Intelligent Design theism

At Mind Matters News: Debate: Former atheist neurosurgeon vs. former Christian activist

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In a lively debate at Theology Unleashed, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and broadcaster Matt Dillahunty clash over the existence of God. Each gets a chance to state his case and interrogate the other:


First, each participant was given a chance upfront to state where he is coming from and why. Michael Egnor, representing the Yes side, went first. How did a medic, formerly an atheist, who cuts open people’s brains for a living, come to be sure there is a God? And how did a fundamentalist Christian come to be hosting The Atheist Experience?

[From] Michael Egnor’s opening statement

“I never disliked Christians. I always thought they were nice people, but that what they believed didn’t make a lot of sense. I thought it was just a fairy tale. I majored in biochemistry in college. I love science. I went on to medical school. I became a neurosurgeon. I still love science. I still think science is fascinating. And I believed that in order to be a Christian specifically or to believe in God in general, I had to leave my brain at the door, basically. That if I went to church, I couldn’t really be a thinking person. [00:02:00]

“I came to feel very differently about that over time for a whole bunch of reasons. I had a Damascus road experience related to the illness of one of my children. But I also investigated the questions about God’s existence in considerable detail. I read a lot of Thomistic philosophy. I read and watched a lot of debates between Christians and atheists. And I must say that, repeatedly, I was amazed at how little atheists had to say about the question of God’s existence. I was shocked actually that the atheist arguments were as weak as they were. And that the arguments for God’s existence were remarkably strong. [00:02:30]”

and

[From] Matt Dillahunty’s opening statement

“I’ve been hosting the Atheist Experience for the last 16 years, but I didn’t start off anywhere near there. I was raised primarily a Southern Baptist. I did go to Pentecostal churches on a couple of occasions, but we were pretty much Southern Baptist. And my mom’s side of the family was Catholic, but Catholics were Mary worshiping, Saint worshiping, evolution accepting, drinking people. And so that was forbidden for us. And yet curiously, I always had a lot more fun and, and had more pleasant times around my Catholic relatives. [00:04:30]

“And at some point that kind of changed. wonder actually — me being a former Baptist and with Dr. Egnor being a current Catholic — if that’s going to cause more conflicts in thoughts than whether or not I’m an atheist. But I walked down [00:05:00] the aisle at the age of five at a revival and accepted Jesus into my heart.”

[But that didn’t last.]

More.


Next: A neurosurgeon’s 10 proofs of the existence of God

You may also wish to read: How Orwell’s 1984 can be seen as an argument for God’s existence Atheism is not only fundamental to the power of the Party in 1984 but is also its central weakness.

19 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Debate: Former atheist neurosurgeon vs. former Christian activist

  1. 1
    chuckdarwin says:

    These “debates” are old, tired and pointless. Perhaps they fill a compulsive need for the participants; Atheists and Christian apologists have one trait in common—they love to hear themselves talk.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Egnor listed 10 proofs for God’s existence starting around the 8 minute mark,

    1-5, Aquinas’s 5 ways
    6. The distinction between being and essence
    7. The neo-Platonic proof
    8. The Augustinian proof
    9. The Rationalist’s proof (Leibniz)
    10. The existence of Moral law
    https://youtu.be/yahf0t5mK5g?t=472

    And Dr. Egnor’s list of 10 proofs for the existence of God is by no means exhaustive.

    Peter Kreeft lists 20 proofs here:

    20 Arguments For God’s Existence – Dr. Peter Kreeft
    1. The Argument from Change
    2. The Argument from Efficient Causality
    3. The Argument from Time and Contingency
    4. The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
    5. The Design Argument
    6. The Kalam Argument
    7. The Argument from Contingency
    8. The Argument from the World as an Interacting Whole
    9. The Argument from Miracles
    10. The Argument from Consciousness
    11. The Argument from Truth
    12. The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God
    13. The Ontological Argument
    14. The Moral Argument
    15. The Argument from Conscience
    16. The Argument from Desire
    17. The Argument from Aesthetic Experience
    18. The Argument from Religious Experience
    19. The Common Consent Argument
    20. Pascal’s Wager
    http://www.strangenotions.com/god-exists/

    Alvin Plantinga lists two dozen (or so) arguments for God,

    Table Of Contents for TWO DOZEN (OR SO) ARGUMENTS FOR GOD: THE PLANTINGA PROJECT
    I. Half a Dozen (or so) ontological (or metaphysical) arguments
    (A) The Argument from Intentionality (or Aboutness)
    • Lorraine Keller, Niagara University
    • “Propositions Supernaturalized”
    (B) The Argument from Collections
    • Chris Menzel, Texas A&M
    • “The Argument from Collections”
    (C) The Argument from (Natural) Numbers
    • Tyron Goldshmidt, Wake Forest
    • “The Argument from (Natural) Numbers”
    (D) The Argument From Counterfactuals
    • Alex Pruss, Baylor University
    • “Counterfactuals, Vagueness and God”
    (E) The Argument from Physical Constants
    • Robin Collins, Messiah College
    • “The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability”
    (F) The Naive Teleological Argument
    • C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University
    • “An Argument from Design for Ordinary People”
    (H) The Ontological Argument
    • Elizabeth Burns, Heythrop College
    • “Patching Planting’s Ontological Argument by Making the Murdoch Move”
    (I) Why is there anything at all?
    • Josh Rasmussen, Azusa Pacific; and Christopher Gregory Weaver, Rutgers University
    • “Why is There Anything?”

    II. Half a dozen Epistemological Arguments
    (J) The argument from positive epistemic status
    • Justin Barrett, Fuller Seminary
    • “Evolutionary Psychology and the Argument from Positive Epistemic Status”
    (K) The Argument from the confluence of proper function and reliability
    • Alex Arnold, The John Templeton Foundation
    • “Is God the Designer of our Cognitive Faculties? Evaluating Plantinga’s Argument”
    (L) The Argument from Simplicity and (M) The Argument from Induction
    • Bradly Monton, Independent Scholar
    • “Atheistic Induction by Boltzmann Brains”

    (N) The Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global Skepticism)[also, (O) The Argument from Reference and (K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability]
    • Even Fales, University of Iowa
    • “Putnam’s Semantic Skepticism and the Epistemic Melt-Down of Naturalism: How Defeat of Putnam’s Puzzle Provides a Defeater for Plantinga’s Self-Defeat Argument Against Naturalism”

    (N) The Putnamian Argument, (O) The Argument from Reference, and (P) The Kripke-Wittgenstein Argument from Plus and Quus
    • Dan Bonevac, University of Texas
    • “Arguments from Knowledge, Reference, and Content”

    (Q) The General Argument from Intuition.
    • Rob Koons, University of Texas at Austin
    • “The General Argument from Intuition”

    III. Moral arguments
    (R) Moral Arguments (actually R1 to Rn)
    • David Baggett, Liberty University
    • “An Abductive Moral Argument for God”

    (R*) The argument from evil.
    • Hud Hudson, Western Washington University
    • “Felix Culpa!”

    IV. Other Arguments
    (S) The Argument from Colors and Flavors
    • Richard Swinburne, Oxford University
    • “The Argument from Consciousness”
    (T) The Argument from Love and (Y) The Argument from the Meaning of Life
    • Jerry Walls, Houston Baptist University
    • “The God of Love and the Meaning of Life”
    (U) The Mozart Argument and (V) The Argument from Play and Enjoyment
    • Philip Tallon, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Theistic Argument from Beauty and Play”
    (W) Arguments from providence and from miracles
    • Tim McGrew, Western Michigan University
    • “Of Miracles: The State of the Art and the Uses of History”
    (X) C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia
    • Todd Buras, Baylor University and Mike Cantrell
    • “A New Argument from Desire”
    (Z) The Argument from (A) to (Y)
    • Ted Poston, University of South Alabama
    • “The Argument from So Many Arguments”

    V. “Or so”: Three More Arguments
    The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • William Lane Craig, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Kalam Cosmological Argument”
    The Argument from Possibility
    • Brian Leftow, Oxford University
    • “The Argument from Possibility”
    The Argument from the Incompleteness of Nature
    • Bruce Gordon, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Necessity of Sufficiency: The Argument from the Incompleteness of Nature”

    Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project – Paperback
    https://www.amazon.com/Two-Dozen-Arguments-God-Plantinga/dp/0190842229

    And over 100 Arguments for the Existence of God are presented in the following lecture video

    Over 100 Arguments for the Existence of God – (Lecture starts around the 12 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/Qi7ANgO2ZBU?t=723
    In this video, Dr. Chad McIntosh presents over 100 arguments for the existence of God. Each argument is presented in visual form followed by recommended sources for further research.,,,
    .

    To state the obvious, Christians are literally suffering from an ’embarrassment of riches’ in so far as having so many strong and powerful arguments for the existence of God.

    Whereas, on the other hand, as Matt Dillahunty himself gave witness to in the debate, Atheists simply have no strong arguments for atheism. Matt Dillahunty’s position was basically to, not to present any positive evidence for atheism, but was to sit back and say, ‘well I personally don’t find any of the arguments for God convincing, (i.e. the fallacious ‘argument from incredulity’)

    In fact, Atheists, since they have no real time scientific evidence that Darwinian evolution is true, (nor any other real scientific evidence that they can appeal to that supports atheism), Atheists are basically stuck with two fallacious philosophical arguments against the existence of God. These two fallacious philosophical arguments are ‘God of the gaps argument’, and the ‘argument from evil’.

    Elite Scientists Don’t Have Elite Reasons for Being Atheists – November 8, 2016
    Excerpt: Dr. Jonathan Pararejasingham has compiled video of elite scientists and scholars to make the connection between atheism and science. Unfortunately for Pararejasingham, once you get past the self-identification of these scholars as non-believers, there is simply very little there to justify the belief in atheism.,,,
    What I found was 50 elite scientists expressing their personal opinions, but none had some powerful argument or evidence to justify their opinions. In fact, most did not even cite a reason for thinking atheism was true.,,,
    The few that did try to justify their atheism commonly appealed to God of the Gaps arguments (there is no need for God, therefore God does not exist) and the Argument from Evil (our bad world could not have come from an All Loving, All Powerful God). In other words, it is just as I thought it would be. Yes, most elite scientists and scholars are atheists. But their reasons for being atheists and agnostics are varied and often personal. And their typical arguments are rather common and shallow – god of the gaps and the existence of evil. It would seem clear that their expertise and elite status is simply not a causal factor behind their atheism.
    Finally, it is also clear the militant atheism of Dawkins is a distinct minority view among these scholars.
    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/elite-scientists-dont-have-elite-reasons-for-being-atheists/

    Yet both of those philosophical arguments for atheism fall apart upon close inspection, (For instance, the atheist’s argument from evil presupposes an objective moral standard of good that has been departed from. i.e. for evil to even exist, moral perfection must necessarily first exist. In other words, the argument from evil actually presupposes the existence of God)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/free-excerpt-from-steve-meyers-new-book-return-of-the-god-hypothesis/#comment-726833

    I admit I am biased, but even from my personal bias of being a Christian, such a poverty in arguments for atheism compared to the rich plethora of arguments for the existence of God provides, in and of itself, a very strong cumulative case for the existence of God. And indeed Ted Poston has argued precisely that. i.e. “The Argument from So Many Arguments”

    “The Argument from So Many Arguments” – 2015
    Conclusion
    I’ve argued that a fruitful approach to Plantinga’s suggestion that there are two dozen or so arguments for theism is to work with a Bayesian model of the significance of multiple arguments for theism. We’ve seen that on some defensible assumptions about the relevant likelihood ratios, multiple arguments for theism provide signifi- cance evidence for theism.,,,
    – Ted Poston, University of South Alabama
    http://tedposton.org/Documents/argfrommanyargs.pdf

    As well, Jonathan McLatchie, using very conservative estimates, also builds a powerful ‘cumulative case’, (and via the scientific evidence), for the existence of God.

    What is Bayes’ Theorem, and What Does It Have to Do with Arguments for God? – by Jonathan McLatchie – November 24, 2019
    Excerpt: Let’s summarise the various ingredients we have looked at and the probabilities on atheism that we assigned to them:
    Pr(Universe [laws etc.] | Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Life-permitting Universe | Universe & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Origin of life | Life-permitting Universe & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Origin of life | Life-permitting Universe & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Molecular machines | Origin of life etc. & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Multicellularity | Molecular machines etc. & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Body plans | Multicellularity etc. & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Consciousness | Body plans etc. & Brains & Atheism) = .001
    Pr(Moral sensibilities | Consciousness etc. & Atheism) = .001,,,,
    Conclusion
    I hope to have shown in this article the power of a cumulative case for God based upon Bayes Theorem. In particular, while assuming outrageously generous estimates for the probabilities of the various preconditions necessary for a moral choice arena, we have accumulated sufficient evidence for the existence of God to overcome even an astronomically small prior probability of 10^-18 and still achieve posterior odds of 0.9999 for the existence of God. In view of how generous we have been with our assignments of the relevant probabilities, the actual posterior probability, based on the available evidence, is in fact much higher than that.
    http://www.answeringmuslims.co.....es-it.html

    Verse:

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    I mentioned about a month ago how shallow the arguments of atheists were in The NY Times that criticized Ross Douthat.

    Has anyone seen a coherent atheist argument? Certainly not here and certainly not in The NY Times.

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    I know a guy whose sister is second cousins with a lady who’s married to another guy whose half brother has 543 proofs for the existence of God. Like I said, tired and pointless. Either you believe or you don’t and no amount of one-upmanship will change that.
    “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.” Aquinas to his secretary, Reginald, three months before his death.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuck Darwin quotes Aquinas out of context as if Aquinas is recanting the arguments that he had previously made for God’s existence.

    Yet that is far from the case. It is far more likely that Aquinas saw a vision of heaven or something of that nature when he quote-unquote ‘received a revelation’ at the feast of St. Nicholas in 1273.
    In fact, “Scholars, hagiographers, and Catholics in general have never understood Aquinas’s comment to be a retraction or refutation of anything he wrote. If it had been, Pope Leo XIII would not have encouraged a renewed interest in Thomistic theology and philosophy, and Aquinas would not have been named a Doctor of the Church.”

    Question:
    When St. Thomas Aquinas likened his work to straw, was that a retraction of what he wrote?
    Answer:
    In the Thurston and Attwater revision of Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints, the episode is described this way:

    On the feast of St. Nicholas [in 1273, Aquinas] was celebrating Mass when he received a revelation that so affected him that he wrote and dictated no more, leaving his great work the Summa Theologiae unfinished. To Brother Reginald’s (his secretary and friend) expostulations he replied, “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” When later asked by Reginald to return to writing, Aquinas said, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.” (www.catholic-forum.com/saintS/stt03002.htm)

    Aquinas died three months later while on his way to the ecumenical council of Lyons.

    Aquinas’s vision may have been a vision of heaven, compared to which everything else, no matter how glorious, seems worthless. We can only speculate on that point. Scholars, hagiographers, and Catholics in general have never understood Aquinas’s comment to be a retraction or refutation of anything he wrote. If it had been, Pope Leo XIII would not have encouraged a renewed interest in Thomistic theology and philosophy, and Aquinas would not have been named a Doctor of the Church.

    It is also reported that Aquinas had another mystical experience in which the voice of Christ said to him, “You have written well of me, Thomas” (www2.nd.edu/Departments//Maritain/etext/thomas1.htm).
    https://www.catholic.com/qa/when-st-thomas-aquinas-likened-his-work-to-straw-was-that-a-retraction-of-what-he-wrote

    That Chuck Darwin would be reduced to quoting Aquinas out of context to dishonestly try to make it seem as if Aquinas recanted his arguments tells you all you really need to know about the atheist’s counter-arguments against Aquinas. i.e. They’ve got nothing but dishonest rhetoric!

  6. 6
    chuckdarwin says:

    Oh, Bornagain77. I know exactly the “context” in which I quoted Aquinas. I do not even suggest that his comment was a repudiation of his faith. No one familiar with his life believes that. His canonization is proof enough of that. If you had read the quote in my original context you would have figured out that Aquinas was commenting that all of his elegant and meticulous work, his exquisite proofs for God’s existence, in the face of true faith, was “straw.” Just as your pedantic and clever “proofs” for God’s existence are straw. They are designed solely to convince yourself, and as I commented regarding Christian apologists, to hear yourself talk….

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    you would have figured out that Aquinas was commenting that all of his elegant and meticulous work, his exquisite proofs for God’s existence, in the face of true faith, was “straw.”

    It’s a great quote. Aquinas actually stopped writing the fourth volume of his masterpiece when he said that. He looked at this work (a monumental intellectual project) as “straw” because of something much greater that he encountered.
    But that doesn’t mean that good argumentation is worthless. I will agree with your point here that if the only thing we rely on is intellectual arguments, then it’s not going to work beyond some basic understanding.
    Christianity, for example, is not an intellectual formula where you just plug into the logic and then God and Faith and happiness come out at the end of it. Logic points in a direction – the arguments nudge us, but they really can’t be conclusive for faith.
    That’s why ID is minimalist – it’s just attacking materialist philosophy, really. We can’t use ID to prove that Christianity is true. I don’t think it can even be used to prove theism – since deism works with ID, and even agnosticism. “There is intelligent design in nature, I just don’t know who the designer is”.
    Some atheists are moved by arguments to find God – so it’s worth the effort.
    In many other cases, a person is moved not by arguments but by something like Aquinas experienced – an inner realization through spiritual power.

  8. 8
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA
    Even an unwashed deist such as myself can appreciate that Summa Theologica is the single greatest theological work ever produced…

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    That’s is great to hear, CD. I fully agree with you on that. It’s tremendous wisdom – and Aquinas was able to appreciate and admire the deist Aristotle (The Philosopher, he called him) as well as Jewish and Muslim philosophers. So he was really open to the truth from wherever source. Plus he challenged himself with the hardest opposing questions he could come up with.

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/2

    Dr. Egnor listed 10 proofs for God’s existence starting around the 8 minute mark…

    Has it occurred to you that the existence of so many arguments for the existence of God is in itself an indication of the lack of any incontrovertible evidence for His existence?

    To state the obvious, Christians are literally suffering from an ’embarrassment of riches’ in so far as having so many strong and powerful arguments for the existence of God.

    See above.

    Whereas, on the other hand, as Matt Dillahunty himself gave witness to in the debate, Atheists simply have no strong arguments for atheism. Matt Dillahunty’s position was basically to, not to present any positive evidence for atheism, but was to sit back and say, ‘well I personally don’t find any of the arguments for God convincing, (i.e. the fallacious ‘argument from incredulity’)

    You appear not to understand the burden of proof. Christianity is making the positive claim for the existence of its God. If it wants to persuade others that this claim has merit then it is bound to provide arguments and evidence to support that claim. Atheists do not have to prove the negative, they just have to find the case for Christianity unpersuasive.

    In fact, Atheists, since they have no real time scientific evidence that Darwinian evolution is true, (nor any other real scientific evidence that they can appeal to that supports atheism), Atheists are basically stuck with two fallacious philosophical arguments against the existence of God. These two fallacious philosophical arguments are ‘God of the gaps argument’, and the ‘argument from evil’.

    There is an abundance of evidence from a variety of sources which is consistent with the theory of evolution if you want to look at it.

    The “god of the gaps” is not so much an argument as an observation that, as science is able to offer naturalistic explanations for more and more of the natural world, so the gaps where God can still be plugged in as an explanation get smaller.

    The “argument from evil” is recognized by theologians as a strong argument against the existence of God, That is why they have spent so much time and effort addressing it.

    Yet both of those philosophical arguments for atheism fall apart upon close inspection, (For instance, the atheist’s argument from evil presupposes an objective moral standard of good that has been departed from. i.e. for evil to even exist, moral perfection must necessarily first exist. In other words, the argument from evil actually presupposes the existence of God)

    The “argument from evil” is derived from the observed inconsistency and even outright contradiction between the Christian concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving God and both His behavior as described in the Old Testament and the existence of behavior we view as evil in the world. There is no need for the absurd notion of objective morality. We are quite capable of forming our own judgements on the matter.

  11. 11
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @7,

    Christianity, for example, is not an intellectual formula where you just plug into the logic and then God and Faith and happiness come out at the end of it. Logic points in a direction – the arguments nudge us, but they really can’t be conclusive for faith.

    People, especially deists, try to build an intellectual version of the Tower of Babel up to God. They’re unsuccessful in my opinion precisely because God doesn’t want to coerce people, but allow them to freely choose or reject Him. It’s a romance not a mugging. Trying to convince someone to marry you out of cold logic doesn’t have a very good track record.

    That’s why ID is minimalist – it’s just attacking materialist philosophy, really. We can’t use ID to prove that Christianity is true. I don’t think it can even be used to prove theism – since deism works with ID, and even agnosticism. “There is intelligent design in nature, I just don’t know who the designer is”.

    Yes, exactly! It’s never been the purpose of ID since its inception to identify any particular agency of that design, let alone the God of the Bible. The history of the modern ID movement indicates that

    Unlike the creationism on trial in Edwards vs. Aguillard, the theory of intelligent design does not consider the identity of the designer nor does it defend the Genesis account (or that of any other sacred text for that matter).

    More about the history of ID here:
    https://www.discovery.org/a/3207/
    Doing a little research on what Intelligent Design actually stands for and it’s explicit constraints is worth far more than all the huffing and puffing against ID here.

    Some atheists are moved by arguments to find God – so it’s worth the effort.
    In many other cases, a person is moved not by arguments but by something like Aquinas experienced – an inner realization through spiritual power.

    In my experience, I can sometimes remove stumbling blocks from someone’s path to God, but never once a person has hardened their will against any consideration of God. They’re not open, nor do they want to be. In contrast, they swallow the most preposterous theories and beliefs without blinking.

    For example, a physicist I once knew rejected the possibility of the existence of God, but gave public lectures on “cosmic consciousness.” It’s entirely a matter of choice, not logic or scientific evidence.

    Conversely, the Christian polymath, Blaise Pascal, wrote in his book, The Pensées, that “Christian evidences were evidences for Christians.” He recognized that evidences from logic and science would not be able to convince an unbeliever, but would encourage believers.

    Yet, in the lives of authentic Christians (in contrast to cultural, nominal ones), we find rampant inner peace, joy, love, purpose, wisdom, encouragement, freedom, evidences from nature, hope that transcends physical death, generosity, compassion, self-sacrifice . . . and persecution, prejudice, rescues from hateful people, and martyrdom. As our brother Paul wrote to the church at Corinth,

    But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body. For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body.

    The lives and testimonies of people like this and a sense of personal futility and emptiness is what draws people to their Creator, not arguments.

    -Q

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, and has it occurred to that there so many arguments for the existence of God because God is the ground of all existence?

    I understand the burden of proof perfectly well. I also understand that no amount of proof will ever be enough to convince many atheists of God existence, save for when they die an wake up in eternity, where every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord.

    Philippians 2:10-11
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    There is no real time evidence for Darwinian evolution. Period! Not even a single gene or protein has ever been observed being formed by unguided Darwinian processes.

    The ‘god of the gaps’ argument is a fallacious argument. In reality, it is ‘naturalism of the gaps”,,, See my link:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/free-excerpt-from-steve-meyers-new-book-return-of-the-god-hypothesis/#comment-726833

    The argument from evil is certainly not a powerful argument. If fact it is a logically self refuting argument. As CS Lewis observed, what was he comparing the universe with when he called it unjust?’ i.e. The argument presupposes the existence of God!

    You yourself cannot live your life as if objective morality did not really exist, thus you yourself, by the way you live your own life, are proof that God exists!

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    CD, I disagree that logical argumentation is useless. And if you really believed that logical argumentation was useless, then why in blue blazes do you even post here? According to your claim that arguments are useless, your being here is a complete waste of your time. But alas, if you were consistent in your logic you wouldn’t be an atheist in the first place now would you! 🙂

  14. 14
    chuckdarwin says:

    #7:Silver Asiatic
    SA, thank you for your comments, you are always gracious.

  15. 15
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77,

    The argument from evil is certainly not a powerful argument. If fact it is a logically self refuting argument. As CS Lewis observed, what was he comparing the universe with when he called it unjust?’ i.e. The argument presupposes the existence of God!

    Yep.

    Assertion: If God exists, then evil wouldn’t exist.

    Response: How did you determine the difference between good and evil? Is it that my obtaining a lot of money is good, but your having been robbed of that money is bad? If so, then what are you complaining about?

    Assertion: God wouldn’t allow injustices to continue.

    Response: Does government not exist because it doesn’t immediately punish lawbreakers?

    Assertion: If God exists, then free will couldn’t exist.

    Reply: How did you determine that God could not possibly create free will?

    And so on.

    -Q

  16. 16
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Good thoughts.

    It’s never been the purpose of ID since its inception to identify any particular agency of that design, let alone the God of the Bible. The history of the modern ID movement indicates that

    I admit that I have often violated that principle by pushing Christianity within ID because really it should not be that way. It’s just science.
    For example, chuckdarwin is a deistic evolutionist and if he ever accepted that there is evidence of design in nature, that wouldn’t cause a change in his philosophy. In fact, I think a deist will have, at least, some answer for the origin of matter or the origin of the universe from a first cause. That’s not really an ID argument but it’s close to it.
    Trying to convince a deist to become a theist goes outside of what ID can do. I’m tempted to argue about that here – but actually the other point is true – there are polytheists (Hindus) who are IDists and also non-Christian monotheists (Muslims).

    I’m reading Stephen Meyer’s “Return of the God Hypothesis” now and I wonder how he is going to deal with that. So far, he’s just going through the basic ID arguments (fine tuning, origin of life, DNA etc). Jumping from ID to a certain theological position is a lot more complicated. Contemporary findings in science have added nothing to the arguments – except for some archeology and something like the Shroud of Turin.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius, Bingo. All arguments for atheism are logically self refuting nonsense.

    Moreover, via ‘the argument from reason’, we can even argue for the existence of God from our ability to make logical coherent arguments in the first place.

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: For Clark, thoughts merely appear out of matter, which has no properties, by the laws of physics, for generating thought. For Clark to assert that naturalistic matter as described by physics gives rise to the mind, without immateriality of any sort, is merely to assert magic.
    Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain (determinism).
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    per Box – UD blogger

    The Argument from Reason
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKX-QtEo2fI

    “Atheists can give no reason why they should value reason, and Christians can show how anyone who believes in reason must also believe in God.”
    Cogito; Ergo Deus Est by Charles Edward White
    Philosophy Still Lives Because God Isn’t Dead

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic?
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    In short, every time the atheist tries to make a logically coherent argument, he is in fact presupposing the existence of God.

    Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic – J. Warner January 9, 2019
    Excerpt: As an atheist, I would have been the first to describe myself as rational. In fact, I saw myself as far more reasonable than many of the Christians I knew. But, I was basing my rationality on my ability to understand and employ the Laws of Logic. How could I account for these transcendent laws without the existence of a transcendent Law Giver?

    (1) The Objective Laws of Logic Exist
    We cannot deny the Laws of Logic exist. In fact, any reasonable or logical argument against the existence of these laws requires their existence in the first place.

    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Conceptual Laws
    These laws are not physical; they are conceptual. They cannot be seen under a microscope or weighed on a scale. They are abstract laws guiding logical, immaterial thought processes.

    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Transcendent
    The laws transcend location, culture and time. If we go forward or backward a million years, the laws of logic would still exist and apply, regardless of culture or geographic location.

    The Objective Laws of Logic Pre-Existed Mankind
    The transcendent and timeless nature of logical laws indicates they precede our existence or ability to recognize them. Even before humans were able to understand the law of non-contradiction, “A” could not have been “Non-A”. The Laws of Logic were discovered by humans, not created by humans.

    (2) All Conceptual Laws Reflect the Mind of a Law Giver
    All laws require law givers, including conceptual laws. We know this from our common experience in the world in which we live. The laws governing our society and culture, for example, are the result and reflection of minds. But more importantly, the conceptual Laws of Logic govern rational thought processes, and for this reason, they require the existence of a mind.

    (3) The Best and Most Reasonable Explanation for the Kind of Mind Necessary for the Existence of the Transcendent, Objective, Conceptual Laws of Logic is God
    The lawgiver capable of producing the immaterial, transcendent laws preceding our existence must also be an immaterial, transcendent and pre-existent mind. This description fits what we commonly think of when we think of a Creator God.

    The Christian Worldview accounts for the existence of the transcendent Laws of Logic. If God exists, He is the absolute, objective, transcendent standard of truth. The Laws of Logic are simply a reflection of the nature of God. God did not create these laws. They are a reflection of His rational thinking, and for this reason, they are as eternal as God Himself. You and I, as humans, have the ability to discover these laws because we have been created in the image of God, but we don’t create or invent the laws.
    https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-evidence-from-the-laws-of-logic/

    As Greg Bahnsen explained in his 1985 debate with Gordon Stein, “When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and theists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,”

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb –
    Excerpt: Justin Holcomb of the Resurgence summarizes the great apologetics debate between Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein.
    t became known as the Great Debate.
    In 1985 the University of California at Irvine hosted a public debate between philosopher Greg Bahnsen and atheist Gordon Stein on the topic “Does God Exist?”
    What Ensued
    Stein came prepared to cut down traditional apologetic arguments for the existence of God, but the philosopher’s approach was unexpected. Bahnsen went on the offensive and presented the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God: the God of the Bible must exist because no other worldview makes rational sense of the universe and logic, science, and morals ultimately presuppose a theistic worldview.
    He explained: “When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and theists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,”
    Remembering the debate, philosopher and theologian John Frame writes,
    I was there, having driven up with several students from Westminster in Escondido. It was in a large lecture hall at U. C. Irvine, and the place was packed. The atmosphere was electric. I don’t know how many were Christians, but it was evident as the debate progressed that the audience became convinced that Bahnsen won the debate.
    http://chrisbrauns.com/2012/01.....god-exist/

  18. 18
    Querius says:

    Thanks, Silver Asiatic and Bornagain77!

    So considering the debate between philosopher Dr. Greg Bahnsen and atheist physiologist Dr. Gordon Stein, I was happy to hear that Bahnsen presented a powerful and clearly articulated Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God. Perhaps he was also a masterful elocutioner and debater. But . . .

    Does anyone think that Gordon Stein became convinced of the existence of God as a result? Or perhaps did he think he was simply out-maneuvered, out-prepared, and needed better arguments for the next time?

    Let me suggest that Gordon Stein didn’t change his position because his position wasn’t based on rational logic and debate in the first place. It was based on something else, something more emotional or visceral.

    Let’s consider Gordon Stein (1941-1996). A biographical summary reads

    Gordon Stein (April 30, 1941 – August 27, 1996) was an American author, physiologist, atheist activists. According the British newspaper The Independent, Stein’s main activity was the “acquisition and production of books on free-thought and the paranormal.” Stein served as presidents of the American Rationalists Federation and the Freethought Association. He also served as Vice-President of Atheists United and Vice-President Pacific of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    Paranormal?

    John Frame also wrote regarding the debate with Dr. Bahnsen that “In the end, Stein walked and talked like a broken man.”

    It’s a pity that in any debate or argument in any field, it’s so rare to hear or read the words, “You know, I think you’re right. But tell me how you reconcile (the real reason for the person’s inferior position)” or maybe even, “You have a very strong point. Let me think about it some more.” Dean Kenyon comes to mind as an exception.

    -Q

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Debates are akin to duels. If you don’t know what you are talking about then you get exposed as a poseur. And your credibility takes a shot or two.

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