25 March 2008

You Can't Argue With An Atheist

So don't bother.

I could elaborate here on how I don't even believe in atheism, but that's worthy of a whole blog entry of its own, so I'll restrain myself.
For now, let's just humor them and call them atheists:

When an atheist poses the question:
"Why do you believe what you believe and how do you know it's true?"
a Christian should immediately be on guard.
Do NOT make the common mistake of thinking that they are actually seeking TRUTH in their query, for I assure you, they are not. Make no mistake; this is not some soul-searching, lost individual who is quietly examining their belief system and looking for answers to the puzzling questions of life.
Nope.

The atheist is not looking for an answer -- not really.
He is looking for an argument and will assuredly pull you down with him in your attempts to prove a point.
Last week I engaged such a person on another blog (no, I will not link to it here).
In my naïveté or misguided, but sincere hope, I believed that this blogger was actually ASKING THE QUESTION.
My mistake.

Unfortunately, I made 2 very grave errors in my response to him:
1) Responding to him at all
and
2) Responding with any passion whatsoever.

You see, he was not interested in my point of view or rationale behind my faith. He wasn't even interested in how I came to my conclusions.
He focused solely on the semantical -- and immediately took (overzealous and over-dramatic, I might add) offense to minor infractions in my "attack."
He never addressed the actual points I made and he never acknowledged the logical arguments I presented. He also completely ignored the references I made to better sources of information and defense of faith (see list below).

He claimed that he stopped reading my replies because he was "so incensed" by my "fallacious attacks on his character," but his level of anger leads me to believe that he just didn't like what I had to say.
I don't claim to be an expert at defending my faith. In fact, I think (and fully admit) I am far too antagonistic when discussing something I am so passionate about. That's why I referenced the other resources.
But I do know WHAT I believe and WHY I believe it,
and some people just can't handle that.

For HONEST seekers of Truth, I recommend the following resources:
If There’s a God, Why Are There Atheists?, by R.C. Sproul;
Creation or Chaos: Modern Science and The Existence of God, by R. C. Sproul;
I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, by Norman L. Geisler;
The Archaeological Study Bible (excellent source of archaeological and historical evidence and background);
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell
The Case For Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence, by Lee Strobel
The Case For Faith, by Lee Strobel
and (a bit lighter fare, but still excellent): The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible, by Robert J. Hutchinson.

For now, I'm left retrieving my pearls from the mud in which I cast them...
Matthew 7:6

7 comments:

Lesley said...

Summer,

I love that you have the courage of your conviction!! It's sad that the person you were trying to have a honest, heartfelt discussion with is so completely immersed in his own situation that he refuses to see things in another way.

I totally understand what you are saying in your post as I have a friend who is a non-believer as well. Thankfully, they aren't vocal about their views and never, ever give me a hard time about mine.

The best thing we can do for non-believers is to pray for them, that one day they will find their way out of the darkness and find the light of the world!!

You Rock!! Keep spreading The Word!!!

Lesley :-)

Vinny said...

As an agnostic, when a Christian asks me why I believe what I believe, I assume that he is not doing some sort of soul searching or examination of his owns beliefs. Rather I assume he thinks that he can show me the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I have had many pleasant discussions with Christians in which I think we have come to a better understanding of each other’s positions. I do not consider his question dishonest or disingenuous simply because the probability is extremely small that he is going to find my answer persuasive.

HerstoryGirl said...

Vinny,
Thanks so much for your reply.
I appreciate your thoughtful (and thought-provoking) comments, but that was not the actual point of my post. I was not disappointed in the fact that he was not "truly soul-searching" so much as I was that he would not engage in the actual answers and arguments that I gave. Does that make sense?
The real purpose of my post is a rant aimed primarily at myself for letting myself get dragged into such an argument.

Which leads me to my reply to Lesley:
Thanks, girl, for your unfailing loyalty and support. Your comments are always well-spoken. I just want to clarify so that no one misunderstands me:

I NEVER think it's a waste of time to witness to someone who is spiritually lost or sincerely seeking the truth. But if someone is absolutely closed to the idea, or even to considering the idea, then we (I) need to follow Christ's example and not "beat them over the head" with my theology. =D

Jesus never used force or manipulation or forceful arguments; He laid the truth out there for us all to hear and decide and in our FREE WILL to choose.

As I stated to the atheist mentioned in my original post: He has the same information available to him that we all have. It's ultimately up to him to decide what he's going to believe. But just because one refuses to believe Truth, doesn't ultimately alter that Truth.
I hope that was somewhat coherent; it's been a long day.

Seeker of the Truth said...

They say there are no atheists in Hell (whatever one's conception of Hell may be), because once they're there they are no longer atheists; they believe.

Seeker

Vinny said...

There is no shortage of atheists or evangelicals in the blogosphere who are ready to debate each others' beliefs. On both sides, it is possible to find people who will fairly engage arguments and people whose debating technique amounts to little more than trying to shout down their opponent. As soon as it becomes apparent that I am dealing with the latter, I thank them for their time and move on. I do sometimes discuss my bad experiences on my own blog although I do like to provide a link to the original discussion so readers can judge for themselves.

HerstoryGirl said...

Vinny,
I am off to work and don't have time to respond at the moment, but if you will email me, I will send you the link to the aforementioned argument. You may certainly judge for yourself. :)
I have bookmarked your blog and will take a longer look at it later when I am able.
Thanks again,
Summer

Lauren said...

Summer..I know this comment is unrelated to this post, but you did an absolutely awesome job last night on your scripture testimony! I think it is so awesome to be able to get up in front of people and be real with them. I hope you have a great week!