Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Evidence Cannot Convince the Unwilling


Matt 11:20-24 

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”
Matt 23:37-39
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed isHe who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
So as the reader reading this you may realize, as I just have, how long it has been since my last article. Upon realizing this fact, you may ask "What happened?"; whether for what has kept me away so much this year, or whether what happened to cause me finally write a new one. 

I'll tell you what happened, what caused this article to be written. It was the event of a Militant Twitter Atheist(MTA), who calls himself Shaun, denying the Law of Causality.

Now MTA Shaun is one of those "Atheists" who do everything they can possibly do to avoid having to support any claim. He was one of a group of MTAs who jumped on a friend's Tweet. I asked them all: "If Christianity were true would you become a Christian today?" MTA Shaun answered this way:

We had a short discussion about prophecy. He responded that even true prophecy which preemptively proclaims the history of the World would not be proof of God. His attitude, and how he interacted with me and others exposed the fallacy of his answer to me. Here's an example of something he said to someone else during the same time he was discussing things with me: 

Now this wasn't my first time to the rodeo with a MTA. I was well aware that he was baiting me for an argument and was going to avoid answering any questions or supporting any claims. I was careful not to make specific claims about the existence of God. Instead I focused on the FACT that Shaun knows that God exists as well as I do. Rom 1:18-32 I demonstrated this to Shaun when I told him that he hates God. Shaun replied that he can't hate who he doesn't believe in. I replied that I agreed with that statement, but that his Twitter feed easily demonstrates his hate for the God of the Bible.

Now here's the thing. Shaun is one of those MTA's who claim that the term "Atheist" (Stanford) "Atheist" (Philosophy Pages) "Atheist" (Oxford) means someone who "lacks a belief in a god" (Lackofbelief.com) not someone who denies the existence of God. Folks, this is one of the best indications that you are wasting your time speaking to someone who claims the title Atheist. The sole reason for this definition is to avoid making any claims so that they don't feel the need to defend anything they say.  Now if someone THINKS that is the definition of Atheist (or Atheism) but allows you to correct them so that they understand they are actually an Agnostic then they may well be someone worth having a discussion with. 

Nonetheless he had made a number of claims by mistake, but these three were the ones I pressed him about. 

1. That he (Shaun) would become a Christian if Christianity were true.
2. That God is my imaginary friend (therefore does not exist). 
3. That I/Anyone do not/cannot know that God exists.

He did his best to avoid supporting these claims. He repeatedly stated that he didn't make them or that he was mistaken with his language. He claimed that when he wrote that no one can know that God exists, that he meant that I (Kevin) did not know. I asked him to offer any proof for either statement... he refused to do so.

Eventually however, I did slip up and directly state that God exists. So I, in order to remain honourable, had to provide a defence. So I sent him a link to this video on the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

To which Shaun replied with:

Here's the page he linked me to. It is a long winded refutation of something the author of the page CALLS the Cosmological Argument. Here is the argument as detailed on this page.
The argument runs like this:
  1. Everything that exists must have a cause.
  2. If you follow the chain of events backwards through time, it cannot go back infinitely, so eventually you arrive at the first cause.
  3. This cause must, itself, be uncaused.
  4. But nothing can exist without a cause, except for God.
  5. Therefore, God exists.

Now you can compare this argument with the video yourself, but here is the actual argument that I provided the MTA. 

The Kalam Cosmological Argument
  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
  1. The universe began to exist
  • Therefore: the universe had a Cause.
Everyday experience and scientific evidence confirm premise 1.
 2nd Law of Thermal Dynamics tells us that the universe is slowly running out of usable energy. Therefore if the universe was eternal it would be out of energy.
 Albert Einstein, Alexandra Friedmann, Georges Lemaitre, Edwin Hubble,  all showed that the universe is expanding from a single point in the finite past.

All alternative models for an eternal universe have all failed under scientific testing.

In 2003 three cosmologists, Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin proved that any universe that has on average throughout it’s history been expanding cannot be eternal in the past, and must have an absolute beginning. This includes the theorized Multi-verse.

Science has proven that the universe has had a beginning.

Therefore the universe had a cause.
Because this Cause must be outside of Space-Time this Cause must be:
Spaceless, Timeless, Immaterial, Uncaused and Powerful
Obviously the page the MTA linked to didn't even come close to "refuting" the argument posed by the video I had linked him to. He eventually agreed, at least in passing, that the page did not actually address the argument. He didn't go so far as to agree that it was a Straw-Man, but he did then try to engage the argument albeit dishonestly. After a number of tweets back and forth he finally watched the video. 

His response to the video is to ask me to prove the Law of Causality. Causality, or Cause & Effect, is the basis for science. As Turek and Geisler write in I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist: Even the great skeptic David Hume could not deny the Law of Causality. He wrote "I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause." (David Hume, in J.Y.T. Greig, ed., The Letters of David Hume, 2 vols. (New York: Garland, 1983), 1:187)

I found Shaun's response amusing and asked him if he was really so desperate not to repent that he would deny the Law of Causality. He responded with these tweets:


This MTA had jumped on a friend of mine to try to start an argument. I took up the bait and replied to him. He claimed to have a worldview that is based on the evidence, and when asked about that all he would say is that he doesn't believe in God because there is no evidence for Him.

In reality this article has little to do with Shaun. He's just another in a long list of "lack of belief" Atheists.

The point of this article is this: just as the Lord Jesus Christ explained that those who had seen His powerful signs (miracles) and not believed would come under strict judgment - and therefore they had been UNWILLING to believe even with this powerful evidence - there are people who are UNWILLING and so will never believe even if you give them very good evidence for God.

In the end we know that EVERYONE already believes that God exists, and we know much about Him just by looking at Creation. Romans 1:18-32 explains the same things that the Kalam Cosmological Argument does.
 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.