ATHEISM AND AGNOSTICISM

Atheism is the belief that it can be proven that God does not exist. Agnosticism, on the other hand, is the belief that man cannot know whether or not God exists. It is possible to hold weaker forms of either view. However, this chapter is only concerned with refuting the more dogmatic forms of atheism and agnosticism. Only the stronger forms, if proven, would defeat theism. The weaker forms leave open the possibility of theism. However, both atheism and agnosticism, in their strongest forms, are self-refuting.

In order for one to disprove God’s existence (atheism), he would have to be all-knowing. One would need to have the ability to see and know all things in the physical and spiritual realms. In short, one would have to be God to disprove God’s existence. Of course, this is absurd.

Agnosticism is also self-defeating. One must know something about God to know that nothing can be known about God. Obviously, this statement refutes itself. Therefore, agnosticism, like atheism, is a self-refuting view.  Many agnostics say that since man is finite (limited), he can never attain knowledge of an infinite (unlimited) Being. It is true that the finite cannot find the infinite on its own. However, this ignores the possibility that the infinite Being may choose to reveal Himself to finite beings. This is exactly what Christianity claims. The Bible teaches that God reveals Himself through both nature (Romans 1:18-22; Psalms 19:1) and the scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

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THE REAL ISSUE WITH ATHEISTS

   According to the Bible, the real problem with atheists is not an intellectual problem. Rather it is a moral problem. It is not that there is not enough evidence for God’s existence. Instead, the atheist chooses not to submit to the Creator.

 The Bible declares that those who act upon the truth will come to the light of Christ (John 3:16-21). On the other hand, those who suppress the truth of God’s existence are without excuse. For the invisible God has revealed His existence and power through His visible creation (Romans 1:18-23). 

 It appears that there are two opposing drives in each person. One is a thirst for God (John 6:35). The other is the drive for humanautonomy (Romans 3:10-12). 

If a person seeks God with all his heart, he will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). But if he chooses to continually reject the Creator, there is no amount of evidence that will change his mind, unless he chooses to sincerely consider the evidence. All that the Christian apologist can do is provide evidence for the existence of the God of the Bible and to refute arguments for atheism. Once a strong case for Christian Theism is made, the atheist must still choose to accept or reject the evidence. The inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit on the heart of the nonbeliever is necessary, but, in the end, the atheist must choose to follow that persuasion. 

The ultimate problem is not one of the intellect; it is a moral problem of the will. When all is said and done, one must choose God.

Article taken from http://www.philfernandes.org/thefailureofatheism.htm by Dr. Phil Fernandes

DID MAN INVENT GOD?

Throughout history thinkers proclaimed their belief that God was a product of man’s imagination. Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) taught that man, due to his fear of death, wishes God into existence.

Man recognizes his limitations and fears. God is projected to calm these fears. In short, God is what man wishes to be.  Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) saw two separate causes for man’s belief in God. First, Freud believed that each boy desires to have sexual relations with his mother. Because of this, he becomes jealous of his father and develops a hatred for him. Second, since man could not fully understand the forces of nature, he began to fear nature. Freud concluded that due to these two factors (man’s guilt for hating his father and man’s fear of nature), mankind deified nature and personalized it into a Father God. 

 It should be understood that the speculation of Feuerbach and Freud was never meant to be used as an argument against God’s existence. Instead, these two thinkers believed that God’s existence had already been proven false by the advances of modern science. Their views were promoted not to disprove God’s existence. Rather, they were promoted as a desperate attempt to explain why nearly all of mankind believes in a non-existent God. Therefore, the ideas of Feuerbach and Freud should not be considered evidence against God’s existence. Instead, their theories were merely attempts to explain away some of the evidence against their views.  Freud’s own theories can be used against him. For it seems more likely that atheism is caused by the desire to kill the father image, rather than theism being caused by man’s guilt for wanting to kill his father. In man’s attempt to be autonomous, he wishes God out of existence.

 Whatever the case, the speculation of Feuerbach and Freud seems itself to be wishful thinking by atheists. If men were to invent a God, it is doubtful that it would be the demanding God of the Bible. Man would create a more permissive god, much like the gods of the pagan religions. In short, the theories of Feuerbach and Freud offer a more adequate explanation for atheism and idolatry than they do for Christianity.

Article taken from 

http://www.philfernandes.org/thefailureofatheism.htm

 by Dr. Phil Fernandes