This 1985 debate between Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein on the existence of God does not disappoint.

Does evil exist? Most everyone says it does. What is evil? Stein has to conceded that it’s a subjective standard set by the majority at the time. This is far from satisfactory.1 Bahnsen’s use of the transcendental argument makes it clear that God must exist because the alternative is an impossibility. The presuppositions necessary to disprove the existence of God are dependent upon his very existence in the first place. Without God there is no objective logic. Atheists must think in categories that presuppose God’s existence.

If God is all powerful and all good, then how can evil exist in the world? Bahnsen does a great job of refuting this question too. In the atheistic worldview, evil is subjective; there’s no such thing as objective evil. So when an atheist accuses God of being unjust, the atheist is using a subjective, and therefore irrelevant, standard. Once again, in order to accuse God of injustice, the atheist must first implicitly presuppose that there is such a thing as a moral standard that can be known and by which things can be judged, and that this moral standard is inflexible and universal. That requires belief in a God. The atheist is left with a self-refuting argument that rather serves to testify to God’s existence.


  1. When the majority of people in the United States agreed that homosexuality was evil a few decades ago, in the atheist worldview, did that make it evil? And if the majority of people agree that homosexuality is good today, in the atheist worldview, does that make it good? And if so, what might be deemed good or evil today that will be considered opposite tomorrow? This kind of relativity is absurd, but it’s the only moral code that the atheist is left with if he’s consistent. There is no right and wrong. There is only what’s popular today. ↩︎