Avoiding Diversions of Internet Atheists and Evolutionists

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Since materialists cannot make us go away, they resort to various methods to silence Christians — especially biblical creationists. Many of these efforts involve ugsome reasoning and emotional reactions, which are common among internet atheopaths and fundamentalist evolutionists. We must avoid their manipulation and diversions, stay on topic, and keep them on topic as well. They tend to get mighty ornery when we see their diversions for what they are and keep them on the subject at hand.  I'll allow that it's not always easy, and I've chased a few shiny things myself.

Red Herrings

A common logical fallacy is the red herring, which is a distraction from the subject at hand. In my opinion, most if not all informal logical fallacies are diversions from a subject under discussion. If you ponder it, someone attacking your illustrious person, introducing a different topic, rejecting the source of the information, expecting you to explain or defend statements from a creationary biochemist when all you did was post a link, threats to tattle on you in inconsequential forums, lying about you, and other things will seldom have any relevance for the subject that was introduced. Keep in mind that people like this want to control the discussion and put us on the defensive. Here are a few that I'd like to lasso for your edification. 


Straw Man

Ain't no way, no how, are we required to defend positions we do not hold. Straw man arguments are common on the web, which are essentially attacking a position that a person or organization does not hold. "Look at me, I'm so clever, I destroyed you!" Not hardly! Someone wrecking a position of his own construction (building a straw man) and then tearing it down is not a victory. Putting words in someone's mouth is another form of straw man.


Appeal to Motive

The first line of attack for anti-creationists is simple ridicule and insults. Second seems to be the straw man. A strong contender for the third attack is the appeal to motive fallacy. Certain tinhorns assert that they know what is in someone's mind as to why something was said or done — an assumed motive which invariably meets with their disapproval. Someone might say, "You won't debate me because your worldview can't withstand the scrutiny of one atheist, and you're a coward!" No, you don't get debates because you waste people's time with childish behavior, terrible thinking, and trolling.


Arbitrary Assertions

Christians and creationists who have spent any amount of time on social media have probably encountered atheists and evolutionists who simply make an assertion and expect it to be so. Arguing from their naturalistic presuppositions, they assume and declare that their worldview is "reality", and those of us who believe the truth of God's Word (as well as appreciating how science and logic support recent creation) are "reality deniers". In addition to this, there are many who call us "liars' because we disagree with their opinions. (Some of them are unwilling or unable to ascertain the difference between a contrary interpretation of facts and the intent to deceive.) There are many other claims that opponents of the gospel will make which cannot withstand scrutiny, and when they are called upon to defend their statements, they give us red herrings, personal abuse, and so on. Arbitrariness is frequently encountered when dealing with an irrational worldview, so watch for it.

Moral Relativism

These days, materialists do not have a consistent moral compass. Many do not care. They cannot say that it is wrong to torture infants to death for personal pleasure, or that the Nazi concentration camps were evil. It is interesting to be called "evil" by an atheopath who has no consistent moral standard. In fact, evil is a theological term. Such a relativistic view is inconsistent and unlivable. To see an article where a biblical creationist responds to statements (and arbitrary assertions) from a moral relativist, click on "Answering a moral relativist". For a more lengthy examination in a debate setting, I wrote a post linking to a video, "Incoherent 'Reasoning' from Silverman in Debate".

Debate Challenges

When a creationist becomes known on social media, feral atheists and evolutionists often demand a debate. Drawing from my experiences and observations, they seldom know the content and purpose of a real debate — especially when they remain anonymous. It is supposed to be the deliberate, structured presentation of ideas, with respect for the person holding the contrary position, and knowledge of that position. Friends can debate a topic and still remain friends afterward. A debate is not intended to humiliate the other person or position, nor is it for the purpose of bolstering egos or to turn into a snarling dog fight. It's who they are. For more about debates themselves and who should qualify, click on the aptly named "Debate Challenges".

Dealing with atheists and evolutionists can be difficult when they want a dog fight
Dogs fighting in a wooded clearing / Frans Snyders / Wikimedia Commons
One of my favorite stories is that I "lost" a "debate" on Twitter that I did not know I was having! An atheist and I disagreed, and I wandered off to have supper or something. When I returned, he claimed that my lack of response gave him the victory. Right, so I should debate someone who uses logical fallacies (in that case and another one quite similar, the argument from silence was utilized mightily). Nope. It's mighty hard for someone to present a coherent argument and reach a valid conclusion with errors in thinking. They may blunder into a correct conclusion, but such a thing is not to be expected.


Be Ready

One way to be ready for attacks from those who despise the truth of Christ is to be ready to spot basic logical fallacies. While it may sound intimidating, it is not difficult. When dealing with misotheists and other anti-creationists, you need to wear your armor. Like it or not, know it or not, we are in a war. It is not about knowledge, science, wisdom of the world and so on, but it is spiritual. Naturalists deny this, and unbelievers consider the things of God foolish (1 Cor. 1:18). God has negated the wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 1:19-20) for salvation (1 Cor. 1:21, 25).

I do not counsel people on the internet to go into strongholds of those who hate God. (Some are called by God and skilled in the art of debate, but finding a rational opponent can be very difficult.) However, we are to be ready to give an answer to those who ask us to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). We do not have to be experts in all areas of theology (no human is), but have a good working knowledge. Trust God and his Word. 

You will find several articles on presuppositional apologetics such as this one. Also, I recommend "Fool Proof Apologetics". Atheists and other anti-creationists hate this method because it does not appeal to their pride, and it challenges their worldviews.

"But Cowboy Bob, if I take a stand for biblical creation and the truth of the Bible, people will say mean things about me!"

Yes, that happens. But do you think that caving in to bullies of this nature will help? I learned long ago that if someone is going to say or think something wicked about you, there is nothing you can do about it. Atheists, evolutionists, cultists, legalistic or liberal "Christians", atheists pretending to be Christians, and similar sidewinders will attack and justify their rebellion against God (Job 40:8 comes to mind). Are you here to gain the approval of men or of God (Gal. 1:10, Luke 9:62)? Those of us in creation science ministries receive many attacks and attempts to silence us, and those in high-profile ministries have harassment far worse than you or I. When things get rough, I remember that I never carried my cross through town. Persecution of Christians and creationists is increasing, and that will continue. 

This vile comment was left on my other Facebook Page,
and those contumelious cretins said it did not violate their "standards".
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes.
It is vital that Christians stay in the Word and get solid biblical teaching. In addition, learn the truth of biblical creation science. This site, and the aforementioned Page at The Question Evolution Project will point you to many good resources that present science that refutes evolution and affirms special creation. The major creation science ministries are also are doctrinally solid. I have the unpleasant impression that too many Christians think they can defeat atheism and evolution by sharing "memes" and other pictures. Sure, that's a lot of work, pilgrim. We share images as well, but they usually include links to important articles.

Please pray for this ministry, for those of us who administer The Question Evolution Project, and for me, personally. I'm asking that we are given grace and wisdom to continue to follow our Savior and Creator, Jesus Christ, God the Son.