Apologetics for Atheists

Guest post from my 18 year old son Stephen Ramsek:

“Last Saturday I joined my dad and Dr. Danny Faulkner on an evangelistic outreach to a group of atheists protesting at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky. I had the opportunity to speak with several atheists, but my lengthy conversation with a spacecraft engineer named Andrew was a highlight.

We first discussed the reliability of the Bible (including the doctrines of inspiration and authority, the transmission of the Bible, and biblical interpretation), and then moved on to a discussion of his transition from theism to atheistic empiricism. He attributed his transition to a great many small things that he thought, when taken together, pointed away from theism and toward the truth of naturalistic empiricism/empiricist naturalism. He tried to show that empiricism is the most fundamental worldview, being shared by humans, animals, and inanimate objects alike.

I was somewhat confused about what he meant by “empiricism” with reference to inanimate objects; things like pebbles and leaves do not have any viewpoint on the world, having no intelligence. But I then tried to show him the inherent circularity of every worldview, and therefore that each worldview must be judged on how much sense it makes on its own terms; how well it coheres, and on how much explanatory power it provides those who hold to it. It took some time, but eventually he conceded this point, and admitted that one cannot expect the theist to prove theism atheistically just as the rationalist should not be asked to prove rationalism irrationally.

The conversation then moved to the topic of science, which he spoke about as if it were one of the greatest and most powerful things in the world. So I explained to him how I thought that biblical theism makes the most sense of science. Since God is immutable, all-knowing, and loving, this universe, which He created and sustains, displays a reliable uniformity. It seemed like he saw my point, and was surprised to learn that I thought God was a person.

We then moved on to a discussion of morality, which I began by asking him how atheism makes sense of morality. It seemed as if he held to a utilitarian view of ethics, and I argued that utilitarian ethics are variable and therefore worthless, making a comparison to a “utilitarian” view of truth; if truth were variable, then truth would lose its meaning and usefulness. I then argued that since moral obligations can only come from persons (a point he seemed to agree with), that absolute moral obligations must necessarily come from an absolute Person. Although he resisted this conclusion, I think it at least made him think.

Unfortunately, he had to leave at that point, but we ended the conversation on good, friendly terms. Overall, although it definitely wasn’t as quick and easy as it is described in apologetics literature, the transcendental argument for Christian theism seemed to be very powerful for arguing against a naturalistic worldview.”

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One thought on “Apologetics for Atheists

  1. Great job Stephen! So amazing the wisdom that the Lord has given you to be able to discuss these points with the people you come into contact with at these events. I pray this man thinks further on your points and comes to know the truth.

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