Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CARM Questions for Atheists

Thought I'd have a shot at Matt Slick's questions for atheists on the CARM website:

"How would you define atheism?"
The belief that no gods exist.

"Do you act according to what you believe (there is no God) in or what you don't believe in (lack belief in God)?"
False premise; I act according to what I believe, but I believe many more things than just "there is no God."

"Do you think it is inconsistent for someone who "lacks belief" in God to work against God's existence by attempting to show that God doesn't exist?"
False premise.  God has no existence to work against.

"How sure are you that your atheism properly represents reality?"
"How sure are you that your atheism is correct?"
Same answer to both: I am thoroughly convinced.

"How would you define what truth is?"
That which can be demonstrated to be accurate in the real world is true.

"Why do you believe your atheism is a justifiable position to hold?"
Because no one claiming any gods exist have been able to support that claim with evidence.

"Are you a materialist, or a physicalist, or what?"
I would not use either term to describe myself.

"Do you affirm or deny that atheism is a worldview?  Why or why not?"
It is only a worldview to the extent that it is a belief that people share.

"Not all atheists are antagonistic to Christianity, but for those of you who are, why the antagonism?"
I am only antagonistic to Christians who work for special treatment under the law for their religion.

"If you were at one time a believer in the Christian God, what caused you to deny his existence?"
I never believed in the Christian god.

"Do you believe the world would be better off without religion?"
"Do you believe the world would be better off without Christianity?"
"Do you believe that faith in a God or gods is a mental disorder?"
Same answer to all three: Not necessarily.

"Must God be known through the scientific method?"
As opposed to what?

"If you answered yes to the previous question, then how do you avoid a category mistake by requiring material evidence for an immaterial God?"
If this immaterial god had any interaction with the material world, there would be material evidence for that.

"Do we have any purpose as human beings?"
"If we do have purpose, can you as an atheist please explain how that purpose is determined?"
We only have that purpose which we choose to undertake.

"Where does morality come from?"
The need to live together in societies.

"Are there moral absolutes?"
"If there are moral absolutes, could you list a few of them?"
I do not believe there are moral absolutes.

"Do you believe there is such a thing as evil?  If so, what is it?"
I use the word evil merely as an adjective to describe very bad actions.

"If you believe that the God of the Old Testament is morally bad, by what standard do you judge that he is bad?"
My conscience.

"What would it take for you to believe in God?"
Compelling evidence.

"What would constitute sufficient evidence for God’s existence?"
I'm not sure, but an all-knowing god would know.

"Must this evidence be rationally based, archaeological, testable in a lab, etc. or what?"
By definition of the word evidence, it would need to be verifiable.

"Do you think that a society that is run by Christians or atheists would be safer?  Why?"
Not enough information to answer the question.  Safety of a society is not determined solely by religious beliefs.

"Do you believe in free will?  (free will being the ability to make choices without coersion)."

"If you believe in free will do you see any problem with defending the idea that the physical brain, which is limited and subject to the neuro-chemical laws of the brain, can still produce free will choices?"

"If you affirm evolution and that the universe will continue to expand forever, then do you think it is probable that given enough time, brains would evolve to the point of exceeding mere physical limitations and become free of the physical and temporal, and thereby become "deity" and not be restricted by space and time?  If not, why not?"
"If you answered the previous question in the affirmative, then aren't you saying that it is probable that some sort of God exists?"
I recognize that evolution is a fact, but we do not currently have enough information to know if the universe will expand forever, or if the outcome you're asking about is possible.

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