Evidence, Speculation, & Knowledge:
I have written before about the atheist use and misuse of word definition. The word “evidence” has a definition, and the post that explains their misuse of the definition can be found @ https://twocent2c2.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/apologetics-for-the-average-joe-a-series-2/
The definition of evidence:
Note that in the very definition of evidence the term ‘bears witness’ is not only part of the definition, but also listed among the evidence ‘types’ that atheist want to edit and omit.
When asked why atheist think that millions of rational, logical, and very skeptical people would simply believe something without any evidence at all, their answer is usually “just an appeal to numbers fallacy”. Yet when confronted with any evidence someone post about things such as creationism, the resurrection, history, and the like, their answer will be, “There are many” or “most” theologians, historians, and scientist etc… disagree
This hypocritical response is also an appeal to numbers fallacy.
“In My Opinion”
The three unused words that sidetrack all discussion.
No matter what anyone thinks, believes, or states in a discussion…
evidence can indeed be had, and knowledge obtained that not everyone possesses, period.
Although I have yet to pin down an atheist to admit that this is what they indeed infer, I remain hopeful. In other words, the phrase “there are no gods”, is merely a speculation, and a belief…not a fact simply because there is no evidence to support it.
It is also delusion
[delusion. noun:(psychiatry) a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason]
In other words the atheist argument is simply this;
“If God shows up in the physical realm for anyone, but not everyone, then it can not be validated by everyone, and therefore is not evidence”
The “evidence” they refer to, however, is their own version of the word, and usually edited, and confined to certain ‘types’ that they believe there is some written rule for. In other words, they have their own definition for evidence, and it is superior to any other…just ask them. [also see https://twocent2c2.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/apologetics-for-the-average-joe-the-mirror-game-prelude/ for more on the atheist argument]
All evidence in a debate about the existence of a deity is usually edited to the same evidence for any inanimate object, such as a rock; and most often of an empirical, and scientific nature.
This would be logical if the debate were actually about an inanimate object, such as a rock, and not a non physical being that can appear at will in the physical world, and more importantly has a choice to do so or not, and for whom.
[Scientism is belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. Accordingly, philosopher Tom Sorell provides this definition of scientism: “Scientism is a matter of putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture.” It has been defined as:
“the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and society.”
A little about the spiritual world.
If certain people hear about or read about anything at all, they have the choice to investigate that. If they do, and find that is is a valid report of an actual reality, then one thing is true.
They have a knowledge of it that not everyone has.
Just as one cannot read a book called,”playing the guitar”, and thereby know how to play one, the fact still remains that some actually do know how to play one by reading the same book. This statement is both logical, and factual.
In the spiritual world there are many variations, and all have exercises, and protocols to enable someone to actually gain knowledge, and more importantly evidence, of the subject they choose.
Many people, including myself have done exactly that concerning the Christian doctrine. We have also thereby obtained evidence, and a working knowledge of the practice of it. Here is a simple example…
“I am riding down the road, and “The Spirit” tells me to look for a woman with a sign. I pass several, but when passing one certain person, “The Spirit” tells me to go get ten dollars change and give it to her. Upon reaching the woman, and rolling the window down, shy instantly proclaims that she desperately is in need of ten dollars.”
Coincidence? A friend of mine that is a pastor gave this report just yesterday…
“As you know I have been suffering with this toothache for some time now, and have prayed about it. I was in the spirit last night and reminded of the scripture about “praying continually until”. So I did just that. Scripture also states that when the prayer has been heard, that I would receive confirmation by by one or two witnesses. The Spirit told me I had been heard, and to return home. As soon as I arrived a person I knew but not well, and hadn’t seen in over twenty years knocked on the door. When he sat down, he said he “was in the area, and remembered me. He also felt compelled to stop and tell me about a dream he had the night before. I dreamed I spit out a tooth“.
“When he said that my tooth fell out.”
There are literally millions of testimonies that contain similar stories, and historical documents such as the Bible are almost entirely testimonial. When one reads these testimonies, they have the choice to investigate the material they read,or hear about, look at the evidence (if any), and test the validity of it. Anyone can do this, yet…
not everyone does
The atheist argument is an array of “yea but…yea but….yea but…” otherwise known as a straw man argument. They will say the encounters could be coincidence, or something else. In fact, they will say it could be anything at all… except evidence that supports a spiritual world, or a God.
Questions arise from this,(also never answered),that:
1)Just exactly how many times does this have to happen until it stops becoming a coincidence?
2) What if it happens one hundred percent of the time for some of us…is this not evidence for us, that other people do not, and can not possibly have?
Again they claim by inference through the statements they make that…
“there is no evidence or knowledge that exist anywhere only certain people have that others can not possess, do not yet have, or can not obtain”
This is not a logical argument either, but when pinned down to this statement being inferred, but not written, they will say that they do not have to answer that because it is a straw man argument.
When pinned down to answer any one of their own truth claims, the real reason they will never answer the question simply is because…
1) it will prove them wrong
2) it will uncover their own hypocritical belief in speculation and not knowledge
3) it will force them to admit a simple fact…
they are ignorant concerning their own points
What is also interesting is that I learned of this through an old Buddhist teaching, and a game I invented from the teaching called “the mirror game“. In other words, I was actually using their own argument, and simply changing the side I was arguing for or against to my own. Seems the whole atheist argument is nothing more than a straw man defense.
This is a short summary of a series in apologetics that has already been posted. It was written in short form to be introduced in regular social site debate groups for discussion
CSF students can refer to their chapter’s links pages other study topics on the atheist argument.