What is Atheism?
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What is Atheism?

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This presentation examines the truth claims of atheism.

This presentation examines the truth claims of atheism.

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What is Atheism? What is Atheism? Presentation Transcript

  • What is Atheism?Examining the Truth Claims of Atheism
  • A Brief Definition of AtheismAtheism is a faith /worldview that denies theexistence of anysupernatural deity.“A” (no) “theism” (god) www.confidentchristians.org
  • From the Oxford English Dictionary“To believe nothing of adesigning Principle orMind, nor any Cause,Measure, or Rule ofthings, but Chance . . . isto be a perfect atheist.” www.confidentchristians.org
  • Objection!“Atheism is not a „faith‟but is a fact based onevidence…!”Really? Let‟s see… www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Impossibility of Atheism‟s Truth Claim“An affirmative existentialproposition can beproved, but a negativeexistential proposition –one that denies theexistence of some thing –cannot be proved.”- Dr. Mortimer Adler www.confidentchristians.org
  • The First / Foremost Problem of AtheismWhen a negative existential truth claim is put forward, the onemaking the claim has shot themselves not in the foot, but in thehead. Unless the person can be in all places of the entireuniverse at the same time, they have no way of confirming thatwhatever they claim does not exist, in fact, does not exist. This isconundrum the atheist finds him/herself in. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism Takes One Step BackRecognizing their predicament, atheists such as RichardDawkins counter such an argument by saying that, while theycannot prove a flying spaghetti monster does not exist, it is highlyimprobable such a thing actually exists, so the wiser intellectualposition to hold is one that says such a thing does not exist. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Two Problems with “FSM” Argument1. First, comparing God with a flying spaghetti monster commits the logical error of faulty analogy.2. Second, just because something is improbable does not rule out its existence. For example, all scientists admit that humanity‟s very existence is inordinately improbable. Scientific scholars acknowledge that it is against all mathematical odds that all of the universe‟s cosmic constants and biological mechanisms necessary for life would come to be. And yet, humanity does exist. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Real Question…The question is not whether the existence of God is improbable,but rather is there logical, reasonable evidence that moves onetoward a conclusion that God exists. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism Takes Another Step BackAtheists answer that question negatively, so the nextmove they make is to take another step back and saythat God “probably” does not exist. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Problem Number One Probably safe to fly All Aboard…?This is not the way human beings live most every otherarea of their life they consider important. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Problem Number TwoThe seriousness of a truth claim dictatesthe amount of evidence necessary tosupport it. The atheist truth claim carrieswith it enormous, irreparable and eternalconsequences if it is wrong. That being thecase, it is intellectually and morallyincumbent upon the atheist to produceweighty and overriding evidence tosupport his/her position, but they providenothing to substantiate their limp assertionthat God “probably” does not exist. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Problem Number TwoAtheism simply cannot meet the test for evidence for the seriousness of thetruth claim it makes. Instead, using a supposed argument from silence, theatheist and those whom he/she convinces of their position slide into deathwith their fingers crossed hoping they do not face the unpleasant reality thateternity is an awfully long time to be wrong. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism‟s „Evidence‟? Science!Some atheists recognize thegravity of their situation, andtherefore when pressed forevidence, they take a stand thatcan be boiled down to “Sciencehas disproven God”.Really? Let‟s see… www.confidentchristians.org
  • Why Science?After the events of 9/11, a branch of atheism – militant atheism (sometimesreferred to as hatetheism) – aggressively rose up and demanded thatsociety must get rid of all religion. Rather than focusing on religiousextremists who use religion to justify violent and murderous actions, themilitant atheists lumped all peoples of faith into the same basic bucket andlabeled religion as a whole dangerous. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Why Science?But the question facing the militantatheists was, “How will we get rid ofreligion?” The apparent agreement wasto use science as its bedrock and tool toreplace the need for religion. This tacticis nothing new and was the sameposition put forward by Thomas Huxley inthe 1800‟s when he sought to installscientists as the new priests forhumankind. This “faith” in science is notscience at all, but scientism, which saysthat science and science alone is thesingular way to discover truth. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Science vs. ScientismWhile science has indeed delivered many great gifts tohumankind, the hopes atheism has that scientism will replacereligion are ill founded. Why? Let see… www.confidentchristians.org
  • Scientism is self-refutingThe statement “We should only believe what can be scientificallyproven” itself cannot be scientifically proven (because it is aphilosophical statement), and so based on its own criteria, itshould be rejected. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Scientism Ignores Valid EpistemologyScientism ignores other much-respectedand used methods for obtaining knowledge.For example, the legal/forensic/historicalmethod of discovering truth is used everyday and is very well respected. The legalmethod does not ignore testimony or factsbecause they are not empiricallyreproducible or testable. By a process ofelimination and corroboration, the legalmethod allows history and testimony tospeak for itself until a verdict is reachedbeyond a reasonable doubt and the balanceof probability is achieved. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Scientism is a moral disasterMilitant atheism asserts that if religion can be banished, then humankindwill have peace and harmony. But even a cursory look backwards at historysince the Enlightenment says otherwise. Instead of resulting in peace, theEnlightenment ushered in one secular bloody revolution after anotherclimaxing in the twentieth century, which produced the largest mass gravein history. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Scientism is a moral disasterIronically, one of atheism‟schief heralds – Nietzsche –predicted (correctly) that,because he and others hadsupposedly killed God in thenineteenth century, thetwentieth century would bethe bloodiest ever. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Real Science Points Toward a CreatorThe death of the steady state theory and the nearuniversal acceptance that the universe as we know itexploded out of nothing into existence (cf. Genesis 1:1)points to a transcendent cause. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Real Science Points Toward a CreatorThe incredible fine tuning of the universe for human life toexist on earth points to a cosmic Mind and Designer. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Real Science Points Toward a CreatorThe confirmation of specified complexity like DNA that ina single strand contains digital information equivalent to600,000 pages of intelligence and is mathematicallyidentical to a language points to an intelligent source. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Irony of Science and God“It is rather ironical that in thesixteenth century some peopleresisted advance in sciencebecause it seemed to threatenbelief in God; whereas in thetwentieth century scientificmodels of a beginning wereresisted because they mightincrease the plausibility of beliefin God.” - Dr. John Lennox www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism‟s False DilemmaAtheism‟s position on science commits thelogical fallacy of the false dilemma.Atheism demands that a person choosebetween science and God, where in fact,no such division need occur. Such arequirement can be likened to a personbeing forced to choose between:1. The laws of internal combustion2. Henry Ford,as to why a car exists. The fact is the twochoices are not contradictory, butcomplementary. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism‟s False DilemmaThe atheist misses the importantdifference between agency(Henry Ford) and mechanism(internal combustion).In the same way, God is theintelligent agency and efficientcause behind everything, with hisnatural laws and mechanismscarrying out His intentions toproduce His desired end result. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Conclusion of Atheism & ScienceIn the end, the atheist cannot rely on science to disprove the existence of atranscendent Creator and is forced into the admission that atheism itself isnot a fact, but instead a belief system that relies on faith.The real clash is not between science and religion but between theatheistic/naturalistic and the theistic worldviews. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism and FaithThis being the case, the atheistic worldview must address two fatalmistakes it makes regarding the concept of faith: (1) that faith is only areligious concept; (2) that faith means believing in something where thereis no evidence.Neither is true… www.confidentchristians.org
  • Atheism and Faith“I am an atheist. Myattitude is not based onscience, but rather on faith.. . . The absence of aCreator, the non-existenceof God is my childhoodfaith, my adult belief,unshakable and holy.” - George Klein www.confidentchristians.org
  • Faith in Everyday LifeAs to faith being defined as a belief that lacks evidence, nothing could befurther from the truth. Science has faith in logic, mathematics, natural laws,and the intelligibility of the universe and believes all such things are firmand will never change. People also act on faith every day from meals theyeat in restaurants, medicine they take from doctors, and marriages theyparticipate in with their spouse. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Faith as defined in The BibleIn the Bible‟s New Testament, the word “pistis” is used for “faith”. It is anoun that comes from the verb “peitho”, which means “to be persuaded”.The best lexicons (e.g. BDAG) show the meaning of “pistis”, to be: “a stateof believing on the basis of the reliability of the one trusted, “trust,confidence”, “that which evokes trust”, “reliability, fidelity pertaining to beingworthy of belief or trust”.In other words, the idea that faith means blind belief in the face of opposingevidence is foreign in Scripture. www.confidentchristians.org
  • Conclusion – Two Possible RealitiesIn conclusion, then, both atheism and theism make statements on faith thatconcern ultimate reality. Both must refer back to something that is eternalbecause each recognizes that everything that exists depends upon andowes its existence ultimately to something other than itself. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Atheist Reality – an Eternal UniverseTo the atheist, that ultimate reality is an eternal universe where only physicalmatter exists. Atheism‟s struggle is to explain how the universe is eternalwhen all scientific discovery shows it had a beginning. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Atheist Reality CheckAtheism must confront a key issuewith their ultimate reality. Science saysthat an effect always represents itcause in essence. Therefore, atheismmust answer how an impersonal, non-conscious, meaningless, purposeless,and amoral universe accidentallycreated personal, conscious, moralbeings who are obsessed withmeaning and purpose. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Theist Reality – A Better Answer The theist has no such problem because it holds that a personal, conscious, purposeful, intelligent, moral, eternal God created beings in His likeness and established the universe and its laws to govern their existence. www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Reality of Atheism“A long, hard, cruel business.” - John Paul Sartre www.confidentchristians.org
  • The Reality of God“The heavens are telling of theglory of God; and their expanseis declaring the work of Hishands. Day to day pours forthspeech, and night to nightreveals knowledge. There is nospeech, nor are there words;their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1–3) www.confidentchristians.org
  • In the End – Two Choices“There are not many options –essentially just two. Eitherhuman intelligence ultimatelyowes its origin to mindlessmatter; or there is a Creator. It isstrange that some people claimthat it is their intelligence thatleads them to prefer the first tothe second.” - Dr. John Lennox www.confidentchristians.org
  • For More Information www.confidentchristians.org www.confidentchristians.org
  • What is Atheism?Examining the Truth Claims of Atheism www.confidentchristians.org