Atheism and logic

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The Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland has lectured on the topic of why naturalism is irrational.[1]

A common and legitimate criticism of the atheist worldview is that atheism is irrational (See: Atheism and irrationality and Atheism and critical thinking).[2]

See also: List of logical fallacies that atheists commonly commit at: Atheism and logical fallacies

Atheism and the laws of logic

See also: Transcendental argument for the existence of God

Concerning atheism and logic, Cold Case Christianity declares:

God is eternal, uncaused, omniscient and omnipotent. He is the all-knowing and all-powerful Creator; the necessary, uncaused first cause of all matter, space and time. He has thoughts and possesses a particular character, essence and nature. Because He is all-powerful and all-knowing, these attributes are perfected (an all-powerful and all-knowing God has the power to eliminate imperfection). The Laws of Logic are simply an attribute and reflection of God’s perfect existence; God does not create these laws, they are an innate and immutable aspect of His nature. As God is necessary for all else to exist, so are the Laws of Logic. They are merely a reflection of His Being, and they permeate all of His creation.

Both the atheist and the theist agree something is eternal, uncaused and necessary. But when the atheist says the Laws of Logic “simply exist”, he’s begging the question; he’s not providing an explanation for the eternal, uncaused and necessary existence of the laws (saying they exist does not provide us with an explanation for their existence). Theists, on the other hand, can make a case for God’s existence from a number of evidential lines, providing a reasonable foundation from which logical absolutes can then be elucidated. In addition, atheism fails to explain how the Laws of Logic can be eternal and uncaused and what role they play in causing all other contingent realities. Theism, on the other hand, accounts for the existence of the Laws of Logic by pointing to the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent uncaused, first cause possessing perfect rationality (by virtue of His limitless power) who also acts as the first cause of all other dependent (contingent) creations.

The Laws of Logic are conceptual. They only exist in the mind. They don’t describe physical behaviors or actions of matter, but instead describe conceptual truths. Logical axioms are statements dealing with conceptual patterns and processes of thought. [3]

Dr. Jason Lisle wrote on atheism's failure to account for the laws of logic:

Reasoning involves using the laws of logic. These include the law of non-contradiction which says that you can’t have A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. For example, the statement “My car is in the parking lot, and it is not the case that my car is in the parking lot” is necessarily false by the law of non-contradiction. Any rational person would accept this law. But why is this law true? Why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? The Christian can answer this question. For the Christian there is an absolute standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God’s. The laws of logic are a reflection of the way God thinks. The law of non-contradiction is not simply one person’s opinion of how we ought to think, rather it stems from God’s self-consistent nature. God cannot deny Himself ( 2 Timothy 2:13), and so, the way God upholds the universe will necessarily be non-contradictory.

Laws of logic are God’s standard for thinking. Since God is an unchanging, sovereign, immaterial Being, the laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariant entities. In other words, they are not made of matter—they apply everywhere and at all times. Laws of logic are contingent upon God’s unchanging nature. And they are necessary for logical reasoning. Thus, rational reasoning would be impossible without the biblical God.

The materialistic atheist can’t have laws of logic. He believes that everything that exists is material—part of the physical world. But laws of logic are not physical. You can’t stub your toe on a law of logic. Laws of logic cannot exist in the atheist’s world, yet he uses them to try to reason. This is inconsistent. He is borrowing from the Christian worldview to argue against the Christian worldview. The atheist’s view cannot be rational because he uses things (laws of logic) that cannot exist according to his profession.[4]

Greg Bahnsen vs. Gordon Stein debate and the laws of logic

Dr. Greg Bahnsen, a notable defender of Transcendental argument for the existence of God, became known as "the man atheists fear most" due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.[5]

See also: Greg Bahnsen vs. Gordon Stein debate

In 1985, the Christian apologist Greg Bahnsen and the atheist Gordon Stein had a debate at the University of California, Irvine regarding the positions of atheism and theism. Bahnsen was particularly known for his Christian presuppositional apologetics.

During his debate with Dr. Gordon Stein, Bahnsen pointed out that the atheist worldview cannot account for the laws of logic, but the Christian worldview can.[6][7] See: Transcendental argument for the existence of God

The Greg Bahnsen vs. Gordon Stein debate is a very well-known debate in the presuppositional apologetics genre. To see a full transcript of the debate, see: Greg Bahnsen vs. Gordon Stein Debate Transcript.

Atheism, logic and presuppositional apologetics

See as: Atheism and presuppositional apologetics

Presuppositional Apologetics is "a branch of Christian apologetics that deals with presuppositions."[8]

There are number of arguments that Christian apologists employment to rebut atheism from a logic and presuppositions perspective (see: Atheism, logic and presuppositional apologetics).

Transcendental argument for the existence of God

See also: Transcendental argument for the existence of God

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as "the man atheists fear most" due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.[9]

Logical arguments for the existence of God

See: Logical arguments for the existence of God

See also

External links