The folks over at Christian Skepticism are trying to stump atheists with stupid questions designed to catch atheists in some kind of epistemological trap. Here are the questions:
1. Why is there something rather than nothing?
2. How do you know that you exist (without being circular)?
3. Where does human self-consciousness come from?
4. How do you know that your senses are reliable (without being circular)?
5. What is truth?
6. What is the cause of everything?
These types of questions are examples of men with too much time on their hands. Jim Lazarus at The Consolations has some good answers. But really, there is no need to get philosophically technical with any of these questions. Many overthink things to an illogical degree. My answers?
1. Because there has always been something. Who cares why? Nothing is not a conceivable concept because we are here already and that’s what you deal with.
2. I exist because others see me and interact with me. It’s not possible to posit a place where there aren’t others to see and interact with. Another moot question.
3. Self consciousness is a product of the evolution of the brain.
4. First define reliable. Reliable to live? You do the best with what you see, hear, taste, and smell. For those who don’t have all five senses, you do the best with what you do have.
5. Truth is conformity to fact or actuality. I exist is a truth that cannot be disputed.
6. To know the cause of everything is not necessary to live life. It’s a moot question.
Overall it’s a pretty fruitless exercise and is meant to trap rather than engage in real debate. To me, existence is it’s own truth and futile arguments about why we know what we know or why we do what we do is usually an attempt by one group to gain or obtain power over another group. In this instance the point is to trap the atheist and submit to Christian dogma and philosophy. The solution? Don’t play the game. Or, if you do play, don’t play by their rules. Because usually, you must accept a basic premise before you can engage in debate. If neither side accepts the others’ premises, then no debate is possible. End of debate.