Session Notes

What We Will Learn Today

  1. "How do we know anything at all?"
  2. Analytic Philosophy
  3. The Historical-Legal Apologetic Approach
  4. The Integrity of the New Testament
  5. Today's Difficulty with Miracles


The ‘New Atheists’ have enjoyed a lot of popularit

Antony Flew

  • Philosophical defender of Atheism in throughout the 20th century
  • Towards the end of his life, acknowledged that DNA convinced him that an intelligent did, in fact, exist

Sam Harris

  • In 2004, produce a book titled ‘The End of Faith’
  • Argued that behind the tragedy of September 11th was religious justifications, and that we’ve lost the right to hold on to these old myths of the past
    • “There’s no good reason to believe that God exists”

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion

  • He hopes his readers will turn into atheists
  • Chooses to discredit ‘straw man’ arguments

How to respond to the claims of an Atheist: 3 important arguments

  1. Contingency Argument
  2. Cosmological Argument
  3. Morality Argument

1. Contingency Argument asks: Why is there something rather than nothing?

  • The universe does not explain its own cause
  • Therefore, something needed to cause it
  • That ‘cause’ is called God

Common response to this argument

“Alright then, who or what caused God?”

The Contingency Argument is based on the impossibility or undesirability of an infinite regress

  • That there is a cause seems more reasonable than than the alternative

Multiverse Theory

  • Claim: It’s possible that other universes exist
  • Response: This is an example of Ockhams Razor
    1. Don’t multiply problems beyond their most simple state
  • In other words, if you can’t explain how our universe is made, then how can you explain how the other universes’s were made?
  • Similarly, there is no natural evidence for it

Issues with Contingency Argument

  • We aren’t that much closer to Christianity

2. ‘Kalam’ Cosmological Argument

  • Whatever begins to exist has a cause;
  • The universe began to exist;
  • Therefore, the universe has a cause
  • This argument is logically valid
    1. But even then, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s truthful
    2. It’s truthfulness depends on the truthfulness of its premises
  • Most scientists and thinkers agree that these premises are true
    1. David Hume: Agreed that everything has a cause
    2. The ‘Big Bang’ theory is an example of popular theory around how the universe began to exists
  • Issue with the ‘Kalam’ Cosmological Argument
      1. Again, not much closer to Christianity

3. The Morality Argument

  • You would be hard-pressed to find people who think that morality is 100% relative (ie that there is not an objective principle of some kind that we construct our morality)
    1. This is especially true when you give real examples of this in action (ie punching an innocent girl in the face)
  • This points to Natural Law:
    1. Paul mentions that “even the gentiles bear witness to the fact that the law is written on their heart”
    2. Discussed by ancient greek thinkers, such as the play Antigone
  • If this is the case, where did that morality come from? How do you account for it?
  • C.S Lewis’ answer: There must be some moral law giver
    1. He says if you can get someone to this point, then you’ve started to get a little closer to Christianity
    2. Following question to bridge to Christianity: “What happens when you find yourself in bad relationship to that natural, moral law giver?”

Additional Arguments for God’s Existence

  • Findings of the Intelligent Design
    1. Example: Bacterial Flagella ‘motor’
  • Teleological Argument

Review of the Arguments of God’s Existence

  • While these arguments are strong and important for the Christian Apologist to know, they must also keep in mind that
    1. These arguments for God’s existence can go on forever, and thus...
    2. They need to get the skeptic or unbeliever to consider the claims of Christ as quickly as possible