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How did you arrive at Christianity?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by skalle, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Well a conversation is a conversation. They all can have there benefits.

    As to the limits of knowledge and postmodern inferences how would one argue that they are true?

    Given that we are hopelessly trapped behind the lens of the culture in which we were raised that is?

    We can have some discussions qua the recalcitrant fact of the problem of evil, but what premises would be acceptable given postmodern assumptions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  2. ToddNotTodd

    ToddNotTodd Iconoclast

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    If that's true, then that's two examples of equivocation.

    And now you've introduced an argument from authority.

    I'm pretty sure everyone here, well... the non theists anyway, see the logical fallacies in your statements. They've been explained to you in the past.
     
  3. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! ... Luke 12:49 Supporter

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    Arguments from authority are valid as long as the authority actually has general expertise within the field in question. I just want to make sure we are all on the same page about this....

    ...even Massimo Pigluicci, an atheist, admits this. :rolleyes: [Argument from authority...]
     
  4. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    What purpose ?

    What evidence ? Do you know of any mind that exists outside or without a brain ?

    Then detail that logic

    Therefore... ?

    does it show creativity at all ?

    Why would there need to be a personal source? are you talking about pro-creation ?
    What do you mean by personal being coming from a personal source ?


    Then you would firstly have to produce a designer, there is lots of evidence for evolution, but none at all for a designer.

    Then i look forward to seeing the so called science.

    Universe Chaotic From Very Beginning : Northwestern University News
    The presence of something predictable does not exclude the chaotic.

    What two things , and what minds ?

    If there is a possibility, then why Why impossible ?
    Besides if string theory proves to be true, it's far from impossible, one could say even inevitable.

    In what way ?

    Yes that's what I said, descriptions of predictable events and actions.

    Math is a human invention to describe and make sense of what we see, of course it describes it so well it was designed to describe the world around us.

    Oh I'm sure they do, but it certainly isn't the opinion of science as a whole, and is becoming less so as more and more is discovered about our universe.
     
  5. ToddNotTodd

    ToddNotTodd Iconoclast

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    Ugh, I have a lot of issues with this idea, unless you change "has general expertise within the field in question" to "has almost certainly the correct knowledge about the topic". And at that point the middle man (the authority) is superfluous.

    I once had a friend who could be considered a leading expert in Star Trek. Knew absolutely every piece of trivia you could throw at him. Had an almost eidetic memory for the stuff.

    He also thought that Vulcans actually existed and had visited Earth, giving Gene Roddenberry the idea for the series.

    So I'm wary about giving too much credit to authorities...
     
  6. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! ... Luke 12:49 Supporter

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    ...well, then you'll be in contention with the basic idea that the recognition of Informal Fallacies IS fully within the purview of philosophy properly considered, not some other area of human thought. Sure, some of this can be debated among philosophers, even among atheists, but it is what it is.

    On the other hand, I can understand your gripe that just because Einstein says "X" doesn't mean that Einstein gets to call various philosophical conclusions for us simply because he is a famous and smart guy. ON the other hand, philosophy is also--at least partially--an open field to all, and referring to Einstein on some issue related to causation might be something that still gives us something to chew on, even if it isn't to be taken as a final answer.

    Or, you can just disagree with those who are like Pigluicci (an atheist Philosopher who deals with concepts of logic and science). ;)
     
  7. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My rule for arguments from authority is this, if 2 people are debating an issue and the majority of scholars on BOTH sides of the debate are in agreement than you may take the shortcut of quoting authority (not saying that it must end there however, just saying that it's not a weak move). But the burden of explanation lies more heavily with the person going against the double sided majority in that case.

    But if the majority of scholars on my side say one thing and the majority of scholars on your side say another thing than neither one of us can take the shortcut of quoting authority, or at least it becomes a weak move for either of us. So it wouldn't be best to say 'Einstein says...' if you could instead say 'The majority of experts, including Einstein say...'
     
  8. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! ... Luke 12:49 Supporter

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    Ewwwww..........that "majority rules" thang. Ugh! As I tell my wife, I look for quality, not quantity. And she's always glad to here that. :D
     
  9. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No i agree, I think I was more trying to point out that it's at least much better to quote authority when both sides are in majority agreement with something. If I'm very short on time it wouldn't bother me to toss out an authority appeal if it's across the board majority is what I'm saying. But if you throw out an authority appeal when authorities are notoriously split it's misleading and a weak move. So it ain't too bad to LEAD OFF with an authority appeal.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  10. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! ... Luke 12:49 Supporter

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    Oh, I agree with you on that. I just get very tired of seeing scholars on both sides always saying "most scholars say...." and then plunging ahead as if that settles an issue in all matters, especially where religion and/or Christian faith is concerned.

    Anyway, I always like to hear your thoughts of "quality," Dirk! :cool:
     
  11. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Well, there isn't just one postmodern position. I would agree that a lot of what falls under the postmodern umbrella is people building castles in the sand, but I think that many of their observations about other worldviews are accurate. Their own alternatives are generally as flawed as the ones they criticize, but I do not think that pointing out the deficiencies of modernism is itself vulnerable to the criticism of being unverifiable by its own rules.

    My position is not merely that we are trapped within our own cultural viewpoint. I think our species itself has a unique vantage point and interacts with the external world through physiological and psychological intermediaries, creating some distance between us and objective reality. So I would start with Kant to defend postmodern intuitions about the limits of knowledge. I think that any study of intellectual history would support the view as well, as it is difficult to argue against the fact that different cultures with different metaphysical assumptions viewed the world in vastly different ways. The idea that we are finally advanced and objective enough to have the tools to see through the mist, as it were, is why we now get to deal with the scientism of the New Atheism.

    Are we hopelessly trapped? I would say that we're not in a position to answer that, since the very knowledge that the claim relies upon is unattainable by its own standards, as you pointed out. My stance is rather that it's impossible to really determine where subjectivity ends and objectivity begins. I don't think it's an extreme claim, but some of its potential implications certainly are. Learning how to manage the problem of subjectivity may well be like learning how to manage a psychological disorder--you (hopefully) get better at taking it into account, but it will always be with you.

    Oh, my assumptions are generally Aristotelian. I just have a postmodern, labyrinthine way of approaching them and end up chewing on my own tail ouroborus-style fairly often. I'm not really sure what premises would be acceptable, though, since those required for a discussion of naturalism are quite different than those you'd expect for the Problem of Evil.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
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  12. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    We're really through the looking glass if I'm defending William Craig Lane to you. ^_^ I have not seen him argue that morality proves the existence of God, though, but merely that morality is meaningless except in context of an omnibenevolent God. In the face of nihilism, he'll suggest a sort of Pascalian Wager, but I'm not sure he argues directly from morality to God. At the very least, he didn't in that particular debate.

    Well, it isn't quite true that humanity is the only species who has ever wrecked havoc upon the planet. One of the earliest mass extinctions was due to cyanobacteria flooding the atmosphere with oxygen that was poisonous to other microbes, so... destructiveness really depends on your point of view.

    I would respond to more but I should have gone to bed an hour ago, haha.
     
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  13. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    That seems a sensible way to go about things, though i would add a couple of cautionary notes.

    That the qualifications of an expert should be taken into account, for instance William Lane Craig is a very accomplished and well respected philosopher, while when it comes to philosophy Richard Dawkins is a mere beginner, but if the argument were a biological one then one must assume that Richard Dawkins (being a very good Biologist) would have the upper hand. So the label expert must apply to the debate at hand.

    My second one is that through a persons life opinions change on both sides of the theist/non theist debate, early Einstein for instance seemed to favour some kind of deist position while towards the end of his life seemed to be rather disillusioned at the idea of a Deity. On the other Hand Anthony Flew was in the higher echelons of atheist debate, and at the end of his life shifted to a more deist position quoting similar arguments you see on this forum.

    Sometimes i get the distinct feeling we are all going round in the circles our belief and opinions allow and occasionally centrifugal force spits someone out the side !!
     
  14. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! ... Luke 12:49 Supporter

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    ....I was wondering what that occasional 'thudding' sound was. Now I know. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with a lot of this. Let me ask you a question about changed beliefs, when you were in your heyday of Christianity did you have any personal Jesus experiences that you think exceeded mind over matter? And if so did you later on, after leaving Christianity, attribute the experiences to a general God that is not represented by any organized religion? That's what I have done sometimes in the past. I was all over the map in the past lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  16. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Haha. I should just throw you random curveballs for the entertainment value of it, maybe reply in a way that is so hyper postmodern that it even makes you cringe lol.

    This is true. I had a feeling I might get called out on this kind of example but I also think if I qualify my post with too many distinctions it can become too long. I was definitely thinking of a different point of view, along the lines of wreaking havoc under the context of moral decision making agents.

    Yes we do have an impressively super organized planet, but it also exists inside the reality of a violent universe where things come to a head from time to time. I would rank havoc wreaking micro bacteria that kills off other lower life forms more along the lines of major destructive Earth climate shifts, or along the lines of asteroid strikes, ice ages, etc.

    I would always try to look at the human situation simultaneously through the naturalism lens and the God lens side by side, and see which one makes more sense for what each theory claims to consist of!

    Can asteroids or micro bacteria be 'Blamed' for their havoc due to a violation of their moral code? No, they are just acting out on the domino effect that brought them about. When they destroy they are literally being themselves, acting out the 'Wild' side of naturalism. But if humans didn't have these extreme morality swings we would not have caused all of our havoc. If only naturalism confined human morality swings to something like not exceeding that of nature loving hippies.

    If humans DECIDED to take their hands off the throat of Mother Earth she would begin to heal in ways that run contrary to what we do to her. That to me spells out clearly that there is a clash going on between naturalism and human existence. Gorillas do not 'Ruin' Mother Earth when they rip bananas from her trees, Mother Earth placed them there for the gorillas.

    Sometimes I appreciate digging deeper into 2nd & 3rd levels of thinking, but other times I don't want deeper thinking to trick me into missing what I consider to be the obvious. We are original, and we make no sense with the naturalism theory IMHO. The God theory is looking pretty accurate to me however...unique higher conscious beings made in the image of God, subduers of the planet, having a God recognizing mindset (even atheists think about the God question before they reject it), having a nasty streak of destructive evil decision making that harms even nature itself, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  17. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    I think they were referring to how much of the universe we can observe, because we actually know a great deal more than 4% of how it operates and how the things that we can observe formed and the likely causes of those things.

    Actually most of the problems with Naturalism are based on things that we DO know, not the things that we don't know.

    I didn't, see all my previous posts. I only assume the existence of the universe, everything else follows from that using logical reasoning.

    But random impersonal processes would not likely have produced the unity and diversity. It would have probably have just produced a unity or just a diversity.

    Fantasies don't have this kind of evidence.

    A biologist. Sounds like you are saying I don't have the knowledge because I am not the typical atheist or agnostic biologist. Sounds like the genetic fallacy.
     
  18. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Excellent, then name some from credible scientific sources.


    Yes you keep saying that, yet fail to provide reasonable logical statements


    How could you possibly know that ?



    I keep asking what evidence, care to share ?


    No it's not a fallacy to say you don't sound like any scientist I know, it would be if I were to use it to reduce your argument, But as you have not yet presented a scientific argument that mainstream science would recognise as such, then your point is both silly and moot.
     
  19. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Hi Dirk

    I certainly had what I would call experiences, some things like the healing example I gave above and more I have no explanation for, I felt loved by god, filled with the spirit, I was very sacrificial and felt very blessed I didn't have a care in the world, I didn't really give a universal god a second thought, other than i thought god was universal..if you get me. There were times I felt that god was very close and immediate, and had the deepest fellowship.

    What caused me to think was not my own situation but others peoples situations, I did think from time to time could there be one god but different interpretations of that relationship, I liked that idea but religion had made that a tribal rather than personal choice, for instance you are much more likely to me a Muslim if born in Iran and a Christian if born say in the U.S.A.

    The differences in teaching were enough to make me think that religion was either man made, or there were different spirits behind different religions, but the second made much less sense it would mean that god favoured certain nations and countries while allowing false gods to run rampant, and even if true, who would be the best god to follow. I have no doubt the answer to that would also depend on which upbringing/indoctrination you had.

    Right now If asked to describe my thoughts i would say , I sincerely hope there is a god, i hope there is some kind of justice at the end of the day, but in all honesty I don't really see a god described well in any religion, it seems just to like how humanity would describe a god in the context of their own knowledge, fears and superstitions and thirst for ultimate justice.

    They tried to explain the unexplainable, thunder became god's voice, disasters were god's punishments, even to this day you get Christians, Muslims, and others proclaiming that natural disasters are god's punishment for not being Christian or Muslim enough ! To me the amount of mental gymnastics you have to go to to make a religions 'holy book' true these days in the light of what we know about the universe and the world is just too great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  20. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    You're anthropomorphizing nature, which is really not in line with the naturalist stance. Nature has no intentions one way or the other, and it is entirely possible that a species arise which is harmful to the larger ecosystem. The ecosystem will adapt and find a way around any potential hindrance--that's really what evolution is all about. I would agree that it certainly appears that humans are somewhat different than other species, but we can neither step into the skin of another species to see what's really going on there, nor step outside of our own to see what we would look like from the outside. In the unlikely event that determinism is true, we would really not be destructive due to free choice--we'd really just be acting out what it is to be human as much as any other species. The fact that our species is quite clearly insane is certainly interesting, in an awful sort of way, but I don't think it's an argument against naturalism in and of itself.

    On the other hand, you're right that you have to draw the line somewhere. I live pretty permanently at the third level, but drag things out to the seventh or so, and literally everything falls apart and the world starts looking a bit Lovecraftian. ^_^
     
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