[Note: This is the part four of a debate concerning the nature and existence of God and his proper relation to the state.]

This is my first follow-up, a clarification and inquiry based on Mr. Brown’s reply to my initial post:

Mr. Brown says that he doesn’t believe atheism can provide the necessary framework to answer political questions since it is “not designed to be any sort of framework, not being a system.” While I appreciate being presented with an opportunity to agree with him so soon, I’m not sure where this leaves us. If atheism is merely a negative critique that outlines what it doesn’t believe in, then what use is it for helping us to overcome estrangement and provide reconciliation for human beings?

If atheism is insufficient to be a positive program, what is the substitute? I had assumed that while atheism was simply a clarification of what was rejected, the atheist must necessarily have a replacement for the ontological, epistemological, and ethical framework that is being rejected when they reject theism. For the theist, these pillars are rooted in the solid metaphysical foundation provided by God. But where does the atheist gather the material for his worldview?

That is why I asked what Mr. Brown considers to be the source of existence. When the atheist says that God does not exist, they are not merely making a claim about the non-existence of a singular entity, they are making a claim about the entity from which all other things depend for their existence.

For the Christian, God is the only thing that does not rely on anything else for its existence—he is self-existent. But the atheist says that God does not exist which means that something else that is self-existent is the source for which all other things rely on for their existence.

In other words, the atheist must believe that there is something that cannot not exist . What do they consider that entity to be?

(You can find all of the posts in the discussion at  this link .)

Articles by Joe Carter

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