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How did you arrive at Christianity?

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

  1. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    As someone who's been around a longer time than yourself Silmarien, I can confirm you will continue fighting your way around the meaning of the universe (images of old Monty Python and Red Dwarf episodes suddenly appeared in my head). Isn't it odd that minds work so differently, I see absolutely no reason to invoke a god to explain the universe, especially the ridiculous ones in holy books around the world, the reason being I simply do not know what existed before this universe came into being. so can make no judgement on what if anything before the natural world there would need to be.

    I do however understand why people create gods of all different variety, they have a wondrous universe that needs explaining what better way than to create a super powerful being that made it for us. Of course we would have to create that god as eternal.. otherwise who created god.. and so and so forth.

    Anger, jealousy, love, hate, vengeance, patience, faithfulness, a whole range. Then you get all the god-only extras omnipotence, immutability, omnipresence all of which are unverifiable of course. I would say gods are made in the image of man with all the powers man could think of as extras.

    I think certain possibilities look more likely, form different viewpoints. I don't have to account for reason other than to acknowledge it is there, to attribute a reason-giver though is just a step too far for me.

    For me though i have fought to get out of the habit of attributing what we don't know to a higher being, especially as many thing we now consider natural events were once considered whole domains of various gods. It still amazes me though how people still attribute natural events or disasters to a god, I look at the blood moon posts and on news of a flood 'the end is nigh' proclamations and have my head in my hands.

    Wow, I would love to hear more about that. and .. does that mean my delicious creams scone and strawberries are not real !! And seriously I would love to know what an Energyist really is :)

    No it's not random on that I would agree at least in the sense that one thing cannot suddenly become another but that it is built upon previous builds.. as it were. I also think it's fair to say evolution itself is a young science and there is much more to learn.

    I find that interesting, yes indoctrination shows that a mind can be altered there is no denying that. You only have to look for at the genocide around the world to see how easily you can get people to believe almost anything.

    The brain just like a computer can be trained to believe almost anything, and meditation is just like that, relax believe you are at peace, there are many variations and people make lots of money doing just that, Life coaches, Meditative practices, Spiritual leaders, Political propaganda the list goes on. There is no doubt at all that the brain can be manipulated, and you can even do it yourself as you suggest through meditation.

    I understand what you are saying, I've heard various versions of that arguement, certainly it feels as if we are a person. The difference is though until we can show that consciousness comes from elsewhere or give a good enough reason to speculate it does then why add complications. It's very interesting to think out of the box (pun intended) on this one as it were and I admit to doing it myself even wondering about why i wonder !!


    I don't think simply throwing a creator into the process of discovery is helpful, no one is hand waving, so far we have not discovered or had any real reason to believe that consciousness does not reside in a brain. There is even some research that shows a chemical process takes place before we have a thought even. I found these articles interesting, though there are many others.

    There’s No Such Thing as Free Will

    https://phys.org/news/2010-03-free-illusion-biologist.html

    You have a delightful approach to the world around you Silmarien, never settle for belief, there are always too many questions around the corner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  2. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    It seems that we can recognize the obsessive drive by modern philosophers to defend "Certainty of epistemic defenses," is self-defeating as the skeptics point out. There is no way to avoid the question begging premises in modern epistemological.
    However postmodernism (broadly construed ...as it covers such a definitional breadth as to be compared to existentialism), seems to throw out the baby (knowledge with a capital K), and it seems we don't have to go there either.

    It seems that we can arrive at an external world and other minds, the reality of the past and uniformity of the world, through a combination of exeriential and nearly universal uniform data about our world gathered a posteriorily.

    Every blade of grass I have ever seen has certain testable attributes inside a range of attributes. So we have 10s of trillions of such data in our life experience.

    Similarly we seem to be wired to understand much of our world first sensorially, later concrete conceptually and finally abstract conceptually.
    So here we certainly have limits such as when we put a stick in the water and it appears to bend. But then we devise repeatable experiments that demonstrate why it is the case our senses failed to perceive the nature of the stick properly.

    So we do learn and do so over time.

    Had to look this reference up!

    Love the way you express yourself.

    Reformed Epistemology (Alvin Plantinga) gives us an approach.

    His work on Naturalism being incoherent given Darwinian evolution is also helpful.

    Starting with the idea that if there exists a personal God,

    And he created us either through special creation or a host of secondary causes,

    Then it is possible that he either designed us directly, or knew that the secondary causes would produce, humans who could understand much of their external world and have some understanding of their creator.

    It is possible that God is okay with humans and even those who believe and follow God, having a large number of false beliefs about the external world.

    That we could reduce these false beliefs over time concomitantly gaining knowledge over time across all knowledge areas.

    The new atheists who hold scientistic epistemolgies (practice scientism) are pleading for a special exemption on socalled "scientific" knowledge. However their claims are obviously self-refuting, and need not be addressed unless an individual holding those beliefs has not had the benefit of any philosophy aiming whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  3. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Special pleading.

    We need an explanation for things except for the big questions like how do we get something from nothing or why is there something rather than nothing?

    Philosophers and cosmologist across the last 2500 years would broadly disagree.

    Genetic fallacy.

    Why not engage cosmological arguments from need for a beginning (Kalam), or from contingency (Leibnizian)? Instead you create a false explanation that atheists don't tend to give and attack it. (Straw man again)

    Genetic fallacy again.

    Straw man.

    The argument isn't "God exists because humans have X attributes"

    Easy to knock down straw.

    It seems that you have been heavily influenced by Dawkin's and his ilk.

    I would strongly recommend Antony Flew (before he converted to theism from atheism), j.l. Mackie, j.h. Sobel, Kai Nielsen, and Graham Oppy to your examination. They provide some strong objections to the theistic inference without leaning on rhetorical devices and logical fallacy.

    Goal is to discover, "What can be known about the world it seems, not, "How can we fool most of the people most of the time!"
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  4. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Wow, so convincing, I've changed my mind already :scratch:
     
  5. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Complete crap.

    Don't get why anyone would try and misrepresent a small minority of Hebrew and Christian scholars across the last 3200+ years to holding a literalistic inference on Genesis 1?

    Oh yeah STRAWMAN!

    7 current conservative scholarly views on Genesis 1 and not one of them denies the use of metaphoric language the way you claimed when you were deriding the OP!

    You are ignorant of the scholarship, logic and are impugning others who don't share your ignorance.

    Your not even trying to understand the facts.

    1. Literal Interpretation
      (b) Gap Interpretation
      (c) Day-Gap Interpretation
      (d) Day-Age Interpretation
      (e) Revelation-Day Interpretation
      (f) Literary Framework Interpretation (g) Functional Creation Interpretation (h) Hebrew Creation Myth Interpretation
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  6. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    So do you believe that it is referring to the expansion of the universe and folding space ?
     
  7. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Rediculous!

    There are many legitimate inferences listed above for how to understand what the original author of Genesis would have been trying to convey to the original audience. Reading current scientific understanding back into scripture is called concordism and is a fallacious method of exegesis.

    It attempts to read meaning into the scriptures, AKA eisogesis.

    Further if we want to measure ancient knowledge against current knowledge in an attempt to destroy the ancient we commit the fallacy of anachronism. To be coherent we would end up destroying all historic knowledge.
     
  8. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Then, do you believe the bible explains the expansion of the universe and folding space in these in these scriptures ?
     
  9. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Well yes, but that was my point.
     
  10. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    So don't expect anyone to change their mind as you suggest. But expect those who are serious about investigating various inferences to do some basic research about the inferences. That's all.
     
  11. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Hmm, I believe the bible is a collections of writings by over 40 authors spanning multiple cultures and controversial subjects across 1500 years.

    Not a science book (which is a straw man representation)

    I believe they wrote in ways common to their individual cultures, borrowing stories handed down from culture to culture.

    And just because they don't have and understanding of GTR or quantum gravity doesn't mean they we should poison the wells to all their representations of facts (sweeping generalization).

    Of course there are strong defeaters of theism and paradigm carriers for atheistic and weak agnostic inferences. You are just not making those claims but rather focusing on popular myths and rhetorical appeals.

    If you review the authors I mentioned above they will provide you with over 3 dozen arguments, all of which are defensible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  12. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    I'm not expecting anyone to change their mind, people rarely do. And of course I expect people to do a little research.
     
  13. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    I would agree. I would never use it as a science book, though i never said we should.
     
  14. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Your point was to create a straw man it seems, forcing OP into literal-only interpretation that even literalists don't hold.

    You seem to have a lot of non-sequiturs once the fallacious nature of your appeals has been divulged. Why so slippery?

    "Wow, I'm conconvinced." "I didn't say I expected to be convinced"

    You represent a false dicotomy about scripture representing modern science and then say see I don't beleive that either, but mock someone for representing a metaphor.

    So this is not how good-faith conversations about various inference are handled. This is how new atheists engage and some Christian apologists like Ken Ham or Ray Comfort engage.

    It doesn't help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  15. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Oh I see, No that wasn't my aim at all, of course the writer didn't think it was a real tent or that a god actually struggled stretching the heavens out like throwing a tent over the earth..

    Rather I was making the point that they took a very earth centric view of the heavens.
    To say that god stretching the heavens is code for the expansion of the universe as we understand it now, or that a tent is a metaphor for folding space or a tent has no centre (even though it does) is somehow a hidden meaning that the universe has no centre is ridiculous.
     
  16. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    You seem to be adding to your posts after I've replied so let me respond to the extra's you put in.

    Of course they don't I never said they did.

    That can happen with multiple posts

    I think you meant convinced, not so sure your sentence makes any sense.

    I don't believe scripture represents modern science at all, or indeed were meant to. That was not my claim, the opposite in fact. Metaphors only get you so far though, the leap from the earth centric view of Genesis to an expanding universe, folding space-time and hints about the centre of a universe outside that earth-centric point of view being represented in scripture is a massive leap.

    You may be surprised to learn have I never read any of Dawkins books. and certainly don't identify with new-atheism
     
  17. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    "Ed1Wolf"
    "Some of these references are just metaphors not meant to be taken literally but some aspects are such as the stretching and the folding of the universe which has been confirmed by science to be similar to behave like a surface. Also, the analogy of a tent also confirms what science has determined that the universe does not really have a center, just like a tent."

    "possibletarian"
    "It's all what people thought the universe was like, you are simply reading what you want into it. To equate the idea that people though god stretched the sky daily over the earth like a tent with expansion of the whole universe and equate folding space with tent material is intellectuallydishonest."

    So perhaps you were not regarding the metaphoric nature of the "stretching," but the concordism found in reading into GTR entailments back into biblical text.

    Either way let's clean the slate.

    I am committed to representing you accurately and engaging you in a way where we can maximize our communication.

    And I respect the agnostic and atheistic inferences. I think there are good reasons for both.
     
  18. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I love trying to hang with the philosophical heavyweights, it's like when they let Christian Laettner play on The Dream Team lol.
     
  19. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Fair enough :)
     
  20. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    A couple resources:

    https://www.closertotruth.com/series/arguments-agnosticism

    An Argument for Agnosticism
    According to one relatively modest form of agnosticism, neither versatile theism nor its denial, global atheism, is known to be true. Robin Le Poidevin (2010: 76) argues for this position as follows:

    • (1)There is no firm basis upon which to judge that theism or atheism is intrinsically more probable than the other.
    • (2)There is no firm basis upon which to judge that the total evidence favors theism or atheism over the other.
    It follows from (1) and (2) that
    • (3)There is no firm basis upon which to judge that theism or atheism is more probable than the other.
    It follows from (3) that
    • (4)Agnosticism is true: neither theism nor atheism is known to be true.
    Le Poidevin takes “theism” in its broadest sense (which I call to refer to the proposition that there exists a being that is the ultimate and intentional cause of the universe’s existence and the ultimate source of love and moral knowledge (2010: 52). (He doesn’t use the term “versatile theism”, but this would be his account of its meaning.) By the “intrinsic probability” of a proposition, he means, roughly, the probability that a proposition has “before the evidence starts to come in” (2010: 49). This probability depends solely on a priori considerations like the intrinsic features of the content of the proposition in question (e.g., the size of that content).

    From Stanford's encyclopedia of philosophy on atheism and agnosticism.
     
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