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.
If you define "not unreasonable" as merely "not crazy, stupid, insane, dishonest", then yes I'd agree you are not being unreasonable to that extent.
But I'd prefer to define "not unreasonable" as rational and aligned with evidence. And then I would not agree.
I do like your idea of posting your arguments one at a time over the course of several days. In addition, I recommend you first review what Iron Chariots wiki says about each argument you plan to present.
Did you notice that when scientists reasonably debated Big Bang vs Steady State, they weren't also debating the third option "Divine Creation by the Christian God"? They also didn't debate the creation myths of any other cultures or religions. Think out why that is, and how scientists determined which arguments were "reasonable" and supported by positive evidence.
The arguments you listed in your "reasonable Christianity" post appear to all be common fallacies. A long list of bad arguments does not form the "cumulative case" you intended.
PS: The irony of using William Occam as your screen name is too much!
Reviewing the objections on Iron Chariots sounds like a good idea. Thanks.
I chose this screen name while I was an atheist, as I explained in a different thread. I don't think Occam's Razor is incompatible with theism, necessarily, but I'm still not sure I would choose the exact same screen name if I were to start over. It's just a matter of what I'm used to at this point.
It's a matter of what you are used to... since Tuesday?
I think he means in relation to the screen name posts under.. whether here or other sites. Sounds he's like me in that respect.. I generally try to use the same screen name on all wbesites.(in fact been using it for over 10 years now, with no difficulty being able to use it). though TA is the exception to the rule.
Having said all of that, I'd like to ask whether anyone will agree to my core proposition without argument.
I would not accept it without argument provided we are talking about accepting Christianity at the philosophical level (as opposed to cultural). Certainly, reasonable people can be Christians and can even be very intelligent about their Christian views, but I would say those views are either unreasonable or rest on unreasonable premises.
I would say- without fear of rebuttal- that anyone who accepts a literal account of Genesis or Exodus is unreasonable.
I think that for sake of clarity you should distinguish whether or not it is unreasonable to be religious or unreasonable to belong to a particular faith (i.e. Christianity). I agree with those above me who stated that certain tenets of Christianity in particular are unreasonable.
I think this is a reasonable distinction to draw. I'm not arguing merely in favor of being religious, nor am I arguing in support of the conservative or fundamentalist forms of Christianity that take the Bible literally.
It all comes down to this:
You admit you have no evidence for your belief. So you must ask yourself if it is reaosnable to believe something with absolutely no evidence supporting it whatsoever. This is a claim that is not demosntrable or falsifyable. Hence, your claim has the absolute identical properties & completely indistinguishable to something that doesnt exist.
Is it reasonable to believe leprechauns exist? Is it reasonable to take a "Leprechaunist" belief as equally serious as we take science? Is there a 50/50 chance in the existence of leprechauns?
In order for you to put yourself in our shoes & see yourself through our eyes, with no ridicule or attempts to make fun, but to genuinley see yourself through our perspective, copy & paste EXACTLY what you posted & replace the words "Christian, theist, god" to "leprechauns, bigfoot, extra terrestrial, etc..." & ask if it is "reasonable" to belief such things.
Yeah..... What he said.