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.
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.
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.
Okay, thanks for clarifying.
As anyone here who knows me will cheerfully attest, far be it for me to be argumentative, but in the event not everyone possesses my degree of self control, and finds themselves in an argument, or in a discussion holding differing points of view, with a theist such as Mr. Occam here, be aware that there are a few fallacies that - doubtless present company excepted - some theists tend to use:
Nice video. Thanks.
I tried to edit my post to say that while Mr. Occam is a self-confessed Theist, he may not necessarily be a Creationist, but for reasons not clear, once my alterations had been "saved," the little wheel just turned interminably - three times this happened (I'm thinking, GodDidIt), then my 15-minute editing time had elapsed - in any case, the fallacies should still apply to any argument, and certainly one involving religion.
Correct. I am not a creationist nor an advocate of Intelligent Design, but a theistic evolutionist.