In arguing against the assumptions of modern materialism, I tend to get a lot of people wondering why my statements don’t directly, simply, and unambiguously show that God exists. It often feels as if such people want a one or two sentence argument that encompasses the entire chain of reasoning.
It tends to be hard to explain that some of the background discussions that frustrate many readers (such as the issue of the Verification Principle) are the key points of difference between the theist and the non-theist.
So, all things considered, I thought it would help to put up an outline of the general chain of reasoning from a very common atheist stance to Christianity:
1. The idea that the physical is all that exists is completely unsupported.
2. There are, in fact, good reasons to think that there is more to reality than the physical.
3. The explanation for the entirety of physical reality (i.e. the universe/multiverse) would itself have to be a non-physical entity.
4. Minds cannot be fully reduced to the physical.
5. It is most plausible, given the existence and nature of the universe, that the explanation for physical reality has or is something like a mind.
6. There is no more reason to reject moral truth than physical or mental truth.
7. It is most plausible to think that the explanation for physical reality also explains moral truth.
8. The historical validity of early Christian writings is much better than its opponents tend to claim.
9. The best explanation of certain historical facts is the resurrection, as early Christians claimed.
10. It is most plausible that the explanation for physical reality and moral truth also explains the resurrection.
These are simply statements, of course, not arguments. For those who are interested, I’ll get to all of them (not necessarily in order). But the point for now is that it isn’t really possible to argue clearly for, say, point nine and ten until point one and two has been addressed.
Almost all of the objections to Christianity I’ve heard rest on the idea that points one and two are false. So long as one feels it is an established fact that all reality is physical, there is no point in moving on to the question of what sort of non-physical realities exist.