To Prove Theism True: Show the 6 Competing Worldviews are False

By Dr. Bob Martin III
Published 3 years ago

How do we prove theism is true? Can this be done? Or is a belief in God just based on our feelings or how we grew up? 

 

2 Steps to prove theism 1. Theism is true (i.e., undeniable) 2. All 6 competing non-theistic worldviews are false (i.e., unaffirmable)

 

 

I.   First Step to Prove Theism is True. Demonstrate that it is Undeniable

In a previous article, we began with our first of two steps.

The first step was proving that theism is undeniably true. Or said differently, you cannot deny theism’s truthfulness denied without contradicting yourself.

You see, it is one thing to prove theism is true. In other words, a theistic God MUST exist. And exist undeniably, but we also need to answer our critics from the other six worldviews 

And this is where the second step comes in. 

 

FIRST STEP TO PROVE THEISM IS UNDENIABLE TRUE 1. I exist (undeniable) 2. Another created me. "Principle of Causality 3. "Cause-and-effect" cannot go back infinitely (infinite regress) 4 There has to be a First Uncaused Creator of my existence (undeniable) 5. This First Uncaused Creator must be eternal, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient 6. These are features of a Theistic God

 

II.   The Second Step to Prove Theism is True: Show All 6 Non-Theistic Worldviews are False (Unaffirmable)

The second part proves that the six other worldviews are false because they have inherent contradictions in their core beliefs. 

In other words, their core beliefs cannot be said to be accurate or are unaffirmable.  

Don’t let the word “unaffirmability” intimidate you. It is a fancy way of saying that the statement or belief cannot be supported with evidence or that it contradicts itself. Or the more cliched phrase, “it shoots itself in the foot.” 

 

SECOND STEP PROVE 6 NON. THEISTIC WORLDVIEWS ARE FALSE (UNAFFIRMABLE) Six non-theistic worldviews are false because one or more of the worldview's core beliefs have contradictions, inaccuracies, or are unaffirmable "Unaffirmable" means one or more of the worldview's core beliefs cannot be supported by evidence In other words, the worldview's core belief "shoots itself in the foot!"

 

A few examples will show you how easy the concept of unaffirmability is to understand:

Some statements are “directly unaffirmable.”

  • The contradiction is apparent in the statement itself.
  • Consider, “I cannot express myself in words.”
  • That statement is contradictory because the person had to express herself in words to say she couldn’t express herself in words!  

 

"DIRECTLY UNAFFIRMABLE. The contradiction is apparent in the statement itself. Consider the following example: "I cannot speak one word of English" This statement is contradictory because the person spoke 7 words in English to tell you they could not speak English!

 

 

But some claims are “indirectly unaffirmable” and are a little harder to spot.

To discover these logical mistakes, we have to work harder. We may need to rephrase the statement or dig deeper into the meaning to find the contradiction.

  • For example, a pantheist may say, “I know that no one can know anything about reality.”
  • The contradiction is not readily apparent in the statement.
  • So we need to dig deeper and rephrase what they are saying to bring the contradiction to light.
  • The critic claims to “know enough about reality” to say, “no one can know anything about reality!”
  • But that is contradictory!
  • How can he claim he does know something about reality when at the same time he is claiming, “Reality “cannot be known!”  

 

INDIRECTLY UNAFFIRMABLE These are logical mistakes that are harder to spot The pantheist says, "I know that no one can know anything about reality." The contradiction is not readily apparent But rephrased the pantheist is saying know enough about reality to claim no one can know anything about reality!' But that is contradictorv! BINMIN

 

Now let’s discover the second way to prove theism is true but showing how its competing six worldviews are all false or unaffirmable. We do that by exposing the contradictions in the other six worldviews.

1.   What’s a Contradiction?

To prove theism is true, we must become familiar with some logic, specifically contradictions. Contradictions are things that break the Law of Noncontradiction.

The Law of Noncontradiction (LON) is a philosophical principle we use daily. It merely states, “the opposite of true is false.” Every time you say, “That is true,” you mean its opposite is false and vice versa.  

  • For example, if I claim that it is true that it is “sunny and 85 degrees outside my house today.” Then it would be false to claim that it is “cloudy and -35 degrees outside my house today.” 

 

If you say the opposite of true is true, you are violating the LON. 

  • In our example: You’re contradicting yourself if you say, “It is sunny and 85 degrees outside my house today, AND it is also cloudy and -35 degrees outside my house today!” 

 

Those are contradictory statements. Why? Because two opposite propositions cannot both be true, at the same time, and in the same sense.

So the LON helps us discover contradictions. And when we find contradictions, we know the statement is false.

 

LAW OF NONCONTRADICTION Opposites cannot both be true in the same sense, at the same time, and in the same way More simply "the opposite of true is false" Every time you say, "That is true," you mean its opposite is false and vice versa.

 

III.   To Prove Theism, We Show the Other 6 Non-theistic Worldviews are False

Now let’s apply these things to prove theism is true.

A worldview would be unaffirmable if:

  1.   It contradicts theism: If we could show that theism is true (like in our previous article), then the LON would point out that anything that contradicts theism must be false. Since the other six worldviews hold contradictory views to theism, they must be wrong. 
  2.   It contradicts itself: The LON is also helpful for showing contradictions within a worldview. A worldview is false if it contradicts itself. 

 

NON-THEISTIC WORLDVIEWS ARE FALSE IF... 1. It contradicts theism Since theism is true. If any of the 6 non-theistic worldviews contradict theism, they must be wrong 2. It contradicts itself.

 

Here’s how all six of the other worldviews are “unaffirmable.” 

 

6 non-theistic worldviews Athieism Polytheism Finite Godism Pan-en-theism Pantheismsm Deism

 

1.   Prove Theism by showing Atheism is Unaffirmable

Atheism fails because it claims there is no God. But we have shown that a theistic God undeniably exists.

Many atheists believe that our finite universe has existed for an infinite number of moments in time. Others claim a series of infinite multiverses. In either case, they are wrong!

An infinite series (a series without beginning or end) or moment or preceding “multiverses” cannot exist in reality.

Similarly, an infinite number of causes for our universe or multiverses are impossible because they result in an “infinite regress.” 

 

ATHEISM IS UNAFFIRMABLE
Atheism fails because it claims there is no God
But we have shown that a theistic God undeniably
exists
Many atheists believe that our finite universe has
existed for an infinite number of moments in time
Others claim a series of infinite multiverses
Both ideas are wrong!
An actual infinite series (a series without a beginning
or end) of moments or preceding "multiverses" cannot
exist in reality because they result in an "infinite

 

2.   Prove Theism by showing Polytheism, Finite Godism, and Pan-en-theism are Unaffirmable

Polytheism, Finite Godism, and Pan-en-theism believe in a finite (or limited) god or gods. All finite beings, including finite gods, are limited. And the “Principle of Causality” demands that every finite being (effect) has to be brought into existence by a preceding cause. 

Therefore whoever created these contingent and finite god(s) would be greater than them and qualify as the real God. Further, “finite gods” contradict the previous undeniable argument for an infinite and eternal God. 

 

POLYTHEISM, FINITE GODISM, &
PAN-EN-THEISM ARE UNAFFIRMABLE
Polytheism, Finite Godism, and Pan-en-theism believe
in a finite (or limited) god or gods
All finite beings, including finite gods, are limited
"Principle of Causality" demands that every finite
being (effect) has to be brought into existence by a
preceding cause
Therefore whoever created these contingent & finite
god(s) would be greater than them & qualify as the
real God
Further,
"finite gods" contradict the previous
undeniable argument for an infinite and eternal God.

 

3.   Prove Theism by showing Pantheism is Unaffirmable

Dr. Norman Geisler, in his Christian Apologetics (pp. 187-190), summarizes three contradictions in pantheism: 

  1. A strictly pantheistic view’s most fundamental mistake is saying that only God exists and “I” do not exist. But this is self-defeating (since you have to exist to affirm that you do not exist). 
  2. Additionally, it is contradictory for a finite human being to be an infinite god. Finite cannot also be infinite. 
  3. Lastly, it is contradictory to state, “God is unknowable in an intellectual way.” Why? Because the pantheist believes she knows something intellectually about her god!

 

PANTHEISM IS
UNAFFIRMABLE
A strictly pantheistic view's most fundamental mistake
is saying that only God exists and "I" do not exist.
But this is self-defeating (since you have to exist to
affirm that you do not exist)
Additionally, it is contradictory for a finite human being
to be an infinite god. Finite cannot also be infinite.
It is contradictory to state,
"God is unknowable in an
intellectual way." Why? Because the pantheist
believes she knows something intellectually about her
god!

 

4.   Prove Theism by showing Deism is Unaffirmable

Deism’s belief in God is contradictory. How could a God who created the universe out of nothing be kept from doing more minor miracles like creating humans if he chose? That is not consistent.  

 

DEISM IS
UNAFFIRMABLE
Deism's belief in God is contradictory
How could a God who created the universe
out of nothing be kept from doing more
minor miracles like creating humans if he
chose?
That is illogical and not consistent

 

IV.   Theism is True

The only remaining worldview–theism–is the only “affirmable” and correct worldview! The other six worldviews are false because they contain contradictions in their fundamental beliefs. 

 

THEISM IS TRUE
Theism--is the only "affirmable" and
correct worldview!
The other six worldviews are false
because they contain contradictions in
their fundamental beliefs.

 

V.   What’s Your Next Step?

Did I prove theism is true for you?

Recognizing the reality of a theistic God is far more critical in our lives than disproving other views.

And if a theistic God exists, what should you do?

Firstly, get to know Jesus (who is God) through Scripture.

Secondly, realize  the terrible news that we can never please God by our good works.

Thirdly, accept the good news that he loves us and can give us eternal salvation if we put our faith in Jesus. 

References

  1.   Geisler, N. L. (2013). Christian Apologetics 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
  2.    ___. (2012) The Big Book of Christian Apologetics: An A to Z Guide. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
  3.    ___, & Watkins, W. D. (1989). Worlds Apart: A Handbook on World Views (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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