This link is to a blog post where an atheist lists 5 reasons why he does not believe in God. Below is my response:
I’m afraid this is going to be long, but I want to address your 5 points.
- “I can be good without God.” First, you are confusing epistemology with ontology. That you know right and wrong and can behave does not mean you can justify your standard of morality. Of course you, as an atheist, can behave. But, where do you get your standard to determine what is proper and improper behavior? Without a transcendent source, you have no way to justify your morality. Your morality is all based on personal preference. If you then say that morality is defined by the culture, then you are obeying an external moral code forced on you even though you don’t like the idea of a motivational force behind a system of morality. That culturally mandated morality, however, is also fickle and subject to the whims of the majority. Atheists can be good without God, but the question remains, Why? Secondly, you have a wrong understanding of Christianity. Christianity is not about following a set of rules to earn salvation. It is about the free gift of forgiveness for our sins because of what Jesus did on the cross. This free gift of salvation is offered to those who surrender their lives to God. This surrender then leads to obedience. But, obedience is not for God’s sake; it is for our sake. Sin is destructive to us. God seeks our good; obedience leads to our good.
- “The Bible is not enough evidence.” Your point is a bit confusing. I think your objection to the existence of God is because you consider the Bible unreliable. Where is your proof that the Bible is unreliable? How did you come to that conclusion? What do you mean by “evidence?” What kind of evidence are you willing to accept? You asserted that “There is no way to prove that the miracles in the Bible are true.” How did you come to that conclusion? As historical events, miracles are amenable to scrutiny like any other historical event using the tools of the discipline of history. So, we can know whether the recorded miracles in the Bible are reliable. You stated “The gospels may just be the writers’ interpretation of what God wants to say but not necessarily what He means.” You have a misunderstanding of the intent of the Gospels. They were not written to convey “what God wants to say.” Instead, the Gospel writers intended their writings to be considered eyewitness accounts. Luke wrote in Luke 1:1–4 “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” Luke is a first-rate historian who wrote the Gospel of Luke as recorded history. You cannot simply dismiss the truth claims in the Gospel accounts because you think they can be subjected to many different interpretations.
- “I have unanswered questions.” You have not coherently stated your unanswered questions. Do you really reject the existence of God because people believe that we are important to God? That seems a rather silly objection. Also, why should applying “human” attributes to God cause you to deny his existence? How else could we relate to and describe God if not using familiar terms? What you are not considering is the Christian understanding of God. Christians describe God as a Trinity, three persons in one being. That certainly is not a human attribute. Also, Genesis 1 describes God creating mankind in his image, so why should you be surprised if men and God have similar attributes? You do not seem to have thought this objection through. God is beyond our comprehension, that is why he came to earth as God the Son in the person of Jesus. If there is a God that is omnipotent, omniscient, and infinite, don’t you think he would be able to figure out how to communicate his existence and attributes to us?
- “I went too far in the religious spectrum.” I am not sure what you mean by this. Is what you mean by “too far” that you have entered the religion of atheism, so now that is too far to come back to a belief in God? What made you question God’s existence? Did you not get adequate answers for your doubts? What were those doubts? Why do you assume we cannot know anything about God? Your position is self-refuting. By saying God is “incomprehensible” you are saying that you know something about God, which means that he is not incomprehensible. A self-refuting statement cannot possibly be true. God is personal and knowable. God is not just a simple solution to a paradox that we do not understand. He is a necessary Cause. Edwin Hubble discovered evidence of an expanding universe; therefore, the universe must have had a beginning. Anything that begins to exist must have a cause. Therefore, the universe must have a cause. This Cause must be eternal, immaterial, personal, intelligent, omnipotent because this Cause was outside of time, chose to create matter out of nothing. The Big Bang means that God is necessary.
- “It’s simply a choice.” You assert “There is no evidence that proves or disproves the existence of God.” What do you mean by “prove?” How much evidence is enough? “Proving” the existence of God is not like doing a mathematical equation that can be completed with absolute certainty. As an attorney, I make reasonable conclusions all the time based on evidence. The standard used in making reasonable conclusions is never “proof beyond all doubt.” Just reading your post, it is clear that you reached your atheist conclusion based on flimsy evidence. You did not require proof beyond all doubt to reject the existence of God, so requiring that standard to prove God’s existence would be a bit dishonest. We don’t need thousands of years to determine if God exists. There are compelling arguments and evidence right now. Lastly, you insist no one should impose his beliefs on anyone else. Again that is self-refuting. You are making an imposition that demands no one make impositions. Also, by what standard do you say someone should not be disrespectful? Who says? Why are you forcing that morality on others? Do you see what you are doing there? You are imposing a moral code that demands no one imposes a moral code. Atheism has no mechanism to account for morality so it has to borrow (steal) from Christianity in order to provide a coherent, peaceable world. Wouldn’t you rather follow the Source of morality than follow an atheist religion that has to borrow and steal in order to have a moral code? One thing you did get right is that it is a choice. But, it is a choice with eternal consequences. After all, there are only two kinds of people in this world: one who says to God “Your will be done” and is guaranteed an eternal life of infinite goodness; and one to whom God says “Your will be done” and is granted his wish to be in eternity away from anything that is good.