Jump to content
Walk Softly

Evidence VS. Proof

Recommended Posts

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Colossians 2:8 

If Christianity is true, it must, therefore, be the only one that is true. 

When you argue against the ultimate authority of the Bible, on any level, you undermine the preconditions of intelligibility and destroy logic, uniformity in nature and absolute morality. 

In that, we must internally critique the opposing worldview and therein you will find the proof of God as it rests in the impossibility of the contrary.

That was a mouthful. 

What do I mean by that?

Throughout our lives we hear a repeated phrase as the world is explained to us.  “Science tell us…” followed by some explanation provided by a scientist, professor, talking head or some actor like Bill Nye on TV.  But, it is important to understand one very simple concept about this statement. Science doesn’t tell us anything. I know this will sound elementary, but just stick with me.  Science doesn’t talk, scientists do. Science doesn’t interpret itself, scientists do that. Have you ever wondered why there are some scientists that don’t agree with others? It is not because they are looking at different data, it is because they are looking at the data through different worldviews.  Everyone has one.

What if I told you we have irrefutable proof of God and the Ultimate authority of His Word? 

Now... 

What if I also told you we can also do this without providing any evidence for God's creation?  

Stay with me here!

In my opinion, there are mountains of evidence for creation.  I'll outline a couple for you, just for fun. 

Let's literally start at the very Beginning. 
  - many times we hear unbelievers talk about the big bang and evolution as a means for the existence of life without God.  Often times they claim that they refuse to believe in some magical sky God because they follow science instead.  
  - it's always interesting to ask them what science they use to explain how nothing created the observable universe today.  They can't, therefore it's a faith claim.  They can try to argue that there wasn't a beginning but, even amongst secular scientists, they mostly agree that there was a beginning. 

At Stephen Hawkins 70th birthday party, agnostic Alexander Vilenkin declared the following conclusion, which couldn't have been easy for him: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

To argue against the big bang, as an atheist, is to go against mainstream opinions on the matter by atheist scientists.  To claim an eternal universe or a cyclical universe introduces another set of obstacles that I won't get into at this time. 

I'd like to note that many Christians shy away from the big bang because they assume it is a product of a godless universe, but this isn't necessarily the case.  It doesn't matter if it was the big bang or not, because that is the scientific consensus and we can argue against it by asking how.  If this is what mainstream science is using, we can use it to our advantage.  You can call it the big bang if you like, but I know who banged it!!

As we move forward from here, It starts to get worse for the unbeliever.  One faith claim will quickly turn into several. 

For instance... 

We can examine the probability of protein forming by chance.   To tackle this, we will turn to Doctor Steven Meyer and Dr. Doug Axe who calculated that the probability of one simple protein forming by chance is 
10 to the 164th power. 

To put that huge number into perspective, there are only 10 to the 80th power elementary particles in the observable universe.  

There has only been 10 to the 16th seconds since the big bang. 

No serious scientist thinks that life began by chance.  Here is why.  That was the probability of just ONE protein forming by chance.  But that’s not the end of the story for the creation of a single cell.   The cell also needs carbohydrates, complex sugars, nucleic acids, DNA, RNA, lipids…etc.  All these elements then must be brought into the same micro environment at the same moment in time.  By micro environment, it is meant that all these pieces would need to be present inside of a cell-like membrane, in that microscopic space.  Even with that, you still don’t have life, merely the required ingredients.  This is why the topic of inorganic matter turning into organic matter is mostly ignored. 

We could talk about Evolution and how the fossil record is not consistent with the Darwinian theory of gradual evolution.  

We could talk about Information science and how information has never shown to originate from anything other than an intelligent mind.

There are lots of things we could talk about when it comes to evidence for God. 

However, even with moutains of evidence that seem to point to creation, the unbeliever will still shake their head and contend that this is just not how they see the world.  

This is because any astute philosopher will find a rescuing device. 

What is a Rescuing device? 
  - basically, excuses for the unknown.  
  - we all have them. 
  - you wouldn't be prepared to change your worldview based on one piece of evidence I can give you.  You'll find a rescuing device. 

Thats because we all have presuppositional beliefs.  

What is a presupposition?

That is the very core of what we believe at a foundational level.  
  - For me, my core presuppositional believe is that the Word of God is the Ultimate Authority.  This is the foundation on which I use to interpret the evidence set before me in my daily life.  We all come to the evidence with a certain worldview.

Some claim they don't.  They believe we should come to the evidence neutrally and objectively.  But that is a worldview on how you should evaluate evidence.
  - The philosophy that we should interpret evidence without a philosophy, is itself a philosophy. 

I'll give you a quick example of a presuppositional belief that most of us share, whether we realize it or not.  

You take for granted things such as your memory.  You believe that your memory is reliable.  Someone my say, but Walk Softly, I don't need to presuppose a reliable memory because I had it tested a month ago on a certified Facebook test and I did awesome!  

Well, I'm really proud of you, but you're still presupposing your memory is reliable because otherwise how could you know you took a memory test?  How do you really know you took a test and that you remember it correctly.   Right?   

This is just one example of how we all utilize presuppositions. 

This is why the battle isn't about evidence.  I can show you enough evidence that a rational man would see the absurdity of any existence outside of God.  But if you presuppose there is no God, that rational man will invoke any number of rescuing devices to support their worldview. 

So, what are we to do then?  

You've got your secular friend looking at the world presupposing God doesn't exist and therefore comes up with infinite unknowns to support his worldview.  

Here you are, holding your Bible, explaining all the evidence with great care and articulation.  

Yet you get nowhere. 

You bring up comets and ask how we can still have comets in our galaxy after billions of years, but the unbeliever will simply invoke an ort cloud, which simply supplies new comets.  Even though there is no evidence of an ort cloud, you will be unable to prove it doesn't exist to the unbeliever!
 
You explain that the fossil record doesn't match gradual evolution so you get someone like Stephen Gould who posits the idea of - Punctuated Equalibrium.   "The fossil record doesn't support evolution as its interpreted in a gradualist Darwinian fashion, but we know evolution took place so the fossil record must prove to us that evolution took place with punctuated periods of equalibrium." 
 
 You raise legitimate concerns with irreducible complexity to which the unbeliever says just give us enough time and we'll figure it out. 
 
You can point out that animals reproduce according to their kind.  Well, they do right now, but go back far enough and they didn't! 

This will go on and on and back and forth with no real accomplishment on either side.  

Like I said earlier, evidence will rarely be enough to change the mind of an astute philosopher.  

However, there is a different approach which is to show the absurdity of the unbeliever's worldview and how they borrow from the Christian worldview when it suits their needs.    

Now we have come full circle and we are back at my original assertion.  

If Christianity is true, it must, therefore, be the only one that is true. 

When you argue against the ultimate authority of the Bible, on any level, you undermine the preconditions of intelligibility and destroy logic, science and absolute morality.

In that, we must internally critique the opposing worldview and therein you will find the proof of God as it rests in the Impossibility of the contrary.  

Stay tuned as I'll be posting separately about how the unbeliever's worldview cannot account for logic, uniformity in nature (upon which all of science is built) and absolute morality.  

When we are confronted by an unbeliever we must, just for a moment, step into their core presuppositional belief (no God) and show them how they live their lives in direct contradiction to their worldview.  

This won't necessarily change the unbelievers heart, but that's not our job.  After we gently (1 Peter 3:15-16) destroy their worldview, we must pray for them.  

He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.
Titus 1:9 

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.
1 Corinthians 1:20

  • Thumbs Up 3
  • This is Worthy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laws of logic

How can an unbeliever account for the laws of logic? 

What are laws of logic?
  - Immaterial, universal, invariant, abstract entities which govern all possible conceptual relationships. 
  - They are contingent upon the God of the Bible.
 
Material atheists will, no doubt, try to argue against the necessity for God with regards to laws of logic.

-They might tell us that laws of logic are material and are just chemical reactions in the brain.

Well, they can't be material if they are laws and they certainly can't be universal if they don't extend beyond your brain.  No two people would have the same laws of logic because we all have different chemical reactions.

-Maybe they are just descriptions of how the brain thinks?  

If laws of logic are just descriptions of how the brain thinks, why would we need laws of logic to correct the way the brain thinks?  We don't always think logically, and if laws of logic are just descriptions of how we think, we could never violate one because we always think the way that we think. 

-Laws of logic are just conventions that we all agree on.  

OK, but that means different cultures could adopt different laws of logic.  Welcome to America, here contradictions are true.  My car is in the parking lot and it's also not in the parking lot.  Enjoy your stay. 

- They are just properties of the universe.
 
Well, then we would expect them to change over time as the universe changes and thus they would no longer be invariant.  Plus, the universe is different in different places so we could expect laws of logic to be different too and therefore they are no longer universal.

Laws of logic are describing concepts, not the universe so that last answer is quite silly.

To think that laws somehow developed out of the material world is philosophical nonsense.  How did that which is particular and contingent give rise to that which is universal and necessary?  

This would be a good place to quickly dismantle a few worldviews.  

Relativism - usually presented in the following way.   There is no truth.  Or, there is no absolute truth.  

These are easily refuted by turning the statement onto itself.  

There is no truth! 
  - Is that true? 
There is no absolute truth! 
  - Is that absolutely true? 
Your truth is not my truth! 
  - Is that true for everyone? 


These are called self refuting claims.  Every worldview, with the exception of Christianity, is self refuting.  

Empiricism - the idea that the only truth is that which can be empirically measured.  
  - How do you know what statement is true?  Can you empirically measure it?  

When you know how to ask the right questions by stepping into the opposing worldview, this becomes are very powerful method of apologetics! 

  • Thumbs Up 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uniformity in Nature 

All of science rests on the uniformity of nature.

Operational science requires this presupposition.
  - For example, if you perform an experiment today under certain conditions and then you peform the same experiment under the same conditions at a later date, you would expect the results to be same.  If the results were different, no one would assume that nature had changed, but instead would assume that a condition of the experiment had changed. 

All technology is also based on this principle.
  - If this wasn't the case, then tomorrow morning when you turn your phone on, it might just turn into a piece of broccoli.  Poof!  This is the presuppositional assumption that unbelievers should live by if they are being true to a random chance universe. 

The laws of nature are consistent over time and space.  The future is similar to the past.  
  - When we step out of an elevator on floor 36, we don't brace ourselves just in case gravity doesn't work the same way on this floor.  That would be silly.  Do you hold your breath when you walk into a new room just in case all the air gathered in the corner?  No, you don't do that because you presupose that nature operates in a consistent way as it has in the past.  

God upholds the universe in a consistent way for us.  He certainly doesn't have to, but He does it for our benefit.  See Genesis 8:22. 

Apart from God, we would have no reason to believe this.  

Because of the way our brains are wired, we can't know the future.  We can remember the past, we experience the present, but we can't know the future.  We are able to presume that the future will be like the past only because God tells us so.  

Common responses from unbelievers.

Everyone knows that. 

  - sure, but why is there uniformity?  How can you know?  This doesn't answer the question. 
 
The inherent properties of matter cause it to behave in a uniform way.  That's just the way nature is. 

  - This isn't really an answer because we don't really know what the inherent properties of matter are.  We only really know what our experiences of matter have been like.   Saying that's just the way it is, is not an answer.  A Christian could be just as arbitrary and claim the same about Christianity.  Welp, that's just the way it is! 
 
The future reflects the past because it always has.

  - This is begging the question.  You must presupose that the future will always be like the past, but you have no actual basis for that.  We take it for granted that we can use past experiences to assume the future. 
  - We can make some absurd assumptions when we do this.  For example, I could say that I'm immortal simply because I've never died before.
  - What the unbeliever is really saying here is that in the past, the future was like the past.  Therefore, in the future the future will be like the past. Unfortunately, as soon as they say therefore, they are crossing a boundary that they have no right to cross. 
  - David Hume and Bertrand Russell concluded that we cannot found the inductive principle on an appeal to experience.  The attempt to do so is begging the question.  What does this mean?  It means that intelligent atheists know that experience can't be the foundation for the inductive principle, so what is?
  - As Christians, if we really wanted to go on the attack, we could point out that the unbeliever can't even know what happened in the past without assuming their memory is reliable. Unbelievers have no real reason to assume their memories, or even their senses are reliable.  Your memory presupposes that the laws of nature are constant over time since they are just chemical reactions.  If chemistry and physics were changing, you couldn't even trust your memory.  I mean it when I say that without God, you can't know anything.
 
Unbelievers are forced to stand on the Christian foundation to refute Christianity. 

I'd like to add an additional nugget of truth for you to ponder here.  In a debate, Dr. Greg Bahnsen once told his opponent that the very act of showing up to the debate proves he is wrong.  By showing up, he had already lost. Let me explain.

In a Godless worldview, our brains are just fizzing chemical reactions.  Our thoughts are nothing more than random chemical reactions in our brains.  We have no real free will as it's a random uncontrolled process.  Therefore, the very notion that you can present your ideas with the purpose of changing people's minds is absurd.  The mere notion that you came to debate a topic with the intent of changing people's minds shows you are wrong and acting inconsistently with your worldview. 

  • Thumbs Up 2
  • This is Worthy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolute Morality

One of the more common objections to God is whether or not He is moral.  Right?  We've all heard that argument.  How can you follow a God who kills people, women and children included, on a whim?  After all, it is your God that wiped out almost the entire population in the flood because they did not follow Him!  Ugh.  How cruel and morally grotesque! 

In response, most Christians will attempt to defend what God has done.  Perhaps you could discuss the issue with the Canaanites and how they were sacrificing infants to the god, Molech.  Or you could discuss the absolute depravity of the days preceding the flood and you can try to show how God really did that for our benefit... There are any number of things that we can go back and forth on with the unbeliever.  How does that usually work out?  Not so great, right? 

Well, in order to move forward, we need to take on the unbeliever's worldview in order to perform an internal critique to see how it holds up to scrutiny. 

We can start by asking the unbeliever a simple question like this.  Mr. Unbeliever, while I reject the notion that God is immoral, for the sake of argument, let's assume there is no God.  In a world where there is no God and we are nothing more than the product of random chemical reactions, on what basis do you judge morality?  How do you determine what is good and, therefore, bad? 

You see, in your worldview, our brains are nothing more than random chemicals fizzing, creating our thoughts and ideals.  We evolved from animals.  This random fizzing takes away our ability to operate on free will.  We can't control the random reactions in our brains.  

Do we place the tiger in jail for murdering it's prey?  No, that would be absurd.  Why are our chemical reactions any different than that of the tiger?  Do you get upset at the baking soda when it reacts with vinegar?  I doubt it. 

Basically, in a worldview where there is no God, we are random products of our chemical reactions, to which we have no control.  Why would we be upset when one set of chemical reactions interacts with another set of chemical reactions?  It's survival of the fittest after all!  It's nature.  We are nothing more than the animals we came from.

There are two common responses to this that the unbeliever can present.   Personal preference and societal convention.

1.  Personal preference.  I feel like that is morally bad, so I believe we shouldn't do it.  

The problem with this is I may not agree with you.  I might personally feel my moral responsibility is to kill you and take your stuff.  You have absolutely no moral objection to that because morals are based on personal preference.  

Your preference has no authority over someone else's life.  You can't create an ethical system off of preferences.  People have different preferences and not all of them are good.  That's why we have jails.

2.  Societal Convention.  Society gets to decide what is morally good and bad and decide we should or should not do something. 

The problem here is more significant in my opinion.  Let's take Hitler as an example.  Hitler was elected to his position of power and began to round up all the Jews.  

Under this societal convention ideology, anyone who said, hey wait, that's a person and I don't think it's right to round them up just because they are a jew, is now the immoral one.  Anyone in America who said slavery was wrong was immoral.   This means, that in any society, if there is someone fighting for transformation, they are the immoral one.  This means you are stuck with society changing morality over time and you cannot go against it because society has decided and to go against that is immoral.  If one society decides its moral to round up the minorities and exterminate them, you cannot wage a moral argument against that.  That moral objection you feel in your gut... That's just personal preference and extends no further than your brain. 

Now, even allowing the discussion of personal preference and societal convention is being generous because you still can't point to an external referent with which you can weigh good and bad against.  There must be an absolute good to determine where varying degrees of good and bad fall in that.

If an unbeliever tries to say that morals are part of the evolutionary process, please refer to the discussion on laws of logic and uniformity in nature.  A material world cannot account for the immaterial.  A changing random chance universe cannot account for universal and abstract concepts like morals.   

A mic drop is always recommended when discussing morality with unbelievers.  It can go something like this:

If we all came from star dust, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson has posited, then how can you justify preference of one set of star dust over another?  By doing so, you make it clear you don't live your life believing there is no God.  If you place any value in the life of a toddler over that of a mosquito, then you are living as though humans were created in the image of God.

  • Thumbs Up 3
  • This is Worthy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

boy howdy, that's one heck of a pile of insight right there.  It takes some chewing but as someone who's recently become more interested in apologetics and needing to learn more I think maybe you just spared me making some mistakes with it.

That really makes sense....don't abandon the Word as our foundation when engaging discussions, but rather step into their worldview with them and bring the Word into it too!  :)  At least that's about  what I'm getting so far :)

Eager to hear more and I'll come back and ask questions probably after I absorb a bit more :)

  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2019 at 3:49 AM, Walk Softly said:

we all have presuppositional beliefs.

And often this excludes the possibility of the supernatural and it is this tat makes arguing for Christianity so difficult.

Fortunately we do not make people Christian. Our task is to talk, argue and debate with them and pray for them. It is God who saves them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The irrefutable truth of God is clearly seen in the creation of His toward His pleasure.... Rom 1:20 However those who do refute are fools Rom 1:22 and wisdom says this

Prov 12:15

15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
KJV


This why prayer is the necessary element to any of this for no argument can reach that which is not there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, enoob57 said:

This why prayer is the necessary element to any of this for no argument can reach that which is not there...

Yep. 

On 2/7/2019 at 9:49 PM, Walk Softly said:

This won't necessarily change the unbelievers heart, but that's not our job.  After we gently (1 Peter 3:15-16) destroy their worldview, we must pray for them.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Walk Softly The greatest apologetic to my own heart is how God can and will remove all of this which He has created and yet loose nothing in His eternal purpose... This The Substance of an eternal Being Who, before ever creating, was without end and is able to remove anything that was even next to sin Jude 23; 2Pet 3:11-13 and 'YET' we, born of Him here, into a eternal state where sin has never been nor even considered- as though we were never next to that sin Rev 21:1-5 ... truly the miracle work of Jesus our Lord!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there - I'm new to the forum here. Been a Christian my whole life but have many doubts recently so that I'd probably describe myself these days as agnostic with Christian leanings :)

I wanted to interact with some of the points brought up in this thread and test out some ideas.

I'll start, perhaps with the laws of logic. Your claim, if I understand it correctly, is to show that one cannot account for logic on an atheistic worldview. So all I would need to do is provide a satisfactory explanation for how it could work without a God or supernatural realm, yes? Here is my attempt at that:

The Language Analogy:

The laws of logic are similar to language. We use language to communicate between persons, yet we do not believe that there is a Universal Language “Thing” that exists independently of us. Language is something produced between entities for a pragmatic purpose. Logic is like a language between ideas, existing within our own minds, by which our brain compares and contrasts ideas.

Brain Structure:

Logic can also be accounted for as the structure by which our brains understand the world. Similar to color, which is how our brains are structured in a way that decodes light sensory information in a meaningful way, so too does our brain "decode" ideas in the context of our  schema (to use a psychological term) and logic.

I think that these satisfactorily account for logic, outside of appealing to God. What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...