Monday, September 8, 2014

There is no logical reason in apologetics

A long time friend of mine Mattshizzle posted this on Google plus yesterday. After providing my brief response to this post I have decided to address it directly here. The commenter has committed several blatant logical fallacies in this post that demonstrate to me that he/she has no idea about what logical reasoning is nor even how to go about it.

The first logical fallacy this poster commits is that he presupposes that God exists. Not just any god but his god of choice. He also assumes that this gods knowledge supercedes the knowledge of man and comes itself from this yet to be proven supernatural source. The theistic presuppositionist position for the existence of god is supposed to be the equivalent of an a priori argument. The main problem with the presuppositionist position is that if you don't presuppose the existence of god then the entire argument fails.

a priori

The term a priori is used in philosophy to indicate deductive reasoning. The term is Latin, meaning “from what comes before”, refering to that which comes before experience.
Something that is known a priori can safely be considered to be a true statement, assuming that the logic (or deductive reasoning) used to arrive at that conclusion is conducted using valid arguments.

Theists believe that they have sufficient evidence through their version of philosophical arguments (apologetics) for the existence and therefore the assumption that god exists. But to date it is my opinion that they have not been able to prove their gods existence through valid arguments utilizing deductive reasoning. Through apologetics they misuse and abuse philosophical concepts and methodologies to suit their rather unsubstantiated claims and absurd beliefs.

Another fallacy this poster commits is often referred to as the argument from ignorance. Because his gods existence cannot be disproven definitively he assumes that this is sufficient reason to affirm that his god exists.

appeal to ignorance/argument from ignorance

The fallacy of appeal to ignorance comes in two forms: (1) Not knowing that a certain statement is true is taken to be a proof that it is false. (2) Not knowing that a statement is false is taken to be a proof that it is true. The fallacy occurs in cases where absence of evidence is not good enough evidence of absence. The fallacy uses an unjustified attempt to shift the burden of proof. 

I consider myself an atheist because I do not feel that there is or ever has been sufficient evidence to prove definitively the existence of any god whatsoever. Faith or subjective "evidence" are not in my view valid means of obtaining knowledge of truth when it comes to things of a supernatural nature. It this were the case then I would have to accept that tribal religious adherents that claim to be possessed by their dead ancestors and act it out during their services must be true. By the standard of faith witches are real, demons exits, and a voodoo curse can kill you!

In fact, this poster forgets that the Bible itself is a work of man! It says so right there in the book itself.

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (other tranlations use "inspired" instead of "God-breathed.")

The fact that believers presuppose the existence of God because the Bible tells me so which is more commonly a fundamentalist position is known as the fallacy of circular reasoning.

circular reasoning

Circular reasoning occurs when the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with. The most well known examples are cases of the fallacy of begging the question. 

While begging the question is mentioned let's look at the definition of that fallacy as well.

begging the question

A form of circular reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from premises that presuppose the conclusion. Normally, the point of good reasoning is to start out at one place and end up somewhere new, namely having reached the goal of increasing the degree of reasonable belief in the conclusion. The point is to make progress, but in cases of begging the question there is no progress.

As you can see based on the definitions provided above, that begging the question is just another form of circular reasoning. Apologetics is guilty of all of these fallacies and more. All arguments proposed for the existence of God by Christian or Muslim apologists are fallacious and lacking because they all presuppose that their god exists as a starting point and try to manipulate the facts to fit their presuppositions.

In contrast, the scientific method takes a more logical and completely reasonable approach to discovery. They start with an hypothesis based on observations, they then formulate experiments to prove or falsify their hypothesis, if it passes it goes on to becoming a theory.


A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.

When used in non-scientific context, the word “theory” implies that something is unproven or speculative. As used in science, however, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

Anyone who has had the priviledge of arguing the existence of God or read sufficient books on the matter recognizes this very common way that apologists misuse and in this case abuse language. For instance many state that evolution is not a proven fact but rather a "theory," but when they use the word theory they are doing so in its most commonly used non-scientific context. This of course they fail to tell their followers. 

In conclusion our poster forgets that the Bible or any so called sacred texts for that matter are all the works of men. That's right! They have been composed, compiled, edited, propagated and distributed by men. By adding inspired by god simply begs the question as to who this god is and where or how did he/she/ or it come to exist etc.


All biblical quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible. My sources for philosophical terms and for the scientific definitions are taken from the following links.
A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomen

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I don't miss Jesus

As of late I have been pondering the matter of former believers who have embraced atheism. I find deconversion stories interesting and at times sad. As a former fundamentalist evangelist and fully committed believer myself, I can honestly say that I left the church and the faith behind with a bitter taste in my mouth. I was angry at myself for being duped into not only believing the nonsense I did at the time but in the fact that I also helped to spread those ridiculous beliefs.

The first seeds of doubt began to germinate in my mind when I first read the Bible from cover to cover for the first time. I began to doubt some of the experiences I had in the church and even some of the normal practices during service. The chaos that would ensue when nearly everyone in the congregation began speaking in tongues at once and passing out and writhing on the floor allegedy under the power of the Holy Spirit brought to mind the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 14.

26What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:26-28

39Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 1 Corinthians 14:39-40

I was a member of the Pentecostal faith and in our church there was no order. Women were often pastors despite the biblical mandate that women remain silent in the church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

34Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Some atheists claim that they miss the music and the social aspects of religious services and so they attend services from time to time. I personally do not feel this way and find religious services to be embarassing and primitive at best. I feel sorry whenever I see other believers who are currently where I used to be. They speak in tongues and raise their hands in the air believing that these are their gods way of confirming to them the truth of their beliefs or the integrity of their standing with God. Little do they know that all of these manifestations are nothing more than the projections of their own minds under the influence of doctrinal beliefs and church dogma.

Today, I personally find worship abhorrent and would not set foot inside a church for any reason. I find the music repulsive and the so called outpouring of brotherly love in Christ by church adherents overwhelmingly hypocritical. I've never liked liars, hypocrites, or thieves and I feel that the church is chock full of all of the above. It took me six years but I have managed to cleanse my psyche from all of the ridiculous influences of the church in my life. I don't believe in an afterlife nor eternal punishment for sins. In fact, the idea of sin is outright absurd!

I don't miss being a mental and physical slave to absurd beliefs based on nothing more than faith. I don't miss bearing a charge of guilt on my shoulders for simply being born. If there was a god and he was offended by my existence and insisted that I submit to him and worship him I would tell him to fuck himself. I live a good life and do not bear any guilt for imaginary crimes I might have commited against an imaginary deity. I don't miss Jesus and have lived the past 19 years happily without him.

Note: All biblical quotations are taken from the New International Version of the Bible.