Atheist vs Christian: Is God Dead or Alive?

(This a debate between a professor who is an Atheist and his student who is a Christian)

Atheism- declares that there is no god. Christianity- teaches that there is a God. Both cannot be true. So which one is correct, the atheist or Christian?

The truth still remains that there are some who believe that God exists and is alive, while some totally disagree with the logic stating that God doesn’t exists but in fact is dead. The existence of God has come into question so many times. Christianity really is under more attacks today in the world than ever before. I took this debate from the movie God’s Not Dead. The movie is about a young college student who stands up to his professor who had boldly proclaimed on the first day of class that God is in fact dead. Josh is a college freshman with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. He has to find a philosophy elective that fits his schedule so he lands on the class Introduction to philosophy. Dr. Radisson, gives a short lecture about the advantages and academic superiority of Atheism. His first assignment for the class is that they all write on a white piece of paper three simple words: “GOD IS DEAD.” Writing the words down and turning the paper in will result in a passing grade. Josh refuses to do the assignment. Dr. Radisson then offers Josh an alternative assignment. Josh will be given 20 minutes of time in during the next three lectures to prove the existence of God. If the students are convinced at the end of Josh’s lectures that “GOD IS NOT DEAD” Josh passes the assignment. If not, he will fail the class.

The argument begins…..

 First Debate

Jose: Atheists say that no one can prove the existence of God, and well, they’re right. But I say no one can disprove that God exists. But I say no one can disprove that God exists. But the only way to debate this issue is to look at the available evidence, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to put God on trial, with Professor Radisson as the prosecutor, and me as the defense attorney, and you (the readers) as the jury. Most cosmologist now agree that the universe began some 13.billion years ago, in an event known as the Big Bang. So, let’s look at theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg’s description of what the Big bang would have looked like. And since he’s an atheist, we can be sure there isn’t any believer-bias in his description. “In the beginning, there was an explosion, and in 3 minutes, 98% of the matter there is or ever will be, was produced. We had a universe. For 2,500 years, most scientist agreed with Aristotle on the idea of a steady-state universe that the universe has always existed with no beginning and no end, but the Bible disagreed. In the 1920s, Belgian astronomer Georges Lematre, a theist (atheist believers there is a God who made and governs all creation). Georges Lematre, said that the entire universe jumping into existence in a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, out of nothingness, in an unimaginably intense flash of light is now he would expect the universe to respond if God were to actually utter the command in Genesis 1:3, “let there be light”. In other words, the origin of the universe unfolded exactly how one would expect after reading Genesis and for 2,500 years, the Bible had it right and science had it wrong. All of which points to A God that created it. You see, in the real world, we see things jumping into existence out of nothingness, but atheists want to make one small exception to the rate, namely, the universe and everything in it. {A student interrupts Josh and asked, but in his book, “The God Delusion,” Richard Dawkins says that; “If you tell me God created the universe, then I have the right to ask you who created God.”} Josh continues…..Dawkins question only makes sense in terms of a God who has been created. It doesn’t make sense in terms of an uncreated God, which is the kind of God that Christians believe in. And even leaving God out of the equation, I then have the right to turn Mr. Dawkins’s own question back around on him and ask, ‘if the universe created you then who created the universe?” you see, both the theist and the atheist are both burdened with answering this same question of how did things start. What I’m hoping you’ll pick up from all this is all this is that you don’t have to commit intellectual suicide to believe in a creator behind the creation. And to the extent that you don’t allow for God, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find an incredible alternative explanation for how things came to be. 

Professor Radisson: Well, I imagine you’re quite pleased with yourself. I see you’ve carefully avoided the fact that Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous scientist, and who is not a theist, has recently come out in favor of a self-designing universe.

Josh: I haven’t avoided it, I just didn’t…………..
Professor Radisson: You just didn’t know about it. Alright, well let’s see what professor Hawking, Lucasian professor of physic at Cambridge, who occupies a teaching chair once held by Isaac Newton, has to say about the origin of the universe. And I quote “Because there’s a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something instead of nothing.  It’s why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to set the universe in motion”. End of quote. So, you may have never come across his comment, but his point remains. How do you answer?

Josh: ………….. (Thinking)….I don’t know.

Professor Radisson: You don’t know? I prick the balloon of your entire argument with a single pin, and you don’t know? Huh.

Josh: Well, I mean, I’d like to tell you I have the perfect answer, but it doesn’t shake my underlying faith.

Professor Radisson: (Laughs) okay, so the greatest scientific mind in all of history says that God is not necessary, but a first-semester freshman says, “Oh, yes he is”. Wow, you know, that’s gonna be a really tough choice. Well, I look forward to next week’s lecture. First Debate Ends!

Second Debate

Josh: In our last class, I was asked a question that I couldn’t answer. As professor Radisson pointed out, Stephen Hawking is an atheist. He also wrote a book called “The Grand Design” in which he says the following: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” And to be honest; I didn’t know how to refute that. I mean, after all, Hawking is clearly a genius. But, professor John Lennox, who teaches mathematics and philosophy has demonstrated that there are not, event two, but three errors of logic contained in that one simple sentence, and it all boils down to circular reasoning. Hawking is basically saying that the universe exists, because the universe needed to exist, and because the universe needed to exist, it therefore created itself. It’s like this. If I say to you that I can prove that spam is the best-tasting food that’s ever existed, because in all of history, no food that’s ever existed because in all of history, no food has ever existed because in all of history, no food has tasted better, you’d probably look at me strange and say I haven’t proven anything. And you’d be right, all I’ve done is restate my original claim. But when Hawking claims that the universe created itself because it needed to create itself, and then offers that as an explanation as to how and why it was created, we don’t immediately recognize that he’s doing the something. But he is, prompting Lennox to further comment, “Nonsense remains nonsense, even when spoken by famous scientists” “even though the general public assumes they are statement of science.”

Professor Radisson: This is the height of hubris. Are you telling me that you, a freshman, are saying that Stephen Hawking is wrong?

Josh: No, what I’m saying is that John Lennox, a professor of mathematics and philosophy, has found professor hawking’s reasoning to be faulty, and I agree with his logic. But if you can’t bear to disagree with Hawking’s thinking, then I suggest that you turn to page five of his book, where he insists philosophy is dead. And if you’re so sure of professor Hawking’s infallibility, and philosophy really is dead, then well, there’s really no need for this class. {The whole class laughs} ladies and gentlemen of the jury, for the last 150 years, Darwinists have been saying that God is unnecessary to explain man’s existence and that evolution replaces God, but evolution only tells you what happens once you have life. So where did that something that’s alive come from? Well, Darwin never really addressed it. He assumed maybe some lightening hit a stagnant pool full of the right kind of chemicals and bingo, a living something. But it’s just not that simple you see! Darwin claimed that the ancestry of all living things come from that one single, simple organism which reproduced and was slowly modified over time into the complex life forms we view today. Which is why, after contemplating his own theory, Darwin uttered his famous statement, “Natura Non Facit Saltum.” Meaning “Nature does not jump.” Well, as noted author lee strobel pointed out, that if you can picture the entire 3.8 billion years that scientists say life has been around as one 24-hour day in the space of just about 90 seconds, most major animal groups suddenly appear in the forms in which they currently hold. Not slowly and steadily as Darein predicted, but in evolutionary terms, almost instantly, so. “Nature does not jump” becomes “nature makes against leap.” So how do theists explain this sudden outburst of new biological information? “And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures and let bird fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky. So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the waters teems, according to its kind. And God saw that it was good, “Genesis 1:20. In other words creation happened because God said it should happen. And even what looks, to our eyes, to blind; unguided process could really be divinely controlled from start to finish. Second debate Ends!

     [Professor Radisson confronts Josh after his second debate after everyone left]

Professor Radisson: {Slow Clapping} lies, lies, and more lies.

Josh: it’s easy to dismiss what you don’t understand or what you don’t want to understand.

Professor Radisson: There it is, the default setting of the Bible-thumper. “If only you would open the scripture and read, then you would understand.” So says the brave young freshman. “For thou art wise, and with thou, all wisdom shall die,” Job 12, verse 2. What else does job tell us? “For man who is born of woman is few of days, and full of trouble. He comes forth like a shadow and does not continue. So man lies down, and does not rise till the heavens are no more.” Well, at least he get that part right.

Josh: what happened to you?

Professor Radisson: When a 12years-old watches his mother dying of cancer, it’s only natural to beg God for her life. He’ll promise anything to his make-believe grandfather in the sky, including to love and worship him forever, if only he will spare her.

Josh: Sometimes the answer is NO.

Professor Radisson: Tell that to me the day you lose someone you love. She died believing a lie. She died believing that someone out there loved her even while he was strangling her to death. A God who would allow that is not worth believing in. That is why, Wheaton, you will find the most committed atheists were once Christians, but we took the blinders off. We saw the world for what it truly is. You see, Shakespeare had it right. Life is really a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing. 

Third and finally debate!

Josh: Evil. Now, it’s been said that evil is atheism’s most potent weapon against the Christian faith, and it is after all, the very existence of evil begs the question, “If God is all good and God is all powerful, why does he allows evil to exist?” the answer at its core is remarkably simple. Free will. God allows evil cause of free will. From the Christian stand point, God tolerates evil in this world on a temporary basis so that one day, those who choose to love him freely will dwell with him in heaven, free from the influence of evil, but with their free will intact. In other words, God’s intention concerning evil is too one day destroy it.

Professor Radisson: Well, how convenient. “One day, I will get rid of all the evil in the world. “But until then, you just have to deal with all the wars, and Holocausts, tsunamis, poverty, starvation and AIDS. Have a nice life.” Next, he’ll be lecturing us on moral absolutes.

Josh: But why not? Professor Radisson, who’s clearly an atheist, doesn’t believe in moral absolutes, but his core syllabus says he plans to give us an exam during finals week. Now, I’m betting that if I manage to get an “A” on the exam by cheating, he’ll suddenly start sounding like a Christian, insisting it’s wrong to cheat, that I should have known that. And yet, what basis does he have? If my actions are calculated to help me succeed, then why shouldn’t I perform them? For Christians, the fixed point of morality, what constitutes right and wrong, is a straight line that leads directly back to God.

Professor Radisson: Oh, so you’re saying that we need a God to be moral, that a moral atheist is an impossibility.

Josh: No, but with no God, there’s no real reason to be moral. I mean, there’s not even a standard of what moral behavior is. For Christians, lying, cheating, stealing, in my example, stealing a grade I didn’t earn are forbidden. It’s a form of theft. But if God does not exist, as Dostoyevsky famously pointed out, “If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.” And not only permissible, but pointless. If Professor Radisson is Right, then all of this, all our struggle, our debate, whatever we decide here is meaningless. I mean, our lives and ultimately our deaths have no more consequence than that of a goldfish. This is ridiculous.

Professor Radisson: So, after all your talk, you’re saying that it all comes down to choice: believe or don’t believe.

Josh: That’s right, that’s all there is. That’s all there’s ever been. The only difference between your position and my position is that you take away their choice. You demand that they choose the box marked, “I don’t believe.”

Professor Radisson: yes, because I want to free them. Because religion is like a….it’s like a virus that parents have passed on down to their children, and Christianity is the worst virus of all. It slowly creeps into our lives when we’re weak or sick or helpless.

Josh: So, religion is like a disease?

Professor Radisson: Yes. Yes, it infects everything, it’s the enemy of reason.

Josh: Reason? Professor, you left reason a longtime ago. What you’re teaching here isn’t philosophy. It’s not even atheism anymore. What you’re teaching is antitheism. It’s not enough that you don’t believe. You need all of us to not believe with you.

Professor Radisson: Why don’t you admit the truth? You just want to ensure them in your primitive superstition.

Josh: What I want is for them to make their own choice. That’s what God wants.

Professor Radisson: you have no idea how much I’m gonna enjoy falling you.

Josh: Yeah, but who are you really looking to fail, professor? Me or God? Do you hate God?

Professor Radisson: That’s not even a question.

Josh: Okay, Why do you hate God?

Professor Radisson: This is ridiculous.

Josh: (Josh Shouts) why do you hate God? Answer the question. You’ve seen the science and the arguments. Science supports his existence. You know the truth. So why do you hate him? Why? It’s a very simple question, professor. Why do you hate God?

Professor Radisson: (Professor Radisson Screams) because he took everything away from me.  Yes, I hate God. All I have for him is hate.

Josh: (Josh speaks very gently) How can you hate someone if they don’t exist?

Professor Radisson: You’ve proven nothing.

Josh: Maybe not. They get to choose. Is God Dead?
(Professor Radisson walks away)……

My Conclusion: Now after reading the debate between Professor Radisson and Josh Wheaton, it drums on the first argument “Is God Dead?” This debate actually to some extend did address the real issues that we all need to be aware of. I took my time to draft this out because I know how great the movie “God’s Not Dead” has been. Though, the point to me, still remains that, it’s our choice to choose what we believe in. I can’t force my believes on you, instead I’ll make you see reasons.  Is God Dead? What you believe is your choice.

Atheist vs Christian: Is God Dead or Alive?   Atheist vs Christian: Is God Dead or Alive? Reviewed by The news cable on August 05, 2016 Rating: 5

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