most important to nonbelievers?
"The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without
evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best -- that is, rigidly
accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic."
Most everyone today
does or should place high importance on logic and reasoning. What
sets apart the particular reasoning of most unbelievers is: 1) the particular
foundation or premise behind their thoughts, and 2) what they consider
to constitute acceptable proof of any kind of spiritual or spiritual-related
First, the particular
foundation that unbelievers begin with is the premise that God does not
exist. God is assumed not to exist unless or until it can be proven otherwise.
This is a reasonable starting point. Theists as often begin with this premise,
as with the premise that he does exist.
Second, and where unbelievers
diverge most from believers, is what constitutes positive proof for God,
Jesus, or the Bible. Proof of any reality claim is almost exclusively
limited to empirical observation; that is - physical, testable evidence.
History or historical testimony is often regarded by unbelievers as second
rate to the physical sciences. Their reasoning for this is basically as
1) If an eternal God
exists, historical testimony is unnecessary because God exists right now.
2) If God exists right
now, there should be unquestionable physical evidence of him right now.
3) If there is little
or no unquestionable physical evidence for God right now, God cannot be
said to exist.
And third, like believers,
most unbelievers probably fall into the middle ground of all the extremes.
Only a minority of agnostics believe the pure agnostic position that everything
is to be doubted, and only a minority of atheists believe the pure atheistic
position that there positively is no God (also called strong atheism).
Therefore, let us assume
the sincerity of the average professing unbeliever and accept that they
are open to discussion and debate about the existence of God and the nature
of the Bible. Their openness should always be treated with the honor
it deserves; and honor means answering their questions with honesty, humility,
to believers: Be
cognizant of the importance of good reasoning and sound logic. If you're
not prepared to discuss Jesus and the Bible on these terms to these people,
then let someone else. Otherwise you risk failing to follow the commands
of Scripture to treat unbelievers with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15)
and to reason with them from their own point of view (1 Cor. 9:22).
If you come from that
"God said it, I believe it, that settles it" crowd, keep that to yourself.
Your declaration is a poor foundation for belief as it assumes a great deal,
exalts yourself, is needlessly disrespectful of its hearers, and probably
doesn't settle it for anyone but you.
there a God?
Why consider the Bible?
How much evidence