Addressing a common atheist objection: “I didn’t get a good answer to my question about God, so He doesn’t exist”

This comment from an atheist on the epic Richard Dawkins / Wendy Wright post* represents a common objection of skeptics:

My troubles began when I was being prepared for my first communion. I asked our chaplain “who moved the stone” since the Gospels are contradictory. He could not give me a satisfactory answer. Then I discovered many other contradictions in time and place – how, I reasoned can any of this be offered as proof of anything – I still don’t have satisfactory answers. Can you answer me?

Many atheists have similar stories about how they left the faith because they didn’t get satisfactory answers to their questions. The Jodie Foster character in the movie Contact made much of that (though ironically the rest of the film was a testimony to the principles of Intelligent Design!).

But their conclusion is illogical. While I wish all Christians were better versed in apologetics as they are commanded to be, just because the person you asked gave you a bad answer or got defensive doesn’t mean solid answers don’t exist. These stories are perfect examples of why atheists give up all too easily once they’ve “stumped” an authority figure. It is more evidence that they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. There are countless places to dig deep into the difficult questions of life and Christianity if you really want the truth.  Check out any of the apologetics links to the right.

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Romans 2:15-16 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

It is foolish and rebellious to think that you get to define whether God exists and what He must be like.  Repent and believe while you still have time.  Eternity is a mighty long time to suffer for your foolish pride.

So if you are an atheist, keep searching and don’t use flimsy excuses.  And if you are a Christian, study a little more and know of other resources to which you can point authentic seekers.  And don’t get defensive and give lame answers if you can’t answer the questions.

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* 400+ comments and counting, and that is without the many I’ve deleted for violating the commenting guidelines.  Every few months some atheist site links to it and I get tons of traffic, though not necessarily the good kind.

Evolutionary Psychology is ridiculous, part 79

Via The jaw-dropping brilliance of evolutionary psychology: Darwin explains wife-beating:

From Wendy Zukerman, “Domestic violence gets evolutionary explanation” (New Scientist September 2011):

Each year more than 500,000 women in the US alone report to the police violent attacks by current or former male partners. There is a reason why domestic violence is so widespread, says David Buss, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Texas in Austin: it carries a selective advantage, tied with reproductive success. In other words, men who are violent are trying to make sure that their partner has his child and not another man’s.

Does that also explain men who violently force their wives to abort their own children, that they know are theirs?

This is one of the problems of those clinging to the Darwinian worldview.  Everything they find has to be caused by evolution — including my conversion from atheism to Christianity based on my trust in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

But their foolishness knows no bounds.  They “know” why men beat their wives (evolution!) and why they don’t beat their wives (evolution — what else?!).

Great theory, eh?  I’m sure that study was peer-reviewed, so you know it is legit!

I’ve got a better answer, backed up daily by roughly seven billion people, not to mention everyone who previously lived*: Original sin.

* Except one

Dogma

The conventional wisdom of macro-evolutionists is that they are on the side of science, facts, reason and logic and that Christians are not.  I addressed that falsehood here, but wanted to recap a conversation that is a good representation of many experiences I’ve had.

An educator with a master’s degree (though not in science) was trying to gig me about an initiative in his state that would have required criticisms of Darwinian evolution to be addressed in the high school curriculum.  It was clear that he strongly opposed it and that he (correctly) assumed that I favored it.

I know when I’m being baited, so I calmly and briefly replied with three things:

  1. Just one of the things I see as a major flaw in the Darwinian model
  2. Just one of the reasons I see for the merits of Intelligent Design
  3. Why I oppose the restrictions on academic freedom that most Darwinists support (this was pre-Expelled!, or that would have been a great homework assignment for him).

Considering that he brought up the topic, it was now his turn and obligation to reply.  He could have tried to refute any of my points with facts and logic or even started fresh with his positions.  But here’s the complete transcript of what I got:

[Long pause] “I can see you’ve studied this issue more than I have.”

That’s it.  That was the complete response of Mr. Science Person.  As much as I appreciated the concession speech, I rightly surmised that he had no intention of doing more research or changing his position.  But I’m the dogmatic one, right?

Now does that prove that I was right?  Not at all.  I think I am, of course, but that isn’t the point of this post.  Poorly informed Christians (and I concede there are many) aren’t evidence that there isn’t a God, just as poorly informed atheists don’t prove that there is a God, and vice verse.

But it does prove that he lives in Stereotype Land.  He isn’t pro-science, he’s just a pro-atheist cheerleader.  Despite his education, he knew nothing about what he was advancing and nothing about the opposing arguments.  He isn’t skeptical, he’s firmly entrenched in his dogma.  He isn’t a free-thinker, he’s picked a worldview and is deliberately ignoring contrary evidence.

I find his approach to be the rule, not the exception.

Contrast that with the Christian worldview, partly reflected in passages like this:

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.

1 Corinthians 15:12–19 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Roundup

At the risk of being an Egypt buzzkill, What do Egyptians really want? Apparently all Sharia law, all the time . . .

• 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a “small role” in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a “large role in politics.”

• 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

• 82% support stoning adulterers.

• 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.

• 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.

• 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.

Afghan Red Cross worker set to be hanged after converting to Christianity — this is tragic.  The reason you don’t hear about this on the media is that he isn’t in the right minority group.

The laws of unintended consequences kicks in regarding the passenger “Bill of Rights” for airline delays.  As one should have suspected, airlines are changing behavior to avoid fines – only the behavior change is canceling flights early, and often unnecessarily so.  Yes, there was a problem and no, this wasn’t the right solution.

France and Germany agree: Multiculturalism is a failure.  When will the U.S. admit it?

I think profit-sharing programs can be effective motivators, but if Obama Says Corporate Profits “Have To Be Shared By American Workers” — What About Losses?

Reason # 1,978 that the free market works better than the government: Once again government subsidized projects still fail to reduce dependency on oil and free market solutions work well.

Catch 22: The evolutionary explanation of religion

No matter where you go in the world you are confronted with the fact that mankind is a deeply religious creature.

. . .

This is a particularly difficult problem for materialists like Mr. Dawkins to deal with since the historical evidence speaks strongly against the notion that everyone is borne as an atheist, or blank slate per John Locke.

To answer this, many evolutionists like to suppose that notions of religion arose out of the overriding need for survival.

However this presents a problem for the evolutionist. If it is true that religion is merely a survival mechanism, then it demonstrates the fact that the primary goal is not the production of true beliefs. If it is false, that religion is merely a survival mechanism, then we cannot dismiss it as merely a delusion.

If the primary goal of evolution isn’t the production of true beliefs then that undermines their belief that they can discern truth.

I also like to remind these folks that if their worldview is true then their beloved Darwinian evolution is 100.000% responsible for my conversion from atheism to Christianity and my trust in the “false” evidence that Jesus really lived, died and rose again.  So why are they so upset if their trusted mechanism produced my views?

From Glenn’s roundup, LifeWay Bookstores aren’t warning about emergent books anymore.  It was bad enough that they even sold these non-Christian books.

According to a Christianity Today article, LifeWay Christian Stores (resource department for Southern Baptist Convention) has decided to end their “Read with Discernment” labels program that began in 2007.1 Books that LifeWay was carrying at that time by emerging church authors such as Rob Bell and Brian McLaren were suppose to receive labels telling potential readers that they should used discernment when reading the books as the books “may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.” But, says Christianity Today, LifeWay has decided to end the warning program. Chris Rodgers, LifeWay’s director of product standards and customer relations, said: “We have been thinking about doing away with them for some time . . . They have kind of become irrelevant.”

They are only irrelevant if you aren’t interested in the truth.

The Arguments Gay Marriage Advocates Use – a good summary of the laundry list of fallacies used to advance their cause

You’d think that mathematics would be free from the idiocy of postmodernism, but here we are.

And in New Mexico a recent graduate of high school tells of how a mathematics teacher labelled him a “bigot” for thinking it was important to get the right answer. As long as students worked together in a group and achieved consensus, the teacher insisted, the outcome was acceptable.

Wow.  We have a technical term for math teachers like that: Idiots.

Abortion group’s music video targets kids, advises anal sex to avoid pregnancy – I am not making this up.  I wish I was.  The group in question is referred to as an “abortion charity,” which is my submission for the oxymoron of the year award.

Coming soon to a country near you: Canadian Court: Marriage officials must marry homosexuals.  Religious freedom?  What’s that?

 

Roundup

From the shadenfreude department, some Darwinian on Darwinian verbal violence – aka, PZ Myers reaps what he sowed.

Ten resources to help you defend the resurrection of Jesus as history

If Canada’s Bill C-389 passes, transgenderism will be taught in kindergarten – coming soon to a country near you.  This is the logical consequence of turning sexual preferences into civil rights.  It is child abuse to teach kindergarteners that they aren’t “really” boys or girls.  These people should be in jail.

New study links father absence to increased bullying – so when people want to reduce bullying in schools across the board – instead of just protecting their favored students – remind them how important stable one man / one woman families are.

The top three books that helped change me from a mindless, irrational Darwinist into an ID proponent

War and killing – excellent overview of the biblical view

Union Fights to Force You into Obamacre While Getting Waivers for Itself – one more reason to dislike unions and Obamacare.  Unions fought hard to make you pay for this but are opting out themselves.  If it is such a swell program, why aren’t they excited to be in it?  If they don’t like it, why did they lobby for it?  This is politics at its worst.

EPA Issues First Waiver For New Greenhouse Gas Regulations – shockingly, it goes to a major Obama supporter and a recipient of major government spending.  Where are the Halliburton haters now?

Another thing you won’t get from the mainstream media: How The CDC Coverup Now Turns to Bureaucratic Panic when they were caught hiding abortion data.

More Assaults From the Supporters of the Homosexual Agenda – be sure to eat more chicken (at Chik-Fil-A, a restaurant with excellent governance that treats its employees well).

‘House of Horrors’ abortionist made over $1.8 million/year, now claims to be broke — apparently abortion pays pretty well for those selfless heroes.

According to the grand jury report, a search of Gosnell’s Philadelphia home uncovered $240,000 in cash and a gun hidden in a filing cabinet in his 12-year-old daughter’s bedroom.  Other than that, his income appears to be unaccounted for except for his assets and real estate investments. “The money’s unaccounted for,” District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told the Inquirer. “The only thing we know about is the money taken out of the house.”

According to the Inquirer report, Gosnell and his wife own seventeen properties, a motorboat, a Dodge Durango, a Ford F-150 pickup truck and a Ford Expedition.

Despite these assets, Gosnell now claims to be broke . . .