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How can I respond to the following Christian “apologetic”......
Posted: 06 October 2013 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 181 ]
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This post is an Atheist vs. Belief exercise in gyratory.

Examining the history of God and mankind.

What makes mankind human is to think and analyze beyond man’s survival instincts.
What do we know about how man thinks?
We know that man’s brain started with the “fight or flight” primitive brain.
We know that mankind needed “God” before he needed pottery.

Man’s actions without logic or reason will include from birth, body temperature, eating, sleeping, dreaming and display of emotions.

Point of thought – Lily is connected to the bible because of location of birth. Yet, if born in another part of the earth, Lily would be just as committed to another religious belief as is the way of mankind.

Question, is God part of the survival instincts and genetically structured in the primitive brain?

Most of my real religious friends relate to God as a feeling that overcomes them rather than an understanding of reason or knowledge of religion. 

Point of thought - If man was in a test tube and sent to a different universe and allowed to birth from the test tube with no knowledge of earth or history or where he came from, would man again create “GOD”?


Primitive brain is ‘smarter’ than we think, MIT study shows
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2005/basalganglia.html

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Posted: 06 October 2013 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 182 ]
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GdB - 06 October 2013 06:41 AM
PLaClair - 05 October 2013 10:17 AM

I disagree in the strongest possible terms. The above is an unacceptable form of relativism in the eyes of any person who truly values decency. Punishing anyone eternally with no hope of redemption is consummately evil. I can’t force you to think so but if you can equate hell with justice, then you can justify any atrocity against anyone, any time you like. The notion that it is justice explains much about why Western civilization is spiritually sick.

Eh? From where do you read that I agree that some Christians think this way????

I was commenting on the chain of reasoning you posited, whether some Christians believe it or not. However, in point of fact, some do. I’ve known them.

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Posted: 06 October 2013 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 183 ]
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GdB - 06 October 2013 06:59 AM

Which still means you put God in a gap where nobody, which includes you and the authors of the bible, can know anything.

I’m not filling in the “gaps” of my knowledge with God.  I enjoy filling in my understanding of God learning about how his creation works.  I fully understand that at a certain level of knowledge my ability to understand ends.  From there I must rely on faith. 

Explain to me the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘cause’. You seem to suppose that miracles exist. Not very scientific.

I believe God is the creator, the cause, of the universe.  I also believe that in everyday life God can affect, or influence, his creation.  For me, science is just one aspect of many which informs my understanding and what I believe.  Since I’m limited in the amount of time I can spend on it and my own lack of ability to understand, science is not the main influence in my life.

When I grew up, I learned however that in no science we find any reason to believe in God. We find “we don’t know” in science, but to throw ‘God’ in the gaps of our knowledge is a bad strategy. Of course there are questions that no science can possibly answer, and you can throw your God in there. But then science does not support your belief. It is just silent about it.

Okay.  I understand the limitations of science.  I believe in God because I believe, not because of anything science has come up with.  I don’t throw him in the gaps, but see him as the ultimate knowledge.  I fill in the gaps with science, but science can never take away my faith in God.  Science in its understanding of the universe is ever changing.  Everything scientists say today may change tomorrow.  Why would I give up my faith in God for a learned guess?

And you can neither. To do as if you can is, yes, I cannot say it otherwise, dishonest.

I believe the Theory of Relativity would support the claim that from our time reference on earth at this point in the expansion of the universe the passage of time at the beginning of the universe would appear very different.  And what is dishonest about saying I don’t know how the passage of time during the six days of creation was measured?

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Posted: 06 October 2013 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 184 ]
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LilySmith - 06 October 2013 03:19 PM

I’m not filling in the “gaps” of my knowledge with God.  I enjoy filling in my understanding of God learning about how his creation works.  I fully understand that at a certain level of knowledge my ability to understand ends.  From there I must rely on faith.

No, she’s not filling in the gaps, not at all!

Either she has no clue that she completely contradicted herself, or she’s being wilfully ignorant.

You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone like this.

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Posted: 06 October 2013 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 185 ]
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Paul,

No, she’s not filling in the gaps, not at all!

Either she has no clue that she completely contradicted herself, or she’s being wilfully ignorant.

You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone like this.

Yes, one can. Lily is an intelligent woman. She’s not stupid, she’s not willfully ignorant. Contradicting oneself is not being unintelligent. You and other have managed to put her in corners she might not have let herself be caught in. Many find this a fun and satisfying pastime.

At worst, Lily cannot have an intelligent conversation in this venue, in the manner you and other posters like to employ. For starters, you are many, mutually reinforcing, and bring in many topics quickly. No more would the average intelligent atheist sound terribly smart if ten Christians with a taste for intellectual blood on the water got a hold of him. It’s not illegal, but well, I wonder how the thread on ethics and belief is going?

Chris

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Posted: 06 October 2013 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 186 ]
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StephenLawrence - 06 October 2013 12:27 AM

He could have prevented all natural disasters before man and just started them off once man came along. Although why natural disasters are part of the plan at all is still mysterious.

He could also spare all animal suffering in natural disasters and makes sure only man suffers.

He could, but that’s not how the world works.

We merely get the desire god gives us (or it appears out of nowhere for no reason at all). There is no way out of this Lily. What you are arguing for is logically impossible.

No, we are born with the desires of our sinful nature we inherited from our forefather (by God’s design).  God offers us a nature that will desire righteousness.  We can accept his offer.  That’s where our choice comes in.  You set up a logical impossibility from the physical aspect.  I’m talking about God’s outside influence from the spiritual aspect.

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Posted: 06 October 2013 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 187 ]
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PLaClair - 06 October 2013 03:34 PM
LilySmith - 06 October 2013 03:19 PM

I’m not filling in the “gaps” of my knowledge with God.  I enjoy filling in my understanding of God learning about how his creation works.  I fully understand that at a certain level of knowledge my ability to understand ends.  From there I must rely on faith.

No, she’s not filling in the gaps, not at all!

Either she has no clue that she completely contradicted herself, or she’s being wilfully ignorant.

You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone like this.

If you notice, I said I’m filling in my understanding of God learning about his creation via science.  I realize that at some point understanding God and science will reach a point of complexity I’m unable to comprehend.  This isn’t filling in gaps, it’s reaching a point where one has to admit they aren’t going to know it all.  When you don’t know it all, you are simply left with belief—faith. 

Now please, put me back on ignore and go talk about me behind my back on your other thread.

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Posted: 06 October 2013 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 188 ]
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inthegobi - 06 October 2013 04:21 PM

Contradicting oneself is not being unintelligent. You and other have managed to put her in corners she might not have let herself be caught in.

No more would the average intelligent atheist sound terribly smart if ten Christians with a taste for intellectual blood on the water got a hold of him.
Chris

What are you talking about? We wouldn’t sound any different. The only thing that is different is in the ears of the listener.

Do you mean that I wouldn’t be able to respond to the many Biblical references, or references to theologians throughout history? Do you think that makes Christianity intellectual? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is convinced of Planet Nibiru or of psychic powers? Worse have you ever been in a room full of them? They can speak at length of their created facts and interlocking stories that make up something that I know nothing about. But I know enough about those things to know they don’t exist, so whatever internally consistent argument they have, it is still wrong. Without external verification, they are meaningless.

[ Edited: 06 October 2013 04:56 PM by Lausten ]
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Posted: 06 October 2013 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 189 ]
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inthegobi - 06 October 2013 04:21 PM

Paul,

No, she’s not filling in the gaps, not at all!

Either she has no clue that she completely contradicted herself, or she’s being wilfully ignorant.

You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone like this.

Yes, one can. Lily is an intelligent woman. She’s not stupid, she’s not willfully ignorant. Contradicting oneself is not being unintelligent. You and other have managed to put her in corners she might not have let herself be caught in. Many find this a fun and satisfying pastime.

At worst, Lily cannot have an intelligent conversation in this venue, in the manner you and other posters like to employ. For starters, you are many, mutually reinforcing, and bring in many topics quickly. No more would the average intelligent atheist sound terribly smart if ten Christians with a taste for intellectual blood on the water got a hold of him. It’s not illegal, but well, I wonder how the thread on ethics and belief is going?

Chris

I disagree. I can see that she’s intelligent but that intelligence is rudderless. The above is just plain ridiculous. When someone contradicts herself so often, and always in service of the same thing, any discussion along those lines is without value, unless she finally sees her way out of her own bubble as a fellow member put it.

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Posted: 06 October 2013 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 190 ]
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Lily,

Hello! I strongly disagree with some of the positions you’ve taken. Maybe I’ll tackle one or two of them. But this is supposed to be a thread about doing apologetics generally, not specific topics to debate.

Some worthy said this, and you replied:

Which still means you put God in a gap where nobody, which includes you and the authors of the bible, can know anything.

I’m not filling in the “gaps” of my knowledge with God.  I enjoy filling in my understanding of God learning about how his creation works.  I fully understand that at a certain level of knowledge my ability to understand ends.  From there I must rely on faith.

Note how Worthy Poster just asserts exactly what is debatable between you and he. This isn’t real engagement. You may still be wrong, but apologetics requires *some* real engagement. If an opponent insists, then you and he ‘lack common ground’ in that area. Time to shift ground. Shifting ground is not always a fallacy (it’s just usually introduced when teaching about fallacious uses of various tools for debate).

Here’s a different problem:

You seem to suppose that miracles exist. Not very scientific.

I believe God is the creator, the cause, of the universe.  I also believe that in everyday life God can affect, or influence, his creation.  For me, science is just one aspect of many which informs my understanding and what I believe.  Since I’m limited in the amount of time I can spend on it and my own lack of ability to understand, science is not the main influence in my life.

Heh. Your opponent seems to think he’s insulted you. ‘not very scientific’ is supposed to show just how stupid you are. Yawn.
The trap here is to be deceived that the other guy was open to some reply. Not ready to be convinced, just open to considering the other side, imagining it, turning it over in his mind as if it were true, giving it its best light.

Sometimes your opponent is so eager to deliver a cheap insult, he trips over his own untied shoelaces:

When I grew up, I learned however that in no science we find any reason to believe in God.

This sound crushing - until you remember that the natural sciences aren’t about God; and as far as I remember, physics gives me no reason to believe in living things.

Of course there are questions that no science can poss But then science does not support your belief. It is just silent about it.


Ask politely “If there are question on which science is silent, then there’s no good reason to drag in science when I want to ask those questions.” Watch eyes blaze and Faithful rush the stage. (Because naturalism! And Science! and those questions don’t count! because scientific method!) And if you really want to leave some blood on the waters - not that I recommend it - be sure to occasionally Capitalize Science, add an exclamation point (Science!) or add a trade-mark, Science(tm), since many secularists think they own it. It’s cheap shots, but you’ll feel better. Briefly. Then you’ll be ashamed you stooped that low even for a minute. Like I just did.

You’re not innocent of howlers either, however:

I believe in God because I believe

Ouch! It sounds touching, but in bloodless words you just said nothing. *Nobody* believes because they believe. ‘I believe ripe oranges are sweet because (although I’ve never tasted an orange) I believe ripe oranges are sweet.’ Maybe you meant something special by re-using the word ‘believe’; this is not the crowd to be paradoxical with.
You have reasons for your faith; this crowd will naturally push you to accept a false dichotomy, reason *or* faith. ‘Faith’ is not opposed to reason: in every other use of ‘faith’ it’s used to mean a reasonable belief. You believe in your doctor (although you have no real medical knowledge) because… You believe in the ski instructor (altho’ you are a noob on the slopes) because ...

science can never take away my faith in God. Science in its understanding of the universe is ever changing.  Everything scientists say today may change tomorrow.  [Rhetorical question:] Why would I give up my faith in God for a learned guess?

I don’t disagree with this, though I’d put it a lot differently. But avoid rhetorical questions. They are for use with an audience who is sympathetic. The purpose of a RQ is to let the audience answer the Q in their heads: “By thunder, I wouldn’t!” Here however your audience is hostile, and will take the RQ as a challenge. Just state: ‘I would not give up my faith in God for a learned guess.’ Just my opinion on rhetorical questions; i use them too often myself.

Some opponents are addicted to mean-spirited insinuations:

And you can neither. To do as if you can is, yes, I cannot say it otherwise, dishonest.

Since in some it is a real addiction, they hardly know they’re doing it. Really? the opponent *could not* have said it otherwise? Really, it reflects poorly on the opponent. He seems to claim that his position is so obvious - despite it being common knowledge that it’s debatable - you just *have* to be stupider than a palm-tree, or else a bounder. Of course, you probably are both stupid and wicked. I’m just sayin. It’s just an honest evaluation!

On the other hand:

I believe the Theory of Relativity would support the claim that from our time reference on earth at this point in the expansion of the universe the passage of time at the beginning of the universe would appear very different.  And what is dishonest about saying I don’t know how the passage of time during the six days of creation was measured?

Avoid answering every attack. You’re *not* being dishonest.
However, relativity theory has nothing really to do one way or the other with the passage of time at the beginning of the Universe. Are you really ready to argue that the early Universe expanded in *just* the right way to make for six days?
You accept Genesis as somehow true. But don’t get into a debate with just anyone about it, IMO. The chief reason to avoid getting down in the dirt about this, is not your putative ignorance of relativity - or of the book of Leviticus, or of first-century Palestine, or whatever. For of course you’re intelligent: you could just learn about it, and *could* then start swinging with a heavy club. But that this is not really about the core of Christian life.

For this forum is clogged with foolish posts where claims of ‘just sayin’ gleefully point out rules from Deuteronomy about shellfish, or try to screw weird results out of pairing rules together, or how dumb Genesis is (‘how could there be ‘day and night’ before the Sun was made?’) or crap like that. Yes, crap. And unfortunately such ‘honest inquiries’ are doomed to irrelevancy. Worse, putative masters and teachers allow this wallow in irrelevancy. Why is complex of course; and of course a teacher or moderator or forum administrator isn’t every posters’ nanny. But sadly, I know experts who are atheists who simply refuse to support the average atheist group because of this. IMO, they shouldn’t refuse. They deny intelligent people of the benefit of their expertise.

All this needling about Genesis or the Bible may irk you, but it’s good news for Christians: with enemies like the average atheist/secularist, you hardly need friends.

I disagree with many of your positions, but you’re obviously intelligent - in the sense of rational, and capable - and of course you’re not dishonest. Like you need me to tell you that.

Finally, don’t get me wrong. I’m no saint of debating. I make a lot of mistakes, I’m not always clear, I’m thin-skinned, I ignore things the poster might have thought very important and thus he feels insulted. I can get lost in minutiae.

Chris

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Posted: 06 October 2013 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 191 ]
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Lausten,

Do you mean that I wouldn’t be able to respond to the many Biblical references, or references to theologians throughout history? Do you think that makes Christianity intellectual? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is convinced of Planet Nibiru or of psychic powers? Worse have you ever been in a room full of them?

No.

I mean if I and nine of my buddies and fellow-travelers really wanted to, in three pages of internet chatter we could make you sound like a drooling homeless man shouting at the Moon. And if we hadn’t, we could all agree with each other that you did sound like that. We would not be *revealing* anything about you except that you were game enough to let us tongue-tie you hand and foot, and not quite nimble enough to evade us, and since it’s our forum, you will leave eventually, because you have self-respect. and we would remain to slap each other on the back at how excellent we all are. If we really wanted to.

That’s what I mean.

To get back to substance:

I know enough about those things to know they don’t exist, so whatever internally consistent argument they have, it is still wrong. Without external verification, they are meaningless.

Hm. So you enter into debates with Christians like Lily *knowing* there is *nothing* (‘whatever consistent argument’) she could say, *ever*, that wouldn’t be wrong. Such arguments are even *meaningless*. Do you realize that by entering into debate with Lily, that you *must* be acting dishonestly? I don’t mean you’re a dishonest man! I mean you know it’s a mug’s game, and you knowingly, intentionally enter into it anyway. That seems the very definition of a dishonest act. I might as well pretend to debate someone about perpetual motion. At best, I’m feeling either I will teach him better, or I’m just setting him up. If he didn’t come to be taught, I’m being dishonest about my intentions; if I’m setting him up to fail or for ridicule, I’m compounding my dishonest act with fun at some poor guy’s expense.

Truth in advertising: I haven’t felt well lately, and altho’ I lurk here often, I got kind of mean and when I saw the ‘Rape and the Old Testament’ thread decided I needed a bar fight. I didn’t even pick the strongest guy to beat up, or ‘school’. Either way that was not very honest of me. I hope I still fought relatively fairly.

I keep thinking about the ‘ethics of belief’ cry that was uttered earlier.

Chris

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Posted: 06 October 2013 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 192 ]
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inthegobi - 06 October 2013 04:21 PM

Paul,

No, she’s not filling in the gaps, not at all!

Either she has no clue that she completely contradicted herself, or she’s being wilfully ignorant.

You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone like this.

Yes, one can. Lily is an intelligent woman. She’s not stupid, she’s not willfully ignorant.

I agree.

Contradicting oneself is not being unintelligent. You and other have managed to put her in corners she might not have let herself be caught in. Many find this a fun and satisfying pastime.

Yes, I agree and I’m one of the others, of course.

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Posted: 06 October 2013 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 193 ]
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inthegobi - 06 October 2013 06:17 PM

Lausten,

Do you mean that I wouldn’t be able to respond to the many Biblical references, or references to theologians throughout history? Do you think that makes Christianity intellectual? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is convinced of Planet Nibiru or of psychic powers? Worse have you ever been in a room full of them?

No.

I mean if I and nine of my buddies and fellow-travelers really wanted to, in three pages of internet chatter we could make you sound like a drooling homeless man shouting at the Moon. And if we hadn’t, we could all agree with each other that you did sound like that.

This says enough about you that I almost don’t need to say anymore. You live in a world where if 10 people agree, that is truth for those ten. That’s NOT how truth works. If you want to live in a world where only people who agree hang out together, then go to wherever you can find that and leave me alone.

inthegobi - 06 October 2013 06:17 PM

I know enough about those things to know they don’t exist, so whatever internally consistent argument they have, it is still wrong. Without external verification, they are meaningless.

Hm. So you enter into debates with Christians like Lily *knowing* there is *nothing* (‘whatever consistent argument’) she could say, *ever*, that wouldn’t be wrong.
Chris

No, I ENTERED into discussion with Lily with an open mind. I found her mind closed and her arguments old and illogical. I set my boundaries and told her what I believed and she tried to read my mind and tell me how I’m wrong and use the Bible to convince me. I have used honest discussion techniques throughout, Lily has not. I don’t “pretend” to debate and I don’t know what you mean by “I might as well pretend to debate…” What arguments would you make when you were pretending? Why not just take the position of reality? How can you be “setting someone up” if you honestly let him know that you have looked into perpetual motion and found it not worth considering?

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Posted: 06 October 2013 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 194 ]
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LilySmith - 06 October 2013 04:27 PM
StephenLawrence - 06 October 2013 12:27 AM

He could have prevented all natural disasters before man and just started them off once man came along. Although why natural disasters are part of the plan at all is still mysterious.

He could also spare all animal suffering in natural disasters and makes sure only man suffers.

He could, but that’s not how the world works.

If he could he should Lily. And if he doesn’t he’s not perfectly good. That’s the problem. “That’s not how the world works” cut’s no ice.

And where did the first man come from? If I point out it must have been a physical process which goes right back to the manufacture of certain elements in stars billions of years ago do you accept that? Or do you say “god intervened, it didn’t happen that way”? You see that’s just not how the world works too.

No, we are born with the desires of our sinful nature we inherited from our forefather (by God’s design).  God offers us a nature that will desire righteousness.  We can accept his offer.  That’s where our choice comes in. 

(bold by me)

The trouble is that’s can if…

There are a whole load of if’s that would need to be in place for me to accept that offer, my circumstances would have to be very different. And it makes no difference if I have a non physical soul or not because still that would have to be very different.

Given the way I am I can’t accept the offer and I can’t be ultimately responsible for being the way I am.

[ Edited: 07 October 2013 06:45 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 06 October 2013 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 195 ]
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PLaClair - 06 October 2013 03:34 PM
LilySmith - 06 October 2013 03:19 PM

I’m not filling in the “gaps” of my knowledge with God.  I enjoy filling in my understanding of God learning about how his creation works.  I fully understand that at a certain level of knowledge my ability to understand ends.  From there I must rely on faith.

No, she’s not filling in the gaps, not at all!

Either she has no clue that she completely contradicted herself, or she’s being wilfully ignorant.

You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone like this.

And then she adds this

If you notice, I said I’m filling in my understanding of God learning about his creation via science.  I realize that at some point understanding God and science will reach a point of complexity I’m unable to comprehend.  This isn’t filling in gaps, it’s reaching a point where one has to admit they aren’t going to know it all.  When you don’t know it all, you are simply left with belief—faith. 

Which is essentially the same thing. If she doesn’t understand something, she fills it with ‘god’. If we all thought that way there would be no advances in science, technology, medicine…you name it. We would be the most incurious species on earth.

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