Rational Faith
Atheists - too afraid to answer

Fear, afraid

Some Atheists are too afraid to answer the difficult questions.

There's a very good article by Peter Saunders titled Twenty questions Atheists struggle to Answer: How Theism does better on the first six.  Before presenting the first six issues which atheists struggle to answer (actually he's being kind - he uses "struggle" as if they have an answer when actually atheism has no reasonable answer to the first 6.),  he makes some preliminary comments.  The third comment he makes - actually a challenge -  is particularly apropos to a recent discussion I had.  Speaking to Atheists and agnostics, Saunders says:

Third, I challenge atheists (and agnostics) reading this blog not to adopt the view, as a matter of faith, that the atheistic world view is some sort of neutral default position and that the burden of proof lies solely with theists to prove their case. Let’s not have any of the usual allegations of ‘meaningless questions’, ‘God of the gaps’, ‘appeals to authority’ or the mockery, ridicule and ‘face-palming’ that often accompanies any attempt by theists to advance their case.

Of particular interest is the second sentence, a description of the toxic environment often created by atheists in their so called "discussions" with Christians or theists - discussions which are for the atheist often little more than opportunities to mock. To the list of the usual allegations I would add the allegation of "fallacious argument" a claim atheists wield as a shield against anyone who doesn't agree with them - apparently before even reading the argument because they use it even when it doesn't apply.

Case in point, my last article - an article which ended with a hypothetical question along the lines of Pascal's wager: What if the threat of hell is real?  Do you really want to be subject to that judgment?  One atheist not only didn't bother to answer the question, he didn't even understand the argument.  This is clear from his objection:

"Standard fallacious reasoning: The Bible is factual because The Bible says so."

If that's what I in fact said, that would indeed, be fallacious (the fallacy would be  begging the  question - a type of circular reasoning.) But that's neither what I said, nor was his charge -  the Bible is true because I believe the bible which says so - my point. What I said was the Bible claims to be true, and if you don't believe the  biblical accounts, you're therefore saying the Bible is not true. You can check what I said  yourself here .

My argument was of the form:

Person A  claims Event A is true
You disbelieve Event A is true
Therefore you disbelieve that Person A is telling the truth

This is called denying the consequent (formally it's argument of the form called Modus tolens) and is a valid form of argumentation.

In the context of what I said my argument could be formulated as follows:

The Bible claims all it states is true
You disbelieve that all it states is true
Therefore you disbelieve the bible's claim that what it states is true.

To be fair, I pointed out that he had missed the point, but he didn't even bother looking to see if he had, he just doubled down on his contention that I made a logical fallacy:

I've already demonstrated he is incorrect in his contention and it's clear from his response that he didn't even bother to understand the point I was making. Or perhaps he did understand, but didn't want to address it which  leads to an even more interesting observation that I alluded to above:  Atheists use the charge "it's illogical" as a shield to stop the discussion and thus keep them from considering difficult questions they don't want to face.

It appears clear to me that most atheists trolling blogs and twitter don't really want to discuss in order to find truth. They want to appear superior by throwing out claims of "illogical" and "fallacy" and hope you won't notice that they haven't bothered to see if the claim is true, and haven't addressed the significant challenge to atheism that you're posing to them.

Which leads me to  back to my statement above about the 6 items atheists don't have answers for. It's not just those 6 things, it's a large number of things they have no reasonable answer to.  Additionally, they appear to be afraid to seriously consider the question I posed in my last post, "If what the bible says is true [about not believing in God and Jesus] what does that say about your future? Apparently this is a question some atheists would rather not even consider, much less answer.  So at the end of the day, while they claim to be wise and superior, they are really just running scared, afraid of testimonies like this one that Bible gives:

28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."
31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10.28-31

If I were rebellious and denying the living God, I suppose I'd be afraid to answer those questions too.  But I'd rather not end on a note of judgment. So let me remind atheists - as long as you're alive on this earth, there's still hope, for the Bible also says:

As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."
Heb 3.15


For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Cor 6.2

If you are willing to stop running, stop shielding yourself from the truth and stop pretending you have all the answers and turn to God, God will turn to you.

Duane Caldwell | posted 4-13-2014