It is not very often that you get an admission as clear as the one that was posted on my forum today. I asserted in this post on my blog that at the bottom, most atheistic arguments against the existence of God are based on the ‘presumption of naturalism’ with The atheist on my forum said:
At the conclusion, you argue that the evidence will show God’s existence if only we give up our assumption that all explanations must be natural. What you fail to give us is any compelling reason why we must abandon that assumption.
This really says it all. In the first place, it is clearly admitted that this is the driving assumption. In the second place it puts it into its prevailing and obviously fallacious (obvious to virtually the rest of humanity) form. Obviously, if ‘all explanations must be natural’ then you will never arrive at a place where you think the evidence supports a supernatural explanation.
The atheist in question says that this assumption can only be abandoned in the face of extremely good reasons, but it should be evident that anyone who believes ‘all explanations must be natural’ is really just throwing up a smokescreen if he now demands ‘reasons’ for thinking otherwise. He’s already admitted it was the core assumption, what does evidence have to do with it after that? Clearly none, since all evidence that might be provided must be construed naturally if all explanations must be natural. In short, most atheism is unfalsifiable and rests on circular reasoning. We are left with another obvious question: “Why again must I assume that all explanations must be naturalistic?”
If you’re just starting to examine the merits of Christianity and are evaluating skeptical objections, the key here is to understand that all the later objections to things like the resurrection and miracles stem from this prior assumption. It isn’t that the evidence for the resurrection is non-existant or bad, on their view any naturalistic explanation is more probable than a supernatural one, since, well, all explanations must be naturalitic.
You have to decide for yourself, dear seeker, whether or not you think it is fair to begin with the assumption that there is no God before launching into an investigation of whether or not God exists.
Another atheist responded to a guest submission by WE Messamore on how it is that atheists have managed to co-opt the Big Bang as support for their metaphysics in light of the fact that the idea of the universe having a discrete beginning should be prima facie evidence for theism. If Mr. Messamore chooses to reply and post that reply on this blog I will post it. Here is the original blog post by Mr. Messamore and here is the reply by Mr. Clark.