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Archive for the ‘Atheism’ Category

This is a debate between Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Eric Smaw on “Same-Sex Marriage: Should it be legal in America?” at the University of Central Florida. Don’t forget to check out Dr. Brown’s massive book, “A Queer Thing Happened To America.”

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Continue to Part 2-10

Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love by Edward Welch

Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan

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Evolved by random chance and time  or designed by a Designer?

More from ABC Science.

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These lectures (video or audio) are recently given at Dallas Theological Seminary.

  1. The New Atheism and the Endgame of Secularism
  2. The New Atheism and the Assault on Theism
  3. The New Atheism and the Defense of Theism
  4. The New Atheism and the Future of Christianity

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This is an interesting piece from NY Times.

What does Hillary, Obama and Huckabee show to us (sex, race and Christianity)?

At a New York or Los Angeles cocktail party, few would dare make a pejorative comment about Barack Obama’s race or Hillary Clinton’s sex. Yet it would be easy to get away with deriding Mike Huckabee’s religious faith. Liberals believe deeply in tolerance and over the last century have led the battles against prejudices of all kinds, but we have a blind spot about Christian evangelicals. They constitute one of the few minorities that, on the American coasts or university campuses, it remains fashionable to mock.

What has the libs done? Why are they not in Darfur, Burma, Laos, Tibet or Iraq helping someone in great need? Many are busy mocking the Christians or indulging in their own flesh…

In parts of Africa where bandits and warlords shoot or rape anything that moves, you often find that the only groups still operating are Doctors Without Borders and religious aid workers: crazy doctors and crazy Christians. In the town of Rutshuru in war-ravaged Congo, I found starving children, raped widows and shellshocked survivors. And there was a determined Catholic nun from Poland, serenely running a church clinic.

That is why the challenge by Greg Bahnsen in the great debate to the atheists still left unanswered till today!

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What is the foundation for truth?

Most (ok, I will be generous—instead of “all”) atheists believe that atheism is true and theism is false/wrong/duplicitous. However, to state that atheism is true implies that there is such a thing as objective truth. The atheist does not believe that atheism is only true for them but it should be to everyone as well. But if atheism is true, there must be a foundation for objective truth.

So what is the foundation for truth?

Most (ok, I will generous again—instead of “all”) atheists pride themselves on being rational. But, why be rational if the universe is the result of random chance or irrational chance? There is no reason to be rational or coherent in a random universe. Therefore, the very thing in which atheists most pride themselves has not foundation. This is another question, let us stay with “What is the foundation for truth?

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Calling all atheists for the Atheist Challenge Part 2 (Part 1), the late Greg Bahnsen would like to make a challenge to you. Using the Great Debate with Gordon Stein, we summoned his arguments with the atheist. Emphasis mine.

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The Transcendental Proof of God’s Existence

When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and theists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist world view is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic or morality. The atheist world view cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist world view cannot account for the very debate in this blog!

We are debating the existence of God. I specified I would be speaking in order to avoid logical contradictions on one particular view of God, the Christian view of God, which I personally hold. The atheist often times will not restrict himself to the Christian conception of God. That’s fine, he may not. But all the time he uses anything outside the Christian conception of God will be irrelevant. In fact I would join him in refuting those other conceptions of God. The existence of God that I’m arguing is the Christian one.

The atheist may hold to logical binds and logical self-contradictions. The atheist may say that the laws of logic are universal; however, they are conventional in nature. That is not at all acceptable philosophically. If the laws of logic are conventional in nature, then you might have different societies that use different laws of logic.

It might be appropriate in some societies to say, “Well, my car is in the parking lot, and it’s not the case that my car is in the parking lot.” There are laws in certain societies that have a convention that says, “go ahead and contradict yourself”. But then there are in a sense, some groups in our own society that might think that way. Thieves have a tendency to say, “this is not my wallet, but it is not the case that it’s not my wallet.” They may engage in contradictions like that, but I don’t think any of us would want to accept this.

The laws of logic are not conventional or sociological. I would say the laws of logic have a transcendental necessity about them. They are universal; they are invariant, and they are not material in nature. And if they are not that, then I’d like to know, in an atheist universe, how it is possible to have laws in the first place. And secondly, how it is possible to justify those laws?

The laws of logic, you see, are abstract. As abstract entities, which is the appropriate philosophical term, not spiritual – entities that most atheist speaks of – abstract entities – that is to say, not individual (or universal in character). They are not materialistic. As universal, they are not experienced to be true. There may be experiences where the laws of logic are used, but no one has universal experience. No one has tried every possible instance of the laws of logic.

As invariant, they don’t fit into what most materialists would tell us about the constantly changing nature of the world. And so, you see, we have a real problem on our hands. The atheist wants to use the laws of logic in the discussion. I maintain that by so doing he’s borrowing my world view. For you see, in the theistic world view the laws of logic makes sense, because in the theistic world view there can be abstract, universal, invariant entities such as the laws of logic. Within the theistic world view you cannot contradict yourself, because to do so you’re engaging in the nature of lying, and that’s contrary to the character of God as we perceive it.

The transcendental argument for the existence of God, is that without the existence of God it is impossible to prove anything. And that’s because in the atheistic world you cannot justify, you cannot account for, laws in general: the laws of thought in particular, laws of nature, cannot account for human life, from the fact that it’s more than electrochemical complexes in depth, and the fact that it’s more than an accident. That is to say, in the atheist conception of the world, there’s really no reason to debate; because in the end, as the atheist could only say, all these laws are conventional. All these laws are not really law-like in their nature, they’re just, well, if you’re an atheist and materialist, you’d have to say they’re just something that happens inside the brain.

But you see, what happens inside your brain is not what happens inside my brain. Therefore, what happens inside your brain is not a law. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to what happens in mine. In fact, it can’t be identical with what is inside my mind or brain, because we don’t have the same brain.

As the laws of logic come down to being materialistic entities, then they no longer have their law-like character. If they are only social conventions, then, of course, what we might do to limit debate is just define a new set of laws. and ask for all who want the convention that says, “Atheism must be true or theism must be true, and we have the following laws that we conventionally adopt to prove it,” and see who’d be satisfied.

But no one can be satisfied without a rational procedure to follow. The laws of logic cannot be avoided, the laws of logic cannot be accounted for in a Materialist universe. Therefore, the laws of logic are one of the many evidences that without God you can’t prove anything at all.

I’m maintaining that the proof of the Christian world view is that the denial of it leads to irrationality. That is, without the Christian God, you cannot prove anything.

An atheist universe cannot account for the laws of logic.

What are the laws of logic, Mr. Atheist, and how are they justified? We’ll still have to answer that question from a materialist standpoint. From a Christian standpoint, we have an answer – obviously they reflect the thinking of God. They are, if you will, a reflection of the way God thinks and expects us to think.

But if you don’t take that approach and want to justify the laws of logic in some a priori fashion, that is apart from experience, something that he suggests when he says these things are self-verified. Then we can ask why the laws of logic are universal, unchanging, and invariant truths – why they, in fact, apply repeatedly in the realm of contingent experience.

Once again we have to come back to this really unacceptable idea that they are conventional. If they are conventional, then of course, there ought to be just numerous approaches to scholarship everywhere, with approaches to history, to science, and so forth, because people just adopt different laws of logic. That just isn’t the way scholarship proceeds, and if anyone thinks that is adequate, they just need to go to the library and read a bit more.

Now if you want to justify logical truths along a posteriori lines, that is rather than arguing that they are self evident, but rather arguing that there is evidence for them that we can find in experience or by observation – that approach, by the way, was used by John Stuart Mill – people will say we gain confidence in the laws of logic through repeated experience, then that experience is generalized.

Of course, some of the suggested logical truths, it turns out, are so complex or so unusual that it is difficult to believe that anyone has perceived their instances in experience. But even if we restrict our attention to the other more simple laws of logic, it should be seen that if [their] truth, cannot be decided independently of experience, then they actually become contingent. That is, if people cannot justify the laws of logic independent of experience, then you can only say they apply, as far as I know, to any past experience that I’ve had.

They are contingent, they lose their necessity, universality, and invariance. Why should a law of logic, which is verified in one domain of experience, by the way, be taken as true for inexperienced domains as well? Why should we universalize or generalize about the laws of logic- especially in a materialistic universe, not subject to the control of a personal God?

Now, it turns out, if the a priori and the a posteriori lines of justification for logical truths are unconvincing – as I’m suggesting briefly they both are – perhaps we could say they are linguistic conventions about certain symbols. Certain philosophers have suggested that the laws of logic would not be taken as inexorably dictated, but rather we impose their necessity on our language. They become, therefore, somewhat like rules of grammar, and as John Dewey pointed out so persuasively earlier in the century, laws of grammar, you see, are just culturally relative. If the laws of logic are like grammar, then the laws of logic are culturally relative, too.

Why then, are not contradictory systems deemed equally rational? If the laws of logic can be made culturally relative, then we can win the debate by simply stipulating that a law of logic that says “anybody who argues in this way has gotten a tautology on his hands, and therefore it’s true.’

Why are arbitrary conventions like the logical truths so useful if they’re only conventional? Why are they so useful in dealing with problems in the world of experience?

We must ask whether the atheist has a rational basis for his claims. Atheists love to talk about laws of science and laws of logic. They speak as though there are certain moral absolutes from which Christians were just a few minutes ago being indicted because they didn’t live up to them. But who is the atheist to tell us about laws? In a materialist universe there are no laws, much less laws of morality that anybody has to live up to.

When we consider that the lectures and essays that are written by logicians and others are not likely filled with just uninterrupted series of tautologies, we can examine those propositions which logicians are most concerned to convey. For instance, logicians will say things like “a proposition has the opposite truth value from its negation.”

Now when we look at those kind of propositions, we have to ask the general question: what type of evidence do people have for that kind of teaching? Is it the same sort of evidence that is utilized by the biologist, by the mathematician, the lawyer, the mechanic, by your beautician? What is it that justifies a law of logic, or even beliefs that there is such a thing? What is a law of logic, after all?

But it isn’t absurd to ask the question that I’m asking about logic. You see, logicians are having a great deal of difficulty deciding on the nature of their claims. Anybody who reads in the philosophy of logic must be impressed with that today.

Some say the laws of logic are inferences comprised of judgments made up of concepts. Others say that they are arguments comprised of propositions made up of terms. Others say they are proofs comprised of sentences made up of names. Others have simply said they are electrochemical processes in the brain. In the end, what you think the laws of logic are will determine the nature of the evidence you will suggest for them.

Now in an atheist universe, what are the laws of logic? How can they be universal, abstract, invariant? And how does an atheist justify the use of them? Are they merely conventions imposed on our experience, or are they something that look like absolute truth?

The atheist wants me to use the laws of logic, in so doing, is borrowing the Christian world view. He’s using the Christian approach to the world, so that there can be such laws of logic, scientific inference, or what have you. But then he wants to deny the very foundation of it.

It is important to note that the argument doesn’t say that atheists don’t prove things, or that they don’t use logic, science or laws of morality. In fact they do. The argument is that their world view cannot account for what they are doing. Their world view is not consistent with what they are doing; in their world view there are no laws; there are no abstract entities, universals, or prescriptions.

There’s just a material universe, naturalistically explained (as) the way things are happen to be. That’s not law-like or universal; and therefore, their world view doesn’t account for logic, science or morality.

But, atheists, of course, use science and morality. In this argument atheists give continual evidence to the fact that in their heart of hearts they are not atheists. In their heart of hearts they know the God I’m talking about. This God made them, reveals Himself continually to them through the natural order, through their conscience, and through their very use of reason.

They know this God, and they suppress the truth about him. One of the ways that we know that they suppress the truth about him is because they do continue to use the laws of logic, science and morality though their world view doesn’t account for them.

Therefore, from a transcendental standpoint the atheistic view cannot account for this discussion; because this discussion has assumed that we’re going to use the laws of logic as standards of reasoning, or else we’re irrational; that we’re going to use laws of science; that we’re going to be intelligent men; that we’re going to assume induction and causation and all those things that scientists do. It’s assumed in a moral sense that we’re not going to be dishonest and try to lie or just try to deceive you.

I don’t want a lot of details, just begin to scratch the surface, – how, in a material, naturalistic outlook on life and man his place in the world, can you account for the laws of logic, science, and morality?

The atheist world view cannot do it, and therefore I feel justified concluding as I did in my opening presentation this evening by saying that the proof of the Christian God is the impossibility of the contrary. Without the Christian world view this discussion wouldn’t make sense.

The Bible tells us, “the fool has said in his heart: there is no God.” It’s trying to describe somebody who is dense in the sense that they will not use their reason as God has given him. (someone who is rebellious and hard hearted) It’s the fool who says in his heart there is no God.

Paul tells us in I Corinthians the first chapter, that God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. He calls rhetorically, “Where are the wise? Where is the debater of this age?

Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” In a sense I think what Paul is telling us, if I can amplify or read between the lines, is that the whole history of Philosophy is an argument for the existence of God. The whole history of Philosophy is an argument for the existence of God because of the impossibility of the contrary.

Someone who wants to say [something that is] contrary to what the Bible says about God, let him stand up and answer these questions. Let him show that in his heart he may say there is no God, but he can’t live that way. He can’t reason that way.

In Romans the first chapter Paul says God is making himself known continually and persuasively to all men, so that men do not have an excuse for their rejection of the existence of the Christian God. That isn’t to say that all men confess this God. Not all will own up to Him as their heavenly Father. Not all will submit to Him. Some continue to rebel. Some continue to devise their fools’ errands and rationalizations of why they don’t have to believe in Him.

What I want you to do right now is to think and consider whether there isn’t something to that: Why is it that some people continue to use laws of logic, morality, science, and yet they have a world view that just clashes with that; and [yet] they just won’t do anything to resolve that contradiction.

We haven’t touched all the issues that you may want to look into.

However, in broad strokes we have touched on a very important issue. If you’re going to be a rational man, a moral man, a man of science, can you do so in an atheist universe. Dr Bahnsen said you can’t and I agree with him.

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All attempts to begin with particulars and end with universal absolutes have failed. Mysticism, Rationalism, Humanism, Logical Positivism have all failed and ended up in relativism. In order to have absolutes, meaning and purpose we need a revelation from God, the infinite reference point. The good news is God has revealed the truth to us in the Bible. It says that in the beginning an all knowing all powerful God created the universe and made man in His image. Hence the Christian has a basis for assuming that there is order in the universe, he has a philosophical basis for assuming that man’s sense perception is reliable and that man is capable of meaningful thought. God’s laws are a clear basis for moral absolutes and it explains why humans can’t help but use words like good, evil, right, wrong, should, must etc… God has also revealed to us that we are morally depraved, (to be honest we all know this deep in our hearts anyways, we just don’t like to admit it). In fact the Bible says we are so morally depraved that we would want to suppress the obvious truth that God exists and will judge mankind by His standard.

Perhaps you realize that the whole atheism thing was just wishful thinking. Perhaps you wanted to believe it because you didn’t want to think about a God who knows your every thought and deed and will judge you for them. After all you realize that like everyone else you have lied, lusted, coveted and rebelled against God in many ways. God clearly has a reason to be angry with you. I could understand why you might want to pretend that God didn’t exist, after all it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, whose laws you have broken. But denying a problem exists is not the same as solving it. Don’t be a gutless coward, face up to it we all deserve to burn in Hell. But there is good news; because God is merciful He has decided to redeem some undeserving sinners. That’s why Jesus who is God took for Himself a human body and died for the sins of those who would repent of their sins and put their trust in Him. .

Do you have the courage to take

 

The Atheist Challenge

If you are an atheists who has the courage to have your views challenged then this tract is for you.

WARNING: If you are one of those weak minded atheists who prefers laws suits and/or political attempts to silence opposing views because you realize that your belief system cannot stand any kind of scrutiny this tract may be very disturbing to you. The mere presence of someone handing you this literature may be more than your weak mind can handle, if that is the case we recommend you politely return the tract, give it to a stronger person, or discard it in a proper manner. Some weak minded atheists have felt so threatened by having their views challenged that they have responded by scoffing, cursing, tearing it up literature, breaking the law by throwing it on the ground, beginning a political crusade to abolish free speech, or some other kind of juvenile behavior which ultimately embarrasses not only them but also other atheists as well.

Ten Questions for the Atheist to answer

1) If your existence, including your thoughts, is the out growth of a random process then what basis do you have for presuming that your thoughts are rational? (if you don’t believe your thoughts are rational, please keep them to yourself! )

2) If you don’t have a philosophical basis for believing your thoughts are rational then why should anyone listen to anything you have to say?

3) If your sense perception is the result of a random process then on what basis do you believe that it reflects reality?

4) If there is no intelligence behind the formulation of the universe why would you expect to find any order in the universe?

5) If you don’t have any basis for expecting there to be order in the universe why would the atheist attempt to look for or find natural laws?

6) Darwinian atheists often speak of the “survival of the fittest” but if the fittest is defined as that which survives then you have not done anything except renamed the things which survive. Can they define fittest in a meaningful way?

7) If Darwinians define fittest as arrangements of matter which are more stable and durable then aren’t non-living arrangements of matter more stable and durable than what we refer to as living arrangements of matter?

8. If everything is an outgrowth of a random process then on what basis do atheists talk about Good, Bad, Evil, Right, Wrong, Better, Best, Worse, Worst, Works, Doesn’t Work etc.. Since all these words imply a universal value system which atheism has no basis for since in atheism there is only particulars and we know from logic you can never deduce universals from particulars?

9) Why do atheists tell people that they “should”, “ought”, “must”, or “need to” do anything? since all these words imply a universal value system that the atheist does not have a philosophical basis for?

10) Why do so many atheists insist that other people should be philosophically consistent while they go about making claims which are intrinsically inconsistent such as “There are no absolutes” (are you absolutely sure), “There is no right and wrong” (are you sure you are right)?

Perhaps you have read all these questions, and don’t have any good answers but want to remain an atheist. Fine at least don’t be a hypocrite, don’t tell anyone what they ought to do since you don’t have a intellectual basis for oughtness, don’t talk about anything being right, wrong, good, evil, bad, works or doesn’t work etc.. since you have no intellectual basis for those concepts. If you keep using terminology that reflects a belief system which is philosophically inconsistent with your own then you are a living refutation of your own atheistic philosophy.

Perhaps after reading this you realize that you have been duped into believing a bunch of non-sense by idiots who on one hand are claiming to be geniuses and on the other hand professed that their thoughts were the outgrowth of a random process. Perhaps you see that there are tremendous philosophical problems with the atheist position. For years I have listened to atheists scoff at those who believed in God but I have never met one of them who could defend their position intellectually. Many atheists are morally predisposed to believing the “moral absolute” that “there are no moral absolutes” because that makes them feel better about all the wicked things they have done, are doing, or want to do. (You might say atheism is the opiate of the immoral and self righteous). After looking at these questions some atheists have realized that they were ideological hypocrites who claimed to reject other belief systems because they were “not logically consistent” but refused to reject their own belief system when it was shown to be thoroughly inconsistent with the assumptions they were compelled to make in their day to day lives.

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