Skeptical Skepticism

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“..many of our university professors, they’ll tell you that there is no truth. What amazes us is that parents all over the world are literally paying thousands of dollars in college tuition so that their sons and daughters can be taught the “truth” that there is no truth, not to mention other self-defeating postmodern assertions such as: All truth is relative” (Is that a relative truth?); “ There are no absolutes” (Are you absolutely sure?); and, “It’s true for you but not for me!” (Is that statement true just for you, or is it true for everyone?) “True for you but not for me” may be the mantra of our day, but it’s not how the world really works. Try saying that to your bank teller, the police, or the IRS and see how far you get!

Of course these modern mantras are false because they are self-defeating. But for those who still blindly believe them, we have a few questions: If there really is no truth, then why try to learn anything? Why should any student listen to any professor? After all, the professor doesn’t have the truth. What’s the point of going to school, much less paying for it?

“The truth of the matter is this: false ideas about truth lead to false ideas about life. In many cases, these false ideas give apparent justification for what is really immoral behavior. For if you can kill the concept of truth, then you can kill the concept of any true religion or any true morality. Many in our culture have been attempting to do this, and the past forty years of religious and moral decline trumpet their success. Unfortunately, the devastating consequences of their efforts are not just true for them—they are also true for all of us.”

In talking with strangers on the street; conversing with atheists…
“I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi! My name is Norm Geisler, this is my partner, Ron, and we’re from the church at the end of the street.”

“I’m Don,” the man replied, his eyes quickly sizing us up.

Immediately I jumped into action with question 1: “Don, do you mind if we ask you a spiritual question?”

“No, go ahead,” Don said boldly, apparently eager to have a Bible thumper for dessert.

I laid question 2 on him: “Don, if you were to die tonight and stand before God, and God were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?’ what would you say?”

Don snapped back, “I’d say to God, ‘Why shouldn’t you let me into your heaven?’”

Gulp . . . he wasn’t supposed to say that! I mean, that answer wasn’t in the book!

After a split second of panic, I offered up a quick prayer and replied, “Don, if we knocked on your door seeking to come into your house, and you said to us, ‘Why should I let you into my house?’ and we responded, ‘Why shouldn’t you let us in?’ what would you say?”

Don pointed his finger at my chest and sternly replied, “I would tell you where to go!”

I immediately shot back, “That’s exactly what God is going to say to you!”

Don looked stunned for a second but then narrowed his eyes and said, “To tell you the truth: I don’t believe in God. I’m an atheist.”

“You’re an atheist?”

“That’s right!”

“Well, are you absolutely sure there is no God?” I asked him.

He paused, and said, “Well, no, I’m not absolutely sure. I guess it’s possible there might be a God.”

“So you’re not really an atheist, then—you’re an agnostic,” I informed him, “because an atheist says, ‘I know there is no God,’ and an agnostic says ‘I don’t know whether there is a God.’”

“Yeah . . . alright; so I guess I’m an agnostic then,” he admitted.

Now this was real progress. With just one question we moved from atheism to agnosticism! But I still had to figure out what kind of agnostic Don was.

So I asked him, “Don, what kind of agnostic are you?”

He laughed as he asked, “What do you mean?” (He “was probably thinking, “A minute ago, I was an atheist—I have no idea what kind of agnostic I am now!”)

“Well, Don, there are two kinds of agnostics,” I explained. “There’s the ordinary agnostic who says he doesn’t know anything for sure, and then there’s the ornery agnostic who says he can’t know anything for sure.”

Don was sure about this. He said, “I’m the ornery kind. You can’t know anything for sure.”

Recognizing the self-defeating nature of his “claim, I unleashed the Road Runner tactic by asking him, “Don, if you say that you can’t know anything for sure, then how do you know that for sure?”

Looking puzzled, he said, “What do you mean?”

Explaining it another way, I said, “How do you know for sure that you can’t know anything for sure?”

I could see the lightbulb coming on but decided to add one more point: “Besides, Don, you can’t be a skeptic about everything because that would mean you’d have to doubt skepticism; but the more you doubt skepticism the more sure you become.”

He relented. “Okay, I guess I really can know something for sure. I must be an ordinary agnostic.”

Now we were really getting somewhere. With just a few questions, Don had moved from atheism through ornery agnosticism to ordinary agnosticism.

I continued, “Since you admit now that you can know, why don’t you know that God exists?”

Shrugging his shoulders, he said, “Because nobody has shown me any evidence, I guess.”

Now I launched the million-dollar question: “Would you be willing to look at some evidence?”

“Sure,” he replied.

This is the best type of person to talk to: someone who is willing to take an honest look at the evidence. Being willing is essential. Evidence cannot convince the unwilling.

Since Don was willing, we gave him a book by Frank Morison titled ‘Who Moved the Stone?’Morison was a skeptic who set out to write a book refuting Christianity, but instead became convinced by the evidence that Christianity was indeed true. (In fact, the first chapter of Who Moved the Stone? is called “The Book That Refused to Be Written.”)

We visited Don a short time later. He described the evidence presented by Morison as “very convincing.” Several weeks later, in the middle of a study of the Gospel of John, Don accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.”

Excerpt From: Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek. “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.” Crossway Books. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/i-dont-have-enough-faith-to/id366307617?mt=11

As Norm, Frank, J, and I will try very hard to show you, is that evidence and logic points to Jesus Christ. Have patience with me as I lay a little groundwork with good portions of their book. Pick up a copy. Online, it’s less than 5 dollars! What’s the worst that can happen? You could have answers to life’s your deepest questions.

Your friend,
A

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Taryn says:

    Can you explain exactly what moral decline has been going on for the last 40 years? This book was written in 2004, so the authors are speaking of the 60’s and before. There were A LOT of very, very bad things that were going on between 1900-1964. So would like to know what you think is morally worse than the child labor/lack of women’s rights/segregation and racism/and the thousands of women dying each year from botched abortions that was going on at that time.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      I’m confused on your math. Wouldn’t the last 40 years be from 1964 to the present? If you don’t see any moral decline these last four decades, than a list isn’t going to help.

      1. Taryn says:

        I took that quote as saying that things were better 40 years ago and I would like to know what exactly you are speaking about. If you can’t be specific then perhaps the decline isn’t as bad as you think. Morally I would say that things are actually a lot better, but since you have an entirely different view of life on me I would like to know what you view as being worse than all those things that happened before 1964 since in your mind we have gone down hill since then.

  2. Taryn says:

    If I met your god today and he asked me why I should be let into his house, my reply would be “Why should I want to enter into your heaven? Why should I want to be with a god who demanded little infant boys be mutilated? Why should I want to be with a god who wants his followers to hit children? Why should I want to be with a god whose book has been used to support violence and hate?”
    Even if you proved your god was real, why should I want to be with him? He sounds like a monster.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      If you don’t want to get to know Him here, He certainly won’t force you to be with Him after your life is over. I’m sorry you terribly misunderstand our lifestyle and worldview, but are entitled to any misgivings.

      1. Taryn says:

        I haven’t misunderstood your lifestyle, I understood it perfectly. You think that because of your god it is okay to mutilate babies and hit children. The hitting children has been proven(I provided links for you in earlier replies) to cause life long damage to children and create more violent kids.

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