“Does God Exist?” My Opening Statement (2006)

Opening Statement
“Does God Exist?”
Central Virginia Community College
February 2006

Thank you all for coming out for the debate and thanks to Alex and Dr. McGee for being willing to help with this. I’d also like to thank my God, in whom we live and move and have our being. I want to make it clear from the start that the God I am talking about today is the God of the Christian scriptures. That’s the only God I care to prove because He is the only God who actually exists. I am happy to join Alex in refuting any other gods.

A lot of people have told me that it is a tall order to try and prove God’s existence in ten minutes. While I was on the phone with my girlfriend Kerri the other night, she told me that she didn’t understand why I have to prove God’s existence because the evidence for His existence is perfectly clear. She’s right, if God exists then the evidence for Him must be abundant and plain. The Christian God makes this claim Himself. Psalm 19.1-4 says that

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their measuring line goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.

So if a person denies that there is evidence for God’s existence, then they have denied the God of the Christian scriptures from the very start. The evidence is abundant and plain, every fact of existence attests to God’s glory. When I say evidence I am referring to all of the evidence that attests to God’s existence and person. This is not just referring to popular “proofs” for God’s existence but to God’s creation and God’s Word. Everything is evidence that God exists.

If the evidence for God’s existence is so abundant and plain and clear then everyone should believe in God. The truth is that even though some people deny it, everyone does believe in God. Romans 1.18-25 says that

The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 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. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!

So if a person denies that God exists or denies that there is evidence for His existence or denies that they know that God exists, they call God a liar. So God and non-Christians are not on good terms, so to speak. That’s why non-Christians try so hard to rationalize and create arguments against the God who made them. The reason that everyone does not claim to believe in God is because everyone is blinded by sin. Non-Christians suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Everyone does not know God in a saving way. We can learn about our need for salvation and how to obtain it through the Word of God. God’s Word teaches us that we are all sinners. We have all done wrong in God’s eyes. We have failed to conform to God’s moral character. That is what we mean by sin. God did not decide to leave us alone to try and save ourselves. We cannot save ourselves; there is nothing good enough that we can ever do to merit forgiveness of our sins. We need Jesus to save us from our rebellion against God even in our thinking. To even question God’s authority is to sin against Him, and this sin needs the forgiveness that is only available through the blood that Christ shed while dying on the cross. God in His love sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for sins so that whoever trusts in Jesus as personal Savior and Lord will be saved from their sin and will never die. This is how God shows His love towards us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. This redemption is needed by every individual here today.

Now I’m sure that some of you are upset at this point because I’m calling you a sinner. Well, I am a sinner too, we all are. Just because something is offensive does not make it untrue. Others are upset because they realize that the outcome of this discussion does affect you. Whether or not God exists affects everything, even how you think of yourself. There are others who are upset that I’m using the Bible so much. There is a reason for this. When we examine our beliefs we find a governing principle, a final authority for everything that I will call a presupposition. A non-Christian tries to start with a false presupposition that they are in God’s position as a final judge of truth, even though they are finite and sinful. Non-Christians use arguments involving logic, science, and morality in order to try and make a case against God. There is a logical necessity attached to the presupposition of the God of the Bible, and rejecting this presupposition destroys any hope of having a solid foundation for things like knowledge and science and ethics. Without God as a precondition for everything, this universe and all that is in it, including the language we are communicating with now loses all intelligibility.

Non-Christians are forced to borrow from the Christian worldview because it is the only worldview which is true and accounts for logic, science, and morality. This is God’s world and man is created in God’s image. We can’t stand outside of God’s creation on some neutral ground and debate whether or not God exists because His existence will come to bear on our arguments. Even though unbelievers strive to suppress this truth, it cannot be removed from their being and so they argue as though they are the final authority of truth while actually borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to get anywhere. It is like someone standing on the stage and claiming through the microphone that the stage does not exist.

The Christian worldview is proven true by the impossibility of the contrary. This does not mean that Christianity is merely probable, or that it is the best explanation for the facts we have; it means that the Christian worldview is the only true one without question. The Christian worldview has no trouble accounting for logic, science, or morality; while the non-Christian worldview can allow for none of these. Non-Christians are forced to borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense of anything.

The only proof for the existence of God is that without God nothing can be proven at all. Only by starting with the Christian God can we have a basis for logic, science and ethics. God is absolute. This means that He is the standard of truth. The laws of logic reflect God’s thinking. Logic can be discovered and used by humanity. Logic is evident and universal, invariant, immaterial. God and the laws of logic are eternal, and man discovers and uses these laws because he is created in the image of God. We can trust our senses because God tells us that we can trust our senses and that they’ve been created so that they are reliable. We can perform science only because we can trust our senses, and because there are regularities in creation. Creation is a revelation of God’s uniform nature. God’s Word tells us that we should expect regularities in nature. Morality is possible only because the absolute, personal God of the Christian scriptures exists. Logic, science, a
nd morality are not allowed in any other worldview. Christianity is proven true because of the impossibility of the contrary. Without God it is impossible to prove anything.

A non-Christian’s reasoning is affected by sin and drowns in irrationality. Atheists know that God exists, but assume from the beginning that He does not in order to live as though He doesn’t. The atheist worldview cannot allow for the universal, immaterial, invariant laws of logic, yet continues to borrow from the Christian worldview in order to proceed with thought. How are the laws of logic possible in an atheistic universe, and how are they justified? The atheist worldview cannot provide a reason as to why we should trust our senses, or why we should assume that there is regularity in nature. The unbeliever has to borrow from the Christian worldview in order to get anywhere in science. The atheist worldview cannot allow for morality, so there is no real ethical reason to accept one proposition over another anyway. Yet the unbeliever continues to talk and live like some things are really right and some things are really wrong because they cannot eliminate the knowledge of God from themselves. In borrowing from the Christian worldview, atheists and other non-Christians show that they are unable to account even for this debate without resting on the presupposition that God exists.

So without God there is no intelligibility whatsoever. The proof for God’s existence is that without God nothing is provable. The Christian worldview is proven true by the impossibility of the contrary. It is up to the non-Christian to account for logic, science, and morality or to repent and believe the Gospel message of Jesus Christ which leads to the knowledge of things as they truly are.


2 Comments

Antiochus

The claim is both non-verfiable and non-falsifiable; any attempt to prove you don’t believe in gods (polygraph, FMRI etc) will be construed as “you beat the test”, “Satan is deceiving you”, or any other ad hoc/post hoc explanation.

For the most part, it is not axiomatic, obvious, or self-evident that there is a God (feel free to further explore this site to see why). Rather, the theist who makes this argument is completely blinded by their own faith in their own personal beliefs that they have deluded themselves into thinking that their beliefs are universally shared and accepted internally by every human on earth. The reason why this is delusional is because there is no way to know what every human thinks or believes, and thus this argument depends on a great deal of wishful thinking.

It is also a terrible attempt to claim that the person knows the atheist better than the atheist. Just as a person could easily spot the ludicrousness in the statement that they know that universal invisible sky pixies exist (and they just pretend that they don’t believe), a theist should know better than to obnoxiously assert that atheists pretend not to believe in their particular god.

Most of the time, the theist who uses this argument does not have a leg to stand on. Therefore, the theist retreats to wishful thinking.

Matthias McMahon

Antiochus,

First, you should cite the page you copy/paste from. I’ll do it for you this time: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheists_know_there_is_a_God

Second, had you perused our own site at all, you would see the problem with the criterion of both verifiability (http://www.choosinghats.org/2013/01/verificationism/) and falsifiability (http://www.choosinghats.org/2013/02/falsificationism/).

Third, an assertion is not an argument. Many assertions do not constitute many arguments.

Fourth, unless you comment with your own words, you will not be allowed to comment at all. You may quote whomever you want, as long as you make it clear that it is a quote. Simple copy/paste/comment is no more significant than spam and will be dealt with accordingly.

Regards,
Matthias


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