16 March, 2017

Secular Attacks on Miracles are Circular Reasoning

WARNING: The following are paragraphs, not individual sentences or phrases. Failure to also quote the rest of a paragraph when quoting a single sentence or phrase out of it is quote mining.

In September 2016, I posted (and subsequently edited) a list of fallacies committed by the mainstream media as they attempt to silence both Christians and conservatives. One of them (namely, number 10 on the list) is circular reasoning. Yes, there are indeed Christians who commit this fallacy, but there are atheists who commit it as well. How? By jumping to the conclusion that any piece of text containing miracles must automatically be regarded as a fairy tale.

Around the same time that now-infamous September blog post was posted, I also attended Stand to Reason's reTHINK 2016 conference at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. My good friend, mentor, and world-renowned cold case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace made this point very clear at this conference, and I happen to possess video footage, which I posted to Instagram from the conference, of his refutation of this argument. Keep in mind, this was Detective Wallace's own objection when he was still an atheist. When he went on to apply the same methods that he used in his detective work to the Bible, it was this objection that was his last hurdle. How therefore did Wallace go from atheist to Christian? He learned to think outside the box.

That there is the problem with this objection in a nutshell: It is the box! Naturalism, like scientism ("is that provable using the scientific method?"), relativism ("is that relative?"), truth denial ("is that true?"), and others like it, is self-refuting. How? Because space, matter, and time all had beginnings seemingly out of nowhere. Because when applied to the New Testament, the judicial standard links Irenaeus, who we know has plenty of contemporary writings, only two generations back to the Gospel writers themselves. Because chronology and archaeology, if properly interpreted, do a profound job of verifying the Old Testament. Because the historical-legal evidence supporting the New Testament, when compared to that supporting all other ancient documents, is overwhelming. Atheists have to jump over all this in order to justify their claims, and nearly all of their refutations when presented with this stuff are nothing more than cop-outs.

To be fair, the same is indeed true for the Christian side, but my fellow Christians (and some agnostics, you might argue) are at least open to the idea of this stuff being supportive of Biblical veracity. Atheists will claim that a negative can't be proven, but at the same time also claim that they don't want to believe any belief system that can't be proven. This is a contradiction, because atheism is a negative. If you can't prove a negative, then why do you blindly regurgitate the negative that there is no God? Why do you blindly assert the negative that the supernatural does not exist? Merely denying these without asserting the negatives is called agnosticism; atheism is when you assert the negative in addition to denying the positive. If it can't be proven, then by your own definition you shouldn't believe it.

This is what it comes down to: naturalism is circular reasoning, period. Instead of even opening their mind up to the possibility of something outside the universe — which is itself created because it is proven by science to not be eternal — existing, they simply dismiss all evidence presented to them and move the goalposts — a fallacy in itself — based on the blindly asserted notion that anything supernatural isn't reasonable. Because this notion is circular reasoning, it's therefore a plank in the eye (Matthew 7:3-5) of any atheist who judges a Christian for circular reasoning. You say I'm closed-minded? Anyone who uses circular reasoning is closed minded regardless of his or her belief system.