A very convincing atheist


#1

This may be indicative of how weak and fragile my Faith is (i’ll be the first to admit it) but I recently came across this website written by an atheist and expert debater, Adam Marczyk.

Suffice it to say, I am very impressed. He has some compelling arguments for his beliefs (or lack thereof) and I am at a loss to find any satisfactory theistic response. His articles are relatively short but are poignant and cover a lot of ground. The top seven (from “All Possible Worlds” to “Unmoved Mover”) are particularly arresting. Seriously, it’s stuff like this that really shakens, and threatens to shatter, my faith. This bothers me because… why should I fear the Truth? Why should any of us fear it? If Christianity is wrong (and face it… we HAVE to face this possibility or we are closed-minded) than we should feel liberated, right?

I suppose I’m still young and inexperienced (I’m not as deeply educated–in theology and philosophy–as I’d like to be) but Mr. Marczyk seems to sweep away with majestic style any and all reasons for a Christian worldview. The deconversion stories on the site really hit a nerve. What do you all think? If you have the time, please click on the above link and check it out (but a warning to those who don’t want to test their faith). Am I overreacting? Are there any good apologetic responses to all of this? Are we all fooling ourselves?

1 Cor. 15:19


#2

[quote=Neithan]This may be indicative of how weak and fragile my Faith is (i’ll be the first to admit it) but I recently came across this website written by an atheist and expert debater, Adam Marczyk.

Suffice it to say, I am very impressed. He has some compelling arguments for his beliefs (or lack thereof) and I am at a loss to find any satisfactory theistic response. His articles are relatively short but are poignant and cover a lot of ground. The top seven (from “All Possible Worlds” to “Unmoved Mover”) are particularly arresting. Seriously, it’s stuff like this that really shakens, and threatens to shatter, my faith. This bothers me because… why should I fear the Truth? Why should any of us fear it? If Christianity is wrong (and face it… we HAVE to face this possibility or we are closed-minded) than we should feel liberated, right?

I suppose I’m still young and inexperienced (I’m not as deeply educated–in theology and philosophy–as I’d like to be) but Mr. Marczyk seems to sweep away with majestic style any and all reasons for a Christian worldview. The deconversion stories on the site really hit a nerve. What do you all think? If you have the time, please click on the above link and check it out (but a warning to those who don’t want to test their faith). Am I overreacting? Are there any good apologetic responses to all of this? Are we all fooling ourselves?

1 Cor. 15:19
[/quote]

Hello Neithan,

First, let me say that atheism is, itself, a position that is, from a traditional Thomistic based philosophical world view, untenable. In other words, it cannot be absolutely proved that God does not exist. Atheism, therefore, is a matter of belief and of lack of supernatural faith, not fact, despite what others who adhere to it espouse concerning it.

Such encounters, as the one you have expressed above, inevitably come to the Christian. These can be opportunities for growth and hope, or opportunities for doubt and despair. As ex-atheist turned evangelical Christian pastor, Sanjay Merchant once said, “It’s easy to claim atheism, but it’s difficult to live atheism.”

I remember one of my first encounters after I had decided to follow Christ was with a Jehovah’s Witness. At the time, I was rather naive about reading scripture in its context. This person pointed out verses in the Bible that seemed to contradict what I had believed to be true. The struggle caused me to examine the Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings on my own, and in doing so, I learned how far removed from Christian orthodoxy they were. Instead of weakening my faith, I was strengthened and more aware of why Christians have believed as they do for 2,000+ years.

The challenges are all around you. Not only from atheists, but from hedonists, individualists, minimalists, post-modernists, and from a wide variety of alternative religious philosophies and belief systems. Often these systems overlap. You will also be challenged by persons from within the fold…maybe even more so than from those outside of the Church.

At this stage in your journey with Christ, my advice would be to bone up on the fundamentals of the Christian faith that has been passed on to us from the Apostles. F.J. Sheed’s classic, “Theology For Beginners” may be a good place to start. While it was originally published quite a while ago, the book is an easy read and explains complex theological beliefs in sensible terms that any layperson can readily understand. For more information on this book, go here: catholicfreeshipping.com/Products/cfs_gensym-64.html. When the time is ready, you may want to check out Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s, “The Ball and the Cross,” available in the “Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton.” This little story will help you better appreciate the value of authentic interactive dialogue between Catholics and atheists. I do not suggest that you engage in such dialogue at this point in your walk with Christ as a member of His Church, but later on, as you become more fully equipped in the articulation of your own faith. Good things often take time.

As for the numerous ex-Christians turned atheist sites out there on the web, don’t be too discouraged. There are far more ex-atheist turned Christian sites than you may realize. Remember that supernatural faith, is itself, a gift from God. Pray for an increase in supernatural faith. Pray for those who have lost or willfully abandoned their faith, that they may be restored, once again, to the only Truth that will set them free.

God bless you!http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#3

There is ton’s of evidence proving the existence of God. I won’t go into that. but I suggest you take the advice given. What is the alternative, anyway. If there is no God, there is no consequences for evil. Perhaps that’s why such people as atheists are leading the culture of death. Human life is no more valuable than any animal, plant etc. Suicide and euthanasia are Ok. And if there not, the atheists can’t answer why. What can you say. there is no afterlife. no consequences for doing evil. You just disappear when you die. Baloney. You have faith. Ask God to prove He exists. Any sincere person will receive some sign. Your faith grows as you do more and more meritorios deeds and gain graces. Faith is a supernatural virtue, and to increase it one must pray, receive the sacraments, do penace etc. Ask God to increase your faith. These questions are not new. Although atheism is new on this level seen today.
Faith and reason have no conflicts. You can learn every argument by atheists and learn the Catholic response every time, if you have time to study it. Millions of souls have argued the same points for 2000 yrs.
What about Fatima? Up to 100,000 people witness the most spectacular miracle of modern times. Many atheists are there to mock the children. They drop to their knees and repent.
Our Lady of Guadalupe- After the miracle there 7,000,000 Indians convert in the next 8 yrs.
The Eucharistic miracles- such as that at Lanciano. after 1200 yrs you can still view it. Recent scientific studies ( incl. other faiths and atheist doctors) found that the DNA is unlike any other human. It’s tightly locked together, and the DNA is perfect. No faults like the rest of us. I can’t wait to see DNA tests done on the other relics in the Church, such as the Shroud of Turin, to see if there’s a DNA match.
The incorruptible Saints. Centuries old and won’t decay. No shennanigans either.
Prayer and study is what you need. Atheists are not happy. Life has no meaning without God and faith. The Christian is happy and has peace if he knows and believes Christ and His Church.
The miracle that the Church has survived for 2000yrs. The miracle that no Pope ever taught an error on faith or morals.
Have you ever felt that your in the presence of somone other than people in the Church? Many people can feel it. It’s not delusional.
There is more evidence than you could poke a stick at for the existence of God and the authority of the Church.
I will keep you in my prayers. God bless you.


#4

well, i checked out that site, and i have to say the arguments aren’t really very good. but of course my simply observing that they’re not very good is probably of no help to you…

are there any specific points of his that you find particularly compelling? i could take a crack at demonstrating their weaknesses.

other than that, i would pray for resolve and peaceful strength. and maybe brush up on your philosophy and theology - there’s no shortage of bad arguments and poor reasoning out there, and it’s valuable to be able to know it when you see it.


#5

Athiests do believe in a god. Its the one they have created. Its called the NOGOD. It fits their lifestyle perfectly. :eek:


#6

[quote=SPOKENWORD]Athiests do believe in a god. Its the one they have created. Its called the NOGOD. It fits their lifestyle perfectly. :eek:
[/quote]

Atheists believe in a god, it is called THEMSELVES. They worship their own intellect. For me, it would take more faith to be an atheist than a Christian, because you have to completely disregard alot of compelling evidence and reason to choose to disbelieve in God.


#7

Look at it this way:

Atheists are not only betting their lives – and eternal souls – on some belief that cannot – probably by God’s own design – cannot be proven.

They’d be better off betting everything they have on a singlular spin of a roulette wheel.


#8

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Atheists believe in a god, it is called THEMSELVES. They worship their own intellect. For me, it would take more faith to be an atheist than a Christian, because you have to completely disregard alot of compelling evidence and reason to choose to disbelieve in God.
[/quote]

Hi Scott,I,m in agreement with you. :thumbsup: God Bless


#9

Since the opening post was made by a person in some state of doubt, I will not answer to the attacks against atheism made in this thread.

Coming from the other side, I will say this, though. The only thing that can help you overcome doubt is faith. I cannot advise you on how to reinforce your faith, nor do I have an interest in doing so. Best of luck, whatever the outcome.


#10

an excerpt taken from the web-site:

“When we wait for divine deliverance that inevitably never comes, when we turn our efforts to prayer and worship instead of action, we expend time and resources that could more usefully have been spent on working to lighten the weight of suffering. We need, instead, to help one another and make the world a better place through our own efforts.”

My view:

My inherent response to this statement is, “why bother?”.

If it were possible (of course of which it is not), to somehow definitively prove there is no God, it follows that there is no meaning to my existence. From this it follows there is no reason to continue existing.

It might be stated that this last sentence is indeed not true. That there is reason to continue to exist. Of course I could continue to exist purely for my own self-pleasure. To do this I’d have to ignore all of the worlds pains and sufferings because they’d infringe on my goal of making my life meaningful. I’d need to climb totally within myself. What sense would it make to trouble myself with other’s pains and sorrows if my existence were to be, relatively (in the overall scheme of eternity) immediately terminated? None!

The Atheist may claim this is selfish, and if I feel this way I can only lay claim to my goodness to the fear of God. Not true. I appeal to the Athiests own claim to fame…logic. What sense does it make for any *entity, *to martyr oneself for a monumentally small temporal cause (life)? We’d all do better if we were to ignore all others and seek our own happiness at all costs. Survival of the fittest. Its simply the most logical thing to do.

I simply believe that what I have stated above is repulsive to us because God does exist, and we know it. As well as the Athiest who wrote the article.


#11

Hi,

I looked over the website… I’m not as moved by his arguments at all… I find them rather unsatisfying. I would begin by studying the Medieval Scholastics of the Church, C.S. Lews, and other great Christian philosophers… The truth is,cute little websites mean nothing in the history of this debate, and he is raising nothing new that Christian philosophers have not already dealt with at length (read their responses and arguments in-depth). Often times, his arguments come down to: “theists have not provided a satisfying enough solution to _______.” The basis of his faith thus is ultimately a matter of personal interpretation. Realize: there are no obvious, clear, definitive, irrefutable arguments in either direction. Let no one, on either side of the debate of whether God exists, convince you that there is. One CANNOT prove definitely that there is NO God, just as one could not prove definitevely, to everyone’s satisfaction that there is. Atheists seed doubt in the minds of believers, themselves already having exercised faith that there must be no God. Ultimately, anyway you go, faith is the last step.

I do believe that Christianity is more reasonable… and beyond simply the rational level, is far more satisfying. Today, as a recent Christianity Today article pointes out (a great article to read, let me know if u’d like the link), Atheism is beginning to die in many places (though it will always persist however weakened). Far more are turning to Theism than to Atheism.

My point is, don’t let your faith be shaken by someone who by reasoning proves that there MIGHT not be a God while radically proclaiming that there isn’t. Read Thomas, Anslem, Peter Kreeft**** ( a great place to start), C.S. Lewis (always a classic) and open up a full-blown debate within your own self. Only be careful… atheists love to make statements they are not qualified to say, and exaggerate their conclusions. DON’t FALL PREY TO THIS. Read, study, and rememeber… faith is still going to have to be exercised one way or another.

You are in my prayers…

Hugo.


#12

Hi Neithan,

Coming from a background of atheism, maybe I can be of help.

[quote=Neithan]This may be indicative of how weak and fragile my Faith is (i’ll be the first to admit it) but I recently came across this website written by an atheist and expert debater, Adam Marczyk.
[/quote]

I disagree. Without meaning to justify my many years as an atheist, I would say that it was my desire to know God that led me there. That desire, which was the grace of God led me back. It is those who don’t care whether God exists whom God will spit out of his mouth.

In other words, never be ashamed to ask and inquire and learn about the love of God.

Suffice it to say, I am very impressed. He has some compelling arguments for his beliefs (or lack thereof) and I am at a loss to find any satisfactory theistic response. His articles are relatively short but are poignant and cover a lot of ground. The top seven (from “All Possible Worlds” to “Unmoved Mover”) are particularly arresting.

I don’t have room to address all of them. But let me just make the point that in “All Possible Worlds”, Adam does not succeed in proving the nonexistence of God, but only in questioning the existence of a benevolent God. Adam proves the existence of evil and then makes an assumption which does not follow. He assumes that because evil exists, an all loving God does not exist.

The Catholic Church already knows that evil exists. The Church teaches that God does not create evil but permits it to bring a greater good.

But how do we prove that Adam’s assumption is wrong? How do we prove that God is all good?

We can’t really. Just as Adam can’t prove the opposite. He can only prove something that we already know. Evil exists.

So what’s the next step? The next step is faith. Faith and reason do not contradict, but faith is superior to reason.

What does our Faith tell us? Our Faith tells us that God came and suffered for our sins. It is through suffering that we achieve eternal life. God, Himself suffered to give us a model that we should follow. Our human reaction is to abhor suffering, yet the Saints have taught us that we should embrace suffering and should indeed thank God for the opportunity to suffer. This can not be understood by the eyes of the flesh but only by the eyes of the Spirit. Pray about it.

Seriously, it’s stuff like this that really shakens, and threatens to shatter, my faith. This bothers me because… why should I fear the Truth? Why should any of us fear it? If Christianity is wrong (and face it… we HAVE to face this possibility or we are closed-minded) than we should feel liberated, right?

It has shaken many people’s faith and I consider the problem of the existence of evil to have been the main reason why I left my Catholic faith for many years.

I suppose I’m still young and inexperienced (I’m not as deeply educated–in theology and philosophy–as I’d like to be) but Mr. Marczyk seems to sweep away with majestic style any and all reasons for a Christian worldview. The deconversion stories on the site really hit a nerve. What do you all think?

I didn’t read those. Unfortunately I don’t have time.

If you have the time, please click on the above link and check it out (but a warning to those who don’t want to test their faith). Am I overreacting?

Yes. But that isn’t a bad thing. Let your fear impel you to find the Catholic Answer.

Are there any good apologetic responses to all of this?

Yes. The Catholic Church has the answer to all those problems.

Are we all fooling ourselves?

No. But don’t let them fool you into thinking that we are. Put on the armour of Christ, place all your troubles in his hands and he will comfort you.

Sincerely,

De Maria


#13

beautiful post, hugo. right on the money.


#14

If your faith is weak and fragile as you state it might be then…

STAY AWAY FROM THIS SITE!!!
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And stay away from people like this!
Why turn yourself inside out over it? Stay with what you know to be true. Nothing you can say or present to people like this will have any impact whatsoever. So, don’t go back and reinforce your own faith that you know is true!

Just a suggestion!

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#15

Drat, his surname’s Polish! (I’m pretty sure)

What happened to Polish = Catholic?


#16

i recommend reading some good apologists. you’re basically taking the best (or one of the best) that the enemy has to offer, and listening to him, without giving yourself the benefit of hearing the best that the truth has to offer.

read some cs lewis, some francis schaeffer, some karl rahner, some gk chesterton. read ‘orthodoxy’ by chesterton. then come back and play with the mean atheist. :wink:


#17

Strenghthen your faith so, you need not fear any such arguments. Read up on the lives of the saints and the many miracles that proves God’s love and existence.
There are so many great miracle workers whose faith and great works absolutely proves God’s existence. Read up on the life of Padre Pio, who exhibited the stigmata for 50 years which miraculously disappeared one day after his death. His whole life was surrounded by miracles, bringing a child back from the dead, making a blind person born without retinas see (even without retinas).

There is a mountain of evidence of God’s handiwork, none of which can not be disproved by atheists. They will ignore it and chalk it up to hoaxes or illusions but even modern day science can not explain many of the miracles such as the cloak of Juan Diego in Mexico, the medical miracles at Lourdes and Fatima.

Even in very small Marian sites, such as the replica Loudes shrine at Emmittsburg, miracles abound. A lady (non-Catholic) recently bought her baby infected with HIV and on an impulse briefly dipped it in the waters by the shrine (even though there are signs around telling folks not o do so) and from an examination 2 weeks later, the baby showed no signs of HIV at all.

The doctors have no explanation as to how that could happen, but the mother knows and converted as a consequence.

If you want to see what consequences state sponsored godlessness can do, just take a look at Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, China, Cuba and now North Korea… millions upon millions of folks murdered to appease someone’s ego, or twisted sense of duty to the state.

wc


#18

[quote=wcknight]If you want to see what consequences state sponsored godlessness can do, just take a look at Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, China, Cuba and now North Korea… millions upon millions of folks murdered to appease someone’s ego, or twisted sense of duty to the state.
[/quote]

i really think this is an unhelpful approach to take to christian apologetics: by the same token that we always point out to others that the existence of bad christians does not entail the falsity of christianity, so, too, does the existence of bad atheists not entail the falsity of atheism.

i mean, how can you hope to have a reasonable conversation with someone when you basically tell them that their worldview makes them a moral monster, or that they must be right there in that moral neighbourhood?


#19

[quote=john doran]i really think this is an unhelpful approach to take to christian apologetics: by the same token that we always point out to others that the existence of bad christians does not entail the falsity of christianity, so, too, does the existence of bad atheists not entail the falsity of atheism.
[/quote]

Thank you. I have made a choice not to answer to the common slander against atheism and I am glad that somebody presents a more reasoned view.


#20

Neithan- you just gave the best sales pitch i have ever heard! If i didnt know any better i would accuse you of being the author of the website! :slight_smile:


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