ATHEISM & AGNOSTICISM

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UNDERSTANDING THE ATHEISM & AGNOSTICISM GREAT DEBATE

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:13

What Is Atheism? 

Atheism is the doctrine or belief that denies the existence of God. This worldview is also called philosophical naturalism and secular humanism.

  • The atheist believes with emphatic conviction that God does not exist. (Psalm 14:1) 
  • “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”  (Psalm 10:4) 

 

What Is Agnosticism?

  • Agnosticism is the doctrine or belief that nothing is or can be known about the existence of God.
  • The agnostic believes there is insufficient evidence to verify the existence of God. 

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”  

1 Corinthians 2:14
 

What Is Apologetics? 

  • Apologetics is a systematic, logical argument or answer in defense of a doctrine. 
  • Christianity is a reasonable faith rather than a blind faith. Christians who are apologists give reasons for believing in the one true God based on His revelation through the Creation, the Bible, and the Lord Jesus Christ.  

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

 (1 Peter 3:15)

 

Two Types of Atheists 

The Absolute Atheist: The classic or traditional atheist believes that to suggest the evidence of a supreme being is utterly ridiculous. God is simply a creation of the human imagination. 

The Allegorical Atheist: This adaptable atheist believes that deity may have been helpful to primitive humans but is no longer necessary because society has evolved to a higher level of sophistication.  

“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”

 (Hebrews 3:12) 

 

Two Types of Agnostics 

  • The Antagonistic Agnostic: This “hard” agnostic does not know whether God exists or not and, therefore, states that no one can ever know. 
  • The Accessible Agnostic: The “soft” agnostic does not know whether God exists or not, but could be willing to investigate.  

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. ... ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” 

(Isaiah 55:6, 8–9)

Does God Really Exist? 

The Argument from Being 

All cultures, primitive and advanced, have an awareness of God that includes a system of worship and even atonement for sin. The fact that every person has thought about a Supreme Being in one way or another presupposes that such a being exists.

 

The Argument from First Cause 

Since, scientifically, something cannot come from nothing, our world has to have been created. Therefore, a Creator must have originally caused its creation. 

 

The Argument from Man 

Because human beings are mentally and morally unique, in contrast to all other life forms, God must have placed within us our mental and moral capabilities. 

 

The Argument from Design 

Just as an intricate, workable watch is made by a watchmaker, the design of the world is intricate and workable. Therefore, an Intelligent Designer must have planned it. 

 

What Kind of God Exists? 

The Argument from Being 

Because everyone has the idea of God within, God is essential. 

 

The Argument from First Cause 

Because the Creator created something out of nothing, God is all-powerful. 

 

The Argument from Man 

Because human beings exhibit moral, self-sacrificial choices for the highest and best of others, God is moral. 

 

The Argument from Design 

Because God designed an intricate world, God is vastly intelligent. 

Answers to the Arguments of Atheists

 

Cause and Effect: If everything needs a cause, then so does God. If God does not need a cause, then neither does the world, then there is no need of God. —Bertrand Russell

Answer:  Only effects need a cause. If you theorize that even God is an effect and needs a cause, then you can never find a “first cause” for the creation of the universe. (Genesis 1:1)

 

Moral Incompatibilities: If God is all good and all powerful, He could and would defeat evil. Evil is not defeated; therefore, there is no God. —Pierre Bayle

Answer:  God did not create a puppet state in which people have no choice over their actions. He allows everyone freedom to choose good and evil now, yet He guarantees the destruction of all evil in the end. (Revelation 21:4, 8)

 

Unjustifiable Suffering: Unjustifiable suffering is incompatible with a just God. —Albert Camus 

 Answer: Our perspective of justice is limited in view of God’s redeeming process, which produces a greater good. Example: The mother whose son is killed by a drunk driver becomes active in a program that saves thousands of lives (MADD). (James 1:2–4) 

 

Incompatible Attributes: How can God possess attributes such as love and wrath, which are incompatible? 

Answer:  Love and wrath are not incompatible. Love is an attribute of God that never changes. God is never without agape love for you—He always seeks your highest good. Wrath is God’s response to sin. God’s wrath, like a refiner’s fire, is born out of His pure love.(Malachi 3:3) 

 

The Big Bang Theory: The universe is a result of a chance combination of particles in motion. The chance theory is also the explanation of human life. —David Hume

Answer: A completely random universe that runs by chance defies intricate design, reliability, and intelligence, which is clearly visible. Example: If all the parts of your watch were put in a box and shaken for a million years, an intricate watch would not be created. (Job 38:4–7)

 

Wishful Thinking: Belief in God is based on a wish fulfillment, a childhood neurosis that seeks a protector. —Freud and Sartre 

Answer: The fact that people in all cultures, whether primitive or advanced, feel a great need for God and worship God is universal proof for the existence of God. (Romans 1:18–20) 

 

Physical Liabilities: God cannot be seen, heard, or touched. 

Answer: God is not limited to making Himself known through physical attributes. He increasingly reveals Himself through the conscience as a person increasingly grows in faith.  (Hebrews 11:1–3) 

 

“What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

 (Romans 1:19–20)

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