Theist: The atheist belief based on "To see is to believe" is a fundamentally flawed belief. It has always been defeated black and blue by experienced theist debaters in major debates.
Atheist: Really now. Here's a fundamental question: I can see the sun and know it physically exists. Science and logic can prove the sun's existence. Science, however cannot detect God. How can you prove His existence?
Theist: This is probably the most basic attack of atheism. It really is but a variation based on the "To see is to believe" ideaology. This is where it fails.
It is based on the flawed belief that only the scientific method is to be believed, that it is the only source of truth. It further goes into the error that anything not detected by the scientific method is not to be believed or that it does not exist.
Quite simply, the "To see is to believe" belief can only be true if the scientific method was perfect, or had perfect knowledge. The limits of both our senses and scientific technology itself make this a flawed belief.
Take this example: My brother Alvin went to the ref to eat a burger. Ok. I was eating at my dinner table and could not see him.
My brother twitched his nose while eating the burger. He finished the burger.
I finish my food and go to the ref. By using logic and the scientific method, I can reason out that somebody ate the burger. I cannot say exactly who, but I can reason out that my brother was the one who most probably ate it because only the two of us were in the house at that time.
Now, if I detected a footprint near the ref, I can even use the scientific method by measuring that against his foot. So far, so good.
However, how do I detect the reality that he twitched his nose while eating the burger? That occurred in a point in time, a reality we call historical reality. It will be beyond the scientific method to detect it.
This is where we can argue that physical evidence alone is not the only logical way, but only one way, to arrive at truth. In certain cases where physical evidence is lacking, where science and logic has reached its defined limits (like in our case above regarding my brother's twitched nose), "testimonial evidence" can arrive at the truth.
In our previous scenario, I would have no way of knowing my brother actually twitched his nose. It will be beyond my senses, beyond my logic, beyond the scientific method to know that. However, what if I had two people stationed near my brother who actually saw him twitching his nose?
Thus, in this case, the truth or reality that my brother twitched his nose is only revealed by the use of witnesses or "testimonial evidence." Two or more witnesses who are credible, have no incentive to lie and do not contradict their statements are a legitimate source of truth.
Atheist: Well, how do you distinguish reality from fiction then? By your logic, you can say "The flying spaghetti monster exists." I would say "Prove it by science". But you would counter me by arguing "Well, the flying spaghetti monster exists unless you can prove it doesn't!" Duh.
Theist: Ah, the popular "flying spaghetti monster" argument by the atheists. Not at all. In my example on my brother's nose twitching above, your "flying spaghetti monster" argument does nothing. What does this do? Does it suddenly make the reality of my brother's nose twitching disappear?
Of course not. It does nothing to the argument. Fact is, it happened in a historical reality, at a certain point in time in the past. Your flying spaghetti monster argument is irrelevant.
Atheist: Hmmmm, quite a point. I'm stubborn though. I still cling to my belief that anything not proven by science does not exist. Note that I didn't say "may not exist". There's a difference. It's just safer, in a way to just stick to the belief that only physical evidence is reality.
Theist: Another argument is that the atheists' definition of reality itself is wrong. They will only believe in physical reality, it always has to have physical evidence. This is wrong because there are actually three types of reality: physical reality, mental reality, and spiritual reality.
Physical reality is the most obvious. We can measure air pressure through a scientific instrument, for example, thus verifying air exists.
Mental reality is just as real, but has no physical evidence. For example, I thought of an ice cream cone in my mind two minutes ago. There is no physical evidence for it. But that reality occurred in the past, at a certain point in time and is still a historical reality. Atheists cannot simply dismiss something that occurred in the past as not part of reality, can they?
Spiritual reality can be defined as a supernatural event that does have physical evidence or credible witnesses, but cannot be explained by science or reasoning. There are an overwhelming number of supernatural events even before science was formalized as a discipline! Even scientists themselves admit there is no scientific explanation possible for supernatural events.
Supernatural events of course support theism's truths not atheism. The supernatural is major proof that there are things beyond just the natural, events beyond scientific reasoning. It humbles the atheist since he/she will only believe what science says.
One of the most famous, of course, is the miracle at Fatima. Our Holy Mother Mary gave an exact date and time for various supernatural events to take place before a large crowd. The greatest public miracle of all time took place. It is popular also because of the high number of atheists and agnostics who came to witness for themselves (and were converted).
Great miracles and wonders occurred. Hundreds of witnesses saw for themselves how the sun danced in the sky. Suddenly, cries of fear filled the air as people scrambled for their lives when the sun itself became larger and larger as if falling to the ground! Then just when they thought the sun would crash down on all of them, the sun returned to its normal, original position.
Afterwards, people reported rain fell on all of them there drenching them entirely wet as it happened so fast. Then, miraculously, they were surprised to see themselves completely dry in an instant! Many other miracles occurred.
Others include: scientists/doctors having no explanation for the children visionaries' ability to open their eyes when in a trance (looking up to heaven and talking to Mother Mary), yet not be affected by bright light being driven by scientists/doctors into their eyes! This "trance" phenomenon happens instantly, all of a sudden, so it cannot be the same as hypnosis (which takes time, has a process, and is never instantaneous). Scientists and doctors are baffled and consider this another "unexplained phenomenon." I saw an authentic video of this phenomenon at youtube.com so this would be considered as having physical evidence.
Other well-known supernatural events have been occurring all over the world. One of the most popular is the mystery of the Shroud of Turin. It is a burial cloth that is claimed to be the burial cloth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It bears the face of a bearded man, and a body subjected to extreme pain, nail marks, whips and torture. It's controversial, as the carbon dating that scientists made was faulty (only the seams of the cloth were tested, instead of the middle of the cloth which made the test faulty as the cloth was passed on by human hands from one generation to another).
What astounded the scientists was the absolute fact that the image on the burial cloth could only be imprinted by a process where an overwhelming amount of light printed the image on the cloth; it's similar to xerox machines, where you see a light emit from the machine, before an image or letters are copied to the bond paper. Of course, they didn't have xerox machines during Jesus' time!
Atheist: On the mental reality argument, atheists do not believe in the existence of mental reality. What we believe is that only the brain exists, and we do not consider mental thoughts as part of reality. Thoughts are just electrical impulses from a physically existing brain, right?
Theist: Assume I thought of an ice cream one minute ago. That is historical reality, a true event as the sun exists. Note that the ice cream existing physically is not correct; what is correct is that my thoughts of an ice cream happened at a point in time and is considered reality. It simply cannot be denied - this event, reality happened. Period.
Now if we can measure the physical characteristics of the brain, detect its brain cells, etc. why can't we even detect the existence of the ice cream I just thought of one minute ago? Why can't scientific instruments detect my mind as well?
We do not see the mind, nor detect it with scientific instruments. Yet we do know that the mind or intellect exists, right? So much for your "To see is to believe" atheist ideaology.
It's just another proof of mental reality as we defined earlier above. There are realities that cannot be detected by scientific instruments but nevertheless exist.
Now, why can't we deny the existence of the mind? The answer should be obvious - it's because all of us have a mind!
Can even an atheist deny the existence or the reality of his own mind? That would be absurd.
Atheist: Atheists cling to the scientific method to play it safe. We want to believe only in physical evidence of someone or something existing because. as explained earlier, we don't want to take the risk of believing things that may not exist like the "flying spaghetti monster".
You theists will just state "Well, the flying spaghetti monster may exist unless you prove to us that it doesn't!"
Theist: The scientific method is an effective way to search for truth, yes, we theists do believe in that.
What we disagree with is the atheist belief that the scientific method is the "only" way to verify existence of something or someone. It is not. It is only one way to get the truth.
Atheists make it an absolute rule that only science can give the truth. Of course not. This is only true if science had perfect knowledge of the universe, of all things hidden beneath the earth, the seas, etc. Sadly, the scientific method and technology has its obvious limits. Even the very limits of science make it prone to error as well. An established scientific law now may not even be true in the future.
That's why, as stated above, the scientific method failed to detect my brother Alvin twitching his nose.
Another discipline that relies on logic, equally as science does, is legal law. It acknowledges the use of physical evidence as a source of truth, thereby using the scientific method itself. It, however, also considers the use of credible witnesses in a court of law as a valid way to get the truth or as a source of truth. This is known as testimonial evidence.
Who allowed this? Surely, it didn't just exist without human judgement. The top judges and lawyers (along with the legal community as a whole) did by experience over time. This is simply their opinion of how best to arrive at truth/facts.
The discipline of science, of course, also relies on logic but in a significantly different way. It does not consider credible witnesses as a valid way to get truth/facts. It only considers physical evidence - testable evidence that can be measured in a laboratory in real-time and reproduced by experiment.
Again, this is simply the opinion of top scientists (along with the scientific community as a whole) of how best to arrive at truths/facts. This is how they deemed it best through experience over time.
Now, which logical discipline is superior: science or legal law? the scientific method or the legal method? It can be debatable. They both have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Both have only one goal though - to arrive at truth and get the facts.
But it can be argued that the logic of legal law is superior to that of the logic of the scientific method. Why? Simply because legal law logic already uses the "scientific method" in the form of admissible physical evidence, yet still uses other methods like testimonial evidence, circumstantial evidence, etc. Therefore legal law's logic is more complete overall.
Remember that the scientific method does not consider testimonial evidence, only physical evidence that is measurable. This limits the logic of the scientific method.
If the atheists want to believe the scientific method as their one and only source of truth, then that is just their opinion, not truth. It is their subjective opinion. Totally subjective.
By legal law's logic, many credible witnesses saying the same thing on describing what happened at Fatima's miracles is proof and evidence of truth. There are no contradictions in their testimony or testimonial evidence.
If physical evidence alone was to be believed, if we only had to believe things or events by seeing it for ourselves, then we might as well just throw out the whole recorded science of history. Since much of history does not have physical evidence and are based on testimony by credible writers/historians, then by atheists' logic, we should not believe in history! That's how illogical it gets.
The atheists believe only in evidence that can be repeated and seen in real-time. There is a logical flaw with this. If we follow it thoroughly, then we might as well just give up searching for the origin of the universe - since the origin of the universe and how it started could never be duplicated in any laboratory!
Let's have an example. say the Roman Census. The Roman Census keeps records of its Roman soldiers. Suppose there are two Legions of soldiers we focus on, Legion A and Legion B.
Okay. Legion A's soldiers all got killed and were buried one by one at the graveyard with their own names marked above their grave. Legion B's soldiers also all got killed, but by sea where their bodies went down into the deep along with their ship.
By the atheists' logic, only physical evidence is to be believed. So in the case above, are we supposed to believe only Legion A existed in the Roman Census?
That would be absurd. The credibility of a source is crucial to determining truth. The Roman Census is extremely credible and objective. Even if there are no physical evidence (soldiers' corpses), we know and must believe Legion B existed.
I mean, why would the Roman Census lie? Why would it differentiate between the two legions? It simply has no reason to do that and is just there to state the facts objectively, to gather data. That's another important point. The motivation to lie is absent.
Atheist: Any more ways to convince me of your theism arguments?
Theist: Well, yes. Have you heard of theism's popular "coin in a box" argument?
Assume I got a coin marked "Alex C" and hid it in a box. Furthermore, I hid the box in the deepest parts of a cave where nobody else knows about it, where science nor scientists do not even know it exists there.
Now I ask the top scientists and other scientific experts: "Do you believe a coin with the markings "Alex C" exists underneath a cave or not?" (without specifying the location of course)
They would answer that due to lack of any physical evidence they do not believe a coin exists and some would argue that most probably a coin does not exist because there is no proof of its existence as of this time unless further proof is shown.
Of course, both these answers are wrong. I'm holding that very coin physically! It shows again clearly, why the scientific method cannot be an absolute determinant of truth and reality. It has its limits. That is why it is not hard at all to refute the atheists' ideaology of "to see is to believe".
Theist: Oh yeah. I'd like to tell you your atheist statement of "Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods and of the supernatural" is unscientific and truly faith-base
Atheist: Oh really? Prove it. This I gotta hear......
Theist: You asked for it. You see in order for a statement or something to be considered scientific, it must be "testable".
Well the statement "Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods, and of the supernatural" is unscientific because:
a) It cannot be tested by the scientific method because you do not even know how much you don't know. There are too much gaps, large gaps in your data. Look, the universe is constantly expanding beyond the reach of our science. Human knowledge of the known universe is only possibly 10%, maybe 30% at most (and that's pushing it).
b) If it is not testable, then it is unscientific. Simple as that.
Atheist: You've heard of the atheist author Richard Dawkins' popular book right? In it, he gave an example of a watchmaker creating watches. He reasoned that if the watchmaker has skills in his craft, then it's reasonable to assume that somebody, a mentor, taught him watchmaking.
But if that mentor taught him, who taught his mentor? Further, who taught the mentor of his mentor, onwards to infinity. How do you resolve this problem of infinite regression?
Theist: I want to give credit to my brother (Alvin) for this answer. He mentioned that the problem of infinite regression (never-ending source) is solved if the watchmaker himself invented the whole "watchmaking industry".
Atheist: On concepts of order, we believe that the whole universe came out of random chance. Yes, we believe chance alone can achieve the level of complex order.
Theist: We've always believed that it is impossible for the universe to come into existence by accident. Why? This is because it is logically impossible for random chance alone to achieve the level of complex order.
Sure, it can be argued that random chance can achieve, at most, the level of simple order.
Atheist: Really? I can provide evidence that chance can and does achieve order. Look at the geometric design and beauty that "nature" can do by looking at a snowflake with a microscope. Look at the rainbow. Look at the design of gemstones like the diamond.
All these are made without the need for intelligent man, or any intelligence. They just exist by random......chance.
Theist: Not so fast. All the examples you cited, ex. rainbow, snowflake structure, gem stone structure, etc. are only examples of simple order. They can never be considered as complex order. So no, you still lose this one.
Examples? A piece of metal that "may" have a semblance of simple art can be considered as simple order. In contrast, a Porsche car is an example of complex order. See? Their difference is so great! It's as great as heaven and earth!
Imagine, you went into a forest. You find a house built out of logs, has a car outside. You only need common sense to immediately make the conclusion that only the intelligence of a human being could make the house and car.
It is logically impossible for even the animals in the forest or the forest/nature itself to create such complex order.
So atheists spouting the fallacy - that complex order found in the universe and the complex order required to support life are possible by random chance or accident - are deluding themselves. It is logically impossible. Period.
Atheist: It's so hard to believe that an invisible all-powerful being that controls the whole universe exists. Why can't we see or detect him?
Theist: Not at all hard to believe or comprehend. Do you believe in the existence of atoms?
Atheist: Of course.
Theist: Well, if you can believe in the existence of invisible atoms, then you would logically have to believe an invisible being, God, exists. Invisibility is not really an issue, as both are invisible but exist.
We don't see atoms but we verify their existence in other ways, in how they affect their surroundings. It's the same with God. We don't need to see Him physically but His works - the intelligent design of the universe, its laws, etc. are overwhelming evidence of His existence.