newton, and Newton solved the two body problem, for instance how the moon revolves around the earthy, or the earth around the sun. He had the math solid. But when it came to the moon and the earth and the sun, or throw in Jupiter for good measure his calculations fell apart, at which point he said “God did it,” Next guy comes along and solves that problem, has the Math down solid, does not need to evoke the God Hypothesis, but comes across another problem he can’t quite figure out, “God did it” and so on and so forth this goes on and with people solving the problems and discounting the God Hypothesis. Now we are all the way back to the beginning of the universe, and we can’t quite figure it out, and people want to stand there and say “God did it.” But History tells me that we will one day figure it out and the answer isn’t going to be “God did it.” Have you thought about what you are going to do then?
So yes, everything may fall into three categories, and if the God depicted in the Bible is the entity he claims to be then yes, he must either be necessary or impossible. However as I said before, no one knows what was happening immediately before the big bang. You say that the universe cant be eternal or create itself, but do you know how the laws of physics and matter behave at the point of singularity, because I think Stephen Hawking would love to have that information. Of course you don’t so you can no more argue the necessity of God from a place of ignorance then I can argue the impossibility of God from a place of ignorance, which is where we both are. Atheists, generally speaking, just tend to be a little more intellectually honest and admit that the answer to their ignorance might be God (however unlikely they think that scenario may be) Christians, again, generally speaking, seem to struggle more with admitting that the answer to their ignorance is not God.
I propose you need a fourth category, “neither impossible nor necessary until proven otherwise”
On a somewhat unrelated note, I’m curious on your take, there are an infinite number of species (plant, animal or otherwise) that are possible, but do not currently exist. Where do they fall on this metaphysical list?
Welcome back, BlackSheep,
Unfortunately, because I have a huge project making educational videos to teach genetics and microbiology at the corporate level (Because I know how to have a good time), I don’t have a lot of time to converse, so this will be shorter than I would prefer, but here’s my best shot:
1. There are only three possibilities: Impossible, necessary, and Contingent. to answer your last question first, the Contingent can be broken into two camps: Contingent ACTUAL (meaning they really exist) or Contingent POSSIBLE (meaning they COULD exist if things were different, but they do not). So, the infinite number of possible plants or animals or coffee cups which COULD have existed but don’t are contingent possible.
2. Yes, my argument doesn’t exactly prove the God of the Bible, but it certainly rules out atheism, and it does rule out most of the world’s other religions, including Mormonism. At this point, the Christian, Jew, and Muslim will have to look into other, data, such as the manuscript evidence showing the accuracy of the modern Bible when compared to the first generation writings, as well as the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although, I think there is an argument here against the god of Islam as well. But I digress.
3. You can be skeptical of anything in the world, but what you need to ask yourself is, do you have honest intellectual justification for it? You may want to say, “Well, maybe God’s a liar- so Moses and the prophets accurately wrote down everything he said, but he lied,” but what justification could you have for that? Seems entirely arbitrary.
Besides that, the fact of the universe being NOT eternal in the past means it needs a beginning, and the description of that beginning is, as I showed, an awful lot like what the Bible names as God. There’s nothing else which CAN fit the bill, especially because the cause needs to be volitional and intelligent.
4. I reject the Big Bang on scientific grounds. You can start reading about that over here: https://creationsoapbox.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/confessions-of-a-yec-part-9-big-bang-big-fail/
But for our conversation, it doesn’t matter. Bangs, big or otherwise, don’t remove the need for a cause.
5. Newton was one of the great geniuses of the past, and he did more before he turned 30 than most of us will do in a lifetime. What he did NOT do is throw up his hands at things he did not understand, declare “God must have done it!” and been content to assert that there is no natural explanation for the universe. What Newton, and most of the great scientists of the past did was to look at the Bible, see that the God who created the universe is a God of law and order and realize that it makes no sense for God to create for the Jews moral, civil, and ceremonial laws, but to leave the universe in chaos. So, seeing the character of God, they went looking for the law which God would have put into the universe and started to find it. when Newton DID find it, he declared that God did it, and praised the creator for his brilliance. “God did it” has not been the assertion that nature is chaotic, but the realization that, when natural laws are found, God is the Law Giver. And the God of the Bible is AGAIN the most likely candidate to be that law giver, as most other ‘gods’ are chaotic, lawless, random, etc. I would suggest that even the god of Islam fails to show the character which would result in a perfectly ordered natural law. But I digress.
The point is, the lie which is popularly spread, that Christianity has spent two thousand years tossing up our hands at the mystery of the universe and saying, “God done it! Caint be no esplanation for it!” and thus remaining in darkness until some good hearted atheist came along to shed light on nature for us, is a lie not founded in historical fact. It’s even been discredited by atheist historians. Neil deGrasse Tyson may be educated on many things, but what he doesn’t know would still fill a battle ship, and like far too any “As seen on TV” scientists, he is far too quick to give his opinion on things which he has taken no education. He seems to think that being an atheist and an evolutionist is all the education he needs to discuss creation science or the bible. You say, “Atheists, generally speaking, just tend to be a little more intellectually honest..” but I have found a GREAT many examples of the contrary.
6. incidentally, I reject the idea that God was created by the big bang to be not only absurd metaphysically and scientifically, but also because it sounds WAY too much “out of Star Trek” if you know what I mean. And not the good episodes. I mean like, Ep 5, the Final Frontier. The ODD numbered movies… [shudder]
7. You said “Now the God hypothesis, whether it is the God of the Bible or another entity is certainly a convenient hypothesis, especially since you can morph it to be anything you need it to be, but we don’t know it and you can’t prove it.” This would be true if we didn’t have the Bible. Once again, I am only interested in proving the one true God, as a historian would be interested in the one TRUE Saint Nichols, and not the many Disneyfied/commercial “Santa Clauses” which followed. If you think the Bible allows for an ambiguous God which you can describe any way you like, then you have not read the Bible. There are religions which do that, and they confuse me very much. What the Bible does not explicitly state, it implies. for instance, It does not Say “God has the intelligence and the power to make the universe and all of its natural laws” but it implies it very heavily in the first verse. And furthermore, God’s existence CAN be proven with great certainty, which is just what the past 2000 years of western philosophy and science have proven.
8. You say “Christians, again, generally speaking, seem to struggle more with admitting that the answer to their ignorance is not God.” I certainly can’t say this is not true of any Christians, but with all due respect, this shows a great ignorance of the science and philosophy which defends Biblical Christianity. Do you really think 2000 of western thought produced only philosphers who said, “Well, I caint think of any good reasons to think God aint there, so Jesus MUST a rised from the dead!”? Do you really think Answers in Genesis has spent 30 years making books and videos which teach “We can’t explain it, so it must have been a miracle! And we don’t understand this evolution business, or anything about this Biology science, so Genesis MUST be literal!” I would strongly encourage you to surf on over there and see what they really have to offer.
What I have shown is, that Evolution fails on its on merits, only by being understood. God is obvious the way the author of a book is obvious, even if you don’t know his name. (For more on that, look into the fine turning of the universe- https://youtu.be/EE76nwimuT0?list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX , or pretty much anything to do with genetics)
You seem like a smart sheep, so I would encourage you to look into Answers in Genesis and William lane Craig for detailed and more scholarly answers to your questions. I would also warn you again skepticism for the sake of skepticism. You can choose to doubt everything which could ever be known or perceived, but that will leave you entirely ignorant about absolutely everything, which is not, if I may be so bold, an intellectually honest position. Skepticism is a great tool for discovering the truth, but it is a really stupid place to drop anchor and live.
Thanks again for your comments and questions, my good BlackSheep. I hope this has been of some help.
Our conversation about AiG has caused me to have some more thoughts. I’m curious if the evidence for young earth creationism is so overwhelming why don’t we hear about young earth Hindus or Buddhists, or even young earth secularists, “I don’t believe God did it, but the earth is undoubtedly only 6,000 years old” why is it only Christians (with possibly a smattering of other abrahamic faiths) and then only a subgroup of Christians at that who believe in a young earth?
Interesting question, sheep. Certainly you know that Jews, Muslims, and even agnostics have joined the Intelligent Design movement. So as far as a rejection of naturalistic evolution and nothing more, we have a diverse crowd standing together there. But why does no one else stand on 6,000 years? I suspect its because they simply don’t know what we know. Why would they? Who is teaching the science behind a “Young” earth or even against Billions of years other than us? There are the believers in the Bible, and then scientists who dare ask the questions they are not supposed to ask.
As one example, Spike Psarris (look him up on youtube) started out as an atheist/Big bang/Evolutionist, but then his professional study of astronomy lead him to realize that the universe could not be billions of years old, and had too much design to be blind chance. He was, I suppose, an agnostic creationist for a while, until he went looking for the designer and decided that it was Jesus. He’s certainly not alone there. Here are some more men telling the same story in different fields of science:
So maybe its because, when people find this evidence and are persuaded by it, they become Christians.
Good question, Sheep. I hope they helps.
That’s okay Orange, I’m working on my brevity too.
1. Thank you for answering my last question, Metaphysics is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about so I’m appreciating your responses. Always nice to learn something new.
2. I still think you are too quick here. If your argument is true that a god-like entity is necessary for the creation of the universe then that would rule out atheism, although I think we could play with definitions here, what if that God-like entity turned out to be more of a hands-off entity, doesn’t care about you or anyone else for that matter, this entity set things in motion but never interacted with the world after that making theism true in reality, but atheism true in practice, where do you suppose that would that leave us?
I would disagree with your assertion that it would rule out most of the world’s other religions, feel free to expand on that if you have the time, I’m assuming you are referring to the capricious nature of the deities of some other religions, but if you think that the God of the Bible is not capricious, well, then in my opinion you have an overly rosy view of his character.
3. What justification would I have for considering God is a liar? For starters God claims he created the whole world and then (assuming creationist “science” is true) everything he did for the next what, 4 and a half thousand years was limited to one small geographical circle of land that is primarily desert. Sounds to me like he is taking credit for someone else’s work. He also gets his butt kicked by another God 2 kings, he has a weakness for iron chariots in judges, is omniscient but needs to send spies to check out Sodom and Gomorrah… So there are a couple of things that make me think maybe I shouldn’t just straight up take his word on it.
4. You will of course forgive me if I stick with physicists like Dr. Hawking, Dr. Greene, and Dr. Tyson over some guy with a blog (no offense). I do like the part where you complain about how assumptions about the big bang then become evidence for the big bang. Which is pretty much what you’ve done this entire conversation using assumptions about God as evidence for God.
“Bangs, big or otherwise, don’t remove the need for a cause.” That may be, but God does not necessarily follow from our lack of knowing what that cause was. Humanity, in its ignorance, thought all manner of natural disasters were caused by one deity or another, now we don’t, because we are no longer ignorant in that regard. You cannot argue the necessity of God from ignorance.
Here is the video I was referencing, the Newton bit begins at the 8:00 mark.
You can look up Newton’s Principia, Newton doesn’t mention God until he gets to the part where he thinks his calculations no longer hold up, at which he says, “but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only precede from the council and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being”
So yes, he did throw up his hands and say “God did it”
If this is a lie (about ignorant christian and the good hearted atheist) that is spread, it is spread, it is a lie spread by Christians to make themselves feel better because they can “prove atheists wrong. Galileo was a Christian, Newton was a Christian, Sir Francis Bacon and Kepler were Christians. Shoot even Darwin started his voyage as a creationist, he didn’t end his voyage as a creationist but that is a different story.
The point is, when otherwise intelligent people come to the edge of their understanding, particularly if they are religious they tend to, and perhaps it is even natural to say “I don’t understand, therefore God.” Until someone else comes along and solves that very same problem with needing the God Hypothesis.
Actually Neil deGrasse Tyson is a world renown astrophysicist, which is the branch of science that deals specifically with the life cycles (including the creation of) stars and planets, and everything else in the universe, there is also a lot of bleed over between astrophysics and cosmology, which actual deals specifically with the creation of the actual universe. So Dr. Tyson actually does have a fair amount of authority to discuss creation science.
If we are just comparing credentials Ken Ham has a bachelors in applied science and a graduate diploma in education, so I’m not sure what authority he has to discuss creation science, he isn’t even a theologian to appropriately be discussing the Bible (a DD is an honorary degree with no academic merit). Dr. Craig, at least, actually has a doctorate of theology, so that’s something.
I said generally speaking atheists tend to be a little more intellectually honest and willing to admit that God might be the answer to their ignorance (no matter how unlikely the scenario might be) I am not surprised you disagree with me, but please don’t truncate my statements to make your point, that is exceptionally dishonest of you, particularly when we are discussing intellectual honesty.
6) And I reject the idea that the God depicted in the Bible created the universe as absurd mythology with no scientific basis at all. It doesn’t matter what I reject or what you reject, what matters is do you know enough about the creation of the universe to definitively state that the hypothesis that the so called God of the Bible did not create the universe, but if he exists at all was created by the same forces that created the universe. It may be an unlikely hypothesis, but can you disprove it?
7) You are not interested in proving the “One True God” you are interested in trying to prove that *your* God is the “One True God,” there is a difference there. Much of our conversation is still centered on whether or not there is a need for any God-like entity to have created the universe. That needs to be established before we can start discussing which of the many possible God-like entities humans think they know did that creating.
“God’s existence CAN be proven with great certainty, which is just what the past 2000 years of western philosophy and science have proven.” A lot of really intelligent people are looking for this evidence, please provide it.
8) No, I think for the past 30 years AiG has been ignoring and/or discounting legitimate scientific advancements and have been manufacturing propaganda in a great con, even if it is a con that is a result of self-delusion. I haven’t spent a lot of time over at AiG because I would prefer to gouge my eyes out (no offense) but I have spent enough time reading scientific papers, reading AiGs rebuttals and then reading the scientific rebuttals to AiGs rebuttals to come to the conclusion that AiG are at best deceived themselves, or at worst intentionally trying to mislead people. I think that if Genesis didn’t exist, no one would believe that the universe was created in 6 literal days 6,000 years ago, because no one would be trying to bend the evidence to fit their own propaganda model.
“What I have shown is, that Evolution fails on its on merits” You literally haven’t even discussed evolution, like at all…
Yeah, not so much. A book, a watch, a chair, however you want to run this analogy it doesn’t work. I work for a university; our art school has a furniture design course. If I wanted I could audit the course and watch the entire process from design to production, I could even meet the “designers.” Same with books, I can watch the whole process, meet the author, the editor, the binder. If I see a chair, I assume a chair designer because I’ve seen chair designers. If I see an oak tree I don’t assume an oak tree designer, I assume acorns, because I’ve seen acorns. I have never seen a universe designer. I would need to see a universe being created, and how it was done, before I could go to the next universe and assume anything about how it was created. And at the moment there is only one universe that we know of.
I see your fine tuning of the universe, and I raise you String Theory http://www.ted.com/talks/brian_greene_on_string_theory
Thank you for taking the time to explore these ideas with me.
Thanks again for stopping byBaa Black Sheep,
And now, let me fail to be brief:
First, it will come as no surprise that I am not persuaded to abandon my position, but I still want to thank you for making logical cases on a variety of interesting topics. I found your comments thoughtful and well said and I appreciate you taking the time.
1. I enjoy metaphysics, which I think proves I am a geek. For related topics, including philosophy and philosophers, I recommend Peter Kreeft in any medium, and Ronald Nash on I-Tunes U.
2. I feel my argument shows that “a God-like entity” as you say is proved. He is necessary if the universe is to exist, and he cannot be part of the universe by simple definition of the universe (time, space, matter, energy). This argument doesn’t prove the entire Bible true, and it isn’t intended to. It merely shows that, understanding the universe and the finite nature of it, it follows logically that there must be an uncaused cause outside of the universe, which I identify as God. This is like the proof that the cause of death was murder instead of natural causes. It hasn’t yet proved who the killer is, but until you rule out natural causes, you may be tempted not to look for suspects. Once you do rule out natural causes, you need to start looking for suspects, and the nature of the crime (or in our discussion, creation) tells us a lot about who we need to be looking for, but admittedly not everything.
As for the rest of the world’s other religions- until Big Bang, Genesis 1 was the only account of creation from nothing. Every other religion has a god or gods, or sometimes birds, making the world and man from a universe which already was, with rivers and mountains which already were. Also, some gods are by definition not up to the task. The gods of Hinduism do not create a real universe, but we are asked to accept that the universe is a dream, including ourselves. Thus, no creation, banging or otherwise. The god of the Mormons was born on another planet, under a different god who, himself was born a man on a different planet, etc infinitum, which is not only lacking a god who CAN create the universe, but also universe with a finite past. So, all candidates considered, I think it rational to say the God of the Bible is the only viable suspect.
3. I don’t want to be rude here, but this is a string of (understandable) misunderstandings. For a lot of good research on lots of these topics and more, I recommend http://tektonics.org/ J.P is a bit rough around the edges at times, but he does his homework.
A few short rebuttals: God does not limit his activity to Israel for the history of the world, but the Bible only records the history of the Jews. There is good reason to believe that China was essentially Jewish for almost 3,000 years, and the Bible gives many accounts of believers in other nations, even if those nations are largely not. Consider the entire point of the book of Jonah was that God sent a messenger to a distant land of evil people who all repented and became Jews.
God does not get his butt kicked or fail because of chariots, or need to send servants to see what is going on. Again see the articles at the site above for detailed explanations of those, I think Holding explains all of them. Some of context, some is culture, some is simply not reading the account carefully (or maybe having a weak English version).
4. “You will of course forgive me if I stick with physicists like Dr. Hawking, Dr. Greene, and Dr. Tyson over some guy with a blog (no offense).” With all due respect, I will not forgive you, for this is a textbook example of the fallacy of authority. The credentials of the men you name mean nothing, only the truth matters. Also, if you demand my evidence comes from evolutionary, atheistic sources, you will not learn anything from me, and this will be a short and dull conversation.
I do like the part where you complain about how assumptions about the big bang then become evidence for the big bang. Which is pretty much what you’ve done this entire conversation using assumptions about God as evidence for God.
This is false. I have used what we observe about the universe to show it supports what the Bible tells us. That is far from building a case on assumptions.
… but God does not necessarily follow from our lack of knowing what that cause was. ..You cannot argue the necessity of God from ignorance.
And you will find I do not. Logically, a thing cannot be its own cause. We ask, what caused time, space, matter, and energy to come into being. The cause MUST be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, tremendously powerful, and very intelligent (Because of the fine tuning and great amounts of information in physics and biology). I rely on ignorance for nothing, but you will find, ironically, this is exactly what atheist/Big bang/Evolutionists do much of the time- patch ignorance (and great failures in the models) with faith in the unknown.
Nothing comes from nothing- except the universe. How? We don’t know, but SOMEDAY we will find out.
Life never comes from non-life- EXCEPT the first life. How? We don’t know, but SOMEDAY we will find out.
We’ve never seen a mutation create new genetic information as Evolution requires, but we KNOW it happens. How? We don’t know, but SOMEDAY we will find out.
Information ONLY comes from a mind- EXCEPT the information in DNA… etc.
Creation science is not based on not knowing. Its based on logic, reason, and information. The difference between Creation and Big Bang is that Creation has a miracle worker to account for its miracle.
5. So yes, he did throw up his hands and say “God did it”
I would disagree with your interpretation of his words. But since nothing really rests on that, I think we can agree to disagree.
Darwin started his voyage as a creationist, he didn’t end his voyage as a creationist
Yes, most of the great scientific discoveries and beginnings were done by Bible believing creationists. Again, this is to be expected because we have a worldview which expects the universe to be orderly up and down. It also dispels the lie that the church has ever been anti-science. The Church INVENTED the sciences. Darwin, however, was never a Christian or Creationist. He was raised by an atheist and a Unitarian, and his grandfather was an atheist who has written a book on his own theory of evolution many years before Chuck D. Some Christians try to claim Chuck used to be on our team, but I think historical account shows this is a mistake. Not every smart nor successful person is a Christian. I’m ok admitting that.
“I don’t understand, therefore God.” This is a broad brush which is unfair to paint the whole of Christians or theists. Obviously I can’t deny these people exist, but they have not been the foundation of western science or the recent Creation Science movement. What I think you will find is “I don’t understand, BUT God…” In a godless worldview you have to find an explanation which fits in the box. We simply have another option open which, at any time, may show God is still doing things. As I always say, no one builds a race car to leave it in the garage. I suspect God made the universe, at least in part, so he could have some FUN with it. But there is no mainstream voice in Christianity or Creationism which says, “When we can’t explain something, just credit God and STOP doing science.” Ironically, evolutionists did just that with vestigial organs and “Junk” DNA.
Dr. Tyson actually does have a fair amount of authority to discuss creation science.
I know who he is, and he is a very likeable guy (However ignorant of scholarly Creation Science he may be). Thanks to his Tv appearances, I have seen him explain how the origin of life is a mystery which defies explanation- not merely that we can’t explain it YET, and he is forced to believe and teach that stars form when a cloud of gas and dust is pushed into collapsing by the explosion of SEVERAL more stars. He knows and has made public the understanding that stars will never merely fall together, but to make a star, SEVERAL preexisting stars have to die. It’s a model which CANNOT work, not one where we are waiting to learn how. The science DEFIES the model, and the model is bandaged together with ideas which require we get new stars by killing old ones- which means the model admits the first starts COULD NEVER FORM even IF the Big Bang happened.
But as I have said, credentials are not what determine a debate. The truth, and only the truth can do that. I have no problem accepting the idea that Dr Tyson is smarter than Ken Ham and myself, but that doesn’t mean his ideas are all true. For our discussion, it means nothing.
If I am guilty of truncating, I apologize.
6) It doesn’t matter what I reject or what you reject,
This is true.
Can I prove that God was not made by the forces which made the universe. Not right now, and not in a short enough form for this thread. Ask me again sometime. In the mean time, I strongly suspect William Lane Craig has already answered this, so check out his web site archives.
7) You are not interested in proving the “One True God” you are interested in trying to prove that *your* God is the “One True God,” there is a difference there. Much of our conversation is still centered on whether or not there is a need for any
Obviously I disagree here. I already know my God is the one true God. That I am trying to persuade you of what I know does not invalidate what I know. You are begging the question by insisting I begin from your starting point.
“God’s existence CAN be proven with great certainty, which is just what the past 2000 years of western philosophy and science have proven.” A lot of really intelligent people are looking for this evidence, please provide it.
Christian apologists and philosophers and scientists have made their work public and free.
Here’s some places to start:
I can’t make you learn what you don’t want to know, or accept what you don’t want to be true. Check out what I offer you, or don’t. But as one of many who have done the homework, I know the evidence supports the Bible 100%. Many former atheists have become the past century’s best Christian apologists because of that fact. But I think you will find that a lot of intelligent people are looking for evidence that the Bible is true the way a lot of criminals are looking for a policeman. CS Lewis was convinced against his will, “The most reluctant convert in all of England,” and soon became the greatest defender of the faith since St Paul was the most reluctant convert in all of Israel. I VERY highly recommend Mere Christianity, by Lewis, and then Miracles by the same. Both very good, and available on audio if you like listening to books.
8) Again, not a surprise twist ending, but I disagree with you entirely here. What I have seen from AiG is professionals in their field, who understand the science, and who engage in the discussions with logic and reason. I’ve seen the same from all the major creation science organizations. But now we’re tossing out empty “Did too!” “did not!” at each other. My experience has been one where evolutionists put in print how they care for their theory and not the truth, and not the facts. Lots of Creationists use exclusively evolutionary/Big Bang sources in their presentations because, in unguarded moments, the evolutionists admits the evidence is not there, and the theory indefensible. I’ve seen the “rebuttals” of AiG and I have not needed AiG to tell me why the blogger jihad have been wrong. Once again, we must be forced to agree to disagree, baffled as we both will be by the other.
“What I have shown is, that Evolution fails on its on merits” You literally haven’t even discussed evolution, like at all…
I literally have, for like 20 chapters starting here: https://abitoforange.com/2016/03/01/defining-evolution-1-the-fight-almost-starts/
And several years before that over here: https://creationsoapbox.wordpress.com/
I suggest the defining evolution series. I mean, the Confessions of a YEC series over at CreationSoapbox is good, but I got a bit more into details with the Thursday night nachos. And it mentions Nachos in every chapter.
And forgive me, but your final argument seems to be one from ignorance. “I’ve never seen God make the universe, so it can’t have happened.” How is this better than “I don’t know how the universe made itself, so God did it”? You assume acorns because you have seen an acorn produce a tree, and you assume a designer for chairs because you have seen it. But have you ever seen a mindless, accidental process of any kind produce great amounts of information, or build irreducibly complex machines? Does your local library have a section for books with no author? Of course not. We know design DEMANDS a designer, and information requires a mind. Every cell in your body is comprised of irreducibly complex machines, and guided by enough information to fill the entire Harry Potter series 250 times. I am not calling on ignorance to say, “I don’t know. God musta done it.” I am calling on everything we learn from the moment we are born- messages come from persons, information comes from an author, machines come from a mechanic, laws come from law givers. You know a book or a chair can’t make themselves, nor can they be made by any natural process over long periods of time. Why would you think the VASTLY more complex information system in the simplest single cell on earth can do what a chair or a copy of Green Eggs and Ham cannot? Once again, my assertion of the Creator is based solidly on what we DO know, not on what we do not. Creation is the faith that fits the facts, but evolution is the faith the facts have failed.
Thank you for taking the time to explore these ideas with me.
My pleasure. Thanks for making me think. It’s good to not merely preach to the choir.
As you beleive the character Jesus of Nazareth is the creator what evidence outside of the bible do you have to irrefutably verify his existence?
And most importantly, what contemporary evidence do you you have?
Greetings again! Good to see you seeking information, as that is what I am here to dole out like candy on Halloween. No tricks, just treats.
First, I HIGHLY recommend you spend time learning from a man MUCH more educated than I am on topics which directly relate to this line of questioning- Tim Macgraw:
These videos show how ALL forms of historical inquiry support the Bible- from other historical accounts outside of the New Testament to the archeological discoveries of the past 200 years, and all of our understanding of the governments, histories, social customs, etc. Even the study of Geography supports the biblical accounts. Naturally there are lots of other historians who discuss these and other related topics, but this is an excellent place to start. It’s a series, and every chapter is excellent.
But while there is a wealth of information outside the Bible to verify the Bible, I see no reason why I would need to seek contemporary evidence outside of the New testament. The whole reason that collection of books exits is to show the contemporary teaching of the church- the disciples of Jesus. It contains not one, but FOUR eye witness accounts of his life, death, and resurrection, all written by first hand eye witnesses and the testimony of those who knew him best. Furthermore, even skeptics like Bart Erman admit that the manuscript evidence is so good that we can be 99.9% certain that what the Bible says today is what it said when it was written- in part because we have SO MANY ancient manuscript pieces- FAR more than any other book of antiquity, or even most of them put together.
For more on that, see this series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjnwldgqN8c&list=PLZ3iRMLYFlHuhA0RPKZFHVcjIMN_-F596
Mike Winger does a lot of good homework and sites his sources. Again, its a long series, and the videos which address your questions are probably down in the teens- #13-16. He also explains why we know Jesus was the messiah- a fulfillment of prophecies- themselves recorded faithfully in manuscripts which date MANY years before Jesus would even be born.
And if you have done any homework on the Christian church, you will know that the history of the church offers no valid or sane reasons why they would invent the stories as written. All of the disciples died for their testimony. If it was a lie, it was one no one had cause to make- it only brought them punishment and death in this life. Once again, the burden of proof is on the skeptics to explain why the church exists in the first place, when the beginnings of the church as an institution with any power- or even one which could exist in peace under it’s own government- was hundreds of years away when it was born. The only valid reason can be that they were handing down what they had witnessed, just as they say.
Check out those videos. You will find them SHOCKING and eye opening.
And, as always, thanks for your comments and questions.
The problem I have is that you are a Creationist and thus have zero credibility among mainstream scientists, or even mainstream Christians, which strikes me as even more problematic.
And on this point to you,personally consider your fellow Christians who do not accept a literal bible and YEC doctrine to be left out in the cold when ”Judgment” comes?
There is not a single peer-reviewed paper on any subject pertaining to this topic written by a Creationist that has been published in any recognised scientific journal.
So you can see my dilemma, I hope?
Yes, thank you, I have done my homework and it seems that the bible is replete with interpolations and fraud to name but two problems.
And of course the Human Genome Project has demonstrated there was never an original Adam and Eve as described. I am sure you are aware of this. This tends to put the mockers on the doctrine of Original Sin, for a start.
But if one is completely indoctrinated to believe otherwise then any evidence put forward will simply be hand-waved away, I suppose?
I presume you also believe in such things as a literal hell, and the gospels were written but actual eyewitness?
Having a rational dialogue under such circumstances might be a tad difficult, don’t you think, and I suspect even if presented with rock solid irrefutable evidence you would still deny the science and consider it was an evil plot by Satan, am I right?
My dear Ark, I am starting to see why JB has such little patience with you. You have devolved into childish name calling rather quickly. I likewise shall tire of that very quickly.
Before I address any of them in specific, I want to point out to you that you have made nothing BUT unsubstantiated blanket assertions. You have not made a case for ANYTHING which you have asserted. Are you even aware of this? You have made several outrageous claims, and not only have you not even attempted to build a case of any kind, you have not even offered links to videos or articles or even your own blog where in those assertions could be supported by some sort of fact. Now, I get this a lot, but I never cease to be confused by it. You come to MY blog, where in I make very clear my positions and do my best to defend them with logic, reason, and evidence, and you merely state as fact that I am wrong and some contrary position is so. But you offer NO reason why I ought to even consider your position. Why would you do that? And what kind of response do you really expect? Are there people out there stupid enough and weak minded enough to read you declare that the Jews stole their God and they reply to you, “OH NO! Everything I believe is a lie! There is no God!”? I cannot believe those people are out there. Anyone that stupid surely doesn’t know how to make a wordpress blog. Or how to operate a gallon of milk. But let me address a few in particular.
I understand that Evolutionary scientists, atheists, and related persuasions would not respect my view point. But what of it? Only a truly childish person would count noses to determine truth. I hope we are above that folly. If you want to present statistics about believers and disbelievers instead of addressing my arguments, then I have nothing to say to you other than you are being very unwise. I don’t claim to be popular, I only claim to be presenting the truth. I think you will find that the truth is often unpopular. But again, you simply state as fact this consensus of science without offering any reason why I ought to believe it. Every survey in the western world shows that 40-80% (depending on the survey) of people polled reject evolution, with nearly as many accepting creation by God 6,000 years ago. Am I to assume that scientists are not part of the population or that poll takers are horribly biased toward creationism?
You say, “There is not a single peer-reviewed paper on any subject pertaining to this topic written by a Creationist that has been published in any recognised scientific journal.
So you can see my dilemma, I hope?”
And yes, I see your dilemma perfectly. Not really a dilemma so much as a flagrant error. You are making amazing assertions which you make no attempt to defend, and which I know to be false. Once again, this comment is not only an unsubstantiated Blanket Assertion, but shows how very little homework you have done. Don’t be lazy. Go look it up. Christians and Creationists get published in peer reviewed papers all of the time, despite the blatant bias against them. Mark Armitage’s work on soft tissue in dinosaur bones is a recent example which comes to mind.
Just as your ignorance concerning historians who accept the exodus as historical fact, your ignorance of Peer Reviewed Creationist authors doesn’t make them magically go away. It only shows you have more homework to do. I don’t doubt that you have done some homework, but if your unsubstantiated blanket assertions are any indication, you are getting your positions from Aaron Ra or TalkOrigins.com, or other such anti-Creationists who aren’t concerned with the actual facts. But as a long dead Egyptian once said to me, “…if one is completely indoctrinated to believe otherwise then any evidence put forward will simply be hand-waved away, I suppose?” That often does seem to be the case. I am hoping this doesn’t apply to you.
Just to address your major logical flaw in these comments (unsubstantiated Blanket Assertions): If the Bible is “replete with interpolations and fraud” as you say, certainly you must realize that I am not merely going to take your word and abandon what I have learned? You make no attempt to defend this accusation any more than you did to defend the ridiculous claim that the Jews stole their God from the neighbors. In fact, you have made NO attempt to defend ANY accusation or assertion you have made. You can’t really expect me to reject what I know based on what you don’t tell me? You cannot expect any reasonable person to be willing to abandon what they think they know to be fact merely because someone on the internet tells them they are wrong, even if they also assert that LOTS of scientists agree with him?
Your assertion is false and completely unsupported. What response would you expect from a reasonable person? Would you even respect me if I replied, “OH! I though the Bible was true. Thank you for setting me strait. I shall burn my copy immediately.” I don’t think you would.
And this: “the Human Genome Project has demonstrated there was never an original Adam and Eve as described.” This is not only an unsubstantiated blanket assertion, but factually wrong for MULTIPLE reasons. First, because the 15 years the project spent mapping the genome had nothing to do with discovering our origins. Its work was not one which COULD prove that, let alone did it, and it made no attempt to. Secondly, work since then has proven that the data of genetic studies (And genetic decay rates, etc) show a male and female ancestor for the whole human race about 5-10K years ago, which suits my 6,000 year model just fine. The mitochondrial eve date had to be adjusted UP to account for evolutionary assumptions so it would be older, while the researchers admitted that the data itself fit the Genesis account just fine. I wrote about that somewhere. If I can find that research I shall link it. Otherwise, you can Google it.
You can start here: https://www.icr.org/article/5657/
This article quotes the peer reviewed journal “Science” as saying “researchers have calculated that “mitochondrial Eve”–the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people—lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. Using the new clock, she would be a mere 6000 years old.” Science showing evolutionary assumptions to be false? The scientist who reported it almost certainly don’t accept Biblical creation, of the facts they report still certainly defend it. This is the norm.
And not to be rude, but this whole collection of logical fallacies on your part makes me wonder “…even if presented with rock solid irrefutable evidence you would still deny the science and consider it was an evil plot by The CHURCH, am I right?”
Let us not be childish. Very simply if this is your opinion about me, then by all means stop sending me questions and comments. Consider me unsalvageable. I shant be offended. If you can think better of me, then make a case for your position or lead me where I can find the facts you believe to be so. Perhaps I can be taught, but I won’t learn anything by merely getting the bullet pointed list of “facts” in the comments of a blog.
And as always, thanks for your comments and questions.
Again a tome …
After I state that there is not a single peer-reviewed piece in a recognized scientific journal related to this material you offer a link to ICR?
Are you serious ?
At least, provide a link to the original article that I may read.
The HGP has demonstrated that the ICR claims are simply fallacious and I am not going to provide my take on it when hundreds of eminent scientists from around the globe have dedicated much of their professional lives to show this.
That you hand wave away their research is indicative of your
And while Collins maybe evangelical he sure as shit is not a YEC.
I am afraid you will have to be a lot smarter than him to prove your case and if the rest of the scientific world rejects YEC creationism, including, I might add, the vast majority of Christians, then I see no reason to accept it either, do you?
Yes, I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
If you had scrolled down to the bottom of the ICR article, you would have seen that they site their sources and provide links. Links to peer-reviewed pieces in recognized scientific journals related to this material. Yup. Just scroll on down. YEC’s always site their sources, which are almost always peer-reviewed pieces in recognized scientific journals related to the material. This is one of the amazing facts you would learn if you do the homework I keep suggesting instead of dismissing sources like these because you don’t like their conclusions.
Hmmm… And, more unsubstantiated blanket assertions. And again, I know ALL of them to be wrong. So sad that you seem not to. I have to wonder if you actually know what the HGP is. I don’t think you would make these claims if you did. Add that to your homework.
So, I can either go through all of this an unsubstantiated statement at a time, or I can go wash my hair.
I must pull you up if you don’t mind as you did not answer my question:
let me reiterate:
It would be far more palatable if you simply listed the non-biblical, contemporary sources that verify the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Thanks.
Greetings Mr Ark,
I did answer your question, in droves. You clearly did not watch the videos I presented, which give a much more complete and well cited list of sources than I could present here. After all, the real answer is bigger than a bullet-pointed list is going to be, and for good reason. History is bigger than a post-it note or a bumper sticker. You won’t learn much about it demanding such replies on a blog like this one. Imagine if I asked you to prove evolution to be true, or to explain genetics. Could you do that convincingly here in the comments? Of course not. This is the same.
The New Testament (Which I still defend is a collection of viable first century, eyewitness accounts that can be trusted, though you seem to quick to dismiss them out of hand) is defended in some ways by some sources, and in other ways by other sources. Some mention Jesus and the disciples. Others explain the social and political climate of the day which makes sense of various aspects of different events. Some clarify the physical landscape and political structures, and some give explanation to terminology and customs of the day and prove that the authors of the New testament must have lived in the region before 70AD since the landscape and cultures changed drastically after 70AD and no one living even in the same region 200 years later could possibly know as much about the land and peoples as the writers of the NT did, let alone if they lived 300 years and 3000 miles separated. And besides that, we have manuscript pieces which predate the destruction of the temple in 70AD, which is considerable for many reasons.
So, it takes a lot of sources to build the case, and there are a LOT of sources which build it. Start with Tim McGrew. I think he makes the deepest case and can get you started.
Don’t be lazy. Go click play and give those a watch. You will be amazed, I assure you.
Let me know what you learn.
And as always, thanks for your questions and comments.
So? Why should I lend your personal opinion any credence?
Not a single historian will credit the gospels as eye-witness accounts and neither will any genuine biblical scholar who understands how the gospels were compiled.
For some reason you seem to be at odds will the entire body of professional historians and genuine biblical scholarship
However… I am always open to new evidence.
So let’s narrow the focus down a little to make it easier for both of us, shall we?
Without meaning in any way to sound condescending I am going to presume as a matter of course you understand what contemporary means.
Please cite one contemporary, non biblical witness to the events of the gospels, and especially those events surrounding the crucifixion of the character Jesus of Nazareth, and in particular the resurrection of the dead saints as recorded in Matthew.
Once you have done this then I’ll study your videos and we can rake it from there, okay?
( As a point of interest you may be away that evangelical apologist Mike Licona was forced out of teaching position because he wrote in his 2010 book that the raising of the saints should not be regarded as a literal event.)
Geisler and co. were none too pleased with this and demanded a retraction from Mike. He refused.
Bye, bye employment.
Here is a good place to start answering some of your questions. JP Holding does a much better job at siting sources and recommending scholarly references than I do, so his work ought to satisfy you. http://www.tektonics.org/
However, you are STILL making unsubstantiated blanket assertions which are demonstrably false. “Not a single historian will credit the gospels as eye-witness accounts and neither will any genuine biblical scholar who understands how the gospels were compiled. For some reason you seem to be at odds will the entire body of professional historians and genuine biblical scholarship” How can you really be this ignorant? NOT A SINGLE HISTORIAN? For shame, Arkman. This is just sad and you ought to be ashamed to be this ignorant, and yet still go traveling about writing this kind of thing on other people’s blogs. GO DO SOME HOMEWORK. Oy.
The gospels are reliable, eye witness, first generation accounts with existing manuscripts dating back to the first generation. That you are ignorant of these facts and the historians who acknowledge them does not make them go away. Once again, what kind of response did you REALLY expect with this kind of comment? Do you REALLY, I mean REALLY expect that I will say, “Oh! I had no idea. It seems I was wrong to think otherwise.” ?!?!?
So why should you take MY opinion as fact? You shouldn’t. This is why I keep saying “Go do homework” and not, “Trust me!” I don’t present myself as the PhD expert on these topics. I present myself as a 5th grade science teacher summing up the work of the PhD’s so my students can understand the concepts.
And while I’m sure your above challenge would be fun and educational, I have a list of projects I m already working on, and I don’t work for you, so I will be taking a pass at your suggestion. Thanks anyway. Besides, people like Holding have already make a LOT of information available on the topic. Go to his site and look around: http://www.tektonics.org/
Or to his youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tektontv
and for this question I suggest starting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwSznEl48OE
Or, maybe those playlists I already suggested. Those are good too.
Do some homework. Then you can stop making these embarrassing claims. Or at the very least, learn to make statements which at least SUGGEST a case can be made. Because, again, you keep just STATING these things as if your word is good enough for me. Come now. What would the real Arkenaten say to his name being used in such a manner?
and as always, thanks for your comments and questions.
Tectonics is an apologetics site.~
Have another go and try to link to a proper historian.
Or deliver evidence.
no true Scotsman fallacy. Again.
Oh, I forgot to ask. You mentioned Armitage in your reply.
Have you read his paper?
At least some of it. But he also has videos on line where in he sums up his findings and defends them against criticisms and misunderstandings. I think his word in word is as good as his word in print. He’s on youtube. Go check him out. I think you’ll like him. He’s spunky for an old scientists.
I did check online. At leas tone person a proper scientist – cretated he was a sham and a bit of a wet blanket.
Which ”some of it ” did you read?
no true Scotsman fallacy. Again.