Friday, January 29, 2016

Hey, what happened to the Five Ways?

This is considered to be the most common theist arguments.

Very often, however, this silly procedure is adopted by people who are not silly, but who, consciously or unconsciously, want to destroy Christianity. Such people put up a version of Christianity suitable for a child of six and make that the object of their attack. When you try to explain the Christian doctrine as it is really held by an instructed adult, they then complain that you are making their heads turn round and that it is all too complicated and that if there really were a God they are sure He would have made "religion" simple, because simplicity is so beautiful, etc. You must be on your guard against these people for they will change their ground every minute and only waste your tune. Notice, too, their idea of God "making religion simple": as if "religion" were something God invented, and not His statement to us of certain quite unalterable facts about His own nature.

---C. S. Lewis


Aron Zavaro said...

C.S. Lewis must have spent too much time with his fellow academics and not enough time with the millions and millions of ordinary Christians. It is not just children of 6 who give weak arguments for Christianity. Most people have never heard of the Five Ways, or the ontological argument, or the fine tuning argument, etc. ordinary believers may offer cosmological or teleological arguments, but few could actually articulate a formal version, let alone defend it at length. Many of the arguments in the article actually go far beyond whatbthenordinary believer is prepared to offer in defense of his faith.

To be sure, disproving these arguments DOESNT disprove Christianity, because there are better arguments. But let's not pretend that the overwhelming majority of people are not philosophers or apologists, and are not prepared to offer good arguments.

SteveK said...

The arguments on that website are put into cartoon form for a reason, I think. It provides the added rhetorical effect needed to tip the emotional scales of conviction and hide the obvious problems with the 'rebuttal'.

This response to the first "argument" gave me a chuckle. Assert that complexity or organized natural processes don't require an explanation, wave your hands around, shout Science! several times and it's case closed.

"Complexity itself does not require an intelligent creator. It's easy to impose a design upon things that exist by chance or developed through a natural process like evolution."

"Failure to understand the scientific principles guiding the creation and development of the universe does not mean that a deity must exist to explain the natural world."

Yeah, who could possibly disagree with that statement? I mean, Science(tm)!!

Joe Hinman said...

Most atheists do not know what science is. they have no idea about hypothesis testing or falsification. They think science is technology and a big pile of facts.

Hugo Pelland said...

Most 'people' do not know... right?

Dave Duffy said...

The gospel IS simple: The world is screwed up because I, and not others, are screwed up. People know they sin and fall short. The answer is Christ.

Chemistry IS simple: Everything is made of atoms. Atoms are moved and make combinations by forces and that's the answer to the world we live in. All three of my kids understood both these simple explanations by the time they were six years old.

I accepted the gospel because of that very simple message as a 19 year old A1C. I started my degree in chemistry fascinated by how atoms and the combination of atoms explained the world. Of course, details were added by the time I finished my degree and after I spent a few years in the church.

Gyan said...

Dave Duffy,
"Chemistry IS simple: Everything is made of atoms. "
Is it? Could you justify "everything is made of atoms" yourself or have you just taken it upon faith?

Dave Duffy said...


My point that "everything is made of atoms" was my starting point into the laborious work of science (believe me, it is tedious and laborious). Just as sin was my starting point of my long difficult life of growing in a church community with doctrines to sort out and actual people to go through life with.