Atheists using Biblical wisdom without realising

To create links to their personal experiences, I tell my students that as a child and a young woman I often heard my atheist grandmother use what I then thought was an old Russian adage that in my translation from Russian would be “A clever wife will put her husband on a throne whereas a stupid one will send him to the poor house”.

I liked this saying then and I like it now, but I never thought that it was actually from the Bible until I started using it for teaching and discovered that it is a paraphrase of Proverbs 12:4. If you ask students to come up with their own examples of what is often thought as folk wisdom but actually is a saying from a sacred text, the answers may be surprising. I have been surprised many times over.

Quote source

Henderson, N. (2014). ‘Should We Talk About God? Reflection on Whether and How we can Integrate Holy Texts in a Language Classroom‘ in Contact Magazine, Vol. 40(3), August 2014 p. 53

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The atheist’s selective treatment of historiography

You might be a fundamentalist atheist if:

82. When you use a historical point to prove Christianity is false (i.e., pagan parallel to Christianity), history is objective truth. When a Christian uses real historical scholarship to prove you false, history was written by subjective men and therefore cannot be trusted.

Quote source

GakuesiDon (n.d.). You Might be a Fundamentalist Atheist if…Available http://www.tektoonics.com/test/parody/fundyath.html. Last accessed 19th Jun 2016.

Atheistic misconceptions of theistic evidence

As reported by John Burger:

In a twist that would have been unthinkable five decades ago, a man in Russia could go to jail for blogging that God does not exist.

Ironically, Viktor Krasnov’s day in court was to be Tuesday [April 12], which was the 55th anniversary of the historic space flight of [Christian] Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin. Soviet [atheist] leader Nikita Khrushchev later said in a speech that Gargarin found no evidence of God while orbiting Earth

But that’s not so much as effective reasoning than a politically charged quip from an atheist politician. This next quote puts things into perspective:

Since God is Spirit, then His image can only be that which is also spirit; since God is not matter, His image cannot be imparted to matter, which is regarded at best as a mere production of God and hence alien to Him in a sense which spirit cannot be.

Quote sources

  1. Burger, J. (2016) Atheist Blogger Challenges New Russian “Blasphemy” Law. Available http://aleteia.org/2016/04/14/atheist-blogger-challenges-new-russian-blasphemy-law/. Last accessed 29th May 2016.
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (1959). By What Standard? An Analysis of the Philosophy of Cornelius Van Til. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Philadelphia, p. 124

Sir Isaac Newton knew better than atheism

When [Isaac] Newton was investigating the movement of the planets, he quite clearly saw the hand of God at work. He wrote:

‘This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” [Pantokratōr cf. 2 Corinthians 6:18], or “Universal Ruler”. … The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.’

‘Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.’

Quote source

Lamont, A. (1990). Sir Isaac Newton (1642/3–1727): A Scientific Genius and “Father of Physics”. Answers in Genesis. Available https://answersingenesis.org/creation-scientists/profiles/sir-isaac-newton/. Last accessed 25th Jul 2015.

Atheistic reasoning shown to fall short

Michael P (an atheistic apologist) said this:

The happiness and suffering of other human beings matter such that we should all seek, whenever possible, to increase their happiness and decrease their suffering. Morality is required for human social structures and human communities to survive. Neither the presence nor the absence of any god can change this. Morals were in place long before the Judeo-Christian beliefs came into being. While religious theists may find that their beliefs impact their moral decisions, they cannot claim that their beliefs are prerequisites for making moral decisions. That is called the Appeal to Belief fallacy. Nor can they claim that being an atheist prohibits the employment of moral thoughts, acting in a moral way, and/or making moral decisions. That too is fallacious and known as Ad Hominem.

If you want to present an argument about the morality of abortion, please, by all means, do so. It is a valid argument. One that I struggle with, as do many “believers” that I know. But to generalize about atheists at the level you have and to use both the Ad Hominem and Appeal to Belief fallacies removes your credibility. Adding fuel to fear tactics is also very unappealing.

But Jonathan Sarfati (a Christian) countered the atheist with this:

I am very familiar with logical fallacies—see my paper Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation.

But you have misunderstood our “moral argument”, which is further explained in Bomb-building vs. the biblical foundation:

Our argument is not that atheists cannot live ‘good’ lives, but that there is no objective basis for their goodness if we are just rearranged pond scum.

Also, from a biblical perspective, morals predated societies. God gave Adam a command when he was the only man alive. Cain committed the first murder, then afterwards built the first city.

Also, in What is ‘good’? (Answering the Euthyphro Dilemma), I’ve asked:

The Euthyphro Dilemma can be turned around on atheists: Do you approve of an action because it is good, or is it good because you approve of it? If the latter, then your moral standard seems to be subjective and arbitrary, so you complain about God’s alleged arbitrariness. And if the former, then you are back to explaining where this objective moral standard comes from. As shown above, evolution can’t provide this, so the above Divine Nature Theory is back on the table.

Similarly for social theories of good—is something good because society makes a rule about it, or does society make a rule about it because it’s good?

The above Logic paper also presented a sound argument against abortion.

Quote source

Sarfati, J. (2012). Abortion ‘after birth’? Medical ‘ethicists’ promote infanticide. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/abortion-after-birth. Last accessed 6th Jul 2015.

Atheism requiring more leaps of faith than Christianity

Indeed, atheism itself has a number of propositions that have to be accepted by faith, e.g. that something (the universe) came from nothing, non-living matter evolved into living cells by stochastic chemistry, complex specified information arose without intelligence, morality arose by natural selection, etc.

Quote source

Cosner, L. (2008). ‘Former leading atheist argues for the existence of God‘ in Journal of Creation. December 2008, pp. 21-24.

The correct way of considering God’s existence

According to T.B. [an atheist]:

An atheist needs do no more. An atheist does not need to prove that God does not exist — the theist must demonstrate that God does exist.

To which Jonathan Sarfati replied:

T.B. seems to be using the tactic of throwing the burden of proof on those asserting an affirmative proposition, e.g. ‘God exists’ as opposed to the negative proposition ‘God does not exist.’ But then an example of self-refutation occurs: the proposition: ‘The burden of proof falls on the affirmative position’ is itself an affirmative proposition, so requires proof in itself!

But this commonly overlooked point aside, as shown by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, atheism is just as much an assertion as theism. Therefore the burden of proof falls equally, and a fairer debate question would be ‘Does God exist?’

Also, atheists assert many affirmative statements without proof, eg. that the universe is either eternal or came into existence uncaused, non-living matter evolved into living cells by pure undirected chemistry, complex specified information arose without intelligence, design features arose without a designer, moral sensibilities arose out of amoral matter.

Quote source

Sarfati, J. (2007). Atheism is more rational? Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/atheism-is-more-rational. Last accessed 13th Jun 2015.