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Feb 04 2010

Proof Of God To An Atheist

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God.

I was reading an atheist blog post.  While I don’t generally have anything to say on those blogs , I do read them from time to time.  On this particular blog, something the blogger said stood out.  The blogger was arguing that atheism is not a religion and does not require faith to disbelieve.  What caught my attention was the statement that the burden of proof  rests on the shoulders of those that believe in God to prove there is a God.  I thought about that statement.

Normally, if I to make a statement, the burden of proof is upon me to prove that my statement is valid.  For instance, just today I listened to the raw milk dairy farmer, whose milk I purchase, claim that there have been more illnesses due to pathogens in pasteurized milk than in raw unpasteurized milk.  Most people would disbelieve that claim.  But he had data to back up his claim.  The burden of proof was upon him to prove his claim and that he did.

Are we Christians required to prove there is a God to atheists?  Is the burden of proof upon us to do so?  No, it is not.  First, the proof they desire is to produce God so that He can be seen and touched – something tangible that will satisfy them.  Obviously, we cannot do that for that is not how God operates with this creation.  God has stated that He has revealed Himself through His creation so that no man has an excuse. 

  • For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20 (ESV)

God has provided all the proof that is necessary.  There is no burden upon us to prove His existence.  God has also declared that those that say there is no God is a fool.

  • The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.  (Psalm 53:1)
  • The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
    that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they are doomed to destruction forever; Psalm 92:6-7 (ESV)

We have no sign to give.  An adulterous and evil generation seeks for a sign but there is none to give.

  • But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matthew 12:39 (ESV)

There is ample proof of the existence of God and that proof God has already provided.  According to scripture, it is the fool that says there is no God.  We will not be able to provide more than what God has already provided.  We are under no obligation to prove His existence for He has taken care of that.  The burden of proof does not lay on our shoulders.

It is an exercise in futility to attempt to prove beyond what God has already provided.  And for this reason, I do not argue with atheists nor try and provide them proof.  Certainly I share the Good News but I stop at proving the existence of God.  I can share the evidence of the bible and what God has provided but I do not debate His existence with someone that denies His existence.  I cannot do better than what God has already done.

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  1. noreligion

    I think you are referring to my blog since I did say the burden of proof is on the theists shoulders. If it wasn’t my blog, I am glad to see another atheist makes sense. Anyway, my point is that yes, it is the theists requirement to prove their god exists since the laws of logic dictate that the burden of proof rests on the positive claim. Theism makes that claim not atheism. BTW, you might be interested in reading my latest blog A Short Conversation With A Christian before you consider all those who do not believe in your god to be fools.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi,

      Yes, it was your blog that I read last night. The point of my post was that while normally it is upon the person making a positive claim, in this case on the proof of God, we do not have to prove it. God has provided all the ample proof that He wishes to provide and there is nothing I or any other Christian can provide that will convince an atheist. It is that reason I do not argue with atheists. I cannot deliver to you what would be satisfactory proof to you. There is ample evidence that the prophecies of God written by many people over a long span of time have come true with 100% accuracy including the place of birth of Jesus, death, how He would die, even the fighting over his clothes, his lineage, etc. We also have archeological backs up claims of the bible that we did not have before (I linked that in my post). What I’m getting at is no matter what I provide to you, it’s not going to be enough. It’s an exercise in futility.

      God expects a belief in His existence. As such, the Bible is written without proving His existence. You deny that He exists. There really is nothing I can do for I cannot force you to believe. I’m not going to try.

      As to the word “fool,” let me say this. It’s not something *I* came up with, I just quoted the Bible. God has made that declaration, not me. Let me define the word “fool” from the Hebrew. It can mean dense morally, spiritually or intellectually. I read your blog and I read the link you provided. Obviously you are not dense intellectually. I don’t know you so I can’t make judgments on your moral standards. You could be a really nice person. I used to know an atheist (he moved and I lost touch), but he was really nice, smart and funny. His moral standards (using human measuring rod, not the measuring rod of God) as good. For lack of a better word, he had a clean lifestyle. Therefore he was not a fool morally (using the human measuring rod) nor a fool intellectually. But he was a fool spiritually — not my definition but God made that statement.

      You might come back at me with a response — and expect me to provide you something like proof. I’m not going to do that. In a nutshell, God has said that He has provided all the proof that is necessary and it is foolish not to believe in His existence. You may even have some choice names for me because I believe. Not much I can do about that either :)

      But my whole point is I don’t have to prove God to you. God has provided all that He will provide and has declared that if that is not enough for someone, then they are a fool.

  2. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    Very well put!….. The glories of God’s majesties and powers are so far beyond what the human mind can conceive, that they should convict everyone immediately of all the truths of God’s word….. Only a fool can deny the proofs of God’s truths.

    Margaret

    1. noreligion

      Thanks for calling me a fool Margret. Let me tell you that we are really not as different as you would think. You have atheistic views towards the myriad of other gods that appeared throughout history but I only go one further than you. To maybe give you some understanding of an atheistic viewpoint I will leave you a partial quote from Stephen Roberts.

      “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    2. Tishrei

      Margaret, I agree, God had made Himself known to all of mankind. As such, He has declared that man is without excuse.

  3. noreligion

    I don’t expect any proof from you Tishri nor am I asking for that proof. I am just saying the burden of proof according to the immutable laws of logic rests on those making the positive claim. I am fully aware that belief in god is based on faith and you made it clear that faith changes the rules of logic when it comes to god. For that reason, there is no argument against faith nor does it deserve a rational argument. As towards calling atheists fools? As long as you do not acknowledge any other gods you share some atheistic views and are a fool yourself. Those aren’t my words, they are from Psalm 14.1. I assume I am correct after reading some of your views and your about page that you believe fully in the bible and agree entirely with what it contains. If the bible calls me a fool and you agree, like it or not you are calling me a fool and according to Matthew 5:22 you are doing something you shouldn’t Now why do you assume I am going to ask you for proof of anything?

    1. Tishrei

      I agree. The laws of logic rests on those making the positive claim. But I’m not making that claim. God is.

      I did not say that or make clear that faith changes the rules of logic. I gave you a small list in my previous response as to “proofs.” I could go through my posts and list the post titles here but I think it would be an exercise in futility.

      Also, you as an atheist operate on faith in your life. No one can live and not have faith. I don’t know if you have children, but I will use that as an example. If you hire a babysitter, you have no way of proving that the babysitter will not do horrible things to your children while you are away. You operate on faith that the person you hired to sit with your children will not harm them. The sitter may have come to you with recommendations or you know the sitter personally. But that’s not proof, that is operating on faith.

      By the same token, God has provided ample evidence to His existence. We just can’t see Him. I realize that this is not enough for you so I won’t argue it. But as I said, I am not making that “positive claim” so the burden is not mine to prove.

      Your understanding of Psalm 14:1 is faulty — and here’s why. The Psalm is God saying that not acknowledging HIS existence is foolish. He’s not talking about acknowledging gods but Him. That’s not to say that someone, such as a Muslim, would deem me to be a fool for not believing in their god. But Psalm 14:1 is speaking about the God of Israel. It states that not to believe in HIS existence makes one a fool. You can’t take that statement and make it mean that the author is referring to multiple gods. That’s clearly not the intent of the author and I think you probably know that.

      The only reason I said anything about you requiring proof is that the thrust of your argument is that it is Christians (or theists as you call us) is that the burden is upon us to provide that proof. Sorry if I misunderstood.

      And I guess you are correct. Since the Bible has declared that those that do not believe in HIs existence are fools and since I agree with the Bible, then in a sense I am calling you a fool — simply by the fact that I agree with the Bible.

      But keep in mind, faith is required for us to simply get through life — there’s no way we’d get on an airplane if we did not have faith that the pilot could get that huge hunk of metal off the ground and fly it at 35,000 feet and then safely land it. You can’t prove that nothing will go wrong. We might not think about it but it takes faith to do so. It takes faith to leave your children with someone else. Our whole lives are based on faith. We just don’t think about it.

  4. noreligion

    Nice, bring up the old “you guys have faith” canard. You realize that is doing nothing except saying “see, you are as irrational and illogical as I am”? An atheist has no faith whatsoever of the faith required to be a theist. The reason I say the burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of theists is because the god you claim provided proof, provided nothing. If you wish to show he did, which is your duty if you truly follow the bible, you are more than free to post either here or comment on any of the articles on my blog. I am glad to see that you finally agree that you are calling me a fool. Now please explain how you are justified doing that in light of Matthew 5:22.

    1. Tishrei

      That’s not true — I did not say that you are irrational and illogical as I am. I said that faith is not a bad thing because we all have faith. I’m only trying to show that faith is not illogical for we all have faith just to get through life. You are reading an intent that I did not mean but something that you came up with all on your own and in your own mind. Stop it.

      God did not provide the proof that you require. And if you require more than He provided, I cannot produce it and I won’t try to. The burden is not mine to prove beyond what God provided. You may think I have such a burden but I do not.

      I knew you would bring up Matthew 5:22. The Greek word that we translate to “fool” in English has a different meaning than the Hebrew word we translate to fool in English. The Greek word means “morally worthless” and that is vastly different than morally or spiritually dense. The Greek is a word of contempt, the Hebrew word is not. In fact, it was against the Jewish rules to do so. We have translated those separate words to “fool” in English but they have a different meaning in the Greek vs. the Hebrew.

    2. Tishrei

      If you wish to show he did, which is your duty if you truly follow the bible, you are more than free to post either here or comment on any of the articles on my blog

      It is not my duty — there is no where in the bible that God stated that those that believe in Him must prove His existence. The duty He placed on us is that we are to share the Gospel.

  5. noreligion

    Yes and to share the gospel you must prove your god, the god of the bible and not any old god, exists. If you are not prepared to prove your god exists don’t fool yourself by thinking you are prepared to share anything.

    1. Tishrei

      No, you are incorrect. I do not need to prove my God’s existence. There is evidence but it is not sufficient for you. You are placing that burden on Christians but it is a burden that God has not placed on us.

  6. Shamelessly Atheist

    As to the word “fool,” let me say this. It’s not something *I* came up with, I just quoted the Bible. God has made that declaration, not me.

    How convenient. Incest is in there, too. Do you get into that? Not only is there no place in the bible that slavery is condemned, it actually describes how slaves should be treated, that you can beat them to the point where they do not die within a day or two. Are you into that too? Why do you abandon your intellect and robotically take on a set of beliefs without examining them?

    The point of my post was that while normally it is upon the person making a positive claim, in this case on the proof of God, we do not have to prove it.

    No, the burden of evidence is ALWAYS on the person making the positive claim. We are simply maintaining the null hypothesis till such point as there is evidence to reject it in favor of a claim of existence.

    But keep in mind, faith is required for us to simply get through life — there’s no way we’d get on an airplane if we did not have faith that the pilot could get that huge hunk of metal off the ground and fly it at 35,000 feet and then safely land it. You can’t prove that nothing will go wrong.

    Right, but would you get in that same plane without any evidence that the pilot had any training? Trust on the basis of some indication that someone will accomplish e.g. flying a plane is not on the same footing as trust in the absence of evidence (And your assertion that there is evidence is exactly that – a bald assertion. Nowhere in your blog do you say what this irrefutable evidence is.). The former is far better than the latter.

    But my whole point is I don’t have to prove God to you. God has provided all that He will provide and has declared that if that is not enough for someone, then they are a fool.</blockquote?
    Then – aside from the insult (and insult it is whether you pass off responsibility for saying it to your god or not) – what exactly was the point of this sophistry again?

    1. Tishrei

      Hi,

      OY! Seems like my post (unintentionally) opened a can of worms.

      Okay, I don’t see how you made the correlation between incest and this topic. God did not command incest but in fact commanded against it. I’m not following your line of reasoning.

      And yes, the bible talks about how slaves are to be treated. You are taking today’s worldview and applying it to the worldview of the ancient Israelites. I recently watched a program on PBS in which the topic was Lincoln, the civil war and slavery. One of experts (an incredible historian but I don’t recall his name), was a black guy. As he studied that time period, he was very disappointed with Lincoln and the length of time it took him to declare slaves free. But as he said on this program, he came to respect and understand Lincoln more and more as he understood the time period, the difficulties, etc. What he finally said is that we in this century cannot apply our way of thinking to those in that time period and expect to understand them. The people of Lincoln’s time thought different than we do in our modern world. According to this historian, it was a difficult and monumental move. That is exactly what you are attempting to do with these ancient people. You are trying to understand those ancient people with your 21st century view of the world.

      As to the airplane, I do get on airplanes without any evidence whatsoever that the pilot has had any training. I don’t have proof that he/she does have any training. However, I place faith in the airlines that hire these pilots that they only hire qualified folks and undergo the proper training. I have traveled a lot and not once have I ever obtained any verifiable proof that they are doing their jobs in hiring qualified folks nor do I have any independent knowledge that the cockpit crew are qualified. It’s nothing more than faith in the airlines that they are doing what they are supposed to do to ensure that those they put in the cockpit are qualified. Based on that faith, I get on an airplane and fly all over the world at 35,000 feet.

      You incorrectly pointed out that I did not provide evidence. In one of my responses, I stated that I have provided that evidence (albeit in different posts) and went on to say that I could list those posts but it would be an exercise in futility. I don’t wish to argue this point for the sake of argument. What I did say is that any proof I could provide would not be sufficient for an atheist. I don’t know what evidence you would deem acceptable. What I’m not willing to do is go through my older posts and link them here for purpose of arguing with you.

      As to the burden of proof, I have already agreed that normally the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim. Where you fail to understand is that I am not making that claim. The Bible makes that claim. And I believe the scriptures and it is not a blind faith based on nothing leaving all reason and intelligence on the curb. However, what I have unfortunately learned a long time ago is not to argue with atheists (or anyone with an agenda) because it really is an exercise in futility. You want to prove me wrong — that’s your agenda. As your handles explains, you are “shamelessly” an atheist.

      Lastly, as to the purpose of my post, it was not directed at atheists though obviously it can be read by anyone who chooses. If you really read the post, you should be able to determine that I am talking to Christians. The whole point of my blog post was to point out that it is a waste of time to prove His existence beyond what God has already provided. You want more — it ain’t gonna happen. If I felt you really wanted to know why I believe as I do based on evidence, I would provide it for you. Even though you have been cordial in your response, it is evident that you have no desire to understand why I believe as I do.

    2. Shamelessly Atheist

      My point, Tishrei, is that if you do not accept slavery, or that slavery is okay, then on what basis do you accept anyting else written in the Bible?

      As to the airplane, I do get on airplanes without any evidence whatsoever that the pilot has had any training.

      Actually, you implicitely do. Pilots are required by federal law to meet stingient requirements and must be able to demonstrate their ability to safely fly an aircraft. Yes, we place trust in that system, but the fact that it is very newsworthy when a plane goes down (particularly considering the number of flights every day) is very good evidence that our trust is well placed. If plane crashes occurred all the time, would you still get on one? I doubt it.

  7. Liz

    Good post tishrei,

    “To say categorically, “There is no God,” is to make an absolute statement. For the statement to be true, I must know for certain that there is no God in the entire universe. No human being has all knowledge. Therefore, none of us is able to truthfully make this assertion.

    If you insist upon disbelief in God, what you must say is, “Having the limited knowledge I have at present, I believe that there is no God.” Owing to a lack of knowledge on your part, you don’t know if God exists. So, in the strict sense of the word, you cannot be an atheist. The only true qualifier for the title is the One who has absolute knowledge, and why on earth would God want to deny His own existence?

    The professing atheist is what is commonly known as an “agnostic” – one who claims he “doesn’t know” if God exists. It is interesting to note that the Latin equivalent for the Greek word is “ignoramus.” The Bible tells us that this ignorance is “willful” (Psalm 10:4). It’s not that a person can’t find God, but that he won’t. It has been rightly said that the “atheist” can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman. He knows that if he admits that there is a God, he is admitting that he is ultimately responsible to Him. This is not a pleasant thought for some.”

    1. noreligion

      Liz,

      Apparently you are not clear on what an atheist is.

  8. Liz

    Sorry you feel that way.

  9. noreligion

    Tishri I know your reply was directed at Shamelessly Atheist but I have to ask you something because one point isn’t exactly clear to me. The incest he/she was referring to is the 10 or so instances in the 1st chapter of Genesis. You said there is a specific command against it. Can you please share where in the bible it is.

    1. Tishrei

      Nonreligion,

      Here are a few (but not all inclusive):

      Lev 18:7 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
      Lev 18:8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.
      Lev 18:9 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home.
      Lev 18:10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or of your daughter’s daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness.
      Lev 18:11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought up in your father’s family, since she is your sister.
      Lev 18:12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s relative.
      Lev 18:13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s relative.
      Lev 18:14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.
      Lev 18:15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
      Lev 18:16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.

  10. noreligion

    And you know as well as anyone those are specific commands to the Jews not to Noachides. What you are telling me is that it is not ok for Jews to commit incest but as with Adam and Eve’s children and Noah’s daughters insect is not prohibited for Noachides? C’mon Tishri…

    1. Tishrei

      No they are not specific to the Jews. They are moral laws for all people:

      (Lev 18:27) (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean),

  11. noreligion

    Just because someone is an atheist do not assume that they do not know the bible well.

    1. Tishrei

      I’m not assuming that at all. In fact, a friend of mine (a Christian) is married to this guy who does not believe and he has an incredible knowledge of the bible and theology.

      I have never made the assumption that non Christians do not know the bible.

  12. noreligion

    So according to you there are more than the seven Noachide commandments that non-Jews are to follow? Even messianic Jews, which I assume you are based on your name, believe gentiles are only under the Noachide laws.

    1. Tishrei

      You are incorrect. I do not follow the Noachide laws. Moral laws are for all people of all times. There are specific laws to the Jews. Let me say this — there are moral laws and civil laws. Morality is to all people of all times. For instance, within Leviticus, you will find this:

      (Lev 18:23) And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.

      It’s within the same chapter I quoted you earlier and a few verses down. You will not find a single person stating that gentiles are permitted to — well, you know — but Jews are forbidden. It is a perversion no matter if one is a Jew or a gentile.

      I bring up Lev 18:23 only because it is within the same chapter and it makes no sense to state that Jews are forbidden from a close familial relationship but that is inapplicable to gentiles while Lev 18:23 is forbidden for all. Unless of course your argument is that Lev 18:23 is understood to only be a prohibition for Jews.

  13. noreligion

    I don’t think you know what the seven Noachide laws are (actually I am sure you don’t know them). Also, I did not call you a Noachide, please read my comment carefully to see that. In case you are interested, the seven Noachide laws are moral laws and they do in fact prohibit incest, I was simply saying the verses you cited did not prohibit anything for Noachides or any non-Jew. That being said it is still ironic that the same god that prohibits it allows it at least 10 times in the first chapter of Genesis. Forgive my little statement here but you are aware of the GIGO principal right? GIGO means garbage in, garbage out and generally refers to computers. Here I am using it to refer to what you read, so shall you reap. You read garbage, in this case a book that condones 10 instances of incest in it’s first chapter. You are gonna get garbage out meaning a warped sense of morals and misshapen values.

    1. Tishrei

      Again, you are incorrect. The 7 noahide laws incorporate many (hundreds) of laws under it. The seven can be seen as categories in which there are bunch of laws under it. In any event, we are getting so far off topic — and this is one of the reasons I don’t like to argue with atheists. I have devoted so much time to this post, it’s unbelievable.

  14. noreligion

    I was incorrect? What was I incorrect about?

    1. Tishrei

      That I have no knowledge of the noachide laws. I’m not an expert but I am aware of the history and the teachings.

  15. noreligion

    Well you didn’t. Otherwise you would have known incest was part of the sexual prohibitions.

    1. Tishrei

      That’s what I said. I even posted the scriptures prohibiting it. One of us is not understanding the other or both of us are not understanding each other.

  16. noreligion

    No it isn’t what you said. Read what you wrote Tishri. You specifically said it is what was written in Leviticus that makes the prohibition for Noachides. It isn’t. The seven Noachide laws were derived from the Talmud, most notably in the Mishneh Torah from Rambam (Maimonodies). Please learn before you attempt to correct anyone.

    1. Tishrei

      You asked me where is the prohibition against incest –referring to my reply to Shamelessly Atheist. I replied to you with a bunch of scripture from Leviticus. No mention of Noachide. You then said those were specifically to Jews and I said no they were not. It was you who brought up the noachide laws, not me.

      Where is this leading? And even if I don’t fully understand the noachide laws, what has that got to do with the lead post?

      This has gotten so far off topic that there is no correlation between the lead post and where it is at now. We might as well start talking about end times or the sermon on the mount.

  17. noreligion

    And Leviticus is to the Jews. If you don’t know that by what right do you claim to know anything about what you consider the word of god?

    1. Tishrei

      Okay, I see where you’re going (but it’s off topic) but I’m going to bite. Almost ALL of scripture including the 4 Gospels were given to the Jews. That does not mean that moral laws are inapplicable to the gentiles. What you are talking about is Pauline dispensation. As to the Noachide laws, that is not found in the bible. It’s man made — basically the Jews came up with that. You won’t find in the bible that God addressed the gentiles saying to them to obey the 7 laws. You are bringing in outside sources and trying to use that as an argument though I do not know where you are taking this. It was not until after Jesus was crucified that God began to directly deal with the gentiles but gentiles were always under a moral law. Look at Nineveh.

      Unless you can tie this in to the initial subject, I’m getting tired and just don’t want to argue — or at least tell me where you’re going. If you’re just trying to find fault in my undestanding of the bible, at some point you will — I already know that I do not understand the Word of God with 100% accuracy.

  18. noreligion

    No again you are totally incorrect. The first six Noachide laws were supposedly given to Adam in the garden. the seventh was given after the made up flood story. Your right, this conversation is over because it is apparent that you only want to twist my words to mean what you want.

    1. Tishrei

      The only negative commandment given to Adam was to not eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Do you have scripture where God gave more laws in the Garden? There were positive commandments such as take care of the garden, etc.

  19. noreligion

    For cryin out loud. What is your problem? Did I write the damn Noachide laws? Read and learnhere.

    1. Tishrei

      It’s the Talmud, not the bible. Those laws were not given in the Garden of Eden. You are getting frustrated because I am not accepting the Talmud as binding — I asked for scripture and you give me the Talmud.

      And the Leviticus scripture I quoted to you? Here is from your article:

      The Noahide Laws comprise the six laws given to Adamin the Garden of Eden ,[4]and a seventh (eating flesh from a living animal), which was added after the Flood of Noah. Later at the Revelation at Sinaithe Seven Laws of Noah were regiven to humanity and embedded in the 613 Laws given to the Children of Israel along with the Ten Commandments, which are part of, and not separate from, the 613 mitzvot. These laws are mentioned in the Torah . According to Judaism, the 613 mitzvot or “commandments” given in the written Torah, as well as their reasonings in the oral Torah, were only issued to the Jews and are therefore binding only upon them, having inherited the obligation from their ancestors. At the same time, at Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel (i.e. the Children of Jacob, i.e. the Israelites ) were given the obligation to teach other nations the embedded Noahide Laws. However, it is actually forbidden by the Talmud for non-Jews (on whom the Noahide Laws are still binding) to elevate their observance to the Torah’s mitzvot as the Jews do

      This is not found in scripture but only the Talmud. I have no clue why you are bringing the Talmud and Noachide laws into this conversation.

  20. noreligion

    Nope. Where does that say they were not given in the bible and why would it matter one bit to me if you didn’t accept the Talmud? Levitical law was not directed at anyone other than Jews.

  21. Repent Harlequin

    Well, no, there’s nothing in the Bible that tells us we must “prove God’s existence”, He certainly doesn’t need that from us nor requires. Only to share the gospel, the hope that lies within us (1 Peter). After all, the world attests to Him (Romans 1).

    But I can never resist when someone brings up Logic and God in the same sentence.

    Option 1: The cosmos is an illusion; it doesn’t exist.
    Option 2: The cosmos is self-existent (and eternal).
    Option 3: The cosmos is self-created.
    Option 4: The cosmos is created by something that is self-existent.
    Are there any other options that cannot be fit into the four above? Bertrand Russell’s infinite series of first causes may be submitted, but this is only a not very well disguised version of option 3: self-creation carried out to infinity. The answer is ‘No’. We are faced with four options.
    Trimming out the possibilities we can immediately eliminate two of them.
    Option 1 is easy. In order for there to be an illusion there must be someone having the illusion. If someone is having the illusion then they must be self-created, self-existent, or created (caused) by something that is self-existent. Further, if the illusion is absolute in that nothing exists then we are done.
    Option 3 is formally false. For something (or someone) to be self-created they must be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship. This includes spontaneous generation “by chance”. Chance is nothing. Formally, chance is not. Chance is powerless, it can influence nothing. It is a probability in mathematics; not a force. If you flip a coin what are the chances (or probability) that it will come up heads? Fifty percent. What influence does chance have on the coin coming up heads? None at all; in fact even the question is nonsensical.
    So now we are left with 2 and 4. If something exists then whatever exists is either self-existent or created by something that is self-existent. The concept of self-existent reality is not only logically possible, it is logically necessary. If there ever was a time when there was nothing there would be nothing now, unless something can come from nothing, which puts us back at the logically impossible concept of self-creation.
    If something must be self-existent then what or who is it?
    Is the cosmos is the what that is self-existent? Is it all of the cosmos? If it’s all then I am self-existent and so is this community. Being contingent, dependent, derived entities this cannot be the case, so if it is the cosmos that is self-existent it is not the whole cosmos. We may argue that the cosmos is self-existent in part, and so creates or generates these other realities. That would place the self-existent portion of the cosmos in a higher order than the created portions of the cosmos. In other words, we have given the self-existent portion of the cosmos same transcendent attributes of God.
    This is fatal to the self-existent cosmos as we attempt to locate a transcendent self-existent being within the universe while attempting to avoid linguistic confusion; mistaking ontological status for geographic or spatial relationships. Which brings us back to the preceding paragraph.
    If the only way we can be here is via a self-existent reality and that reality must be transcendent then we are faced with the inevitable conclusion that there is a God and this God is transcendant and self-existing.

    That there is a God is not only logically possible; it is logically necessary.
    ________________________________________________________________
    Source: NOT A CHANCE The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology, by Dr. R.C. Sproul
    Argument condensed and summarized, quite astoundingly and originally I might add, by Harlequin!
    _______________________________________________________________

    Further Discussion

    The above should in no way be construed as an attempt to make a logical argument for God as described in the Bible, nor is intended to dismiss or minimize faith in any way, and certainly not the work of the Holy Spirit. What is intended is to establish there is, indeed must be, a God and to show what kind of God He must be; specifically, transcendent and self-existing.

    I have known this intuitively ever since I can remember thinking of these things and it had caused me philosophical difficulties to no end. In my later years prior to being saved I ‘resolved’ this pesky problem by ceasing to think about it.

    As I said, this is not a logical proof of the Biblical God as understood and known by Christians. But one should be prompted to ask: How would this God let us know what He desires of us? What does He desire of us? Why does He desire it? What are His attributes? The only answer to the first is Scripture and the rest are answered by Scripture.

    People are religious. We are hard wired to be religious. Some will say that this hardwiring is ‘proof’ that religious ideas in total must be false. I will not labor the absurdity, even silliness, of such a conclusion. Suffice it to say that there is something in everyone that seeks after God in some form; or better put, a void in all of us that gives us an awareness which promts us to fill it attempting to make us us whole. We know this from experience.

    But do any of these “gods” make sense from those vaying experiences?

    Religions such as Hinduism where there are warring deities and mythological athropomorphic/animalistic entities protecting their particular part of the universe and vying for the attentions of the people do not fit our logical conclusion of a Transcendent Self Existent Being who brought all into existence. Modern Hinduism may have attempted to fix these problems after the fact, but the baggage remains. Much the same can be said of other religions, from New Agers to Scientologists to Buddhists. Additionally, we can add to this list “Alien Hope”, my own term for those who look to outer space for some superior beingsthat will save us.

    Islam is unique in that it is not mythic in the sense of anthropomorphism or animalist tribal legends. However, besides the obvious problems that come about in light of the gospel there are certain problems we can readily see without reference to anything else other than the preceding article and its (Islam’s) own framework.

    The ‘god’ described in the Koran (and it is barely described; there is no real theology within its pages) is not a personal god, but rather an impersonal one. It is not a god of love who cares for its creation, inclusive of people, in any implicit or explicit way. It cannot, being impersonal. Ceratinly, it demands some variety of obedience, which in itself is problematic when speaking of an impersonal god because it begs the question: Why would an impersonal god care about obedience?

    But there are two more devistating questions.

    First, why would an impersonal god bother to bring about creation? For what purpose? Or rather, for what purpose that it would care about? The only answer I can imagine is entertainment but that leaves me unsatisfied.

    Second, the Muslim believes he will be rewarded for his works by being admitted to Paradise. Let us not trouble ourselves to define what works the Muslim is supposed to perform. Whether these works are giving to charity or murdering people is irrelevant. The salient issue is this:

    Why would an impersonal god care or desire to reward anything? Why would an impersonal god care to give anything – even if it is earned – to anyone. Let us assume for one moment that an impersonal god could desire obedience: There will always be someone else to obey and who is to know whether there are people going to Paradise or merely being annihilated at death?

    This (rewarding) is not a question of motivation, because motivation is not an issue with an impersonal god.

    We cannot know God through reason alone. Though I would caution all not to discount reason as somehow contrary or opposed to faith. Reason is another aspect of God, a communicable attribute He shares with us. Just as I would not discount science as that is one way we can explore His creation.

    What I am saying is that we can know that God exists logically, and that He is transcendent and Self-Existing, because we can know we exist and this universe exists. From there we can look at all the implications of this necessarily logical conclusion and. From there we look after the fact from our data experience and we may conclude the only thing that makes sense of our experience is the Personal God who surpasses all understanding.

    And He tells us just that in the pages of His Scripture.

  22. Repent Harlequin

    Et al,

    Prior to Feb 1999 I too was an atheist.

    I didn’t convert by being more intelligent (although I must say… ) or being a more moral person (no one is). Neither of these things saves anyone. Only God can do that.

    In Christ,
    Kent

  23. noreligion

    Tishrei,

    Getting back on topic just let me clarify on thing. In my blog which you refer to I said the burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of theists (since they are making the positive claim). I did not say it rests on the shoulders of Christians, Muslims, Hindus or any other numerous religions. Why did you assume it was only applicable to Christianity?

    1. Tishrei

      I did not take your post to mean only being applicable to Christianity. However, my post was from a Christian point of view.

      Hope all is well. I think we’ve talked this subject to death and there’s not much else to say.

  24. writey

    I would argue that if someone suggests that something exists, then the burden of proof would be on that person to show that the something does in fact exist.

    If an atheist says that God doesn’t exist, he is refuting the proposition made by a person before him that God exists which is still not a proven fact, and therefore needs to be proven.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi,

      Well, that makes sense except that I don’t have to prove to you God exists because He has taken the steps that He wishes to reveal. That was the whole point of my post. There are many things testify to His existence. I’m not going to go through it all simply because I am confident that you will not find it acceptable.

      I understand that you refute His existence. And honestly, there’s nothing I can do about that. Let me share this. As we know, during WWII, the Jews experienced the most horrific of atrocities against them, the holocaust. There are many that deny that this took place. They do not believe it took place despite the overwhelming evidence. Doesn’t matter what you show them, the come up with some excuse as to why it was manufactured.

      I can show you evidence that what is written in the bible is true — that no human could have concocted and pulled it off to the letter from being born in the right family, the right city, all the way down to haggling over His clothes — to archeological finds that testify to what was written in the bible is fact. Like the muslims that deny the evidence of the holocaust, as an atheist, you deny the evidence that I can produce.

      But I don’t have to prove His existence to you. I don’t have to prove to a muslim that the holocaust took place (try talking to one of them, you’ll see what I mean. I know, I have done that). It’s there for those that want to see it. I can’t give you more evidence of His existence than what God has provided. If what He has provided is not acceptable to you, I am under no obligation to you or anyone to provide more.

      Lastly, in the Bible, no one is going around preaching His existence. They start off with the fact of His existence and preach repentance. God has been gracious enough to provide evidence of His existence.

  25. K. Sean Proudler

    Direct “Proof Of God” is accepted neither by an Atheist nor any Religious person.

    One believes that there is no God at all. The other believes that there is a God.

    Both of these folk stick to their beliefs and won’t budge.

    Beliefs only need be practiced if one is located at a distance from the truth itself, and thus in turn one is located within a zone of less than truth.

    Thus if “Proof Of God” is truly presented in the here and now, rather than from a distance, it is immediately rejected by an Atheist or any Religious person since in such a mind it is beliefs that are placed as first order in decision making, NOT truths.

    http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

    1. Repent Harlequin

      Hello K. Sean,

      I have to somewhat disagree. It is not possible to prove the Triune God of the Bible through logical proofs and philosophical treatise; that requires faith and the working of he Holy Spirit is the source of that faith.

      However, to prove that a Self Existant Necessary Being is not beyond logical proof. (See above, and I’m not the only one in history to do that; I was just reading Acquinas last night).

      This is an important distinction.

      On another issue, I think the entire concept of so called Bible code is undisguised gnosticism, that secret knowledge not even known by our Lord Jesus is hidden in the pages of Scripture for the very clever to find.

  26. Repent Harlequin

    Hey Blog Lady T.,

    I was looking at your article again and thought I’d get back to what you actually said and what I think was your original intent in writing it. Now that the histrionics are well in the past this seems a good time to comment.

    “Are we Christians required to prove there is a God to atheists? Is the burden of proof upon us to do so? No, it is not.” ~BLT~

    I agree with you.

    Some who would not agree would point to:

    “14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[a]; do not be frightened.”[b] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 2:14-16

    It is clear from the context that what we are called to do is confess Christ even under threat for doing so. Peter was speaking to people who were likely to find themselves in this position. Although this is a good practice for us on general principles. It is not, however, a call to proof, but personal testimony.

    I’d been thinking about this recently because I ran across a quote from Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher of the early twentieth century. I’m paraphrasing: Believers who try to prove God by intellectual means did not become believers that way. I know I don’t have it exactly right, but the sentiment is there.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like apologetics and I like logical arumentation; I think they are essential, yet have limited application. (For example, as I make clear above in my unanswered post logical argument does not bring you to Jehovah, but it does bring one to a Self existent eternal necessary being). If there is something getting in the way of a person logical argument or other apologetics (ie, explaining difficult Scripture) can be used to eliminate that road block and allow the person to be more open. But it’s still the Holy Spirit that makes the change and it still willful sin that will resist anything approaching truth.

    Also, like the passage in Romans 1 we are reminded that un-believers are without excuse. It seems to me any proof from Aquinas to Harlequin :-) is a re-affirmation of that. Atheists can’t and won’t accept them anyway. Another quote from Wittgenstein, which I have exactly, seems apropo:

    “When one is frightened of the truth then it is never the whole truth that one has an inkling of.”

    But in the end, Christians are not commanded to prove God, as you have said.

  27. K. Sean Proudler

    God supports truth.
    Satan supports lies and deceit.
    The two are positioned far apart, thus there is a great distance between them.

    Where do you currently sit between these two extremes?

    All religions are incomplete, atheism is incomplete, science is incomplete, thus there is room for all of them in the here and now. Thus all of them are at a distance from God.

    However, if you approach the truth, thus you always walk the path of truth, the distance between you and Satan increases, and the distance between you and God diminishes.

    If, on the other hand, you simply stick to you beliefs, then you stick to being located at your current distance from God.

    At such a distance, you can be deceived, for you know not of the truth of how exactly the deception is done. The closer to the truth you move, thus the more truth you acquire, the less you can be deceived, for the wiser you have become now that you have learnt that you were once a fool.

    ” Do not DECEIVE yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.” (1 Cor 3:18)

    1. Harlequin

      I suspect that even you don’t know what you just said :-)

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