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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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    As with all knowledge, there is a spectrum that is possible to any group. We also see the very definition of "knowledge" questioned in many fields. Science may be as broadly limited to theories that have not been falsified, are always confirmed experimentally, and have maximal explanatory power. But much of cosmology and cosmogony such as String theory, is not possibly provable in the way I described above.

    So what I may count as knowledge of god's existence, you may dismiss as not achieving the lower bound of knowledge, or unjustifiable. The problem the agnostic and atheist have is to limit the damage of their epistemology from destroying all knowledge or most knowledge it seems reasonable to claim.
     
  2. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Eh? I am tentatively fine with the concept of the universe being in some way eternal. Quantum vacuum, chain of universes, or what have you. I suppose I should study the Kalam properly before declaring it unfit, but I'm not sure from where you've gotten the idea that people have declared God eternal to avoid an infinite regress. If it is impossible that something can come of nothing, it follows that something must be eternal.

    Most religions do not really explain where the universe comes from, by the way. Mythology usually takes the universe for granted and begins with the creation of the gods, rather than the reverse. Abrahamic religions and Vedanta Hinduism are more of an exception than a rule.

    Are you sure you've read Catholic Scholastics? Because you're really caricaturizing the theology by declaring these ideas to be whatever little extras people managed to think up.

    It's a word that I just made up, haha. But I am unsure why materialists focus on matter when we know that matter and energy are ultimately the same thing. I think it's odd that physics keeps on discovering smaller and smaller building blocks--first we had the atom, then the protons, now the quarks, and what next? If we've got an infinite regress going on in the very nature of the material universe, I for one am going to have some serious questions about whether we're looking at anything the right way.

    Computers don't have beliefs. The physical brain presumably doesn't either, unless our conception of physical matter is horribly wrong.

    You think that people who disagree with the popular model of reality should just sit down, speculate privately, and not add complications? That is one of the most anti-intellectual things I have heard on this forum, almost Galileo-level anti-intellectual, so... congratulations, I guess.

    This quite nicely demonstrates my problem with modern "skepticism." It's very much one-sided, as independent thought and actual reflection disappears once people start tossing around scientific studies to support safe alternatives to anything that smells of theism.

    The problem with the study mentioned in the first article is two-fold. For one, it is impossible to pinpoint when someone decides to lift their hand--you can judge when the brain activity occurred and when the hand moved, but you can't judge which of those two places better corresponds to when the decision occurred. There is also the question of reflexes and unconscious behavior to take into account. We do a lot of things without actually thinking about it, including moving our hands around. Spikes in brain activity could be expected to accompany unconscious urges, but people can choose whether or not to act upon any given urge. You would therefore expect a delay between a build up of electrical energy and the conscious decision to act upon it, in the situations where we are conscious of our acts.

    I do not see an argument in the second article. Just someone tossing around scientific credentials to make sweeping metaphysical claims because the prospect of having to readjust our assumptions is so very frightening. In other words, scientism. Again, I feel like this is a 15th century debate over heliocentricism, which is precisely why I hate materialism. It's like the atheist inquisition, I swear.

    Everyone settles for belief, whatever that particular belief may be.
     
  3. ToddNotTodd

    ToddNotTodd Iconoclast

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    Hmmm, I would challenge you to show one piece of evidence that no one here has refuted...
     
  4. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I speak Spanish, a fair amount of French, and can get by in Italian and Portuguese. Spanish is the love of my life, but other than that, I'm kind of sick of the Romance languages, haha. Next up is going to be Greek, for the obvious reasons. And because I like lurking around Orthodox churches, haha. Well, the parish I visit is technically Russian, but there are Greeks there!

    Anyway, I am an idiot and managed to delete the reply I had written out to you. So, a brief recap, you have some really interesting thoughts in this post, and I'm certainly sympathetic to a fair amount of it. I lean a bit too much towards deism right now to really be comfortable with the sort of radical reimagining of history that would be necessary if you're right, but I honestly expect to be in that odd place where I simultaneously think that Christianity is true and false for quite some time.
     
  5. possibletarian

    possibletarian Active Member

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    Thanks for that site, it has plenty of material what I appreciate most is that the video's generally are short and to the point. I'm on Holiday this week so I will make a point of looking through them.
     
  6. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh wow, for someone who just speaks Spanish, French, and a little bit of Italian and Portuguese your ability to read & write in English is incredible!! Haha.
    That's ok, I might actually prefer that, if you accidentally deleted your rebuttals than I feel like I win lol.
    Been there!
    Been there too!!!!

    Hey the books that you and @2PhiloVoid recommended to me for atonement theology and the problem of suffering came today! Thanks for the help!! I got The Brothers Karamazov, Christus Victor: 3 Types of Atonement, NT Wright Simply Good News, and Will God Heal Me? Ron Dunn. The reviews for Brothers Karamazov had some controversy over which translation to get, but it was suggested to get McDuff if you're not familiar with Russian novels so I went with him. So hopefully this stuff will give me some great stuff to think about!
     
  7. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Uber, it's always good to hear about the favorite recommendations of certain people in here. I'll check these authors out. The more time I spend in this forum the more hungry I get for better philosophical & logical articulation like you people. I feel like it takes me 2 paragraphs to express something that you guys can say in a few sentences (and that's if I can express it at all). It would also be nice for me to improve my knowledge on philosophy of science as well.. I have Kalem argument material on the way from WLC! I've eyed up his course for years but never pulled the trigger.

    Sorry what exactly is this referring to? Is this a book/article with 7 scholar's views on these interpretations? If so can you point me to the source? Thanks.
    Well looks like I'm out more money lol. The cosmos, consciousness, and meaning DVD sets look awesome on this site, thanks.
     
  8. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    Ed1wolf said:
    You don't understand the cosmological argument?

    That is irrelevant, the question is can you refute it?

    Except for the Bible none of those books teach the three most important facts about the universe, ie that it had a definite beginning from nothing detectable, that it is expanding, and that it is winding down energetically. Maybe the Koran but it is plagiarized from the bible.


    Again none of them have accurate information about the three most important truths about the universe as I stated above. Only the Bible correctly interpreted with the help of God's other book, Nature.
     
  9. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    The recommended authors are all atheists or agnostics who represent the best arguments for those respective inferences.

    The seven theories on how to accurately interpret the Genesis creation account are found on Reasonablefaith.org defenders 2 class "evolution creation" series
     
  10. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks! I know Dawkins and I know Hitchens, in my earlier years Hitchens was a lot tougher for me. Time to stretch my comfort zone some more.
     
  11. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Must think of ........... Incredible Answer! Supporter

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    I guess I need to pick up a copy of the Brothers Karamazov at some point soon. So, McDuff is the one to go with, you think? :cool:
     
  12. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I think I was told to get the Richard Pevear translation when I read it in college. At least, unless they all have the same cover--I kind of gave my old one away.
     
  13. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Must think of ........... Incredible Answer! Supporter

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    Ok. Thank you for the suggestion, Silmarien. I just did a side-by-side comparison of the two translations on Amazon, and I'm going to have to decide if I want the more 'literal' translation, or the one that seems to be a bit more of a 'dynamic equivalent' and a slightly easier read. Since I'm not in a rush, I have some time to think about it ... :cool:
     
  14. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well as far as Amazon reviews the opinions were that Pevear is the most true form, and you might lose some of the small meanings if you get McDuff, but McDuff is less prone to getting confused in a sentence if you're not familiar with Russian literature. Of course there's the option to get both and read Pevear 2nd if it's SO good (according to WLC, @Silmarien , @anonymous person). Maybe they can chime in on which translation they like best!

    EDIT...i posted this before Silmarien posted. I wonder what version @anonymous person has?
     
  15. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Must think of ........... Incredible Answer! Supporter

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    ....eh....I don't think I want to read both translations. If that novel were a bit smaller, I might be tempted to. ^_^
     
  16. Dirk1540

    Dirk1540 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is a factor, mine arrived it's huge!
     
  17. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I've only read the one translation, so I can't really say which one is better. And that was with the Russian department, so they were obviously going to be picky about staying as faithful as possible to the original.
     
  18. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    [Blasted hostel internet]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  19. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    [Blasted hostel internet]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  20. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Must think of ........... Incredible Answer! Supporter

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    ....hmmm.....well now. Those Cliff Notes for the book are looking mighty tempting! Please pray that I don't succumb. ^_^
     
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