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Postby dadman » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:19 pm

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JAMES BISHOP'S THEOLOGICAL RATIONALISM .. arguements

a great debate

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1) Because thoughts have no value, on atheism:

On atheism all we are is matter, and our thinking is nothing but the misfiring of electrochemical processes in our brains. On top of this the atheist has to hold dogmatically that evolution supports his naturalism. Not only would this be unprovable but it can’t be used to dismiss God’s activity in the world, for God could have guided, overseen or initiated the process. However, if naturalistic atheistic evolution is true then we have no reason to trust our cognitive faculties, especially when determining what is true, as our thoughts are merely aimed at survival, and fitness. So, if the atheist thinks that his atheistic worldview is true he is therefore being deceived, yet he still thinks that he is right. In other words he perpetually lives inconsistently with his worldview as he believes certain things to be true, and other things to be false when such does not even factor into the evolutionary equation that his worldview demands.

I outline this in a bit more detail in my article: Evolution: The self-defeater of atheism. https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2 ... f-atheism/

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2) Because of a lack of moral motivation, on atheism:

If atheism is true, then the universe has no ultimate moral meaning, life itself has no meaning unless we delude ourselves into creating meaning where none exists in the first place. When one dies their body simply rots, and they exist no more. Thus, what good or evil one does in their life has no significance whatsoever – the atheist could try to make life more bearable for others but those same others are just going to die and amount to nothing anyway, and in 100 or 200 years everything he did will be forgotten. In a couple of billions of years from now the universe will undergo a heat death, and none of the atheist’s choices would have made even the slightest difference to anything. Whether one wishes to live like a Mother Teresa or an Adolf Hitler, it really doesn’t matter.

Now, say we constantly reminded ourselves of this reality every day, then how much longer would it be until one chooses to cheat on his or her partner, or cheating in an exam knowing it will go undetected? What about making some extra money on the side via the exploitation or manipulation of some people, or by cheating others out of business? Or to make some extra cash in a dishonest way?

If our decisions have no eternal moral consequences, are we more or less likely to resist our temptations and make the morally right choice?

Now, this point does not mean that the atheist cannot be moral, he can. Rather on his worldview he has no moral motivation to do the right thing – if he cheats on a test, or steals from a loved one, or makes extra money in a dishonest way it amounts to nothing more than if he did the right thing.

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3) Because of Big Bang cosmology:

From Big Bang cosmology I believe that we have rock solid evidence (red-shift of galaxies, microwave background, expansion of galaxies from a central point, second law of thermodynamics, looking back in time via telescope etc.) of the work of an external agent as we now know, with a high degree of probability, that the universe once begun to exist.

This scientific discovery has caused atheists problems all over the place for the implications are obvious and significant, hence why atheist scientists try to posit the speculative multiverse theory in order to avoid the implications.

Nevertheless, for atheism this is disadvantageous, and some that I have encountered simply declare that they “don’t know” when challenged about the beginning of the universe, and leave it at that. That’s fine, we don’t know everything, but as an atheist he needs to posit an unknown natural cause even where the implications seem threatening to his worldview. This is blind faith, and something called naturalism-of–the-gaps, as he needs to plug a hole in his lack of knowledge in the hope that the resolve will be purely natural, and hence not supernatural. On top of this we have never observed something coming from nothing, so on atheism this is literally a miracle, yet they scoff at Jesus turning water into wine.

Again, this illustrates that one needs faith, great faith, to be an atheist – too much faith for me.

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4) Because to be a true atheist is impossible:

A true atheist, in my view, is how the ‘Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’ defines him: “The term “atheist” describes a person who does not believe that God or a divine being exists.” (source)

‘The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’ also defines it thusly: “Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God.” (source)

Both define the atheist in the affirmative by denying the existence of God, yet many atheists believe that in the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not exist. This in itself basically equates atheism (as defined above) with agnosticism. This is not unusual as atheists often like to redefine their worldview to mean the absence or lack of belief in God, and therefore minimize any intellectual responsibility they need have to substantiate their worldview. However, such means that atheism is no longer a worldview, but rather a mental state – on such a view babies and cats are also atheists. As the well-known quip goes: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

I believe that a worldview is irrational if it needs to be redefined because it cannot bear the burden of proof it needs to carry – especially of those who claim to be an agnostic atheist… Such is what I see with atheism, I believe the atheist would be quick to point me out for redefining my theistic worldview in order to lighten the burden of proof.

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5) Because truth seeking is not the ultimate good on atheism:

Searching for the truth is simply part of being human, we all try to separate what we think is true from what we think is false. We search for this truth to make sense of our existence, for most God provides the most rational explanation, but for an atheist it is his atheism that he holds to which inevitably results in a set of beliefs on the meaning of existence. He wouldn’t be an atheist if he didn’t believe that his atheism was true.

Yet, on atheism why should we be obligated to search for truth? As on atheism he will usually appeal to the flourishing of humans to be the ultimate good, but although such flourishing is a good thing it still inevitably leads to further issues. For instance, if seeking the truth on any given subject would diminish human flourishing then seeking that truth would be evil, and thus we would be morally obligated to avoid or suppress knowledge of that truth.

An example would be an elderly woman who is about to die but faces death joyfully because she believes she is going to be with God and her other loved ones. But on atheism, given it were true, would it be good for this elderly lady to know the truth of atheism? No, as atheism would give her no comfort whatsoever in the face of death – her existence is simply going to end, she will rot away in a grave, and she won’t be with God or her loved ones – thus, any sense of human flourishing would dissipate, provided atheism were true.

On the same note, if the elderly woman were to ask an atheist standing by her bedside if his atheism was true, the atheist would be morally obligated either to lie to her or tell her a half truth, or risk making the elderly woman miserable.

The fact is that on atheism seeking the truth is not intrinsically good, nor can the atheist claim it as such.

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6) Because of the origin of life itself:

Even if we assume that naturalistic causes alone could have created the universe, it would still follow that non-living material had to become living at some stage. This is also an unproven (and impossible) position that must be accepted when denying the existence of God, and embracing atheism. How did non-living matter in motion, which is all we are on atheism, create conscious biological life? Inorganic matter cannot by a mechanical reconfiguration give rise to organic life. Such needs to be accepted on atheism.

I must make it clear that I do not use the origin of life as an argument for God as such would fall foul to the god-of-the-gaps fallacy, and reasoning. What I do argue is that this impossible, thus irrational, position must be accepted on atheism – that non-life can give rise to organic life; the atheist has no other alternative within his worldview. Either way, as the atheist denies supernatural causation he must therefore attribute such an event to an unknown natural cause, hence he falls for the naturalism-of-the-gaps fallacy. That is blind faith.

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7) Because of uniformity in nature:

The atheist presupposes uniformity in nature, as well as attempts to use reason to draw conclusions on past experiences. He uses such uniformity to understand the natural world and how it works, yet he has no basis on which to do so on his worldview. The atheist cannot appeal to experience of uniformity (such as the sun will rise tomorrow like it did today) because that would beg the question as it is already assuming uniformity on his worldview. Why does the universe adhere to uniformity if there is no intelligence involved to hold it all together? On atheism, the universe is just one big, meaningless result of cosmic explosion and expansion – since when would throwing a grenade into a pile of wood and metal scrap produce a log cabin? Yet, despite these insurmountable improbabilities he will do his science on the basis of this uniformity in nature. Hence the atheist has no grounding to even do his science that he believes negates the existence of God, therefore atheism is irrational.

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8) Because of the reality of miracles:

From a comprehensive two-volume study of miracles from around the world in Craig Keener’s book ‘Miracles’ we find that they are widely reported, widely witnessed, and thus have convinced many previously sceptical people, villages, and families to embrace Christianity as the truth after witnessing such an event.

Multiple witnesses report healing from deafness, blindness, many diseases, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, paralysis, fractured/broken bones, severe burns, cancers, sores, deformities, among others are experienced after prayer in the name of Jesus. To view some statistics of these miracle reports please visit point 9 of this article. Also, go here to glance over 40 miracle testimonies I collected from just two chapters of Keener’s book.

Nevertheless, the atheist has to blindly assume that all of them are either lying, or being deceived. Yet the closer one looks at the abundance of cases of miracle testimonies the less that argument seems to be plausible, and the more irrational the atheist appears to be by blindly denying them. Again, the atheist has to have immense faith that miracles do not happen where evidence suggests otherwise (see point 9 here where I have included a handful of miracle statistics) .

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9) Because of the presupposition of human dignity and worth:

Atheists presuppose human dignity and worth, and thus, for instance, they will attend the funeral of a friend, or a relative as if their lives had meaning. But then the atheist will turn around and argue that man has no dignity, and has no more worth or value than a rat or a dog, or any other product of the evolutionary process. After all man is just a clump of protoplasm, and mere stardust on such a worldview – nothing but a blind product of the evolutionary process (time + matter + chance) and chemical factors controlled by the laws of physics.

But the same atheist will kiss his wife, and children goodnight as if something called love actually exists. The same atheist will feel violated if someone does him wrong as if his emotions actually have value to them.

Furthermore, the atheist will also argue that in sexual relations we must not impose our views on others (for instance that homosexuality is sinful), and sometimes he will even defend prostitution. However, he will condemn child molestation and necrophilia as morally abhorrent sexual activities. Why is child molestation morally wrong, and a heterosexual relationship morally right, on atheism? The atheist cannot bring his worldview into harmony, or live consistently with it.

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10) Because most atheists hold to the view of scientism:

Science, according to this atheist, is the only tool in which we can use to discover all the truths of reality. If such were the case we would need to disband philosophy, art, religion, language and all other non-scientific fields of knowledge. Such is called scientism – the view that science can explain all aspects of reality. As the atheist scientist Peter Atkins says in a debate with Christian philosopher William Lane Craig that “…science is omnipotent.”

However, the belief that science can explain everything is self-refuting as science has the inability to explain moral/ethical truths (you can’t scientifically determine if murdering someone is good or evil, but you can perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death), logical truths, mathematical truths, aesthetic truths, metaphysical truths (that other minds exists other than my own, that the external world is real), natural law (science only describes them, but presupposes their existence), science itself (due to the fact science is full of unprovable assumptions), the laws of logic, and it also cannot rule out the existence of God since God would have created the natural uniformity of which science explains. For these reasons William Craig comments:

“…scientism is too restrictive a theory of knowledge. It would, if adopted, compel us to abandon wide swaths of what most of us take to be fields of human knowledge.”

I highly recommend all readers to view this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vnjNbe5lyE
three minute clip on how William Craig answers this very objection in his debate against Atkins.

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11) Because the atheist has to delude himself daily:

Richard Dawkins, arguably the world’s leading anti-theist, writes in his book ‘River Out of Eden‘ that life is “nothing but pitiless indifference.” On atheism such is true, life is pointless, henceforth why one can immediately see that the atheist is deluding himself into creating meaning in his life where at the very bottom there is no meaning. Atheists recognize that the universe is one big meaningless, empty mass, hence it is very common to hear him say: “I make my life as meaningful as possible. I don’t need God for that.”

Well, the fact that the atheist has to create meaning in his life really shows that there is no meaning at the very bottom of his existence, hence he needs to delude himself on a daily basis into believing that meaning really exists, where it doesn’t. One would not need to create meaning, or make one’s life meaningful, if meaning already existed in the first place.

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12) Because of insurmountable improbabilities that defies atheism:

As a whole the atheist has to have an enormous amount of faith to sustain his worldview. For instance, they have to assume evolution was an unguided process without any intelligence involved at all (which is a philosophical assertion and not a scientific postulation) – if that is true then the odds are so improbable as to be incomprehensible (see point 2 in this article). The atheist has to assume that Big Bang cosmology will one day have a natural cause; such amounts to the fallacious naturalism-of-the-gaps argumentation (see point 3). He has to assume that the fine-tuning of the universe was simply the product of incomprehensible chance; such is to go over the border of reason and into the irrational (see point 10). He has to assume that miracles are all made up constructs thus purely imaginative or that those who have witnessed them are just too uncritical of reality (see point 9). The atheist has to assume uniformity in nature where he cannot justify why uniformity even exists – yet he does his science on the basis of this uniformity. He has to believe that biological complexity is a result of blind chance (see point 4), and that science will one day explain all aspects of reality in order to justify his naturalistic worldview, which is another naturalism-of-the-gaps fallacy (see point 6). Lastly, perhaps the most damning of all, is that his very own thought processes carry no value whatsoever. The evolutionary process compels us to spread our genes, and couldn’t care about true belief – it only cares about reproductive fitness and survival, yet the atheist still holds the belief that his worldview is the sole arbiter of truth, which is therefore an antithetical position on his own worldview.

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13) Because the atheist can’t live consistently with his claims, and that he needs to steal from other worldviews:

The atheist can claim that no God exists, or that there is no immaterial reality, or that there is nothing beyond the natural. He can claim that events are random, and that there is no purpose in the universe. He can claim that reality is nothing more than matter in motion, but the atheist cannot act or reason in that way. So, as long as the atheist continues to reason, or to assume the uniformity of nature, to assume past experience as reliable, to trust his cognitive faculties he is not reasoning within his worldview. Instead, the atheist must borrow from the Christian worldview whereby such things are grounded within the being and nature of a transcendent God. In other words, the atheist has to sit in God’s lap and slap him. The atheist has to steal from the worldview he is opposing!

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dadman
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