Atheism Vs Theism – The Arguments
One of the most interesting, yet controversial topics for debate that has reignited in recent years is the debate between theists and atheists. Particularly the new atheists and the stalwart believers in the three largest religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
While this debate is certainly nothing new, it seems to have become very popular in recent years. This is mainly thanks to atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who for a while dominated the argument.
The debate will normally revolve around the following subjects:
The God Of The Gaps Argument
This topic is widely used by the atheist side to assert that the only reason that there is the belief in such a deity, is because there are some things which we do not yet know. Once we figure out all of the ‘gaps’ in our knowledge, then there will be no need for believing in a God. Theists will argue that knowing how something works by no means expel the need for a God and knowing how something works by no means answers the all important question – how anything got here in the first place.
This subject matter generally comes to a halt once both sides agree to disagree and realize that there will be no winner at the end of it.
The debate around miracles is a particular favorite of the atheists. ‘How can any logically minded person believe in the fallacy of miracles’. If you have any sympathy for the atheist’s point of view, you can see quite clearly how they could see this as absurd. The suspension of the laws of this universe is a very difficult belief to explain, especially to someone who does not believe in anything but the natural world and physics. There are,
There are, however, some very good arguments from the theist point of view to make the concept of miracles more satisfying to the nonbeliever. One of which is the fact that, no matter what you believe, you must believe in something which is tantamount to belief in miracles. If you believe that this universe came from literally nothing, then you cannot then scoff at those who believe in miracles.
The debate rages on about miracles and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The burden of proof lies on you (Who)?
Perhaps one of the most exhausting and petty aspects of this debate is who the burden of proof lies on, that is which side of the argument needs to prove that their argument is correct?
Atheists say that it is the theist making the claim that God exists, therefore they need to prove their claim. This means that all an atheist needs to do is sit back and watch as theists attempt to prove that God does in fact exist.
Theists refute this by explaining that if they provide evidence for the existence of God, and atheists reject that evidence then the burden of proof then lies upon the atheist and not the theist. They will then go on to say that unless atheists can provide an alternative to God, then they cannot then logically reject the notion of a creator.
Atheists will come back at that with equally boring arguments which lead to nowhere. Ultimately the burden of proof lies on anyone trying to convince the other of their point of view so it is up to both sides to provide an answer.
Who Created God?
This line of reasoning is probably the worst route an atheist could go down. It is a venus fly trap waiting to happen for them.
The atheist will say – ‘if God created everything, then who created God?’. Theists can easily refute this as they have never believed in a created God. It was the Greeks who believed in created Gods and they are long gone. It is hard to see why this argument has become popular in recent years but those trying to convince theists that there is no God should steer clear of this topic as they will get annihilated.
Belief Vs Nonbelief?
Perhaps one of the more intriguing subject matter in the debate between atheists and theists. Atheists will argue that theism is based on a belief and faith that something might be true, rather than relying on evidence.
Theism will argue that faith is based on evidence. A good description of what they mean is this: there is plenty of evidence that gravity exists, but you cannot prove it. You do, however, have faith in the evidence that gravity does indeed exist. To them, it is the same for believing in a God. You have faith in the evidence that there is a God.
What will generally follow is a toing and froing over whether or not atheism is a belief or not. Unfortunately for the atheist, the fact is, atheism is just as unproven as theism, therefore it is a faith. Agnosticism is the only stance one could argue is not a faith.