Author Topic: Christian Apologetics  (Read 2165 times)

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2017, 12:26:40 PM »
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.
Even as a child I was puzzled by the notion of god.  I had my nose rubbed in the god business in Alabama (came from Oregon in the 5th grade).  So, I tried to figure god out--and throughout much of my life I made concerted effort to get to know god--and as hard and as well as I knew how.  I see theists not attempting to answer that essential first question--Does God exist and if so how do we know that?   I'm not sure how to phrase this correctly, but I'll give it a shot.  I start from a default of there is no god.  I don't see how anybody can claim we pop out of mommy with that knowledge, one way or the other.  Theists skip over that starting point and go to what they claim is the starting place that there is a god whether we acknowledge him or not.  So, they don't need to prove his existence only have faith.  But that is cheating in my book, for they are skipping a vital question--a question that overrides everything else--does god exist. 

From my vantage point, god does not exist.  From my default position I see no evidence that god does exist.  Therefore god simply does not exist.  I used to say that we cannot prove that--and theists can not prove that he does exist.  But I think there is proof and we, as a society, have been conditioned not to see or accept that evidence.  The evidence is in the form of no evidence at all.  I don't see any empirical in my personal life; in any scientific study; in the physical world; or in nature.  In fact, the astounding lack of evidence simply screams that there is no god.  I don't see any evidence within the bible that shows god exists; in fact ALL of the evidence we have about the bible is that it is crafted by mankind; and most likely all men.  And men who had a vested interest in keeping women and nature under their control, as well as other men.  That the oldest bibles are found in only a single spot in the ancient world is further proof that it is a regional creation of men.  Added all together, that is irrefutable proof that god is simply a fiction created by men to serve their political and social needs.   
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 #16 on: January 28, 2017, 01:24:37 PM »
Even as a child I was puzzled by the notion of god.  I had my nose rubbed in the god business in Alabama (came from Oregon in the 5th grade).  So, I tried to figure god out--and throughout much of my life I made concerted effort to get to know god--and as hard and as well as I knew how.  I see theists not attempting to answer that essential first question--Does God exist and if so how do we know that?   I'm not sure how to phrase this correctly, but I'll give it a shot.  I start from a default of there is no god.  I don't see how anybody can claim we pop out of mommy with that knowledge, one way or the other.  Theists skip over that starting point and go to what they claim is the starting place that there is a god whether we acknowledge him or not.  So, they don't need to prove his existence only have faith.  But that is cheating in my book, for they are skipping a vital question--a question that overrides everything else--does god exist. 

From my vantage point, god does not exist.  From my default position I see no evidence that god does exist.  Therefore god simply does not exist.  I used to say that we cannot prove that--and theists can not prove that he does exist.  But I think there is proof and we, as a society, have been conditioned not to see or accept that evidence.  The evidence is in the form of no evidence at all.  I don't see any empirical in my personal life; in any scientific study; in the physical world; or in nature.  In fact, the astounding lack of evidence simply screams that there is no god.  I don't see any evidence within the bible that shows god exists; in fact ALL of the evidence we have about the bible is that it is crafted by mankind; and most likely all men.  And men who had a vested interest in keeping women and nature under their control, as well as other men.  That the oldest bibles are found in only a single spot in the ancient world is further proof that it is a regional creation of men.  Added all together, that is irrefutable proof that god is simply a fiction created by men to serve their political and social needs.   

While, it may be hard to put into words, you explained that well.  It would be nice to make it simple, but being products of a Christian society, we can get hamstrung by mountains of Christian apology, so we tend to work in the muddy waters of that environment.  But here's a simple response that a friend hit me with when I asked him, "Do you believe in God?"  He didn't say yes or no.  He just replied, "Its irrelevant."  I was taken aback at first, but years later, I thought that's simple (and adequate) enough.  There's nothing about God that we can identify that is relevant to reality.  Put God in or take him out.  Reality remains as it is.  Man makes war, lies, fornicates with his neighbor's wife, and loves his children.  Nothing changes.  Still Christians seem to think that without their god, we would have anarchy.  But what does that say about their inner morality?  Would they start killing and raping or something?  I wouldn't, and I doubt they would either.  I would hate to think that Christians free from their God would suddenly become psychopaths, and that if they unleashed their own evil desires, we would all be doomed sooner than later.

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2017, 02:00:29 PM »
I've never seen or heard of an organized group with the goal of exterminating atheists. I know of several organized groups over the past and present with the goal of exterminating Christians.

The most hated people on earth are the Jews, a close second is Judaeo Christianity. The Bible tells us all about how we will be hated and killed. History has recorded it and is presently recording it, all over the entire world, and it's getting worse.

But you, you are concerned with Christians turning and killing you. Don't worry, the Bible says no such thing. You're safe from the Christians. 

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2017, 04:32:05 PM »
If evolution is true, what purpose do we have, why are we here?
Why do we need a purpose that is imposed on us from outside ourselves? Why is not our own internally generated purpose sufficient for our meaning?
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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?
Oh, you mean like the ancient Jews did to Canaan?

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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.
So, you're saying that without your religion you'd be out raping and pillaging, exploiting those weaker than you?

Then I'm really glad you have your religion - please don't lose your faith!

Quote
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.
Well, if I'm to answer, I'll answer to God, NOT TO YOU, OR ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS FANATIC WHO CLaiMS TO TALK TO GOD!

 
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There will be rewards for those who have done there best to live a moral life and help others along the way.
Oh, so as long as I help people and live "morally" I can still be rewarded, even without having believed? That's nice. So happy now.

But who's morality am I to obey?

Yours?
God Not Found
"I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison."
W. C. Fields

Offline Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2017, 06:10:20 PM »
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:)

And I reject yours also ... but don't take it personally.  I have met Jesus ... have you?

"Well, if I'm to answer, I'll answer to God, NOT TO YOU, OR ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS FANATIC WHO CLaiMS TO TALK TO GOD!" ... the real problem isn't a god speaking to you or you speaking to that god, it is when you claim to the representative of that god, to speak for that god (aka clergy) that you have crossed over from sanity.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 06:15:15 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2017, 06:42:49 PM »
I've never seen or heard of an organized group with the goal of exterminating atheists. I know of several organized groups over the past and present with the goal of exterminating Christians.

You really do live in a fantasy world, don't you? Christians have never attempted to exterminate atheists? Give me a break.
"Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2017, 07:41:37 PM »
I've never seen or heard of an organized group with the goal of exterminating atheists. I know of several organized groups over the past and present with the goal of exterminating Christians.

The most hated people on earth are the Jews, a close second is Judaeo Christianity. The Bible tells us all about how we will be hated and killed. History has recorded it and is presently recording it, all over the entire world, and it's getting worse.

But you, you are concerned with Christians turning and killing you. Don't worry, the Bible says no such thing. You're safe from the Christians.
Go back in time a little bit and tell that to those burning from christian torches.  Or being drowned for being a witch.
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?

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2017, 07:45:59 PM »
While, it may be hard to put into words, you explained that well.  It would be nice to make it simple, but being products of a Christian society, we can get hamstrung by mountains of Christian apology, so we tend to work in the muddy waters of that environment.  But here's a simple response that a friend hit me with when I asked him, "Do you believe in God?"  He didn't say yes or no.  He just replied, "Its irrelevant."  I was taken aback at first, but years later, I thought that's simple (and adequate) enough.  There's nothing about God that we can identify that is relevant to reality.  Put God in or take him out.  Reality remains as it is.  Man makes war, lies, fornicates with his neighbor's wife, and loves his children.  Nothing changes.  Still Christians seem to think that without their god, we would have anarchy.  But what does that say about their inner morality?  Would they start killing and raping or something?  I wouldn't, and I doubt they would either.  I would hate to think that Christians free from their God would suddenly become psychopaths, and that if they unleashed their own evil desires, we would all be doomed sooner than later.
I've often thought about that--if theists are kept from causing death and destruction by their beliefs they are indeed weak and sick people.  But like you, I don't think they would change much if their religion evaporated one day.  But theists will grasp at any 'reason' to believe and work very hard at not viewing this world in a realistic way so they don't have to confront it.
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 Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2017, 07:55:29 PM »
Confronting reality as it is ... is a very hard thing to do, both mentally and emotionally.  A few odd job people do it ... but I am not sure I wouldn't wish to be blithely unaware.
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Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2017, 06:39:06 PM »
I really doubt that anyone has ever been able to interpret, much less confront "reality as it is" because no one has ever been able to perceive reality as it is. Probably never will. We can only interpret reality as it appears to us, and we each see it in a different way, from a different worldview.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 06:43:27 PM by Unbeliever »
God Not Found
"I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison."
W. C. Fields

Offline Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2017, 06:42:27 PM »
I really doubt that anyone has ever been able to interpret, mush less confront "reality as it is" because no one has ever been able to perceive reality as it is. Probably never will. We can only interpret reality as it appears to us, and we each see it in a different way, from a different worldview.

Took the metaphysics right out of my mouth, and you didn't even ask ;-(

But logic, maths and science are a close approximation ... but a tool is only good for a specific use.  I don't use a saw to put in screws.  For geeks, the technical is endlessly fascinating ... and it was for me when I was younger.  But there came a time to move onto non-technical things that mattered more.
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Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2017, 06:46:00 PM »
Here's how we all view reality:



God Not Found
"I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison."
W. C. Fields

Offline Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2017, 06:58:44 PM »
Don't pull on the elephant's tail.  A woman zoo keeper was killed giving an elephant an enema ... she was too close when it all came out ;-(
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Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2017, 07:24:49 PM »
Yeah, there might be other parts that are best not pulled on, as well...
God Not Found
"I am an expert of electricity. My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at the state prison."
W. C. Fields

Offline Baruch

Re: Christian Apologetics
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2017, 07:33:41 PM »
Yeah, there might be other parts that are best not pulled on, as well...

A sexy elephant might caress you back ;-)  Elephantine foreplay.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 11:58:32 PM by Baruch »
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