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Arguing TAG (Transcendental Argument of God) With Naturalistic Atheists

June 9, 2010


Here is a discussion I had with some atheists online where I argue for God’s existence using TAG (Transcendental Argument for God’s existence):

atheist: [talking to someone else] “I am an atheist who has lived his life well and tried to be a good human being, and you are saying that God in his almighty wisdom will send me to hell? Purely for not believing in something that has no evidence? If we are all God’s children he will forgive all non believers, but you clearly think he is some kind of vindictive bastard who will take joy in letting a good human being burn for all eternity?”

me: “You’re not critiquing Christianity or Scripture detours. You may be critiquing something, but it certainly isn’t Christianity. God doesn’t send you or anyone else to hell because you don’t believe, but because you’ve broken His law (you haven’t loved God and others perfectly). And without Yahweh, you can’t account for proof and evidence to begin with, that’s proof of His existence. Not everyone is “God’s child”. That’s no where in Scripture. The gospel is believe and repent to know if you are.”

atheist: “God doesnt send anyone to hell, mainly because he doesn’t exist. I am critiquing the scriptures, they are all lies. They were written by people – to control other people, back when there was no explanation to questions like ‘where did we come from’, ‘what is the nature of the universe’ etc. Yahweh is one of these creations. And some people still believe because they are afraid, they dont have the intelligence to ask the question ‘Did god create man, or did man create god?’

me: “First of all you’re conceding by changing the subject. I originally told you you weren’t critiquing Christianity and the Scripture’s (with your previous claims) because Christianity and Scripture doesn’t teach such things (as your previous claims suggested). I also told you that proof of God is that without Him you can’t prove anything, and you’ve offered nothing. And if people use the Scripture to control others, that’s a problem with people, not Scripture.”

atheist: “this solaphyde person is making completely crazy claims ‘we have to have been created in the image of a rational being to be rational’- what sort of idiocy is that? She also said to me something along the lines of ‘proof of God is that without Him you can’t prove anything’ – and I have no idea what that even means.”

me: “I’m a guy. Just calling me idiotic isn’t an argument. It’s just name calling, nothing more. Since you don’t understand it, I’ll explain it. If you do science, you first need rationality. Do you believe you ought to be rational? If you say “yes” or “no” you still agree you need to be, because you’re giving a rational answer. So b/c u agree u need to be rational, how does your worldview account for why you need to be. If you’re created in God’s image, then it’s your nature to be rational.”

atheist: “Hold on, why do you need to be ‘created in gods image’ to be rational? My reason for humans being rational is that over thousands of years, we have evolved to become rational creatures. There is something to being logical which has been favourable genetically and survived through the generations. Oh… but you dont believe in evolution or logic do you? You believe that a magic invisible man in the sky created us in SEVEN DAYS. A great example of a theist’s rational mind at work!”

me: “The Scripture says God created everything in 6 days. And Scripture is silent on what a day (yom) even is in Gen 1! No matter how old you think the earth is, Scripture is silent on it. I have empirical proof that logic only comes from logic, and rationality only comes from rationality. You believing something we have no proof of, namely that logic comes from non-logic. That is absurd! And “nature” only tells us “what is”, NOT “what should be”, hence that humans should be rational! Sorry.”

atheist: “Empirical Proof? MAGIC MAN DONE IT!? How is that empirical proof? You argue in a truly ineloquent fashion (‘logic only comes from logic’ wtf?) Your statements do not make any sense, apart from in your strange little world. In what way am I arguing for something we have no proof for? Evolution, rational thought, the universe, these are all TRUE. Invisible magic man in the sky is not a good argument. In fact, it is a counter argument FOR my view.

You are hung up on ‘logic cant come from non-logic’. How logical do you think this situation is? We are highly evolved intelligent apes, clinging to a rock that spins through space at millions of miles an hour, surrounded by planets, stars and other phenomena we are totally oblivious to. We have no idea what the universe is, how we came to exist, what the meaning of our life is, and you call all this a ‘logical’ creation? We are ‘logical’ because we ARE! God has nothing to do with it!”

me: “I’ll repeat myself, you’re logic and reasoning so far is that logic comes from non-logic and rationality comes from non-rationality. From all we’ve ever observed and inferred in the known world, logic only comes from logic and rational beings only come from rational beings. You’ve offered nothing on how a “material” universe, which can only reveal “what is”, not what “should be” account for the fact that we should be rational. You can’t even theorize how your magic universe can do that.”

atheist: “You use terms like ‘from all we’ve ever observed’. When did we observe this? I’ll tell you where, in your distorted mind where ‘being rational only ever comes from rational beings’. It used to be a little bit fun, replying to you. Not anymore. I honestly dont know or care, what you mean by ‘logic cant come from non-logic’. You provide no evidence apart from rhetoric, which frankly makes NO sense to anyone sane. And I have no desire to hear it anymore. Leave me alone you fucking NUT”

me: “Every sentient human being who has a pre-commitment to be rational gives birth to other sentient being who have a pre-commitment to rationality. We have never observed a sentient rational being who has a pre-commitment to be rational come from a non-rational thing. So you wanted proof. Well, umm, your proof, your family is proof, I’m proof, every time you reply on here it’s proof! Show me your proof of logic coming from non-logic and why that accounts for our pre-commitment to it.”

(Isn’t this amazing! The atheist is actually asking me for proof that logic only comes from prior logic and that rationality comes from prior rationality from all we’ve ever observed! This is like asking something as silly as, “prove that life has only come from life so far, and that information has only come from an information source so far”. Have we ever observed life coming from non-life? No. Have we ever observed information coming from a non-information source (when it’s highly complex, specific, or serves a clear function)? No. Have we ever observed a pre-commitment to rationality and logic coming from anything other than a sentient human being? No.

The burden is clearly on the atheist at this point to give an account for how this can comport with their worldview. Notice how absurd his argument was! He’s suppressing knowledge of God so much (Rom 1:18-20) that he’s even willing to say things like “logic can come from non-logic”, even though no one has ever observed this happening! Further, he never addresses whatsoever the argument that nature only shows us “what is” not “what should be”, hence that “we should be rational”.If you say something “should be the case” then you’re appealing to something beyond the “natural”. Otherwise, you have to show (or even theorize) how something impersonal within the “natural realm” can account for more then “what is”, but “what ought to be”.

Perhaps, God’s existence is so clear and unavoidable, without Him even having to pull the clouds back and smile at us directly, that the atheist will say the most absurd things in order to avoid that which already reveals God (namely ourselves), and will resort to name calling instead of sound argumentation. Then they will not even want to talk with you anymore. Again, this is amazing. It is amazing inconsistency on the atheist’s part, and is an amazing fulfillment of Scripture (Rom 6:6-8.)

Here is a side discussion I got into also on the same thread with another atheist:

atheist: “Cameron, you said “proof of God is that without Him you can’t prove anything“. Why do you think this is true? You’ve offered no evidence and you state it as if it’s a fact.”

me: “one of the criterion for proving something is observers who have a pre-commitment to being rational and logical. This is why I asked detours how his worldview accounts for why we should be rational. My worldview accounts for this because if we’re created in the likeness of an eternal rational being, then we ought to be rational. How does your worldview account for why we should be rational, thus have a consistent bases for using induction rationally as opposed to non-rationally.”

atheist: “Cameron, you said “one of the criterion for proving something is observers who have a pre-commitment to being rational and logical.” I think you are just making things up. The person who is doing the proving must use logic and be rational, but you don’t need a god for that. A materialistic “worldview” will suffice. For this, all one needs is to realize that evidence and reason are necessary to prove things. All of this talk of “worldviews”, as you are using it, is distracting at best.”

me: “Robert, you said, “all one needs is to realize that evidence and reason are necessary to prove things“. This is a circular argument and you are question begging. You must first have a pre-commitment to rationality and reason in order to even realize that reason is required to prove something. So I’ll have to re-ask it again. What in the “material world” determines that you ought to be rational? Further, “materialism” = “?” because no one ultimately knows what the “material realm” even is.”

atheist: “OK, I’ll try this again. You’re adding an unsubstantiated premise and calling it “necessary” without demonstrating why it’s necessary. If I formulate a hypothesis, gather observations and test my hypothesis and it proves true, I’ve behaved rationally and haven’t invoked a god. Nothing about the world says I “ought” to be rational, it’s something I’ve learned and it’s something that enhances my chances of survival or furthers my happiness.”

me: “You’ve just disproved naturalism and proved God’s existence. You said “nothing in the world says I ought to be rational.” That’s exactly my point. You live as though you have a pre-commitment to be rational, but can’t account for it with a mindless “natural” universe. There’s nothing in “nature” which prescribes that we ought to be rational. The other conclusion you can have it that “we don’t have to be rational” which then you’re assuming you have to if you expect me to believe u.”

(I’m still waiting for a reply. The atheist assumed I was asking “why should we be rational” in the sense of “what do we use rationality for?” I agree we need to be rational for reasons such as being able to think, communicate, prove things, etc. But that’s not the sense in which I’m asking “why should we be rational?” I’ve repeatedly said that we should be rational in the sense that we have a pre-commitment to it. Even when Mr. Atheist does science, they’re pre-committed to being rational. Being pre-committed to rationality accounts for scientific observation. Scientific observation doesn’t account for why Mr.Atheist has a pre-commitment to rationality!)

Here the atheist adds nothing else to the discussion above (for reasons unknown) and presents the following statement:

atheist: “Also, in this instance, materialism simply refers to relying on evidence to prove things, i.e. you don’t accept untestable or supernatural explanations.”

me: “materialism” doesn’t = “relying on evidence to prove things” because like I’ve already said God could be next to you and you could still do science. And you can’t disregard the supernatural when you don’t even know where the “natural” starts and stops. And you are proving the supernatural every time you reply on here because there is nothing “natural” in this universe which can account for why you ought to be rational, which is required to even do science!”

(The naturalistic atheist disregards the “supernatural”, yet has no bases to! They can’t disregard the “supernatural” until they prove where the “natural realm” starts and stops. Further, the “natural” only shows “what is”, not “what should be”, hence that we should be rational in the sense that we have a pre-commitment to be rational. So even when they reply to me being pre-committed to rationality, they evidence there is a realm of “what should be”, not merely a realm of “what is”.)

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4 comments

  1. You, as any Christian, first want to prove the existence of God, and once you have “proved” it, you simply use that “proof” as equally useful for the existence of the christian god. Not even considering the other religions, why then you assume other religions to be false, to eventually critize atheists when they consider your religion to be false?


  2. *criticize


  3. Because theism makes the most sense of the world and Christianity makes the most sense of theism. Also, one of the major proofs of the Triune God of Scripture is a-priori such as real morality and our human pre-commitment to be rational. I would argue that only an eternal being which is triune can account for these, and a Unitarian God cannot sufficiently account for them. And when I say “prove” I mean “prove by inference” – like any other proof. If you want me to further explain why only an eternal triune God can account for them, I will attempt to. Also, the fact that Yahweh is the only God I’ve found which is said to be eternal is proof as well. I’ve been looking for a while if any other theistic worldviews hold to their God being eternal and I haven’t found any yet. If you find one please let me know.


  4. Would love your thoughts

    http://troymo.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/arguing-with-atheists/



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