Atheist Argument for non existence after Death.

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by ReformedChristian, May 23, 2018.

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  1. ReformedChristian

    ReformedChristian Puritan Board Freshman

    I was wondering if anyone here has heard this argument from Atheists that since we do not remember our existence before birth, then when we die it will be the same state of non existence. Basically they state we been dead before so it will be the same a second time after this life. How would one go about refuting this claim? Does this not require them to have prior knowledge to make such statements?
  2. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Wouldn't that be nice. I call that the Blessed hope of the unbeliever. I don't try to refute silly arguments like that any longer. Maybe I'm just too old, but I look at them in the face and laugh and say now you know that isn't true. Then I tell them the truth. Now you know there's a God and you know you will have to give an account to him and you know that he's angry at you. So stop trying to fool me and admit the truth to yourself.

    I'm sure others will answer your question more appropriately. But that's my presuppositional argument.
  3. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    "Well, that's dumb."
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  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't see how it follows.
  5. moral necessity

    moral necessity Puritan Board Junior

    I have never heard the argument before, but, to me, it sounds silly.

    First - We were not dead before. We just weren't created.

    Second - Why can't something that is created exist forever (meaning our souls)? It's as if they have a rule that says, "If it came into existence, it must eventually not exist." Who made up this rule?

    Third - How can we remember something before our creation, if the ability to remember has not first been given? Once our minds are created, it can remember from a specific point in its development onward.

    Those are my first thoughts...

  6. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Atheism is not a rational worldview so attempts to reason with non-believers should focus upon first principles. Non-belief is self-refuting because the atheist must first assume the very opposite of what he is trying to prove in order to be able to prove anything. Atheism presupposes theism.

    A: I can reason just fine, and I don’t believe in God.
    C: How is that different than: I can breathe just fine, and I don’t believe in air"?

    Not rational. Breathing requires air, not a profession of belief in air. Likewise, reasoning requires God, not a profession of belief in God.

    The atheist can reason, but his worldview cannot account for the ability he has to reason. Start here. ;)
  7. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    Dawgonnit, you beat me by three minutes to the Van Tillian punch.
  8. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Heh. I probably should have tipped the hat to that chesnut of his, too!
  9. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    The claim doesn't need to be refuted. It needs to be proven. It's not an argument, but an assertion.

    So, my response would be, "Prove it."
  10. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    There is a sense in which our state before birth is the same after death however, it is more of a question of God's provision than a existential one: 1 Timothy 6:7 "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
  11. ReformedChristian

    ReformedChristian Puritan Board Freshman

    I went back and read your post and I have attempted to formulate an argument using some of your points with a bit of my formulations added to it.

    Some Atheists argue that since we do not remember our existence before birth, then when we die it will be the same state of non existence at death. Basically they state we been dead before so it will be the same a second time after this life.

    The problems with such an argument is as follows

    1. First we have never experienced death, but rather we came into existence by the means in which God has created us.

    2. The Atheist assumes that since something is created it the-fore must not exist afterwards. The problem with such a claim is that not everything that is destroyed ceases to exist, but rather it's state or current form is changed. For example a piece of wood burning in a fire does not totally ceases after it's been burned but rather it changes it's state ie ashes.

    3. The idea that since we were not self aware before birth assumes that there is no future afterlife is a knowledge claim. In order to assert there is no life after death There must of been a prior point in time in which this knowledge was given.

    4. The other problem is the unbeliever is relying on his senses and reasoning as valid, well if there was no senses and reasoning before birth to make that claim why even assert it? there must be some prior knowledge, otherwise if the assertion is false.

    From the way I formulated the argument it seems that the Atheist would have to assume prior existing knowledge, how can that been when before we were born no such knowledge exist? it seems like they are presupposing what they are setting out to refute.
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    For the Atheist to be able to make the claim that no God exists, he would have to have infinite knowledge to be able to prove that truth claim, so essentially would have to be God Himself.
  13. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I'd assume that many atheists are Goreites, so I'd change that one at bit to emphases if they are correct, and the burning wood ceases to exist, then the carbon isn't really escaping into the air, and thus, they should be willing to support coal fired power plants and gas guzzling cars.

    Don't just make a point, throw their own logical inconsistencies back in their faces.
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  14. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Not really. Using that argument to the non-believer would bring scandal upon the believer as it is easily defeated. Rather as I have stated, the non-believer's claim that no God exists must necessarily assume possible existence of God. After all, if I claim there are no rocks, I must have mentally assumed the possible existence of rocks in the first place, else, one wonders, "What is a rock?"

    Further, the corollary of your statement would be that the believer claims God exists by infinite knowledge and is therefore God Himself. No.

    Accordingly, argumentation with the non-believer should be more rigorous and great attention applied to their frequent borrowing from the believer's intellectual capital in the arguments they make against the believer. They should not be so easily left of the hook in their duplicity. ;)

    What we know is directly connected to God's revelation. We can exercise our God-given rational capacities, through empirical observation, including science, and from understanding and reflecting upon God's unique revelation—Scripture. Whether one is a rationalist (priority to reason) or an empiricist (priority to the five senses), we can trust our properly functioning senses or reasoning minds because God serves as the necessary epistemological ground of both.

    For example, I can discover the truth that God exists from my ability to reason accompanied by the revelation of that truth via the illumination of the Holy Spirit. We do not invent truth, for God is the author and revealer of all truth. I merely discover what is true. Yet I remain finite, versus your infinite, in my discovered true knowledgeproperly justified true belief—which is also not a mere assumption that God exists.

    Only the believer can properly answer the big questions:
    1. What kind of God, if any, actually exists?
    2. Is there anything beyond the cosmos?
    3. What can be known and how can anyone know it?
    4. Where did I come from?
    5. Who am I?
    6. Where am I?
    7. How should I live?
    8. What should I consider of great worth?
    9. What is humanity's fundamental problem?
    10. How can humanity's problem be solved?
    11. What is the meaning and direction of history?
    12. Will I survive the death of my body and, if so, in what state?
  15. Aco

    Aco Puritan Board Freshman

    It is self-refuting. How does he know that he does not remember? Does he remeber what he remeberd and what nhe didn’t remeber? It presupposes the reliability of memory, to make a valid claim about memory. How does he exclude the possibility that somebody hit him so hard that it affected his memory, that he thinks now he was born at a special point in time, while in actuality he lived 100 years before that?
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    The onus would still be upon them to prove their negative assertion, and in order to do that, they would still have to show they know God does not exists by knowing that He does not.
  17. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    To prove a negative, non-believers generally must offer some proof of impossibility or evidence of absence argumentation. Both are not sustainable when one knows what one is doing in such engagements. The uninformed often take up the non-believer's tactic of shifting the burden via arguments from ignorance to the believer to prove the contrary of their claim. Don't take the bait.
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