conversations with a born-again atheist: the first emails

faith and reasonA few days back I posted that I had an opportunity to have a conversation with a born-again atheist. When I say “born-again atheist” I mean he was a born again Christian, but is now an atheist. (If you missed it, check it out here: conversations with a born-again atheist: the beginning)

Below is the first email exchange to follow that verbal conversation. I realize no one reading these blog posts was privy to the initial in-person conversation, but keep reading. You’ll catch up.

AtypicalAtheist: I just wanted to follow up on our conversation. If you’d like, I can forward information on some of my claims this earlier morning, as well as my sources and the biblical references I referred to. Just drop me an e-mail and I’ll follow up.

Thanks again for being such good company whilst our kids froliced.

JSM: I would love that! Thanks! And I do actually have an extra copy of Evidence That Demands A Verdict if you would like to have it. (that’s the one written by Josh McDowell – the atheist who set out to scientifically disprove God and ended up a Christian) I pick them up at garage sales and thrift stores whenever I find a copy.

Something did occur to me. You said the burden of proof for the possibility of the supernatural was on the person who claimed it is possible? But wouldn’t that require me to use science, which is the observation of the natural, to prove the supernatural, which by definition is something that cannot be proven by the natural? A bit of circular reasoning? (and I had to read that twice.)

Thanks again to you and your family for a wonderful evening and one of the strangest theological discussions I’ve ever found myself engaged in.

AtypicalAtheist: Not a problem – it was most engaging.

Regarding proof for the supernatural, someone making a claim is required to back up the claim. If someone claims that god told them to kill their first born son, the burden of proof would be on them. You would not be compelled to somehow prove that they did not have a miraculous conversation with god, even if there’s precedence for such a conversation in the bible. And we both know, it’s more likely that the person making such a claim is either delusional, or simply lying.

We have regularity in nature, and we know that an entity won’t simply disappear or act in a manner inconsistent to it’s nature. We know that a cat will not begin quoting scripture, and we know that a flock of seagulls will not suddenly walk into a karaoke bar singing “Bend and Snap”.

And how about this – I have a copy of “Atheism: The Case Against God” by George H. Smith. Let’s trade. I’ll read yours cover to cover if you’ll read mine cover to cover. Heck, we can even trade book reports!

By the way – just to be clear – I’m not any kind of activist atheist. It does not trouble me for people to believe in god any more than it troubles me for people to believe in UFO visits, guardian angels, or Santa Clause.

Thanks again for wonderful conversation.

Take care

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