Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Answering the Punk College Atheists

Pastor Dustin Segers and Sye TenBruggencate, way back at the first of September, engaged in a public debate at a local college in Greensboro with the atheist club.

A review summary is available, as well as the audio downloads for those interested in hearing them.

Since the debate, Dustin has been working through the questions thrown at him during the debate, providing more detailed responses to his atheist challengers. Seeing that probably many folks will encounter their first real, genuine blue ribbon God hater the first year or so at college, I thought I would link over to Dustin's posts to provide a solid resource.

Question & Answers: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

And articles answering supposed Bible contradictions:

Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3

I'll add future articles when they become available.

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Blogger Rupert said...

Fred, I went through all the content in depth and I must say I found it to be quite self-serving and predicated on base assumptions.
It's almost as if a house of cards had been assembled successfully enought to allow some timber structure and then some stone. Ultimately the appearance of a fine edifice but in reality...

'There are a lot of assumptions loaded into this question(s). First, it assumes that every group that claims the name "Christian" is truly Christian.' - I find this to be a question begging assumption itself. Is it the case that "all other Christianities are pretenders but mine is real"?

I strongly disagree with the citing of Dostoevsky as a claim that God is necessary for 'morality'. Allow me to elucidate:

1. If atheism is true then man is “the chief of the earth”.

why? Who says there needs to be a 'chief of the earth' at all? What about mother nature or just plain evolution, can't they be enough if needs be?

2. If man is “the chief of the earth” then he can abandon absolute standards (i.e., morality).

says who? What is the basis for this assumption? If God is the chief of the earth does he also abandon absolute standards? You can't have it both ways.

3. If man can abandon the absolute standards then “everything is permissible”.

apart from basing this on the previous assumption, why would it follow that 'everything is permissable' anyway? They may not be God's absolute standards but that doesn't mean that 'reasonable' standards don't exist.

4. Therefore, if atheism is true, everything is permissible.

again, based on an assumption which was based on an assumption. I am stridently atheist yet I am a long, long way from believing that everything is permissable. There are a vast array of societies which have and do exist without the Christian God or any other deity yet have what might be considered 'good morals' and laws. The only people who need a deity to tell them that killing their neighbor is wrong are those with issues such that they are likely to do it anyway. Atheism does NOT equate to immorality.

Do you see what I am saying about a fundamental lack of foundations?

10:08 PM, October 05, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...


You write,

Atheism does NOT equate to immorality.

Though you yourself, and a good portion of people who claim to be atheists, may be good, up standing members of society even out shining those who claim to be religious in some fashion, you're ultimately distinguishing between one's personal behavior and the justification for that behavior.

By that I mean even though you may be a friendly, neighborhood atheist, you can't justify that behavior based upon the principles you have chosen to live by and upon which you think the world is ran. You behave altruistically in spite of them. In a manner of speaking, you're sort of a hypocrite. That is the greater disconnect to your position you need to grapple with. For example, why would an atheist be outraged by another person's otherwise wicked behavior, assuming there are categories of good and bad in his philosophy? You may argue "Well, it disturbs our society and breaks the peace" or whatever. Okay. Maybe it will, but so, what?

I'll pass along your criticism to Dustin and Sye. I would love to interact a bit more with this, but other things are occupying my time at the moment. Go over to Dustin's place and leave this comment. They may appreciate the challenge.

5:59 AM, October 06, 2010  
Blogger Dusman said...

Hi Rupert,

I've responded here: http://graceinthetriad.blogspot.com/2010/10/atheists-come-out-of-woodworks.html

11:02 AM, October 06, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

Thanks Fred. I shall respond on Dusman's site. Hopefully my reply there will also address your words here.

4:24 PM, October 06, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

Hi Fred, I never did hear back from Sye about that tricky little question maze thingy.

(I don't expect this comment to be posted unless you so desire)

8:05 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

@Dusman: I enjoyed all of your articles. I frankly have never understood Rupert's argument on how an atheist can be moral. Many atheistic philosophers came to the same conclusions as Dostoevsky. Francis Schaffer talked about this in his book, How Should We Then Live.

I, myself, came to the same conclusion as Dostoevsky which led to my salvation. I realized that either there is a God and I needed to follow Him or there was no God in which case there was no reason to continue hanging onto any shred of morality except as a ruse to obtain what I wanted. Fortunately God elected to save me because otherwise, I would have been one ruthless guy.

11:37 AM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

My opinion Sir Aaron, is that morals are intrinsic within mankind. These codes were usurped for use in religion and the creation of deities.

Atheists are no more (and probably less) likely to perpetrate damage against others. There are more believers in prisons than atheists.

Whilst you and I know almost nothing of each other, I doubt that I am any less 'moral' than you are.

I feel the claim that you couldn't be a 'good' person without God says more about you than it does about atheism. - that is not intended as an actual slur or dig, just a ponderable point.

7:27 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Again. No one is arguing you ain't moral. It is that you cannot render any epistemological justification for your morality. Declaring yourself to "be moral" doesn't explain why I- or anyone else for that matter- "ought" to be moral according to your chosen set of ethics.

7:34 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

But I can justify it Fred, as I said in my first sentence to Sir Aaron.

The only thing close to a common morality in the world is those elements that are fundamentally based on self-preservation - do not kill, do not steal etc.

Apart from that it is all variable and relative - sex before marriage, age of drinking, acceptance of homosexuality etc.

The approach and attitude towards the variables differ not just between believers and atheists, but between different groups of believers as well.

You claim you are right, so does everybody else. And they can provide at least as much evidence for their case as you can.

7:53 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...


(1) We actually agree that morality is intrinsic to mankind, although we disagree on the source. Scripture tells me that God wrote his laws on our hearts. You, well, I'm not really sure I understand your argument.

(2)More believers in prison than atheists. There are also more innocent people in prison then guilty (at least according to them).

(3) You cannot convince me that it is wrong to rape, loot, steal, pillage, or murder. You can merely point out that it may not be beneficial to me. Many great philosophers came to the same conclusion on this point.

(4) I didn't say I couldn't be a "good" person without God. I just realized that my definition of good could be anything I decided it to be and should be to my benefit (that is if there was no God). But feel free to ponder the point. I've already spent much time mulling it over and each time I do, I fall to my knees in worship of God. And in my prayers I will remember you and ask Him to extend his mercy and grace to you.

10:00 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

Hi Fred,

(1) yes we do agree on that! I don't believe it is imparted by any deity though. The basic 'moral codes' we mentioned existed before the formation of religion.

(2)good point! How many people who claim to be 'believers' don't in fact believe?

(3) of course, it is either an intrinsic part of your nature or you are a 'rogue element' :-)

(4) yes, and the vast majority agree on the same basic set of codes, for whatever reason they espouse. I am surprised though at how often I 'hear' people say that they would be 'ruthless' or 'cruel' in many ways if they did not have God. It amazes me. I also mull it over and I think that if I don't want to be murdered then perhaps it's best that I don't commit murder or it may start a trend - I don't mean that as in I'm some sort of leader, I mean in that this thinking is obviously common enough for it to work.

In my thoughts I wish you best. It is up to me to be graceful, then I won't need mercy.

3:45 PM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

I meant to write 'Hi Fred and hello Sir Aaron'

11:27 PM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Rupert said...

I don’t think Dusman appreciated the challenge Fred. It seemed to start out alright; he seemed quite keen to make a big thing of it, initially posting the discussion as two articles. Then he suddenly spat the dummy, accused me of trolling and ran away and hid.

I do find it a little harsh to be accused of trolling considering that he ‘picked me up’ from your site with full knowledge of my position and proceeded to post not just one but two articles based on our discussions. I didn’t think I said anything any more inflammatory than he did and I certainly didn’t go off-topic. He set the points in his responses and those are what I responded to. Dear me!

3:49 PM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger Dusman said...


Nobody ran away and hid from your questions and objections. Anyone who wants to go over to graceinthetriad.blogspot.com and look in the combox of the above linked articles can see as much. What you mean by "running away and hiding' is that I started deleting your comments when they started getting redundant. I'm not going to interact with you over and over again on the same issue when your questions have already been answered and your lies have already been exposed. All of your questions were answered with Scripture, reason, and history. You disagreed with the answers and instead of letting it go, you started droning on and on, thus further exposing your spiritual bankruptcy for what it is (Titus 1:9). All of this demonstrates that you don't want answers, you simply want to argue.

Scripture commands Christians to avoid this (2 Tim. 2:23), and that is what I did.

I'm a busy guy with quite a bit of responsibilities and am not going to waste my time interacting with a guy who simply wants to argue.

Proverbs 18:2 "A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind."


7:04 AM, October 21, 2010  

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