Friday, November 7, 2008

A Human Mind-The Blog

I have been spending some time over at Fabio's blog. Not the Fabio but another Fabio. ahumanmind.blogspot.com is the address if you'd like to check our our discussion.

Fabio ran across a list of questions for skeptics on an apologetics website and, for his blog, he was answering them. In my turn, I responded to his comments.

What I found in our dialogue together was a great deal of frustration. There is a general trend found in many atheists to merely ridicule faith and the people of faith. The problem is, the more they talk, the more it becomes obvious that they have no idea what "the faith" really is. In addition, such people will tend to view themselves as eminently rational and Christians (or whomever) as complete imbeciles. But then when the Christian approaches them with good reasons, they merely blow it off.

So the general procedure went as follows. Fabio would respond to a question with the common misconceptions of antitheists that Christians have already dealt with 2000 years ago. Next, I would clearly explain the factual errors he made and give a rational defence of my own view. In the process I would point out inconsistencies in his own position. He would then respond by misrepresenting what I said and ridiculing me. Instead of having a fruitful and illuminating discussion, the whole affair was apparently fruitless. That is too bad.

I am not saying all this to get revenge or pay back Fabio for injustices done. But I did want to shed light on this all to common occurrence in apologetics. The same scenario recurs again and again (though not with all skeptics). For example, in a radio debate between Walter Martin and Madeline Murry O'Hare, she spent the entire time ridiculing-nit picking, really-Walter Martin. She never said a single thing of substance during the entire debate and would not allow Dr. Martin to get a word in edgeways. All this after remarking how offended she was for the rudeness of an audience she had recently addressed! And my experience with Fabio was somewhat similar. All fury and no substance.

Why would such eminently rational people be so afraid of rational discourse? Perhaps they are not really so rational after all. And how could somebody, whose entire life revolves around debunking religion, write books, give lectures, and participate in debates yet have no idea what it is that they are denying even though it has continuously been pointed out to them for thousands of years? I guess they don't want us to confuse them with the facts. It is no wonder that such persons do not believe in Christianity if they really think Christianity is as they say it is. But it is all a gross caricature. It seems a caricature that these people refuse to spend a pico-second reflecting on or examining because they want the caricature to be true. I can only conclude that they are willingly ignorant.

It is my honest desire that someday Fabio shall give a fair hearing to the many infallible proofs of Christianity, really reflect on them, and, hopefully, eventually embrace Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. Please, if you believe, keep him in your prayers.

Shalom out.

4 comments:

Fabio said...

Sorry to disappoint you, but if there is one thing that our "debate" has shown is that you lack any sort of knowledge of history or understanding of basic scientific facts. The height of it all was when you could only account for viruses and detrimental mutations in god's allegedly perfect creation as a wage for our alleged sins. Sad to say, but you do deserve all the ridiculing and contempt you get. Nothing personal, though. It's not just you, all the Christian apologists I've met in my life are just as worthy of that as you are. You have not presented a fragment of what a sane person would consider a rational argument, finding your only defence in rhetorics and entirely personal definitions. Like it or not, you didn't leave the debate a winner. You left it with your fingers well stuck in your ears. Don't be proud of it, it's truly sad.

evangelical said...

By basic historical facts, I presume fabio to alluding to the quest for the historical Jesus. His view is that historians more or less agree there was no human Jesus. This is a mistake on his part as I rightly pointed out. By basic scientific facts, I presume he means with respect to the big bang. He and I both agree there was a big bang and I do not recall any criticism of this fact from his pen. Though he did disagree with my claim that the big bang required the action of God. Another basic scientific fact that we talked about was the idea of a non-overlapping magisterium. Fabio's view is apparently that there is no such thing, yet, some of his other views contradicted this claim. I myself said that there probably is no non-overlapping magisteria. I do not see how agreeing with him makes me wrong but him right about the same basic scientific facts.

With respect to the teleological argument, fabio insisted that there is clearly little, if any, order in the universe. He then proceeded to give examples of order in the universe as evidence against there being order in the universe. Finally, he mentioned that there are unpleasent viruses and genetic mutations. So then, from the only legitimate disorderliness he pointed to, we get his argument: God is said to have created an orderly cosmos but there are disorderly viruses and mutations. This is a reductio argument where the theistic position is assumed and reduced to a purported inconsistency. But the theistic view is that viruses and mutations, insofar as they cause human suffering, are the result of human sin. So I was merely pointing out the invalid inference in fabio's argument. If one is going to assume something for the sake of an argument then they have to assume the whole thing. Otherwise one commits the straw-man fallacy.

As for rational arguments, I did offer the Liebnizian Cosmological Argument. Even if not totally sound (though I think it is) it is surely "a fragment of what a sane person would consider a [possibly unsound] rational argument. Here it is:
1. That which exists, calls for an explanation of its existence.
2. The universe is a that which exists.
3. The universe cannot explain its own existence for nothing causes itself to be.
4. Only someone outside of the universe could have caused it to be. This all men call God.

Any of you interested in the actual dialogue, please check out fabio's blog. I think the posts are titled "atheist faqs #1-8" or something like that. Thanks for reading my blog and see you all real soon!

Fabio said...

"By basic historical facts, I presume fabio to alluding to the quest for the historical Jesus. His view is that historians more or less agree there was no human Jesus. This is a mistake on his part as I rightly pointed out."

Nope. My view is that there is no real consensus in the scholarly community and claiming, as you do, that historians agree on Jesus' historicity is a blatant lie. I gave you the historical facts and you failed to address them.

"By basic scientific facts, I presume he means with respect to the big bang."

Among other things. I raised several points concerning, for example, genetic information. Points you never really addressed, limiting yourself to disappearing after a few comments.

"Another basic scientific fact that we talked about was the idea of a non-overlapping magisterium. Fabio's view is apparently that there is no such thing, yet, some of his other views contradicted this claim."

You fail to show which of my views contradict this "claim." Your only argument for that rested on the unsupported assumption that there actually is a metaphysical reality. Only taking this as an axiom were you able to present a rebuttal to my points - and a poor one, at that. Again, empty words on your part.

"If one is going to assume something for the sake of an argument then they have to assume the whole thing."

You're once more left with the burden of proof. Prove that your god is not only real but also that our sins are the cause of detrimental mutations and epidemics. And since you're at it try to explain how they happen to affect individuals from all walks of life and religious, social, moral, political or whatever background with no apparent rationale. "God works in mysterious ways" does not count as answer, so don't even go there. Really, you might be better off assuming that your god is an inept creator. Furthermore, viruses and detrimental mutations are not the only examples of entropy I brought up.

"As for rational arguments, I did offer the Liebnizian Cosmological Argument. Even if not totally sound (though I think it is) it is surely "a fragment of what a sane person would consider a [possibly unsound] rational argument. Here it is:
1. That which exists, calls for an explanation of its existence.
2. The universe is a that which exists.
3. The universe cannot explain its own existence for nothing causes itself to be.
4. Only someone outside of the universe could have caused it to be. This all men call God."

Really, if you care to read my comments, you will see that I've already pointed out what is wrong with the argument above. Ignoring for a moment that human definitions of "god" have been the most diverse throughout history, I will repeat that you are assuming far too much and on limited knowledge, as your analogies of the painting and of the book clearly showed. This is but yet another argument from ignorance, and nothing more until otherwise proven.

evangelical said...

Dear Fabio, perhaps you'd like to continue our dialogue together by having a formal debate over the internet? Let me know what you think. Thanks and bye!