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From Ben Watkins’s diary Why I Am an Atheist

Undergoing review is Ben Watkins: Why I Am an Atheist. I had a discussion with Ben—see here—and found that he’s one of those philosopher types who has lost the ability to understand simple concepts. For example, I used the term “accident” and it took him circa half an hour to understand what I mean—even though I defined what I meat upfront, a half hour previous.

But, by golly, he sounded good since I would make a statement and, in reply, he’d launch into a mini-lecture—which made the discussion virtually impossible.

In any case, and just in case anyone is impressed by the way he sounds, we’re about to find out that he cannot help but fail for various reasons including that he’s chosen a worldview that fails before it even begins and even if true, contains the seeds to reject that it’s true—since, on that worldview truth is accidental, as is our ability to discern it, there’s no universal imperative to adhere to it, nor to demand/expect others to adhere to it which, well, collapses the whole thing right then and there.

What’s most interesting is that he wrote the article to be published on a Christian website so we’d have to imagine that he sought to pull out the big guns, his best of the best arguments but, alas, all we get are emotive assertions.

One of his first sentences is that, that, “Some people are atheists” begs the question, “what reasons are there to think this claim is true?” which means his philosophy isn’t deep enough, he’s beginning in step 2 (or even more down the line) rather than with one.

Ben Watkins variously defines Atheism as, “the denial or rejection of all gods” and “Historically, the ordinary sense of atheism has been understood to mean the belief there are no gods” and another denomination which takes the watered down definition of, “lack the belief or are absent a belief there is at least one god” as Ben put it.

Now, Ben Watkins self-identifies thusly, “I’m an atheist in the stronger, belief-implying sense” meaning he positively affirms God’s non-existence (or, the non-existence of any/all gods) so let’s see if he proves it, his, “reasons to believe there are no gods” as he put it.

Ben notes he, “grew up in a Christian home and regularly attended worship services. Though I was never a particularly devout believer.” In his mid-twenties he “began to seriously reflect on the question of god’s existence. Who is more likely to be getting things right? Theists or atheists?” but did you catch the step skipping this time? He refers to getting things right without bother to state why such is even an issue—you’ll note that he constantly begs, borrows, and steals from the biblical worldview in order to attack it which means he’s attacking his own foundations, his hidden assumption of a biblical worldview foundation to which he’s forced to resort since Atheism offer him none.

Ben Watkins notes, “One of them must be right because they are exhaustive and mutually exclusive possibilities” but, again, he doesn’t bother telling us what of it, so what? Moreover, he has us wonder, “Whose opinions are based on better reasons and evidence?” which merely asserts that we ought to base our views on reasons and evidence without bother to tell us how or why, on his worldview: this is misosophy. Fascinatingly, he asks, “who is merely rationalizing their beliefs?” without bothering to tell us how or why that’s even a question: what does it matter if accidentally existing apes rationalize false views in an existence wherein there’s no universal imperative for accidentally existing apes to not rationalize false views?

Ben notes that he reduced his views from “never a particularly devout believer” to “at least a minimal theist or theist in a broad sense” and specifically, “a perfect being monotheist or theist in a narrow sense…one maximally perfect disembodied mind always worthy of our worship.”

He says that back then, he found his religious beliefs, “challenged by the incredulity of New Atheists like Christopher Hitchens” and, ironically, incredulity is all Hitchens had to offer. Ben Watkins quotes Hitchens so I imagine he handpicked the best of the best Hitchens had to offer, especially since he notes, “This sort of challenge resonated with me because for years I had struggled to make sense of what I read in the Bible”:

“In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years.

Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks ‘That’s enough of that. It’s time to intervene,’ and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East.

Don’t let’s appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let’s go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can’t be believed by a thinking person.”

Well, that may be nice and emotive but it’s no challenge, it’s a list of merely jumped to assertions.

Christopher Hitches did not bother telling us, ever, what’s wrong with any of those things, on his worldview. So what if accidentally existing apes believe those things, are okay with them, etc.

Moreover, on Atheism “suffered and died…Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery” can either be said to have no objective, universal, significance or are actually good since they rid us of the weak and assisted human evolution. Evil, pain, and suffering are some of the very best reasons for rejecting Atheism.

That “Heaven watches this with complete indifference” is also a jumped to conclusion without an argument and is also contradicted by, for example, 1,001 points made in the Bible. Thus, it wasn’t “2000 years ago” that “It’s time to intervene.” He also merely emotively asserts something about “a human sacrifice” and some rant about “less literate parts of the Middle East”: this is merely incoherent.

He also bad mouthed the Middle East when, for example, at the time of Jesus the Tanakh was available in at least three languages.

And the artificial icing on the bleached white flour cake is his mere emotivism, “This is nonsense” and what Hitchens subjectively considered nonsense is not a standard. Moreover, perhaps we can grant that, “It can’t be believed by a thinking person” but since he mischaracterized the view then perhaps we can say that no thinking person would believe that, no one does believe that, no thinking person should conceive of that much less be challenged by it.

Ben Watkins also notes, “Documentaries like The Atheism Tapes shook my Christian theism to its core” which denotes that his level of discernment was hardly registering a heart beat.

Typically, he merely asked, “How much were my religious beliefs in tension with my scientific and ethical beliefs?” without bothering to note how that’s even an issue.

Ben focuses on that, “Miracle events are a suspension of or intervention in the laws of nature. By laws of nature I mean the causal regularities or principles we have confidently established by our best methods of science,” pause: on his worldview laws of nature are accidental, as are their casualness and regularities or principles and that we have confidently established just means some accidentally existing apes observed accidents and the byproducts of accidents and accidentally learned to communicate those observations.

He notes, “Miracle events are in tension with science,” which is a mere assertion, but doesn’t bother telling us what the problem is even if there’s such a tension.

He notes, “Eyewitness testimony and oral traditions are prone to error, exaggeration, and deception” but, you guessed it, didn’t bother telling us what’s wrong error, exaggeration, and deception in an existence wherein there’s no universal imperative to not adhere to error, exaggeration, and deception.

Moreover, he seemed to imply that “Miracle events are” based on, “Eyewitness testimony and oral traditions” which “are prone to error, exaggeration, and deception” but he seems to begin with the conclusion that “Miracle events are” mere fictional tales based on “error, exaggeration, and deception” and so are to be considered to be “error, exaggeration, and deception” so that he’s arguing in a circle—note that circularity is any sort of problem, on Atheism.

This is getting very tedious but I must emphasize how his entire article is 99% substance-free emotive assertion to which he jumped (and based on hidden assumptions), he wrote, “evidence for any familiar miracle event is weaker than the evidence for our best scientific theories” but he didn’t provide a premise, nor an argument, but merely an asserted conclusion.

Now, he did attempt a logical syllogism which is:

1. “evidence for any familiar miracle event is weaker than the evidence for our best scientific theories.”

2. “Familiar miracle events conflict with the implications of our best scientific theories” which is basically a paraphrase of 1.

3. “We should have more confidence in claims we have better evidence for” note his mere demand “We should” so that this one utterly fails since his worldview offers him no such should: he’s merely expressing a subjective personal preference du jour based on hidden assumptions.

And the therefore:

4. “We should have higher confidence in the implications of our scientific theories than we have in any familiar miracle event” which fails for the same reasons as 3.

Thus, his syllogism utterly fails.

He merely asserts, yet again (and again), “We have more reason to believe the universe is a causally closed system working in accordance with non-intentional, natural laws than we do to believe the causal order is intentionally suspended from the outside” which we need to unpack (he has a gift for very tightly packaging numerous fallacies into compact statements):

“We have more reason to believe” not no reason given by Ben Watkins to adhere to what for which we have more (which he didn’t quantify) reasons nor any reason, for that matter.

That “the universe is a causally closed system” is interesting since by noting that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and then ceased from His creative work (see Gen chaps 1-2) we have a prediction of laws of thermodynamics—and a prediction of that the universe is a time (beginning), space (heavens), and matter (earth) continuum.

He asserts, “non-intentional, natural laws” which means he agrees with me that on Atheism, they’re accidental—also, note that Atheists reject a personal omnipresent, omnipotent administrator of the universe but believe in impersonal omnipresent, omnipotent administrators of the universe (which is part of how and why Atheism is Paganism: nature worshipping).

He affirms that “we,” to whomever we refers, “do to believe the causal order is intentionally suspended from the outside” which means that he’s rejecting miracles by definition, conceptually, not based on evidence in any given case.

Note his qualifying terms, “miracle events probably do not happen. In other words, dead people probably do not come back to life, people are probably not born of virgins, and water probably cannot spontaneously turn into wine.” Thus, he’s admitting these might, could happen—and, he doesn’t bother telling us what would be wrong with believing things such as these even if they probably don’t occur, or are proved 100% to not occur.

He seems to have not considered the implications of his worldview and/or never incorporated the implications of his worldview to your worldview—good thing for him that being consistent isn’t a universal imperative on Atheism: which is why Atheist are only ever consistently inconsistent.

Speaking of implications, he concludes his assertions about miracles by noting, “those claims will always have to compete with the confidence we currently have in our scientific theories and their implications.” Now, this means miracle claims will always have to compete with the confidence (a compound Latin term meaning with faith) we currently (as in tentatively) have meaning that tomorrow, miracles might be verified—as, of course, many already have.

Note another impotent demand of his, “we have to,” apparently because thus saith Ben, “ask ourselves” whether “the laws of nature been suspended…or has some other mistake been made which does not conflict with our best scientific theories” he suggests, “The latter is more plausible” without providing any stats nor bothering to tell us why we “have to” opt for one over the other.

We now come to a subsection titled, “Ethics and the Bible” and I hope he understands the technical difference between morals and ethics—we shall see.

For the first time in the article, he here refers to the “New atheists” of which Christopher Hitchens was one of the Four Horsemen (actually, Four My Little Ponies) and the true brilliance of the New Atheist movement is that they were very, very successful in encouraging Atheists to just be emotive, jump to asserted conclusions, make demands, be childish, and run away: Atheist tactics 101.

The first paragraph in this subsection has Ben already moving the goalpost from ethics to morality (good thing for him that moving the goalpost isn’t an issue on Atheism) as he refers to, “events and actions described in the Bible were in tension with my most basic moral intuitions” intuitions which, by the way, are accidental on Atheism and which there’s no universal imperative to follow. See what I noted up front about how Atheism “contains the seeds to reject that it’s true”?

Ben Watkins subjectively states, “I could not make any moral sense of how a wholly good and perfectly loving being could kill all but a handful of human and non-human creatures.”

Two issues, at least, that about which Ben subjectively “could not make any moral sense” isn’t a standard. And even to Atheists it makes perfect “moral sense”: allow me to elucidate.

See, on a technical level morality, morals, refers to the mores which are mere descriptions of whatever people happen to be doing thus, morality is, by definition, subjective, tentative, situational, intrinsic, etc.

On a technical level ethics refers to the ethos which are mere prescriptions of what people should, ought to be doing thus, ethics are, by definition, absolute, universal, objective, extrinsic, etc.—note that some term this universal morals or objective morals or absolute morals, etc.

Another issue is that there’s a difference between killing and murder: killing is ethical such as in cases of self-defense but murder is the taking of innocent lives.

Thus, God never murders but does kill and there’s nothing unethical about killing. Keep in mind that Atheists demand that morality evolved (yes, they will generally stated in the past tense: it evolved as if it has stopped) which disqualifies them from ever condemning anything since what’s moral today may be immoral tomorrow and visa versa.

Thus, they disqualify themselves from condemning any past action since, after all, that was the morality back then. Such is why I noted that “And even to Atheists it makes perfect ‘moral sense’” since they note that our moral sense is tentative—and I, technically, agree.

Ben Watkins then gets into issues that could take us down the free will route, “If such a world was not worth preserving, then why was it worth creating in the first place?” Well, “such a world” is technically not what God created since the chronological context of the flood is post-fall and is thus, not technically the same as God originally created.

In this subsection, Ben offers zero argumentation (does he ever?) but merely asks rhetorical questions.

Speaking of free will: to bottom line this issue let’s grant that everything can ultimately be laid at God’s feet since He’s either at fault for allowing free will or for not allowing it.

Yet, the issue for Atheists is that they condemn a being in whom they supposedly disbelieve and also have no premise upon which to condemn in the first place so can only make jumped to emotive assertions which are just expressions of their subjective personal preferences (based on hidden assumptions).

Ben then asks about how God could “command soldiers to slaughter men, women, and children while taking others for slaves.” Now, one could go on and on about these issues or one could begin by noting that Ben’s objection to these (and no, he doesn’t bother qualifying the blanket and emotive term slaves) is, “I believe the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children, and the ownership of other persons morally objectionable.”

Did you catch his modus operandi? It’s pure subjectivism, “I believe…morally objectionable” yet, you guessed it, what which Ben believes and finds objectionable are not standards. Keep in mind that this was supposed to be about why he’s an Atheist so why does he 100% fail to argue in favor of Atheism such as telling us how he can condemn such things via an Atheist premise? Because he can’t since Atheism is that much of a failure.

He ends the subsection by merely declaring “Any being with this character and having performed these actions could not possibly be wholly good and perfectly loving” but he didn’t bother telling us how nor why: just take Ben’s word for it, apparently.

Thus, the article is merely an exercise of Ben sharing his feelings at the level of a “My Dear Diary, today I feel…”

He moves the goalpost again in the next subsection by referring to how as per original sin, “finite beings are (somehow?) ethically blameworthy for Adam and Eve abusing their free will.”

At lease we learn that he holds to free will which seems to contradict Atheism: how are accidentally existing apes free when their accidental neural bio-chemistry is supposed to be predetermined by accidental laws of themodynamics?

Ben Watkins declares, “it does not make any ethical sense” but, you know it, that which subjectively does or does not make ethical sense to him is not a standard.

Now, perhaps we would need to get into meta-ethics in order to deal with emotive objection that, “we could somehow be responsible for actions we did not perform” but I’ll just note that it’s an issue of linear time, chronology, cause and effect, etc. on the level of, for example, suffering the effects of a bomb we personally did not detonate.

This subsection is also just a list of rhetorical questions thus, Ben has nothing substantive to argue but is merely emoting, again.

Ben Watkins is also merely subjectively asserting when he declares, “Vicarious Redemption” to “not make any ethical sense.”

He referred to “The notion Jesus can somehow bear the responsibility of our sin by willingly being crucified and resurrected” for which some people would be grateful rather than complaining.

He also merely asserts, “If we are genuinely responsible for our actions, then someone else cannot absolve us of that responsibility” yet, the two are not mutually exclusive so he merely posed a false dichotomy (not that there’s anything wrong with that on Atheism): we are genuinely responsible for our actions but the price to pay for them is so high that someone absolved us, not of that responsibility but of the penalty.

He concludes that subsection with two parting question—again leaving us with nothing but “My Dear Diary…”

He then comments on h, e, double hokey sticks.

In typical well within the box Atheist group-think talking-point du jour form, he asks, “Why does God’s justice demand eternal punishment for finite transgressions?” which is incoherent since in the history of humanity no one has ever even proposed that the amount of time it took to commit the crime determines the amount of time the punishment would last: can you imagine? “Your honor, it took one second for the Defendant to shoot that innocent cashier to death, so you can only sentence the Defendant to one second of prison time!”

After some rhetorical questions (are there such things as rhetorical answer?), he notes, “The Bible describes a god causing, condoning, or commanding immoral acts and attitudes” which is incoherent since it technically means God violates human mores du jour. But, of course, he’s not arguing that (he hardly bothers arguing anything, actually), his problem is that the only reply he can consistently offer is that has decided to subjectively not personally like it—period.

He claims he used to believe that “the god of the Bible cannot be immoral” and that “The Bible is a divinely inspired and generally reliable account” but that “The Bible describes a god” committing “immoral acts.”

Thus, “I could not keep all of these beliefs because they formed an inconsistent triad. If I accepted any two propositions, then I could deduce the falsity of the third. I had to give up at least one” but “had to” based on what? He doesn’t bother saying, he just rants.

He decided to believe, “The Bible is not a divinely inspired nor generally reliable account of the acts of the god of the Bible, because Christian theism is false” apparently because Ben said so oh, and, “Perhaps someone like Hitchens was right.”

He also concluded, “Christians were making some mistake when they accepted the Bible as a divinely inspired and generally reliable” but again (and again and again) he doesn’t bother telling us what would be wrong with that on his then newly found worldview. See, actually applying his newly found worldview would mean that such a complaint is discredited.

He pondered, “Perhaps these are merely historically contingent stories invented by superstitious humans as a byproduct of other cognitive mechanisms with survival advantages e.g. agency detection.” See what I mean? Even, or especially, if the Bible’s contents are the results of superstitions that would mean they were a styled Darwinian survival mechanism, the referenced “survival advantages”—and Atheist seeking to get people to reject them are damaging theists’ ability to survive. If they were a byproduct of cognitive mechanisms then they’re the accidental byproduct of the accidental laws of thermodynamics within an existence wherein there’s no universal imperative to reject the accidental byproduct of the accidental laws of thermodynamics and perhaps no possibility to reject them—even though Ben Watkins has merely asserted free will.

He refers to “competing religious beliefs” (such as Atheism) in terms of that he had pondered, “perhaps some other theistic tradition is closer to the truth e.g. Islam or Hinduism.” Now, we could go into discussing Islam and Hinduism but staying focused on Ben, note that his concern was which got “closer to the truth” while on his worldview truth is accidental, as is our ability to discern it, there’s no universal imperative to adhere to it, not to demand/expect others to adhere to it. Thus, even this was an exercise tantamount to which ice cream flavor he prefers.

He then gets into, “Widespread Religious Disagreement” even when some Atheists positively affirm God’s non-existence while others think they’re wrong for claiming to know something they can’t prove, etc., etc., etc. (and they have many, many disagreements about all sort of issues).

He noted, “I have always believed,” still?, “the best evidences for particular religious beliefs must be first-person experiences like revelations…immediate religious experiences” thus, since “I have not had any cogent religious experiences, and this fact deeply worried me.” In other words, he invented a pseudo-standard, failed to meet it, and it concerned him. While “first-person experiences like revelations” may be nice, they’re not required.

He then exposes his faulty anthropology (and faulty theology: note that all Atheists are theologians—terrible ones but theologians nevertheless) as he merely claims that, “a perfect creator with a common purpose for us” would give us a, “shared revelation of that purpose…Such an intersubjective experience would invite widespread consensus…But that is not the case.” In other words, he invented a pseudo-standard, does not find it to be the case, and so concluded the Bible isn’t reliable, God doesn’t exist, etc.

Interestingly, “Not everyone has theistic religious experiences, and most subjects of religious experience disagree about the fundamental nature, content, and significance of religious experiences” but he doesn’t bother telling us how that’s any sort of problem on his worldview.

Yet, that the case is that either God gives us all a, “shared revelation” or “everyone…disagree” is a false dichotomy since, especially applying Ben’s assertion of free will, God could give us such a revelation and people could still choose to disagree—see, he keeps failing to think consistently, he doesn’t bother applying his worldview to his worldview: he asserts something when it’s convenient and ignores it when it’s convenient.

In fact, such is the case since “he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27) yet, “the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19).

Ben Watkins states, “We can call this the problem of inconsistent revelations. These inconsistent and competing religious beliefs could not all be true. Most of them must be false. If that’s the case, then we know most people through time have, in fact, systematically deceived themselves or have been misled by some distorting influence when it comes to their religious beliefs.”

Well said, people can claim that 2+2= an infinity of numbers but only those who reply =4 are correct. Yet, on Atheism it’s not the case that “most people through time have, in fact, systematically deceived themselves…” but all of them have: 100%, since Atheists think they’ve found the one real truth (accidental as it is, on their worldview).

He also pulls another Atheist talking point in claiming, “religious beliefs [are] geographically and temporally predictable” which is a genetic logical fallacy (not that it matters on Atheism) and in the face of him being raised in a majority Christian country, by a Christian family, and yet not being a Christian: he seems to be the privileged sort who can go beyond the confines of his geography—even on a worldview according to which it matters not if religious beliefs are geographically influenced nor the rejection of them.

He refers to, “these facts” on a worldview according to which, you know it, facts are accidental, as is our ability—and you know the rest.

He then demands, “Any true religious framework,” on a worldview according to—you know the rest—“would  play an integral role in the external understanding of ourselves, our place in the world, and the life we ought to live.”

Well, any cogent worldview would have to, for example, explain key features of the world and humanity such as beauty and terror, love and hate, etc. and the Bible does that: the world and humans were created good but underwent a fall—and can be redeemed. This us unlike Atheism which implies that the world and humanity came from nothing, by nothing, to nothing, for nothing.

As for how “we ought to live” well, this is where the ethos comes in as evidence by that all people everywhere and at all times have agreed on certain basic principles and have to fight very hard, including with themselves, to violate them: one thing that seems to separate us from the animals (besides fashion faux pas) is our ability to justify our actions (viably or not).

In any case, he notes, “there is no such religious consensus” with which come the usual problems for him.

He then merely asserts, “In fact,” yeah accidental fact (if fact is what it even is), “the most widespread consensuses in science and ethics are secular” which seems to have been slightly misstated but seems to be an argumentum ad populum (not that there’s anything wrong with that—you know the rest).

But he claims that such is the case since “They make no reference to religious traditions nor do they make any use of theistic assumptions” which is fallacious since the scientific method is premised on biblical theology—even when Ben refers to “secular sciences”—and secular ethics violates the technical definition of ethics since the ethos is a reflection of God’s nature or is that nature itself.

Since he’s ranting, he jumps to another mere assertion, “God’s perfect goodness is a reason to believe theists would live significantly more moral lives than non-theists, because worshiping God would be a source of moral strength not available to non-theists.”

This is fallacious on at least two levels. Again, his anthropology is faulty since “God’s perfect goodness” may still fail to be reflected in the actions of “theists” (a broad-brush-broom painting term that’s not very helpful) may still (free will, right?) choose to not “live significantly more moral lives.” As for, “a source of moral strength not available to non-theists,” such is not the Biblical view which has God putting His laws in the hearts of us all, not just theists.

He again moves the goalpost from ethics to that, “Moral intuitions vary dramatically on important moral issues such as war, abortion, the death penalty, religious violence etc.” Such as, we must note, that on Atheism there’s nothing wrong with war, abortion, the death penalty, religious violence etc. even if individual Atheists subjectively decide to personally like or personally dislike some of them—which amounts to accidental apes accidentally being able to express subjective interpretations of accidental byproducts of neural chemistry, which is as impotent as it sounds.

He refers to, “the problem of moral disagreement” which is not a problem on Atheism and is also in keeping with the technical definition of morality which implies that there will be disagreements, by definition.

Now, we get a view of why I complained about the generic nature of the term theists in that Ben Watkins asserts, “if we assume theism is true, then it seems as if God has inconsistently or inaccurately revealed what He wants us to believe and how He expects us to act” but while all religions and Atheism contains some truths (based on what some would term general revelation, God’s laws in our hearts, etc.) the specific revelation is within the Bible—not within generic theism.

Ben hits one of Atheism’s nails on the head—only being off by a bit—in noting, “if atheism is true, then there is no disembodied mind who cares about the content of our religious beliefs nor the moral worth of characters and acts. Widespread disagreement about the nature and significance of experiences which do not correspond to a shared objective reality is not surprising if atheism is true. I concluded facts about widespread religious disagreement count in favor of atheism and against theism.”

I said, only being off by a bit because indeed, if so-then yet, if so then it’s a non-issue since Atheism provides no premise upon which to even make that into any sort of issue.

By the way, that “there is no disembodied mind who cares…” is one of Atheism’s consoling delusions. Also, as we have seen, “Widespread disagreement about the nature and significance of experiences which do not correspond to a shared objective reality is not surprising if” biblical theology is true. Thus, his conclusion that this scores a point for Atheism is a non-sequitur (not that non-sequiturs matter on Atheism, of course).

He then comments on “Special Creation and Biological Evolution” regarding, “if God might not exist, then where could we have come from?” and we come to the Atheist view that nature created us, accidentally, which is where Atheism’s Paganism comes into play, “although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).

Ben notes, “according to biological evolution, complex and conscious life forms are the gradually modified descendants of relatively simple life forms.” For one, “according to biological evolution” is a reification fallacy (not that it matters…) since biological evolution is not a person, not a being, has no mind, no volition, makes no statements, etc. Rather, he meant according to evolutionary biologists. Also, that there’s ever been any such a thing as even a “relatively simple life forms” is a myth as one single simple cell is vastly (and purposefully) complex. Ben’s just promulgating the accidental just happened of the gaps.

Ben asserts, “Human beings and all other life on Earth are the products of the long, inefficient, and inevitably cruel history of the universe since the big bang” see what I meant about Atheism making pain and suffering even worse—and also good—he even specifies, “Our experiences of pain and those of other non-human animals are systematically connected to the biological goals of survival and reproduction.”

He then decides that “We…descended from bacteria over billions of years of natural selection” which is embarrassingly outdated in terms of scientific knowledge: this is just Atheistic story telling at its worse. He’s genuinely asserting that natural selection turned some bacteria into humans and left some bacteria as is.

He then asks, “Why would a wholly good and infinitely resourceful God choose to create humans through such a long, inefficient, and inevitably cruel means?” the answer to which is that since his premise is fault there’s no reason to reply to his question. He, again, invented a scenario and expects us to play in his fantasy league.

He then pulls a stat from some uncited source and claims, “99.98% of all species which have ever lived are now extinct because all living beings are in savage competition with one another for limited resources.” Indeed, such is the case in our -post-fall world. Since he utterly misses dealing with what the Bible actually states, he rants about, “survival is the exception and extinction is the rule. If…a creator god who used biological evolution as a means to create, then we would infer an indifferent god, a tinkering god, or perhaps a malevolent god” but, again, he’s just making up fantasy scenarios, is then playing by his own rules, and comes to faulty conclusions.

Thus, he demands that, “Something like biological evolution must be true if atheism is true” which assisted in his conversion to Atheism since “I concluded facts about biological evolution counted in favor of atheism and against theism” so he faulty concluded based on accidental (pseudo) facts based on vague notions about biological evolution which have something to do with God not existing—or something.

He has a subsection on “The Problem of Evil” which is about “the inevitably cruel process of biological evolution” which supposedly, “points us towards perhaps the most serious challenge facing perfect being monotheism.”

Ironically, he notes, “Some people even suffer so horrendously they lose themselves entirely. They come to believe their lives are, on the whole, not worth living” the consistent Atheistic view of which would be: one less accidentally existing ape turning into a different form of matter.

Since Ben is either not interested in accurately representing the views he seeks to critique or is much too ignorant of them to accurately represent them, he makes the same points I’ve touched upon above such as “Why would a perfect being create a world full of so much seemly random evil…?”

Now, note also that when Atheists reject God due to evil, pain, and suffering nothing changes: there’s still evil, pain, and suffering (even if they become good) and now they don’t even have God to blame anymore.

Ben Watkins poses another syllogism that runs thusly:

“(A) An all-powerful God has the ability to prevent or eliminate all pointless evil,


(B) A wholly good God would be maximally motivated to prevent or eliminate pointless evils.


(C) Perfect being monotheism implies a God-created world would contain no pointless evil,

So it must be the case either,

(D) There has never been any pointless evil, and all seemingly pointless evil is illusory.


(E) There has been at least one pointless evil. Most evil seems pointless because it is pointless.”

Let us review:

“(A) An all-powerful God has the ability to prevent or eliminate all pointless evil,


(B) A wholly good God would be maximally motivated to prevent or eliminate pointless evils.”

Again, Ben is either being dishonest or is expressing ignorance since the biblical view is precisely that “A wholly good God” is, not just “would be,” “maximally motivated to prevent” and also, “eliminate pointless evils”: He does one and will do the other. This gets into the free will issues again but God prevents and allows it, He prevents by stepping in on occasion and by giving us His ethos and will ultimately eliminate it by redeeming it.


(C) Perfect being monotheism implies a God-created world would contain no pointless evil,”

But it underwent a fall.

That “(D) There has never been any pointless evil, and all seemingly pointless evil is illusory” may be the case in terms of what philosophers call soul building.

Now, Ben subjectively declares, “I found (D) implausible” because some evils “seem” subjectively y to him “pointlessly evil” because “we,” by which he means I, “have no reason to believe them necessary for achieving any greater good or preventing some evil equally bad or worse” which is another mere assertion” based on either claiming he’s omniscient or based on the limited currently available data.

He notes, “(E) is just what you would expect given the non-intentional process of biological evolution, the indifferent laws of nature, and finite creatures with limited altruism” about which I say: welcome to the terrible world of Atheism.

Within subsection, “The Problem of Divine Hiddenness” he wrote, “this lack of belief or absence of belief was not the result of emotional or behavioral opposition towards God” which is fascinating since emotion seems to be the one and only reason (excuse) he had expressed.

In his role as a theologian, he asserts, “A wholly good and loving God would create a world of finite persons such that anyone could enter into relationship with Him simply by trying” and, guess what, biblical theology would have it that a wholly good and loving God did create a world of finite persons such that anyone could enter into relationship with Him simply by trying—though trying may be a problematic term for some but keep in mind that Acts 17 statement I quoted above.

He then notes, “all non-theists must be resisting God in some way” about which I will redirect you to the Romans 1 quote above which also applies to, “If God is always open to relationship, then every finite person believes God exists unless they are somehow resisting such a belief.”

Ben then claims, “Former theists like myself were already in a relationship with God” but that’s no so biblically, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

Subsection, “The Physical Dependence of Minds” has Ben Watkins noting that he, “became convinced it is much more likely perfect being monotheists have been making some mistake. All their claims about God are false” on a worldview according to which there’s nothing wrong with being mistaken nor holding to false views.

This subsection comes down to, “Some injuries to the brain make it impossible for a person to have any mental states at all…destroy various mental capacities” so that we, supposedly have, “reason to believe all mental activity probably has a physical basis in embodied brains.”

This is tantamount to demanding that if you take a baseball bat to a computer’s hardware so that it ceases to function, then that proves there’s no such thing as software.

Thus, in typical fashion, he faultily, “concluded facts about the apparent physical dependence of minds counted in favor of atheism and against theism.” Thus, he chose to believe that his accidentally constructed brain with all of its accidental neural chemistry resulted in accurate views of reality within an existence wherein there’s no universal imperative for an accidentally existing ape to adhere to accurate views of reality.

We finally come to the conclusion of Ben Watkins emotive rants wherein he just reiterates his various fallacies and admits, “Admittedly, I did not give a serious consideration of the arguments for theism here” since he began with a conclusion, “This piece is written under the assumption there are no successful cases for theism to be made.” The part with a convenient mia culpa, “Any adequate defense of atheism would need to address the leading arguments for theism which I cannot do here” but cannot do why? He doesn’t bother telling us.

Yet, this was about why he is an Atheist and, again, he appears to be an Atheist do to some or another combination of ignorance, vague generalizations in terms of Atheist talking point story telling, and fallacious illogic.

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