WHY NO ONE SHOULD BE A STRONG ATHEIST
Wikipedia. Spectrum of Theistic Probability, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_of_theistic_probability
Dark Energy. Imagine the Universe! Big Questions. NASA, 2014. https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/questions/dark_energy.html
What's 96 Percent of the Universe Made Of? Astronomers Don't Know. Clara Moskowitz. Space.com, 2011. https://www.space.com/11642-dark-matter-dark-energy-4-percent-universe-panek.html
WHY NO ONE SHOULD BE A STRONG ATHEIST
Hello everyone and welcome to another Christianity Engaged video! My name is David Erhart and today, I’m going to share with you why I believe no one should be a strong atheist.
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As we all know, atheists believe there is no God, while theists believe there is a God. However, both atheists and theists can vary in their confidence about their beliefs.
Let me explain. According to the Dawkins Scale, there are actually 3 different types of atheists:
In today’s video, I am only addressing the strong atheist position. The purpose of today’s video isn’t to persuade an atheist to believe in God, but rather to illustrate how their 100% confidence, I believe, is unreasonable.
If I were talking to a strong atheist, rather than debate countless arguments on either side, I would try to keep the conversation very simple, and focused on their 100% confidence level. I might simply draw a circle like this and say, “this circle represents all the knowledge of the universe—anything and everything that can possibly be known.”
And then I would simply ask our confident atheist to shade the area of the circle that represents their knowledge. Out of everything that can possibly be known, how much knowledge do they think they possess.
Believe it or not, the smarter they are, the smaller the area they will shade. A wise person will tell you the more they learn about anything, the more they realize just how much they don’t know. No one can be an expert at everything.
So, for the sake of our example, let’s just say our strong atheist is overly confident, and they shade an area of the circle that represents about 10% of the circle.
I would simply point out that science, their highest level of authority, has estimated that 96% of the universe is made of energy and matter we can’t see, touch, interact with, or even understand. And that means everything we can see here on Earth and all of the visible stars and planets extending to the furthest galaxy in space, only represents about 4% of what is really there.
Now, if all knowledge were limited to facts and details about the matter and energy that make up the universe, which it’s not, then by shading an area greater than 4% they would actually be claiming to know everything about the visible universe and they would be claiming to have understanding of the mysteries of dark energy matter and dark matter which have confounded scientists for years.
Upon hearing this, our atheist friend would have to revise their answer.
Alternatively, if they would have shaded an area that is less than 4% but still pretty unreasonable… let’s say, 2%. I would still mention that 96% of the universe is made of dark energy and dark matter. And that by shading 2% of the circle, that actually represents 50%, or half of the 4%, of everything we can see. “Can you name 50% of all living organisms on earth? How about 50% of all of the stars and all the galaxies? Have you read 50% of all of the that were books ever written?” Of course not.
Upon hearing this, our strong atheist would have no choice but to shade nothing more than a single dot, which again, is what most individuals that are humble and smart would have done from the very start.
The purpose of this exercise is not to belittle anyone. If you are a strong atheist, please know I mean no disrespect, but if you’re honest with yourself, you would have to admit that you know a fraction of a fraction of all the knowledge that can possibly be known. And therefore, unless you have exhaustively searched for God everywhere or somehow proven He doesn’t exist, how then can you be 100% confident in your assertion there is no God?
Some of you may be thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute! We can use that same logic against someone that is 100% confident there is a God. Unless you can scientifically prove to us that God exists, how can you be 100% confident?”
It’s a fair point. I can’t speak for all theists, but I personally am 100% confident there is a God. Now, my confidence doesn’t come from evidence, though I do believe there is evidence of God’s existence. Nor do I believe I have more knowledge than anybody else. I, too, would shade the smallest dot possible in the previous example.
Here’s the difference: a portion of our knowledge comes from our life experiences that shape who we are. You see, my confidence comes from the personal relationship I have with the God who made me. Ever since I first believed, He adopted me into His family as His son, and He became my Heavenly Father. And when He looks at me, He doesn’t see my faults and my failures. Trust me, that’s not because of my performance. It’s because of the finished work of His Son, Jesus, and what He accomplished on the cross. And He has filled me with a part of Himself, the Holy Spirit, to guide me and bless me. I could keep on going but honestly, until you take that leap of faith for yourself and enter into personal relationship with the God who made you, I can’t fully describe what it’s like. But I promise you this: those who seek Him will find Him.