In my last post, I mentioned a couple of debates. One continues here, Biblical Truths, with siriusbizinus. Here is ‘s latest comment.
Essentially my assertions that God doesn’t exist is a conclusion. I have stated this openly in the discussion. And although I cannot disprove God, no one can sufficiently prove God either through objective, non-testimonial, falsifiable evidence. Simply because I cannot conclusively disprove God does not make my position untenable. All it means is that people can reach different conclusions.
Furthermore, I actually have studied the Bible, and the claims that I discount are mostly unfalsifiable. That some of the claims have proven true do not reach the question of whether or not there is divine anything in the universe. I addressed that specifically in the post above.
Third, I am a former Christian. I have studied the Bible, and I am quite familiar with the claims it makes. The points I raise do not come from a lack of understanding. Because I have studied it, new evidence will be required to warrant giving it different weight. If you have it, I shall be more than willing to consider it.
And finally, the Bible serving as the foundation of our culture’s morality is a statement that needs evidence in order to be debated. In short: you will need evidence to back up that assertion. (from here)
Here is my reply.
There is a word that is much abused: pragmatism. We Americans often take pride our pragmatism. Because we do what works, we think ourselves pragmatic, and therefore, effective and efficient. Yet we do everything we do — everybody does everything they do — based upon limited knowledge. Because we don’t know enough to prove anything beyond the question of a doubt, we do everything we do just because it works. Or do we?
That’s point of an assumption, believing some things because they are self-evident. Should we examine our assumptions? Yes? Yet at some point we must believe some things, have faith in some truths, just because we know they are true.
If we do not want to believe, no one can prove anything to us. Without the faith to believe what we know to be true, we cannot prove we exist, that we are born, that we breath, that we die, and that we go back to the dust and ashes from which we came.
So how can we believe God exists? We must have faith that the evidence of our senses and the longing in our hearts mean something, that the universe did not create itself, that we exist for a reason.
How can we believe God does not exist? We can declare in “faith” everything pointless and random, that it has been so for all eternity. That I exists for me. We can discard our concern for eternity as meaningless babble. That now is the moment that matters.
You say you were a Christian, that you have studied the Bible. At best, as Colorstorm observed (here), we have only begun.
You say I must provide evidence that the Bible serves as the foundation of our culture’s morality. In recent years, that connection to the Bible has become weaker. Unlike the early generations of those who settled this nation and past generations of Europeans, we glory in secular wisdom. We do not do our best to make certain our young men and women learn Biblical wisdom, eternal wisdom. But how could I quantify the difference that makes? With statistics? When you refuse to believe that God exists, how I can show you the difference a belief in Jesus Christ makes in the heart of a human being?
In an earlier time, Europeans did not argue about the existence of God. They argued about the meaning of the birth, life, and the death of Jesus Christ. When Adam Smith wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he accepted as given the fact he wrote to other Christians.
Did such a widespread belief in Jesus Christ make a difference? Have you listened to the music of 3 Bs? Have you read the Declaration of Independence? Have you ever compared what Christians believe with what people believed before the birth of Christ? Do you understand why Christians promoted scientific progress? They believed that God is not the author of confusion, that His creation is orderly.
Have you considered the irony? You speak of your rights. Yet in past ages most men were slaves. Don’t you know why? Perhaps you would just explain it away with a word, “progress.” Can you define progress? Without God, when me and now are all there is, how can we define progress in any meaningful way? (from here)
Atheists and agnostics amuse me, especially “former Christians” who “have studied the Bible, and [are] quite familiar with the claims it makes. The points [they] raise do not come from a lack of understanding. Because [they] have studied it, new evidence will be required to warrant giving it different weight. If you have it, [they] shall be more than willing to consider it.”
I frequently find such assertion from “former Christians” silly, since they have neither studied nor read the Word of God. If these “former Christians” have actually read and actually studied the Word of God as they boldly claim, then they would not be a “former Christian.” Why? The Word of God is axiomatic, self-proving. It is hard to fall backward when you have fallen forward. I am certain this “former Christian” is familiar with the following:
“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. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18-23 ESV)
Every man, woman, and child is without excuse. The creation is one example of God’s existence. Even the ancients realized this fact, though they worshiped the created than the Creator. People know God exists but they suppress the Truth in unrighteousness so they may believe whatever, say whatever, think whatever, and do whatever. It is the classic case of rebellion against the true living God, Creator of the heavens and earth. In the end, if you think about, atheism and agnosticism do no exist (see Romans quote above). We all know the Truth, we all acknowledge the existence of God, but some of us willfully and intentionally suppress the Truth and deny God to become their own gods.
Thank you for the comment.
I certainly think you reference the correct passage, and I don’t think there is any excuse for Atheism. How can anyone prove God doesn’t exist?
Nevertheless, I find it difficult to be amused by Atheism or Agnosticism. If God judges such as harshly as He might, there is nothing amusing about it. So I hope He finds cause for mercy. What might that be? I think it best to leave to Him.
For most of my life I was an Agnostic. Had I studied the Bible? No. I did something stupid. I read what others had said about the Bible, and that is not one of those things we should trust to anyone else. However, I know of people who claim to be Atheists who have studied the Good Book. So there are some.
Generally, however, our secularized public school system discourages Bible study, and that is a big problem and enough reason all by itself to get rid of the public school system.
What did I mean by amuse? The amusement of denying the obvious, of course. The creation alone is evident of a Creator. It is as if one would say, “I do not believe in the existence of water. Water does not exist.” So it is with God. We willfully and intentionally deny the obvious, the self-evident to be our own gods. Such has been the case since our first parents, Adam and Eve. We are rebels. We all deserve the just punishment and sentence of Hell. Thankfully, the Lord our God sent His beloved Son to be our substitutionary punishment. Christ Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of all men (Rom. 3; 1 John 2). The issue with atheists and agnostics, in fact, with all men, is pride. (Pride lead to Satan’s downfall.) Our pride leads to willful and intentional rebellion against Him, and said behavior will be judged accordingly, unless one repents of his sin and places his faith and trust in Christ Jesus. We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen!
If I may comment regarding the Bible and Ten Commandments in our public places and institutions. I have heard many arguments from fellow Christians that we need to put the Bible, Ten Commandments, and prayer back into our public places and institutions. My question is, “Why?”
God ordained three forms of government to maintain order in the secular (or the temporal). The first, civil government; the second, the church; and the third, the family. Civil government has the power and authority to punish wrong doing (i.e., punitive sword) and to defend the people as a whole (i.e., military). (That is limited government, if you were to ask me.) The church has the power and authority to minister the Word of God to the people and to cultivate a godly populace (i.e., the moral sword). Finally, the family, in particular, the father and mother, has the power and authority to educate, to discipline, to rear, and to cultivate a godly home (i.e., punitive and moral swords). Out of those three forms of government, again, ordained and established by God, which is the most powerful and important to society? The family!
Before we, Christians, seek to put the Bible and company back into our public places and institutions, we must examine ourselves and the family first! The family is the first line of government. The family is the backbone to civilization. A healthy and godly family equals a healthy and godly church and civil government. An ill and ungodly family equals an ill and ungodly church and civil government. Social revolutionaries understand this fact very well. (I encourage you to read their own words and manifestos.) Social revolutionaries know if they deconstruct and demoralize the family, then the breakdown of the church, civil government, and society as a whole becomes easier to achieve a revolution without violence. One does not begin at the top and work his way down–Nah!–he begins at the bottom and works his way upward. We have been witnessing this decay and breakdown in our constitutional republic for quite some time. (I would argue the past 100-125 years.) It is a generational breakdown.
We should not be asking, “Why have we taken the Bible, Ten Commandments, and prayer out of our public places and institutions?”; instead, we ought to be asking, “Why have we taken the Bible, Ten Commandments, and prayer out of our families?” Everything begins at the local level, not the national level. Our constitutional framers, though imperfect and sinful, yet astute, recognized that problems arise and solutions are sought at the local level, first. Therefore, if we, Christians, wish and desire to revitalize our constitutional republic, then we must begin to scrutinize, with the Gospel of Christ Jesus at the forefront, the local level, particularly, ourselves and the family; change and revitalization trickles from there.
Just my two cents.
At any rate, I have been reading your blog for some time now, and I truly admire your work. Keep up the great work, and, always, God bless and keep the Gospel on center stage.
Thank you for your support and excellent comment. It has given me an idea for post.
I agree Atheism and Agnosticism are forms of rebellion. Because we too easily forget, I would just add that it is best to let God judge the hearts of men. It is human nature to react angrily when someone rejects our beliefs. However, when someone rejects Christ, our reaction should be pity. When anyone insists upon separating themselves from God, they have condemned themselves to eternal misery.
I especially enjoyed observations on the three forms of government and working from the bottom up. That I thought especially cogent and timely. That part of government that most affects our lives is our family, and, if we choose to participate, our church. And if we make the effort, we can have an immediate and lasting effect on our families and our church.
Note also that the founders created three layers of civil government. As a practical matter, even though the Federal Government spends a huge amount of money, our local and state governments still provide the services we need most. Again, if we are willing to make the effort, we can most easily have an immediate and lasting effect on our local and state governments.
And may God bless you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving.
Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.
Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.
That’s an interesting discussion, thanks for linking to it.
“no one can sufficiently prove God either through objective, non-testimonial, falsifiable evidence.”
So many things in life require a leap of faith and for us to put our trust in things unseen. I can’t even provide you “objective, non-testimonial, falsifiable evidence” as to why it’s wise to get out of bed in the morning. I can provide lots of evidence to suggest why it isn’t. The thing is, if you aren’t willing to put your faith in something unseen and actually get up, you will never get to see the evidence in front of you that is waiting to be discovered.
This is the trap of atheism, so many people are waiting for evidence to present itself, but it can’t because you have to willing to actually reach for it. Even in science one must often have a theory they believe in, sight unseen, before they can go about encountering some evidence of it.
Thank you for your comment. I don’t think siriusbizinus understood that last bit about science. He seems to be confused about faith. No scientist personally test every theory, and they have to have some faith even in a hypothesis of their own before they will go to the trouble of testing it.