The arrogance and stupidity of unbelievers

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Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
First of all, a caveat: I don't think all unbelievers are intrinsically dumb or that they all know nothing. Not at all. Carnal foolishness is clearly a moral problem and not an intellectual one. But still, this "new atheist" movement is so unbelievably smug and misotheistic. See this conversation from Facebook that I had.

The context of this is that, about a year ago, amidst my own theological and prideful foolishness, I decided to go up against a huge Facebook group of unbelievers. My argument was still defensible in a sense (the atheists on the board simply overwhelmed me with personal remarks and sheer numbers), but it was evidentialist. I returned about a year later to mark at the fact that I was no longer evidentialist but now a Reformed presuppositionalist. I was trying to be affable. See what ensues:

ME
And I'll add three things:
1. Evidential apologetics is quite weak. (I learned this firsthand from you guys and gals.)
2. Reformed theology and presuppositional apologetics is quite not.
3. I'm listening to Death's album "Symbolic" and it is excellent.
Discuss. I'm gonna go take a mildly quick shower.

:D

ATHEIST
"Reformed theology and presuppositional apologetics"

Well, let's see, the former is a fairly recent invention and as for the second: just don't tell me you're one of those TAGers.​

ME
Well, of course, any serious Christian denomination would argue that theirs is the historic faith, the one that was originally established. I don't really feel like demonstrating that here at all, but I do feel like asserting its awesomeness.

Please don't tell me you're one of those TANGers.​

ATHEIST
"I don't really feel like demonstrating that here at all"

You just like to assert what you can't prove. But you're quite right that yours is not the only tradition of that sort. Christianity is so full of contradictory traditions that it allows one to seriously doubt just how unified and coherent the faith is.

"Please don't tell me you're one of those TANGers."

An argument like TAG deserves an argument like TANG (and Michael Martin has the benefit of professional knowledge of philosophy, unlike a lot of apologists). I'm just waiting for you to quote Romans 1 (as if the Bible should be an authority to an infidel) and go on long tirades about words nowhere found in the Bible like "common grace", "unregenerate man", "reprobate", and "unconditional election".​

ME
Easy there, killer.

//I'm just waiting for you to quote Romans 1 (as if the Bible should be an authority to an infidel) and go on long tirades about words nowhere found in the Bible like "common grace", "unregenerate man", "reprobate", and "unconditional election".//

You forgot "Trinity."

Also, I'd rather quote Psalm 14:1.​

ATHEIST
"Easy there, killer."

Is that an objection to the paragraph, or just an acknowledgment that you can't refute it?

"You forgot 'Trinity.'"

Indeed. The doctrine of the Trinity can only be established by after-the-fact prooftexting.

"I'd rather quote Psalm 14:1."

And I'd rather quote every other holy book which contradicts your worldview. So what?​

[...]

ME
"I don't really feel like demonstrating it" =/= "I am incapable of demonstrating it because I am a stupid Christian"​

ATHEIST
Unsurprisingly, you completely misunderstand me. I wasn't suggesting that you're "a stupid Christian", or that Christians are somehow generally stupid (my experience is that people are generally not stupid, regardless of beliefs or lack thereof). Ignorant maybe (although we all are to varying degrees), but that's a different story.

I was indeed suggesting that you are incapable of demonstrating it, but this need not be your fault. For example, no one is capable of demonstrating the truth of a falsehood, no matter how learned or brilliantly intelligent.

I see no reason for you to take umbrage, especially as someone unlikely to consider it necessary to demonstrate much of anything anyway. The mere statement of fact is not offensive.​

OTHER ATHEIST
I had to look up TAG on Wikipedia. That's an argument?? You might as well say God exists because we have a concept of the colour blue!!

I need a lie down.​

ATHEIST
That's the argument. And what's more; the vast majority of Christian apologists (and believers in general for that matter) don't bother with it, and it's virtually unheard of in the world of philosophy.

In short it goes like this: even those who ostensibly reject belief in God, are not really atheists. Everyone presupposes the existence of God to make sense of the world, in order to get logic, induction and so forth. Hence, they borrow from the Christian worldview.

Never mind how ridiculous that sounds; how on earth do they get from "God exists" to "Christianity is true"? Atheist philosopher Michael Martin has devoted some time to refuting it, and even produced his own argument TANG, the transcendental argument for the NON-existence of God.​



Throughout this thread, atheists were responding to my original post on evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, and while their arguments were actually futile, I did not want to respond to them because the purpose of my post was to state my rejection of evidentialism. Then the atheist started arguing with me about how my "methodology was flawed" after I stated my non-adherence to evidentialism... The craving for argument and enmity in that group clearly demonstrates the moral need of them for Christ.
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
I can't handle that type of interaction. I have no stomach for it. I simply state it this way, or something to this effect. "Your authority in life is your own perception and philosophy. My authority is the Bible as the word of God. Therefore we have no basis for fruitful discussion since you reject my basis for authority. I will leave you with this thought. . . what if the Bible is right and your philosopy is wrong?"

It is my opinion that if God wills, the Spirit will not let him forget that question or will bring it back upon him in a powerful way. I have also seen evidence that sometimes the most vehement adversaries of the faith may the closest to salvation.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I normally point out TAG, then present the truth:

Naturalist atheism is a purposeless philosophy for genetic meatbags passing traits for no reason. There is no ultimate "why?".

Christianity is a purposeful theology for glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
I can't handle that type of interaction. I have no stomach for it. I simply state it this way, or something to this effect. "Your authority in life is your own perception and philosophy. My authority is the Bible as the word of God. Therefore we have no basis for fruitful discussion since you reject my basis for authority. I will leave you with this thought. . . what if the Bible is right and your philosopy is wrong?"

It is my opinion that if God wills, the Spirit will not let him forget that question or will bring it back upon him in a powerful way. I have also seen evidence that sometimes the most vehement adversaries of the faith may the closest to salvation.

Me neither. It brings out the worst qualities in me, and thus reflects badly on my Savior.

I'm in favor of apologetics in general, though -- just not with people who are angry.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Interestingly enough, the "other atheist" thought he was refuting TAG when he said that we might as well use the concept of the color blue as proof of God.

That's right -- we can. "Blueness" is a universal concept, and atheism has no philosophical justification for assigning a universal concept to particular instances.

Da one and da many problem, solved by the beautiful doctrine of the Trinity. :D


Also, I took your guys' advice and simply left the discussion. It is unbelievably hard for me to stop when other people make such unsubstantiated claims, but that is undoubtedly due to my arrogant nature, and God graciously allowed me to withdraw myself. :amen:
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
I can't handle that type of interaction. I have no stomach for it. I simply state it this way, or something to this effect. "Your authority in life is your own perception and philosophy. My authority is the Bible as the word of God. Therefore we have no basis for fruitful discussion since you reject my basis for authority. I will leave you with this thought. . . what if the Bible is right and your philosopy is wrong?"

It is my opinion that if God wills, the Spirit will not let him forget that question or will bring it back upon him in a powerful way. I have also seen evidence that sometimes the most vehement adversaries of the faith may the closest to salvation.

Me neither. It brings out the worst qualities in me, and thus reflects badly on my Savior.

I'm in favor of apologetics in general, though -- just not with people who are angry.

I had to walk away from CARM: all I was doing was sniping with unbelievers and sinking to their level and calling it apologetics. It was not glorifying God in any way. Thank you for your providentially timed posts. :)
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
A lot of apologetics seems to fall into nothing more than oneupsmanship. How that is supposed to promote the cause of Christ, I don't quite know.
 

christianyouth

Puritan Board Senior
Brother, I don't know how beneficial it is to engage in debate with atheists if you are unwilling to take the time to give good answers to their objections. The guy just wanted for you to back up your claim that TAG was superior to evidentialism. I don't see anything arrogant or hostile in that. It seems like it turned into a fruitless battle of wit with nothing really being discussed, but if you present arguments or something maybe it could be profitable.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
We are out to win people not arguments mainly.

I have met many "apologetics" types that had all the logic but did not make Christianity appear very attractive.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Brother, I don't know how beneficial it is to engage in debate with atheists if you are unwilling to take the time to give good answers to their objections. The guy just wanted for you to back up your claim that TAG was superior to evidentialism. I don't see anything arrogant or hostile in that. It seems like it turned into a fruitless battle of wit with nothing really being discussed, but if you present arguments or something maybe it could be profitable.

My point is that there were no objections in the first place. I merely came back to nicely tell them that I had abandoned evidentialism and was Reformed, and he immediately attacked me, demanded exegetical justification for Reformed Christianity, brought up problems with TAG, etc. He was trying to start an argument that had no beneficial nature possible just because of his unbelieving arrogance, and I was not going to get caught up in that, which was extremely hard for me as well because of my personal arrogance.

For the record, I am going to return to present arguments because some of the atheists there seemed somewhat nice. I was very passive and receiving the whole time (by the grace of God), and one sent me a friend request and asked me not to leave the group so we could chat later. Hopefully an area for the Spirit to indwell in...
 

August

Puritan Board Freshman
My feeling on debating atheists, which I have done many times, is that it is not intended to convert the atheist (only God can do that), but to show the unknown readers, who may include agnostics, marginal Christians, or just those interested observers that Christianity doesn't have to stand back when it comes to rationality and logic. One never knows who reads these debates and those are the ones who can be reached.

I also make a point of it to include the gospel in every apologetics conversation, because I feel that apologetics without the Gospel never quite seems to get to the point.
 

SemperEruditio

Puritan Board Junior
I also make a point of it to include the gospel in every apologetics conversation, because I feel that apologetics without the Gospel never quite seems to get to the point.

Same in my experience. Just back & forth with no end in site. Bring in the scriptures and :oops:...then it turns into "that's just your interpretation" nonsense.:banghead:
 

August

Puritan Board Freshman
I also make a point of it to include the gospel in every apologetics conversation, because I feel that apologetics without the Gospel never quite seems to get to the point.

Same in my experience. Just back & forth with no end in site. Bring in the scriptures and :oops:...then it turns into "that's just your interpretation" nonsense.:banghead:

Lol, it does yes. But then I always turn the conversation back onto the commenter's basis for interpreting anything. If he wants to get into the interpretation of Scripture, then he is welcome to share his hermeneutical and exegetical principles and we can go from there. If his complaint is about comparative religion, then my first question applies, on what basis does he propose to judge my interpretation without begging the question in his own favor?
 
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