I have been in a debate with an atheist for months now. They will not stick to the issues because I disprove them and they just keep slandering, lying, name calling and trying to categorize me. I don't mind a good debate--matter of fact I love it, but only when both parties stick to the reasonable arguments and facts without name calling or using insane communication tactics. I have warned them and shown them what they are doing. They gang up. However, they still continue to use the same irrational tactics. I try to end the discussion, but they keep name calling and using other silly tactics.
I know God is my law-maker. God is my Judge, and God is my provider, but I want to make them stop being so foolish and get back on topic. I know that if they would just listen to my evidences and what I have to say they would see that my logic is sound.
What should I do?
This debate has begun to take up all my time and we are now just addressing who is slandering whom other such immaterial nonsense.
First, Christians should be merciful and kind to those who have been deceived by this cult and they should pray for them. Think about it. What could make it impossible for God to exist? If the only answer is emotional and rationalization, then why take such a dogmatic view against the Almighty God?
Second, debates are a waste of time in most cases. They have no power to change reality. They are used to massage the egos of those engaged in the debate, which is stupid and unhelpful. They are addictive. They almost never change either of the debater's minds, though some information may come out. In the case of evolution, for instance, the scientific information supporting creation and making evolution impossible is largely censored, while misrepresentations of proof for evolution and lies about science and creation are broadcasted extensively. So a debate may get the truth told to an audience that has never heard the truth.
Be carefull not to become addicted to debate. Do not let your ego get involved. Pray. Remember that every argument that is brought against God is merely a story that is designed to compete with what God says. God reveals, in real time, His majesty. He does this through the Bible, the conscience, the creation, and many other means. We believe Him or we do not. An alternate story to God's story may sound realistic, but it is unreal. God cannot lie. Satan taints the truth with lies. Those who oppose God are actually controlled by Satan, though they may not be aware of it.
Atheists like to reverse the burden of proof and say, "Well, prove that God exists." Yet, every Atheist knows, in his or her deepest being, that God has proved His existence to him or her repeatedly throughout his or her lifetime. They know. They are just in denial and trying to sear their consciences. Their claim of NO GOD violates the major proven laws of physics, so the burden of proof is certainly their responsibility after making such a foolish claim. Their proof cannot consist of attacks on you or some other Christian or Christians in general or the Bible or some organization. Those attacks do not prove their point. In fact, if the attacks are legitimate, they prove the need for our Savior, Jesus, and that all people, including Christians, are flawed by sin. They also prove that salvation must go beyond simply being born again to the process of exercising faith and having access to grace so that God can perform His righteousness through us. (Read More)
It sounds like more than one Atheist is involved in this harassment. If this is at work, what they are doing is actually illegal. You could take legal action against them, but remember that Atheists have no basis for morality or ethics. For an Atheist, they define the word, lie, in a different way than you define it. They are likely to misrepresent. They probably don't even have the ability to discern what is actually going on. They are under the delusions that come to them from the devil. They do whatever they can get away with. They live under pragmatism and relativism or some modification of the laws of some religion, possibly the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule. Their ethics are based on rationalized reasoning, which is insanity. "The fool has said in his heart there is no God." All this makes a lot of sense for those who believe that the law of the survival of the fittest as the only legitimate law. There are better ways than taking legal action for you to handle this situation. God may even win a soul or two to Himself and snatch a poor, enslaved Atheist out of the gates of hell. In any event, they will have no excuse when they finally face the Judge of all the world. Pray for them that they turn from evil before they face King Jesus.
From experience, I would say that the Atheists at your work are encouraging one another in their cult belief system through their personal attacks on you. Unless God draws them, they will not turn to God.
You must understand that every Atheist knows that God exists and they know the laws of God. They really know they are wrong. This is not about you convincing them of anything. They have developed their ability to argue by arguing with God Himself. The knowledge of God and His law is built into every person ever born. Every person can see it in the creation. As Paul says in Romans 1, they are willingly ignorant. They are being stupid on purpose. That is, they don't want to submit their minds to God, so they are denying that He exists. For this reason, God turns them over to their own carnal mind, which is useless and reprobate. Actually, in those times when we forget God and try to have a self-generated righteousness or try to do things on our own, we revert to following our natural minds, and our natural, carnal minds are just as reprobate as the unbeliever. There, but for the grace of God, go I.
Atheists will try to get you to drop your worldview in favor or theirs. Their first negotiation is that you cannot have a worldview. They deny the fact that they have worldviews themselves. They claim to base everything on observational science and pure logic. This, of course, is not true. The worldview of the Christian can be simply summed up in this way: "In God, we live and move and have our being." Be very open about this. Do not allow the Atheist to use techniques to coerce you into denying that this is where you are coming from, that you believe in the Almighty God of the Bible and that you are having a real, living, relationship with Him. If your relationship with Jesus is purely theoretical, then you are not ready to talk to Atheists or any other unbeliever. First, you must get right with God.
An Atheist may ask you to discuss any issue but to leave your Bible and your Christian viewpoint behind. Don't do it. They may even claim to have no worldview of their own, no assumptions, and total objectivity. Of course, to have any thoughts about anything without an underlying basis that is based on either revelation or assumption would be impossible. Most people have assumptions. Christians have a heavenly vision from God. Everyone has a basis by which they evaluate truth claims. This basis is usually buried deep down, and many people don't even think about the basis of their life and thoughts let alone talk to others about it.
When they tell you that your worldview isn't valid and that you must accept their ground rules, they are asking you to become an Atheist before you discuss the issue. Don't go there.
The Atheist's own logical arguments cannot stand up to the rules of logic, but Atheists will not let that keep them from arguing. The reason they don't believe is because they are willingly ignorant. No amount of logic or fact will change that. The logical argument of the Atheist has a foundation of sand. If they were to challenge their own thinking (which they are usually very careful not to do) they would find that it is empty argument. Every logical argument is based on something. And that something is based on something. And if the Atheist will continue to ask for that basis, will they go down to something that is rock solid? No. They will go down to the place where there is something that they believe just because that is what they believe. That something is supported only by circular reasoning. They will say that your faith is based in circular reasoning but it is not--unless your faith is not real faith. Real faith is the faith of God. It comes from God. It is perpetual because the relationship through Christ is perpetual. It is on-going. It is a supernatural belief that comes to you as a gift when you hear God. God speaks. God speaks to the Atheist, too, but he or she will not listen, so no faith comes to them. But faith comes to you. It is a revelation. It is God speaking. It is reality. It is a rock solid base. It is not circular reasoning. When an Atheist tries to force you into his or her little world of human observation and raw human reasoning (the reasoning of the human mind without the Intelligence of the Creator flowing through the human mind), the Atheist is trying to squeeze you into his or her mold. Don't go there. You have the Rock, Jesus. You have a personal, on-going relationship. The Atheist will try to bait you with a hint that if you could just give him or her proof that is based on human reason and human observation that then the Atheist would suddenly turn to Christ. This is a lie. God has already given the Atheist all kinds of irrefutable proofs in the creation, and God has also spoken to the heart of the Atheist through His creation, but the Atheist is willingly ignorant. (some caveats about hearing God's Voice)
They may say that your Christianity will take away your objectivity, but the reality is that your Christianity is not allowing you to be an Atheist. Duh! They want you to discuss as if you were an Atheist.
You are probably already aware that many Christians have taken the Atheistic worldview and live their lives as if they were Atheists. That is a huge mistake, of course.
The Atheist who claims that the NO-GOD domain is neutral and who asks you to enter the NO-GOD domain is asking you to accept their unsupported assumptions, their Atheistic worldview. That worldview includes Naturalism, materialism, the notion that God cannot reveal, the notion that God does not speak to His people, and the notion that Atheism is the default position and that you must prove God to them, yet they have no responsibility to find God. Keep in mind that they know that there is a God deep down in their hearts. For some reason, they don't like Him. It would be wise for you to help them to discover that reason and to see if you can free them from the lies surrounding that.
Probe the worldview of the Atheist and don't stop too soon. Keep probing until you get down to the bottom. There are specific questions that the Atheist cannot answer, but you must not accept wishy-washy answers, you cannot let them get away without answering. You must exercise tough love and make them thing things through. Atheists tend to say that Atheism answers all the questions of life better than following Christ, yet they do not apply Atheism to every areas of their life. They tend to lead their lives by Christian principles because Atheistic principles don't really work in the real world. So those are the areas that you will need to probe.
Below, are just a few of the many questions that Atheists have problems with. The answers you get to these questions from Atheists will be lame. Tell them that their answers are lame and press for better answers. Make them think things through. For all of these, there is no reasonable basis of thought that is consistent with the Atheistic worldview. There is no part of the Bible that creates any such problems for Christians. From a formal logic point of view everyone, except for the Christian, uses circular reasoning when you get down to those basic beliefs because these are things that people believe because they believe them. The Christians has revelation at the basis rather than assumption. No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him or her. No one can sincerely confess that Jesus is their Lord except by the Holy Spirit. You must be born again by the Holy Spirit. Every good and every complete gift comes down from the Father of lights. Revelation, not intellectual activity. What God reveals is always rational, but He does not reveal through human assumption. He reveals. Warning: since the base assumptions in every person's life are based on circular reasoning, most people will not admit their basic assumptions easily--especially if you are trying to trap them. If you are trying to trap them, why should they trust you?
Where did logic come from?
Why should an Atheist believe that the laws of logic would be valid?
How is logic regulated?
Is it a set of laws? If so, where did the laws come from?
Does logic fit into the concept of materialism? How?
Is logic part of the human mind or does it regulate the human mind or how does it work?
If logic exists in the human mind, then, if there is no human mind, does logic cease to exist? Atheists believe in molecules to man evolution--was there no logic before humanity in their story?
Will logic always be the same or could it change tomorrow?
Was it different in the past? Right now, we know that two mutually exclusive things cannot be true at the same time. You cannot be here and not be here at the same time. Will that be true tomorrow? If we only know this through observation, then we have no way of knowing that because we cannot apply science to tomorrow.
Five thousand years ago, could you be here and not be here at the same time? We cannot test that scientifically either. We can only speculate. So how do we know that the logic we are using is valid at all? (For you, as a Christian, you know that true logic flows from the throne of God. God is orderly and rational in everything that He does. God does not change.)
Other subjects to probe in this way:
Ethics and Morality
Right and Wrong
Note that the Atheist may say that he or she does not believe in right and wrong, but you can probe that. If someone believed that they ought to kill the Atheist and the Atheist's entire family, would there be anything wrong with that? Is there any reason for an Atheist to do good? Why? What is the reason for their reason? What is the basis?
The human mind does not work correctly without the flow of the Holy Anointing, that is the Holy Spirit. It is in a stupor without the Holy Spirit. Have you noticed that really intelligent people, without God, have no wisdom at all? Without God, there is no wisdom. None! They come up with solutions, and those solutions cause more problems than they solve. They are in a mental stupor without God. They are ungodly by choice. Logic does not convince them. If you look at the articles that are being written for the scientific journals regarding evolution, the age of the earth, global warming, and such like, you would see that they totally ignore the scientific evidence. They see design and a young Earth and explain away the evidence repeatedly. They give magical powers to natural selection, evolution and mother nature. This is stupidity.
There is plenty of evidence for a young Earth and a recent creation:
I take it that you are a follower of Christ. As such, your testimony is very important. Cultists, such as Atheists, will try to provoke you to anger. If they can do that, they consider that they have won. It is important that you keep your eyes on the heavenly vision. God sees these Atheists as sheep without a shepherd. God has compassion on them. If you see reality as God reveals it to you, you will feel very sorry for them in their lost and confused state. They are also slaves to Satan. Whoever is not saved is still in bondage. This bondage is complete. There are no good unsaved people. That would be impossible just as it is impossible that the flesh of any of us who are born again could have any goodness or be good. So, you are in a spiritual battle, not a mental battle. The reason that they cannot hear is because they are totally in bondage to demonic powers, and they don't know it.
There was a Christian who was posting messages on a Christian creation forum, and he was debating with some particularly nasty Atheistic Evolutionists. The Evolutionists tried every trick in the book, just as the Atheists are doing with you. They used personal attacks, name-calling, and all kinds of childish activity. The Christian became angry and did not have enough depth in his walk with Christ to control his anger. He resorted to profanity on the forum. Now, for an Evolutionist to engage in name-calling or profanity is perfectly in character. They have no Holy Spirit. They are supposed to be ungodly. That is what Atheism is all about. If a Christian, however, engages in ungodly behavior, that Christian will cause the demonic forces to have a victory, to win the battle. The Christian looks like fool and does a tremendous work for the devil. So this Christian made it personal and ended up making the foolishness of the Atheists look as if it were wise. This was not because the Atheists had any substance. It was because the Christian did not follow the leading of Christ. The Atheists could not see Christ in the Christian because the Christian showed off his flesh to them. The Bible says that we need to avoid fleshly behavior so that the ministry, the Christ within us, does not get blamed for the fleshly behavior. In this case, the Atheists saw the Christian as a hypocrite. Too bad.
It is important that you remember that this is not a contest of wills. This is not about you winning the argument or even about making the Atheists lose. This is not about the Atheist admitting that they are wrong and you are right. It is about the Spirit of God going out from you to the Atheist to minister to the Atheist's need. The Atheist can reject or accept, and that is not your responsibility. If the Atheist receives Christ, then the Atheist wins. If the Atheist does not receive Christ, then the Atheist loses. You are just a witness. The work is the Lord's, not yours. God may just have you there for one reason: in the Judgment, when the Atheist is arguing with God and saying that no one ever told him, God will say, "Oh yes, do you remember the conversations you had with this Christian at this time and this time and this time. Had you, as a scoffer, not had those conversations with my servants, your condemnation would be less, but you did have those conversations and you are guilty and worthy of the second death." God will be just and will be justified in all that He does.
My advice is that you pray for God to guide you and give you of His wisdom. If your pride or desire to win an argument gets into the mix, then God will leave you on your own. He will not give you wisdom because you are being double-minded. If you ask for wisdom and get your own ego and your own natural mind out of the way, then the Holy Spirit will bring the right information to your memory at the right time. And, if you make sure to ask God to anoint your speech with the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit will minister to the heart of the Atheist. The words you say will burn in their hearts though you may not see the fruit of it for years to come... if those words come in the power of the Holy Ghost.
If you can get together with an Atheist one-on-one, you take away the game of "playing to the crowd." Discussions that are public in front of others, especially Atheist friends, are useless. They degenerate in just the way that you described.
Often times, it makes more sense to just ask questions. Atheists tend to be closed-minded. Christians can afford to be open-minded as long as they are led by the Spirit. A Christian can take the attitude that they don't know everything and that they may have some points wrong and that they are willing to listen to the argument of the cult leader. They just need to remain in the Holy Spirit. A Christian can say, "Are you saying that you believe that there is no God?" "Are you dogmatic in that belief or do you have an open mind?" "What is the specific evidence that convinces you that there is not God?" The Atheist may ask the Christian to prove to him that God exists, of course. There is plenty of evidence, but the Atheist is not convinced by proof, because the Atheist already knows that God is and has decided to be willingly ignorant of the fact. So argument is pretty useless unless the Holy Spirit prepares the heart of the Atheist. There was an Atheist who told a Christian that the Christian had to prove to him that God exists. The Christian looked to Jesus for a moment and got a word and answered the Atheist: "How could I prove this to you when you won't even listen to God Who is talking to you all that time and you won't even listen to God?" The Atheist was just blown away by that, because he knew it was true. Yet the rebellious heart of the Atheist would not turn to God. Maybe God will cause this word to burn in the heart of the Atheist some day and the Atheist will turn to God. Who knows?
There was a Christian who worked with an Atheist. The Atheist challenged him to a debate. The Christian looked away to Jesus and got a word. He told the Atheist that he didn't want to debate him, but that he would be glad to go to lunch sometime and have a discussion. Years previously, the Christian had known a creation scientist who had told him that if he were to ask an Evolutionist why he believed in evolution, that the Evolutionist would not be able to come up with a sane reason for believing in the mythical story of evolution. And, the Christian had recently asked a Evolutionist college professor for evidence of evolution, and the college professor had become totally frustrated as he realized that there was absolutely no evidence for molecules-to-man evolution but only for variations within kinds of plants and animals.
The Christian and the Atheist did eventually go to lunch, and the Atheist tried to turn the event into a debate. The Christian just kept asking questions. "That's an interesting statement; what makes you think that it's true?" "OK; how do you justify that?" He just listened to the Atheist and asked questions.
Atheist: "Well it's obvious. All the scientific evidence points to evolution."
Atheist: "Well, the fossil evidence, for one thing."
Christian: "Did you personally examine this geologic column or did you just read about it or hear about it from someone else?"
Atheist: "I learned it in College."
Christian: "So are you just taking the word of your professors and the people who wrote the books?"
Atheist: "Well, yes, but they are the experts."
Christian: "Other than blind faith in the text books and the professors, do you have any other reason for believing them?"
And the discussion went on for about an hour and a half. Most people will not allow this type of analysis of their thoughts, but the Christian was very non-threatening even though he asked probing questions. The Christian was perfectly willing to hear and examine the facts. He had nothing to fear by doing so. He just took that stance that if the Atheist was so convinced, then the Atheist should convince him. The only fall back the Atheist might have had would have been to say something stupid like, "Well, there is no proof of God either." The Atheist didn't do that, but if he had, the Christian could have simply asked another question, "What convinces you that there is no proof of God?" Claiming that there is no proof of God would be the logical error of a universal negative, so the Atheist would again be stuck. Well, the final outcome of this conversation was that the Christian asked one more what-proof-do-you-have-that-that-is-true question, and the Atheist got this really weird look on his face and said: "I guess I'm making the whole thing up."
Most Atheists are not as well versed as this Atheist was, and they would not be able to sustain such fakery for an hour and a half. This particular Atheist had the ability to make up facts out of thin air. Most Atheist will quickly become frustrated and resort to personal attacks, or sarcasm, or changing the subject, or summary dismissal, or some other tactic to avoid facing the fact that God is real and that they are facing the judgment without Christ.
So, remember that you cannot win anyone to Christ. You are just a witness. You are learning to be led of the Holy Spirit and to flow in His power. These challenges are brought to you by God to develop your ability to submit to Jesus. It's not about winning arguments. It is about your spiritual growth and the opportunity for the Spirit to minister to the unsaved. Someone may be saved. If they are, it is the work of God, not the work of you.
Ungodly people will only accept those things that conform to the arbitrary assumptions of Naturalism, materialism, and uniformitarianism.
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 audio and video resources for conversations with unbelievers: