Answers to Questions for Atheists by Matt Slick

These questions were posted by Matt Slick on the web site of the Christian Appologetics and Research Ministry. I’ve provided my answers.

Matt writes:

These questions are not meant to be show stoppers. They are only for research purposes so that I might better understand atheism and its adherents. Some questions are similar to others while some questions are designed to elicit more thoughtful responses. I’ll be adding to the list periodically. If you are an atheist and would like to respond, please copy them to an email and send to whichever ones you want to respond to. Thank you.

1. How would you define atheism?
> I define atheism in lack of a belief in an anthropomorphic god. This precludes the Yahweh of the old testament, but not the Holy Spirit. It precludes Krishna, but not Brahman.

2. Do you act according to what you believe (there is no God) in or what you don’t believe in (lack belief in God)?
> Both. There is no difference.

3. Do you think it is inconsistent for someone who “lacks belief” in God to work against God’s existence by attempting to show that God doesn’t exist?
> No, but I don’t see why they would want to

4. How sure are you that your atheism properly represents reality?
> 99%

5. How sure are you that your atheism is correct?
> 99%

6. How would you define what truth is?
> The truth is that which is true

7. Why do you believe your atheism is a justifiable position to hold?
> It explains the world as I understand it

8. Are you a materialist or a physicalist or what?
> No. I believe in spirit.

9. Do you affirm or deny that atheism is a worldview? Why or why not?
> It is not. Rationalism is a world view that a lot of atheist hold.

10. Not all atheists are antagonistic to Christianity but for those of you who are, why the antagonism?
> I dislike some forms of Christianity because they try to impose their beliefs on others.

11. If you were at one time a believer in the Christian God, what caused you to deny His existence?
> Lack of evidence

12. Do you believe the world would be better off without religion?
> No

13. Do you believe the world would be better off without Christianity?
> I believe that we would be better of without some forms of Christianity.

14. Do you believe that faith in a God or gods is a mental disorder?
> No.

15. Must God be known through the scientific method?
> No.

16. If you answered yes to the previous question, then how do you avoid a category mistake by requiring material evidence for an immaterial God?
> In most forms of Christianity, God is not immaterial in the sense that He influences the material world directly. A God who does not, like the Holy Spirit, or the God of St. Paul (God is love) cannot be known through the scientific method.

17. Do we have any purpose as human beings?

> Yes. Our first purpose is to find our life’s purpose. Once found, our purpose is to pursue it.
18. If we do have purpose, can you as an atheist please explain how that purpose is determined?
> No. It is a mystery.

19. Where does morality come from?
> It simply is.

20. Are there moral absolutes?
> Yes. Many of them are encoded in Christianity.

21. If there are moral absolutes, could you list a few of them?
> Murder is evil. Stealing is wrong. Committing adultery is wrong. Helping others is right.

22. Do you believe there is such a thing as evil? If so, what is it?
> Yes. Evil is intentionally doing wrong.

23. If you believe that the God of the Old Testament is morally bad, by what standard do you judge that He is bad?
> I do believe that Yahweh is often evil. Genocide is evil. By what standard is it not?

24. What would it take for you to believe in God?
> I would require a revelation.

25. What would constitute sufficient evidence for God’s existence?
> For me, a revelation would be sufficient.

26. Must this evidence be rationally based, archaeological, testable in a lab, etc., or what?
> No. Revelation is a personal experience.

27. Do you think that a society that is run by Christians or atheists would be safer? Why?

> I think it depends on the Christians and the atheists. A society that truly followed the teachings of Jesus would be safer than any society I’m aware of.

28. Do you believe in free will? (free will being the ability to make choices without coersion).
> Yes.

29. If you believe in free will, do you see any problem with defending the idea that the physical brain, which is limited and subject to the neuro-chemical laws of the brain, can still produce free will choices?
> I don’t see a problem with that, but I don’t believe it either.

30. If you affirm evolution and that the universe will continue to expand forever, then do you think it is probable that given enough time, brains would evolve to the point of exceeding mere physical limitations and become free of the physical and temporal, and thereby become “deity” and not be restricted by space and time? If not, why not?
> I don’t believe that will happen. I think it’s more likely that we will become godlike by becoming spiritual beings.

31. If you answered the previous question in the affirmative, then aren’t you saying that it is probable that some sort of God exists?
> I didn’t answer yes.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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3 Responses to Answers to Questions for Atheists by Matt Slick

  1. Pingback: Matt Slick’s Answers to Questions for Christians | Jim's Jumbler

  2. A less tautological answer to #6 is: Truth is that which is in accordance with the facts of reality. I was recently surprised to learn that the Jesus magician (who evidently never wrote a word) was invented during the Dark Ages, a century and a half after the presumptive walking on water, raising the decomposed and dead and participating in a crucifixion. If Thomas Jefferson had written nothing and only come to light 44 years ago, I would have a miserable time trying to convince anyone he had ever existed. Yet even Isaac Asimov was swept up in historical Jesus-mania without citing tangible proof of existence. If Christianity is believing in Jesus, surely some examination of the historical record is not an unreasonable expectation. Yet “Nailed” is the only such examination I’ve ever seen. The difference between claims of Jesus and Russell’s orbiting teapot hypothesis is that Bertrand Russell never responded to skepticism with violence or vituperation. –Libertariantranslator

    • jimbelton says:

      The NT is written in Greek, which Jesus likely didn’t know how to even read. He has a good command of the OT, which was in Aramaic, so probably read that. If you want a very clear and reasoned discussion of the historicity of Jesus, Bart Ehrman has written some very well thought out books on the subject. My favourite is “How Jesus Became God”. Ehrman concludes that a historical Jesus is more likely than not. The evidence outside of the gospels is indeed thin.

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