Christian Apologist Norman Geisler Still Does Not Understand Atheism

Norman L. Geisler and Daniel J. McCoy's most recent book is titled, The Atheist's Fatal Flaw: Exposing Conflicting Beliefs. If you search inside the book for "Loftus" you'll see them interacting with my work. The central thesis of their book is found in the Introduction (pp. 9-10):

Now I don't yet have this book. I have looked through it on Amazon though. It's standard fare of Geisler's books to avoid dealing with any argument atheists make by claiming our arguments must be self-defeating, inconsistent, or in some ways contradictory. I'm not really sure what to make of this. Does he know he's not dealing with our arguments? Do his readers? You see, it doesn't matter who makes an argument. Liberals who believe in God make many of the same arguments that we do. What Geisler ends up doing is claiming atheists cannot make the same arguments that liberals do without some kind of inconsistency. Even though liberals make these same arguments WE cannot make them! But why not? An argument based on God's omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenelovence in the face of so much intensive suffering, if valid, stands on its own regardless of who makes it. Why don't they deal with our arguments? What they end up doing is skirting the issues we raise.

Technically though, Geisler and McCoy admit they're not dealing with our arguments. They say so in the last paragraph above. So what are they doing? They're arguing against atheism (technically metaphysical naturalism) rather than defending their faith against our arguments.

But they get it wrong!

First off, no atheist I know argues that "God Should Fix Everything" or that "God Shouldn't Touch Anything" if he exists. Instead, we argue that at the very minimum, if God exists he should fix the most egregious kinds of sufferings in the world, and that in doing so he should place his healing "touch" on people who are experiencing so much of it.

Secondly, our arguments show that if God exists he has attempted to "fix" things or allowed them to occur that have caused terrible suffering to millions of individuals. Needless suffering that causes harm to so many individuals by an Omni-God gives us reason to think there is no such deity. It does not matter one bit if every single atheist is an immoral baby stealing raping eating person. There is no inconsistency in looking at the facts and saying that if x is the case (i.e., an Omni-God exists) then y follows (he is either not omniscient, omnipotent or omnibenelovent or none of the above), regardless of what a person thinks or does.

Finally, our arguments, if sound, lead to non-belief, to the rejection of Geisler's Christianity. So by not dealing with them he and McCoy are not being intellectually honest with our arguments. If our arguments lead to the rejection of their Christianity then they should engage them. They cannot repeatedly straw-man and skirt them. Our arguments stand on their own. Geisler and McCoy should actually engage them next time in their next book. However, I have no hopes at all they won't straw-man them if and when they do, given this present book of theirs.

It really boggles my mind that recognized Christian apologists so frequently mischaracterize and straw-man the arguments of atheists. To avoid this in the future I require every Christian apologist to read and digest Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk's book, 50 Great Myths About Atheism. It should sit on the desktop of every single wannabe Christian or Muslim or Jewish apologist who wants to engage our arguments.