My atheist friends often have Psalm 14:1 lobbed at them as if the verse ends the conversation like a holy grenade! It says, "The fool has said in his heart there is no God".
But the verse does not mean all atheists are fools. It means anyone who "says in his heart" there is no God is a fool. In other words, anyone who denies God for merely emotional reasons is foolish. An issue this profound is not to be determined by one's psychological state or emotional disposition.
The person who has genuine intellectual questions or objections concerning God's existence is not the biblical definition of a fool. God will honor and answer in the humble quest for truth. The honest inquirer is in a better position before God than the emotionally closed-minded.
Since I'm talking about the Hebraic-Christian Scriptures, they repeatedly say we must humble ourselves before God. Think about it. If God exists, humility is certainly in order in seeking Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God", etc.
This shouldn't be hard for the atheist intellectually. Most of my atheist friends agree that humility is in order in the quest for any truth. Don't you agree?
(On the other hand, I can see how horrible I would feel (at least at first) if, say, Islam was proven to me to be true. I would be forced intellectually and emotionally to acknowledge Allah and Muhammad. I would have to begrudgingly and reluctantly bow before them. That would suck! I would acknowledge Allah's existence, but probably continually resist any relationship or love for him until he smote me!
But I must say that my emotional resistance to Islam is mostly for intellectual reasons! Thankfully, I am confident there is nothing forthcoming in Islam that will serve as an adequate defeater of Christ's claims.)
BTW, I am aware of Christ's injunction against calling anyone a fool, yet he himself did. Keep in mind that Christ is forbidding unwarranted name-calling (literally "empty head") from people who are themselves often foolish!
There is appropriate and inappropriate Appeal to Authority. The former would be "Dr X says it and she is an expert in her field so it lends evidential weight to the proposition". The latter is "Dr. X says it and she is an expert in her field therefore the proposition is true".
But if God were the authority he would be the ultimate and infallible authority and whatever he declares is true. God is allegedly the authority behind the Christian Scriptures. Obviously, the internal question is how Christians would view and use the Scriptures. The external question is whether the Scriptures are inspired by God.
My objection to the use of "myth" when it comes to the Bible is the implication that there are no good historical grounds for its truth claims.
But there would be no evidence of a "mythological" figure other than it had the earmarks of mythology.
But Theism goes beyond literary or historical mythology. It examines whether ultimate cause of the universe was something of the order of matter, or something of the order of mind. Was it impersonal or personal?
If God exists, fallible humans with free will can produce mythologies surrounding God. That doesn't mean we can't distinguish between historical fact and fiction.
You are scrambling here, and veering away from the safe foundation of your William Lane Craig scripts.
A mythological character, like your Yahweh, begins in myth and remains in that state until proven to be real. Rational minds do not require proof that Yahweh, Anu, Zeus, and Thor are myths - the outrageous claims of their abilities establish that clearly. They remain mythological figures until there is proof to the contrary.
You are correct in asserting that theism goes beyond literary or historical mythology - it charges forth in leaps and bounds by making outlandish claims that those historical works of mythological literature are factual. It does not in any way examine causality; on the contrary, it fabricates causality.
Yes, we fallible humans can fabricate mythologies surrounding the god-concept whether or not there is any reality to be discovered in it. And you are also correct in asserting that we can distinguish between historical fact and the fiction of Yahweh.
I've explicitly stated that I'm not interested in the mythology, Kevin.
I haven't created an invisible straw man at all; I have neither fabricated the concept nor stated that it is your argument. In point of fact, it is you who injected the invisible man concept, call him Yahweh if you will, into this discussion and it is you alone who asserted that he exists.
If you don't believe Yahweh exists, then I apologize for having completely misunderstood everything that you've been saying.
Wow Keith. That is not a straw man. A straw man is a misrepresentation of an opponent's position... To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition."
Her proposition is not just superficially equivalent. It is exactly equivalent. You would disagree that God is invisible? Perhaps he is not "in the sky" but rather floating around in some other dimension, or is occupying all space at once... the point is... he cannot be seen nor verified. That's important! She's attacking your proposition head on! No one here is going to assume the existence of an invisible supernatural being without some shred of tangible proof. And you have NONE. Spiritual experiences don't count because they cannot be verified, and are not repeatable. Although people have them across all religions and cultures.