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Atheist objections to evidence for God's existence

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by OzSpen, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    I don't reject the evidence, I just haven't been provided with much of anything that would suggest that the supernatural exists. I am not a theist for the simple fact that evidence for the existence of the gods as defined in religious texts is lacking.
    I have searched for evidence and even been provided with information from well-intentioned friends but have not found anything that substantiates the supernatural.
     
  2. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    This realm has not been demonstrated to actually exist.
     
  3. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    That is correct. No strations for demons until the end.
     
  4. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    Their existence hasn't been verified either.
     
  5. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    At least you acknowledge what you do not know. That's a good start.
     
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  6. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Truth OT,

    What evidence would you accept to demonstrate that God exists? Are you searching for empirical evidence, historical evidence, cosmological evidence, etc?

    I'm interested in knowing which kinds of evidence you accept and which kinds you reject?

    Is this evidence outside of what you will accept? Here the Psalmist David uses poetic language:

    1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
    3 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
    4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
    In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
    6 It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth (Psalm 19:1-6 NIV).​

    Is this evidence acceptable or not? If not, why not?

    Oz

     
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  7. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    The above is not evidence, it's a writer's declaration. Evidence would include details that support the declaration. In the above passage any number of names could be substituted for David's god and they'd all have the same amount of proof.

    Proof requires being able to show why a proposition or declaration is a matter of fact.
     
  8. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Truth OT,

    Is the God of the Old Testament the God of the New Testament? William Lane Craig

    John M Njoroge challenged your assumption that 'any number of names could be substituted for David's god and they'd all have the same amount of proof':

    Nothing short of chronological snobbery would make us think that in contrast to God's biblical followers we are better placed to judge the character of God. Biblical saints expected God, the judge of all the earth, to do what is right (Genesis 18:25), and it was not out of delusion that their hearts panted for God as the deer pants for water (RZIM, The God of the Old Testament).​

    If you read the Old Testament from cover to cover you would discover that the revelation of God is not one of any number of gods. This is the God Christians worship:

    'Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth.He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable' (Isa 40:28 ESV).​

    This is who God is:

    So God led the people around by the desert road towards the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

    Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.

    After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night (Ex 13: 18-21 NIV). ​

    But there is more to the might of our God:

    By faith, Moses called God's people to apply the blood of the Passover lamb that they might be delivered from the judgment that was to befall Egypt. "By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them" (Hebrews 11:28). Then, Moses led the people out of Egypt, eventually passing through the Red Sea, by faith.

    Instead of sending Israel directly north toward the promised land, the Lord sent them eastward toward the Red Sea. "So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea" (Exodus 13:18). From the outset of their journey, the Lord became their guide. "And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light" (Exodus 13:21).

    Yet, Pharaoh's heart hardened against Israel once again. "So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea" (Exodus 14:9). Soon, the people were trapped between the formidable sea and a mighty army. They were overtaken with fear, so Moses pointed them to the Lord. "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today" (Exodus 14:13). Then, as the Lord had instructed him, "Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left" (Exodus 14:21-22). Into this intimidating setting, by faith in the Lord, the children of Israel advanced. "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land."

    Again, as the Lord commanded, Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. "Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained" (Exodus 14:28). The rebellious Egyptians could not follow where God's people had gone by faith. "Whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned" (Pastor Bob Hoekstra).​

    Seems like the evidence is too overwhelming for you in your agnosticism. Before God, you are 'without excuse' (Rom 1:20 NIV): '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'.

    You will meet God immediately after your last breath and He won't take this as an excuse, <<Proof requires being able to show why a proposition or declaration is a matter of fact>>.

    Oz
     
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  9. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    No argument from me. I generally accept that the old and new testaments deify the same god. The issue is whether or not what the narratives found in the books of the bible are reliable and totally true accounts of what is actual. In my study, I have found the biblical narratives to simply not be fully reliable accounts. I will go as far as to say that the writers do in fact lie on God.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  10. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I have not read all of this thread but your words on this post caught my attention. As a servant of God, which I assume that you are, do you arrive at God's truth only by study? If you doubt that the Bible, [66 or 72 books of it?] was in fact written by men as they were inspired by Him to do so, do you study other books to help draw your conclusions? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? If so, what does the Holy Spirit do for you that is different than what others derive from supposedly the same Holy Spirit?

    Where does your faith begin... only in whatever conclusions your studies enable you to draw?
     
  11. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    I'll answer this question as the me from a decade ago when I was still a Christian. I would have said that truth (John 7:17) was found in the Word of God and that the Word of God was the Bible. I would have added that studying the Word coupled with prayer was necessary in order to best understand it and allow it to bring the increase.

    I wholeheartedly did (though I no longer do). I was convinced that God's Holy Spirit took up residence in my heart and helped to guide me and enlighten me. I didn't believe that all those that claimed to be filled with the Spirit were when their beliefs and practices didn't line up with the tenets of the scriptures.

    My faith began with some givens. The 1st given is that there was a God. The second was that the Bible was inspired by God, and the biggest was that Jesus was the Christ and savior. These were all my unquestioned foundational presuppositions I brought into my studies. My faith in these things were established from childhood before I could even read. As I began to really study, what I understood as the will and expectations of God as well as my duties to Him in life were formed more concretely.
     
  12. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Ohhh! My initial misunderstanding and failure to check more closely on this. I now see the word, agnostic, shown as your 'faith'. I shall proceed accordingly as I am able...

    Not a bad answer, but as I see from your example of yourself today that something was missing. Some Christians would say you were never saved. Others would say you were backslid.

    About 30 years ago, I had been probably where you were a decade ago. I was a serious Bible student working hard to have it all in my head to serve God always perfectly. I knew a lot of scripture, never having tried to memorize purposely, but nonetheless retaining many verses because of my continued studies. Then it all came apart for me for a period of about 10 years. I could not be an atheist, but I never called myself an agnostic although that may have been where I was...

    People do lie to themselves for different reasons and the scriptures confirm that every man is a liar. Believers very often in my own experience don't admit that about themselves. For me the lying occurs not simply in purposely and openly changing what we are certainly true to accomplish our own selfish goal... be it to make money or to humiliate someone or for some other very carnal reason.

    Believers lie at times when they believe, or want to believe, that something is true. They believe or want to believe that they have the Truth and that anyone who disagrees, even another purported believer, is certainly in error. What few seriously consider early on in their walk with God is that the other guy in the church down the street or even in the pew across the aisle on Sunday/Saturday often will have the same kind of belief about his faith. Solomon spoke about this [as inspired by God to do so?] a thousand years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem:

    "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts" Prov 21:2

    A lot of Christians don't see that in themselves. They either believe it is an OT thing or it is an unbeliever thing and certainly does not apply to them… but I certainly believe they are wrong... even as I have been wrong on a lot things in my own faith over the years. When I was wrong, I was a liar during the period of time I supported that erroneous belief by my words and actions. Admitting this about yourself is the beginning of serious growth toward God. Presuming that because we received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and we have thoroughly studied the Bible and we pray a lot that we are therefore are always right, that we are always in possession of Truth is a major part of our trouble... the trouble that can and does lead to apathy or to agnosticism or worse. Of course, being an agnostic, I probably did not word that right for you.

    Hey, I am still a liar in anything from God that treat as truth when it is not.

    These are the ATs [Absolute Truths] that can and do at times get people into trouble with other people... and yes with God.

    What a true believer has, as I understand it, is a mixture of knowledge and faith, but he cannot really draw a line between the two. The trouble is that most, if not all, people try to draw such a line. We are told that we need to live by faith, which scriptures describes here:

    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb 11:1

    The verse is pretty clear to me and perhaps also to you, but you know and I know that people, believers, often decide what is AT and what is only belief. Where do they get their ATs? You called them "faith" but you did not treat them as faith and neither do most people. They treat them as ATs. Why?

    "Now the just shall live by faith:" Heb 10:38


    That is what it says, but still we all try to set certain ideas, beliefs as ATs, things that we refuse on budge on... And again, it can and does get us into to trouble along our way.

    My own solution? My solution is found in one of Jesus's parables ending with these verses:

    "But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
    For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Luke 14:10-11


    Each day when I get in touch with God I strive to go to that "lowest room" with all of my ideas, my beliefs, my notions, my knowledge about God and the things of God setting them all aside to allow Him to exalt me or lift me up or reconfirm what I believe or to change anything at all. This Way of coming before God I began shortly after the time I where I was away from Him for those 10 years beginning shortly after the turn of this century going on 20 years ago. Many times there is seemingly nothing new. But on more than one occasion something had changed in me.

    One thing for sure or so I believe anyway, is not to expect miracles in this time that we have. God may indeed perform for us what any man might call a miracle, but this time we have is only the testing period. Some men will have it rough right up until they stone him to death, like Stephen. Others in the end of it see a smooth road to the end... but don't expect it? Expect rather whatever He sees that you need. Expect rather even the trials of a Job, losing it all for no readily apparent reason. God does know what He is doing even when apparently do not know a thing.
     
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  13. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    As opposed to something being missing, the more likely truth is that the old me carried too much confidence in his faith and felt it was unshakable and could be proven to be based in truth. This confidence led to to reach out to and deeply engage those that did not share in the faith whether they were atheists with no god belief or parties like Jehovah's Witnesses or Catholics that where in error based on my "spirit-led" understanding of God's Word. I was the dude that would literally book, chapter, and verse you to death who THOUGHT he could ALWAYS show the why behind the faith and practices within it.

    I totally agree. One of the turning points in my faith journey was being able to put the mirror up to my face and realize that the guy looking back at me could be wrong and needed the same amount of scrutiny applied to his beliefs and positions as he applied to those with whom he disagreed.

    As a Christian, the ATs I mentioned about God, the WOrd of God, and Jesus seemed essential.

    The problem is that to believers what a true believer is is subjective. A true believer which I will equate to being an actual christian, doesn't have the same criteria across Christian sects and individuals. Some say faith is enough, others say miraculous gifts of the spirit must be manifested, others say baptism is an essential element. From there many are strictly belief and grace while other old to the notion of working out their salvation with fear and trembling.
    Knowledge is actually knowing and being able to demonstrate that something is while faith involves trusting is something being true without actually having the means to know and test that it is so.
     
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  14. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    This looking at the mirror thing is why women's looking glasses were used at the laver so flaws could be clearly seen or identified.
    As I said, the key is to let God decide on every issue. If something you already have is right, God won't change it. But if something is wrong and you fail to yield completely to God, not even He will change it. This where we are in charge. What I believe God wants us to do is turn over the reins to me to Him. We will have to do this more than once. We may need to ask Him to help us give Him the reins. We cannot even surrender some things all by ourselves.
    Everything for carnal man is subjective, but God it is not. As a person becomes like Him...? The road to walk in order to become like Him is 'faith'. That is how He ordained it, but people keep on insisting on making it a road of knowledge. The mixtures of information, coming from faith and knowledge is rarely, if ever, precisely the same between different people. For this reason we have a multitude of denominations and contradicting doctrines held by different groups and individuals. Only God is able to correctly sort it all out.
     
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  15. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Which tests have you used to determine if the OT and NT are reliable historical accounts or contain lies of the writers?
     
  16. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    What caused you to stumble and fall?
     
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Truth OT,

    I can assure you that I, as a true believer in the Trinitarian God, am not subjective in my experience. If the creation did not happen, Noah's flood was a legend, the 10 Commands were 10 opinions, and the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus didn't happen in space and time, my faith and proclamation of the the Gospel would be useless (1 Cor 15:14 NIV).

    My faith is firmly founded in the facts of these events and not in the subjective experiences I feel.

    Oz
     
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  18. Truth OT

    Truth OT Active Member

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    The "tests" can fall into categories and I'll start with 3:
    1. Prophecy (Did what the texts say would happen actually always happen?)
    2. Reality (Does what the text reveal stack up to how reality actually works?)
    3. Internal Consistency (Are there inconsistencies, internal conflicts, or blatant misapplications?

    What do you mean?

    That is a very open and honest approach. That said, the issue then is the veracity of the events in question.
     
  19. achristian1985

    achristian1985 Member

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    CHAPTER ONE


    THE AXIOM



    I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness;

    I did not say . . . Seek me in chaos.

    --(Isaiah 5:19 D.S.V.)



    There are two possible schools of thought pertaining to the evaluation of the Universe that we live in. One school of thought is embodied in the philosophy known as Solipsism. This philosophy expounds that all external reality is relative to the perception of the individual, or, in other words, all reality is subjective and cannot be described by objective analysis. As an example, Solipsism is the belief that everything that individuals perceive is a projection of the thoughts of their mind. Taken to its fullest implications, Solipsism means that if you think strongly that an object that you perceive does not really exist, then you will cease to perceive it and it will thus disappear. Conversely, if you think strongly enough that an object does exist, then you will perceive it and it will thus exist. Understandably, the ardent adherents of this school of thought soon lost what sanity they had.


    When we lead from ignorance, we can come to no conclusions. When we say, “Anything can happen, and anything can be, because we know so little that we have no right to say ‘This is’ or ‘This isn’t,’” then all reasoning comes to a halt right there. We can eliminate nothing; we can assert nothing. All we can do is put words and thoughts together on the basis of intuition or faith or revelation and, unfortunately, no two people seem to share the same intuition or faith or revelation.

    What we must do is place rules and set limits, however arbitrary these may seem to be. We then discover what we can say within these rules and limits. The scientific view of the Universe is such as to admit only those phenomena that can, in one way or another, be observed in a fashion accessible to all, and to admit those generalizations (which we call laws of nature) that can be induced from those observations.1


    Most importantly, Einstein presumed that all the laws of nature must be entirely equivalent in all conceivable systems of reference, differing only by uniform velocities. Without an ether, reasoned Einstein, there is no real physical basis for absolute spatial positions or orientations; all, therefore, must be relative to the observer. At the same time, all observers must see the many laws of nature in an identical way.2



    Science deals only with phenomena that can be reproduced; observations that, under certain fixed conditions, can be made by anybody of normal intelligence; observations upon which reasonable men can agree.3


    In opposition to Solipsism is the school of thought that objective interpretation of the universe we live in is possible. Since the validity of Solipsism would mean that it would be impossible to make logical sense out of what we are aware of, we will assume that Solipsism is invalid. Bearing this in mind, I propose the following axiom, which we may call the Axiom of Interdependency:


    If a “spiritual universe” exists, there likewise must also exist laws or principles common to both such a “spiritual universe” and to the physical universe, in order for us to be able to perceive any manifestation of such a “spiritual universe.”



    Notice that this axiom in no way assumes the existence of a spiritual universe. The reason why seeking objective proof of the existence of a spiritual universe is futile will be dealt with in later chapters.


    What this axiom does say is that if a spiritual universe exists that does not have laws or principles in common with our physical universe, then we cannot be aware of it and thus it would be of no concern to us. However, if a spiritual universe exists such that we are aware of some of its manifestations, then it will have laws or principles in common with our physical universe. Thus, for any postulated assertion of a spiritual reality, there should be corresponding evidence of that reality reflected in our physical universe. Conversely, it should be possible to formulate a framework of characteristics of the physical universe that will indicate the nature of the corresponding spiritual reality. Practically speaking, this axiom means that it is possible to construct a logical theory encompassing virtually every field of science that will explain the purpose behind everything known to man.
     
  20. achristian1985

    achristian1985 Member

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    Chapter Two


    AN EXTRAPOLATION


    “... before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)




    There are two, and only two, explanations for the means whereby life now exists on this planet.



    First, there is the explanation that life on earth was divinely created. Regardless of the great variety of legends depicting such an occurrence, all such legends have in common two things: Life was originated by some supernatural means, and some divine being or beings employed this means.



    Since, obviously, there is no way that the above explanation of the origin of life can be subjected to any scientific analysis, it would be profitless to discuss its merits (at this point). Therefore, let us examine the other explanation for the origin of life and see what conclusions may be derived from such an analysis.



    The other means I am referring to is, of course, the theory of evolution. By evolution, I mean the process or processes whereby life as we now know it has come about from an originally inorganic universe through purely mechanistic actions in conformity with the laws of the physical universe. Keeping these parameters in mind, let us now see what relevant conclusions may be derived:







    Evolution is the climbing of a ladder from simple to complex by steps, each of which is stable in itself. …That is what has brought life by slow steps but constantly up a ladder of increasing complexity- which is the central progress and problem in evolution. 27





    Given the vastness of the universe and the consequent profusion of life, what must the ultimate consummation of the process of evolution be?

    It is my contention that the inevitable and ultimate result of evolution is this: that somewhere, sooner or later, an entity would be evolved through either natural or artificial means which would no longer be subject to time.



    What are the implications of such a conclusion?





    Such an entity would in all practicality be:



    1. Omnipotent and

    2. Omniscient and

    3. Omnipresent.





    Such an entity would, by definition, be God.

    By no means am I intending to speculate about the origin of God.

    Such speculation is vain at best and blasphemous at worst. My intention is to show that no matter what method that you employ to explain the existence of life; the inevitable implication is the existence and reality of God.



    Summary of Chapter Two:



    “The fool has said in his heart; there is no God.” (Psalm 12:1)
     
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