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I'm Not Harv, But I'll Give My Unwanted Opinion Anyway

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Posted by Aurino Souza on November 10, 2003 21:33:56 UTC

The problem with atheists is that they are usually very good at critical thinking. A theist can only beat an atheist by being more of a cynical, rational person than the atheist himself. You don't easily find theists like that.

No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians.

That is somewhat misleading. People are not born with an awareness of God, and there is no point in their early childhood when they see something and ask "mom, what is that" and mom says, "oh darling, that is God". The point is, without being introduced to the concept of God by way of philosophy, a person would spend a lifetime blissfully unaware that people actually have a "God problem" to solve.

And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist.

Here is where the atheist has a field day! Sure, it takes faith to accept that God does not exist. It also takes faith to accept that a giant golden unicorn is not sitting on the surface of the sun. It's really hard to impress anyone with those kinds of arguments.

"There is no God." Some atheists categorically state that there is no God, and all atheists, by definition, believe it. And yet, this assertion is logically indefensible.

Actually, the assertion is fully defendable - that's why atheists are atheists in the first place. Here's why:

A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God. Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time - with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe - can make such a statement based on the facts. To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God.

If God is in all places at the same time, then He's at the place where the atheist is. Score 1 for the atheist!

Ask the following question: "What percentage of the collective knowledge recorded in the volumes in this library would you say are within your own pool of knowledge and experience?" The atheist will likely respond, "I don't know. I guess a fraction of one percent." You can then ask: "Do you think it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience?"

If the atheist is smart enough (and they usually are), he may say: if God is outside my 0.1% pool of knowledge, then in exactly which "0.1% pool of knowledge" do theists find He? If the theist says "the bible", you know the rest of the story. Score 2 for the atheist.

(2) "I don't believe in God because there is so much evil in the world." Many atheists consider the problem of evil an airtight proof that God does not exist.

Actually, the strongest evidence that God does not exist is the fact that there is so much atheism in the world. Everyone believes in the Moon, but lots of people don't believe in God. How come?

They often say something like: "I know there is no God because if He existed, He never would have let Hitler murder six million Jews."

Actually, according to the bible God has given Jews a hard time ever since... well, biblical times. A smart atheist would know better than to pursue that line of reasoning. He might instead ask, "if the Christian God exists, how come so many Jews? Not to mention Muslims, Hindus, etc..."

point out to him that it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good [...] The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of "absolutely good."

This sort of creates a paradox, doesn't it? If we can't know what is good, then how does God know it? Does He make it up? If He makes it up, why can't we?

If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler.

Which by the way happens to be true. Had Germany won WWII Hitler would be seen today as one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, and the Jews, well, they would be what the press likes to call "casualties of war". What does God have to do with any of this stupidity?

Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it.

I happen to think it's the reality of good which provides strong evidence for the existence of a supreme being. But I would never argue that with an atheist :-)

Your goal, of course, is not simply to tear down the atheist's belief system. After demonstrating some of the logical impossibilities of his claims, share with him some of the logical evidence for redemption in Jesus Christ, and the infinite benefits that it brings.

Yeah, show the atheist how illogical he is, and after you convince him, shower him with ten times more illogical ideas. That should work :-)

Have fun

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