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The Alex McFarland Show-75-Understanding the Common Fallacies of Unbelief

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
September 11, 2023 12:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-75-Understanding the Common Fallacies of Unbelief

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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September 11, 2023 12:00 pm

In today’s episode of the Alex McFarland Show, he addresses point by point the common fallacies of unbelief based on a viral TikTok video. In this video, a young woman is saying that she wants to go to hell, she can’t wait until she gets there and Christians should stop trying to reach her to change her mind. Social Media is a platform where people use it to share their opinions and attitudes without a burden of proof to what is being said or stated. What is a burden of proof? Does God exist? How did life begin? What is the origin of matter? Some of the most brilliant minds in history, past and present, have been convinced that there must be a God based on the ambiguity of moral knowledge. Evolution and materialism have no answer for the reality of conscience and how we have this moral code written on our hearts. Alex answers these questions and more to help listeners get a better understanding of the common fallacies of unbelief.

Common Fallacies of Unbelief:
1. Appeal to Authority
2. Straw Man Fallacy .
3. Similarity does not Equal Sameness
4. Conflation – Mistaking Different Things as Identical

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. In the Bible, in Romans 3.18, speaking of a lost world, it says that there are peoples who, quote, have no fear of God in their eyes. In Romans 1.22, this could be the life verse of this generation, it seems like, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to do a show.

I don't think I've ever really done this before. An entire show devoted to one TikTok video. Now, this is going to be a show about the atheism and unbelief. In general, there are people that are non-believers and people that some know the intimate details of the Gospel message but reject it. But I want to talk about millennials and younger, because if ever there's a demographic that when the millennials and younger are, it's not just they're ignorant of the Gospel, but they are overtly, willfully rejecting the Gospel, there's a certain arrogance and hubris that goes with it that's just, it's tragic, it really is. Because so very often they can be just vehemently opposed to Christianity, and not just saying, I don't believe in Christianity or I don't trust the Bible, but denigrating God and Jesus. And we've talked about it before, the fact that they, very often the atheists that are online, and atheists that I meet at the grocery store or at university campuses, they delight. In fact, they seem to relish blaspheming God and slandering God. And just the vehemence with which they want to curse God, the God that they say doesn't exist, speaks to the reality, the spiritual dynamic of it. Now, there's a video making the rounds right now of a very attractive young adult lady saying she wants to go to hell. That, you know, please Christians, stop trying to reason with me, stop trying to reach me, I and all my friends want to go to hell, and she says she can't wait until she gets there, because it's going to be a great time, is what she says.

And as I've said before, I think Lucifer must be back in the shadows saying, oh my goodness, I cannot believe how easy this is, the way that people are deceived. But I want to talk about this, because it's interesting, as I got this video and several people shared it with me, and I'm going to go point by point, some of this young lady's quote arguments against Christianity, because they're just not solid at all. At the very same time, I've been getting a lot of videos in my inbox of the late Christopher Hitchens. Now, 20 years ago, there was what some called the atheistic renaissance. There was Richard Dawkins, and he wrote a book called The God Delusion.

Belief in God is like a mental problem. And there was Sam Harris, a letter to a Christian nation. There was Christopher Hitchens, who on a level I knew, we brought him into a debate. I debated him, I moderated a debate between he and Dinesh D'Souza. Dinesh, a dear friend and a brilliant Christian thinker. Then I had Christopher Hitchens on the radio on two occasions, and then I emailed back and forth with him as he was dying of cancer. And in one email, he thanked me for praying for him.

So there's a whole other story. For those who view Christopher Hitchens as a bit of a champion atheist, for those of us that met him and actually knew him, there's a little different story, because off stage, off mic, he wasn't the swashbuckling unbeliever with bravado that you think. He had a beautiful English accent that was this wonderful British cadence to his voice. And Hitchens could sound impressive.

But you know, I've been getting people send me all these videos of him, and frankly, some sound bites I've not looked at in at least 10 or 12 years. And my heart was kind of heavy, because Hitchens was not near the intellect that many thought he was. And he certainly wasn't the intellect that he himself fancied that he was. In fact, there is from the Middle Ages a principle called Occam's Razor, and that's a whole other story. But atheists love to wheel out what they call Hitchens' Razor, as if Hitchens came up with a philosophical dictum that will stand the test of time. It won't.

It's not stood the test of 10 years. But Hitchens would say that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. It's as if we're saying God must exist, and therefore you ought to believe it. And Hitchens is essentially saying, well, you have no evidence, therefore I can ignore it without my disproof of God. He was saying in many millennials that if the extent of their theological knowledge doesn't go beyond YouTube, they'll say, well, that must disprove Christianity.

Oh my goodness, Christopher Hitchens with one little sentence. That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. No, there is a burden of proof on you, Mr. Atheist. If the atheist says, there is no God, the Bible is false, Jesus didn't rise, Jesus didn't live, okay, great.

But you can't build a world view on a unblemished absolute negative. You, Mr. Atheist, you, young Miss Tick Tock Vidian, you have a burden of proof. What is the origin of matter? What is the origin of consciousness?

How did life begin, and how did individuation occur? Not only the nearly limitless species of plant, animal, and biological life, reptilian, mammalian, but what about human consciousness and human conscience? In fact, many of the young millennial atheists ought to know that a number of the most brilliant people in history � and I've got, you know, my five As, Aristotle and Augustine and Aquinas, and that's a whole nother story on critical thinking and philosophy � but some of the most brilliant minds in history, past and present, were convinced that there must be a God based on the ubiquity of moral knowledge. Evolution and materialism has no answer for the reality of conscience. Now we have this moral code written on our heart.

So I want to go point by point through this video, and we'll do this. And I'm going to point out � and it's very sad, the confidence � just the unwavering confidence these modern atheists have when, you know, we all were blind at one time. But I have to say, Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and all of these atheists � and I've interviewed 32 atheists � in my book, Ten Answers for Skeptics, and then another book, Ten Answers for Atheists, both of which I would urge you to familiarize yourself with.

They build their negation of reality, truth, and God on fallacies. Now we'll explain what that means and how we can reach this generation that is so lost and needs the fear of God in their eyes. Stay tuned. We're going to come back and talk further about truth, timeless truth, in nearly-truthless times.

Don't go away. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics. Teaching in more than 2,200 churches around the world, schools, and college campuses, Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith, while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com, or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com.

He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program, Alex McFarland here, and we're talking about atheists. And my goodness, it's like YouTube and social media has so emboldened people not only to share their opinions and their attitudes, but frankly to put on vivid display their ignorance very often. And I don't say that haughty, because look, we've all believed things that are true, partially true, and sometimes entirely false.

But I want to go through the points made by this TikTok influencer, quote, unquote, about how she wants to go to hell. And as I said in the previous segment, Christopher Hitchens, I've got to share this. I'll never forget the first time we met, and I was moderating a debate between he and Dinesh D'Souza.

And Angie and I picked him up, and we spent some time in my office. Here's a guy that was nominated for many awards in journalism, wrote for Harper's, and was this really kind of a bon vivant. He was on Firing Line with William F. Buckley. But on some levels I respected Hitchens, because he wrote a biography of Thomas Jefferson, which is a good read. Thomas Jefferson, author of America, by Christopher Hitchens.

And in the first year, Christopher Hitchens, the atheist, said America was founded as a Christian nation. But we go to my office, I'll never forget, he was shaking like a leaf. He was trembling. And I'm not, I don't view myself as a very intimidating person, but I've heard stories of how, like, evangelist D.L. Moody or Charles Finney or Billy Graham, and I'm not necessarily comparing myself to those guys, but how when a minister like a D.L. Moody would go before the infidels of Oxford, and Moody did that, that they would tremble in fear.

And I'm not saying that I want people to tremble in fear in my presence, but I was struck. We were having a friendly conversation, we had a meal, we're going to go, and I'm going to simply be the moderator, as Hitchens debated Dinesh D'Souza. And Hitchens was trembling like a little boy sent to the principal's office. And Angie and I did everything we could to put him at ease, and we talked about Beatle music, and he, Christopher Hitchens said to me, he said, are you allowed to like the Beatles? And I said, hey, God took away my sins, not my taste in music.

And he laughed, and we tried to put him at ease. It was clear that being in the presence of Christians nearly terrified him. Now Richard Dawkins, one last little anecdote, is very sad, because in 2011, I was on the road speaking in California, and the news hit that Hitchens had died.

My last email exchange with him was maybe four or five days before he passed, and he thanked me for praying for him, what his ultimate spiritual decision was, I don't know. But Richard Dawkins, the biologist who famously is just, Richard Dawkins has made blasphemy into a cottage industry almost. But Richard Dawkins, think about this. When you think that atheists are so secure in their rejection of God, it's almost like C.S. Lewis.

C.S. Lewis said during his time as an atheist, many a day he secretly thought about God and wished there was a God. Richard Dawkins, after Hitchens passed, Richard Dawkins said, if it turns out that there is an afterlife, and he said if I die, and I'm riding that, quote, long chute down to the lake of fire and brimstone, I'm sure at the bottom of the slide, Hitchens will meet me there with a mixed drink and a cigarette. Now isn't that the most insane, vacuous, foolish thing you've ever heard? Here's a Ph.D., published author, prides himself on being too intelligent for Christianity, and yet knows in the back of his mind. He says if we realize that we were wrong, well at least we'll land in hell with a drink and a cigarette.

So sad. In an email, he emailed me once. It was funny because he said he would only debate William Lane Craig, and we had had some people that wanted a debate between Dawkins and William Lane Craig, and I would moderate. He said, well, I'll do it, but I'll do it for $100,000.

So I emailed him back and I said, okay, we have a man that will put up the money. And he said, well, I'll only do it in the city of Washington, D.C. at a certain venue on a certain date. And I said, okay, done, done, done.

Every criteria. And he finally said, I'm not going to do this debate. Why would I want to interact with you flat earthers? Chicken out much, Dawkins?

He says that hell will be a place of mixed drinks and cigarettes. And anyway, my point is, folks, look, everybody knows there's a God. Now the TikTok girl, she lays out some fallacies. Now a fallacy is a faulty way of thinking. And one of the faulty ways of thinking is what we call appeal to authority. Now, appeal to authority is saying, look, I know a PhD and he's not a Christian, or I've got a rich friend and he doesn't need a church. Well, she says in this particular atheist video, she goes, I have a master's degree in theology and medieval exegesis. And then she lays out her own belief, as if, okay, wow, you have a master's degree in theology. Well, that must mean that you're more intelligent than Augustine, Aquinas, C.S.

Lewis. It must mean that all of the evidence, the lines of proof for theism, and specifically Christian theism, are false. Now, here's the point. You have a master's degree in theology? Well, what theology?

Classical, patristic, maybe postmodern studies that are based in relativism, German liberalism? I mean, having a master's degree in theology really doesn't tell us anything. Then she goes on and she says, medieval exegesis. Now, when somebody lays out an appeal to authority fallacy, okay, medieval, that's an impressive sounding word, exegesis, okay, I mean, somebody could have studied the exegesis of Shakespeare.

You could do the exegesis of the Canterbury Tales, or, you know, early 20th century proto-feminist literature. That really doesn't tell us anything about whether or not you have thoroughly, fairly looked at the evidence for the Gospels. So folks, don't be intimidated if somebody by appeal to authority, and even when I'm teaching, I could say, well, I've been an ordained minister 25 years, I've preached around the world, I've debated at 200 American universities.

That doesn't mean anything. And please don't think that I would ever hang the truth or falsity of Christianity on my alleged accomplishments. Because I can respect accomplishment. Maybe I've attempted to achieve a few accomplishments of my own, but the accomplishment, the prestige of the critic, says nothing about the truth or falsity of the claim.

A person with no formal training in historiography could tell us truth about George Washington, and a person with a Ph.D. in history might be wrong about George Washington. Now, we've got to pull away. We're going to come back and we're going to talk about four more fallacies that not only the TikTok influencers commit, but many atheists in general. Stay tuned. Alex McFarland here on Truth for a New Generation. We're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.

You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. We're going to resume, talk about some of the common fallacies of unbelief nowadays. But I do want to remind you, we've had a great summer of 23. We've got a great fall.

Even as you're hearing this broadcast, I'm coming back from a number of conferences. I'm headed to Liberty Christian Academy, and then we're going to Arkansas for a crusade. So if you go to my website, alexmcfarland.com, there's our travel schedule, our broadcast schedule, but also there's a tab, and it says, what does God say about my relationship with him? And then we've got a printed book with the same content. It explains what the gospel is, how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, not only how to come to Christ, how to come back to Christ.

The printed book, we've given out, oh well, over 200,000 of these, and then online, it's there. What does God say about my relationship with him? If you need spiritual help, you can read How to Know the Lord Jesus Personally, or we'll send you one of those. But I want to say to everybody listening, what a joy to see people coming to Christ.

Millennials, former atheists, and I've got the story of an atheist who just accepted Jesus Saturday night, two days ago. And so we need your help, folks. Would you link arms and stand with us? Just like over the summer, we had the joy of ministering to more than 1200 teenagers, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and we're starting the Viral Truth Clubs. You can check out that website at viraltruth.com. But folks, help us.

Let's stand together. Broadcasts, events, publishing, equipping people. Every day we're involved in the lives of people, and the gospel is free, but it does take money to deliver that free message. So if you would give a tax-deductible contribution, you can give securely online at alexmcfarland.com, where you can mail a check, if you would, just to TNG, as in Truth for a New Generation. Just write a check to TNG, P.O.

Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404. Please know that every gift is gratefully received, faithfully handled, and fruitfully used for the gospel and for America. Well, folks, a fallacy. We talked about appeal to authority, but then there's another fallacy called the straw man fallacy. Now, a straw man is not hard to knock down.

Imagine you put up this mannequin made of hay, and that's easy to knock down. What so many online do, they'll say, well, you know, Christianity is just wishful thinking for those that have daddy issues. Well, no, maybe there are some people that believe in God because they want a Father so badly, they want a Heavenly Father. But that does not deal with the empty tomb, fulfilled prophecy, the preservation of the Bible, the coherence that creation had a Creator, moral law came from a moral lawgiver. I mean, there is so much more, and so very often the atheists will create this caricature, and they'll say, well, oh yeah, I'm sure I'll go Sunday morning and listen to some preacher, some wordsmith who just wants to get old ladies money.

Well, there are some charlatans in religion, there are some charlatans in academics, but that's a straw man. The other thing that this atheist says is, and this really shows her ignorance, and I'm not saying that in a pejorative sense, I'm simply saying she's uninformed, but she says, you say creation had a Creator. Well, you've only kicked the can down the road, because if God made everything, who made God? Well, there is a fallacy called similarity does not equal sameness. In other words, we say creation had to have a Creator.

And this particular video that I'm referencing, she says, well, if everything needs a Creator, then that must mean that God needs a Creator too. Okay, there are two fallacies at play here. One is the fallacy, the assumption that similarity equals sameness. It's like, a chair has four legs.

My dog, Esther, has four legs. They're similar, but they're not the same. So when we're saying that creation had to have a Creator, the Creator is not the same as the creation. But the other fallacy that is going on here is a fallacy called conflation.

Now, when you conflate two things, you get two dissimilar things, and you mistake them as identical. You see, here's the difference between the created world. We know the universe had a beginning. And by the way, in the scientific world, there are a lot of people nowadays arguing against Einstein's Big Bang. Listen, I believe in the Big Bang.

As my friend Frank Turek says, I just know who the banger was. The universe had a beginning, and there had to be something prior to time and space, matter, and history, to initiate. In other words, this effect had to have a cause. The cause of the universe had to be beyond time, not bound by space and matter, all-powerful and personal, as William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland argue from another line of thought called the Kalam Argument. God must be personal, because he created persons. All right, but here's the thing.

God, unlike the temporal world, doesn't need a cause. Because this temporal world is what we call contingent. It's dependent. The oak tree was dependent on the acorn. The baby was dependent on the parents. So you go back. I mean, everything. The fish was dependent on the eggs during the spawning period, being fertilized. But there had to be an uncaused cause.

Otherwise you have a problem called an infinite regress. Now, the TikTok video people, they'll say, well, it's a mystery. Life's a mystery. But look, to try and say there's no conclusion, what you're saying is you've reached a conclusion that you're just not going to deal with it. So nobody created God, because God is non-contingent. He's not temporary. He's not dependent on anybody else or anything else. One other thing that the TikTok atheist, she said, why should we in the 21st century believe first century Palestinians because they didn't even know there were germs?

That's what she says. Well, first of all, we're not basing Christianity on Palestinians because the notion of Palestine didn't even exist until the 20th century. And by the way, Islam didn't exist until 622. So when we're talking about Christianity, the Jews had been in the land 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. Jesus, the most documented life of the ancient world. And by the way, ma'am, they certainly did know about germs and toxins and pathogens. If you read in the Pentateuch, God laid out very specific rules about hygiene.

That's why very often the Jewish people in the ancient world during plagues, they thrived and survived because they knew to dig their wells away from the latrine. I mean, so many things we could say. The fallacies are just, it would nearly be laughable if it weren't so pathetic and tragic and sad. Now, one last thing. Saturday I was speaking at a conference.

It had been a very rigorous three-day event. I was at my book table packing up, and a man came up. His name was Ray, and he was about 25. And he said, I came at the insistence of a friend. You're a good speaker.

I didn't expect this. I do want to say you were an interesting speaker, but I'm an atheist. And he's typical of the 20-something atheists, but this guy was different in that he was open. And I said, well, you know, with all due respect, may we talk about your atheism? He said, sure. And I said, why are you an atheist? We began to talk about that. And I asked him, I said, are you looking for truth? And he was very honest. He said, I don't know. What do you mean? I said, well, truth is that which corresponds to reality. In other words, it's the way things really are. Are you looking for truth?

And if you found it, would you respond? And he said something that is common. He said, well, it's not about the destination. It's about the journey. Now, that's an assumed artful way of saying, I don't want to reach a conclusion. And I said, well, really, a journey means nothing unless you have a destination that you're going to reach.

Otherwise, you're just going around in circles. I said, for the evidence regarding Jesus, the destination is a personal relationship with the true and living God. I shared the Gospel.

He prayed, and with tears coming down his face, he accepted Christ. Now, there's a lot to learn, and there's Christian birth, and there's Christian growth. But, folks, this is not just a semantical game.

This is not just doing mental gymnastics and trying to play some sort of intellectual chess with people. Jude, verse 3, says that we are to earnestly contend for the faith. We're to passionately, like Paul on Mars Hill, and like the Apostle Peter, we are to present, explain, defend. And our ministry, now for 25 years, we've existed to help people be prepared to do that. Folks, join in the cause, and be a witness, and help us to empower a generation of Christian defenders as well.

May God bless you. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ, and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD on the number 1.

That's 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.

Do you have a desire to deepen your faith, better understand Christian apologetics, or to get a biblical perspective on current events? Well, I've tried to make it simple for you to do just that. On my website, alexmcfarland.com, there's a new section called Ask Alex Online. It's simple, it's clean, and you can read my answers to common questions about God, faith, and the Bible. So visit the website alexmcfarland.com and look for the section that says Ask Alex Online.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-26 22:10:50 / 2023-10-26 22:22:33 / 12

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