In his video Deconversion—The End (HERE), Chris, the young atheist whose testimony I’m discussing, comes face to face with the end of the professor’s argument: namely, God doesn’t exist, or at least there is no compelling evidence that would point to his existence. He begins by asking: “Chris, do you see it is possible that all of this: the entire history of religion, the entire history of the world, the entire history of the universe and your entire religious life, could have happened without God actually existing?”
One thing I’ve noticed on the discussion boards I once perused is that most often the people who challenge me to have an ‘open mind’ are pretty one sided in their approach to a debate. They never admit error. If defeated, they simply stop discussing, but they appear again later in a discussion with someone else, bringing up the same arguments that I neutralized or overpowered in a previous debate with them. The Christian is expected to have an open mind, but this attitude is never embraced by the one opposing the Christian, or at least it has never been my experience in any of my debates to have one admit his error or concede that his argument was at least neutralized by anything I had said (although obviously it was, since they had no comeback). Conversely, I have admitted error; I have conceded debates; I have told others taking an opposing position to mine that their statement has neutralized the thrust of my argument and I had to reconsider how I might be able to support my faith in that particular area.
I expect the discussion between Chris and the professor was pretty one-sided as well, as far as an open mind was concerned. The one with the open mind was Chris. He sought out truth above all else, but this was not so with the professor, as far as I am able to see in Chris’ testimonial videos. The professor already knew ‘the truth’, so he assumed the posture of a smooth and steadfast mast meant to take the ship where it needed to go. Like the nonstick properties of Teflon, none of Chris’ arguments could stick to the professor. After all, it was the professor not Chris who had all the experience.
“Chris, do you see…” so Chris looked and saw the possibility that according to all the professor had told him God didn’t need to exist. God doesn’t answer intercessory prayer. How could he, if he already knows everything that will occur? Therefore, intercessory prayer cannot point to the existence of God. Moreover, Chris was taught that morality is independent of God. Therefore, morality, if it exists apart from God, cannot point to God’s existence. If God exists, why would he allow the professor to become deceived by his education? If the Bible is God’s word, hadn’t God inspired a very human-like book? How could the Documentary Hypothesis sound so reasonable, if the Bible truly is the word of God?
What about Chris’ experiences of God? Weren’t they strangely similar to psychological stimulations, and aren’t very complicated logical arguments required to justify God’s existence? If God is real, why did he craft a universe that could operate without him? Isn’t God an ‘unneeded’ explanation for everything in life, and doesn’t Occam’s Razor demand that we simply remove him from our knowledge (cf. Romans 1:28)? Doesn’t an ‘open mind’ require us to do this in all honesty?
Chris saw the ‘possibility’ of a universe without God, life without God in the posture the professor had taken. So he dutifully admitted to that ‘possibility’ and the professor replied: “That’s all it takes!”
“That’s all it takes…” to remove God from our knowledge (Occam’s razor), i.e. to admit he isn’t needed to account for the existence of the universe? Let’s take a closer look at the professor’s question. “Do I see it is possible that all of this: the entire history of religion, the entire history of the world, the entire history of the universe and my entire religious life, could have happened without God actually existing” (pronouns changed to first person)? My answer is “No!” Why not?
The laws of physics tell us that for every action there is a cause. According to Occam’s razor, if we try to complicate this law with convoluted logical arguments required to cause us to believe an action took place, we are simply being delusional. If something isn’t needed to explain a thing, the explanation stands without it. Therefore, **if** the Big Bang Theory is a reasonable explanation for the existence of the universe, what caused the ‘bang’? That an action took place is evident in the existence of the universe. So, what’s the primal cause?
No matter where we go in this world we find that life springs from life. This seems to be a truism which has never been contradicted in our experience. According to Occam’s razor, any complicated logical argument that is required for us to believe that life could spring spontaneously from nonlife should be cut off from a reasonable explanation. Therefore, how did the very first life on earth come into existence? What is the most reasonable and simple explanation for its occurrence?
These are two reasonable questions requiring the use of Occam’s razor, which the professor never brought up. If they are unanswerable according to the professor’s point of view and Occam’s razor, then his argument has been neutralized. And, to use his own words: “That’s all it takes!”