Conversation with an Atheist, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, August 25, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

This is part 2 in a series inspired by a conversation I had with an atheist that I graduated from high school with. You can visit part 1 of this conversation here. I hope you find this information helpful in your discussions with atheists or scoffers or anyone that may bring up similar sounding things. We'll begin today with this quote:

“After all, sooner or later, we all die, our awareness stops with our brain chemistry, and we all become compost, and no amount of praising a deity that isn’t there is going to change that.”

We do agree here with his first point. We do all die. That's a fact. But some of us will spend eternity in the presence of Almighty God and some of us will spend it in eternal torment. I would prefer eternal paradise with Christ. I've often heard it said, “I'd rather live like there was a God (or like Jesus is the truth) and find out I was wrong when I die, rather than living like there is no God (or like Jesus was not the truth) and find out I was wrong when I die.” I completely agree with this. But I don't think it's even that difficult of a choice. The evidence for the veracity of the claims of Scripture are confirmed by science, archeology, history, and logic as well as a variety of other means. Take a look at my blog post called “The Birth of the Way” for a conversation starter on that. Unfortunately, that's the only point we've found where the atheist and the Christian will agree thus far. Christians prefer evidence and logic, mixed with some observation and our experience with reality. Atheists dabble in fairy tales.

My friend quoted above claims that awareness is about brain chemistry. As I pointed out last week, there are leading researchers into consciousness that do not agree with this atheist's claims concerning our awareness stopping with our brain chemistry. Dr. Sam Parnia believes that the consciousness can live on beyond the physical body. Some scientists hypothesize that consciousness doesn’t arise from cell activity alone—potentially meaning our minds don’t always need a body to function. You can read more about that in last week's blog post as well. I alluded to his point about becoming “compost” last week as I mentioned the hopelessness of atheism represented by us becoming worm food in the end. This is only partially true. He's correct when he says we all die and become compost. He is, of course, not realizing he's relaying an idea found in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis. “...for you are dust and to dust you will return.” He believes this is the end, but we know that it's really the start of the next chapter—for some it will mean eternal joy and peace as we celebrate the God of all grace and love, while for others it will mean their suffering has only begun. This makes me sad.

He then goes on to say that praising God (who he further reminds us he does not believes exists) will not change this. He's correct to a degree, I suppose. Praise to God is not likely to stop you from passing from this world to the next. However, I believe he is implying that we will physically cease to exist and since there is nothing more to us than our physical bodies, everything we are will decay into nothingness, essentially. Even scientists who study the mind don't believe such rubbish. The mind and the body are two very different things and even how they interact or respond to each other is little understood. But what leading researchers believe is that the mind is independent of the body, meaning we are much more than a complex machine. I will go so far as to say we are made in the image of God, which means we are not just physical beings. We have a spirit which is far more important, in my opinion.

In the past I have presented what I believe are three very solid arguments for the existence of God. These are referred to as the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological Argument and the Moral Argument. There is a great deal of evidence that God exists. These three arguments are only three; there are many, many more. There is actually a great deal that cannot be explained otherwise. Denying this gives testament to the fact that the atheist isn't interested in logic and reason or in evidence. He's really only interested in denying God exists. This gives him the feeling of control and removes any notion of accountability. It has nothing to do with evidence. Keep this in mind when you're talking with an atheist. The evidence, according to God's Word and according to reality, is all around us.

This will wrap up this week's installment. Short and sweet. I know it's out of the ordinary for me, but I thought this was a good place to stop.

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