Over the next several days or so, I should begin posting a variety of arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this thread is to give context to those arguments so that people have a bird's eye view of them when they are presented and evaluated.
I don't care if you become a Christian or not, nor do I care if you end up becoming any other kind of theist. Rather, my goal on this forum is to persuade you of the following proposition.
"It is not unreasonable to be a Christian theist."
Obviously, this core proposition should be distinguished from the proposition that Christian theism is unreasonable - i.e., crazy, stupid, insane, dishonest, and so on.
My core proposition should also be distinguished from the proposition that Christian theism is true, because something can be false yet reasonable for people to believe. This seems to happen a lot in science. For example, for a long time there could be reasonable disagreement between cosmologists regarding whether the Big Bang theory or the Steady State theory was true. I think atheism and theism are like that: There are a lot of arguments that go both ways, and someone can arrive at either conclusion without broaching rationality (of course, it is also possible to arrive at either conclusion irrationally).
Having said all of that, I'd like to ask whether anyone will agree to my core proposition without argument. I know that some atheists believe that Christianity can be reasonable, so the question is just how many such atheists post on this site.
Surely time is only infinite once you get to Christian heaven? Could it be so without a steady state universe or is there infinite regression in the cosmological argument that is not contingent on time anymore? Lets wait to find out…….what would Mr Hoyle say? :-)
Glad to hear it.
What I would like to know is what makes you accept the belief that your god is responsible for the creation of beings that wish they would have never been created in the first place? I realize not all humans feel this way but as long as even one does, I feel my question is valid. This god of yours also claims he is a good god that bestows free will upon all his human creations. Or do you not accept that? You are certainly not the run-of-the-mill Christian.
I will be waiting patiently for your answer since not one single theist I have ever asked that question has bothered to try to answer it - I always get radio silence when I that question. It really does disgust me.
The existence of beings that wish they had never been created is evidence against my position. I just don't think it constitutes very much evidence, so I take it into account by saying that God must give them at least a limited period of happiness in the afterlife. This is an epicycle, but given the opposing force of the arguments for theism, I don't think it renders being a theist irrational on balance.
I hope this thread doesn't morph into a debate about the problem of evil, now that I've answered your question. We'll see.
The existence of beings that wish they had never been created is evidence against my position.
It all comes down to how we see and experience the world which means I can't fault you for your stance that it is not enough evidence. However, I believe if I had the means and you were willing, I could take you to some places and show you some things that would change your mind.
You've indicated William, that you're a Theist, but not a Creationist - of exactly which "the" are you an "ist"? Jupiter, Odin, Marduk. Mithra, Ra, Horus, Enlil? - prithee, tell us - prithee please --
Well, the problem of evil is one of the biggest barriers to accepting that it is reasonable to be christian. So I think at some point you're going to have to tackle that one in depth.
Not really, you see you daren't question the magical sorcerer they call Gawd. Whatever he does is right by definition.
Well, there's also a point in time at which common courtesy dictates you spit it out already. You don't want people thinking you're a tease, do you?
True, but are we really at that point yet? I just put this thread up yesterday, and the OP said that I should begin within the next few days. I'm sure you guys all have more interesting things to do than sit at your computers, waiting with bated breath for my reasoning.
Depends on whom you ask. If I was in your shoes, I'd feel that two conversations spread across three days is too long to go without making an actual argument. that said, my behaviour is my behaviour and your behaviour is your behaviour. When it comes to your behaviour here, I'm just teasing you. I don't actually care about the time lines for your contributions one way or the other.
Okay, thanks for clarifying.