Reflection on Arguments for the Existence of God
by Jeremy Scarbrough
Last night, I got in from a long day of teaching, only to be challenged on Twitter with jabs intended for Christian target practice. As the conversation pressed onward, a few things became clear to me. First, while it seemed fair in their mind to ask me questions intended to cut to the quick, it was not received as fair play for me to respond in the same way. Second, the few times that attacks changed to questions, the questions were not genuine. This is because the questioned presupposed the correct answer, and they were not given fair opportunity. The only questions were so broad as to be, in essence, “Prove God.” The fact that he expected a response that would fit into a 140-character Tweet says much about his bias of deconstruction.
The product of a naturalistic worldview is deconstruction. That which cannot fit within materialism must be deconstructed, because no meaning can exist in a meaningless world. And so we see God deconstructed; gender is deconstructed; marriage is deconstructed; personhood is deconstructed, etc. For example, it was posited that a God who does not reveal Himself cannot exist. But it is important to remember at the outset; if you expect a materialized God, like a Spaghetti monster, then you’ve got a deconstructed and therefore faulty understanding of what it must mean to be God. The
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theist is not accountable for the atheist’s faulty deconstruction. This is why it is essential, when engaging in genuine dialogue on the issue to remove biases. In the same way that the Christian should avoid a circular argument from the Bible, the atheist must avoid the circularity of materialistic deconstruction.
My friend seemed especially put off by the notion that he should be able to defend both the idea that God doesn’t exist and the notion (as he suggested in another scenario) that the spaghetti monster does exist. Here he deemed me to be illogical. However, I hope that you will catch the point that he missed; arguments must be supported—ALL arguments; and assertions are not arguments. That is, if you assert that God doesn’t exist, then YOU should defend your assertion. If, on the other hand, you claim that the spaghetti monster exists, you should defend your reasons for holding that assertion. The point is the assertion. If, out of nowhere, someone starts laying into you, as if for target practice—demanding that you prove God, when you’ve asserted nothing—then you owe nothing. If they attack you with a demand, it is fair to ask them about their demands. If you assert both views to be true, you should be able to defend why you hold no contradiction. It is not problematic for the theist to ask the atheist to give reasons for his/ her atheism. If I have reasons for thinking that God exists, and you (hopefully) have reasons for thinking that He does not, why should I accept the notion that the magical judge of logic land has ruled that only I have to defend my position…