I’m going to try an experiment. It’s not a very well-thought out experiment, so I’ll admit up front that if it blows up in my face, I’ll look a bit sheepish. But it won’t be the first time, so here goes.
Here’s the background: It strikes me that a common tactic of the atheists and skeptics is to throw out a criticism, then sit back and wait for the theists to respond, then they throw out another criticism. This makes a nice fun game, if you’re an atheist or skeptic. It turns us apologists into a duck in a shooting gallery: every time someone shoots, we change directions, and they have fun watching us respond. When we give a reasonable answer, we never hear, “sorry about that, I guess I was wrong.” No, all we hear is another criticism. Since most of the criticisms are just that…….criticisms, and not positive cases for atheism or skepticism, I’m going to issue this challenge. Since it’s my challenge, I can make the rules any way I want. (Hey, if you don’t like it, make up your own challange……we get them thrown at us all the time.) Here’s the rules:
1. Come up with a positive case for your view, be it atheism, skepticism or whatever. I want a positive proof for your view, not an opinion about mine.
2. You can’t use alleged errors in the Bible. Even if they were there (which they aren’t), there are plenty of negative criticisms of the Bible in the world. Again, I’m looking for positive proof for your view, not another weak statement like “You Christians can’t explain XYZ" or "The Bible is wrong because XXX."
3. You can’t use the moral character, intelligence, or crimes of theists. (those shouldn’t have anything to do with a positive proof for your view.)
4. I won’t accept any logical fallacies, such as ad hominem statements against the other side (that means no arguments that depend on name-calling, guilt by association, self-refuting arguments, etc.).
Now with those simple rules, I think I’ve taken away the favorite hobby-horses that most of you use to have fun shooting at us. This challenge is about presenting a logical or empirical proof for why atheism, skepticism, or naturalism should be believed. The burden of proof is on you.
But I warn you in advance: all the tools you guys have been using since Hume, Freud, and Feurbach will cut both ways.
(btw, an excellent and similar post by Greg Koukle can be found here. )