Hi, everyone.

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.

Regards,

Occam

P.S. If you're interested, you can learn more about my past here, and you can see a sketch of the arguments I'll be using here.

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I asked as a member, not as a moderator.  I'm not going to ban anyone where there is even a remote chance of bias on my part.  I've just never met anyone who has this much trouble saying something.  It's mildly interesting.

Someone said this.  Someone said that.  The members are closed to this.  The moderator's going to ban me!  So what about other people? I mean, I'm all for consideration for others to a certain point, but what about YOU?  What is it that YOU want to say?  If you simply want our views, those are plastered all over the forums with countless repetition.

Many of us here are not "green" when it comes to the arguments pro and con re: the existence of God.

Don't insult us by calling our minds closed simply because we don't want to be bored silly by arguments we've long since moved beyond. At least attempt to wow us with something we've never heard before.

We, many of us, tend not to spend a lot of time on proofs because considering them is what got us here in the first place.

William

I don't think you're in any danger of being banned. From my perspective, you haven't been at all forceful; I don't get the impression you're proselytizing.

What I have noticed, however, is that you do a lot of deflecting and dodging. The only reason I suggested you start a thread for each of your premises is because you accused me of not understanding the nuances/subtleties in the premises you asserted in your last post. So YOU don't feel overwhelmed, defending many points at once, you can narrow-in and tell us just how we've misunderstood your points. I think everyone, myself included, has been patiently waiting for you to enlighten us.

What I feel like is that you just keep saying "you don't understand; this isn't my entire argument." Give it to us! You can't hold it against us if we don't accept it, but you haven't put forth anything at all substantial.

So stop squirming around and acting like we're all big-bad-meanies who are confusing you with all of our suggestions as how to best debate on this site. We're trying to help you! We're making it easy! We're giving you your platform, guiding you along the whole way... the reality is that you're simply not utilizing and taking advantage of this opportunity.

I may not agree with what you say, Will, but I will defend to a near-death experience, your right to say it.

I'm not clear who sent you that message, but I would have to ask what he/she's afraid of? Is your debating skill REALLY that devastating?

Leave the poor boy alone, and let him sink or swim on his own --

I'm not clear who sent you that message, but I would have to ask what he/she's afraid of?

Which message now?  I missed the part where anyone told him not to say anything.

No, it can't be logically interpreted that way.  It's actually quite the opposite.  

He started out in the blog entry preceding this with a list of arguments that contribute to his viewpoint, and has somehow managed to drift further and further away from presenting any of those arguments.  Now, instead of the thread being about his position, it has come to be about our positions which takes him even further from defending the initial proposition.  I'm asking him to clarify why he keeps moving away from arguing his own position.

At no point did I ask him not to say something.  At more than one point I have asked him to say something.

William -

damn, just hit us already!  Stop pussying around!  It doesn't matter what reception you get.  We want to hear your views.  The basic rule is politeness and civility.  Apart from that, it doesn't matter what you say.  This is a discussion forum.  Most of us don't mind hearing something new, or old for that matter.  

William, I have a question for you, as a Christian.  This is not me sneering or trying to trip you up.  It's a genuine request for information.  

Suppose you have an evil person.  Someone who deliberately does things to hurt people, because it makes him feel good, because he is sick and twisted.  Of course, he justifies these actions to himself, on the grounds of... (some stupid reason).  

In my experience, it is equally possible that this person is religious, or an atheist.  It is more likely that the person has no "religious" views at all.  

What is supposed to stop the religious person from hurting people?  

Whatever it is, it is not very reliable.  It is no more reliable than whatever stops atheists doing bad things.  

I contend that both atheists and religious people think about what they do, they tend to think about moral decisions.  

Someone who is neither, tends not to think so hard about moral decisions.  

Perhaps to set yourself up as either religious or atheist necessitates a certain amount of soul-searching and internal honesty and integrity.  It takes balls, which the morally weak person does not have.  He prefers to make other people suffer, instead of taking responsibility for his own suffering or discomfort. 

Because I'd have to take the notion that magic is real. Not sleight of hand or illusionism, but actual magic, where things happen contrary to the laws of nature. Because "the God of Love" shouldn't be testing those he loves with cancer or war.Because the terminology of Christianity is so obviously based on an unconscious and silly nostalgia for monarchy ("Our Lord," "The King Of Kings," "The Prince Of Peace," etc.).

Sorry Unseen - borrowing your "Reply" button to get a message to Feenstra --

Kris, I guess you did --

"And now, it looks like I'm going to get banned, because a moderator just asked me the following."
"'If you don't feel that your proposition has any novel value, what's the point of your participation here at all?'"

The post of mine, Kris, to which you seem to be taking exception, was my response to his post saying that a moderator had sent him a certain message - you later (check the time stamps) said, No, it hadn't been a moderator, it had been you. Meanwhile, I had already said what I had said, based on what he said, before you said what you said.

Now, tell me what I said, because I'm no longer sure --

"That message" was implied to be a message in which he was encouraged not to speak, or in which his right to speech needed to be defended.  What I am explaining is that I have sent no such message -- that this is a misinterpretation.

Also, I didn't say it had not been a moderator; I stated I hadn't asked that question in my capacity as a moderator as that seemed to be a concern of his.  It's somewhat understandable, but there's nothing to moderate.  He hasn't broken any rules.

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