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.
Having dealt with Occam in the past, I can tell you that he isn't as bad as you think he is. He comes across to meas someone who wants to be a Theologian. He's not a YEC, or a bigot who uses the Bible to justify it (I've seen him call out Christians on CARM for that behavior).
Besides... I'd rather have Occam here arguing about the Bible than conservative Christian YEC, to be honest. Occam will provide some interesting discussion, IMO. Not that I expect to convert anybody... I have too many problems with Christian doctrine and dogma to ever convert to it... but Occam's much more reasonable than the usually trollish Christian we get here.
YEC? CARM? Are you intentionally being obscure or would you like to use terminology you can depend on the average atheist understanding so that we can follow the conversation?
I'm surprised you don't recognize YEC. I thought it was widely-known.
YEC = Young-Earth Creationist
As for CARM, sorry... just go here.
You are correct that YEC is widely known.
I look forward to the post. However as parts of the arguments will be philosophical can we work on the definition of the word “Reasonable” first so that we are all clear from the start as to what is implied when you use it. I will make an opening with this.
So can you confirm that you take “reasonable” to mean that the arguments would imply that the Christian god probably exists? In other words it would be fair to contend that this is the case. i.e.” reasonable” to do so.
When I use the word “reasonable” (in debates such as this) I use it in the context that through the use of “reason” I am now “able” to assert my contention is “Justified”. In other worth I have either countered your argument by giving “reasons” which are either more probable (razor time !!) or that offer greater justification because they have observable evidence to support them.
To compare the disagreements between Big Bang Theorists and Steady State theorists with Atheism and Theism is not correct but I know what you mean to convey. However the reason that the Big Bang Theory “won” is because modern cosmology is an evidenced based science that improves because it is observational. That is how Science works. It does not care which theory is correct. It tries to demolish both and sees which (if any) survives before it can be deemed to be Knowledge – i.e. justified.
As an Atheist I see no observational evidence for the Christian (or any) god. Therefore I do not believe what I am told about this god. I have no knowledge about “him”. I have no “agenda” in this debate. However I will attempt to destroy my own arguments as well as those of other Atheists with just as much enthusiasm as I do yours. I will try to be as open minded as possible. So will you enter the debate presupposing the Christian god is real and attempting to persuade us of this or will you be open-minded to all arguments and then decide. I will remain open to persuasion and to altering my position but are you willing to concede that your god can only be reached by having faith if your arguments are seen to be fallacious?
Having said all that I am not convinced as to the value of asking if it is reasonable to be a Christian Theist. It is if you believe in the existence of the Christian god. If not then no it is not reasonable. So it can only be deemed reasonable if your god exists. Whether or not your arguments are reasonable only lend itself to saying that they are reasonable arguments. They can all be philosophically entertaining or interesting to debate so I look forward to seeing how you can deduce from them that your god very probably does exist. If you can I will agree with you. Is that reasonable?
"It is not unreasonable to be a Christian theist."
Well, ok… I see where you want to go with this. While the topic has all the flaws that everyone else has already pointed out… I personally feel a more important topic… one that should be addressed before you should address your present post is…
“Is it morally right to be a Christian theist ?”.
I mean, I’m just done discussing and debating creationism, and if the bible is true or not. What’s more important is the morally reprehensible beliefs of Christianity and why you support them. That’s the question. That’s what we should be discussing. Why do you not oppose this reality of good people suffering eternal dam nation at the hands of a “just” god? Why don’t you reject this vile vicarious redemption that Christianity is based on? Why does my moral atheist compass point me in a different direction then your loving/faithful Christian compass? So even if Christianity were 99% all true…. You should still oppose it. Run from it. You live under a dictator that reads your thoughts and threatens you with eternal hell fire if you don’t play by his rules…. That doesn’t bother you?
"It is not unreasonable to be a ____________theist."
It doesn't matter what you fill in the blank with. If it isn't "A" it is most likely unreasonable.
I'm missing a critical piece of information here before I participate:
What kind of Christian are we talking about? The overwhelming majority of Christians are theists to some degree or another.
William (of "razor" fame, I presume):
Of course I will agree to your core proposition if you provide actual EMPIRICAL evidence that the concept of a god has even the tiniest shred of validity. If you do, though, you’ll be the first person in history to do it sufficiently to allay my skepticism. I eagerly await your arguments.
That being said, I am not overly optimistic that there will be anything forthcoming that would be persuasive. Judging by your earlier post, it appears that your “evidence” consists mostly of your personal experience. That may constitute evidence for you, but not for me.
Your other evidence seems to come from Swinburne and Plantinga, both of whom are religious apologists who disingenuously use scientific jargon to sound authoritative, like Deepak Chopra or Michel Behe. Chopra was laughed off the stage by actual physicists at Cal Tech; and Behe was laughed out of the courtroom by actual biologists in Dover. Their pseudo-scientific gobbledegook is persuasive to ignorant people, but not to real scientists and serious philosophers. That is pretty much the way it is with Swinburne and Plantinga.
Swinburne’s Principle of Credulity is nothing more than an explanation for the reasons WHY some people hold a belief, then trying to make that a legitimate argument for those beliefs having a basis in reality; but one really has nothing to do with the other - belief is NOT evidence! He relies on the notion that if you can’t prove a negative, that is a valid reason to believe any assertion (presumably even flying spaghetti monsters). But that is one of the basic no-no’s in philosophical argument. If it were valid, then one must accept another’s belief in Santa Claus as being proof that Santa really exists.
And as to Plantinga’s religious epistemology: Plantinga is one of those religious apologists who tries to gain legitimacy by suggesting God works his wonders through science; but even he admits that there is NO scientific evidence for God. He has been linked with the intelligent design movement, but he differs slightly from the other “creation scientists” in that he believes in evolution - just that it was guided by God. He provides NO empirical evidence for this - only that he can’t conceive of "unguided" evolution. But most scientists and clear thinkers CAN.
Again, I eagerly await your evidence.
It’s Friday, Friday
4 pm Friday, been stallin’ all week
Gotta wait, gotta be patient
Gotta read a post, gotta make a reply
Seein' posts ‘bout makin’ an argument
Time’s tickin' on, everybody's waitin'
Gotta get on with this gig
Gotta make that post
Look at the time (The time)
Which argument will he make?
Sorry, but this thread needed Rebecca Rolled
One of the reasons I post on internet forums is that there's essentially infinite time to think about and discuss anything that comes up. I'm sorry that you're impatient.