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My video on how atheists need to deny evident truths like everything that begins to exist having a cause or the objectivity of moral values and duties gave rise to a debate between me and an atheist called John Hammond in the YouTube comment section. He confirmed my point in that he as an atheist did deny that everything that begins to exist has a cause and that morality is objective, but he thought that it was evident that these things aren’t true.
What follows is our online discussion, with John’s comments in quotation blocks and my responses in normal bread text:
Its so easy to mock others on YouTube that don’t agree with you isn’t it. We atheists are so stupid according to you aren’t we. I have argued against the Kalam Cosmological Argument so many times that I can’t be bothered to type it all out again. So will this do?
Subjective morality. Lets take two people, Hitler and me, both moral people. Now Hitler’s morality allowed him to initiate the murder of millions of people. My morality does not allow me to hurt anyone. So Hitler and me do not agree on what’s good or bad, whats moral. This is whats called ‘subjective morality’ I think Hitler’s morality was wrong. He would have thought my morality was wrong. Now lets develop this a little more. There are something like seven billion people in the world. That’s seven billion different moralities although most would agree on most points like not eating babies or torturing little kittens. We get our morality [what we personally think is right or wrong, good or bad] because of being a social animal, our upbringing and the society we live in. I personally think murdering millions of people is wrong, Hitler or Jehovah for example think its O.K. to murder millions of people.
No, we atheists do not deny truths as you falsely claim, we just stay within the bounds of reality and what we do know, not what we don’t know. In other words we do not believe in your supernatural God.
I respect you right to your beliefs sir so please respect my beliefs [or non belief] as an atheist.
With respect, John.
Hello charismactivists and all you others who follow this blog! I got two pieces of fresh news for you. The first being that the URL to this website has shrunk to the much simpler name of holyspiritactivism.com. All the old links are still functional and redirects to this site. God bless WordPress for making this transition so easy and convenient 🙂
Secondly, I’ve created two new resource pages on the website to equip your work for the Kingdom of God. One is about street evangelism which provides some tips on how to share the Gospel as well as arguments for why all churches should make public evangelism as common as Sunday services:
I have mentioned previously that I really enjoy the apologetic work of William Lane Craig, and regularly listens to his podcasts and lectures. I find Craig very intelligent, theologically sound and mostly quite easy to understand, and he oftens pinpoints thoughts and arguments that I have developed on my own. The other day I was listening to a talk he was holding in Southampton in the UK a couple of years ago on the resurrection of Jesus:
In the talk, which he has held multiple times in different locations, he defends five historical facts about Jesus and early Christianity which he argues that there are sustainable evidences for. These are:
- Jesus died on a Roman cross outside of Jerusalem
- He was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea
- On Easter Sunday his tomb was found empty by a group of women
- On multiple occassions individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus
- Jesus’ original disciples believed that he had rose from the dead, despite their having predispositions to the contrary
William Lane Craig is in my view a very good Christian apologist and philosopher, and I regularly listen to his Reasonable Faith podcast. Even though I think he could use some more revival fires and hands-on mission work in the dirt, his intellectual defense for the Christian faith has undoubtedly helped many and led several people to the Lord. In a recent podcast, Craig and Kevin Harris discussed miracles and whether it is rational to believe in these. As a charismactivist, I find the topic highly interesting.
There are many different forms of philosophical and theological objections against the existence of miracles that all are quite easy to respond to. Cessationism is a Christian view which says that miracles did exist in the times of the Bible but then ceased when the Bible was written; ironically, this idea is not found in the Bible. Naturalism is the idea that the supernatural – obviously including miracles – does not exist, but this cannot be proven just as atheism cannot be proven. In fact, as long as the existence of God is not disproven and thus possible, it is entirely possible that miracles exist, as Craig points out in this short video:
In the podcast, Craig and Harris discussed another form of objections against miracles that is quite unique. Philosopher Hans Halvorson has argued that under no circumstances should one believe that a miracle occurs today: “for any event you experience in your life, no matter how strange, surprising, or wonderful, you should not believe that it is a miracle. Similarly, if somebody tells you that a miracle occurred, you should not believe him.” Yet, he also says “it can be rational to believe in the miracle stories of the Bible—because the miracle stories in the Bible are relevantly different than the purported miracles of today.” This is some kind of secular cessationism – miracles don’t happen today, but it’s possible to believe in Biblical miracles because they’re different.
Listen to Craig’s and Harris’ response to Halvorson’s article below:
Scientifically speaking, why the universe exists and why it looks like what it looks like is still a mystery. We don’t know why anything exists rather than nothing, or why energy-matter works as it does. Furthermore, there is still no explanation to why the universe’s force constants are as they are.
Christian apologist William Lane Craig, among others, talk about the universe being fine tuned for life, planets, stars and even atoms to exist, as you can see in the video above. The cosmological constant, Λ, has a value of approximately 10−122, and if this would change by less than a trillion’s trillionth of a percent, the universe would either be sucked back into a black hole right after big bang or disparse so quickly that stars would never form.
Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics at Stanford, explain the fine tuning of the universe in more detail above. Now, if the universe was caused either by nothingness or from something unintelligent and non-designing, as atheists would argue, the fine tuning becomes really hard to explain. Our universe where the cosmological constant and other constants like the gravitational constant are suitible for stars, planets and life to exist, is ridiculously unlikely. Susskind is not a theist due to his lack of faith in miracles, but he isn’t an atheist either because of his inability to refute the idea that a divine entity caused this complex universe, and so he remains agnostic. (more…)