Apologetics Fail #32
If It's Proved True Would You Believe?


An occasional apologetics fail promoted by such people as Dr. [Philosophy of Religion] Frank Turek, a public speaker, critic of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, and author of two books (one of which is "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist"), is "If Christianity was proved true, would you believe it then?"

He will often tell that as a story of putative atheists who come to his talks (you'll have to take his word for these atheists who want to come hear his apologetics, as he wouldn't lie about that, he's a Christian), where the atheist answers "no."

He then strawmans his strawman (it's strawmen all the way down) by claiming the atheist just wants to sin, or atheism is a different worldview. (Sin is an offence against a god, atheism is a question of non-belief on the assertion of one question not a worldview).

The purpose of his talks is to teach young adults how to go witness the Gospel According to Frank Turek to atheists. If they use his techniques and apologetics, they are in for a rude awakening.

The overwhelming majority of Christians hold that they must have faith in God. Not only should they have faith, they should be ready to give a good reason for their faith when asked. We'll skip the Old Testament statements on faith here and just deal with the New Testament:

Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)

On the other hand, since the New Testament contradicts itself in many places, you should shun those who don't believe:

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. 2 John 1:10 (KJV)

So take your pick there. Cherry-picking is a staple of all religions.

Burning down Dr. Turek's strawman though, his question is flawed.

  1. If one was to prove Christianity true (whatever version of it), in that instant you've destroyed the need for faith. It becomes science.
  2. Atheists do not accept the Bible as true just because the Bible says it is.
  3. Even if his assertion was true, he conflates belief with worship. Those are two separate questions. Why would I want to worship a perpetrator of genocide and slavery, even if that god was shown to exist? To flip the Christian apologetics script, the correct response to a genocidal maniac such as Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, or Hitler is to resist the maniac. Resistance might be futile, but it is moral.
  4. Disproving evolution is not evidence of any god.
  5. The premise of his best-selling book is a lie: It takes no faith to be an atheist. Atheism is not a religion.
  6. Dr. Turek doesn't believe in Allah, and we have evidence of Muhammed. There is just as much evidence the Qur'an is true as the Bible (that is, none). He's not a Mormon and we have evidence of Joseph Smith. There is just as much evidence the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price is true as the Bible (that is, none).

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Today's atheist inspirational quote:

"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."—Charles Babbage (1791-1871), speaking about his analogue computer invention called the Difference Engine
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