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Archive for June, 2011

Flaws in Atheist Thinking

Flaws in Atheist Thinking

There are many intelligent, well-informed and indeed brilliant atheists who present a real challenge to theism. However, there are as many, if not more, of the opposite kind of atheist (by the way the same is true of theists). If it were not for the conviction, arrogance and mockery with which many of the latter spout forth on public forums then possibly this blog would not have been created but given that they do it is necessary to record and expose the flaws in their thinking.

That is not to say that everything I perceive as a flaw in atheist thinking will, in fact, be a flaw but at the point of posting that is how it appears to me. If I am presented with evidence or persuasive reasons as to why my perception is indeed in error then I will both acknowledge and correct that wrong perception. At other times there might have to be just an agreement to disagree on the issue but still an acknowledgment that it was not a clear flaw.

I hope what I post will stimulate civil, constructive debate and on both sides better thinking on the issues. I do of course welcome all responses and comments.

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No Atheists in Foxholes? 

Top Tweet in #Atheism is: “When you say “there are no atheists in foxhole” you are actually saying “Christians are cowards”

On the face of it this post seems to betray poor thinking, suggesting that because people, (not only Christians), think about, or call upon God when facing death that they are cowards. How does one get to that conclusion without assuming first that there is no God to call  to call out to?

For it to be true, atheism would need to have been established as universally true and factual, and, being so, the person crying out would be  ‘grasping at straws’ or ‘being a coward’ in blind despair and desperation looking to something that has been proven doesn’t exist.

Of course atheism is a very long way from having been universally established so the thinking turns out to not only be poor but also a logical fallacy of begging the question, assuming as true a very much disputed  proposition – no gods exist.

It is further an insult to every person whose thoughts have turned to God in life-threatening situations, including soldiers on active service as I write this post.

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What is Right?

The following was posted today on Twitter by an atheist:

Image

The reason I think this demonstrates flawed atheistic thinking is because it assumes there is some universally accepted moral ‘right’ that everyone is obliged to acknowledge and subscribe to. However, this is patently not the case and especially so with atheism which, as it is defined, has not a single thing at all to say about morality or what is right or wrong, but rather speaks only on the subject of the existence of gods. What that means is that atheists can hold to very diverse views on what is ‘right’ without in the slightest going against their atheism. So what the atheist, who is going to promote any idea of objective rightness, must first do is show that they have something objective that they mean by ‘right’ and to which we, all of us, ought to subscribe to, and not merely assumes that because they can use the words ‘morality’ and ‘right’ that, on atheism, they have any objective value or meaning.

Further to this, and given the apparent subjectivity of human morality, it seems to me perfectly rational to follow what a maximally moral objective source tells us what is right because that source would by definition know from its own nature what that IS. That is not to advocate that theists are right in doing everything they think they are told to do by beings that they think are maximally moral objective beings but only to state that rationally speaking it is more logical to do what an actual  maximally moral objective source instructs than to follow what subjective, morally flawed, relativistic humans think it is right to do.

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Christian Dismissal of other Gods

A well known but very poor thinking citation that is frequently cited by atheists:

“When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours”

The reason this demonstrates a flaw in atheist thinking is because those who make it don’t seem to realise that the basis for Christian rejection of other gods is the revelation of God in the Scriptures that they are all false gods and that he alone is the one true and living God. That is, of course, an entirely different reason as to why atheists lack belief in god(s) hence the flawed thinking.

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Jesus & Homosexuals

“Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family”.

The flawed thinking in the above statement is that it is made on the assumption that orphans being in a homosexual family is, for Jesus and biblical Christianity, a healthy, normal and morally good situation. It almost goes without saying that this is not the case for Jesus, and biblical Christianity, and indeed that the opposite is the case where putting an orphan into a homosexual family would be, for Jesus and biblical Christianity, an unhealthy, abnormal and immorally bad situation. Regardless of whether homosexuality is actually moral or immoral it logically follows that in any situation where an individual or group of individuals believes that putting a child into an unhealthy, abnormal and immorally bad situation that this individual or group of individuals would rather expose that situation for what they believe it is than put a child into it.

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Fallacies of Complex Question (Loaded Question)

This fallacy, (where a question is asked that contains within it another hidden question with the assumption of a given affirmative answer) seems prevalent in atheist tweets so I thought it’d be a good idea to record them here on my blog.

An example first of a loaded question: ‘When did you stop beating your wife?’

This question has within it the hidden question – ‘Did you start beating your wife?’ – with the assumption of a given affirmative answer – ‘Yes I started beating my wife’.

The proper way to deal with such a fallacy is to bring out that hidden question with it’s assumptive answer and challenge it, ‘Your question wrongly assumes I started beating my wife. I haven’t hence your question is not valid’.

Onto some atheists loaded questions asked to theists:

1. Why do evidential requirements drop when the subject is your childhood religion?

(Hidden Question with Assumption of a Given Affirmative Answer – Do evidential requirements drop when the subject is your childhood religion?)

(Challenge: Your question wrongly assumes evidential requirement do drop when the subject is my childhood religion. It doesn’t hence your question is invalid). 

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“Atheist because I don’t believe morality can come from god who exhibits such atrocities in OT”.

This is flawed reasoning because even if  it was a justified reason to be an atheist because of the belief that morality could not come from a god who exhibits such atrocities as in the Old Testament it would only justify atheism in respect to that god and not atheism in respect to all claims of gods. The argument for example would have no application to the god of Hinduism or Deism to name but two.

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“Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.” – Unknown

There are many problems in this quote that some atheists seem so fond of and quote.  It is obviously made on the assumption of the truth of atheism and the ineffectiveness of prayer. If for example, God does exist and answers prayers then in an instant the statement is falsified because God can perform far greater deeds than two or a thousands hands working. Secondly, it presents us with a false dichotomy – Either hands working or hands clasped in prayer but what of a third option, hands working and prayers being made. This is in line with Biblical teaching where faith without works is dead. Prayer is an act of faith in God but it is not be an excuse for not doing good works or actions. Hence, in a situation where both are being done then it could well be far more effective than if just one done. Finally, what of situation where actions are just impossible? Where no work can be done to bring about a result or where everything physically possible has been done but it’s insufficient to achieve the result? In those situations and again, now allowing for the assumption of the truth of atheism to be granted, one pair of hands clasped in prayer in a Biblical manner would be capable of more than not only two hands working but the hands of every person in the world working. The quote, whilst having the appearance of something worthwhile is therefore exposed as flawed on many levels.

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“Christian Logic!!!” 

The below picture came with the subject… Christian logic!!! The obvious intention was that the picture would  show just how illogical Christian thinking is but it is in fact the opposite that is achieved, demonstrating  ignorance of Christian theology, inability to accurately reference a passage of Scripture and poor reasoning, each of which are explained below:

Ignorance of Christian theology. The vast majority of Christian denominations, based on their understanding of the New Testament do not consider themselves under the Mosaic law. That being so what is taught in it on the matters in the above photo simply have no relevance to Christian thinking or instruction unless that teaching and instruction is reiterated in the NT as part of the Gospel as given by Christ and his apostles. Thus the Christian will, or ought to hold that homosexuality is unnatural sinful behavior based on the re-affirmation of the Old Testament teaching, both indirectly from Jesus and directly from the Apostle Paul. The others are not re-affirmed in the NT hence are rightly not part of the Christian worldview.

Inability to cite a reference properly. You will note that in the above photo Leviticus 20:13 is summarized by the slogan’ Hate Gays’ but what does the passage say?

“If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death: their blood [shall] be upon them”.

Where in those words does it say anything like, ‘Hate Gays’? It doesn’t but the creator and poster of this photo either didn’t bother to check the passage and represent it accurately or didn’t care  to do so. Either way, it is a misrepresentation of the passage.

Poor reasoning: The poor reasoning is the result of the two flaws above, i.e. not knowing or caring about Christian theology or accurate representation of a text. From these two errors so the creator and poster of the photo reason that Christians are illogical when in fact that lies within themselves on this matter.

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