So again I was inspired to write a blog post based on Justin Brierley’s weekly podcast. This past week, he hosted a debate between Frank Turek and Alex O’Connor. The topic of the show was actually whether evil disproves atheism because atheists need absolute morals to make judgments against anything (in order to call it evil.)
The important thing that I want to point out about this debate is when they talked about the objective nature of the Laws of Logic. I’ll have to paraphrase since I cannot find the transcripts anywhere, but essentially, the Christian tried to push the atheist into saying that the laws of logic were objective, but Alex said (paraphrase), “They can’t be objective, because we are both using the laws of logic and we disagree.”
Alex is incorrect here, and this is the power of presuppositional apologetics. The atheist and the Christian have different presuppositions/axioms/assumptions regarding reality, so when both use the laws of logic, they come to different conclusions. It does not mean that the laws of logic are not objective, it means there are different starting points. Different starting points mean different conclusions.
The Christian can say, “since the Eternal Creator is immaterial, universal, and unchanging, we can account for things in reality that express these properties because of what he has revealed to everyone.”
The atheist cannot justify the origin of immaterial, universal, and constant entities in a cosmos that they say is defined by a material and constantly changing universe. They are left with the absurd solution of calling laws of logic either subjective or a human construct, which are both self-defeating.
Since we can trust God’s revelation about history, we can trust Him with the future! Praise the Creator!!!
I haven’t even finished reading this article yet, but it’s so good that I want to share it on my blog before I forget or something comes up. The writer outlines clearly the point that people interpret evidence according to their worldview, so evidence cannot properly push someone into the Kingdom of God.
People must repent of their sins so that they can see the emptiness of their atheistic worldview. As Romans 1 says, “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.”
There is not enough evidence to convince an atheist that God exists, because they are suppressing this evidence.
There are some big words and complex ideas, but here are a few excerpts that I thought were very good. Still, the whole article is worth the read:
Defending the Christian faith (apologetics) is an injunction that wields a fruitful endeavor. Presuppositional apologetics is a Reformed modus operandi that commences and concludes with God, presupposes the veracity of Scripture, disproves the futility of human contrivance that obstructs truth, and argues that it is inextricable to deny the sensus deitatis (sense of deity) because it is intrinsically recessed internally which leaves everyone without reprieve.
Here’s the quandary: both are given evidence (Scripture), but there are two diametrically opposed conclusions. The affirmations brought into the evidence are their presuppositions. This is the contradistinction between a presuppositional apologist and an atheist: a presuppositional apologist (does not demand evidence for God’s existence) can corroborate their knowledge claims because of revelation from God, while the atheists cannot (demands evidence for God). The former justifies the very concept of evidence, while the latter does not.
This article is not denying evidence as edifying to a Christian. The creation account, the worldwide flood, parting of the Red Sea, and the miracles of Christ: casting out demons, cleansing the lepers, healing a man born blind, healing Peter’s mother in-law, raising the dead, restoring an ear, walking on water, stilling the storm, turning water into wine, feeding thousands and resurrecting gloriously and miraculously are all captivating proofs. Do all of the aforementioned miracles need to be given to a person who demands proof for God’s existence? Absolutely not! According to Thomas Aquinas: “To one who has faith no explanation is necessary. To one without faith no explanation is possible.”
What are the dissimilarities between an atheist and a theist? The atheist cannot account for anything as they appeal to their autonomous reasoning, and seek to justify doing so with their autonomous reasoning. How do they know their reasoning is valid? Apart from revelation, they cannot. A theist (Christian) can account for the laws of logic because of a super naturalistic worldview that is consistent with universal, abstract invariant entities, and is justified by revelation. This is why an atheist has to borrow from the Christian worldview because they are impotent of justifying anything apart from God.
An atheistic worldview cannot account for moral absolutes because they have no justification for absolutes of any kind. Most atheists will say that they are absolutely certain that there is no such thing as absolutes, which is self-refuting babble. Why can’t an atheistic worldview justify moral absolutes? If an atheist denies the existence of God, they lose their appeal to absolute knowledge and nothing could be absolutely morally wrong.
Because we can trust God’s revelation through scripture about the past (and this is corroborated by the evidence we see around us), we can trust God’s revelation about our future. Romans 8
[Rom 8:18-25 ESV] 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
This question is one of the most important questions of this generation. The answer has profound implications for how someone hopes, lives, behaves, and is remembered. So what is the answer?
The modern paradigm has presented a case that science and evolution have replaced God. Let’s compare the atheistic worldview to that of the Christian to see which can stand up to scrutiny.
Jason Lisle has submitted a powerful argument for the existence of God: namely that without God, we could not know anything. Since we know things, then there is a God. Check out his article here to follow the progression of the reasoning.
Here’s my understanding of how the logic of objectively proving that God exists is formulated.
Since everyone interprets evidence according to their worldview, then no evidence is conclusive in exposing either the shortcomings of the Christian’s worldview or the atheist’s worldview. An example of this would be the existence of fossils. An atheist would interpret the evidence and say that fossilized dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. A Christian would interpret the existence of fossils as exactly what is expected if the historical flood buried everything under tons of sedimentary layers. Same evidence. Different conclusions depending on one’s worldview. So the answer has to go one level deeper to analyze one’s worldview. Which worldview has contradictions?
The atheist’s worldview assumes that there are only material objects in an ever changing universe.
The Christian worldview assumes that God is the Creator and that He has revealed himself to humanity in his written Word, the Bible.
Which worldview would best account for the existence of the laws of logic, objective morality, objective truth, beauty, and intelligence?
All of these things are immaterial concepts. So, if there are immaterial laws of logic that do not change, how can the atheist account for the existence of immaterial laws in a constantly changing universe? Laws of logic make perfect sense in a Christian worldview as they are the way that God thinks, and he has imparted this ability to humanity. Colossians 2:3
Another inconsistency for atheists would be the behavioral contradiction. Jason Lisle describes it this way:
For example, consider the atheist university professor who teaches that human beings are simply chemical accidents—the end result of a long and purposeless chain of biological evolution. But then he goes home and kisses his wife and hugs his children, as if they were not simply chemical accidents, but valuable, irreplaceable persons deserving of respect and worthy of love.
The Christian does believe that people are valuable, deserving of respect, and worthy of love, but it is because we are created in the image of God. He gives humans value. In the atheist worldview, people do not have intrinsic value since they are simply the culmination of purposeless chemical accidents.
I’m quite sure that the atheist would claim that there are some objective morals if you tried to steal from him, assault someone in his family, or caustically burn his house to the ground. But he would not be able to account for the existence of these morals since they are immaterial, universal, and unchanging. Objective morals exist, but they do not fit in the atheistic worldview. Don’t misinterpret, atheists can act morally (and most do most of the time), but they simply cannot account for the existence of objective morals.
Objective Truth has its roots only in either knowing everything or having someone who knows everything reveal it. Christians do not know everything, but the omniscient Creator God has revealed some of his knowledge to us so that we can know things for certain. The atheist cannot know things for certain because he must leave open the possibility that some future knowledge might overturn something he currently thinks is reliable. If he cannot know anything for certain, then it logically follows that he knows nothing.
This brings us to another contradiction because atheists do know things. They know things and make truth claims all of the time, but since they have no foundation or preconditions for intelligibility, then they are contradicting themselves. Romans 1:18-20 tells us that atheists do not exist. Everyone knows that there is a God, but those who claim that there is no God is suppressing the truth.