[Refutation] The Bible is True: S.C. Kwon

An author poses various arguments (http://god.com/index.php?site=lectures/bit/bit1&lg=en) and I refute them:

The arguments are italicized and blocked. My responses are not.

“Those who accept the theory of evolution tell us that the earth came into being by chance, and that it is by chance that the whole of the natural world continues to take its course.”

This argument, right off the bat, shows that the author does not understand evolution. First, evolution has nothing to do with how the earth came to be. Second, evolution is not “chance.” Evolution is natural selection; it is the process of change over time in which life persists when it is favored by the environment or is better suited to live. Sure, there are random mutations, but evolution is not a random process like the author insists.

“The Bible, on the other hand, tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, and it also says that He created man. Who has the correct answer, the evolutionists or the creationists? Man or God? ”

We have the Bible, a book, claiming something versus scientists with hard evidence on a factual claim. Evolution is fact. Creationism is false.

“There is no need for blind faith, however, when the Bible shows us the facts very clearly.”

The Bible shows us “facts?” Where can we verify these facts outside the Bible? Will this article do anything to prove that the Bible is fact?

“The Communists say that heaven is just another theory that has been created to exploit the people and capture their hearts. They describe religion as the opium of the masses.”

This is an inappropriate appeal to emotion in my opinion. Communists as a whole are not making such a claim and should not be representative of the claim makers. The reader of this article is most likely not communist friendly, so he/she may discredit the claim. This also seems like an attempt to shift the burden of proof: non-believers do not have to prove that God does not exist; believers must provide evidence to back up their claim.

“We are now living within an ultramodern scientific culture, but heaven and hell are beyond science and technology.”

This is a common theistic argument, but it fails. If the Bible or any other person or book makes a claim about reality (If Heaven is real it is a part of reality though we can't see it) it ought to be tested by science. An claim about reality ought to be subjected to scientific examination. Saying that something is beyond us does not give it any creedence. I can say that invisible pink unicorns, fire-breathing dragons, and trolls exist, but they are beyond us. Does this make it true? No. I must give solid evidence for these claims.

“Where is the meaning in a life that is nothing but toil and sorrow from start to finish? If we take an honest look at the lives that we lead in this world, we can’t help but wonder where it is all leading and what it all means.”

We need not believe in God for life to have meaning. We can establish meaning in things that we can empirically observe like friends, family, spouses, children, helping others, and our favorite hobbies. Toil and sorrow is a part of the human experience. There need not be any “leading” to another life.

“Man himself is able to travel to the moon and explore other planets, but has science solved the problems of man’s life itself? No matter how advanced our modern scientific world may be, it hasn’t yet been able to bring a dead person back to life.”

Science is not required to solve the problems of “man's life itself” and does not not by definition propose to do so. Science is the study of our natural and physical world. Science, of course, has not brought a dead person back to life. The author is seemingly attacking science as lacking and asserting that religion can do so much more for us.

“Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we heading?
I once read in the introduction to a book on philosophy, that even though the history of philosophy goes back thousands of years, it still hasn’t been able to come up with an answer. Philosophy still hasn’t been able to present man with a satisfactory answer.”

Where did we come from? Earlier forms of life and our mothers.
Why are we here? We're here because our mothers gave birth.
Where are we heading? We're heading to a future and closer to death.
There are the answers.
The author is now attacking philosophy as “lacking.”

“Man lives his whole life in constant fear of death. If this problem is not solved, there can be no meaning to man’s existence, no meaning whatsoever. “I could die tomorrow, so what is the point in my life today?”

How does not “solving” the problem of death a barrier to achieving meaning in life? Is there an answer? I think that the rational answer is to accept it and move on. If, though, we can die tomorrow, there is certainly a point to life. Since atheists know this is the only life we know we have (and even religious individuals should admit this), we give it so much more attention. Is this the case for religious individuals who long for death and talk about how great the next world is?
The author then continues to talk about how bad the world is and asserts that religion makes life better and offers another life. Why are we to believe these claims, anyway?..and what does that do to help this life?

The entire “What can be gained from reading the Bible” section does nothing to establish the truth of biblical claims. It only offers another world, but how are we to know that this other world exists? Because the Bible says so?...well, so many other books make the same sorts of claims, but they contradict each other.

“The birth of a child of god” section talks about a born again Christian and an appeal to emotion. The author seemingly wants us to feel sorry for the person and read the Bible.

The Bible is not just one book but a compilation of 66 books recorded over a period of about 1,500 years by people of all walks of life, from fisherman to king. It is not, however, a random record of events drawn from the memories of those who put pen to paper.
For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21) The Bible was written by God through the Holy Spirit who inspired various prophets with the words for the books they penned. This is why the concepts and events recorded in the Bible may at times transcend man’s sphere of knowledge, thoughts, and imagination.”

This argument is a very clear display of circular reasoning. The author says that the Bible was written by God through the Holy Spirit who inspired people...and the evidence for this is the Bible itself. So, by this reasoning, every book claiming to be written by God is written by God. Does Gandalf exist? Well, the Lord of the Rings books say he does, thus Gandalf is real according to this reasoning. Surely not everything written is true. Using the books to claim that the books are true is faulty reasoning.

“To put it simply, this means that God’s terrible wrath is revealed against those who claim that He does not exist. Many people who consider themselves intelligent, educated members of society do not believe in God. This is because they think they are cleverer than God. With excessive confidence in themselves, they ask, “Where is God?” They deny God completely and do not believe in Him. Denying the existence of God so easily is not very wise. Such people have no idea what a great sin it is not to believe in God.”

So, let's threaten non-believers with the wrath of God...this is an appeal to consequences. It is a wide misrepresentation and a false claim to say that people who don't believe in God think they are cleverer than him. That doesn't make any sense; why would a non-believer say that they are more clever than an imaginary being? Anyway, non-believers do not believe in God mostly because they have no evidence of the claim and all arguments from theists have failed. We don't deny God, we don't believe in him. This is a misrepresentation of disbelief and an assertion that God exists no matter even if you don't believe in him. There's another appeal to consequences in the last two sentences. The author has done nothing here to prove that God exists or provided good reasons to believe because threats.

“suppose God actually does exist. Do you think it would not matter if you scorned Him, denied Him, and refused to put your faith in Him? Would it be all right to deny the God who created this world? Would it be a matter of no consequence if you cursed God and declared that He is dead?”

This argument is ridiculous and does nothing to prove that God exists. I'll shift the argument back on the author and say something like, “Do you know how bad it is to deny Zeus/Thor/Posideon/Allah/Mohammad/The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Would it be a matter of no consequence to say that they don't exist?” This is also a sort of Pascalian Wager saying that you should believe because if you don't and God exists, you're in for trouble. (More fear tactics, too)

“What is the difference between man and animals? First of all, animals do not have any form of religion. I do not think anyone will disagree on that point. Only man has religions and a concept of God. Why is that? There is something inside of man which is not to be found inside of animals. It is what is referred to as the spirit. All religions concern themselves, in their own way, with the activities of the spirit. This is why religion only exists in the world of man.”

This argument is a non-sequiter. It says that we have a “spirit” simply because man has religion and animals do not. How does the fact that animals aren't religious have anything to do with us having a spirit? Man invented religion because he could not understand the universe and created stories, myths, and explanations to explain what couldn't be explained.

“...then he regrets what he has done. Such thoughts are the activity of the conscience, which is the activity of the spirit. This occurs within man but not within animals.
Let me ask you another question. Do you think that you do not have a conscience? Have you ever felt guilty about anything? Your conscience--that part of you which is not found in animals--is the activity of the spirit.”

“Higher” animals, actually, do have a good sense of right and wrong and generally don't tolerate stealing, bullying, and bad behavior. “Conscience” has nothing to do with the work of a deity; it is the product of human experience, socialization, and our brain activity. Again, this proves nothing about a “spirit.”

The author proceeds to quote the Bible saying that God created man. Again, this is circular reasoning and does nothing to establish the claim that God did create man.

“God is spirit, and therefore He is invisible to our physical eyes”

This is an evasive claim. May I say that unicorns are spiritual and invisible to our eyes. Does this do anything to establish the existence of unicorns?

“How can man find God? The gospel that the Bible presents is the good news that God Himself has come into our human world in order to find man. Therein lies the difference. Man cannot find God; it is God who came to find man.” […] “The Bible tells us not only that God exists, but that this same God also created the world in which we are living.”

More circular reasoning...

“If it turns out, however, that the theory of evolution is incorrect and our world and everything in it was actually created, it would follow that there must also be a creator.”

Even if evolution were somehow disproven this does not follow that there would be a creator. This would only mean that evolution were disproven. This argument is weak, though, who cares if evolution were possibly incorrect? It's not. Evolution shows that life was not intelligently designed and that we don't need God to explain life. The author then quotes the Bible more and uses more circular reasoning.

Let’s take an artist as an example. When an artist paints a picture, it is very rare that the people who will later look at that picture will actually have seen the artist at work. […] God, too, is an artist; He is the artist and Lord of the creation, who made everything in the heavens and on the earth. God is invisible to our physical eyes and His divine nature and power are also invisible, but His workmanship is revealed in everything in the universe – His creation.”

So, simply because we can't see God means that God created everything? This is another non-sequiter argument that does nothing to prove that God made everything. I may say that Chuck E. Cheese created everything and since we can't see him, he still did it. The author actually weakens his own claim here. It's the other way around, though: we don't see evolution taking place, but we can look at the human genome, the fossil record, and species varying on different islands to show that evolution is true.

The next section is tons of preaching and this basic argument:
Just like humans, God created laws of nature and therefore God exists.

“Hail falls from the skies. Frost forms on the ground. How do all these things happen? They all happen according to natural laws as God’s word runs swiftly. So when we say that God created this world through His word, it means that He created this world through laws.”

This does nothing to prove that God exists. These things actually occur though natural processes that do not need a God to happen. Everything in our universe works with the assumption that God doesn't exist. Why should we add an unneeded complication?

“What are all the scientific products of our modern world? What is science? Science cannot arise from things that have simply come into existence by chance. It stems from within the word of God, and God is the fundamental scientist. All of the laws of nature are within the word of God”

Science does not work on the assumption that God exists. “The God hypothesis” has failed. If God were real, science would be able to detect God. The claims that Christianity makes should be detectable...we should see the evidence where it claims to be. Science doesn't stem from the word of God...it stems from the scientific method, humans, and empirical evidence.

“People analyze and explain things scientifically, yet they still say that these things came about by chance and just happen to exist. Does that make sense?”

Scientists don't say that things came about by chance. Things, do though, just “happen” to exist. Do they not happen to exist?

“It is not just our hands that have been designed with a purpose. It is the same for every part of our bodies... our hands and feet have been designed for different purposes according to the work that they must carry out.”

The fact that our hands and feet serve purposes has nothing to do with a “design.” Our hands and feet are a product of evolution. Complexity also does not imply a designer. I tackled this in a previous post (http://greenatheist.blogspot.com/2009/11/complexity-and-unknown.html)