Arguing the existence of God


Last night there was an interesting back and forth in this corner of the internet that I discovered this morning. Wintery Knight published a piece on how to defend the Christian worldview and Gunner responded to his piecewith a low key fisking. I read Knight’s piece last night and I found it strange, in a way that I wasn’t able to comfortably identify until I read Gunner’s piece this morning. This part of Knight’s screed in particular left me scratching my head.

So, your strongest evidence as a Christian are the scientific arguments, along with the moral argument. Those would include (for starters) the following:

kalam cosmological argument
cosmic fine-tuning
galactic and stellar habitability
origin of life / DNA
molecular machines / irreducible complexity
the moral argument

Thankfully, Gunner helped me realise that I wasn’t insane, merely stupid.

That list entails Wintery Knight’s listener having an intellect on his level. Those are few and far between. I’ve forgotten more math and compsci than most people will ever know, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing more than a couple of those topics at the level of “should I drastically change my life priorities?”

When I read that list from Knight, I had the following reaction:

Kalam cosmological argument? Galactic habitability? I even just spelled galactic wrong when I wrote it then and it was only the little squiggly red line underneath that saved me from acute failure.

But there is a deeper issue here that I struggle with. You see, I don’t argue the existence of God with anyone who doesn’t believe in God. Ever. I don’t see the point. I have no desire to “win” arguments related to religion and Christianity in particular with atheists and that is because atheists routinely despise the Christian with whom they are arguing. It’s semantics with no good outcome for anyone concerned.

In fact from a Christian perspective, arguing the existence of God in this way is outcome dependent, and we all know what that means over on this side of the fence. The act of arguing or discussing your deep beliefs with an atheist gives his own views credibility. Now, many of you might disagree with me on this and perhaps point to the Bible, say Acts as a starter, and question me that if the apostles had had that same attitude then they certainly wouldn’t have been wandering around Greece chewing the fat with Jews in the public squares. Yes, well and I haven’t been imbued with the Holy Spirit and specifically tasked with spreading the Word of God, not to mention the deep theological backgrounds which certain of the top apostles had.

I live my Christianity as an example to others, both in real life and from what I write here. I am entirely comfortable with what I believe but I don’t go around making a big deal out of it. I remember back when I was a young man having to put up with born again Christians going on and on and trying to convert me. It was insufferable and it drove me away from any audience with God. My approach is not to hide what I believe and how I do it. So if someone asks me what I am doing on the weekend I will mention among other things that I will be making the long drive to church on Sunday afternoon. That’s it. I make my religious belief a normal part of who I am. Something that is fundamental to me as a person but without shoving it in people’s faces or attempting to win arguments with cretins.

And on occasion, someone will come to me and ask me more about this Christianity thing. Because they are ready to hear and their ears are open. And then I will gently guide them to the beginnings and then leave them to it, while always being available to ask questions if the need arises. God chooses us, we don’t choose Him. So who am I to do the choosing?

Originally published at Pushing Rubber Downhill. You can purchase Adam’s books here.