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Do Any Atheist Arguments Have Validity?

There are a number of atheist arguments floating around.  Alex Knapp of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen itemizes some of the really bad ones. I have yet to hear a convincing argument for atheism; usually I just get some crap about how atheism is the default and I need to prove my case convincingly, otherwise everyone should remain an atheist.

You know, atheism has no burden of proof.  Only theism has the burden of proof since we’re claiming something.  Blah, blah, crap.

So no atheist arguments convince me, but do any make me stop and question my belief in God?

Yes.  There is one argument against the Resurrection that keeps me up at night wondering if I am, indeed, putting my faith in a lie.

First, let’s see the argument in action.  A friend re-posted a rant from Bill Cosby entitled “I’m 83 and Tired.”  It listed several complaints that Bill Cosby allegedly had and expressed that he was happy to be leaving this life soon.  It didn’t sound like Bill Cosby to me, so I spent 5 minutes with Google and was able to verify that it was incorrectly attributed to Bill Cosby — I was even able to get the link to Cosby’s blog denying it was his work.

This isn’t the first time.  The vast majority of re-posts I see on FB are either misleading or flat-out wrong.  You can’t reach State Police Dispatch by dialing 112.  No co-eds were saved by quickly dialing it when an unmarked car tried to pull them over.

It takes less than 5 minutes to verify this crap  — if it isn’t on Snopes.com then any Google search will usually turn up the truth.  The 112 dispatch I found on Snopes; the Bill Cosby one I found through Google.

But people often choose to uncritically believe whatever comes at them without really checking into it.  Normally if it supports a preconceived notion, then people will simply believe it unquestioningly.  The tendency of people to spread comforting lies rather than truth could easily explain the widespread belief in the Resurrection of Jesus — and that’s the argument that keeps me up at night.

So why don’t I become an atheist?  Because this only undermines Christianity.  It does nothing to alleviate the necessity of God for the existence of the universe and the inherent design within it.

Tune in tomorrow to find the two reasons that keep me going to a Christian church on Sundays.

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on April 30, 2013, in Apologetics. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I have often asked people of faith if Jesus’ message would still hold true if it was verified one day that none of the supernatural events associated with Jesus ever took place. I have yet to get a simple “Yes”.

  2. Regarding atheism, I was raised a Christian, but am now an atheist. For me, I don’t believe in the supernatural. I love the historical Jesus story, but I just don’t buy into Jesus the God version.

    • There are Christians who don’t believe Jesus is God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that God created him first. There are some SDA’s that believe he was created. Likewise, there is also the Christadelphians who believe Jesus is an exalted human being. So you don’t have to believe Jesus is God in order to be a Christian.

      • Interesting. Let me ask you: Are there, in the mind of the atheist, ANY limiting factors for making someone a Christian? Does all it take is accepting Jesus as Savior, even if the person then lives as a practical atheist — never again acknowledging Jesus’ hand in his life?

  3. Bob, I don’t think that your question can be answered with a “simple” yes. The reason is that Jesus’ message is multifaceted and if all supernatural elements were proven to have been false, that would invalidate parts of the message.

    Jesus couldn’t have been God, for example. He CLEARLY claimed that he was. No Resurrection would invalidate his claim to deity. No supernatural healing would also invalidate his claims to deity.

    However, many of his teachings wouldn’t be affected a bit. Much of the Sermon on the Mount and everything he taught us about interpersonal relationships would be just as valid without all of the supernatural events.

    So I get where you’re coming from. I really do. But Jesus offers us so much more than simply a rubric for living life on earth. He offers us salvation through his death on the cross and eternal life by conquering death in the Resurrection. He gives us something even stronger than solid moral teachings — he gives us hope.

    While I’m sorry you have jettisoned the supernatural events, I’m glad that you at least recognize the moral authority and instruction of Christ. But Jesus really is so much more than just a “good teacher.”

  4. The requirements is that one bases their faith and practice off the same transcendent discourse, in this case, the Bible happens to be it.

    • So then is there a wrong way to interpret the Bible? Or if someone says, “I believe in the Bible” then that’s good enough for you?

      • It’s not a black and white call. You would have an easier time convincing me that the Gnostics weren’t Christians. I do not think there is a wrong way to interpret the Bible mainly because no one actually really understands it.

      • The verse of the day on BibleGateway is 1 Corinthians 1:10:

        I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

        I think that this means that I am never allowed to disagree with any Christian, ever. In that spirit, I must shut down this blog because I occasionally highlight disagreements with my fellow Christians, including my Sister-in-Christ Rachel Held Evans in an upcoming post. Which is ironic, because SHE disagrees with John Piper and I’m partially defending Piper, partially saying Piper doesn’t get it either in my upcoming post.

        And I truly think that goes against this passage from the Apostle Paul.

        Am I wrong?

  5. Amen and amen! Rachel Held Evans (although her blog is nice and I’ve commented there recently) is a member of the Temple of Set and you’re a member of the Church of Satan!

    • I don’t know if I want to be a member of the Church of Satan anymore. The human sacrifice component is the best part, but since I’ve been fake arguing in favor of real Christianity, I’ve come to believe that it really is true. God working on me, I guess.

      I’m repenting and joining Landover Baptist Church.

      • Lol. The Church of Satan doesn’t practice human sacrifice. And the Thelemite founder (Aliester Crowley) probably didn’t sacrifice any one either but only claimed to have done so.

  6. “You know, atheism has no burden of proof. Only theism has the burden of proof since we’re claiming something. Blah, blah, crap.” Yeah, so if someone comes to you and says, “Shiva is god. And god has 4 arms and 5 heads…” you would believe this immediatly? And without question? Or would you ask for evidence and call it “Blah, blah, crap!” until it WAS proven? All god claims require evidence. Disbelief in god claims, or Atheism, is waiting for those claims to be supported. To “uncritically believe whatever comes at them without really checking into it” does not make “whatever comes at them” true. Truth is determined by testable evidence. Do you have any testable evidence for your god claims?

    • Since the existence of god can neither be proven or disproven, atheism is technically a belief. It is the rejection of theism. Still, the burden of proof is always on the theist.

      Proof that atheism is a belief and not just a “lack of belief”: Draw a large circle. Now draw a small circle within that circle representing your current knowledge. Is it possible that a god exists within that larger area of stuff you do not know?

      Since it is impossible to know everything, it is impossible to state that atheism is simply a “lack of belief”. Therefore, atheism is a “belief in a negation”.

      • The atheist still has a burden of proof, it is NOT “always on the theist.”

        In court, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. However, the defense usually offers its own version of events and sets out to prove those. Rarely does the defense just nod as the prosecution presents the case and then simply say, “He didn’t prove anything. Good night!”

        It can be done, but if I’m the defendant that is NOT what I’m paying my lawyer for.

        The atheist owes us a rebuttal and an explanation of the evidence consistent with his own worldview. If he can’t do that, I submit that his worldview is inconsistent and therefore false.

    • Hey, Joe: No, I wouldn’t believe the stuff about Shiva right away. I’d want to hear that dude’s case. However, once he’d gave it, I wouldn’t just nod and say, “You didn’t convince me. Have a nice day!” I’d rebut his claims and offer my own version of theism as a counterclaim. That is what the atheist should be doing — explain the evidence consistent with his own worldview. As I stated above, if he can’t do that, then submit his claim is inconsistent and therefore false.

      Testable evidence: look into the historical claims of the Resurrection. There are numerous books on it; some popular level, and some academic. Those offer testable claims. If you don’t believe them, that’s fine. The case doesn’t convince everyone, or everyone would be a Christian. But the case for the Resurrection seems to appease most people who research it.

  7. Regarding the OP…..your question doesn’t prove anything. It is what I would call an “It seems to me . . .” type argument. See here: http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/it-seems-to-me-bible-critics-dont-have-much-of-a-complaint/

    Also, just because some people are deceived does not mean that all people are deceived. For this doubt to hold, it would have to be the case that all the eyewitnesses were deceived, something that does not follow. So all it does is raise a question. Not only does it not prove atheism, it does not disprove Christianity or any other religion.

  8. I see this time and time again with theists and even agnostics (I don’t necessarily blame them.) There is only one reason atheists are atheists like myself. The reason that I’m an atheist is because there is no evidence for God as far as I can tell. That’s it. I was once confused by this and I think many Christians and theists are too. If someone could show evidence of God I would be a theist. Next show evidence for Christianity/Islam/Hinduism and I will become which ever religion I think is true.

    There is only one good atheist argument and that’s it.

  1. Pingback: Validating the Resurrection Against the Argument Keeping Me Up at Night | Josiah Concept Ministries

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