Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Fallacies of Anti-God Logic

From many conversations I have had with young people who are seeking to deconstruct Christianity, I have summarized their rationale for not believing in God as being something like this:

1. Evil exists in the world.

2. If God is real, He would stop evil things from happening.
 3. Since God has not stopped evil, He must not exist, or if He does exist, He is not worthy to be followed.

4. Since intelligent people feel this way, anyone who does not feel this way must not be intelligent. 

5. Christians, therefore, must be categorically ignorant and/or illogical.

Obvious variations on that flow of logic exist, but the basic ideas are essentially the same. Anti-religious people say this is a logical conclusion based on reasoning and facts, but if we examine the flow of ideas carefully, they are not based on logic but on opinions. These opinions are often based on emotional reactions to the presence of evil.

For example, someone might say if there really were a God, He would eliminate suffering in the world. While many may sympathize with that statement, it is an emotional statement, not a logical one. Pain and suffering will always exist in the world. Removing God from the picture will not remove pain from the world. If anything, removing God from the equation only makes the situation worse.     

The people who hold to these views feel a certain way about God and a certain way about people who believe in God. They think their feelings are right and everyone else’s feelings are wrong. Though they may sincerely believe their arguments are based on logic, those arguments are more often based on feelings and are no more logical than the arguments Christians may give for how they feel God in their lives.

Postmodern people need Christians to help them think through a more logical path to discover truth. However, since postmodern people are not going to accept everything carte blanche, they need time to process information and evaluate that information through the filter of their own experiences and relationships. This will require honest dialogue and discussion on both sides. It will require a putting away of feelings and emotions and an opened minded look at the facts. It can be an enlightening experience for all parties. We will discuss this more in our next post.

Adapted from Dr. Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources.

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