New book: James S. Spiegel’s “The Making of an Atheist”

Warning: Atheist readers of the Wintery Knight blog are forbidden to read this post. I forbid you! Forbid!

Here’s the web site for the book. (H/T Cloud of Witnesses via Apologetics 315)

Excerpt:

Sigmund Freud famously dismissed belief in God as a psychological projection caused by wishful thinking. Today many of the “new atheists”—including Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens—make a similar claim, insisting that believers are delusional. Faith is a kind of cognitive disease, according to them. And they are doing all they can to rid the world of all religious belief and practice.

Christian apologists, from Dinesh D’Souza to Ravi Zacharias, have been quick to respond to the new atheists, revealing holes in their arguments and showing why theistic belief, and the Christian worldview in particular, is reasonable. In fact, the evidence for God is overwhelming, confirming the Apostle Paul’s point in Romans 1 that the reality of God is “clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20, NIV).

So if the evidence for God is so plain to see, then why are there atheists? That is the question that prompted The Making of an Atheist. The answer I propose turns the tables on the new atheists, as I show that unbelief is a psychological projection, a cognitive disorder arising from willful resistance to the evidence for God. In short, it is atheists who are the delusional ones.

Unlike Dawkins and his ilk, I give an account as to how the delusion occurs, showing that atheistic rejection of God is precipitated by immoral indulgences, usually combined with some deep psychological disturbances, such as a broken relationship with one’s father. I also show how atheists suffer from what I call “paradigm-induced blindness,” as their worldview inhibits their ability to recognize the reality of God manifest in creation. These and other factors I discuss are among the various dimensions of sin’s corrupting influence on the mind.

Nothing makes the Wintery Knight happier than seeing the truth of Romans 1 come out in encounters with atheists. I love to understand how atheists come to their atheism. What I am reading about this new book makes me think that Dr. Spiegel and I will be in broad agreement – but I still must know the details. And you should know it too – understanding atheism helps Christians to understand why they should not cave in the pressure to water down doctrine, e.g. – annihilationism, inclusivism, etc.

By the way, has anyone read R.C. Sproul’s “If There is a God, Why Are There Atheists?“? I love that book. (No, I am not a Calvinist!) Christians need to get really comfortable with the reasons why people reject the Christian God in particular. This is the best book I’ve ever read on that topic. We really need to do a better job of calling atheists out on the real reasons for their unbelief. (Note: I never talk to individual atheists about their individual sins – just don’t do that ever! But their speculations and unbelief are fair game)

Just last week I was dealing with an atheist who was trying to tell me how fair and balanced Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart are. He also said that the Discovery Channel does a good job of exploring the historical Jesus, and that debates like the kind I recommend are woefully inadequate. One of my friends has a non-Christian father-in-law who is listening to Bart Ehrman lectures. I wonder if this father-in-law is open to watching Bart Ehrman defend his views in a formal debate? Probably not, and that’s my point.

There seems to be a whole boatload of busy people trying to twist the material world into some sort of lasting happiness apart from God and autonomous from the moral law. They do not want to bow the knee to Christ, which is the natural result of any honest investigation. Instead they deliberately look for speculations to keep the real, living God at a distance. We need to be courageous about pointing out the real reasons why they are pushing a fair investigation into these matters away with both hands.

Note, if you are an atheist and you read my blog and you’ve seen a William Lane Craig debate, then I don’t mean you. At least you were open-minded to some degree. But I’ll tell you right now, that’s only about 10% of the atheists I know. Atheists usually don’t know because they don’t want to know. That doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it just means you’re not being fair with your investigation of these matters and I’m going to call you out.

By the way, Jim and Amy Spiegel operate a blog called Wisdom and Folly. It looks good.

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44 thoughts on “New book: James S. Spiegel’s “The Making of an Atheist””

  1. I am concerned that my long friendship with an atheist is on the rocks for time being. For some reason, he went on the attack a couple of days ago, when we were having one of our usual friendly discussions. But this time he laid his cards out. He said he didn’t care about any argument I could give. God could not be proven to exist. I questioned the degree of certainty he required. He stated that he had no interest whatsoever in the arguments. He rejected the philosophical, historical and scientific arguments – even the ones he hadn’t heard yet. He sounded like Lewis Wolpert but angrier. I don’t know what caused this outburst, but I can’t help but think there is some correlation between his fundraising efforts for Haiti and his spike in vitriol against God. My friend is hurting.

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  2. Despite the prohibition, I read it anyway. Sorry ‘bout that. *grin*

    I have a question: What method does one use to determine why one became an atheist? Or even, for that matter, a theist?

    I realize how difficult it is to determine one’s own motivation; as humans we excel in self-justification. If we want to convince ourselves we came to a belief through purely intellectual reasons, we can do so. In brief—we lie to ourselves. And do it very, very well.

    I also understand Christians believe Romans 1 is divinely-inspired. That a God has indicated humans suppress their knowledge of a God due to immoral desire. Given a conflict between what a human claims and a God claims—the Christian will believe God every time. So Christians approach this topic with the presupposition the atheist justifies their atheism to sin, and then look for confirmation of that presupposition.

    We enter a tension where the atheist thinks they have intellectual basis for their belief (but could be lying to themselves) and the Christian claims the atheist has an immoral basis for their belief (but only if the presupposition is true.)

    To personalize it, I have often wrestled with this question—why did I become an atheist? Was it for the intellectual reasons I think it was—or am I lying to myself to rationalize the decision? Was it to engage in a secret sin, or remove deeply suppressed guilt I cannot perceive? Or perhaps even another, unknown reason, such as desire to be rebel, or rooting for the underdog, or to be confrontational? Or because of a deep psychological disturbance I am unaware?

    I could only think of one method to remove as much subjectivity as possible; to keep myself from making determinations about myself. But before I state what that was, I am curious—what do you propose as a method to make such determinations? What would you recommend an atheist—specifically a deconvert—do to determine why they became an atheist?

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    1. This comment is perfection, so I again apologize if I caused you any offense. So how would I investigate why a person became an atheist. Well just by having relationships with people and seeing how open they are to the evidence. I try not to pry into people’s personal morality, although I do make blanket statements about what I think is right and wrong.

      Here are a few ways:

      – I ask them about how they became an atheist (e.g. – Lewis Wolpert and his lost cricket bat)
      – I ask them about their parents and family
      – I ask them to name some arguments for and against the existence of God
      – I try to see if they have put any effort into this at all
      – I try to see if they are really trying to know about God’s existence and character distinct from their own
      – I try to see if they are substituting something more comfortable and less demanding in the place of God
      – I ask them what they would do if undeniable evidence emerged to prove Christianity was true
      – I ask them what the purpose of life is
      – I ask them where morality comes from, and why it is rational to be moral
      – I ask them where they would look in nature to see if a Creator and Designer left fingerprints
      – I ask them to summarize the main points of different world religions
      – I ask them to tell me if any religion is false, and is it false for subjective or objective reasons
      – I ask them to talk about their feelings about organized religion and conservative politicians
      – I ask them to explain their thoughts on topics like abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage

      I could go on and on, but I hope this is a start to show you how you feel out a person’s reasons for believing. And one other thing. I investigate people who claim to be Christians in the same way. I don’t think that 20% of the people who claim to be Christians really know what they are doing. There is an awful lot of cultural Christianity such that Christians are really atheists who are putting on a show for their own amusement. They don’t care about truth and would not be willing to set themselves back for the relationship.

      The thing is that the secret sin we are talking about here isn’t necessarily murder or pre-marital sex or stealing. It’s just the idea of being placed in a universe in which the existence of a Creator and Designer is virtually undeniable (pre-scientifically, and more so now with the big bang cosmology and the fine-tuning of the cosmic constants) and then turning around and running full tilt away from a relationship with this Creator/Designer – because you, and I, and everyone else knows that to know this person would involve changing our own desires and behaviors. And we just don’t want to do that. No one does. I DON’T. So I’m not claiming moral superiority. Some people just want to know what this Creator/Designer is like and then make adjustments, because we want a relationship, and all that a relationship entails.

      When you love someone, you are willing to reprioritize and make adjustments for them. I say this as a theoretical possibility, because I struggle with it too. There are piles and piles of things people give me that I don’t read or listen to because I am horrible at setting aside time to inform myself about things that people give me to cement the relationship. God is exactly like that. I even do this to him! The difference between me and atheists is that I know I am doing it and believe that I ought to change, because God is not wrong to make these demands, any more than a piano coach is wrong to demand that a student with talent practice in order to be the best they can be.

      And I have a means of obtaining forgiveness for those times when I am not perfect.

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      1. When you love someone, you are willing to reprioritize and make adjustments for them.

        The problem with Christianity as a “relationship” is precisely this; that the God-concept won’t reprioritize or make adjustments. It’s a one way street. How can you have any kind of relationship with the God-concept you espouse? According to you we are not capable of making judgements on its character and nature (although the biblical authors seemed to think otherwise), we just have to accept it for what it is, and take its word for it that it is good and acting in our best interests.

        Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if you qualified for heaven, met God, and decided you didn’t like him?

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        1. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

          Yeah, sounds like a one way street when one reaching out and the other ignores, not interested, too busy

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          1. Sentimental nonsense. Is Jesus, or is he not, sitting at the right hand of the Father? Nothing was given up here, or sacrificed in the true sense of the word.

            No, this ridiculous concept of “relationship” only demands sacrifice from one side.

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          2. You should tell the parents of soldiers who fought wars for your country that they have not sacrificed anything because they got their children back.

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          3. More appeal to sentimentality. How are those two things even remotely the same? Did those parents require the sacrifice of their children, or were they prepared to endure it if necessary? Parents send their children to war not knowing when of if they will come back. That’s real parenthood, not some outrageous parody thereof.

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  3. You should read the late Christian psychiatrist Scott Peck’s book, The Different Drum. He writes (p. 188) of four stages of faith, the first being antisocial, the second institutional, the third individual, and the fourth mystic.

    Stage I is the sinner who rejects God because they want to do things that are forbidden. They are basically selfish or even evil.

    Stage II is the conventionally religious

    Stage III is the educated atheist who sees through conventional religion and its fictions

    Stage IV is the believer who is in touch with the mystery of the universe.

    It’s easy to conflate Stage I and State III atheists, and that’s what you’re doing in this post.

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    1. M. Scott Peck is not an evangelical Christian, and I’ve read and recommend most of his books, including that one and “The Road Less Traveled”.

      I would say that he has a psychological view of belief as subjective, common to non-evangelicals. Religion as a subjective experience. The problem is that the objective evidence for minimalist theism (deism) is unshakeable, yet atheists do not know those arguments and do not want to know them. So there is no such thing as an educated atheist who sees through conventional religion and its fictions. The thing to be seen through is the objective evidence – the cosmic microwave background radiation and the fine tuning of the gravitational force constant. And no amount of “education” is going to allow an atheist to “see through” that evidence.

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  4. I find the fine tuning argument interesting, but not conclusive. The laws of the universe may be fine-tuned to support our existence, but if they were otherwise, perhaps some other very different form of life would arise and ponder how the universe is fine-tuned for it. Ultimately, this leaves me agnostic.

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    1. You don’t understand the argument. The argument is that if the laws of nature were different, we would would be losing things like hydrogen or carbon or stable stars or elements heavier than carbon. I.e. – what the argument proves is that life of any imaginable kind would become impossible. Unless you can make life out of hydrogen only. Can you?

      No mention of the big bang argument either. What’s wrong with physics, Rick? Don’t you like science? What’s wrong with Stephen Meyer’s case for biological information in the origin of life?

      But that’s not my point here today. My point is that almost all atheists don’t look into these matters, while a significant minority of Christians DO. We read Lee Strobel books and we are familiar with all of these things. But these things are not taught in the secular schools, and they are not addressed by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett.

      Hitchens plowed in his debate with Craig, Dennett plowed in his echange with Craig, Richard Dawkins is running away from Craig, and Sam Harris is totally ignorant of any evidential arguments, period. But they sell books to atheists because that’s what popular atheism is. The new atheism is self-serving bile without evidence – untested by debate.

      Do you want to know how to disprove popular atheism beyond any shadow of a doubt? I’ll tell you. Pick up any book by any “new atheist” and read the index. Notice that the names of Christian scholars DO NOT APPEAR IN THE INDEX. That’s atheism. That’s what it is, and that is all it is. Willful blindness.

      In case you missed my post on Richard Dawkins’ case against God, here it is.

      Sorry to be mean – not trying to boss you around, just telling you the way it is.

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      1. “what the argument proves is that life of any imaginable kind would become impossible. Unless you can make life out of hydrogen only. Can you?”

        Not life as we know it, but that was his point.

        This is an inherent weakness in the fine-tuning argument. It assumes the necessity of us (humans), or something very similar to us (carbon based life).

        For the person presupposing philosophical naturalism and materialism, then it is a clear thing that the life that arose in the conditions that exist are suitable to the conditions that exist.

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        1. No, there is no weakness in the argument. In order to have life of any kind, you need a certain amount of chemical diversity in order to satisfy minimal requirements for life of any kind, e.g. – storing information. The constraint is the periodic table of elements. Only carbon satisfies the demands for an element that can serve as the backbone from things like sugars, proteins and other complex compounds. (Silicon is a distant second). But what if you have ONLY hydrogen or NO hydrogen? Then you have no life. What if you have no planets? Then you have no life. If you want me to back this up, I will, and by citing atheists like Martin Rees. The burden of proof is on the challenger to demonstrate that life can be made in alternative ways, otherwise it is pure speculation.

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          1. “The burden of proof is on the challenger to demonstrate that life can be made in alternative ways, otherwise it is pure speculation.”

            This is epistomological arrogance:

            “If everything were completely different, then I can tell you with aboslute certainty what would and would not be possible.”

            Even the formation of sub-nuclear particles, atoms, and the way that electron bonds form between atoms is at play in this argument. If you say, “as the rules of physics exist, only carbon and silicon based life forms have been concieved of,” then you are right. But once you build into the argument the idea that the basic laws of physics are different… then you cannot say that you are certain of how things work. In fact, look at what you said:

            “The constraint is the periodic table of elements.”

            But the periodic table of elements is constrained and ruled by the laws of physics! Fine Tuning recognizes as inherent in the argument that if you change the fundamental rules about how things work, everything changes.
            You give the certainty based on what hydrogen is and how it interracts. But what if it took 3 electrons to satisfy the new charge of the 1 proton in the nucleus under the new rules? And what if under those new rules, hydrogen could be formed into a matrix. What about many types of matrices?

            I know you love this argument, WK, but you are blinded to its limits for some strange reason. It is useful for the development of awe and wonder in deists and believers of all kinds. For this it is great. For the philosophical naturalist and materialist, it must fail.

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          2. Regarding the strong nuclear force. If you modify it slightly from its current setting, you get all hydrogen or no hydrogen.

            Now, please answer these questions yes or no.

            1. Can you make complex life and stable burning stars out of hydrogen only?
            2. Can you make complex life and stable burning stars with no hydrogen?

            If you answer NO to both of these, then you accept the fine-tuning argument as stated.
            If you answer YES to either or both, then that’s a claim to know and I want to see the experimental peer-reviewed data for it.

            There is a reason why you have atheists like Martin Rees and Michael Shermer struggling to account for the fine-tuning we see. Shermer calls this argument the most powerful argument for theism. What does he know that I know, but you don’t know?

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          3. “What does he know that I know, but you don’t know?

            When you put it like that, I suppose the best thing to say is that the final word is yours.

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          4. OK, so no response. That’s why I recommend to everyone to get down to brass tacks as quickly as possible with a specific example. The strong force is a specific example.

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        1. Because Loftus doesn’t have a PhD or peer-reviewed publications in these areas. He’s an internet infidel. Craig debated Richard Carrier who outranks Loftus, and because Carrier now has a PhD. As you know, Carrier admitted defeat. The end. Craig also debated Robert M. Price and a whole host of other people far more qualified than Loftus.

          If you disagree, list Loftus’ degrees and academic publications.

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          1. So Carrier outranks Loftus in “these areas” (whatever they are) but Dawkins is expected to debate Craig because???…. does Craig “outrank” the numerous theologians that Dawkins has debated?

            And why should someone with three master’s degrees be regarded as not worthy of debating? He’s a well known atheist blogger, and would seem to be the ideal person to debate Craig, who, if your hype is correct, should defeat Loftus easily.

            I think Craig is scared, and is running from a debate with a former student, something he has apparently said he fears most.

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  5. Thank you for your response, Wintery Knight.

    Alas and alack, I have addressed those issues and even then, could see at each one I may be lying to myself as to my motivation. In other words, rather than universally claiming atheism intellectually, I slice it into smaller portions, and claim each portion I have come to my belief through reason rather than immoral desire (or something else.) Again, we humans are very good at rationalization.

    The only method I could think of removing subjectivity from determining my own motivation was to ask those who know me. Ask why they thought I became an atheist. Since they knew me as a Christian, and now know me as an atheist—see what changes they perceive. Was I sinning more? Or with less guilt? Was there some area I was unwilling to study for fear of the outcome?

    No, I wasn’t offended in the least. As I said, this is an area I have spent many hours pondering myself, well-aware of the Christian position, my own thoughts, and the countless claims of people from all different theistic beliefs.

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  6. To Rick & James: I’m curious. Exactly how would we recognize some other form of “life”as life, given that we have to operate within known chemical and biological parameters?In other words, what component of life would we have to remove from someone in order for them to not qualify as life as we know it? What is it that makes something alive, that breaths fire( sorry Steven!) into our constituent parts so that their is a living being to even describe? Just asking?

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    1. I’m not talking directly to Rick and James, bu I think that atheists need to be careful about taking refuge in unobservables. Quantum vacuums outside our universe, multiverse outside our universe, aliens seeding the Earth with life, and undiscovered precursors to the Cambrian fauna. We have to make decisions about God today based on the data we have today. Don’t wait for tomorrow based on an a priori assumption.

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      1. I figure if God exists, he’s not a torturer, and people won’t be sent to eternal hell fire for erroneously disbelieving in him. The idea that you have to believe or you will go to hell seems barbaric and medieval and not likely to be the policy of a superior intelligence.

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        1. That is your claim about the way the world is.

          Unfortunately there is only one truth maker for claims about the external world and that is the external world, which exists independently of our subjective opinions. You must do the best you can to search these things out for yourself. I am here to help you, but you must make your own decisions about what to believe, and why you believe it.

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      2. “We have to make decisions about God today based on the data we have today.”

        Out of curiousity, if every atheist were to say, despite the problems with the big bang, we can’t explain what happened at time = 0, and we can’t explain x, y, and z, so we’ll assume God, would you would attempt to stop all scientific progress to prevent science from making god obsolete?

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        1. Hello, the arguments Christian theists make for the existence of a Creator/Designer are from the progress of science.

          It is atheism that is now obsolete, because of the progress of science. We NOW know that atheism is a pre-scientific delusion held to for non-rational concerns. Now all that’s left are desperate materialists trying to convert lead into gold by appealing to the fairies that exist only in their hate-filled imaginations.

          Here are some arguments:

          1. Kalam cosmological argument
          2. Fine-tuning of cosmological constants
          3. Galactic, stellar and planetary fine-tuning
          4. Origin of life’s building blocks
          5. Origin of biological information
          6. Sudden origins of all major body plans
          7. Irreducibly complex molecular machines
          8. Natural limits to biological change

          On the atheist side of the ledger we have:

          “The Flying Spaghetti Monster did it!”

          Shrill shriekings are not science. You have to have actually data. And not data like hiding the decline using Mike’s Nature trick, either. Nor the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035. Nor Piltdown Man. Nor the steady-state model.

          If you investigate what happened to Richard Sternberg and Guillermo Gonzalez, etc., you would find out how atheists are trying to stop all scientific progress in order to prevent science from making atheism obsolete.

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          1. That’s probably why we have more aggressive atheists like the so called ‘the new atheists’. New atheists are feeling cornered by the latest scientific findings, so they get nasty.

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          2. You still didn’t answer my question, and on top of that, all of your arguments boil down to one central theme: science (which has only been allowed to operate unhindered from religion for maybe 50 years, and less if you count the assault from ID) can’t yet explain X.

            The last 2 people you refer to are proposing we teach magical beings as alternatives to science. What predictions can you make from “god did it”? Science has to rely on hard, empirical data that can be tested and recreated. Gods are out-side of this realm and as such, they cannot be considered viable, scientific theories.

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          3. No, you don’t understand the arguments. They’re deductive arguments in which you deduce attributes of the cause from the effect and identify the cause as God because of the what you deduce from effect. E.g. – the cause of the universe must exist causally prior to the beginning of time. Therefore the cause is eternal. The attribute of eternality is associated with God. And so on to deduce other attributes of the cause of each of these effects.

            Can you understand that you infer attributes of a cause from the effect? If someone happened upon some Java code that wasn’t in an editor 5 minutes ago then suddenly appeared, Jerry, what is the most likely cause of Java code being entered into an editor? That is what these arguments do. They look at effects that are beyond the reach of naturalistic processes and infer to a Creator/Designer. And the more we learn about the effects, the more we know that the naturalistic mechanisms are inadequate.

            Magic is saying the entire physical universe popped into being out of nothing.
            Magic is saying that the fine-tuning in the universe is due to unobservable multiverse.
            Magic is saying that unobservable aliens caused the origin of life.
            Magic is saying that there are unobservable precursor fossils to the Cambrian fossils.
            Magic is saying that matter has free will and consciousness.
            Magic is saying that there are undiscovered pathways that lead to molecular machines.
            Magic is saying that mutations can create new biological functions despite the experiments saying that there are limits to what mutations can do.
            And so on, and on, and on and on and on. Atheism IS magic.

            I hope this explains the arguments to your satisfaction. Please look at the arguments I listed and post specific refutations to those arguments. Start with the first link, read the argument, and then explain which premise you are denying and where the science is to deny it. (Based on something WE KNOW – I want to see the data).

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          4. I understand completely the arguments you put forth and I did read through the other arguments provided via the links, I just find them weak.

            I think the Java example is a great one, so let me expound on that. If Java code appeared that wasn’t there 5 minutes ago, a theist would attribute it to god and be happy with that explanation. A scientist on the other hand would say I need to exclude all other explanations before I conclude that I cannot answer this with the current technology I have available to me. He would dig into server logs and computer logs. He would discover that the timestamps don’t match on his ISP’s routing logs and dig further. He would then realize the his computer was rooted by a hacker and that hacker was attempting to inject malicious code into his application that would give a backdoor hook. The deist would then deride the scientist asking where is the hacker, why didn’t he admit to it, you just don’t want to believe in god so you can hack other’s computers, etc, etc.

            As an aside, I never claimed the universe popped out of nothing, the rest of what you claimed is not backed by science, only the bible.

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          5. Look the Java code example is an example. The problem with the code in the simplest living cell is that it was written 4 billion years ago, when there were no programmers that we know of.

            A hacker is an intelligent designer, not chance. The point is that some intelligence is needed.

            Just FYI, I want to ask you a second time to go back to those arguments and deny a premise. Please do what I ask. Deny a detail. Dealing with speculations is very frustrating to me. I am now sorry that I brought up the Java example at all.

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          6. Victor Stenger has written that a wide variation of constants of physics leads to universes that are long-lived enough for life to evolve. (it’s posted in a pdf on his colorado.edu site) In addition to this idea is one put forth by F.C. Adams where he described the formation of stars in universes with different physical constants, which suggested that in 25% of cases it would be possible for stars to exist in some form.(Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2008 (08): 010.) In a more extreme case, researchers have argued for the viability of a universe with no weak interaction at all.(Harnik, R.; Kribs, G.D. and Perez, G. (2006). “A universe without weak interactions”. Physical Review D 74: 035006.). You are arguing a tautology. As you deridingly mentioned a multiverse where physical constants resolve themselves to random values in different iterations would suffice to answer the fine tuning argument, assuming it existed; recent developments in string theory are showing this might be the case (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040513010734.htm). I know, this flies in the face of your anthromorphic arguments that god created the universe just for us, but we adapted to the universe, not the other way around.

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          7. Yes, that’s the multiverse theory, all right. No experimental confirmation, all theoretical, based on the need to protect atheism from fine-tuning arguments.

            (Stenger is a militant atheist)

            You may be interested in seeing how well Stenger does in a debate with Craig.

            It’s nothing for me to be alarmed about – it’s just a speculation. Maybe, maybe, maybe. You’re welcome to it. I’m not going to take it away from you.

            Maybe you’d like to learn more though, so here are some recommendations.

            I think that you should listen to this debate with physicist Victor Stenger (video, audio), and the follow-up lecture at UC Boulder where Stenger is in the audience. When you’re done with that, listen to this lecture and this lecture and this lecture and this lecture.

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          8. it wouldn’t let me reply to yours, but if you have those debates on video, I will definitely borrow them!

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  7. Dagood S: I’m curious to know how you originally came to be a christian. I suspect many of the answers you are seeking can be found there.Good luck on your journey!

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  8. The atheist investigation is not a fair and balanced one. The side of God is left behind in pursuit of their own personal ideology or philosophy.

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  9. Warrick Walker,

    I was born and raised in a Christian home. I guess you would say I became a Christian by attrition. *grin*

    Daniel,

    I would agree the atheist investigation is not balanced. Nor is the theist. Nor left-handed people, Libertarians, people from Sweden and math majors. Why? Because we are all human! We all suffer from confirmation bias, prejudices, and ingrained opinions causing our determinations to be subjective.

    I look for a method to remove subjectivity as much as possible, and look for an objective means of making determinations. Here I was looking for an objective method to determine why a person becomes an atheist. Simply stating “because of desire to sin” or “broken relationships with fathers” is too pat; too simplistic to cover all the situations I have encountered. It certainly does not conform to my own.

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  10. WK,
    Just dropped by to read this post and the comments. As usual, you have a great command of the arguments. Keep the faith, brother. God is using you and it’s fun to watch.

    Later,
    Bill (TQA)

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