Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Common Objections

In an effort to provide answers for those desiring truth, I am starting an ongoing series entitled Common Objections. In this series, I will be providing thoughts of my own, scholarly articles, and/or quotes from credible sources, addressing some of the more common objections to the Christian faith.

It is impossible for Truthbomb to cover every topic that is brought to our attention, therefore, this is a way in which readers can benefit from our work, as well as the work of other apologists and thinkers.

For our first objection in the series, we take a look at the growing claim made by atheists that they simple "lack belief in God." I myself have been entertained in the past listening to atheists in debates, defending the atheist position, but then are unwilling to admit that they should have to provide positive evidence that atheism is true!

Apologist Matthew Slick at the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, takes a look at the claim more and more atheists are making: "I lack belief in God."

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross


Jason Bishara said...

Hey Chad,

First of all, love the blog mate (I say that as an agnostic). I have only read a few posts so far but really like the open format you present different ideas for discussion. As an agnostic I actually liked the article you presented in this post. I do however have a disagreement with your use of the term ‘atheism”. I am not an atheist myself, but to be fair I think your objection to atheist’s being “unwilling to admit that they should have to provide positive evidence that atheism is “true”, is unfair. Anti-theism, as I understand it, is not a claim to truth. It’s a self refuting position, meaning it’s an objection to the claim that there is indeed a personal God.

What an atheists then puts in the position of the absence of a personal God, (whether that be nothingness, we don’t know, a scientific hypothesis or an impersonal creator) is his or her own personal philosophical view, not atheism. Of course, you could then say they are obliged to provide evidence for that personal proposition, but to say they should provide positive evidence for their “lack of belief” is nonsensical. Rather like me asking you to provide positive evidence for why your disbelief in astrology is true, do you see where I’m coming from?

All the best



Chad said...

Hello Jason and welcome to Truthbomb! Thank you for your kind encouragement!

Your point is a good one and I believe I do understand where you are coming from. We actually have had the privilege of hosting Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason during a “Blog Tour” and he addressed an issue much like the one you are raising. You may want to check it out here.

I recognize that this is an issue that has been debated by atheists and theists extensively, especially since the rise of the media titled “new atheists.”

It is important to understand that in this post I was addressing a specific type of atheist who claims that no good reasons exist for me to believe in God and proceed in claiming the intellectual “high ground” as an atheist, but then feel no need to offer reasons why they are atheists because they simply “lack belief in God.” This just seems useless to me. If someone cannot explain to me why their convictions are worth considering then they merit little attention.

So, to use you analogy, imagine if I said to you, “Jason, you shouldn’t be an agnostic, you should be an astrologist like me.” You might reply, “Why should I be an astrologist Chad?” I would suspect that you would expect me to give you some reasons!

I have no desire to debate definitions. At the end of the day, I just want to know if there are good reasons to believe that God exists or, if someone believes there is no God, what reasons they have to think that "there is no God" is a true statement about reality. So, while my statement may not be technically satisfying to some, I believe it be practically reasonable.

I hope this clarifies my point and intent and I was by no means trying to be unfair to anyone.

Thank you again for your kind and respectful comment. I love the title of you blog! Keep searching!


Jason Bishara said...

Hey Chad,

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I see your point and share with you the same distaste in debating definitions of labels. People often can get caught up in arguing against a meaningless label and forget their talking to a human being with ideas.

Keep up the good work! Enjoying the blog and will be sure to add my own thoughts on future posts and maybe some old ones too :)

Talk soon in the near future mate,