A Powerful Apologetic Method: ABDUCTIVE Reasoning!

"What in the world is 'Abductive Reasoing'?" Well, abductive reasoning is employed by crime scene detectives, car mechanics, and your medical doctor.  Abductive reasoning is when you look at all the known facts, and seek to form the best explanation to explain the data.  Abductive reasoning seeks to find the "inference to the best explanation" for the known facts.   

This is a vital way of thinking and investigating that all serious Christians should be engaged in....

 - Pastor J. 

"Why Does God Allow Evil? - The Atheist's Best Questio

There are basically 2 components to the question of "Evil and Suffering": 

  1. The Emotional Response - This involves loving, caring, praying, counseling someone who is going through a tragedy.
  2. The Intellectual Response - This involves the logical answers raised by the existence of evil and suffering in a world that has been created and is sustained by an All-powerful, All-loving, All-knowing God.  This is the version of the problem that I will give you some answers to below.  

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The New Atheists Are Not Intellectually Bright

Are the "New Atheists" more intellectual than Theists? 
William Lane Craig speaks his mind on the New Atheists (also known as the Brights) who consist of people like Richard Dawkins (author of God Delusion), Sam Harris (author of Letter to a Christian Nation), Christopher Hitchens (author of God is Not Great), and Daniel Dennett (author of Breaking the Spell).

Have an Intelligent (or intellectual) Faith!!



Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) described “New Atheists” as early twenty-first century atheist authors promoting atheism.

The “New Atheist” label for these critics [that include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens] of religion and religious belief emerged out of journalistic commentary on the contents and impacts of their books. A standard observation is that New Atheist authors exhibit an unusually high level of confidence in their views. Reviewers have noted that these authors tend to be motivated by a sense of moral concern and even outrage about the effects of religious beliefs on the global scene. It is difficult to identify anything philosophically unprecedented in their positions and arguments, but the New Atheists have provoked considerable controversy with their body of work.( The New Atheists, pub. James E. Taylor, IEP)

Taylor explained that “New Atheist authors share the central belief that there is no supernatural or divine reality of any kind.[…] The moral component is the assumption that there is a universal and objective secular moral standard.”

To avoid painting all atheists with a single brush, I have used New Atheists in this article as described by Taylor.

Friedrich Nietzsche And English Flat Heads

As New Atheist, Mary Anne Evans, also known as G. Eliot, rejected the existence of God yet held to objective humanistic moral standard. Nietzsche notices that by getting rid of Christian God, a person cannot cling on Christian (Objective) moral standard. Nietzsche mounded ridicule upon G. Eliot and her fellow. Only “English Flat Heads” would not see the consequences of the death of God.

Nietzsche expounded the “English inconsistency” in rejection of supernatural reality and yet clinging to objective moral standard. He explained that “They [English Flat Heads] are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality […] By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands”(Nietzsche 1982: 69-70)

What Nietzsche was trying to show, is that if God does not exist, then “There are altogether no moral facts”(ibid, 55) Morality explained Nietzsche “has truth only if God is the truth – it stands or falls with faith in God”(1968: 70). Though I would substitute “faith in God” with “existence of God”, since its ontological base of morality, and not epistemological that is in question, I believe Nietzsche is correct. With the death of God comes the death of objective moral values and duties.

Jean-Paul Sartre resonates with Nietzsche in showing that by abandoning God namely God does not exist, “it is necessary to draw the consequences of his [God] absence right to the end.” Sartre also noticed the inconsistency of French professors’, towards 1880, secular morality. As New Atheists and Nietzsche’s G. Elliot “English Flat Heads”, these professors, according to Sartre, believed that “nothing will be changed if God does not exist; we shall rediscover the same norms of honesty, progress and humanity, and we shall have disposed of God as an out-of-date hypothesis which will die away quietly of itself.” He explained:

The existentialist, on the contrary, finds it extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears with Him all possibility of finding values in an intelligible heaven. There can no longer be any good a priori, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. It is nowhere written that ‘the good’ exists, that one must be honest or must not lie, since we are now upon the plane where there are only men. Dostoevsky once wrote: ‘If God did not exist, everything would be permitted’; and that, for existentialism, is the starting point. Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself.”(Sartre 2007: 28)

If there is no supernatural or divine reality then there is no objective ontological ground to base a universal and objective moral standard. Naturalism, assumed by New Atheists, cannot account for the objective moral values and duties, if indeed objective morality exists. Wilson and Ruse expounded that; “ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes in order to get us to cooperate”(Ruse & Wilson 1989: 51). Ruse goes even further:

“The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation, no less than our hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when someone says, “love thy neighbor as thyself,” they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, and any deeper meaning is illusory.”(Ruse 1989: 268-9)

Ruse nailed it even further as he contended that “[t]he Darwinian argues that morality simply does not work (from a biological perspective), unless we believe that it is objective. Darwinian theory shows that, in fact, morality is a function of (subjective) feelings; but it shows also that we have (and must have) the illusion of objectivity.”(Ruse 1998: 253).

Holding a similar stance with Paul Kurtz and Julian Baggini, Richard Dawkins correctly reiterates, if God does not exist[no designer], then “at bottom,[there is] no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”(Dawkins 1995: 85) He explainedNature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous—indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”(Dawkins 1995: 112)

Are New Atheists Nietzsche’s “English Flat Heads”?

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SERIES - OneMinuteApologist - "The New Atheism (William Lane Craig)"

Here we are continuing with our One Minute Apologist Series, featuring short  videos from some of Christianity's leading thinkers and defenders of the  faith.
Dr. William Lane Craig (who speaks with One Minute Apologist's Bob Conway),  renowned scholar and philosopher, helps us understand the intrigue behind the  new atheism and Richard Dawkins. Dr Craig is known for his work on the philosophy of time and the philosophy of religion, specifically the existence of God and the defense of Christian theism.

Check out his website at reasonablefaith.org or listen to his podcasts on iTunes (reasonable faith, defenders).

- Nelis

SERIES - OneMinuteApologist - "What is the New Atheism?" (D'nesh Dsouza)

Here we are continuing with our One Minute Apologist Series, featuring short videos from some of Christianity's leading thinkers and defenders of the faith.

Here, popular author and speaker D'nesh Dsouza explains some interesting and troubling features of the New Atheism movement.  Hopefully this will make you better acquainted with the New Atheists' approach the next time you encounter it.

- Pastor J.