|Questions and Answers: Atheists Can't Logically Hold Their Opinion--Atheism's Problem With Logic|
If you have not read Stories Versus Truth, you may want to read that before reading this.
The points on this page may shake the faith of the Atheist in the precepts of Atheism, but the most important thing is that you share the Good News (Gospel). This is simple. All these other things may help, but it is the proclamation of the Gospel that transforms minds. See Give Them the Gospel.
Why Atheism Cannot Be Logical
Most Atheists believe that everything that exists is material, that everything that actually exists is part of the physical world. The laws of logic are not physical. The Atheistic worldview eliminates the possibility of logic being real or reliable. At the same time, Atheists try to use logic to reason. When they do so, they are demonstrating that their worldview is not internally consistent and that their worldview is not valid. The worldview of the Atheist cannot be a valid worldview because the worldview requires that the Atheist use the laws of logic, yet the Atheist's worldview does not allow the laws of logic to exist since they are not material. Atheism is self-refuting because the Atheist must assume something (logic) that disproves Atheism in order to prove Atheism. "[A]theism presupposes theism."~ Dr. Cornelius VanTil
Atheists try to use the laws of logic to argue against the existence of God. As Dr. Lisle points out: "In order for his argument to make sense, it would have to be wrong." In fact, Atheists, Materialists, and Naturalists even have a problem with math itself.
Atheists can be logical since they were created by God, but they cannot make a logical case (that is consistent with Atheism) for trusting logic. In the same way, Atheists can be moral since they were created by God, but they cannot make a logical case or a moral case (that is consistent with Atheism) for their morality. They can be moral, but it is not logical for them to do so.
In addition to this, the Atheist does not believe in revelation. The Christian believes in the Real, Almighty God of the Bible, who is able to reveal knowledge and understanding about Himself and His universe to any person. This means that the only means of reason that an Atheist has is logic. The Christian reasons together with God. God reveals. The Christian receives God's revelation. If God reveals through the Bible, then the Christian receives the revelation that God gives through the Bible. It is a two step process. Atheists, believing their worldview, say that this is circular reasoning. It would be if there were not God or if God did not reveal Himself and His universe. But God does reveal, so it is perfectly rational to say, "God says..." The Atheist, however does not have a self-consistent worldview, and from the Atheistic internally inconsistent worldview, the Atheist posits that the internally consistent relationship between God and His people is not rational.
1. "I use logic and I am an Atheist." Why this is not a valid response: The Atheist makes our point but does not supply a solution to the Atheist's logic problem. The reason that the Atheist can reason is because God gave him a mind and gives him access to reason. God's rain falls on the just and the unjust. Using logic, or any other form of reasoning, does not require belief in the source of logic or reason. God is the source of reason, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, but God shines His Light on every person. Some people misuse this Light, but God is merciful.
2. "Logic is a set of conventions created by humanity." Why this is not a valid response: If this were true, any group of people could, at any time, change the laws of logic within their group. In fact, one person could be a group of one. Logic will tell you that it is a bad thing to step into the path of a moving bus. This is a testable. If logic were indeed just a set of conventions, it would not be testable. Life would be arbitrary, and there would be no universal rules of logic. It may be true that Post Modernism is heading in this direction of claiming that life is totally random, but no one can live his or her life this way.
3. "Logic is a set of rules that are material existing in the mind, which is the brain." Why this is not a valid response: First, this assumes that the mind is the brain which can only be argued using circular reasoning. The revelation of the Bible says that the mind is the soul and that human beings have a spirit, a soul, and a body. Second, if the laws of logic are in the brain, then they only apply in the brain today. There is nothing to say that they existed in the human brain thousands of years ago. There is nothing to say that they would exist where human beings do not live. There is nothing to say they could not change tomorrow. In addition, there would be nothing to say that people haven't "just evolved" to believe that they are being logical when in fact they are not. In that case, logic could not be used to prove anything. It would be hard to explain, were logic hard-wired into the brain, why there would not be a wide range of competing and evolving "logics," especially among various groups of people. Think of this in terms of the logic that might be used for designing and building an airplane. Think of this in terms of the law of non-contradiction. Among some people, you could be both here and also not here at the same time. But no matter where we go, you cannot be both here and not here at the same time. You are either here or you are not here at any given time.
4. "Logic is a set of rules that were developed through the random processes that led to evolution, which eventually evolved into man." Why this is not a valid response: If logic was developed by random processes, why should we think that it is anything other than random? If random processes created the universe, humanity, and the logic residing in the human mind, how could we know that this logic would be able to understand the universe? How would science be possible if this Atheist's response is true? And, once again, why wouldn't there be a wide range of competing and evolving "logics," especially among various groups of people. Again, think of this in terms of the logic that might be used for designing and building an airplane. Think of this in terms of the law of non-contradiction. For building real things and leading a real life, there is a set of rules that always apply.
5. "Logic works, so we use it." Why this is not a valid response: That is not the question. Reminder: the quest is this; if, for a moment, we assume the Atheistic worldview were a valid worldview, consistent with itself, then why does logic work?
6. "Why don't you believe in logic? Logic is obvious." Why this is not a valid response: That is not the question. It makes sense for Christians to believe in logic since we believe in the Almighty God of the Bible Who is logical and orderly in all that He says and does.
7. "Logical reasoning is not an absolute law which governs the universe." Why this is not a valid response: This unbelieving response runs into the same problem as #2, #3, and #4 above.
Christians understand that logic is under the control of God, but God is not bound by every rule of every logical system. God goes outside of the constraints of His creation at will. These are the events that we call miracles. In addition, we, as humans, only understand a small portion of the mind of God. The logic that God gave us gives us some insight into how God works and thinks, but God is infinite and we are finite.
8. "I believe that logic is not material." Why this is not a valid response: This does not answer the question. If logic is not material, then how does it fit into the Atheistic worldview? Why do these laws of logic exist? Where did these laws come from? How do the laws of logic interact with the physical world? Why does the physical world follow the laws of logic if the laws of logic are not material? If you are able to admit that logic is not material, then why are you so opposed to God? Why is the obvious answer so abhorant to the you? The answer to this final question reaches the root of the problem, doesn't it?
9. "You have not convinced me that there is a God." Why this is not a valid response: This is just one examples of the types of distractions that can be introduced when an unbeliever does not want to face the question. It is an attempt to shift the burden of proof, but it is the Atheist's responsibility to find God. God gave every person that responsibility with this promise: "If you seek Me, you will find Me." You, as a Christian, have no requirement from God to convince the Atheist of anything. Your requirement is to be a faithful witness of the things that God is doing in your life. If necessary, you can give part of this witness using words.
The Atheist will try to draw you into the impossible game of "How about... " "Ya but..." This is where you try to explain and they try not to understand. Guess who wins that game?
The Atheist will try to convince you that the only way two people can discuss anything in a meaningful way is by structuring statements as logical arguments.
These tactics have the purpose of not facing the obvious, that Athiesm is self-refuting. You can read more about the futility of using logical argument to convince Atheists that there is a God here. Atheists can argue forever. They know God exists and they know enough about Him to know that they hate Him. Only the Holy Spirit can turn an unbeliever to Christ.
10. "Logic is a set of rules that were developed through natural selection, which is not a random process, and logic has survival value so it led to evolution of lower forms of life and eventually resulted in man." Why this is not a valid response: Since this is a variation of a response that was already answered, let's deal with the part that says: "... natural selection, which is not a random process..." Natural selection adds nothing to the argument. This answer presupposes that logic is not intangible but that it is material. That means that it is material added to the cell in the form of information. It is true that natural selection (actually should be called natural elimination) is not a random process, but it is also not a process that can produce new information in the cell. It cannot be observed in experiments and repeated to show that it is capable of resulting in new information being added to cells. There is no mechanism by which new information, perhaps learned information, would be created in the cells and passed on to the next generation. The idea is that plants and animals make choices. Some of those choices result in death, eliminating the plants and animals that make bad choices. The ones that are left pass on the ability to use proper logic when making choices. Those who inherit this enhanced logic also make even better choices and live to pass on their newly enhanced ability to their children. How is this information added? Information does not create itself. That problem is never discussed. When using the term, natural selection, selection is quite an overstatement of what is happening. The misnomer, natural selection, refers to an elimination process, not an evolutionary process. Natural Elimination would be a less deceptive term. Natural Elimination provides no means for adding information. Mutations+time+chance+elimination does not equal evolution in any sense. If there were a cycle of mutations+time+chance+learn, then that would not prove evolution, but it would at least give a basis for a story that would make sense. We can observe natural selection (elimination) but we can't observe information being added to cells. We can observe change and speciation but we cannot observe one kind of living thing turning into another kind of living thing. Adaptation is a physical trait or behavior due to an inherited characteristic that gives an organism the ability to survive in a given environment. If a person stakes their entire validity on logic and observation and has a story that cannot be supported by logic and observation, then why would they be so certain that their story is factual?
With all of the arguments mentioned above, it really comes down to this: "Who are you going to believe?" All the arguments against God fail. They are, in fact, silly. They are only convincing to those who hate God. To those who seek God, these lies may be bewildering, hard to dissect, and difficult or impossible to disprove. However, God never asked His people to disprove the lies of the Atheists. He has asked us to know Him directly and to walk in Him and to experience the flow of His love through ourselves and out toward the entire creation around us.
Ungodly people are forced to hold on tightly to some basic presuppositions. These presuppositions are just simple-minded assumptions. They are filters and a way to censor out any information that supports the existence of God. They set up a web of rules to filter out God. They will only accept those things that conform to Naturalism, materialism, and uniformitarianism. Naturalism claims that God does nothing. Materialism claims that there is no God or spiritual realm. Uniformitarianism claims that there was not creation and that there was no violent worldwide flood, as the Bible and numerous other historical accounts record. Whatever they observe that does not conform to this complex filter is censored. The way that it is censored can take several forms. The ungodly may boldly proclaim that, though the data appears to support God's version and refute the version of the ungodly, yet it still must be interpreted to mean just the opposite of what it does mean. A backup method that ungodly people use is to prophecy that in the future, science will be able to explain what they see as an anomaly. If that fails, they will hide the data, set it aside, or lie to keep the public from knowing the truth. The data clearly demolishes the story of the ungodly and clearly supports the reality of the Creator God, His Bible, and His abiding Presence in His people. When confronted with the obvious, a closed-minded ungodly person says, "I can't understand it." They are willingly ignorant because they refuse to hold God in their knowledge. The reality is that these people, for whatever reason, don't what to know the Creator. They don't want to truly know Jesus, their Creator.
Here are some resources for conversations with unbelievers:
Last updated: Aug, 2013
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