By Spencer D Gear
David of the Atheist Foundation of Australia wrote:
It is most unlikely that anyone will ever prove there is no god any more than the existence of fairies will be disproven. Humans will be able to live in their minds without fear of being ever exposed by such proof. But, what is happening is that many people are working out the inconsistencies with the god concept and its many religions and that the idea is adding to the suffering of humanity.
I know that many just disregard the god thing but don’t call themselves atheists. Ostensibly though, they are atheists. It’s from the Greek, ‘without a deity’. I have the feeling that calling oneself an agnostic, and I’m not saying you do that, and this wouldn’t be in all cases, but the niggling fear of a revengeful god lingers in the back ground so why take the risk.
One thing that leads folk to eventually call themselves atheist is that they tend to consider the rational universe as proof positive that a god who engineered it would not be so petty as to torture people forever because it didn’t supply enough rational evidence to prove its existence. Atheists do not consider ‘faith’ to be a virtue. Faith is a not knowing position and that can and is manipulated by the many religions to the detriment of billions of people.
This creates false dichotomies like god vs fairies; humans living in their minds vs fear of being exposed by proof; and rational universe vs proof positive of torturing people forever.
There are strong pointers to the existence of God and philosopher/theologian William Lane Craig has demonstrated these in this interview and then a university presentation:
- Can God’s Existence be Demonstrated? (William Lane Craig), an interview between Craig and Robert Lawrence Kuhn (host of PBS’ “Closer to Truth”).
- Evidence For the Existence of God – William Lane Craig (Imperial College, London).
What was David’s response to this challenge?
I strongly advise you to look at information not emanating from religious sources. Some religious material is good and accurate but much of it is false and misleading intentionally or unintentionally but mainly because of bias. The problem is working that out.
My reply was: Here you go with another genetic fallacy. It is a fallacious argument and we cannot have a rational conversation when you do this.
I have looked at evidence from non-Christian (including atheistic) and Christian sources over a period of 50 years. I have concluded that you, as an example of an atheist, will not look objectively at ALL of the evidence, including the New Testament. When you write off the historical reliability of the NT Gospels, you are demonstrating your bias.
I know what a fallacious Genetic Fallacy Argument is and you use it.
David wrote again:
Let us assume for a moment that Jesus is God, he does exist and all the other gods are false. Why should I follow anything he says?
My response as OzSpen was:
First, since you ‘assume’, that is a presupposition and I would propose a hypothesis and test it for validation or falsification from the available historical evidence regarding Jesus.
However, the worldwide evidence indicates that your first statement does not define the nature and personhood of who Jesus is. ‘Jesus is God’ cannot be a complete statement about his true nature as the New Testament reveals. Your ‘Jesus is God’ scenario is erecting a straw man logical fallacy as Jesus’ nature is more comprehensive than that.
As to why you should follow Jesus, you will have to make that decision yourself, based on the truth of the New Testament Scriptures – which you state that you don’t believe as an atheist. But you are a long way from accepting that so I will not deal with that matter as I would be ‘casting pearls’ and I’m not about to do that.
As for Antony Flew, you stated: ‘Firstly, most atheists had never heard of Anthony Flew until it was touted he had changed his mind. Anthony Flew did not believe in a personal god or even the Christian god but came down on the side of a kind of deism. But there is more to this story than meets the eye’.
That is a statement about the ignorance of the atheistic establishment, if what you state is true, because Antony Flew was a leading atheistic British philosopher who taught at the universities of Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, Reading and York University, Toronto, Canada. The atheists’ ignorance of Antony Flew and his beliefs does not alter the fact of his prominence in the atheistic establishment before his conversion to deism.
David: “The divinity of Jesus is a myth (extraordinary story without evidence) which is believed by Christians”.
Not according to the historically reliable New Testament Gospels.
Antony Flew’s death
For a description of Antony Flew’s movement from a leading atheistic philosopher to a believer in God (a Deist), see: Antony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese 2007. There is a God: How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind. New York, NY: HarperOne.
Antony Flew died, at the age of 87, on 8 April 2010. See:
- ‘Professor Antony Flew’ (The Telegraph);
- ‘Antony Flew, philosopher and ex-atheist, dies at 87’ (The New York Times);
- ‘Antony Flew obituary’ (The Guardian).
A response to the assault on Jesus’ historicity
I highly recommend a read of John Dickson’s article for ABC Religion and Ethics, Opinion: ‘A fight they can’t win: The irreligious assault on the historicity of Jesus’ (24 December 2012).
 OzSpen to David of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, On Line Opinion, ‘Merry Christmyth from the Atheist Foundation of Australia’, Saturday, 22 December 2012 8:51:48 AM, p. 23, available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5547&page=23 (Accessed 22 December 2012).
 Posted by David of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc, Saturday, 22 December 2012 8:53:21 AM, available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5547&page=23 (Accessed 22 December 2012).
 Ibid., OzSpen, Saturday, 22 December 2012 9:08:14 AM.
 Posted by Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc, Saturday, 22 December 2012 9:30:50 AM, available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5547&page=24 (Accessed 22 December 2012).
Copyright © 2012 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 October 2015.