Why is God good?

If you accept the Bible as true, this is a natural conclusion. But do we need the Bible deduce this? I don’t think so.

In theism, we accept that God is the first, uncaused cause. God is an independent thing. God is the source of all contingent or dependent things.

Evil is a dependent thing. Evil requires good. Without good, we would know no evil. It is simply a privation of good. An absence.

Therefore, if God is independent and evil is dependent, God is good.

To matt

So one of the most popular atheists on the planet responded to my email. Maybe you’ve heard of Matt Dillahunty. Regardless, I pitched my We Are The Evidence argument for Christianity. Here’s his response: 

Your argument is flawed at every point,
1. If the Holy Spirit exists, Christianity is true.  
   – You haven’t defined your terms and, when you do, you’ll see that this all leads to a circular argument. You’ll ultimately be saying “IF this particular thing within Christianity is true then Christianity is true…”
2. The Holy Spirit exists
   – There’s no good reason to believe this is true.

You then go on to an ‘argumentum ad populum’ fallacy.
2.5 billion claims does not mean the claim is true. The plural of anecdote isn’t ‘data’. The truth isn’t impacted by the number of people who believe something or the strength of their conviction.

You’ve literally done NOTHING here, but fail to define terms, create an ultimately circular argument based on those incomplete definitions and then add a fallacious appeal to popularity.

This was a monumental waste of my time. Hopefully, you’ll learn something and it won’t be a waste of yours.

Go. Google. Learn fallacies. Learn why appealing to popularity is a fallacy and why fallacies matter.

Meanwhile, you’ll need to make 2.5 billion the magic number or you’ll have to also agree with the 2 billion Muslims out there. Does the extra 500m make Christianity true…and if the demographic ever flips so that there are more Mulsims…are you going to believe that religion?

Seriously. The ONLY way this is worth my time is if you actually learn something and then share it.

– Matt Dillahunty

His first criticism calls my argument circular. That I’m arguing in a circle. If you are alive, you have a mother. Is that valid? If we can prove that the Holy Spirit exists, I think we can conclude that Christianity is true. 

Circular reasoning is often of the form: “A is true because B is true; B is true because A is true.” Circularity can be difficult to detect if it involves a longer chain of propositions.

Does this apply to my argument? If the Holy spirit exists, Christianity is true. The Holy spirit exists, therefore Christianity is true. I don’t think it does. I think the first premise is undeniable. And the conclusion logically follows the premises. 

The Holy spirit exists. A
Christianity is true. B

B is true because A is true. But A is true because of the witnesses. We are not saying that the Holy Spirit exists because Christianity is true. We are saying that the Holy Spirit exists because we have 2.5 billion witnesses of it. Each witness is a claim that the Holy Spirit exists. And claims are evidence. And consistent claims are good evidence. 

His second criticism is that I commit the appeal to the people fallacy.

According to Wikipedia, this fallacy is In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: “If many believe so, it is so”.

On the surface, he’s right. Essentially I say that 2.5 billion people believe in something, it may be true. But it’s not that simple. We’re not saying that this group of people believe that God exists, or even that Christianity is true. We’re saying that each person is a witness to the Holy Spirit. Each claim is a witness to the same supernatural entity. 

What about Islam? There are 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. Would this not apply in the same way as Matt suggested in his email? First off, the Quran affirms the Gospel of Jesus. Secondly, the God of Islam is not a personal God. The Holy Spirit mentioned in the Quran is not something poured out to all believers. So 1.8 billion Muslims are simply 1.8 billion people who believe Islam is true. They are not all claiming to have experiences with the supernatural. But let’s say they were, that would be 1.8 billion more reasons to believe that naturalism fails, and atheism is false. 

Exploring Beliefs

Beliefs are accepted propositions.

I believe you means that I accept what you’re saying is true.  All knowledge is belief, but all beliefs are not knowledge. Beliefs do not require justification, but knowledge does.

For example, I accept that the proposition ‘God exists,’ is true. I believe that God exists. I also feel justified in my beliefs, for reasons I’ve discussed earlier.

Atheism, to be a belief, must have a true or false value to the proposition ‘God exists.’ While atheism now simply claims to be a ‘lack of belief,’ if a belief is accepting a proposition as true, a lack of belief is not accepting that proposition as true. By not accepting the proposition as true, they do not believe that God exists.

We Are the Evidence

For additional context, watch this debate

I have been watching a lot of Matt Dilahunty lately. That inspired my last post on Bigfoot. Apologists typically look at proving the central claims of Christianity: the existence of God, the truth of the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus. These arguments are incredibly powerful. And worth exploring. But I want to explore the existence of the Holy Spirit.

Because if the Christianity is true, the Holy Spirit exists. Meaning two billion people claim that the Holy Spirit exists. Or rather, two billion people claim that the statement ‘the Holy Spirit exists’ is true.

This is not the same as saying that two billion people claim to have seen Bigfoot. This is like saying two billion people have been abducted by the same alien. And prefer to be abducted by him every day. 

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. -I Corinthians 12:13

Some people say that these are claims and not evidence. But eyewitness testimony is evidence. Especially when it is consistent. And typically the number of consistent claims make the case better. Not to mention, many people don’t believe spirits exist at all. So what other evidence would you have in the existence of such a being? Remember: science assumes naturalism is true.

Let’s examine the claims for the Holy Spirit in scripture. 

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you. – John 14:26,17

These are not vague descriptions. These are precise definitions of the purpose and function of the spirit. 


If a hundred people confirm that something is red, I don’t need any outside analysis. If we say this thing is true, and a hundred people look at that and say that the statement ‘this is red’ is true based on seeing that thing, we can confirm that it is red with some certainty. What if two billion people changed their lives based on their belief about the claim that the Holy Spirit exists? Experience is evidence.

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‘Extraordinary Claims require extraordinary evidence.’ I don’t know what stronger evidence you can get than two billion current positive affirmations. Not to mention all previous Christians.

If the Holy Spirit exists, God exists, and the Bible is true. And Jesus was who he said he was. 

If God is alive in the world today, he works in the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit lives in us. So that the evidence of the resurrection is not just the empty tomb, it’s your life. We are the evidence.

Therefore, the Body of Christ is all Christians. And that is the body of evidence that Christianity is true. We are the body of Christ.

So next time an atheist demands for extraordinary evidence, give it to him. You are a witness of the most important event in human history. You are the evidence.

TLDR

  • If the Holy Spirit exists, Christianity is true.
  • The Holy Spirit exists.
  • Therefore, Christianity is true.

Also:

  • If the Holy Spirit does not exist, Christianity is not true.
  • The Holy Spirit exists.
  • Therefore, Christianity is true.

Bigfoot Argument

How many people would need to have seen Bigfoot for you to believe that he exists? There have been about 3500 alleged Bigfoot sightings since 1960.

If Christianity is true, the Holy Spirit exists. [John 15:26-27] Two billion people claim to be Christians. That means that two billion people believe that the Holy Spirit exists. And presumably, a percentage have had some sort of personal experience with him.

If two billion people had witnessed Bigfoot, would you believe he exists?

Bandwagon Fallacy: The obvious objection to this argument is that just because many people believe something, doesn’t make it true. But if you have many witnesses of something, I think it becomes more than that.

Déjà vu: The Divine Breadcrumb

The thought is, I’ve been here before. It’s like you are living in a memory. To say I dreamed it, says nothing about how the future entered your mind.

For this to be valid, one must accept the truth of déjà vu: that our prior memory of a present event is just that.

No one has access to the future. The future does not exist right now.

If the human mind was isolated to spacetime, with no connection to other realities outside of spacetime, there is no reason to believe an imagined déjà vu event would happen.

If there is another realm, outside spacetime, where the mind lives, could we have access to things that haven’t yet happened?

If God exists, he is timeless, and has existence outside of spacetime. So his omniscience would include knowledge of the future.

For déjà vu to be possible, the mind must either have direct access to the future or access to something that has access to the future.

Do we have direct access to the future? No. So we have access to a being, who has access to the future. Either way,

Truth exists outside of spacetime. 

Why, because there are any infinite number of variables that go into making the déjà vu event happen. Think of the butterfly effect. If any part of the event was different, it wouldn’t seem like a memory. So the only way that this could be true is if there is a reality outside of spacetime. And a being with access to it.
To exist outside of spacetime with access to truth that is in it, the being must be omniscient. God is omniscient.

But also, this is not just access to the truth. This is access to my truth. So that this being has access to my mind. Therefore, this being is personal.

From déjà vu, I think we can reasonably conclude that a personal God exists outside of spacetime who is omniscient and personal.

‘Christianity is irrational’

I was debating someone on Reddit yesterday,  and this gem fell into my lap. Here’s the full text, if anyone is interested. 
The guy said that ‘Christianity is irrational because it is a belief based on faith.’ And anything based on faith is irrational.
So I asked him if he had any proof that God didn’t exist. Of course, he didn’t.
So I asked if his worldview included a God. Of course it didn’t.
So while he assumed Christianity was irrational because it was based on faith (incorrectly), I showed that his worldview was similarly based on the nonexistence of God. With no proof.
So if a belief is irrational because it is based on faith, atheism is faith that God does not exist, with no reasons to believe so. 

Faith Perspective

I’m sure that many of you have been down this road, but wanted to get your opinion on it. Typically, what people are looking for is evidence, and I think we have some great arguments on our side. With my background in science, I was thinking that I actually never empirically verified the value of gravity.

Of course, I know what it is. I’ve plugged it into different equations, but I’ve never ‘discovered’ it. Instead, I do like any other reasonable person would do, and use what’s in the textbook. But by doing this, I make some assumptions:

  1. My brain can gather information about the external world
  2. The book I am reading is true and the value for gravity in the book is correct
  3. The experiments that lead to this constant were done properly.
  4. The conclusions from the experiments done are correct
  5. The scientific community that verified this value was also correct

My point is that I have faith in this value. While no one will discount the value of gravity, no one tests it anymore either. We have faith in a number, and a process.

Proving a personal God

Recommended Preliminary Reading: Defining Love and Applying Love

  1. The mind exists apart from matter.
  2. A God that exists in the mind is greater than one that does not.
  3. A God that exists in the mind is a personal God.
  4. God can exist in the mind.
  5. A personal God exists.

Consider the immaterial mind, the fact that God can exist as an idea in the mind does more than just suggest the possibility of his existence. If God can exist in my mind, he is greater than a God that cannot exist in my mind. And if he can exist in my mind, and yours, that would be greater than the former. So the more minds that God exists in, the greater God is.

But also, the mind exists in the dimension of time. So that God’s existence in the mind is greater the more realities he exists in. 

What does this say about Deism? A God that simply winds the clock is a lesser God than one that exists with us. And died for us on the cross. 

What about Islam? If we are measuring the potential greatness of God, God would simply be greater if more people believed in him. So that the God of Christianity’s greatness and love would be greater because of the call for mercy and grace instead of murder. 

Unfalsifiability Argument

I run into this argument constantly online. Because God is unfalsifiable, it’s senseless to believe in him. Many Christian apologists argue against this, saying there are certain facets of our religion that you can validate historically, archeologically, etc. But I’m more lenient than that. Let’s just say that God is unfalsifiable. 

If God is unfalsifiable, there is at least on possible world where God exists. If this number was zero, the concept of God would be falsifiable. Or even falsified.

So from there, let’s look at Pascal’s Wager. Basically, you don’t know if God exists. There is a non-zero chance of an infinite reward or of infinite punishment. Heaven or hell.

So because the chances are not zero, Pascal’s Wager tells us that we must explore the possibility of God. Whether it is to get into heaven or stay out of hell. The fact that God is unfalsifiable paired with the wager mean that the concept of God is one that must be explored further.

So while the atheist’s strange non-position as a ‘lack of belief’ may shift the burden of proof to the theist, this argument should help show the atheist that the argument is for their benefit, not yours. And once they realize that you are on the same team, they may be more open to hearing the truth.