Author Topic: Christian Apologetics  (Read 4569 times)

Offline SGOS (OP)

Christian Apologetics
« on: January 27, 2017, 11:59:05 AM »
Formal definitions of Christian aplogetics, ie, "a field of Christian theology that presents historical, reasoned, and evidential bases for Christianity, defending it against objections" (Wikipedia), are too polite to say so, but they usually take care to avoid including "the use of logic" in describing the methodology.  There is good reason for this, because Christian apologies that claim to be logical always fail in the end, making them illogical by definition.

The more renowned of the apologists attempt to claim logic in their written commentary and in their televised oral debates by attempting to mask their fallacies by equivocation, moving of goalposts, and complicated roundabouts, but they all fail logically.  The oral debates I believe are the most effective, because they happen in real time with a fast delivery, are complicated and wordy, and lend themselves to the masking of fallacies, while the written works lend themselves to more critical study and dissection.

The usual lightweights that show up in this forum never demonstrate the cunning of the established leaders in the field.  They don't seem to even understand apologetics, if in fact, they are even familiar with the term.  Nor do they seem to have any understanding of the most common objections to the doctrine they are defending.  They stop off on a mission of enlightenment, shoot off some long debunked trope, and meet with a wall of well deserved skepticism.  Our current example, Godmessenger, identifies himself with a nickname resembling Christ himself, but doesn't seem to have a clue about what he is doing.

We can compare the lightweights to the experts, but both sources have an uncanny resemblance to snake oil salesmen.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 12:00:54 PM by SGOS »

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 12:12:20 PM »
The fact that they have to rely only on arguments is rather telling.

Let's say I were trying to establish the truth of evolution and I argued that it has validity because billions of people believe it is so, or that it's important for society to believe it is so, or that Origin of the Species has a secret code that predicted 9/11.  If I came to a scientific discussion with that, I'd be laughed out of the room.

Offline Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 12:42:10 PM »
The chew toys haven't been very chewy lately ;-(
שלום

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 06:37:09 PM »
The fact that they have to rely only on arguments is rather telling.

Let's say I were trying to establish the truth of evolution and I argued that it has validity because billions of people believe it is so, or that it's important for society to believe it is so, or that Origin of the Species has a secret code that predicted 9/11.  If I came to a scientific discussion with that, I'd be laughed out of the room.

Well said, sir!
God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 08:46:47 PM »
If evolution is true, what purpose do we have, why are we here? If this life here on earth is all we have, what separates us from the animals? Why don't we just kill the weak and take what we want?

Why should we work if this is all we have to look forward to, knowing that soon we will die? We should be living it up knowing we don't have to answer to anyone.

I submit to you that there is a God in heaven! We will all answer for what we have done and not done in this life on earth. There will be rewards for those who have done there best to live a moral life and help others along the way.

I Cor. 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 09:59:01 PM »
If evolution is true, what purpose do we have, why are we here?
Why assume we have a purpose and that there is a reason we are here?    You snuck the answer into the question.  This is called begging the question.

If this life here on earth is all we have, what separates us from the animals?
You did it again.  In addition, the second half of the question above is irrelevant to the first: "If a tiger has stripes, why invent the telephone?"  As such, it makes no sense.  You can't expect a coherent reply to gibberish.

Why don't we just kill the weak and take what we want?
Sometimes we do.

Why should we work if this is all we have to look forward to, knowing that soon we will die? We should be living it up knowing we don't have to answer to anyone.
Are you trying to bore me to death?

I submit to you that there is a God in heaven! We will all answer for what we have done and not done in this life on earth. There will be rewards for those who have done there best to live a moral life and help others along the way.
Prove it.

I Cor. 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
No, I mean actually prove it.

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 10:50:18 PM »
Why assume we have a purpose and that there is a reason we are here?    You snuck the answer into the question.  This is called begging the question.
You did it again.  In addition, the second half of the question above is irrelevant to the first: "If a tiger has stripes, why invent the telephone?"  As such, it makes no sense.  You can't expect a coherent reply to gibberish.
Sometimes we do.
Are you trying to bore me to death?
Prove it.
No, I mean actually prove it.

There will be no voice from heaven, no visions, no dreams, there is only His word which He places above His name, and the human conscience given to us all that bears His existence.

If that's not enough to seek God out, then there is no hope for you my friend.

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 11:05:39 PM »
There will be no voice from heaven, no visions, no dreams, there is only His word which He places above His name, and the human conscience given to us all that bears His existence.

If that's not enough to seek God out, then there is no hope for you my friend.
My, my my--you are s smug little theist, aren't you?
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2017, 12:22:56 AM »
There will be no voice from heaven, no visions, no dreams, there is only His word which He places above His name, and the human conscience given to us all that bears His existence.

If that's not enough to seek God out, then there is no hope for you my friend.

But that's the problem you see.  I was raised in a Christian family, told all of the stories, and informed of God's alleged promises.  Many of these started to sound hokey when I began to reason (around the age of six).  And your above claim, "There will be no voice from heaven, no visions, no dreams, there is only His word which He places above His name, and the human conscience given to us all that bears His existence," isn't just hokey sounding.  It's just poetic sounding incoherence.  And stuff like that, including my family's instruction got even sillier as I reached my late teens.  But still, I was informed of these mysteries by people I respected.  But that was fallacy number one (arguments from authority, which have nothing to do with truth), although I didn't know this was a fallacy at the time.  But almost everyone I knew believed there was a god, and that was the second big fallacy (the argument from numbers.  Just because a lot of people believe it, doesn't make it true), and I had already learned this in school.

But Christians, and I'm sure you would agree, claim that the most powerful argument for God is experiencing him through personal revelation.  "Now that's the ticket," I thought.  With personal revelation, no logic or evidence is required.  Personal revelation will make a believer out of the worst of the sinners, and I wanted to believe.

So I began a quest that lasted 30 years.  I went to the family's house of god, but he apparently wasn't home, or maybe he hid in a closet when I showed up.  I went to other people's houses of God, but he wasn't there either.  Under the advice of a dear Christian woman, I prayed for enlightenment, but apparently no one was listening.  I read the Bible, but that did not help.  For one thing, the Bible gives absolutely atrocious advice on how to reason, but is loaded with lots of tips about how not to reason.

Now I will admit that as the years wore on, I began to try less and less, as the futility of useless pursuit has a tendency to have that effect on people who want to improve themselves.

So when someone like you shows up and starts parroting platitudes of the Bible, I find that offensive.  You're trying to insult my intelligence with your ignorance, and I wish you would just mind your own business and fuck off.

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 12:43:03 AM »
But that's the problem you see.  I was raised in a Christian family, told all of the stories, and informed of God's alleged promises.  Many of these started to sound hokey when I began to reason (around the age of six).  And your above claim, "There will be no voice from heaven, no visions, no dreams, there is only His word which He places above His name, and the human conscience given to us all that bears His existence," isn't just hokey sounding.  It's just poetic sounding incoherence.  And stuff like that, including my family's instruction got even sillier as I reached my late teens.  But still, I was informed of these mysteries by people I respected.  But that was fallacy number one (arguments from authority, which have nothing to do with truth), although I didn't know this was a fallacy at the time.  But almost everyone I knew believed there was a god, and that was the second big fallacy (the argument from numbers.  Just because a lot of people believe it, doesn't make it true), and I had already learned this in school.

But Christians, and I'm sure you would agree, claim that the most powerful argument for God is experiencing him through personal revelation.  "Now that's the ticket," I thought.  With personal revelation, no logic or evidence is required.  Personal revelation will make a believer out of the worst of the sinners, and I wanted to believe.

So I began a quest that lasted 30 years.  I went to the family's house of god, but he apparently wasn't home, or maybe he hid in a closet when I showed up.  I went to other people's houses of God, but he wasn't there either.  Under the advice of a dear Christian woman, I prayed for enlightenment, but apparently no one was listening.  I read the Bible, but that did not help.  For one thing, the Bible gives absolutely atrocious advice on how to reason, but is loaded with lots of tips about how not to reason.

Now I will admit that as the years wore on, I began to try less and less, as the futility of useless pursuit has a tendency to have that effect on people who want to improve themselves.

So when someone like you shows up and starts parroting platitudes of the Bible, I find that offensive.  You're trying to insult my intelligence with your ignorance, and I wish you would just mind your own business and fuck off.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in searching for God. I can state the very reason that happened, but I'm sure it will be met with obscenities.

There is no reasoning with the Lord if His word is rejected.

Heb. 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Offline Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 03:45:33 AM »
There will be no voice from heaven, no visions, no dreams, there is only His word which He places above His name, and the human conscience given to us all that bears His existence.

If that's not enough to seek God out, then there is no hope for you my friend.

I sat next to Jesus, in a dream just this night.  He came down from the front, pulled up a chair next to me (I was on the left end of a row of people) and sat down to my left.  Some kind of revival meeting.  Kind of weird, he was asking us to thank the folks who did the physical work of preparing the meeting place.  No sweat.

So do you believe my testimony?  Not the first time I have met Jesus either.  First time was one on one.  The language was English, not Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek ... though that would be no impediment for dreams of this nature.
שלום

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 08:39:50 AM »
I'm sorry you had a bad experience in searching for God.

I can't say I'm sorry.  I thought it needed to be done because a conclusion about God's existence, needs to be determined.  If any of your claims are true, then belief or non-belief would have important consequences.   Determining if God exists becomes the prime question.  It must come first.  Before I could except one shred of Christian philosophy, I had to answer that question first.  I was compelled to know if he was actually there.  There is no more important question in Christianity than that, for without his existence, every belief, prayer, promise, or devotion is nothing but a sham.  All of your instructions to me are a worthless waste of time if God doesn't exist.  If there is no way to know this, then there is no reason to attempt to describe him or assume he has a plan.  If God really existed, you would know.  He would leave traces if only in the form of irrefutable statistics that did not resemble chance.

The logical conclusion is that if he can't provide the things people say he provides, if he can't confer knowledge of himself to everyone who seeks (or even those who have no interest in seeking), then he must not exist.

Edit:  Or at best he is irrelevant, because he does nothing that indicates his presence.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 08:44:05 AM by SGOS »

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2017, 08:51:36 AM »
I can't say I'm sorry.  I thought it needed to be done because a conclusion about God's existence, needs to be determined.  If any of your claims are true, then belief or non-belief would have important consequences.   Determining if God exists becomes the prime question.  It must come first.  Before I could except one shred of Christian philosophy, I had to answer that question first.  I was compelled to know if he was actually there.  There is no more important question in Christianity than that, for without his existence, every belief, prayer, promise, or devotion is nothing but a sham.  All of your instructions to me are a worthless waste of time if God doesn't exist.  If there is no way to know this, then there is no reason to attempt to describe him or assume he has a plan.  If God really existed, you would know.  He would leave traces if only in the form of irrefutable statistics that did not resemble chance.

The logical conclusion is that if he can't provide the things people say he provides, if he can't confer knowledge of himself to everyone who seeks (or even those who have no interest in seeking), then he must not exist.

Edit:  Or at best he is irrelevant, because he does nothing that indicates his presence.
^This^  Very close to the very way I think.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2017, 11:27:24 AM »
^This^  Very close to the very way I think.

It seems like Christians jump over the prime question, and I could understand that.  It's a troublesome question, even borderline annoying.  It appears to me that people want to get on with the "good stuff," talking about how a god loves them, how they were created in the image of a god, how they will live forever, and no matter how prickish they act, it doesn't count, because they will always be forgiven.

I say it seems like they do ignore the prime question.  Perhaps deep inside, they are more astute than I was.  Perhaps they realized immediately that the question can never be answered.  No that's probably wrong, because they do answer the question and insist that god exists as a matter of faith (they believe God exists because they believe God exists), and they are unable to see the fallacy of an existence based only on belief.

Even as a child, I was haunted by the question, however.  I could not simply ignore it.  I guess I was obsessed with needing to answer the question, preferably in the affirmative, but grudgingly willing to accept that it might not have an answer.  My Baptist grandmother told me I would go to Hell if I so much as had a doubt about God's existence.  Talk about fucked at the starting gate!  Not knowing is a gentler word than doubt, but doubt can be the only response to not knowing.  But then you go to Hell.  You have to know, but you are not given the evidence required to know.  Yeah, you're in an impossible predicament, and you're fucked.  No god of love would do that to a mortal.  A god that was a total dick might, but neither of those possibilities answers the question one way or another.

Wait!  The Bible is God's word.  The Bible is the evidence that God is real.  But there is a logical problem.  For the Bible to be real, God must be real.  If God is not real, but the Bible still exists, then who wrote it and for what reason?  Unfortunately, for sincere seekers we can infer some reasonable answers about where the Bible came from.  Some of it is speculative, but some of it we actually can know, and that's a Hell of a shitload more than what we can actually know about a god's existence. 

First, we know that it was written by men.  These men were from ancient times, and were ignorant about almost everything.  They had never heard of a dinosaur or a polar bear.  They knew nothing of DNA.  They thought the stars were little holes that let the light through a dome.

They wrote their ignorant speculations down with authority, and the crowds marveled.  Maybe not right a way, but hundreds of years later, equally ignorant men found them in caves, and read them as best they could, and found they agreed with them.  Stars were little holes to let the light through!  Here it is in black and white, written by ancient ancestors, so it must be true, and man is still coming up with similar flawed conclusions today.

So is God real?  Hmmm, maybe.  Do I believe in one?  No.  There's just a big empty gap in my beliefs about that.  But intuitively I'm going with non-existence.  But the rules made up by ancient men, and even more modern ones like Pascal, demand a bet on this conundrum.  OK then, I'm leaning toward non-existence.  I'm going to bet "No."  Now it might be a losing bet, but I promise it's an honest bet, so that's my bet.  I could lie and bet "Yes on existence."  But lying sends you to Hell.

I think I'm going to stop now and go read a comic book.

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 12:06:12 PM »
I sat next to Jesus, in a dream just this night.  He came down from the front, pulled up a chair next to me (I was on the left end of a row of people) and sat down to my left.  Some kind of revival meeting.  Kind of weird, he was asking us to thank the folks who did the physical work of preparing the meeting place.  No sweat.

So do you believe my testimony?  Not the first time I have met Jesus either.  First time was one on one.  The language was English, not Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek ... though that would be no impediment for dreams of this nature.

No, I don't believe your testimony. We are called by faith not by sight.

John 20:29
"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

2Cor. 5:7
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)