Your thoughts?

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KravMagaSelfDefense
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Your thoughts?

#1

Post by KravMagaSelfDefense » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:55 am

Hello everyone, I would like your thoughts on some arguments I am beginning to like more and more to use in discussions with secularists.
The argument is about several things, morality, logic, materialism, meaning of life, objectivity.
We are all aware of the selling line of the atheist worldview. That religion has become outdated; that we have evolved to understand what is truly rational; that atheism is superior in that it bravely confronts the hard truth about the universe rather than holding delusions.
I used to respond to such claims by listing evidence that I thought led to a God. I always used to mention, for example, the ratio of electromagnetism to gravity, which is accurate in one in ten to the forty. Or the DNA code, which is 3.5 billion letters long which are in the perfect, crucial order. What I got in response was, "it is irrational to say that those facts point to God, because you are only filling what you don't know about the world with 'God did it.'" Needless to say I quickly bored of such directionless chatter.
So typically in my discussions I now take a different approach, one that takes the battle to the core of the atheistic worldview. And one question I like to ask the atheist is this: why do you care so much that I accept that there's no God? What's so important to you about religion, that you oppose it so vehemently? Sometimes I get that religion is evil. In which case I respond by asking how the atheist knows what is right and wrong, and whether he has a materialistic explanation as to how he got these moral concepts.
And sometimes I get that religion is irrational. Then I ask how the atheist can call anything irrational, without having the concept of rational. He say that he knows what's rational. But how can he, if the laws of rationality are transcendent? The atheist says one can only know what his five senses tell him, and yet he claims that a transcendental law of thought is what told him this.
Then I would ask him, even if Christianity is irrational, which I don't concede for a second, why is it so important for me to be objective and scientific if there is no meaning to life. What are you striving towards? How can you have any aim or real obligation in life with the concept that one day you will close your eyes for all eternity, all your experiences, all your joy and emotions, everything you hold dear will simply cease to exist to you anymore? I will be honest, and admit that if I were in the atheists' position, I would think to believe not necessarily what is objective and true; I would try to hold beliefs that made me the happiest. Why is being objective in holding a depressing worldview any superior to being delusional in holding a hopeful one, if there really isn't any meaning to our existence?

Those are my arguments, you've probably heard them before but I'd like to get your thoughts, how do you think one would respond etc etc. Well thanks for reading guys, have a great day.
Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman. ~Author Unknown
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. ~ C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. - C.S. Lewis.

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Re: Your thoughts?

#2

Post by Reactionary » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:03 am

Good stream of thoughts. To be honest, when I debate atheists, I no longer list evidence for God (just as you said), I rather attack the core of this "new atheism" - "rationality", "freethinking" and dogmatic, unfalsifiable ideas disguised as science.

What I ask them is how a series of chemical reactions in the brain could lead to "rationality", or free will. Material things are subject to laws of physics and chemistry (Where did those come from in the first place?), and if we apply them to our thoughts which are, according to materialism, obviously material, then we are led to determinism, an opposite of free will. Chemical reactions don't think. An acid can't decide not to react with a metal, it just has to do so. And all this leads to a catch - If everything, including our thoughts, is predetermined, and religious adherence is a genetic trait, then the same could be said about atheism - people are predetermined to become atheists. There goes the "free thought"... y(:|

As for depressing worldviews, militant atheists often use the fact that the implications of atheism are repulsive to many people, so they can promote it as the "truth". They'd say something like "The truth may be cruel, but I deal with it while you're too weak to do so, so you keep deluding yourself." Three objections arise here: Firstly, we've seen that to blame someone for "deluding" himself is not in any way better than to blame an acid for reacting with a metal, as free will doesn't exist. And secondly, with these implications it would be nearly impossible to find the real, objective "truth", presuming that it exists at all.

And thirdly, if none of these things (God, meaning, free will, objectivity) exist, then where did we get an idea of them from? C.S. Lewis wrote something like, you can't call a line bent if you don't know what a straight line looks like. Everything longs for perfection, even evolution. What seems more likely, that advanced apes which accidentally evolved from pond scum worship their non-existent creator, or that we are indeed the special creation of God, as it was written in this 2,000-year-old book that, strangely, hasn't been refuted despite so much effort?

Finally, atheism is appealing to some. Without God, everything is permissible... and predetermined, as well. :ewink:
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"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 1:20

--Reactionary

KravMagaSelfDefense
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Re: Your thoughts?

#3

Post by KravMagaSelfDefense » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:14 am

Reactionary wrote:Good stream of thoughts. To be honest, when I debate atheists, I no longer list evidence for God (just as you said), I rather attack the core of this "new atheism" - "rationality", "freethinking" and dogmatic, unfalsifiable ideas disguised as science.

What I ask them is how a series of chemical reactions in the brain could lead to "rationality", or free will. Material things are subject to laws of physics and chemistry (Where did those come from in the first place?), and if we apply them to our thoughts which are, according to materialism, obviously material, then we are led to determinism, an opposite of free will. Chemical reactions don't think. An acid can't decide not to react with a metal, it just has to do so. And all this leads to a catch - If everything, including our thoughts, is predetermined, and religious adherence is a genetic trait, then the same could be said about atheism - people are predetermined to become atheists. There goes the "free thought"... y(:|

As for depressing worldviews, militant atheists often use the fact that the implications of atheism are repulsive to many people, so they can promote it as the "truth". They'd say something like "The truth may be cruel, but I deal with it while you're too weak to do so, so you keep deluding yourself." Three objections arise here: Firstly, we've seen that to blame someone for "deluding" himself is not in any way better than to blame an acid for reacting with a metal, as free will doesn't exist. And secondly, with these implications it would be nearly impossible to find the real, objective "truth", presuming that it exists at all.

And thirdly, if none of these things (God, meaning, free will, objectivity) exist, then where did we get an idea of them from? C.S. Lewis wrote something like, you can't call a line bent if you don't know what a straight line looks like. Everything longs for perfection, even evolution. What seems more likely, that advanced apes which accidentally evolved from pond scum worship their non-existent creator, or that we are indeed the special creation of God, as it was written in this 2,000-year-old book that, strangely, hasn't been refuted despite so much effort?

Finally, atheism is appealing to some. Without God, everything is permissible... and predetermined, as well. :ewink:
Thanks for your reply, it hit the nail on the head. It is quite strange indeed how people can attach logical value or the concept of free will to thoughts, while simultaneously saying that thoughts are no more than neurons firing in our minds. If materialism is true, and my beliefs are not my own, but are only determined by chemical stimuli, there really is no good reason to believe in materialism. Good points!
Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman. ~Author Unknown
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. ~ C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. - C.S. Lewis.

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Re: Your thoughts?

#4

Post by narnia4 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:18 am

I agree with both of you, I don't do much debating but my line of thought has followed what you mentioned more and more. I find for most atheists, no amount of evidence would be sufficient. This is one reason why I like presuppositional apologetics- it allows you to question some more basic assumptions.

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit has to be at work, you can just plant the seed. When you think about it, its actually remarkable how much evidence there is that the atheist dismisses. Historical evidence, evidence from science, sightings, prophecies fulfilled, personal experience... sometimes it feels like the skeptic has good reasons for being skeptical, but looking at the bigger picture it really looks like some people are just running.

But yeah, I think getting people to question their most basic assumptions is a good place to start. Honestly, Christians have such a HUGE edge in this department that you wonder why more people don't stick with these things. So many things that almost every human on earth assumes to be true just don't FIT atheism.
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Re: Your thoughts?

#5

Post by Proinsias » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:17 pm

Enjoy the common ground of rationality, truth and reason. Whilst also realising what determines these in regards to the big questions is as clear to the atheist as they are to the Christian.

The older I get the more I lean towards logical, rational and truth essentially equating to the statement "I think......the unprovable".

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Re: Your thoughts?

#6

Post by DannyM » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:38 pm

Proinsias wrote:Enjoy the common ground of rationality, truth and reason. Whilst also realising what determines these in regards to the big questions is as clear to the atheist as they are to the Christian.

The older I get the more I lean towards logical, rational and truth essentially equating to the statement "I think......the unprovable".
Who first? y/:)
credo ut intelligam

dei gratia

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Re: Your thoughts?

#7

Post by domokunrox » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:59 am

OP, I like your thought process.

Often my argument lies in playing the rational game with them.

I often strike precisely at getting them to admit rational ideas and take the carpet right out from under them.

For example, I always hit hard at the ethical challenges of humanity. The impossibility of being able to know right from wrong without parental guidance. The validity that law and chaos exists, and that life can only exist by abiding by law.

At this point I get their stance on Nihilism. If it is valid to them, I state that atheists have killed more people then christians ever have in the past 100 past years, thus it does not support life.

If they don't believe in Nihilism ethics, then they believe a cognitive argument for ethics. Meaning they're not stupid just confused about what to believe.

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