Answering Atheism: An Interview with Trent Horn (Video)

Answering Atheism

Several months ago, while listening to an open call-in show about atheism, I found myself blown away. Atheists called in with seemingly powerful objections to God, referencing scientific and philosophical theories, yet the guest brilliantly dismantled each argument, one by one. He wasn’t pompous or aggressive. He responded with charity and he quoted from many modern atheists to make his points—even citing book and page numbers. I couldn’t believe it. “Who was this guy?” I thought. I needed to track him down.

Trent HornSo I did, and when I eventually connected with the guest, Trent Horn, I discovered his radio appearance was no aberration. Trent holds a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, works as a staff apologist at Catholic Answers, and is one of the brightest and most gifted young Catholics I’ve ever met. He’s a talented writer and speaker, especially in the fields of pro-life apologetics and natural theology. His years of on-the-ground engagements with atheists and pro-choice advocates, at college campuses across the country, have given him a strong grasp of the most common objections to God—and how to charitably answer them.

That’s why I’m so excited about Trent’s first book, which releases this week. It’s titled Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity (Catholic Answers, 2013). In the book, Trent shares all the tips and techniques he’s learned over the years and shows you how to apply them in real world conversations.

After reading an advanced copy, I’m convinced it now stands as the best Catholic book on atheism. It’s the first one I’d recommend to Catholics and atheists alike and it solidifies Trent alongside William Lane Craig and Dr. Edward Feser as one of theism’s most eloquent and insightful defenders.

Many people have shared my praise for Answering Atheism:
 

Answering Atheism gets high grades on the three R’s: It is readable, reasonable, and researched. Its defense of the cosmological argument has depth and detail, yet it is not so technical that you need to take a philosophy course to comprehend it.”

—Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy, Boston College

“I’ve read many works of popular apologetics; this is the best!”

—Stephen Bullivant, editor, The Oxford Handbook of Atheism

“This compelling book deserves the widest possible audience of theists and atheists alike. Both groups will benefit by considering the serious, sophisticated, and intellectually satisfying case for the Christian world view that Trent Horn lays out in these pages.”

—Patrick Madrid, author of Envoy for Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist

 
Trent recently sat down with me to discuss his book, and particularly two of the most powerful arguments for God: the arguments from contingency and morality. He also explains how to respond to the common claim, “There’s no evidence for God!”

 

Watch or download our interview below:

 

Video


Watch the video here (19 minutes)
 

Audio

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Download the interview here (19 minutes)
 

Topics Discussed:

2:16 – What is the argument from contingency?
6:02 – What are the most common objections to the argument from contingency?
9:50 – What is the moral argument for God?
11:17 – What are the most common challenges to the moral argument?
14:03 – How should we respond to someone who claims “there is no evidence for God”?
 

Excerpt

Q: What do you say to someone who believes there is no evidence for God?

 
When someone says to me, “There is no evidence for God”, I’m first going to ask what they mean, particularly what they mean by the word “evidence.” If they mean there is no direct, empirical observation about God, that we haven’t located God with a telescope or a microscope, I’ll say, “Sure! That’s correct.”

But the problem is, there’s no reason to think that everything that exists can be demonstrated by direct, scientific evidence. For example, we believe there are mathematical truths or moral truths that exist but can’t be proven with science. We believe the scientific method is true, even though we have to assume it is true; it can’t be proven with an experiment.

So I think I would say to the person, “If we define ‘evidence’ as a good reason to think a proposition is true, or at least more likely to be true than false, then I think there is good evidence—or good reasons—to think God exists, such as the fact that the universe doesn’t have to exist but does; that the universe came into being from nothing; that the universe exhibits finely tuned laws of physics; and those objective moral truths I talked about earlier.
 
 
Answering Atheism
 


 
Follow Trent at TrentHorn.com and also head over to AnsweringAtheism.com where you’ll find info on his new book, Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity.

If you liked this discussion you’ll find several more on my Interviews page. Subscribe free via feed reader or email and ensure sure you don’t miss future interviews.
 

  • Adam Hovey

    My brother is an Atheist, I am a Catholic Christian, my brother has yet to give me a logical reason for Atheism. Here’s the thing: I don’t believe he is an Atheist. Not sure why an Atheist would teach his daughter “God made the stars”. PLEASE tell me how to dialogue with him with charity because I really not to work on not losing my temper

  • http://theyhavenowine.wordpress.com/ Bob Drury

    Trent’s argument for the existence of God as the basis of morality would serve better as an apologetic for Islam than Christianity. Without the existence of God, he indicates there would only be human sentiment as a basis for ethics. In Islam without the revelation of Allah’s will through the Prophet, there would be no basis for ethics. However, in Christianity almost the entirety of ethics is based on the nature of man. In Christianity there is no need constantly to advert to the existence of God in the course of determining most of Christian ethics, which is the proper relationship of human to human. In general, the nature of man is known quite apart from the existence of God. This is due to the human mode of knowledge, which is reason, not intuition. Consequently, atheists and theists (excepting Muslims) have a common field of intellectual enquiry, natural law (human nature) as the basis of ethics.

  • cminca

    “If we define ‘evidence’ as a good reason to think a proposition is true, or at least more likely to be true than false, then I think there is good evidence—or good reasons—to think God exists….”
    Congrats–you just defined “faith”, not “proof”.
    I find it ironic that Catholics constantly complain about the world foisting their “whatever” in their (the Catholics’s) face, yet see no contradiction in constantly shoving their God in ours.
    You want to recruit believers? Start acting like the God you profess to follow.

  • Timothy Black

    Good interview. I want to read the book, but ugh…no Kindle version? Get with it Catholic Answers.