Let this stand as an Ode to our brother Thomas who is far from doubting. For those interested he started this conversation here.
Nothing more needs to be said. I believe I can close shop now.
I will just post his reply to Stan. Well done Thomas, I am certain that Van Til, Bahnsen, and TenBruggencate are smiling.
Stan- Logical absolutes exist, by definition.
Thomas- So according to you, the three laws of logic (identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle) are dependent upon man and were invented by man, correct? If this is the case, then they could not be absolute since different minds could conceive of different laws. How do you know who is correct?
If logical absolutes exist only by definition then they could not be absolute. Would they exist if humankind didn’t exist (would adding 2 object to 2 objects still equal 4 objects)? If so, then they are not dependent upon man.
Are these laws material or immaterial? Can the scientific method determine these logical absolutes without using those same logical absolutes to gain that knowledge? They couldn’t. Does absolute truth exist? You would have to say “yes” to this question. Saying “no” would be self-defeating.
Now, if laws of logic are absolute, immaterial, cannot be empirically tested, and absolute truth does exist, how is that possible in an atheistic system? You must have an atheistic answer; otherwise you should stop referring to yourself as an atheist.
Stan-As to your second question, (Is matter eternal or did it come from nothing?) I have no idea, and I don't think it is necessarily an either/or dichotomy as you imply.
Stan-That question, for my money, contains the answer to yours -- certainty is only obtainable for those things for which we can define certainty.
Stan-That is, the "Law of Non-contradiction" dictates that we can say, with certainty, that if a given thing is 'not-A,' then it is not 'A.'
If logic didn’t evolve or develop over time, then it must have always been there. But, given atheism, how is that possible in a materialistic, atheistic universe?
Stan-It does not, however, follow from this law that we can say with certainty that there is or is not a deity, much less what doctrines or attributes that deity espouses or exhibits.
Well Stan, we’re not done yet, so look alive. There’s a bit more to the argument. If logical absolutes exist, they exist in the mind and not in matter. They are not physical entities that can be looked at in a test tube.
One can’t test the laws of logic in a lab nor could one test them using the scientific method because one would have to assume them as true to begin with. Yet scientists use them all the time to verify their science without any justification. Therefore, logical absolutes exist without any scientific verification. You use them all the time. Yet I thought that atheists only believe those things that have scientific empirical proof? Guess not.
If logical absolutes exist, then they are absolutely true for all times and for all people and are therefore transcendent. Go a billion years into the future and they’re still true; go a billion years back in time and they’re still true. If you disagree with that, then you believe logic is subjective and relative which means that you couldn’t prove anything.
They exist independent of humankind and they must also be immaterial, transcendent, and cannot be scientifically verified with empirical proof. Atheism can’t account for this. Theism can. Logical absolutes are a reflection of an absolutely perfect mind. Since logic exists in the mind and is immaterial, it must be based in something absolutely perfect and immaterial. This is what I would call God.
Atheism cannot account for logical absolutes. Given atheism, absolutes would be impossible and we would be left with subjectivity and relativism which would mean we couldn’t actually prove anything (including this statement). That’s my point.
Now, how do I know it is the Christian God in particular? I would need to support this argument with others in order to build a solid case. For example, there are teleological arguments, cosmological arguments, moral arguments, ontological arguments, arguments from experience, archaeological arguments, arguments against other world religions, arguments for the resurrection of Jesus, etc. I don’t have hours and hours of time to unpack these but plenty of great people have done so.
Adding all of these together, I am convinced that the Christian God exists. Therefore, I actually have a reason to spend time debating and discussing these things with people. You have no reason. Que sera sera….it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter to you. But somehow this does matter to you so much so that you are willing to spend your time debating it.