Monday, July 16, 2012

"You're Nothing Without Me" and Other Atheist Misunderstandings and Straw Man Arguments (Part 2)

By Tony Miano

4. "You will never find ANYONE good as me."

Again... And?... So?...

The statement drips with arrogance, self-righteousness, and sinful delusion. A person who would make such a statement as an objection to Christianity is a person who actually believes in their deluded mind that they are better than God.

There's no need to spend a lot of time on this one, because the person who would make this statement has already shown their inability to reason, and an inability to see themselves in their true light.

God alone is good (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19).

No mere human being is good (Psalm 14:1-3; Psalm 51:1-3; Romans 3:10-18), according to God's standard: moral perfection (Matthew 5:48).

5. "You brought this upon yourself."

This can be true and not true, depending upon the circumstances.

The victim of an unprovoked crime, such as an act of violence, did not bring the attack upon themselves. A child does not bring upon themselves the verbal or physical abuse of a parent or relative. A convenience store worker does not bring upon themselves a robbery at the hands of a criminal opportunist. The Jews did not bring upon themselves the Holocaust. And an unborn child does not bring upon themselves their own murder at the hands of his or her parents and the depraved physicians who carry out the act.

The drunk driver brings upon himself his arrest for drunk driving. The drug addict brings upon herself the overdose that almost kills her. The adulterer brings upon himself the end of his marriage and the destruction of his family. The man who lacks integrity or is a sloth at work brings upon himself his termination from his job. The liar and the thief brings upon herself the loss of trust of her friends and family. The coveter brings upon himself a life of perpetual dissatisfaction and lack of contentment.

The idea that a person can't or won't believe in Jesus or God because they believe God would say to them in a given set of circumstances, "you brought this on yourself," carries with it a couple of logical fallacies. One is the "appeal to pity" fallacy. In this fallacy, the person making the assertions expects the hearer(s)to accept their argument based on an appeal to emotions or sympathy.

Another fallacy employed with this line of "reasoning" is known as a "non sequitur." Those who engage in this fallacy will make comments or present information that does not logically follow from a premise or the conclusion. Again, the premise expressed in the image about which I am offering this commentary is that there are "truths" about Christianity (and thus God and Jesus Christ) that turn people away from Christianity. And the alleged conclusion is that Christianity is invalid.

I don't like governments that persecute Christians, therefore North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China are invalid governments that do not exist.

It's a ridiculous line of thinking, isn't it?

And it is even more ridiculous to assert Christianity is invalid because the God of Christianity does or says things you do not like--especially when the allegations made are based on a misunderstanding of the character of God and a misapplication of His Word, the Bible.

The bottom line, however, is this: you are responsible for your sins against God. If you have done, said, or thought anything contrary to His Law (lying, stealing, looking with lustful intent, blasphemy, idolatry of the mind, hatred, coveting, etc.), then whatever consequences you may face in this life, and the eternal consequences you will face when you stand before God in judgment, are consequences you have brought upon yourself. You have no one but yourself to blame.

6. "I know best."

As expected whenever an unbeliever tries to compile a list like this (take for instance the ludicrous and fallacious musings of the man who put together the "Why won't God heal amputees" video), the assertions get weaker with each passing number. This assertion is a case in point.

The person who worships the false god of self is the person who presumes to know more or better than God. Inexcusable ignorance and sinful arrogance are the driving forces behind such thinking.

God is omniscient, while the unsaved man is woefully, spiritually blind by sin. Of course God knows better than man!

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:33-36).

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness" (Isaiah 40:12-17).

"Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:5).

"Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed" (1 Samuel 2:3).

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).

"By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything" (1 John 3:19-20).