A Video Takedown of Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict July 20, 2013

A Video Takedown of Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict

If anyone has ever read (or had to read) Christian apologist Josh McDowell‘s The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Steve Shives is doing a chapter-by-chapter rebuttal of the book on YouTube. Chapters 1 and 2 are now available:

You can see Steve’s notes (also a partial transcript of the video) on his website.

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  • Larry D Andrews

    What I really can not understand is why this guy bothered to write a book, rebut a book, and make a video about what he does not believe in. That would be like me writing about Dr. Suess and refuting the evidence for green eggs and ham. WHAT are you so afraid of? Well of course I know, because I have inside information. The same God that lives in him, lives in me. Being an atheist must require hard work and diligence, to convince yourself that your feeble human brain is much higher than the God in you. The God who created you, the God who will have you bow before Him on bended knee. There is no such thing as an atheist, only a rebellious child of God out to make a buck being different.

  • We really don’t give a shit about what we don’t believe in. What we really, truly care about is the people who do really stupid or harmful things in the name of fictional characters. Those real people doing real things are of great concern.

  • Larry D Andrews

    I think it’s really funny that Steve is spending a huge chunk of his very short life (70 years or so since for atheists this is all there is) running around in a high voice saying “look look there is no God there is no God” I am using the Bible to prove it.Look I am right look I am right, then he dies. I mean if you guys really know what you know why bother? We Christians are taught to evangelize from God’s word and will receive a heavenly reward. As for an atheist, why are you evangelizing? Atheism should be very individual. What affect can you have by convincing others that some others believe in peter pan. Example: “look there IS no peter pan like all those people believe,and I can prove it because I am wise”.I can can prove he can not fly and there is no never never land! It is sad that that I see you wasting so much of your short time here on earth disproving what you think is fairy tale. I hope you do not have to experience the fairly tale of hell fire, but I know that if you do not repent you will.

  • 1) It’s fun.

    2) You’re wasting your short ~70 years (in the US, probably a bit longer on average) evangelizing for a fictional character. He’s wasting his ~70 years pointing that out. Which is the bigger waste, again?

    3) Really? You threaten us with eternal torture, and the best you can do is say you “hope” we won’t experience it. You obviously don’t really believe it, or you’d be seriously troubled by it.

  • Larry D Andrews

    1.I am not wasting time, I have eternity. I love you enough to hope eternity for you also.

    2. I don’t threaten you. You threaten yourself.

  • Larry D Andrews

    Of whom do you refer? Christians who are being killed and persecuted by atheists. Or muslims who are killing and persecuting Christians. How can an atheist be a we? You have no belief except in yourself alone.

  • Nono, see, if you think something exists you have the burden of proof. You must show evidence that your god and your hell and your heaven exist.

    Furthermore, you claim you really do believe in Hell, yet you are clearly untroubled by the idea that real people will be really hurt by it. You either don’t actually believe it or your uncaring says things about you that aren’t very nice.

  • Christians are being killed and persecuted by atheists? In China somewhat, though that’s much more subtle oppression than straight up murder, and I assure you the oppression is in the cause of controlling a competing power base. All religions are equally controlled. Still, you are right- being an atheist is absolutely no guarantee that a person is a good person. There should be no religious oppression of any kind by anyone, and what China does to religious groups is very bad.

    Muslims killing and persecuting Christians is also a real thing in the world. Shockingly, monotheistic theocracies tend to be pretty nasty to religious minorities. That is a perfect example of real people doing real injurious things because they think an imaginary god told them to. The Christians killing people accused of witchcraft in parts of Africa are also real people doing real injurious things because an imaginary god told them to. See how much better off we’d be if people would stop believing that fictional characters were actually telling them how to behave?

    How can people be part of a society or a we? How can people be anything but? I’m quite sure other people exist. I have lots of evidence that other people exist. How could I not be part of a we, being an intelligent social mammal with emotional and psychological needs tied to interacting with other people as a valued member of a social group?

  • Larry D Andrews

    You seemed to be expressing the opinion of your “group” ,and I would say many do not share your opinion.

  • Larry D Andrews

    Trust me I would not be talking to you right now if I was not troubled by the possibility of hell. You apparently are still alive and therefore have a chance to change and avoid hell. God sends people like me to remind you because he loves you.

  • Which opinion*, exactly, do you think I am expressing or do you think many atheists would disagree with? That Christians are persecuted in places around the world, that the motivations range from the political to the religious, that religious persecution is bad, that all religions are equally false, or that humans are intelligent social mammals who are inherently part of a greater society?

    *Note that the only opinion expressed herein is that religious persecution is bad, and it is a very widely shared one for obvious reasons. Every other statement is based solely on facts and empirical evidence to the best of my knowledge.

    As for the original post of mine, I have met people who care what you believe not because of its content, but how you got there. Religious belief is inherently harmful because it privileges fuzzy thinking that says wanting to believe something is equal to having evidence that something is true. That’s a really terrible way of evaluating the world. Other than that, I haven’t yet met an atheist who gives one solitary damn what anyone else believes so long as they don’t try to base laws on it or shove it down our throats as harmful social norms.

  • Larry D Andrews

    And BTW you left out North Korea, the worst of all.

  • North Korea, which believes that the Kim family is a line of God-Emperors and that Kim Jong Un is a living god, as was his father Kim Jong-Il before him? That unquestionably cultish religious country?

    You know, if my husband ever told me “love me or I’ll hit you”, I’d leave. I’d literally just run away and never come back. Why do you think a god that says “love me or I’ll torture you” is any less abusive than a man who says that? That ain’t love.

  • Larry D Andrews

    WE dont give a …… about what WE dont believe in……. huh?

  • I went back and edited it. Please refresh and reread.

  • Larry D Andrews

    What if your husband just asked you to be faithful or he would leave? Hell is the absence of God. Hell is where people are left with a lot of other people who had no love in their hearts. God does not need us at all. We need Him. God is trying to show us a way to live to survive. without His goodness we would have killed each other long ago. If people only followed one commandment. Love you neighbor as yourself, we would not need heaven because it would be here on earth.

  • Larry D Andrews

    Ok I hate to open this can of worms but what do you believe?

  • The universe exists. It’s about 13.9 billions years old. We don’t know exactly how it got started, but there’s some really cool theories we’re looking into.

    The Earth is a clump of congealed gas from the disc left over from a newly formed star that coalesced about 4.5 billion years ago. Our planet wound up with a semi-molten rotating iron core, which creates a magnetic field around the Earth which protects it from an awful lot of cosmic and solar radiation. This would become important later, when the atmosphere was forming and the first delicate life forms emerged. During our planet’s very active beginning (lots and lots of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes), lots of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and other gases were released into the atmosphere. Some of these molecules broke apart, and enough water was formed to create oceans and complicated weather patterns that we still don’t fully understand (of course they’ve changed a lot since early times too). At some point, life formed- we aren’t sure how that happened either. Best guess is that self-replicating RNA strands spontaneously emerged from some sort of water thick with various protein blocks and amino acids- we know that can happen due to various lab experiments. It could’ve been in shallow puddles with lots of sunlight, or deep ocean areas next to hot vents. Or both. We don’t know. The point is that life emerged, flourished, and evolved, and we have plausible natural explanations for it.

    At any rate, from these first simple self-replicating RNA strands arose all life as we know it, though of course very slowly. An RNA strand enclosed in a lipid outer shell (lipid outer shells also spontaneously form sometimes) is awfully close to a virus. Two of them that happen to work in tandem to reproduce more efficiently get you fairly close to primitive bacteria. And from there the explosions of life and death that we know fairly well from history emerge.

    All of this is plausible without any sort of outside intervention. None of it conflicts with the laws of physics as we know them. Yeah, there’s a lot we don’t know or might never know, but I really, really hope you’re not going to say that Goddidit. If your god is the sum of human ignorance, why worship it or call it good?

    Why? What do you believe? Is it based off a 2,000+ year old Bronze Age book written by ignorant goatherders?

  • If my husband encouraged that sort of emotional dependence in me, he’d be a terrible person. A deity that does the same is no better, and probably worse, because ze’d know all the harm that does. Why would it hurt my husband if we’d never met? I didn’t know he existed until he said hi. All god has to do is come say hi, too, for me to acknowledge his existence. Now, granted, I still wouldn’t worship such a terrible being, but I would at least be convinced by that evidence that a deity exists.

    Hell is, according to your very own doctrine, fire and burning and torture. That’s not the absence of god, that’s the presence of, well, torture. Any being that would do that to any other being is evil, pure and simple.

    Your god is trying to show us how to survive? Is that why he impregnated a teenage girl with himself (in some sort of man-god-man incoherent trinity thing) in one of the most benighted, ignorant time periods on the planet so that he could torture himself to death (temporarily) in order to force his all-powerful self to forgive us for the horrible sin of our great-great-many-greats ancestress eating a magical fruit because a talking snake told her to? Really? Why couldn’t your god just just say “Don’t be a dick” and be done with it? Concise, to the point, and hard to misinterpret. No, instead he stuck with a book full of murder, genocide, rape, slavery, misogyny, arbitrary rules, and general BS.

  • Larry, I’ll address some of your points from your first post and from some of the following you’ve posted in reply to Feminerd.

    1) “I mean if you guys really know what you know why bother?”
    I’ll let Seth Andrews from The Thinking Atheist answer that one for me:

    2) “I hope you do not have to experience the fairly tale of hell fire, but I know that if you do not repent you will.”
    Oh, you *know* do you? How do you know that? Where is your proof that hell fire even exists? Doesn’t this also go against your remark further down that hell is just “the absence of God” – which would mean that anyone not a Christian must be in Hell right now…

    3) “I am not wasting time, I have eternity.”
    No, you THINK you have eternity. You still have absolutely no proof of this. Also, when Christians say that they’ll spend eternity in Heaven, they don’t quite provide any context of “how” they’ll spend that. In what “shape” will you be there? Since there is a popular saying that you’ll see a loved one again in Heaven, that sort of indicates that there might be some kind of physical aspect to it. How do you appear in Heaven then? In your youth? In your prime? In your old age? What if you died before reaching any of those stages? So, if an infant died would they then spend eternity in Heaven as an infant?

    4) “God sends people like me to remind you because he loves you.”
    Because he’s too lazy to do the job himself? He could unequivocally silence the doubt of all sceptics (and convert any believers of other religions) incredibly easily, but instead he hides and only provides cryptically and factually incorrect writings from long ago as “evidence” – coincidentally this would also be what the evidence would be if a wholly made up religion were to try and produce evidence for the existence of their deity.

    5) “Hell is where people are left with a lot of other people who had no love in their hearts.”
    I have LOTS of love in my heart. Who the hell are you to tell us that we don’t have love in our hearts? What we also have are working brains which won’t just take flimsy (if even that) “evidence” as proof of a supernatural deity.

    6) “God is trying to show us a way to live to survive. without His goodness we would have killed each other long ago.”
    We seem to be doing quite OK with the killing each other, even with his supposed goodness around. Heck, lots of people have been killed in his name and he even commands us to kill others in his own holy book. So… fail on that part.

    7) “If people only followed one commandment. Love you neighbour as yourself, we would not need heaven because it would be here on earth.”
    Ahh, so you’re one of those people who only take that part of the Bible (which is, at least, somewhat commendable) and handily ignores all the other commandments and dictates. Reading your holy book in the most positive way and ignoring all the absolutely horrendous stuff doesn’t exactly provide a good case for why anyone should follow it.

  • Larry D Andrews

    Ok here is the big hole in your theory. The laws of physics as we know them do not allow for nothing to become something. It is a way bigger fairy tale than what I believe. I never seen people fight so hard to explain their own death sentence.

  • Actually, physics as we know it does have something appearing from nothing. Quantum particles are weird like that- they just appear in empty spaces (vacuums) sometimes and then disappear again.

    Furthermore, who said something came from nothing? What I said was we don’t know where the stuff that became the universe came from. It could come from a parent universe, and our universe is the backside of a massive black hole from that one (we’re what’s past the event horizon, basically). This theory has some interesting ramifications because it nicely explains dark matter (red-shifted matter), where matter comes from, and the increasing expansion rate of the universe, though there are other problems with it. It could also have been quantum particles in a state of perfect order, until one appeared in exactly the right/wrong place and set off a chain reaction that we know as the Big Bang. Or it could be something else entirely.

    The point is we don’t know. That’s not a hole in the theory. That’s just a thing we don’t know. It certainly doesn’t suggest Goddidit.

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