Monthly Archives: June 2012

Is There REALLY No Evidence for God?

I know every atheist reader is simply going to say “YES” when they read my title and move on.  So be it.  For those of you still here, I think that Seth Dillon of Logical Faith sums things up nicely:

Atheists . . . have adopted a naturalistic worldview, which means they believe that every event, no matter how supernatural or miraculous it may seem, can be explained without appeal to the supernatural. Thus their disbelief is not the result of a lack of evidence that God exists, but of a philosophy which, from the outset, denies the possibility of any such evidence. In other words, they’re bringing a ready-made conclusion to the evidence, rather than drawing a conclusion from it. Such backward thinking is begging the question, and is neither reasonable nor scientific.

Despite what atheists would have you believe, Christianity is a self-proclaimed evidence-based faith, with Jesus being the supreme piece of evidence.

Keep Reading Seth’s Excellent Post >>>

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Notice This…

A friend on Facebook posted the following graphic:

Notice that I can’t actually win?  The question at the end is loaded.

If I explain why 1-6 are fallacious, I’ve committed #7 and therefore have a hoax religion.

But I can’t show that Christianity is different from other religions without providing justifications for the first six, which means I (once again) have a hoax religion.

Well, shucks… I lose.  But I wonder:

Does the fact that atheists pass this graphic uncritically from one to the next make them guilty of holding a regular groupthink meeting to reinforce belief?  Of course not, they can justify that by saying no money is collected and they aren’t meeting in person.

Wait a minute…

The preceding post was meant as satire and not as a serious argument.  Please don’t tell me I’m committing a tu quoque fallacy with this post.  I already know that.  That’s why I’m tagging it as “humor.”

Meeting the Contrarian’s Third Challenge to Believers

I’ve talked about the Contrarian (part 1 | part 2), and his strawman representation of the Christian gospel.  As it happens, this guy is a gold mine of article ideas for an apologetics blogger.  Sort of a one-stop shopping center for a writer who needs ideas.

Therefore, I couldn’t resist his first challenge to believers.  I have no idea why I answered it.  Along with the second and third challenges, he proves he is only interested in grandstanding for an atheist audience.

So far, #3 is the final challenge and I hope it mercifully stays that way, even though it is the only one remotely interesting: “unobfuscate the Trinity”:

Lucifer: The trinity has caused divisions amongst various christian denominations for centuries. There are those christians who bellieve that Jesus was god in the flesh and those who say he is the sun of god and an entity distinct from god almighty.

Contrarian: Jesus BLATANTLY said things on numerous occasions that points to the fact that he is a being distinct from god, and not god in human form. Before and after being crucified, Jesus prays to god to let this cup pass from his lips, and to forgive his persecutors because they know not what they do.

Furthermore, Jesus also said that neither the angels in heaven nor he (referring to himself) knows the day of his second coming. But he clearly states that God does and speaks of him as a separate entity.

There are various other cases where Jesus makes it plain as daylight that he is NOT GOD incarnate, such as when he claims to have observed the creation of the world, but was not the one doing the creating.

The Contrarian is actually on to something.  His problem is one of equivocation, though I don’t think he realizes that he is the one committing the error.

Let’s see if I can set this straight.

First, in general the doctrine of the Trinity (at it’s most basic) says that the Father, Son, and Spirit share an essence but remain distinct persons.  Something like I am simultaneously a husband to Jody,  father to Ashleigh, Gabe, and Kayti, and a manager to my staff at work.

Each role is different.

This isn’t a perfect analogy — but it’s a step in the right direction.  JP Holding, infamous Internet apologist, explains the Father-Son-Spirit relationship better in this video.

Second, we need to get some definitions straight.  “God” sometimes refers to the ontological category of what Jesus and the Father are — in other words, their shared essence.  Other times, “God” refers to the Father, the First Person of the Trinity.  For our purposes in this post, God always means the essence of deity and Father refers to the person.

With this in mind, let’s see how equivocation derails the Contrarian’s line of thought.

Jesus BLATANTLY said things on numerous occasions that points to the fact that he is a being distinct from god, and not god in human form. Before and after being crucified, Jesus prays to god to let this cup pass from his lips, and to forgive his persecutors because they know not what they do.

Wrong.

Jesus is God, distinct from the Father.  He is God in the flesh — not the Father in the flesh.  Jesus is praying not to his essence, but his Father.

Furthermore, Jesus also said that neither the angels in heaven nor he (referring to himself) knows the day of his second coming. But he clearly states that God does and speaks of him as a separate entity.

Again, he’s speaking of the Father, not of God in an ontological sense.

There are various other cases where Jesus makes it plain as daylight that he is NOT GOD incarnate, such as when he claims to have observed the creation of the world, but was not the one doing the creating.

Again, he’s observing the Father creating.

Critical reading and a little bit of thought should unobfuscate the Trinity.  I hope that I’ve helped.

Meeting the Contrarian’s Second Challenge to Believers

I’ve talked about the Contrarian (part 1 | part 2), and his strawman representation of the Christian gospel.  As it happens, this guy is a gold mine of article ideas for an apologetics blogger.  Sort of a one-stop shopping center for a writer who needs ideas.

Therefore, I couldn’t resist his first challenge to believers.  I have no idea why I answered it.  Along with the second and third challenges, he proves he is only interested in grandstanding for an atheist audience.

Though he claims he is “actually here hoping that someone will prove me wrong and enhance my understanding of reality,” he goes on:

I give the faithful a snowball’s chance in hell that they will actually do so—if past success can help us predict future success—but I must remain true to my scientific convictions.  At any moment, anyone could come forward with proof that would require me to abandon my current perceptions; this is why I dedicate this article to asking questions that I would like answers to. (source)

Yeah, that’s the kind of statement we expect from someone who has already decided the outcome before running the experiment.

Now, on to the second challenge for believers.  As it is written in a make-believe dialogue with Lucifer, I’m not sure why the Contrarian expects anyone to actually take it seriously.

Yet, I’m lending it credibility by answering it.

Go figure.

Anyway, he’s asking for a YouTube video from a believer demonstrating any of the following three things:

  1. Levitation
  2. Walking on low-viscosity fluids
  3. Raising someone from the dead

Why?  Matthew 17:20, of course:

Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

Now, of course, no believer has ever taken this as meaning that we’d actually command a mountain to jump to a new location.  We’ve always understood Christ to be using a rhetorical device common among Semitic people even today — hyperbole.

Why can’t this be a rhetorical device?

The Contrarian doesn’t say.

Of course, the best answer to his drivel is found in the comments section, from Saffa in Asia:

After months of watching this religion bashing and the pointless back and forth arguing, I have come to the conclusion the only way to end this stupidity is for theists to totally ignore the rants and raves of atheists.

If you don’t react, they will become bored and move on to something else where they can get a reaction, for it is the reaction that feeds them.

Ever tried to fight with someone who doesn’t fight back? Rather frustrating. So, don’t feed the trolls. Theists and atheists have made their relevant points over and over again and we are still at square number one.

I know for sure I will get lots of thumbs down and lots of snide comments about being a coward, deluded, stupid, ignorant etc, etc but who cares? Not me.

So I bid you adieu and I trust others will follow suit.

I thought I’d make good use of WordPress’s Reblog feature and share this post by Stephen Bedard on how to be an atheist apologist.
I think Stephen has covered the basics very well. Budding New Atheists should take notes.

Meeting the Contrarian’s First Challenge to Believers

I’ve talked about the Contrarian (part 1 | part 2), and his strawman representation of the Christian gospel.  As it happens, this guy is a gold mine of article ideas for an apologetics blogger.  Sort of a one-stop shopping center for a writer who needs ideas.

Therefore, I couldn’t resist his first challenge to believers.  I have no idea why I’m answering it.  This, along with second and third challenges, are just plain idiotic — proving he is only interested in grandstanding for an atheist audience.

Though he claims he is “actually here hoping that someone will prove me wrong and enhance my understanding of reality,” he goes on:

I give the faithful a snowball’s chance in hell that they will actually do so—if past success can help us predict future success—but I must remain true to my scientific convictions.  At any moment, anyone could come forward with proof that would require me to abandon my current perceptions; this is why I dedicate this article to asking questions that I would like answers to.

Yeah, that’s the kind of statement we expect from someone who has already decided the outcome before running the experiment. Read the rest of this entry

Miracles in Quotes

I think miracles exist in part as gifts and in part as clues that there is something beyond the flat world we see.

— Peggy Noonan

Miracles in Quotes

How quickly we forget God’s great deliverances in our lives. How easily we take for granted the miracles he performed in our past.

— David Wilkerson

Miracles in Quotes

Back of every creation, supporting it like an arch, is faith. Enthusiasm is nothing: it comes and goes. But if one believes, then miracles occur.

— Henry Miller

Miracles in Quotes

Don’t believe in miracles – depend on them.

— Laurence J. Peter