Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How Did We Get Here . . . From There?

Arguments that make you wonder, how did you get from point A to point Q without hitting anything in between frequently occur during the sport that is witnessing. Example from the PuritanBoard message board:

Suppose you were witnessing to an atheist and you shared with him Romans 1:18-32. (Which is a really long verse about the wrath of god. not something i would choose to convert people with, but hey, i'm an atheist.) If he insists that he does not know God, that he is not suppressing any truth, and that there are many reasons for doubting God's existence, then what do you say to him? Do you present the transcendental argument? I wish I knew what the transcendental argument was.

First of all, I wouldn't expect that someone that was suppressing the truth would admit to it. that's right. we're lying to you. secretly we know that god exists, we just like to be witnessed at over and over and over and over again. Greg Bahnsen has done an excellent job as at? summarizing what you should look for as a believer when talking with unbelievers. You shall now address me as Personal Failure, the Unbeliever! (Make sure to pronounce the exclamation point.) You should look for arbitrariness (good philosophers are not allowed to be arbitrary you mean like believing one holy book over another), inconsistencies (conflicting beliefs god is love and you'll burn forever if you piss him off), un-argued philosophical bias (unproven truth claims god) and whether or not their beliefs provide the preconditions of intelligibility (do their beliefs “make sense” of laws of logic god does not make logical sense, science god certainly doesn't make scientific sense, morality the "laws of morality" is an annoying, illogical concept…). You will need to ask the right kinds of questions to flesh these things out of his beliefs until he gives you enough rope to hang him with what a friendly image.

Here is one line of questioning that you might use.

Atheist we'll call him Bob: God does not exist.

Christian: Good then I can just pull out a gun and shoot you to get rid of people like you. and how did we get to this amazing conclusion? god doesn't exist therefore you can kill anyone you want anytime you want? i'm not doing that, therefore the nonexistence of god clearly does not allow for that sort of behavior. asshat.

Atheist Bob: You can’t do that, that would be wrong. not to mention illegal.

Christian: What do you mean by wrong, I would not be breaking any physical laws. as if physical laws are the only laws that atheists believe in. do you see us driving on the left side of the road (reverse if you live in england, etc.), or walking out of grocery stores without paying?

Atheist Bob: You would be breaking a moral law. And a legal law.

Christian: Do moral laws exist, I have never seen a moral law, prove to me that moral laws exist and I will not shoot you. again, Bob didn't say he had never seen god and that's why he didn't believe in god. i can't see lots of things i know to exist: atoms, gravity, love. Asshat's argument, completely unstated, is that morals only come from god and if you don't believe in god, you don't have morals.

Atheist Bob: I can’t do that, but if you kill me you might go to jail and you would not like that would you. good for you bob.

Christian: Would if I told you that the pleasure that I would get out of killing you would be worth 1,000 years in prison. wow, this guy is seriously scary. i'm guessing bob converts pretty soon out of raw terror. Besides I hear the food is excellent nobody has ever heard that the food in jail is excellent and the gyms are well equipped i'll grant you that.

Atheist Bob: You are sick! you go, bob! but don't piss him off, that might be dangerous.

Christian: You told me that “God doesn’t exist” yet you appeal to laws that only make sense if he did exist. You couldn’t prove to me that moral laws exist, yet you expect me to believe in them, and you call me sick? I am afraid that it is you who are sick my friend and I can give you the cure if you only admit that you are suppressing this truth. ?This logical flaw is called answering the unasked question. it's usually expressed as "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" (The fact that the person was beating his wife at all was never established.) The answered unasked question is "moral laws only come from god". This was never established. Therefore the assertion that Bob is appealing to laws that he believes don't exist is ludicrous.



Now this might be a little over-the-top a little? unless you are really good friends with him i wouldn't take that from anyone. I have actually used similar conversations with atheists that I am well acquainted with, but you might want to be more subtle with an atheist that you don’t know very well hide the jesus in your sleeve until the time is right. But these are the kinds leading questions that you want to use and the kinds of things that you want to look for. If you practice, you will start to see these things more clearly and more often. yeah, illogical arguments often lead to clear thinking.


  1. Misrepresenting your opponent doesn't lead to clear thinking either does it?

    If you'll listen to Bahnsen's various lectures where he explains his use of the "gun" illustration in his debate with Dr. Stein, you'll see that what he was actually demonstrating was that, given Dr. Stein's view of morality, he (Bahnsen) could win the debate by an ad bacculem appeal and be totally justified in doing so.

    Bahnsen also uses another illustration (in regards to the self-deception of the unbeliever.) The unbeliever is essentially arguing that air does not exist...all the while breathing air in order to make the case.

    What Bob, in your illustration, fails to do, is give any non-arbitrary reason for the Christian not to kill him in order to win the discussion. Saying that murder is "illegal" is no prima facie reason to reject it as an option...and we can see that people on a daily basis accept it as a reasonable option.

    I'd love to help clarify the issues of the Christian position for you in the future. Just let me know...
    God bless
    From a blogger who randomly ran across your blog this morning...


  2. I had a really great reply to this. Then I checked out this troll's website.

    God clearly says that homosexuality is a civil crime punishable by death. (While we currently do not live in a society that has a Godly enough view of Justice to carry this out, it is still important to inform people of the severity of this crime.)

    sorry, troll, you are disgusting, horrible and you make me sick. your view of god and other human beings is unforgivable.

    don't come back.

  3. I love you to.

    Though, I remain unconvinced of the truth of your position, despite your wonderful counter argument...

  4. Some bible quotes applicable to your advocating violence against gays.

    Matthew 15:11

    matthew 15:18

    and, the coup de grace: Acts 10:28

  5. Those verses don't seem to discuss proper justice in the civil realm against law breakers though.

    By the way, considering the statements in your blog about the illegality of murder, what would your position be if were legal to execute homosexuals? Would you appeal to the law then? Or would you appeal to something that you consider "higher" than the law of the land?


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