The Reasons For God

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Truth vs Hope

Postby dobbie » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:28 am

ByBijane:
You've criticized my points for not giving a direct answer, when I have essentially stated that we can't know at this time what the truth is, in that situation.

Well, now it's a direct answer, a good clarification. Before, it sounded to me as if the answers you gave were also a guarantee of "truth." But now it sounds to me as if the answers are a hope. I have no problem with the latter form of answers.

If I ramify on it, the answers were like truth vs hope. And hope won. I don't doubt that the Christian view hopes for several so-called spiritual things, such as for their salvation and a good afterlife. I understand those things about the Christian worldview.
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Historical facts biblically

Postby dobbie » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:54 am

byBijane:
you asked what historical truths can be found in the Bible: the existence of Jesus the man is one of them

Okay, but how does it contribute to the discussion of the Christian worldview?

There are a number of historical facts in the NT, everybody agrees. For a few examples (which you no doubt already know, anyway), there is the existence of the Roman Empire, the Judean providence, Pontius Pilate, as well as other places and rulers. And for another really existing person, there's John the Baptist, as testified by the historian Josephus.

Atheists mostly contest the reports of miraculous events, which the NT says occurred and Christians aver really occurred. The Christian vs non-Christian worldview lies in that area; it’s where atheists cast doubt and find no convincing reason to take it seriously.


You've mentioned I've used at least one point which seems to be new (on the Bible framework), just to say, so I am trying. If you're bored, feel free to stop, I don't want to waste your time.

No, I’m not bored. I rather expected a Christian argument to come to “The Bible says so, and I believe it.â€
Last edited by dobbie on Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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charisma

Postby dobbie » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:14 am

byBijane:
On William Lane Craig, I haven't heard a lot of him, I do have to say (I'm more a reader of arguments, videos/audios, you're more affected by charisma than points, like Dawkins, the main reason I listen to him is that I utterly love his accent, in all honesty).

In the above quote, I suppose you use the generic you and not me personally. Because, actually, I cannot really stand charisma in believer vs non-believer debates. Ha. Either somebody has something to say or they don't (duh). R. Dawkins is okay but when he became something of a crowd hero figure for a while, I liked him less (because I'm bigoted in that way--or jealous?)

W.L. Craig is a speaker about whom I have bitched on this group before. I think he's a sophist, and I could go on and on bending your ear about why his religious arguments fall down flat on their faces. And yet people will say that "he won the debate." Go figure.

By the way, if I were to put myself in your position, defending the Christian worldview as an exercise, I'd find myself hard pressed to come up with something to float besides standard stuff. In fact I think I would fail.

By the way, what do you think of the Christian argument stating that the Christian knows he's right because he has the witness of the Holy Spirit?
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Postby bijane » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:34 pm

dobbie wrote:If I ramify on it, the answers were like truth vs hope. And hope won. I don't doubt that the Christian view hopes for several so-called spiritual things, such as for their salvation and a good afterlife. I understand those things about the Christian worldview.

Can it really be called hope, however? It's so much easier to find Christians certain about belief, 100% certain; if atheism is the more rational method of belief, why is it so much harder to find such people with the same degree of certainty in an apparently rational system?

Okay, but how does it contribute to the discussion of the Christian worldview?

There are a number of historical facts in the NT, everybody agrees. For a few examples (which you no doubt already know, anyway), there is the existence of the Roman Empire, the Judean providence, Pontius Pilate, as well as other places and rulers. And for another really existing person, there's John the Baptist, as testified by the historian Josephus.

Atheists mostly contest the reports of miraculous events, which the NT says occurred and Christians aver really occurred. The Christian vs non-Christian worldview lies in that area; it’s where atheists cast doubt and find no convincing reason to take it seriously.

You asked what factual events could be found in the Bible: that was my answer.
As for the miraculous events, what of those inextricably tied to the existing people? Most trustworthy historians admit Jesus was crucified; and yet I doubt you could find one that states he did not rise again, even though there were and are many publications stating that he did.
What of the Apostle Paul? Conversion, and by what? The intervention of God: and how else could such a vehement anti-Christian change so?

[quote]In fact I’ve stated on another discussion group that the Christian has little or nothing to offer; in one form or the other, he only just repeats “The Bible says so.â€
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
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Hope

Postby dobbie » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:42 am

byBijane:
Can it really be called hope, however? It's so much easier to find Christians certain about belief, 100% certain

As a skeptic, I say that those Christians have 100% faith about belief; that is, they have complete certitude. I call it hope, though, which hope is expressed by the unknown author of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:1 To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see. 2 It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God's approval. 3 It is by faith that we understand that the universe was created by God's word, so that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.

Moreover, I’ve heard the Bible Answer Man on Today’s Christian radio state repeatedly about “the hope that lies within us.â€
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What about Paul?

Postby dobbie » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:32 am

Most trustworthy historians admit Jesus was crucified; and yet I doubt you could find one that states he did not rise again, even though there were and are many publications stating that he did.

I really don’t see how a trustworthy historian knows for certain about it the one way or the other. Does he (the trustworthy historian) know something special?

What many publications stated that Jesus rose again? There are Roman and Jewish publications commenting on early Christians and their beliefs. But they aren't independent reports that “Jesus rose again.â€
Last edited by dobbie on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Whatsamatter with the Bible

Postby dobbie » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:52 am

In all fairness, it is wrong to dismiss the Bible out-of-hand. Even if fictional, it uses real events: how can one tell what the events imagined were?

I've stated the same thing: how can one tell? And the Atheist Experience hosts say, “So does the story of Spider-man use real events.â€
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Postby bijane » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:35 pm

dobbie wrote:In any case, it’s one thing to know demonstrable truth. But it’s another thing to have real hope, owing to faith. As it seems to me, Christians possess the latter. They seem largely unable to demonstrate truth. They only claim to have it. But, they’re amply able to express devotion to doctrine (hope in belief).

And that’s my speech.

But what's a demonstrable truth? You can do an experiment easily, find a result, but how can you extract the correct truth from it? For an example in the purest realm of fact, Mathematics. Fermat's Last Theorem, it was centuries before it was confirmed to be true, despite Fermat's statement that it had been proven. But how would he come to that conclusion in the first place? It used mathematics from far beyond his time.
I think it's quite easy to prove those that believe, and those that do not, with such certainty: look at those who died. While it's not a bright chapter in anyone's history, it merits a mention. How many would really die for a hope? Galileo, a man who seemed to have become a non-believer, recounted what he'd discovered in fear, but if you look at Joan of Arc, even Jesus himself: agony and death for their beliefs. That seems like certainty.

[quote]What many publications stated that Jesus rose again? There are Roman and Jewish publications commenting on early Christians and their beliefs. But they aren't independent reports that “Jesus rose again.â€
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
bijane
 
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the "nobody can know any truth" mode

Postby dobbie » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:23 am

byBijane:
But what's a demonstrable truth? You can do an experiment easily, find a result, but how can you extract the correct truth from it?

It’s stuff such as the earth orbits the sun; the moon reflects the sun’s light; and other repeatable (verifiable) facts on nature. As for Fermat's Last Theorem (“it was centuries before it was confirmed to be true, despite Fermat's statement that it had been provenâ€
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Re: the "nobody can know any truth" mode

Postby bijane » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:41 pm

[quote="dobbie"]
It’s stuff such as the earth orbits the sun; the moon reflects the sun’s light; and other repeatable (verifiable) facts on nature. As for Fermat's Last Theorem (“it was centuries before it was confirmed to be true, despite Fermat's statement that it had been provenâ€
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
bijane
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 7:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Nobody knows anything argument again

Postby dobbie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:28 am

Have you verified them? Have you been to space, seen the Earth go around the Sun, have you seen the moon reflect directly? There could be so many other explanations; you're taking the word of scientists the same way we take the word of the Bible.

One doesn’t always have to verify them personally. They’re principles and science that have been applied time and again.

What “so many other explanations could there be?â€
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Religion itself is evidence of God

Postby dobbie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:23 pm

but would you say the fact humanity has sought out divine belief is evidence for a God, even if not the Christian?

No; I wouldn't say so. However, it's evidence for the tendancy to believe such things.
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THE FRIENDLY ATHEIST ASKS "WHAT IF YOU'RE WRONG?"

Postby dobbie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:07 pm

Along the lines of what we've been doing in this thread, here are real Chrisian questions for a real atheist to answer.

The Friendly Atheist
http://networkedblogs.com/jRkE2

1) Christian question: [S]omeone who's drowning can't learn to swim at that moment - nor can they save themselves. We're all drowning. Christianity is the only belief system that doesn't require us to save ourselves.

Atheist answer: I'm sorry, but even granting the accuracy of the claim, I fail to see how that makes Christianity true. Unique certainly, and uniquely comforting perhaps, but I just don't see why it should be a point in favor of truth.



2) Christian question: I'm a Christian, and I have moments of asking, "What if I'm wrong?" Do you ever do that too?

Atheist answer: What if I'm wrong? I think that any intellectually honest person would have to allow that there is a chance that they might be wrong about what they believe. We human beings aren't perfect and we know that we filter the world through our senses. When we atheists consider the possibility we should look to the evidence to decide if we are right or if the claim made by the theist is right. We should try to do this dispassionately so as to remove as far as possible our own biases. We are interested in the truth of the claim, not living with a false assumption.

I'm not an atheist because I think that there is not God or gods. I am an atheist because the claims of theists about gods are not compelling. They don't add up and the evidence doesn't support them. … Sure, I might be wrong. I invite you to show me how because I obviously don't believe that I am wrong.
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DO ATHEISTS QUESTION THEMSELVES?

Postby dobbie » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:44 pm

More samples of Q&A on The Friendly Atheist
http://networkedblogs.com/jRkE2

3) Christian question: What is the biggest misconception that Christians have about atheists?

Atheist answer: From what I've seen, it's that atheists have no reason to behave morally or ethically. They assume that because we do not believe a being has given us a set of "moral" rules, we have NO personal rules and thus are murderers, thieves, and rapists.



4) Christian question: Do you think there's a danger that Atheist groups / communities (on-line or not) can fall prey to a lack of critical introspection (due to surrounding oneself with people who agree) the way religious groups often do?

Atheist answer: As an atheist I'd like to answer your question with no, of course. But as a human, like everyone else, these things are possible because they are just apart of our nature.
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Re: Nobody knows anything argument again

Postby bijane » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:46 pm

[quote="dobbie"]
One doesn’t always have to verify them personally. They’re principles and science that have been applied time and again.

What “so many other explanations could there be?â€
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
bijane
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 7:39 pm
Location: United Kingdom

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