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The futility of Atheism

>> Monday, May 31, 2010

Here is an imaginary conversation between an Atheist and a Christian. Although imaginary, I'll base it on actual conversations that I've had or heard Atheists having.

Atheist: I'm actually amazed. I'm amazed that someone as intelligent as you could believe in the miracles that are claimed in the Bible. It seems absolutely foolish and unintelligent to buy in to such nonsense. I can't believe in God when it seems so illogical. Don't you agree that we should be past that sort of ancient mystical thinking?

Christian: Well, I certainly agree with you that we need to avoid foolishness and we need to commit to being intelligent. As a matter of fact, I'm a little confused (considering your view of reality) as to how we can be committed to being logical using your worldview. What I mean by that is if I held your view about the origin of the universe and about reality itself I would have a very difficult time reconciling what I am doing (using logic, reason and trying to be intelligent) with what I believed about the universe. If all that we are is simply bags of biological stuff then what is happening in your brain is not what is happening in my brain. And, you're not really thinking and making free decisions, you're just subject to electrochemical responses happening in your brain. In other words, a naturalistic, materialistic outlook on life can not make sense of or account for immaterial, abstract and invariant entities like laws of logic.

Atheist: Wait a minute! Just wait one minute. That is simply ridiculous. Everybody uses logic. You can't function in this world without it. That is just absurd to say that atheists can't appeal to logic if our worldview is true.

Christian: But, don't you see? That is exactly my point my friend. You are doing things and living in a way that simply clashes with what you are saying about the world. I'm not questioning your intelligence or your attempts to be logical. You are attempting to be logical. But you cannot account for what you are doing. We are dealing with the preconditions of intelligibility here. Let me put it this way-- Where do laws of logic grow?

Atheist: Hahaha! Laws of logic don't "grow" anywhere.

Christian: Have you ever smelled one? Tasted one? Touched one?

Atheist: Don't be silly. The entire idea of a law is totally abstract. Every thought and every idea is an abstraction.

Christian: Exactly. Now please explain to me how a materialistic view of reality allows for immaterial, invariant and universal laws like "laws of logic".

Atheist: As a society, we have collectively decided on these laws. They don't just exist out there in nature. They only exist in minds.

Christian: O.K., so what you are saying is that "laws of logic" are simply conventional? We just decide what is or isn't so?

Atheist: It's based on a lot of past experience in the world. But, yes, that is what I am saying. They are simply stipulated.

Christian: So it would be appropriate (using your assumptions) for a society to develop and just create their own brand of laws of logic? Maybe in some societies it will be seen as logical to say "This is my foot. But it is not the case that this is my foot"? What if a society sprang up that encouraged contradictions? Would that be an appropriate stipulation?

Atheist: No. You can't do that. Laws of logic can be tested and shown to be true.

Christian: So you admit that these "laws of logic" exist outside of the minds of the people who supposedly stipulated them?

Atheist: Erh... yes.

Christian: When you die, will laws of logic continue to exist?

Atheist: Of course.

Christian: So they exist outside of your mind and will continue to operate outside of a particular human beings existence? In other words they are universal?

Atheist: No question.

Christian: So you acknowledge the fact that you are utilizing and appealing to things that are universal and immaterial? How does your worldview allow for such things? I thought your basic metaphysical presupposition was naturalistic materialism?
You've already granted that you can't "touch" a law and yet you appeal to these laws everyday all the while denying the existence of immaterial things with your implicit materialist worldview. You can't have it both ways. You are living as though you held to Christian theistic presuppositions while denying the existence of God with your profession of Atheism.

To be continued.......

In the meantime, check out this video. I think it'll help put some of this into context.

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