Thursday, March 13, 2014

Response to Atheist Lee’s Response



After writing a response to a video by “Atheist Lee” (see here), I got a response from her (posted on her "Dirty Atheist" Tumblr blog here). This is my response to her response.

I will put Lee’s words inside // and make them bold. My response will follow underneath. Sentences in italics are my words from the initial post.

//Surfer Brendan decided to write a blog post to my video about god answering one’s faith as long as they take a leap of “real” faith. The blog post is here for those that wish to read it in full. I will quote parts and reply to them to show how ridiculously dishonest and lazy the presuppositional argument is.//

Thanks for taking the time to respond. What basis do you have for calling anything dishonest? Dishonesty presupposes an ultimate standard of honesty / truth. How do you get truth without God? I reject the claim that I’ve been dishonest (or lazy), but in your worldview why is it wrong to be dishonest? In your worldview we are just stardust. Who cares what one bunch of stardust does to another bunch of stardust?
===
//"I question whether or not you had ever really truly repented"
I said the same thing to others.//

Just because you once said this to other people doesn’t mean that you actually had repented. The Bible clearly warns about false converts, and warns that not all who say “Lord Lord” are truly saved. Just because you once said the ‘sinners prayer’ doesn’t mean you were a Christian. The sinners prayer isn’t in the Bible, and I wonder if you even know what a true Christian is?

// There is something called “learning”. It means you firmly believe something to be true and then you learn that perhaps you are wrong. It’s the same with children who believe in Santa: just because they stop believing in him doesn’t mean their belief wasn’t genuine.//

It’s not the same at all – Santa isn’t real, but God is real. I doubt that you’ve ever been down to the mall at Christmas time protesting against Santa lying to the children, but you spend a lot of time online arguing against God. Why don’t you make videos against Santa? Because you know that Santa is not real. In order to know that something is wrong, you have to know what right is. In order to know that you were wrong to believe in God’s existence, you have to have to know what right and truth is, and you can’t get truth without God. What is truth in your worldview? Most people say that truth is what corresponds to reality. But how do you know what is real? In order to know anything to any degree you need to know that your reasoning is valid. How do you know your reasoning is valid? How do you know your brain has correctly evolved in order to know anything correctly? How do you get truth from evolution? You don’t – you just get brain fizz.

//"Given the fact that you’d never actually read the whole Bible"
Is this a joke? Reading the whole bible is what caused me to leave.//

Reading the Bible isn’t what made you lose your faith. You’d already begun the slide into unbelief before that happened. (Possibly you’d even begun to doubt your faith years before you left Christianity.) If your heart was right before God, when you read the Bible it would only deepen your faith, and any difficult questions would be seen as opportunities to deepen your faith and deepen your understanding of God.

//"So a true Christian trusts in God and when they have things they have difficulty understanding they do not lean on their own understanding, but it seems that you were doing just that - leaning on / relying in your own independent reasoning, rather than trusting in God’s Word."
Is this also a joke? This entire video to which you claim this is a response talks about how I pressed into god for understanding, that I prayed and fasted in order to have better guidance.//

No, it’s not a joke. What makes you think that a few prayers and a few missed meals is going to bring you to repentance? (Although praying and fasting is good it doesn't guarantee anything.) What makes you think that that would renew your mind after years and years of evolutionary indoctrination and anti-God biased teaching? (Assuming you went to a public school - although even if you didn't it's almost impossible to escape exposure to evolutionary ideas these days.) You mentioned in the video that you started asking your non-Christian friends for advice about the Bible. Why would you think you’d find truth from those who are spiritually blind?

//"I assume you mean you think it was immoral for God to let Job suffer so much? This story has been an incredible blessing to millions of people around the world, because it helps us to realise that God is sovereign and that our suffering does have a purpose and a reason."
The “reason” is that god and satan made a bet. I’m not sure how it’s comforting to know that god will let you physically suffer while allowing all your children to be killed just to prove a point to satan when he is supposedly all-knowing in the first place. Yeah, real comforting stuff there.//

What makes you think you are wiser than God and know what God should or shouldn’t do? For all we know the future of humanity could have been adversely affected if God had not allowed Satan to test Job. God in his wisdom chose to do what he did. You need to check out the ‘God wannabe’ cartoon by 'After Eden'.


Another lesson we can learn from Job is related to tzimtzum - which means the self-restriction of God to achieve a higher purpose. It explains why God sometimes 'sits on his hands'. God isn't like superman. He doesn't have to intervene all the time, but is so powerful he can bring good out of any situation. Sadly many Christians don't understand this concept, and have a self-centered faith that is all about what they can get from God, rather than a biblical faith that is centered on living for God's glory.

//"How do you account for absolute morality without God?"
We evolved morality as social creatures. Humans are not the only social creatures that did this.//

Your answer is woefully inadequate. You’ve not accounted for absolute and objective morality at all. Without God you’ve got no basis for morality and morality just becomes your own personal preference akin to what flavour ice cream you like or dislike. You can say that you don’t like what God did to Job because you find it hard to understand, but you can’t say it was morally wrong. Is murdering people for fun absolutely morally wrong in your worldview? If you say yes, please explain why you think so. You also need to explain why it is ok for animals to kill each other for food, but it's not ok for humans to kill other humans. If we are just evolved animals then why do we send people to jail for murder, but don't send lions to jail for killing antelope? In my worldview I can easily answer that question - we aren't just animals, but are uniquely made in the image of God. But how do you account for this without God?

//"In your research of apologetics, did you encounter Presuppositional Apologetics and the Transcendental Argument for God? Did you watch any of Sye Ten Bruggencate’s videos and go through his website www.proofthatgodexists.org ?”
That’s your evidence? Presupposing something is insanely dishonest,//

You didn’t answer the question. Before you left Christianity, did you study any presuppositional apologetics (PA)? The fact you’ve avoided the question suggests that you didn’t, in which case you missed the most important and most biblical argument for God’s existence and the truth of Scripture. Have you done any significant study of PA at all? You mentioned that a while ago you looked at Sye's website, but from what you said it doesn't seem you spent much time at all there actually thinking about the issues involved. Have you had a look at my website www.godorabsurdity.com? Your response here suggests that you have not really seriously looked at PA and if you have you don’t really understand it at all. As for presupposing things – PA is much more than just that, and the fact is that you are presupposing things too. You presuppose that your reasoning is valid (but can’t account for it being valid without God), and you presuppose that the future will be like the past, and you can’t account for that either without God. Why do you assume that the future will be like the past?

//it’s probably the worst offender of the “god of the gaps”//

Do you believe that 2 and 2 is 4? I’ll assume you do. So you believe in 4 of the gaps then? And “offender” presupposes absolute morality, which you’ve yet to account for.

// reasoning //

How do you account for reasoning and rationality in your worldview?  How does evolution create thinking minds? Evolution can give us brains, but not minds. Are you a materialist atheist? If so, how do you account for immaterial things such as the concept of reasoning, laws of logic, and laws of morality?

//because it’s not just one justification but an entire argument based on an idea you didn’t first show to be true.//

God is the necessary precondition for intelligibility. The proof that God exists is that without him you couldn’t prove anything. But no one needs this proof because everyone, including you Lee, knows that God exists. If you deny God your worldview becomes absurd and you can’t account for anything.

//It’s literally making something up and running with it in order to pretend that you have evidence where evidence is lacking.//

You didn’t reject God because of a lack of evidence, but because it suited you to reject God because you prefer your sin. This isn’t my own idea – I know it by revelation from God in His Word (Romans 1).

//"There is so much evidence for God’s existence that you are without excuse."
Really? What would that be? Oh, you say it in the next sentence!//

Everyone knows that God exists in many ways, such as through creation, innately, and through God’s Word.

//"Even the concept of evidence is proof that God exists because evidence presupposes knowledge and truth, and you can’t get either of those without God."
Ohhhh! I get it! Wow! That’s super convenient to suggest that a god you can’t provide evidence for somehow is shown to be real because we ask for evidence in the first place! See what I mean about the presuppositional argument being so dishonest?//

There is nothing dishonest going on here on my part. I provided evidence – but you’re not convinced because proof and persuasion is not the same thing. But why in your worldview is dishonesty absolutely morally wrong?

//I can literally make up *any* being and make up any claims about him and using the presuppositional argument I can “prove” I’m right. Ready? There’s an invisible [censored] mind-reading monster on Neptune. Oh, you can’t see him? That’s proof he exists because I already said he is invisible!//

Is this invisible monster on Neptune your justification for knowledge? I’m pretty sure it isn’t, in which case your hypothetical monster is only proof of the inadequacy of your worldview to provide a basis for knowledge, because in order to defend your atheism you’re having to abandon it. So are you admitting that your beliefs are woefully inadequate and can’t account for knowledge?

//In this case, you’re claiming that god is the creator of knowledge and reason, and you show this by saying that we want evidence so tada! That proves evidence exists because I just said that god created the concept of evidence!//

You’ve misrepresented my position somewhat. God is the necessary precondition for knowledge and rationality. Evidence presupposes knowledge and truth right? How do you account for knowledge and truth in your worldview? Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know? 

//That is the worst argument to make, and it can be made by anyone of any religion or even people of no religion who just look to make this up. It’s dishonest and it’s incredibly lazy.//

If you held to a different religion I’d be happy to refute it and show why it cannot account for knowledge or truth and leads to absurdity. But as you are an atheist there isn’t much point. Also, the fact is that there are no other gods. I know that God is the only God by revelation from him.
Psalm 96:5 says, “All the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.”

//"Lee, I pray that you’d stop running from the God you know exists, but for some reason have chosen to rebel against"
Ah, you’re presupposing I know a god now? Oh, that’s nice. That really convenient to write off everything I’m saying and assume you can read minds from across the internet. Awesome.//

No, I know that you know the only God there is. I know this not because I can read minds but because I have revelation from God that all people know God exists but that many “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” as you are doing.

//Your entire blog post is dishonest, lazy and without thought. I was actually reading this aloud to a Christian buddy of mine on Skype and even he felt you’re doing Christians a disservice by side-stepping the evidence issue by conveniently claiming your presupposition argument.//

Is he a Christian like you once were? Because if so, I also question whether he is really a true Christian. The fact that he’s siding with an atheist and against God’s Word is not a good sign. Perhaps though he just doesn’t know his Bible. If he did he’d know that God, Jesus, the prophets, and the Apostles used presuppositional apologetical approaches too. Jesus in particular was a master at posing difficult presuppositional style questions that stumped the Pharisees, and atheists and Pharisees have a lot in common in terms of their denial of Jesus and God and twisting of Scriptures to suit their own agenda.
===
//It’s always amazing how theists will conveniently ignore things and distort facts (such as claiming I never read the bible when the video he’s replying to says the exact opposite) in order to try to make a point. As I always say: if you have to lie to support your position, your position isn’t worth supporting.//

Using the fallacy of poisoning the well is a pretty low tactic. You are the only one conveniently ignoring things and distorting the facts. I never said that you never read the Bible. As for lying, I reject that accusation as groundless. But did you hear about the lie detector test done on atheists? It confirmed that atheists are the ones that are lying when they pretend that they don’t know God exists.

I’ve asked a number of questions here that you need to answer in order to refute me. Key questions are – Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know? How do you get truth in your worldview? How do you know what is real? How do you know your reasoning is valid? How do you account for absolute moral laws? Why will the future be like the past?

These are all questions that can be easily answered by the Christian worldview, but cannot be adequately answered in your worldview. It turns out that the very things you take for granted, such as your ability to reason, and assuming that the future will be like the past, are the very things that you cannot account for without God – and this exposes one thing – the fact that you know very well that God exists. Every time you use your reasoning, make moral accusations, and assume the uniformity of nature you are showing that you do know God.

I’m assuming that you will respond to this post, and when you do so you will assume that the internet will work the same tomorrow as it did in the past, but why? You will assume that the words you used in the past will mean the same things, and that the computer you’ve used in the past will function in the same way. What basis do you have for these things?

Well, I’ll leave it there for now. I continue to pray that you will repent and stop denying the God you know exists. I hope too that in the future you’ll stop poisoning the well and drop the empty insults falsely accusing me of lying and being dishonest.

Tuesday 25th March 2014 - Lee's Response via Google Plus

//I'm not on YouTube all the time, and I receive a lot of comments and do not read them all. I only see this one because I'm going through comments on this video.//
Not exactly the same situation but pretty apt for Lee








And yet in the last week and a half since posting your first response here you've had the time to make 4 new YouTube videos in the last week, including a very important one about smell shaker cups. I think the problem isn't that you're too busy but that you realise you've got no real answers to support your atheistic beliefs - just blind faith.

//Now you're asking me to spare more time and comment on your blog, and this is after I already read and utterly tore to shreds your first blog.//


The record above stands, and it's pretty clear that the only tearing going on was of your worldview getting demolished.

//Your first entry was laughably horrible. There are not enough words to express just how absolutely silly, ignorant, arrogant, self-serving and just lazy your post is.//

I guess all you've tried and failed at a logical argument and all you've got left is ad hominem, question begging epithets (emotionally biased insults) and shouting (the underlined word was in bold in the original). Ironic that you are calling me lazy when it's you who is too lazy (or too scared) to actually attempt to answer my questions.

//I even had Christians telling me that what you wrote was an absolute joke.//

More question begging epithet stuff, and a faulty appeal to authority - your "Christian" friend. If he's really a Christian and knows the Bible he'd know that your worldview was destroyed and shaken at it's foundations, and wouldn't be siding with you on this. If he really cares about you he'd be agreeing with me and urging you to repent.  

//You wasted my time. The only reason I bothered to reply at all was because I could turn it into a blog post and it had been a while since I made a blog post, and I could do so very quickly because your "arguments" were that easy to refute. I half-believed you were just trolling me because your post was seriously that bad. It was laughable. It was ridiculous...and you apparently wrote a follow-up? Yeah, noooo thanks.//

More nonsense and insults. Your "refutation" fell apart when I scrutinised it and now you're running for the hills.  

//You don't have an argument. Your entire viewpoint is based on running with an unfounded, unproven premise and pretending that's the same thing as having evidence in your favor. It's a joke.//

More logical fallacies and untruths.


//As for the "all of your atheism is just built on assumptions that have no evidence", this shows incredibly clearly that you have absolutely no idea what my position is and you're referring to me in a generic way in order to...I don't know, get some attention?//

I know your position better than you do because I have insight from God through the Bible. (Again, shouting doesn't make an argument logically stronger). At the core of your worldview is the assumption that the future will be like the past, and the assumption that your mind reliable and able to bring you to valid conclusions. You have no  way of knowing these things within your own worldview, and thus can't know anything.

//Attract more people to your blog by using my name? I don't know, I don't really care at this point. You fail to support your own position with anything other than make-believe, and then you fail to even understand the very, very basics of my position. It is not often that I run into an argument so profoundly stupid.//

More insults and arbitrary unsupported statements to try and cover up the fact that you've lost the argument and don't know where to go next.

//You have wasted enough of my time. I'm sure you'll pat yourself on the back and consider this a "win" for you because you've demonstrated you're happy to literally make up whatever the f**k in order to make yourself feel better. Have fun with that, I guess. //

More question begging epithets. It's not about winning, it's about urging people to repent, and sharing the truth of the Gospel with them in the hope that they will come to know God. I can't make you believe. Salvation is a gift from God, but I can pray for you and share the truth. I've provided proof that God exists and shown why you can't know anything without God. But proof and persuasion are two different things. 

//Reality isn't that bad, you should try it sometime. You don't have to live in a world of make-believe.//

In your worldview you've got no way of knowing you are in reality at all to any degree. You could be in the matrix or living in an illusory world for all you know. Well, it looks like this is it. Another Atheist who pretends to want to know the truth, but in reality is a God-hater, and in love with their sin and self-deception. I pray for Lee, that God would open her eyes to the truth and grant her the gift of repentance.

P.S. After writing this post Atheist Lee responded, and I've written a 3rd part to the ongoing series
Surfer Brendan vs Atheist Lee - Part 3.


8 comments:

  1. "God is the necessary precondition for intelligibility. The proof that God exists is that without him you couldn’t prove anything. But no one needs this proof because everyone, including you Lee, knows that God exists. If you deny God your worldview becomes absurd and you can’t account for anything. "
    this is nothing more than an insult and question begging, and no atheist knows your god exists this just a loaded statement designed to insult people

    "Do you believe that 2 and 2 is 4? I’ll assume you do. So you believe in 4 of the gaps then?"
    that analogy made no sense because 4 is just a number it cannot be stuck in places where you can use to account for things that are supposedly unknownable

    "Also, the fact is that there are no other gods. I know that God is the only God by revelation from him. "
    do you know what fidelism is? well guess what this is it, you can NEVER prove this to be the case rationally, you can believe it but its impossible for you to prove it

    "
    Well, I’ll leave it there for now. I continue to pray that you will repent and stop denying the God you know exists"
    I don't know your god exists no atheist does you are just trying to talk down to people like your friend Sye

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    1. Hi Waffleater. I think you've been eating too many waffles. Just kidding. Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know? In my worldview I know things with certainty by revelation from God, who says that everyone knows that God exists. This is not an insult. It's always easier for people to take offense than take correction. 4 is the correct answer to 2+2 and we can know that with certainty. Likewise God's existence is the basis for the correct answer to life's most important questions, and therefore the analogy is valid. As for proving God's existence, I've done that on my website www.godorabsurdity.com in the 'Proof God Exists' section.

      //do you know what fidelism is?// lol. Yes. It's a belief in Fidel Castro. I think you mean fideism. Do you know what a biblical definition of faith is? I've written about it in my blog article on Faith. Have you read it?

      I'm not talking down to anyone. If you feel that way then I'm sorry to hear that, but you are confusing knowing the truth and arrogance. They aren't the same thing.

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    2. World English Dictionary
      Fidelism (fiːˈdɛlɪzəm)

      — n
      Also called: Castroism belief in, adherence to, or advocacy of the principles of Fidel Castro

      Delete
  2. "Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know? "
    no
    "How do you get truth in your worldview?"
    what conforms to reality is true
    " How do you know what is real?"
    impossblity to the contary
    "How do you know your reasoning is valid?"
    basic property belief
    How do you account for absolute moral laws?
    brute fact plus empathy and recprocity
    "Why will the future be like the past?"
    impossbility to the contary plus the fact that any attempt to use a deity to justfity the uniformity of nature will commit question begging and the fallacy of the stolen concept

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    1. Hi Wakawakwaka

      "Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know? "
      //no//

      How do you know you aren't in the matrix or that everything isn't an illusion?

      "How do you get truth in your worldview?"
      //what conforms to reality is true//

      How do you know that? I mean, I agree with you, but you can't know that without God.

      " How do you know what is real?"
      //impossblity to the contary//

      You've mispelled contrary, which isn't a good start. You've made an arbitrary statement here. How do you know this? How do you know the Hindus aren't right when they say everything is illusion?

      "How do you know your reasoning is valid?"
      //basic property belief//

      I think you mean 'properly basic belief'. Do you actually understand these concepts, because if English isn't your first language you might be misunderstanding the question or something. You've made another arbitrary statement. How can you know anything is properly basic?

      How do you account for absolute moral laws?
      //brute fact plus empathy and recprocity//

      You're begging the question here, and not proving anything. You've given an example again of an arbitrary statement, and in this case it's your own opinion. Why is it wrong to hurt people? After all, evolution is a dog eat dog process where being cruel aids survival.

      "Why will the future be like the past?"
      //impossbility to the contary plus the fact that any attempt to use a deity to justfity the uniformity of nature will commit question begging and the fallacy of the stolen concept//

      That's nonsense. Why do you think it's impossible for the future to be radically different from the past? Why do you think it's a fallacy and stolen concept to explain the uniformity of nature through God? Can anything happen? If not, why not? We live in a constantly changing universe, so why should there be any uniformity of nature in the future? If you say that some things have been the same in the past and are therefore probable to be constant in the future, then what is your basis for the uniformity of the law of probability? Also why is it absolutely wrong to commit logical fallacies (as you've falsely accused me of).

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    2. "Why is it wrong to hurt people? After all, evolution is a dog eat dog process where being cruel aids survival."
      that's a naturalistic fallacy, its wrong to hurt people because its not how a sane person would want to be treated, i have not made an arbitary statement and its not my personal opinion it is a brute fact you really need to learn what they are,it is nessarily true that hurting people is wrong because the contrary is absurd! According to your logic morality is just God's opinion aways the only why it can be blinding on anyone is because of force. If god did not have power there would be no way for him to declare himself as "perfect" or "love"

      "How can you know anything is properly basic?"
      its end of the chain of reasoning

      " Why do you think it's impossible for the future to be radically different from the past? "
      because non-uniformity is logically inchoerent, not ANYTHING can happen because for something to exist it must be logical.

      "We live in a constantly changing universe, so why should there be any uniformity of nature in the future? "
      change cannot happen with out uniformity, so if you want to accuse an athiest of having a "random" and "chance" universe you must concede that the universe they believe they live in is logical

      " Also why is it absolutely wrong to commit logical fallacies (as you've falsely accused me of)."
      bad reasoning plus the fact that you are out of touch with reality if you do

      "How do you know this? How do you know the Hindus aren't right when they say everything is illusion?"
      illusions presuppose reality so even if i cannot know tell illusion from reality i still know reality exists and as well no Hindu actually believes everything is an illusion they believe in "fake" reality and "ultimate" reality

      "Why do you think it's a fallacy and stolen concept to explain the uniformity of nature through God? Can anything happen?"
      because you are just pushing the problem back one step! pushing the problem back wont solve it!

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  3. Hi Brendan, it's Lee. I wrote a blog entry about our recent conversation: http://dirtyatheist.tumblr.com/post/80643978185/presupposition-guy-comes-back-and-wins

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    1. Hi Lee. I've responded to your post here http://godorabsurdity.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/atheist-lee-part-3.html

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