A Look at Two Common Atheist Arguments
by Robin Schumacher
Behind my desk is a huge binder containing essays and meaty book excerpts of atheist literature. The likes of Russell, Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre, and many more scientists and philosophers make up this hefty collection of anti-Christian thought.
Part of my Master’s requirement was that I read the binder in its entirety and write summaries of every argument so that each was thoroughly impressed upon me. Needless to say, that took some time, but it was time well spent.
Through that exercise, I learned that atheism, just like every body of thought (including Christianity), has both good and bad arguments. Those arguments rightfully deserve to be heard in the world’s marketplace of ideas and respectfully scrutinized in the same way as every other worldview’s positions and claims.
In my last blog post, I examined why the “born this way” argument used by secularists to justify various sexual practices fails on a number of levels. I thought it would be good to follow that up with two more arguments, used by atheists to counter Christianity, that show themselves to be faulty when closely examined.
“Everyone is an Atheist; We Just Deny One More God Than You…”
This argument is heard quite a bit these days and takes several forms, with one of the most common being: “I contend we are both atheist. . . .When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” The foundational charge is that there seems to be an infinite number of gods that people believe in, and Christians reject them all except for the God described in the Bible. Therefore, isn’t the Christian really just a tad disingenuous where atheist reasoning is concerned?
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No, not at all.
First, not to be pedantic, but Christians are not atheists. The strict definition of atheism is “a disbelief in the existence of deity”; “the doctrine that there is no deity”, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
This is not just a semantics game, but instead a misrepresentation on the part of the atheist argument to redefine the term, much like atheist-physicist Lawrence Krauss did in his latest book when he redefined ‘nothing’ to be either empty space or the quantum vacuum so he could describe how our universe came from ‘nothing’.
I am not an atheist where Islam is concerned, but instead a rival theist believer, so let’s at least understand that much. But moving on: the primary thrust of the argument is that the Christian really does not aim the criteria they use to dismiss other faith claims at their own belief system. If they did, then they’d end up an atheist.
This contention implies that no good reasons exist to be a Christian vs. other faiths, which is certainly not the case. Like many other people, I have examined the claims and evidence of rival faiths and used the law of non-contradiction to rule out, for example, Islam in favor of Christianity…
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