Proof, God & the Atheist’s Misunderstanding.

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“Prove it” he writes. “Prove to me that your god exists and I’ll believe.”

But here lies a trap. For when a theist provides arguments for his belief in God this atheist merely waves his hand in the air saying: “That’s not evidence!”. You then realise that you’re dealing with someone who only wishes to confront, dismiss and argue. Now I don’t intend this to be a general diagnosis of all atheists out there; that would be unfair.

But when the atheist asks for “proof,” what he really means is empirical proof; something that one can test in the laboratory. But of course this totally misunderstands how Christian theology defines God, namely, a being that transcends the physical universe. He transcends it because he created it (Genesis 1:1).

But when a theist says that he has “proof” of God’s existence, or that it is a rational belief to believe in God, it is because there are better reasons for believing in God than not. It’s analogous to moral realism (namely that objective moral facts exist) or objective realism (that the external world exists). I believe, alongside most philosophers, that is is rational to believe in moral & objective realism because there are better reasons for believing in them than not. However, we cannot empirically verify that objective realism is true using the scientific method; yet we feel rationally justified in believing that the external world actually exists.

The same applies to the theists belief in God. Sure, there are challenges (suffering, evil in the world), but there is really good evidence (Jesus’ resurrection as a historical fact & the reality of miracles, for example) and powerful arguments supporting belief in God. Weighing these out shows why belief in God is rational, but at the same time not empirically verifiable.

So, asking the Christian to empirically prove God’s existence is to make a category mistake. It’s muddling up the the supernatural and the natural. So, I think when an atheist asks for such proof it comes over as odd and misinformed. The challenge doesn’t make sense just as challenging someone to empirically prove the smell of the colour blue is clearly nonsensical – smell and colour are not within the same categories.

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22 responses to “Proof, God & the Atheist’s Misunderstanding.

  1. Your “god” didn’t create the universe, Odin created it. But because he transcends the physical universe, I’ll cite the comic books as “proof” of his existence.

    “But when a theist says that he has “proof” of God’s existence, or that it is a rational belief to believe in God, it is because there are better reasons for believing in God than not.” – This is Pascal’s Wager…it’s been debunked hundreds of times.

    “Sure, there are challenges (suffering (which religious conservatives don’t want to eliminate), evil in the world (which religious conservatives want to increase), but there is really good evidence…” – This is like having two stacks of papers on opposite ends of your table. You’re saying that because there’s paper on one side, calling this your “evidence” to support your belief that a god exists, your belief is true. However, what you’re ignoring is the stack of papers on the other side, giving you “evidence” as to why your god probably doesn’t exist. This is like Ken Ham saying “I have this book.” as a rebuttal to the libraries of evidence in favor of evolution by natural selection.

    “Weighing these out shows why belief in God is rational, but at the same time not empirically verifiable.” – Just because something is rational, doesn’t make it true.

    “For when a theist provides arguments for his belief in God…”- Yes, exactly, arguments are not proof. End of argument.

      • So you’re not going to rebuttal any of my counter arguments?

        Great! Here’s some more…

        “For when a theist provides arguments for his belief in God this atheist merely waves his hand in the air saying: “That’s not evidence!”.” – Logical fallacy – Poisoning the Well = Claiming that the opponent cannot help being opposed to an argument and, thus, the opponent can be discounted in advance.

        This is basically your entire blog post.

        Its funny that you laughed, because you made the worst possible argument from the start; which I then turned it against you, simply by changing a couple words. You laughed at your own illogical thought process. I took your “logic” and used it against you…and you laughed.

        • (continued)
          5) STRAW MAN OF THE CHRISTIAN ARGUMENT:
          ” The point being made is that claiming that a place mentioned in the bible exists no more proves that someone in the bible did miraculous deeds than demonstrating that London and New York’s existence demonstrates that Harry Potter and Spiderman are real ” Paul H.

          Christians don’t claim that finding a place mentioned in the Bible proves God. This is just another straw man misrepresentation. They DO claim at least 2 things:
          A) ESTABLISHES AUTHOR CREDIBILITY: It IS evidence that the Bible authors are accurate in all areas that we are able to check against physical evidence.

          B) IT COUNTS AS A PIECE OF EVIDENCE: Each artifact is 1 piece of evidence that contributes to the evidential case for the entire Christian worldview and the Christian God being real.
          1 or even a few pieces of evidence or contradictions or question almost never equal proof nor can they be used to reject the weight of evidence and proof. Unfortunately atheists never ever understand this rational fact.

          To prove any theory or worldview true true beyond all reasonable doubt, we must use these 3 major ways to find truth.
          1) Pragmatic Truth: True ideas have evidence that shows they bring the best lives for the most people, especially long term and in important areas (freedom, health, happiness, family, peace, politics, media, etc.)

          2) Correspondence Truth: True ideas have the most evidence from senses which includes testimony, scientific evidence, historical evidence, etc.
          3) Coherence Truth: True ideas have the best track record or they explain the most evidence or data.
          See: “Truth and Certainty,” Jonathan Dolhenty, http://www.themoralliberal.com/2012/05/08/truth-and-certainty/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteria_of_truth

          Consider ALL the evidence, compare it to rival hypotheses and see which view, worldview has the most evidence and best explanations overall even if there are a few questions or contradictions still to resolve. The hypothesis has the most evidence, esp. in pragmatic areas, and explains the available evidence best with no fallacies of any kind (which all atheist arguments use in some way) must be considered the truth and proven as much as can be humanly done by all who are rational people.

          These are the commonly accepted ways that truth has been found in the Bible and in every field of academia as well as numerous other sources throughout recorded history. It is how most rational people find truth in their daily lives as well. It’s why I am and countless professors, scientists, historians and intellectuals throughout history are Christians.

    • James and I and others have answered all these fallacious claims before in other articles MANY times before. Just briefly.
      1) No atheist actually understand’s Pascal’s real wager. NONE. PERIOD. I’ve listened to 100s of them and not one has ever described it accurately. NOT ONE. See why here:
      http://blog.truth-is-life.org/proving-the-bible-true/pascals-real-proof-of-the-rationality-of-christianity-wager-summarized/

      2) One of the most absurd fallacies atheists use is one called the spiderman fallacy. Some skeptics agree that the gospels do include some real facts about cities, etc. (in the past they rejected even that, but now have switched claims and goal posts again as they frequently do). But they say that since spider man, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and other works of fiction also reference real cities, that citing evidence of artifacts can’t be counted as evidence for Jesus and so there is no difference between them and the Bible. The problems with this reasoning are:

      1) FALSE COMPARISON FALLACY: One word skeptics. GENRE!!! The spiderman argument uses category error and false comparison fallacies. The authors of fiction state that their works are fiction. The authors of the gospels and historical works state that they are documenting actual events of history and clearly followed the methods of historical anaylsis to document truths that were observed by the authors.

      To compare these 2 entirely different genres is almost a willful pursuit of ignorance. It’s similar to saying that since Harry Potter books are not evidence for Harry Potter, the Declaration of Independence is not evidence for the existence of Thomas Jefferson and no witnesses for his existence can count as legitimate. It’s a fallacy that is only used by people don’t use enough critical thought to differentiate between comic books about Elmer Fudd, Spider man and historical works such as William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” or Ceasar’s Gallic Wars.

      If atheists were consistent and honest, they would apply this reasoning to Ceasar, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Spartacus and myriads of others in history as well. But they never do. Why? Because Spartacus (as well as the atheist ideology itself) never asks them to sacrifice anything for human rights, never asks them to sacrifice pride, never asks them to follow the golden rule, never asks them to be moral or anything else. It is permissive for anything they wish to do or follow. It requires no discipline, no sacrifice, no moral requirement to admit mistakes or anything. Christianity in contrast offers the ultimate gifts in life, but does require sacrificing a number of destructive, but enjoyable habits, such as the above. So for emotional reasons, atheists love to use double standard fallacies against Christianity.

      2) DENIES THE HISTORICAL STANDARD OF “INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY”: This argument shows severe incompetence at understanding historical analysis. In courts, the defendants and witnesses on both sides are all considered innocent until PROVEN guilty for very basic and practical reasons. It would be extremely time consuming to have to prove every statement true (a favorite, but dishonest atheist tactic) and many you can’t prove true in any way except by testimony (how do you prove what someone said during an argument that was not recorded). Witneses are especially considered truthful when they a track record of accuracy and honesty and when physical facts corroborate their accounts. Evidence does not by itself always equal truth. But, gathering it is an major aspect of figuring out what is true.
      Cornell University says that evidence for an event being real can come from the words of the witness:
      “A witness may testify to a matter only if evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter. Evidence to prove personal knowledge may consist of the witness’s own testimony.” Rule 602. Need for Personal Knowledge, http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_602
      Dr. John Warwick Montgomery is a lawyer, professor and Research Professor of Philosophy a Concordia University. He holds eleven earned degrees (Ph.D., University of Chicago; LL.D., University of Cardiff, Wales; Th.D., University of Strasbourg; M.Div., Wittenberg University; M.Phil., University of Essex; M.A., University of California, Berkeley; LL.M., University of Cardiff, Wales; LL.B., LaSalle Extension University; S.T.M., Wittenberg University; B.L.S., University of California-Berkeley; A.B., Cornell University). He writes:

      “In a court of law, admissible testimony is considered truthful unless impeached or otherwise rendered doubtful. This is in accord with ordinary life, where only the paranoic goes about with the bias that everyone is lying. … The burden, then, is on those who would show that the New Testament testimony to Jesus is not worthy of belief.” Montgomery, Human Rights and Human Dignity, p. 140. See also 141-50.

      3) WHO HAS MET HARRY POTTER VS. JESUS?: It ignores the fact that no one has ever seriously claimed to have met Harry Potter in real life, nor Spiderman, etc. The Bible authors did claim that that had met God, and so have 1000s of others throughout history and their testimony about their experiences has been documented in 1000s of scholarly papers, books, and in literally millions of other ways, etc. Many have suffered in prison, endured torture and been willing to die for their PERSONAL experience with a LIVING God. This ALONE is more evidence for God than all figures in history books COMBINED.

      4) CREDIBILITY OF THE AUTHORS: It ignores the fact that none of the fiction writers made any serious sacrifices or risked anything to claim that their works were true. The authors of the gospels and many others who experienced God risked everything for what they had personally seen and experienced. Their testimony could not be of a higher credibility.

      For this and other reasons, Dr. Montgomery about says:
      “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”
      5) STRAW MAN OF THE CHRISTIAN ARGUMENT:
      ” The point being made is that claiming that a place mentioned in the bible exists no more proves that someone in the bible did miraculous deeds than demonstrating that London and New York’s existence demonstrates that Harry Potter and Spiderman are real ” Paul H.

      Christians don’t claim that finding a place mentioned in the Bible proves God. This is just another straw man misrepresentation. They DO claim at least 2 things:

      A) ESTABLISHES AUTHOR CREDIBILITY: It IS evidence that the Bible authors are accurate in all areas that we are able to check against physical evidence.

      B) IT COUNTS AS A PIECE OF EVIDENCE: Each artifact is 1 piece of evidence that contributes to the evidential case for the entire Christian worldview and the Christian God being real.

      1 or even a few pieces of evidence or contradictions or question almost never equal proof nor can they be used to reject the weight of evidence and proof. Unfortunately atheists never ever understand this rational fact.

      To prove any theory or worldview true true beyond all reasonable doubt, we must use these 3 major ways to find truth.
      1) Pragmatic Truth: True ideas have evidence that shows they bring the best lives for the most people, especially long term and in important areas (freedom, health, happiness, family, peace, politics, media, etc.)

      2) Correspondence Truth: True ideas have the most evidence from senses which includes testimony, scientific evidence, historical evidence, etc.
      3) Coherence Truth: True ideas have the best track record or they explain the most evidence or data.
      See: “Truth and Certainty,” Jonathan Dolhenty, http://www.themoralliberal.com/2012/05/08/truth-and-certainty/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteria_of_truth

      Consider ALL the evidence, compare it to rival hypotheses and see which view, worldview has the most evidence and best explanations overall even if there are a few questions or contradictions still to resolve. The hypothesis has the most evidence, esp. in pragmatic areas, and explains the available evidence best with no fallacies of any kind (which all atheist arguments use in some way) must be considered the truth and proven as much as can be humanly done by all who are rational people.

      These are the commonly accepted ways that truth has been found in the Bible and in every field of academia as well as numerous other sources throughout recorded history. It is how most rational people find truth in their daily lives as well. It’s why I am and countless professors, scientists, historians and intellectuals throughout history are Christians.

    • James, I and others have already answers these common fallacious excuses many times.
      1) No atheists of 100s I’ve heard at all levels understands Pascal’s actual wager correctly and some Christians do not describe it correctly either. It’s never been debunked either. Check out the actual wager here:
      http://blog.truth-is-life.org/proving-the-bible-true/pascals-real-proof-of-the-rationality-of-christianity-wager-summarized/

      (it’s basically that Christianity brings so many benefits to this life over any other worldview, plus very strong evidence for eternal life, that you can’t lose by being a Christian. It’s based on 1 Timothy 4:8.

      “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

      Science has prove this true in 1000s upon 1000s of studies

      (I’m reposting this since my last post didn’t go through for some reason).

    • One of the most absurd fallacies atheists use is one called the spiderman fallacy. Some skeptics agree that the gospels do include some real facts about cities, etc. (in the past they rejected even that, but now have switched claims and goal posts again as they frequently do). But they say that since spider man, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and other works of fiction also reference real cities, that citing evidence of artifacts can’t be counted as evidence for Jesus and so there is no difference between them and the Bible. The problems with this reasoning are:

      1) FALSE COMPARISON FALLACY: One word skeptics. GENRE!!! The spiderman argument uses category error and false comparison fallacies. The authors of fiction state that their works are fiction. The authors of the gospels and historical works state that they are documenting actual events of history and clearly followed the methods of historical anaylsis to document truths that were observed by the authors.

      To compare these 2 entirely different genres is almost a willful pursuit of ignorance. It’s similar to saying that since Harry Potter books are not evidence for Harry Potter, the Declaration of Independence is not evidence for the existence of Thomas Jefferson and no witnesses for his existence can count as legitimate. It’s a fallacy that is only used by people don’t use enough critical thought to differentiate between comic books about Elmer Fudd, Spider man and historical works such as William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” or Ceasar’s Gallic Wars.

      If atheists were consistent and honest, they would apply this reasoning to Ceasar, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Spartacus and myriads of others in history as well. But they never do. Why? Because Spartacus (as well as the atheist ideology itself) never asks them to sacrifice anything for human rights, never asks them to sacrifice pride, never asks them to follow the golden rule, never asks them to be moral or anything else. It is permissive for anything they wish to do or follow. It requires no discipline, no sacrifice, no moral requirement to admit mistakes or anything. Christianity in contrast offers the ultimate gifts in life, but does require sacrificing a number of destructive, but enjoyable habits, such as the above. So for emotional reasons, atheists love to use double standard fallacies against Christianity.

      2) DENIES THE HISTORICAL STANDARD OF “INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY”: This argument shows severe incompetence at understanding historical analysis. In courts, the defendants and witnesses on both sides are all considered innocent until PROVEN guilty for very basic and practical reasons. It would be extremely time consuming to have to prove every statement true (a favorite, but dishonest atheist tactic) and many you can’t prove true in any way except by testimony (how do you prove what someone said during an argument that was not recorded). Witneses are especially considered truthful when they a track record of accuracy and honesty and when physical facts corroborate their accounts. Evidence does not by itself always equal truth. But, gathering it is an major aspect of figuring out what is true.
      Cornell University says that evidence for an event being real can come from the words of the witness:
      “A witness may testify to a matter only if evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter. Evidence to prove personal knowledge may consist of the witness’s own testimony.” Rule 602. Need for Personal Knowledge, http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_602
      Dr. John Warwick Montgomery is a lawyer, professor and Research Professor of Philosophy a Concordia University. He holds eleven earned degrees (Ph.D., University of Chicago; LL.D., University of Cardiff, Wales; Th.D., University of Strasbourg; M.Div., Wittenberg University; M.Phil., University of Essex; M.A., University of California, Berkeley; LL.M., University of Cardiff, Wales; LL.B., LaSalle Extension University; S.T.M., Wittenberg University; B.L.S., University of California-Berkeley; A.B., Cornell University). He writes:

      “In a court of law, admissible testimony is considered truthful unless impeached or otherwise rendered doubtful. This is in accord with ordinary life, where only the paranoic goes about with the bias that everyone is lying. … The burden, then, is on those who would show that the New Testament testimony to Jesus is not worthy of belief.” Montgomery, Human Rights and Human Dignity, p. 140. See also 141-50.

      3) WHO HAS MET HARRY POTTER VS. JESUS?: It ignores the fact that no one has ever seriously claimed to have met Harry Potter in real life, nor Spiderman, etc. The Bible authors did claim that that had met God, and so have 1000s of others throughout history and their testimony about their experiences has been documented in 1000s of scholarly papers, books, and in literally millions of other ways, etc. Many have suffered in prison, endured torture and been willing to die for their PERSONAL experience with a LIVING God. This ALONE is more evidence for God than all figures in history books COMBINED.

      4) CREDIBILITY OF THE AUTHORS: It ignores the fact that none of the fiction writers made any serious sacrifices or risked anything to claim that their works were true. The authors of the gospels and many others who experienced God risked everything for what they had personally seen and experienced. Their testimony could not be of a higher credibility.

      For this and other reasons, Dr. Montgomery about says:
      “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”
      5) STRAW MAN OF THE CHRISTIAN ARGUMENT:
      ” The point being made is that claiming that a place mentioned in the bible exists no more proves that someone in the bible did miraculous deeds than demonstrating that London and New York’s existence demonstrates that Harry Potter and Spiderman are real ” Paul H.

      Christians don’t claim that finding a place mentioned in the Bible proves God. This is just another straw man misrepresentation. They DO claim at least 2 things:
      A) ESTABLISHES AUTHOR CREDIBILITY: It IS evidence that the Bible authors are accurate in all areas that we are able to check against physical evidence.

      B) IT COUNTS AS A PIECE OF EVIDENCE: Each artifact is 1 piece of evidence that contributes to the evidential case for the entire Christian worldview and the Christian God being real.
      1 or even a few pieces of evidence or contradictions or question almost never equal proof nor can they be used to reject the weight of evidence and proof. Unfortunately atheists never ever understand this rational fact.

      To prove any theory or worldview true true beyond all reasonable doubt, we must use these 3 major ways to find truth.
      1) Pragmatic Truth: True ideas have evidence that shows they bring the best lives for the most people, especially long term and in important areas (freedom, health, happiness, family, peace, politics, media, etc.)

      2) Correspondence Truth: True ideas have the most evidence from senses which includes testimony, scientific evidence, historical evidence, etc.
      3) Coherence Truth: True ideas have the best track record or they explain the most evidence or data.
      See: “Truth and Certainty,” Jonathan Dolhenty, http://www.themoralliberal.com/2012/05/08/truth-and-certainty/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteria_of_truth

      Consider ALL the evidence, compare it to rival hypotheses and see which view, worldview has the most evidence and best explanations overall even if there are a few questions or contradictions still to resolve. The hypothesis has the most evidence, esp. in pragmatic areas, and explains the available evidence best with no fallacies of any kind (which all atheist arguments use in some way) must be considered the truth and proven as much as can be humanly done by all who are rational people.

      These are the commonly accepted ways that truth has been found in the Bible and in every field of academia as well as numerous other sources throughout recorded history. It is how most rational people find truth in their daily lives as well. It’s why I am and countless professors, scientists, historians and intellectuals throughout history are Christians.

    • One of the most absurd fallacies atheists use is one called the spiderman fallacy. Some skeptics agree that the gospels do include some real facts about cities, etc. (in the past they rejected even that, but now have switched claims and goal posts again as they frequently do). But they say that since spider man, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and other works of fiction also reference real cities, that citing evidence of artifacts can’t be counted as evidence for Jesus and so there is no difference between them and the Bible. The problems with this reasoning are:

      1) FALSE COMPARISON FALLACY: One word skeptics. GENRE!!! The spiderman argument uses category error and false comparison fallacies. The authors of fiction state that their works are fiction. The authors of the gospels and historical works state that they are documenting actual events of history and clearly followed the methods of historical anaylsis to document truths that were observed by the authors.

      To compare these 2 entirely different genres is almost a willful pursuit of ignorance. It’s similar to saying that since Harry Potter books are not evidence for Harry Potter, the Declaration of Independence is not evidence for the existence of Thomas Jefferson and no witnesses for his existence can count as legitimate. It’s a fallacy that is only used by people don’t use enough critical thought to differentiate between comic books about Elmer Fudd, Spider man and historical works such as William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” or Ceasar’s Gallic Wars.

      If atheists were consistent and honest, they would apply this reasoning to Ceasar, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Spartacus and myriads of others in history as well. But they never do. Why? Because Spartacus (as well as the atheist ideology itself) never asks them to sacrifice anything for human rights, never asks them to sacrifice pride, never asks them to follow the golden rule, never asks them to be moral or anything else. It is permissive for anything they wish to do or follow. It requires no discipline, no sacrifice, no moral requirement to admit mistakes or anything. Christianity in contrast offers the ultimate gifts in life, but does require sacrificing a number of destructive, but enjoyable habits, such as the above. So for emotional reasons, atheists love to use double standard fallacies against Christianity.

      2) DENIES THE HISTORICAL STANDARD OF “INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY”: This argument shows severe incompetence at understanding historical analysis. In courts, the defendants and witnesses on both sides are all considered innocent until PROVEN guilty for very basic and practical reasons. It would be extremely time consuming to have to prove every statement true (a favorite, but dishonest atheist tactic) and many you can’t prove true in any way except by testimony (how do you prove what someone said during an argument that was not recorded). Witneses are especially considered truthful when they a track record of accuracy and honesty and when physical facts corroborate their accounts. Evidence does not by itself always equal truth. But, gathering it is an major aspect of figuring out what is true.
      Cornell University says that evidence for an event being real can come from the words of the witness:
      “A witness may testify to a matter only if evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter. Evidence to prove personal knowledge may consist of the witness’s own testimony.” Rule 602. Need for Personal Knowledge, http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_602
      Dr. John Warwick Montgomery is a lawyer, professor and Research Professor of Philosophy a Concordia University. He holds eleven earned degrees (Ph.D., University of Chicago; LL.D., University of Cardiff, Wales; Th.D., University of Strasbourg; M.Div., Wittenberg University; M.Phil., University of Essex; M.A., University of California, Berkeley; LL.M., University of Cardiff, Wales; LL.B., LaSalle Extension University; S.T.M., Wittenberg University; B.L.S., University of California-Berkeley; A.B., Cornell University). He writes:

      “In a court of law, admissible testimony is considered truthful unless impeached or otherwise rendered doubtful. This is in accord with ordinary life, where only the paranoic goes about with the bias that everyone is lying. … The burden, then, is on those who would show that the New Testament testimony to Jesus is not worthy of belief.” Montgomery, Human Rights and Human Dignity, p. 140. See also 141-50.

      3) WHO HAS MET HARRY POTTER VS. JESUS?: It ignores the fact that no one has ever seriously claimed to have met Harry Potter in real life, nor Spiderman, etc. The Bible authors did claim that that had met God, and so have 1000s of others throughout history and their testimony about their experiences has been documented in 1000s of scholarly papers, books, and in literally millions of other ways, etc. Many have suffered in prison, endured torture and been willing to die for their PERSONAL experience with a LIVING God. This ALONE is more evidence for God than all figures in history books COMBINED.

      4) CREDIBILITY OF THE AUTHORS: It ignores the fact that none of the fiction writers made any serious sacrifices or risked anything to claim that their works were true. The authors of the gospels and many others who experienced God risked everything for what they had personally seen and experienced. Their testimony could not be of a higher credibility.

      For this and other reasons, Dr. Montgomery about says:
      “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”

  2. I like that you are willing to point out the categorical errors atheist make. I’m working the same things (part 2 of my 3 part series releases tomorrow) at clearlens.org. I may need to borrow some of your thought for part 3. I think Christians and atheists would do well to define the terms–it’s a start anyway. Thank you 🙂

  3. Pingback: Proof, God & the Atheist’s Misunderstanding. – madmissionary·

  4. Hey James, amazing post. Reblogged it for you to get more likes. And I totally agree with your statement towards Atheists about proof, I have the same problem when trying to explain something to someone, but in the end they just shove my claim off. I wrote a post yesterday about Atheists claiming that Christians are intolerable, but if I’m honest, I think Atheists are intolerable towards Christians(Or any religious belief for that matter). I found only one thing when you explain something to atheists. Either they say like you said “That’s not proof”, Or they just mock our Christianity like it’s a big joke. So all I can say is, Giving proof is tough, especially if you’re a Christian. Great post James.

  5. We cannot bring two different methods of discovery to the table and expect to meet somewhere. An atheist eliminates every unproven thing, god included, and starts from what is known. Everything else is theory. For me, it isn’t personal; but it does get annoying when theists take it personally.

    Theists start with god and apply everything to that one theory. But from my point of view, that is like plucking one random idea out of thin air and choosing to forget about all other possibilities (even abandoning the question of who or what god could be). My brain doesn’t work that way. It’s a big reason why I lost faith in a god I never thought I could lose faith in.

    There is no proof either way, and the real argument is over who has a better method for discovery. But I can tell you one thing for certain: I am never asking you for proof of god unless you are asking me to believe in god. The burden of proof is always on whoever is asking someone to believe. I’m not asking you to stop believing. I know that road too well and that isn’t how it works. And if another atheist challenges you for proof when you haven’t asked them to believe, just walk away. It isn’t worth it.

    • Fair enough. But I think it also applies to atheists when you say that “Theists start with god and apply everything to that one theory.” Atheists start with the belief that God does not exist and apply everything to that theory (after all, saying God does not exist is a theory/philosophical belief).

      • Yes, but it is not limited to God. Every unproven thing falls into the same basket as God until proven otherwise; it’s just that we are only asked to examine God specifically. Without theists I’m not sure we would talk about God at all. Well, certainly not as much.

        But the friction comes from theology rather than the basic question of whether or not a god exists. Consider this: I used to be a very devout Christian. I was only able to doubt my faith once I came to the conclusion that questioning mankind’s definition of him was not a betrayal– but rather my obligation to God. Once I stripped away the theology I still believed, but I was open to more interpretations of what God could be.

        And you know what else happened? Conversations with atheists became easy and stimulating. Because even though I was still a theist, God had become a theory open for real discussion. Now that I am an atheist, I enjoy talking about the possibility of god. But it isn’t really possible to discuss it with Christians. They cannot get past narrow definitions and often confuse evidence of a creator with evidence of their specific god.

  6. Come at the question differently: present why you think a God exists.
    If it’s some kind of deductive or inductive argument, we can evaluate it to see if it really is a valid and sound argument. If it’s some ‘personal experience’, then we can discuss whether your personal experience is really a reliable evidence for me to follow. If you present gaps in scientific understanding and then demand God is the best answer, well, we all know what that is called…

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