See the top rated post in this thread. Click here

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 41

Defending the Faith discuss God and Unicorn —— The Analogy Atheists Use to Show They Have No Burden Of Proof in the Apologetics Forum forums; I've listened to a lot of debates these days, and this analogy is a very popular approach for atheists to show they have no burden ...

  1. #1
    DyeLi is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    17

    God and Unicorn —— The Analogy Atheists Use to Show They Have No Burden Of Proof

    I've listened to a lot of debates these days, and this analogy is a very popular approach for atheists to show they have no burden of proof in the debate of God's existence. The argument goes basically like this:
    1. if you claim there is an invisible pink unicorn (IPU) in the world, you are the one who has to show sufficient evidence for people to believe in it, and the people who don't believe it clearly don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of IPU.
    2. belief in God is like belief in IPU
    conclusion: Atheists don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of God.

    My question is simply is there any good argument against this argument? I've only learned this analogy is false because it presupposes the non-existence of God so it can make God analogous to something ridiculous. It is like "I don't believe in God and I don't have to show my evidence because of my unbelief in God". It's circular. However that's pretty much all I got on this issue, so are there any better argument you'd like to share? Thanks!
    Dai Li
    Nanyang Christian Gospel Church (Non-denominational)
    Nanyang, Henan, China
    Will start my undergraduate study in Wheaton College, IL this August

  2. #2
    rookie's Avatar
    rookie is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    622
    I recommend listening to a gentleman called Sye Ten Bruggencate. He doesn't believe anyone doesn't believe in God. Romans 1 testifies it.
    Ray
    Church member, PCC
    Moncton, NB

    My blog
    www.meetthygod.wordpress.com
    www.rayleger.organogold.com

  3. #3
    DyeLi is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    17
    Ray, thanks for the recommendation! Definitely gonna check it.
    Dai Li
    Nanyang Christian Gospel Church (Non-denominational)
    Nanyang, Henan, China
    Will start my undergraduate study in Wheaton College, IL this August

  4. #4
    Christoffer's Avatar
    Christoffer is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    776
    Quote Originally Posted by DyeLi View Post
    I've listened to a lot of debates these days, and this analogy is a very popular approach for atheists to show they have no burden of proof in the debate of God's existence. The argument goes basically like this:
    1. if you claim there is an invisible pink unicorn (IPU) in the world, you are the one who has to show sufficient evidence for people to believe in it, and the people who don't believe it clearly don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of IPU.
    My first question would be: What evidence does the atheist have for this premise? Ie. why does this or that particular belief need "sufficient" evidence?

    The atheist probably believes that only beliefs supported by evidence are rational. But does he then have evidence for that belief? And on it goes
    Christoffer S.
    Calvinist
    Member of the Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran church
    Husband&father to three
    Living in Vaasa, Finland

  5. #5
    Marrow Man's Avatar
    Marrow Man is offline. Drunk with Powder
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    11,853
    This is a variation of Bertrand Russell's "Celestial Teapot" analogy. It doesn't hold water (or tea!). That is, it fails on a number of levels. For instance, there is no Creator/creature distinction in the analogy. God creates all things, and makes humans in His image. In doing so, He provides the preconditions for knowing, learning, making sense of the world, communicating, etc. No pink unicorn or celestial teapot does that (a unicorn is just another creature, even if it is supernatural; it is certainly not self-existent). It is possible that a pink unicorn may exist apart from anyone ever seeing it, but that makes absolutely no difference in how I come to know the world or what I know or believe about it or how I live my life. Another difference would be that this analogy does not take into account that God reveals Himself through Holy Scripture; no unicorn does that. And certainly no unicorn became man, walked among us, or died and rose again.

    Once you start breaking down the silly analogy it fails on many different levels. But the nice thing about this is that it gives you an opportunity to show the differences with Christianity, and gives you the opportunity to present the gospel.
    Tim Phillips
    Pastor, Midlane Park Presbyterian Church (ARP)
    Louisville, KY
    Husband of Scottish Lass
    Father of Grace Cameron Phillips
    My Blog: Gairney Bridge
    My Facebook/My Avatar

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?
    6 member(s) found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Marrow Man's Avatar
    Marrow Man is offline. Drunk with Powder
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    11,853
    This is a variation of Bertrand Russell's "Celestial Teapot" analogy. It doesn't hold water (or tea!). That is, it fails on a number of levels. For instance, there is no Creator/creature distinction in the analogy. God creates all things, and makes humans in His image. In doing so, He provides the preconditions for knowing, learning, making sense of the world, communicating, etc. No pink unicorn or celestial teapot does that (a unicorn is just another creature, even if it is supernatural; it is certainly not self-existent). It is possible that a pink unicorn may exist apart from anyone ever seeing it, but that makes absolutely no difference in how I come to know the world or what I know or believe about it or how I live my life. Another difference would be that this analogy does not take into account that God reveals Himself through Holy Scripture; no unicorn does that. And certainly no unicorn became man, walked among us, or died and rose again.

    Once you start breaking down the silly analogy it fails on many different levels. But the nice thing about this is that it gives you an opportunity to show the differences with Christianity, and gives you the opportunity to present the gospel.
    Tim Phillips
    Pastor, Midlane Park Presbyterian Church (ARP)
    Louisville, KY
    Husband of Scottish Lass
    Father of Grace Cameron Phillips
    My Blog: Gairney Bridge
    My Facebook/My Avatar

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?
    6 member(s) found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    rookie's Avatar
    rookie is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    622
    There are verses in the scriptures that refer to a unicorn.

    Nu 23:22 - God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

    Nu 24:8 - God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

    Job 39:9 - Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?

    Job 39:10 - Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

    Ps 29:6 - He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

    Ps 92:10 - But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

    These however, point to a rhinoceros.....which has...you guessed it, a uni - corn. One horn.....
    Ray
    Church member, PCC
    Moncton, NB

    My blog
    www.meetthygod.wordpress.com
    www.rayleger.organogold.com
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Hilasmos's Avatar
    Hilasmos is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    329
    1. If you claim there are invisible, weightless, tasteless, shapeless thoughts (IWTST) in your head, you are the one who has to show sufficient evidence for people to believe it is so, and the people who don’t believe it clearly don’t have to show any evidence for the non-existence of IWTST.

    2. belief that Atheists have rational thoughts is like belief in IWTST

    Conclusion: Christians don't have to show any evidence for affirming the non-existence of rational thoughts in atheists
    Will
    PCA
    Virginia
    2 member(s) found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Marrow Man's Avatar
    Marrow Man is offline. Drunk with Powder
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    11,853
    Quote Originally Posted by DyeLi View Post
    you are the one who has to show sufficient evidence for people to believe in it, and the people who don't believe it clearly don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of IPU.
    The problem here is that the atheist is assuming the validity of a naturalistic worldview and demanding that you provide "evidence" that meets the requirements for his own viewpoint. But that is an improper assumption on his part, and it is a means of answering the fool according to his folly. According to his own presuppositions, he should have to demonstrate (with sufficient evidence) why this is necessary, which will only result in circular argumentation on his part.

    The fact of the matter is that he assumes all sorts of things without putting them to this particular test: his own worldview, the use of logic, the trustworthiness of his own senses, the reliability of rational thought, the existence of the number seven, etc. He should be made to see this, justify his own assumptions, etc. Apparently from the existence of God (not any generic god, but the God of Scripture), these things do not make sense.
    Tim Phillips
    Pastor, Midlane Park Presbyterian Church (ARP)
    Louisville, KY
    Husband of Scottish Lass
    Father of Grace Cameron Phillips
    My Blog: Gairney Bridge
    My Facebook/My Avatar

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    CalvinandHodges's Avatar
    CalvinandHodges is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,889
    Hi:

    From a purely logical standpoint the contention of the Atheist is correct - you cannot prove the non-existence of something. What the Atheist can be held accountable to is the question of origins - How did everything come to exist? When pressed on this matter the honest Atheist will say, "I don't know." In doing so, however, his Atheism crumbles, because if he cannot necessarily discount the existence of God, then he has to admit the possibility of His existence. But Atheism says God does not exist. One cannot hold to the possibility of the existence of God and the non existence of God at the same time - it is logically untenable.

    As others have pointed out above: The Atheist knows that God exists, but suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. The problem is with his sin not with his knowledge of God.

    Blessings,

    Rob
    In Essentials Unity, in non-Essentials Liberty, in all things Charity.

    Robert Paul Wieland
    RPCNA
    Pittsburgh, PA
    2 member(s) found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    I would respond by saying that the majority of people in the world believe in some higher power. The minority always has the burden of proof when questioning the majority. Also their analogy fails on logical grounds because it assumes that unicorns and God are logically the same sort of thing, they are not. If you reject the existence of unicorns no other belief you hold comes into conflict with that. Reject God and the very existence of morality or science come into question. You may not agree that an atheist cannot hold to morality and no God but classically speaking rejecting unicorns never beg this question.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Joshua is offline. _
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    20,387
    Blog Entries
    3
    The onus is upon the atheist to tell me why it is morally wrong/repugnant to murder, rape, steal, molest, _______ if, in fact, there is no God, no right and wrong, etc. Of course, the position is absurd and is proof that all men hold the truth of God, but many do so "in unrighteousness," and they thusly hold to God's truth, while denying, and while climbing up in His lap just to slap Him in the face.
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA
    The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. - Ps. 147
    3 member(s) found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Joshua is offline. _
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    20,387
    Blog Entries
    3
    P.S - I believe in unicorns. Pretty sure they weren't invisible or pink, though.


    • Numbers 23:22
      God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
    • Numbers 24:8
      God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
    • Deuteronomy 33:17
      His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
    • Job 39:9
      Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
    • Job 39:10
      Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
    • Psalm 22:21
      Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
    • Psalm 29:6
      He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
    • Psalm 92:10
      But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
    • Isaiah 34:7
      And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA
    The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. - Ps. 147
    2 member(s) found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Marrow Man's Avatar
    Marrow Man is offline. Drunk with Powder
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    11,853
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    I would respond by saying that the majority of people in the world believe in some higher power. The minority always has the burden of proof when questioning the majority.
    This is an excellent point. The number of hardcore atheists is actually a very small minority. From a naturalistic perspective, one could argue that this is because of some genetic factor or environmental factor and come to the conclusion that the atheist does not arrive at his position because of rational process, but because he has a defective brain or is simply responding to sensory stimuli. It puts him in a conundrum of sorts, because if he tries to argue against this, then you can point out that what he is saying is either the processes of an improperly functioning brain (and therefore untrustworthy) or a further response to sensory stimuli (in which case there needs to be some rationale for meaning in such a response).
    Tim Phillips
    Pastor, Midlane Park Presbyterian Church (ARP)
    Louisville, KY
    Husband of Scottish Lass
    Father of Grace Cameron Phillips
    My Blog: Gairney Bridge
    My Facebook/My Avatar

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?
    2 member(s) found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    I would respond by saying that the majority of people in the world believe in some higher power. The minority always has the burden of proof when questioning the majority.
    This is an excellent point. The number of hardcore atheists is actually a very small minority. From a naturalistic perspective, one could argue that this is because of some genetic factor or environmental factor and come to the conclusion that the atheist does not arrive at his position because of rational process, but because he has a defective brain or is simply responding to sensory stimuli. It puts him in a conundrum of sorts, because if he tries to argue against this, then you can point out that what he is saying is either the processes of an improperly functioning brain (and therefore untrustworthy) or a further response to sensory stimuli (in which case there needs to be some rationale for meaning in such a response).
    Thanks, you raise a good point too. I once heard Ravi Zacharias comment on Dawkin’s whole meme theory. For those who don’t know memes are basically the cultural equivalency of genes. We can have cultural “mutations” in our collective memory that we pass down. Religion is supposedly one of these. But Ravi pointed out that how do we know that atheism isn’t a mutated “meme”? Not to mention that it is a theory that cannot be proven. Man I love Evolutionists and their non-provable theories. But that goes well with your point.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  16. #16
    Hilasmos's Avatar
    Hilasmos is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    329
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    I would respond by saying that the majority of people in the world believe in some higher power. The minority always has the burden of proof when questioning the majority.
    This is an excellent point. The number of hardcore atheists is actually a very small minority. From a naturalistic perspective, one could argue that this is because of some genetic factor or environmental factor and come to the conclusion that the atheist does not arrive at his position because of rational process, but because he has a defective brain or is simply responding to sensory stimuli. It puts him in a conundrum of sorts, because if he tries to argue against this, then you can point out that what he is saying is either the processes of an improperly functioning brain (and therefore untrustworthy) or a further response to sensory stimuli (in which case there needs to be some rationale for meaning in such a response).
    Thanks, you raise a good point too. I once heard Ravi Zacharias comment on Dawkin’s whole meme theory. For those who don’t know memes are basically the cultural equivalency of genes. We can have cultural “mutations” in our collective memory that we pass down. Religion is supposedly one of these. But Ravi pointed out that how do we know that atheism isn’t a mutated “meme”? Not to mention that it is a theory that cannot be proven. Man I love Evolutionists and their non-provable theories. But that goes well with your point.
    And, along with Plantinga, if our evolution does work towards generating true beliefs, then the cognitive faculties developed by evolution that produce belief in god are likely to be reliable truth tellers. We have good reason to trust the sensus divinitatis. If, however, belief in god is not rational, then you have good great example of where a mass produced self-evident and incorrigible belief is produced by the same evolutionary process that produces equally self-evident and incorrigible beliefs (but, for some reason, are rational). If the latter is the case, of course, you have reason to doubt everything, including the reason to doubt everything.
    Will
    PCA
    Virginia
    2 member(s) found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    JStone's Avatar
    JStone is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by DyeLi View Post
    I've listened to a lot of debates these days, and this analogy is a very popular approach for atheists to show they have no burden of proof in the debate of God's existence. The argument goes basically like this:
    1. if you claim there is an invisible pink unicorn (IPU) in the world, you are the one who has to show sufficient evidence for people to believe in it, and the people who don't believe it clearly don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of IPU.
    2. belief in God is like belief in IPU
    conclusion: Atheists don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of God.

    My question is simply is there any good argument against this argument? I've only learned this analogy is false because it presupposes the non-existence of God so it can make God analogous to something ridiculous. It is like "I don't believe in God and I don't have to show my evidence because of my unbelief in God". It's circular. However that's pretty much all I got on this issue, so are there any better argument you'd like to share? Thanks!
    It seems to me, that in that argument, the atheist is making a claim, namely, that an IPU is analogous to the Judeo-Christian idea of a monotheistic creator God. Therefore the way I would deal with this argument would be by simply transferring the burden of proof to the one making the claim. I would simply ask, "What makes you think the IPU is a good comparison to the Christian God?" He or she should then give you their supporting propositions, which should be easy to demolish, both historically and philosophically, since the Christian God holds both historical and philosophical significance, neither of which does the IPU.
    Justin Stone
    Member, Guilford Baptist Church
    Sterling, VA
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    rookie's Avatar
    rookie is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    622
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
    P.S - I believe in unicorns. Pretty sure they weren't invisible or pink, though.


    • Numbers 23:22
      God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
    • Numbers 24:8
      God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
    • Deuteronomy 33:17
      His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
    • Job 39:9
      Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
    • Job 39:10
      Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
    • Psalm 22:21
      Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
    • Psalm 29:6
      He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
    • Psalm 92:10
      But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
    • Isaiah 34:7
      And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
    See my previous post...you copycat, lol
    Ray
    Church member, PCC
    Moncton, NB

    My blog
    www.meetthygod.wordpress.com
    www.rayleger.organogold.com

  19. #19
    arielann81's Avatar
    arielann81 is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    48
    Thanks, you raise a good point too. I once heard Ravi Zacharias comment on Dawkin’s whole meme theory. For those who don’t know memes are basically the cultural equivalency of genes. We can have cultural “mutations” in our collective memory that we pass down. Religion is supposedly one of these. But Ravi pointed out that how do we know that atheism isn’t a mutated “meme”? Not to mention that it is a theory that cannot be proven. Man I love Evolutionists and their non-provable theories. But that goes well with your point.
    I also thought of Ravi Zacharias after reading this since he has a way of breaking it down to point out that in order to use logic you have to borrow from the Chrisitian worldview. This brings all arguments based of logic back to the point of origin for logic and that is God. I would recommend watching any of Ravi's videos which can be found on Youtube as one location. I think this was in one of them that complied his best moments. I like using his language in debates since I live in the Seattle are and come across atheist/agnostics a bit. This is one of the most unchurched areas of this country so we have many people here that haven't even heard the gospel. These arguments help.
    Ariel
    Leadership for Kid's Ridge Ministry/ Worship team (sing)
    Mountain Ridge Community (Evangelical Free Church)
    Redmond, WA

    "Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame." A.W. Tozer in the Pursuit of God
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by arielann81 View Post
    Thanks, you raise a good point too. I once heard Ravi Zacharias comment on Dawkin’s whole meme theory. For those who don’t know memes are basically the cultural equivalency of genes. We can have cultural “mutations” in our collective memory that we pass down. Religion is supposedly one of these. But Ravi pointed out that how do we know that atheism isn’t a mutated “meme”? Not to mention that it is a theory that cannot be proven. Man I love Evolutionists and their non-provable theories. But that goes well with your point.


    I also thought of Ravi Zacharias after reading this since he has a way of breaking it down to point out that in order to use logic you have to borrow from the Chrisitian worldview. This brings all arguments based of logic back to the point of origin for logic and that is God. I would recommend watching any of Ravi's videos which can be found on Youtube as one location. I think this was in one of them that complied his best moments. I like using his language in debates since I live in the Seattle are and come across atheist/agnostics a bit. This is one of the most unchurched areas of this country so we have many people here that haven't even heard the gospel. These arguments help.
    Welcome to the board! It seems you have been here since last Nov. but since this is my first time interacting with you I'll say welcome. Yeah I love him too. Here is a link to my favorite series of videos.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNZHV...eature=related
    Last edited by jwright82; 06-25-2012 at 05:29 PM. Reason: bad typing
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  21. #21
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilasmos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    I would respond by saying that the majority of people in the world believe in some higher power. The minority always has the burden of proof when questioning the majority.
    This is an excellent point. The number of hardcore atheists is actually a very small minority. From a naturalistic perspective, one could argue that this is because of some genetic factor or environmental factor and come to the conclusion that the atheist does not arrive at his position because of rational process, but because he has a defective brain or is simply responding to sensory stimuli. It puts him in a conundrum of sorts, because if he tries to argue against this, then you can point out that what he is saying is either the processes of an improperly functioning brain (and therefore untrustworthy) or a further response to sensory stimuli (in which case there needs to be some rationale for meaning in such a response).
    Thanks, you raise a good point too. I once heard Ravi Zacharias comment on Dawkin’s whole meme theory. For those who don’t know memes are basically the cultural equivalency of genes. We can have cultural “mutations” in our collective memory that we pass down. Religion is supposedly one of these. But Ravi pointed out that how do we know that atheism isn’t a mutated “meme”? Not to mention that it is a theory that cannot be proven. Man I love Evolutionists and their non-provable theories. But that goes well with your point.
    And, along with Plantinga, if our evolution does work towards generating true beliefs, then the cognitive faculties developed by evolution that produce belief in god are likely to be reliable truth tellers. We have good reason to trust the sensus divinitatis. If, however, belief in god is not rational, then you have good great example of where a mass produced self-evident and incorrigible belief is produced by the same evolutionary process that produces equally self-evident and incorrigible beliefs (but, for some reason, are rational). If the latter is the case, of course, you have reason to doubt everything, including the reason to doubt everything.

    I like Plantinga a lot. But I can't really accept the idea of Foundationalism and its idea of self-evident beliefs. I prefer to label these beliefs immediate beliefs they are basic but not foundational. But you do raise a good point that even if evolution is true it would be more fit to survive on true beliefs rather than false ones.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  22. #22
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3,417
    The argument's flaw is this: it's subjective. The whole thing rests on what the subject (ie: the one who has to be convinced) finds inherently plausible. For example, I find flying pink unicorns implausible. Some people, however, might not find them implausible and if one has seen such a creature, then their existence becomes plausible enough to warrant belief. That is to say, all that the argument really says is that the atheist finds the existence of God sufficiently implausible such that the burden of proof would be on the theist/Christian to prove that such is the case.

    This is, in fact, a rather germane point because it shows that a) the atheist doesn't, in fact, find the existence of God plausible 2) this is because he doesn't want God to exist. We do, after all, tend to find things implausible that are inconvenient.
    Philip
    Student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Attending Christ the Redeemer Church (Anglican)
    Member at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) Leesburg, VA
    1 member(s) found this post helpful.

  23. #23
    DyeLi is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    17
    Thank you so much guys! I think I might find a defeater of this analogy by your help! Tell me how you think of it! Here it goes:

    In the original analogy the atheist is assuming the validity of a naturalistic worldview, in which the existence of God is as ridiculous as that of an IPU, and on that particular basis(his naturalistic worldview) he claims he has no burden of proof of non-existence of God. The problem of this analogy is clear now: on what basis does the atheist assume the naturalistic worldview, in which God does not exist?

    The analogy itself is used to show the atheist don’t have to provide any argument for the existence of God. However, the validity of this analogy is based on the assumption that God does not exist. Therefore, for this analogy to be true, the atheist still has to show evidence for God’s non-existence. This analogy, then, is useless for its original mission to show the atheist don’t have to show evidence for God’s non-existence.
    Dai Li
    Nanyang Christian Gospel Church (Non-denominational)
    Nanyang, Henan, China
    Will start my undergraduate study in Wheaton College, IL this August

  24. #24
    Supersillymanable is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    167
    The whole argument of the atheist when claiming that the burden of proof is on us, is resting on the principle of sufficient reason. It's not simply that the analogy fails (though it does. That's beside the point though. A refutation of a bad analogy doesn't refute the actual idea), it's that the principle they use to back their idea, doesn't allow them to hold this position.

    The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a reason: no state of affairs can obtain, and no statement can be true unless there is sufficient reason why it should not be otherwise.
    That's the general definition of it. Which, at a small glance, leaves the atheist in much the same position as us. Why is there something rather than nothing? Both Christians as well as atheists must provide evidence for this. Unfortunately, for them at least, we have a much better argument. SO they strut around as if this is not the case. They will invariably (with few exceptions), appeal to the big bang theory, which simply moves the problem back a bit. Eventually they'll appeal to the fact that we know that matter can come spontaneously from nothing (citing people like hawking). Once again, this is simply question dodging, as well as quite frankly, misrepresenting facts. Anyone who knows anything about quantum physics will know that when they talk about "nothing" they mean a quantum vaccum, which is in fact, not nothing, but something by virtue of the fact they don't call it nothing.

    If I were you, I wouldn't deal with the analogy, because that's not what they care about. Point to the fact that based on the principle of sufficient reason (which allows for a sound argument and rationality), they have just as much burden of proof, if not more so, for the non-existence of God. In reality, they're in a little bit of a pickle, as they also have no basis for thinking we can obtain knowledge, or trust our sense, as by people pointed out already...
    Lawrence Mason
    Lay-person
    Grace Church Nottingham

  25. #25
    Hilasmos's Avatar
    Hilasmos is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    329
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    I like Plantinga a lot. But I can't really accept the idea of Foundationalism and its idea of self-evident beliefs. I prefer to label these beliefs immediate beliefs they are basic but not foundational. But you do raise a good point that even if evolution is true it would be more fit to survive on true beliefs rather than false ones.
    Well, actually, I don't think "if evolution were true" it would result in more true beliefs. There would be no truth. Truth would be defined by nothing more than how you function, therefore everything is true, relatively. But if you grant their point for the sake of argument, then they have to account for why so many people are defined by such an erroneously false belief as "god" if evolution really does result in true beliefs about reality.

    By self-evident, doesn't that just mean a belief not derived by logical inference from other beliefs? If so, I am not sure how that is different than your concept of immediate belief. Second, what is an example of an immediate belief that is not also justificational, foundational, to other beliefs? Just curious as to the distinction you are making.
    Will
    PCA
    Virginia

  26. #26
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3,417
    Quote Originally Posted by Supersillymanable View Post
    Why is there something rather than nothing? Both Christians as well as atheists must provide evidence for this. Unfortunately, for them at least, we have a much better argument.
    With due respect, this is a poor reason to believe. Do you believe in God because He's the best explanation for everything that exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supersillymanable View Post
    In reality, they're in a little bit of a pickle, as they also have no basis for thinking we can obtain knowledge, or trust our sense
    Aside from the fact that we do and we can . . .

    Basis here refers to "why I am warranted in believing 'X.'" It has nothing, however, to do with the metaphysical story you tell to explain X.
    Philip
    Student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Attending Christ the Redeemer Church (Anglican)
    Member at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) Leesburg, VA

  27. #27
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilasmos View Post
    Well, actually, I don't think "if evolution were true" it would result in more true beliefs. There would be no truth. Truth would be defined by nothing more than how you function, therefore everything is true, relatively. But if you grant their point for the sake of argument, then they have to account for why so many people are defined by such an erroneously false belief as "god" if evolution really does result in true beliefs about reality.

    By self-evident, doesn't that just mean a belief not derived by logical inference from other beliefs? If so, I am not sure how that is different than your concept of immediate belief. Second, what is an example of an immediate belief that is not also justificational, foundational, to other beliefs? Just curious as to the distinction you are making.
    Yeah I think that is a good point. Why do so many people hold to incorrect beliefs than? I think that Daniel Dennett actually argued that religion (a very incorrect belief of any kind in his opinion) must have, how could he ever prove this though, had some kind of evolutionary function that we no longer need. This is the problem with evolutionary theory they have a nice story for everything that is ultimately unable to be proven. Who knows how you could ever even prove that reason X is why humans evolved to believe this or that?

    They say things like we must have lived this way or that at the dawn of our evolutionary existence, says who? Were you there scientist to observe that happening? I mean I keep telling my daughter who loves science and the Discovery/Animal Planet channels that evolution is just full of stories that they can never prove. When I debate Atheists using evolutionary theory I hold them accountable for their logical errors. Saying there must be some kind of evolutionary reason here only assumes that all things must be understandable by evolution. But that is an assumption not a fact.

    I might have meant to say basic belief instead but basic beliefs are self-evident. What I object to is beliefs that form the “foundation” for all my other beliefs. These beliefs are basic if they are self-evident for whatever reason. If they are in fact derived from some other belief than they cannot be “basic”.

    What I mean by immediate beliefs are beliefs that are “self-evident” in the sense that you give or to say it another way they obviously true but they are in no way “foundational” to all of my other beliefs. That I believe that my car is in the drive way is immediately true to me but that some math formula is true would be a belief that I would have to work out. I choose this term because it allows my immediate beliefs to be related in a hierarchy at a level not as basic as presupposition but not needing to be directly derived, logically, from them.

    That last statement is a key element to developing a better understanding of a noetic structure along Vantillian lines that is not a form of Foundationalism IMHO.
    Here is something on what a noetic structure is:
    Noetic Structures - Faith and Reason - Ronald Nash
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  28. #28
    O'GodHowGreatThouArt's Avatar
    O'GodHowGreatThouArt is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    924
    The premise in the argument given in the OP is false. It is saying that since we believe it, we're obligated to prove it. That's not it at all. God is the one who must provide proof that his Word is good. He has provided that proof through the Scriptures he has given us as well as miracles (for a time when the canon was not fully complete) to authenticate what He has said.

    The Word is sufficient, has been sufficient, and always will be sufficient. If they do not wish to believe the revelation God has already given us through the scriptures, that's not our problem. The proof is before you, me and them. It's not a case of them believing in God if sufficient proof is given, but that they refuse to acknowledge anything as proof of God. All it is is a mental exercise for Atheists that bring doses of comedy along with them. This is one of the reasons why I don't waste time debating them.
    Bryan Jones, Carrollton, GA
    Member, Christ Reformed Church - Lawrenceville, GA
    When at school in Carrollton, I attend Great Savior Reformed Baptist Church - Carrollton, GA

  29. #29
    Pilgrim Standard's Avatar
    Pilgrim Standard is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    724
    What they are arguing is:

    All Extant beings must have evidence of existing in order to exist.
    No Evidence of IPU is available.
    Therefore IPU does not exist.

    They do the Same thing with God.
    All Extant beings must have evidence of existing in order to exist.
    No Evidence of God is available
    Therefore God does is not an extant being.

    So nothing exists that can not be shown to exist? This is irrational.

    What they are really arguing is:
    The Only things that exist are things I declare/determine have suffecient evidence of existance.
    I declare/determine suffecient evidence of existance for God does not exist.
    Therefore, I determine the existance of God.

    One can claim that a disease (called sin) does not exist because sufficient evidence has not been shown that it does exist. It will still take one in the second death.
    Benjamin
    Member - Presbyterian Reformed Church, Columbus, Indiana

    “In death it will be your joy that ye have ventured all ye have for Christ; and there is not a promise of heaven made but to such as are willing to suffer for it. It is a castle taken by force.”. — Samuel Rutherford

  30. #30
    Hilasmos's Avatar
    Hilasmos is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    329
    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    I think that Daniel Dennett actually argued that religion (a very incorrect belief of any kind in his opinion) must have, how could he ever prove this though, had some kind of evolutionary function that we no longer need.
    Even if he could prove it, that's perfectly okay; he would be proving the defeater for his own system. Evolutionary development is about survival and not truth, and therefore we have reason to think the same thing about our current beliefs -- which then becomes self-defeating.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwright82 View Post
    What I object to is beliefs that form the “foundation” for all my other beliefs.
    Wouldn't a basic belief that your cognitive faculties are reliable form a foundation from which all your other beliefs could be rationally formed? I guess I struggle with seeing an actual difference between presupposing God, as a basic belief from which you can rationally make sense of the world, and having a Plantingian "basic belief" in God (which entails the believe in the reliability of your cogntive faculties). One structures itself in a foundationalist sense (at least in principle), the other in more of a broadly circular sense; however, both "beg" the question for the basic belief, therefore both are circular. It just seems they are two different ways of describing the same thing.
    Will
    PCA
    Virginia

  31. #31
    Loopie's Avatar
    Loopie is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    385
    Will, it is true that most people believe that their cognitive faculties are generally reliable. Foundationalism attempts to ground knowledge in some sort of first principles. Of course, these principles themselves differ from person to person. Descartes used ideas as the foundation for knowledge, while Hume used sense experience.

    I honestly think that foundationalism is very much related to the concept of presupposing God. The only difference is that some foundationalists attempted to ground knowledge without reference to God. Any system of belief that attempts to ground knowledge apart from God is a system that will ultimately crumble. If one were to hold that the Triune God of Scripture is the foundation for all knowledge, then perhaps you would be considered a 'foundationalist', but at the same time you would be presupposing God.

    Also keep in mind that all systems of belief are 'circular' in some sense. They all make assumptions, and then from those assumptions they seek to develop a world-view that reinforces those assumptions. Yet, I have heard it said that presupposing the Triune God of Scripture is more 'spiral' then circular in the sense that you clearly see more evidence of God and more truth of Scripture as you walk the Christian life. This isn't circular because you aren't making an assumption in order to prove the assumption. We don't presuppose the Triune God of Scripture, and then from there 'prove' that the Triune God of Scripture exists. Rather, we presuppose the Triune God of Scripture as the necessary foundation for all knowledge, morality, and existence. From this point we would say: "Based on my presuppositions, what would I expect the universe to look like, and do my presuppositions account for that?" In essence, I believe that the Christian worldview is the only one that can truly and fully make sense of reality, while remaining consistent with itself and with what we see in the universe (general revelation harmonizes with special revelation). I don't presuppose God in order to prove God exists. 'Proving' something exists implies that a person starts from a neutral position, weighs all the evidence, and then makes a conclusion. There are none who do that. Either a person is in rebellion against God, or they are Christ's sheep.
    Eric
    Capt, Pennsylvania Air National Guard
    Reformed Baptist
    Warrington, PA

  32. #32
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilasmos View Post
    Even if he could prove it, that's perfectly okay; he would be proving the defeater for his own system. Evolutionary development is about survival and not truth, and therefore we have reason to think the same thing about our current beliefs -- which then becomes self-defeating.
    I agree with you here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hilasmos View Post
    Wouldn't a basic belief that your cognitive faculties are reliable form a foundation from which all your other beliefs could be rationally formed? I guess I struggle with seeing an actual difference between presupposing God, as a basic belief from which you can rationally make sense of the world, and having a Plantingian "basic belief" in God (which entails the believe in the reliability of your cogntive faculties). One structures itself in a foundationalist sense (at least in principle), the other in more of a broadly circular sense; however, both "beg" the question for the basic belief, therefore both are circular. It just seems they are two different ways of describing the same thing.
    I see your point and I think we Vantillians have somewhat dropped the ball on elaborating a developed view of the cognitive faculties and our noetic structure. The difference between Foundationalism and Vantillianism is over whether or not our presuppositions are the starting points for some direct logical argument of the modus whatever kind. In Foundationalism your basic beliefs do just that, they are the first premise in an argument.

    In my noetic structure my presuppositions are more of an indirect starting point for my transcendental argument. We must divide up our cognitive nature the way that Foundationalists do, I know the irony here but they are right about this, between our belief forming mechanisms (our empirical, rational, and other tools) and our noetic structure of beliefs. Our presuppositions are formed by our spiritual and belief forming mechanisms but they also guide how we apply and use those mechanisms to form new beliefs. In this model I can have false and ungodly presuppositions that are in indirect conflict with my other “true” beliefs that I inevitably form just to get along in the world.

    This is the unbeliever’s dilemma they are trying to use their belief forming mechanisms to form beliefs about the world that are in conflict to what they no to be true. When this happens just to get along in the world, to survive even, they must grudgingly form correct beliefs but always interpreted through their presuppositions. So although it is a correct belief to say that we exist they will never agree that we exist because of the Creator God.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  33. #33
    JohnGill's Avatar
    JohnGill is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,097
    Quote Originally Posted by DyeLi View Post
    I've listened to a lot of debates these days, and this analogy is a very popular approach for atheists to show they have no burden of proof in the debate of God's existence. The argument goes basically like this:
    1. if you claim there is an invisible pink unicorn (IPU) in the world, you are the one who has to show sufficient evidence for people to believe in it, and the people who don't believe it clearly don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of IPU.
    2. belief in God is like belief in IPU
    conclusion: Atheists don't have to show any evidence for the non-existence of God.

    My question is simply is there any good argument against this argument? I've only learned this analogy is false because it presupposes the non-existence of God so it can make God analogous to something ridiculous. It is like "I don't believe in God and I don't have to show my evidence because of my unbelief in God". It's circular. However that's pretty much all I got on this issue, so are there any better argument you'd like to share? Thanks!
    Listen to Dr. Greg Bahnsen's lectures on apologetics. His Practical Apologetics series and his debate with Gordon Stein destroy the IPU argument. If, using their analogy, the IPU is the necessary precondition for the universe to be intelligible, as God is, then the burden of proof does rest on the atheist as he must demonstrate how what he says is intelligible without that which makes all things intelligible, God. Two easy ways to hammer this home are ethics and language. How does an atheist justify calling anything good or evil without escaping arbitrariness? How is the atheist able to make any statements about God or anything without first assuming that their are absolute class concepts for language? I think Bahnsen's Myth of Neutrality series is online somewhere for free. It's a video series. The atheist in such an argument has made too many leaps and cannot justify any of them. The only answer you need for their IPU "argument" is simply to say, I disagree. Unless they wish to make the claim that they are God their statement is meaningless.
    Chris Thomas | Grace Reformed Baptist Church | Bonham, TX

    Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam!
    So if ye destroy the Letter of the Scripture, you do destroy the Scripture; and if you do deny the Letter, how is it possible that you should attain to the true sense thereof, when the Sense lies wrapped up in the Letters, and the words thereof?
    Samuel Rutherford - A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience
    Blog: The Biblical Thinker

  34. #34
    Supersillymanable is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    167
    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Supersillymanable View Post
    Why is there something rather than nothing? Both Christians as well as atheists must provide evidence for this. Unfortunately, for them at least, we have a much better argument.
    With due respect, this is a poor reason to believe. Do you believe in God because He's the best explanation for everything that exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supersillymanable View Post
    In reality, they're in a little bit of a pickle, as they also have no basis for thinking we can obtain knowledge, or trust our sense
    Aside from the fact that we do and we can . . .

    Basis here refers to "why I am warranted in believing 'X.'" It has nothing, however, to do with the metaphysical story you tell to explain X.
    As to your first response to what I said, I wasn't pointing out that that was a good reason to believe. I was pointing out that the premise of their argument was flawed. They assume the burden of proof is on us, which is simply not true. It was simply a side comment that I find the argument for there being a God (not even specifically a Christian God, was a better one).

    I think I misunderstand what you are saying on the second part though. If you're objecting to the also which I inserted, which implied we couldn't justify obtaining knowledge of justifying our belief that our senses give us real or rational information about a real and rational world, that wasn't intended. I do believe that Christianity provides that basis, while atheism does not. If that isn't what you're objecting to, could you clarify?
    Lawrence Mason
    Lay-person
    Grace Church Nottingham

  35. #35
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3,417
    Quote Originally Posted by Supersillymanable View Post
    They assume the burden of proof is on us, which is simply not true.
    In that case, stop arguing and give the atheist the floor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Supersillymanable View Post
    If you're objecting to the also which I inserted, which implied we couldn't justify obtaining knowledge of justifying our belief that our senses give us real or rational information about a real and rational world, that wasn't intended. I do believe that Christianity provides that basis, while atheism does not. If that isn't what you're objecting to, could you clarify?
    What I am objecting to is the assumption that if you can't come up with some sort of metaphysical explanation for trusting faculty X, that you have no warrant for trusting faculty X. Warrant for faculty X has to do with actual proper function regardless of whether you can provide such a theory.

    I agree that atheism provides a much less exhaustive, satisfactory, and complete account of why the faculties are basically trustworthy, but what exactly does that prove? Giving the argument that basically "your theory is incomplete" is, more or less, merely an aesthetic argument. You haven't proven it untrue, merely unsightly.
    Philip
    Student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Attending Christ the Redeemer Church (Anglican)
    Member at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) Leesburg, VA

  36. #36
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3,417
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim Standard View Post
    So nothing exists that can not be shown to exist?
    Not exactly---their point is de jure: "we have no compelling reason to believe that God exists."
    Philip
    Student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Attending Christ the Redeemer Church (Anglican)
    Member at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) Leesburg, VA

  37. #37
    Pilgrim Standard's Avatar
    Pilgrim Standard is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    724
    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim Standard View Post
    So nothing exists that can not be shown to exist?
    Not exactly---their point is de jure: "we have no compelling reason to believe that God exists."
    These are Atheists and not Agnostics in the op.

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

    They stand with their hands over their eyes and claim you can not prove what is before them, for the evidence is not seen, because they deem it unworthy.
    Benjamin
    Member - Presbyterian Reformed Church, Columbus, Indiana

    “In death it will be your joy that ye have ventured all ye have for Christ; and there is not a promise of heaven made but to such as are willing to suffer for it. It is a castle taken by force.”. — Samuel Rutherford

  38. #38
    J. Dean's Avatar
    J. Dean is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,396
    On a related note:Why Does the Bible Mention Unicorns? - YouTube

    Watch this and show it to your atheist friends when they question the existence of unicorns.
    J. Dean, author
    EPC
    Flint, Michigan

    “If your preaching of the gospel of God's free grace in Jesus Christ does not provoke the charge from some of antinomianism, you're not preaching the gospel of the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
    ― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

  39. #39
    jwright82's Avatar
    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,269
    I was just mowing a huge field and I was thinking about this thread. I would like to add onto my first post. The burden of proof can also be established in other ways. If the atheist initiates the conversation, than they have the burden of proof in proving why they don’t believe in God. In fact they are making a positive assertion that they are not convinced. Ask them why?

    That is a practical way to demonstrate who has the burden of proof. When they say that they are an atheist and they are unconvinced than they must have reasons why they are unconvinced, or else we have no reason to listen to them. Also ask them how they are sure they understand the evidences and arguments? Since people can always be unconvinced due to ignorance, how do they know this is not the case? How do they know they are being fair or objective? People often times think they are being fair and objective when they are not.

    Those questions force to the surface the greatest error in modern atheism which is that by defining your position as unconvinced of something and trying to have that prove that the burden of is on the Christian is very pompous. It proves too much. Why are atheists so important that they deserve to have everything proven to them? I wouldn’t say this in a debate or discussion per se because that is accusing them of possible motives they may not have which would violate the 9th commandment. But asking these questions is a good way of bringing this up without outright accusing them of false motives.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  40. #40
    Peairtach's Avatar
    Peairtach is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6,446
    Many of the atheists have conceded the existence of pink unicorns by their embrace or openness to the multi-universe theory.
    Richard Tallach
    communicant member,
    Knox Free Church,
    Perth, Scotland GB

    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

  41. #41
    Supersillymanable is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    167
    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    In that case, stop arguing and give the atheist the floor.
    I don't really understand the point in saying this... I was simply answering the original posts question. Namely, the analogy is based on a flawed premise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    What I am objecting to is the assumption that if you can't come up with some sort of metaphysical explanation for trusting faculty X, that you have no warrant for trusting faculty X. Warrant for faculty X has to do with actual proper function regardless of whether you can provide such a theory.
    I also didn't say that, nor did I assume it. I simply said atheists aren't able to justify it. I was essentially taking their claim "you have no justification for believing in God" hence, the analogy for the unicorn, as they believe there is no warrant for that, and applying it to things they accept as true and warranted. I never claimed any of these things were untrue. I was simply pointing out the double standard by which they argue by.

    William Lane Craig sets out one form of arguing, which takes the form of taking the assumptions that one is applying to your argument or belief and apply it to theirs, to show how the position is untenable, in order to force them to give up one of their beliefs, in this case, either that the belief in God is unwarranted, or that we can trust our senses. Neither of which they want to do. The point isn't proving something, it's simply helping them to see the false assumptions they've been lead to believe.
    Lawrence Mason
    Lay-person
    Grace Church Nottingham

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72