This is the first in a series of studies on how to prevail against an atheist in a debate concerning whether God exists or not.
We are experiencing an explosion in a phenomenon called atheism in today’s society. Atheism is considered a phenomenon because it is completely unnatural for human beings not to believe in a “higher power.” Now obviously not all cultures through out time and around the globe have believed in the true and living God of Heaven, but, what is certain, is that every major culture across the earth has sought, believed in and in most cases sacrificed to a supreme being of some sort. This truth is easily explained by the fact that God created each and every one of us with a God shaped void in our soul that can only be filled with His Spirit. It has become more important for us Christians to be able to defend, at a moments notice, our faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” - 1 Peter 3:15 ESV
In this first article we will cover the fact that the question: “Does God exist?” is not an area of empirical(scientific) study but indeed a question for metaphysic, philosophical investigation. The question is impossible for empirical evidence to prove or disprove at any length. One cannot say that “There is no evidence for the existence of God,” because you would be stating that you have seen all of the evidence that has been, is at the present and will be presented in the future, besides the fact that this is quite the egotistical statement to make, it is illogical and impossible. One likewise cannot say that empirical proofs, such as scientific hypotheses, proves that God doesn’t exist because it is impossible for anyone to prove that something or someone does not exist, i.e. you can’t prove a negative. So what we can conclude is that we must use inductive reasoning in order to form an argument for or against God’s existence. Inductive reasoning is a form of argument that we base most of our network of beliefs(worldview) on whether we are Christians or not. This type of argument utilizes formal logic and conclusions are based on a strong/weak basis. In short inductive arguments will never be completely true or false, but, by the points of the argument we can determine if the argument is a strong one or a weak one. I don’t want to give anyone a philosophy course in this article, I just want to give you some background information on inductive reasoning before we move into the first defense against an opposing statement. There are a body of rules that govern how we can argue within philosophy and one of those rules states that we must judge each component of an argument within it’s appropriate category. For example, If I were to say that Fred’s Ford Mustang is a terrible work horse because it doesn’t follow commands properly, that statement is logically incompatible and is a faulty statement due to a category mistake being committed(components being judged out of it’s category). Now for the fun part: an atheist states that there is no empirical evidence that has been presented for the existence of God, they are presenting a faulty argument due to a category mistake being committed. Empirical proofs are only what can be observed in the natural world, tested and tried by observation, observed by human senses and observed inside of the laws of nature. We as Christian’s believe and admit that God exists above and beyond the natural world as the creator and maintainer of the universe itself. So by default God cannot be judged in the same category as what we can see, smell, touch, taste and hear in the world as we know it. The easily mounted defense to an atheist’s claim that there is no empirical evidence for the existence of God is: That is a fallacy in argument by way of category mistake. Please stay tuned to the Journey to Calvary Web Site for the next several weeks because we are going to be going through several defensed to these types of opposing statements.