Thursday, December 17, 2009

Two tenants to atheism

Hat tip to Cindy

16 comments:

perdita said...

"1. There is no God. 2. I hate him."

lol

I know I'm repeating myself, but reading "Mere Christianity" actually was what started me questioning my faith in Jesus. It has quite a number of badly formed arguments. But, like most apologetics, it's not written to be read critically, it's written to make believers feel good about their faith.

Heath The Blogless said...

Perdita

I find you comment interesting,and I agree to a point. But you statement makes an argument about the authors intent, and is totally unsubstantiated. How do you know that this is what the Author/s intended? I think Authors like Greg Kokal, Ravi Zacharias and Alex McFarland would disagree with you, I am sure they want people to think critically about what they have written.
In fact at the seminary that Alex McFarland is the President of (Southern evangelical seminary) have a subject on Critical thinking:

PH301 Critical Thinking
A study of the basic forms of logical thinking and fallacies, stressing the use of reason in Christian theology and apologetics.

perdita said...

I've not read Kokal, Zacarias or McFarland - can you recommend something?

But, like most apologetics, it's not written to be read critically, it's written to make believers feel good about their faith.

How do you know that this is what the Author/s intended?

I was thinking of Lewis as well as Strobel. It may not have been what the authors intended, but it is the result. I found that many of their arguments only work if you don't look too closely and already believe in the Christian God. The lord, liar, lunatic trilemma, for example. Even as an ignorant 20 year-old, I could see that it was a fallacy.

Cindy J. said...

The book actually tells you what it is about and it clearly states that it isn't about "apologetics." What we think of as the book now was originally speeches given over the air (radio talk) to the Royal Air Force in a time of great mourning. They aired on BBC as "a series of wartime broadcasts on Christian faith." It's a work of oral literature addressed to people at war.
This is all in the foreword of the book :)

perdita said...

I am aware that "Mere Christianity" was adapted and expanded from a series of radio talks.

The book actually tells you what it is about and it clearly states that it isn't about "apologetics."


Where does Lewis say this? In his preface, he states that he is explaining and defending basic Christian tenets. Is that not apologetics?

Cindy J. said...

'the branch of theology that is concerned with the defense of Christian doctrines'

He is explaining... Although i do see that it wasnt his initial intent to play out as apologetics it may "seem" that way in the end :/
Like he says it should be read according to its context. According to the context of being at war time and over the radio i doubt he was thinking "lets throw on a good apologetics show for some comfort to these military men!"

I also wouldnt say this is exactly an "apologetics" book- this isn't something that you would go into a book store and ask for a recommendation on an apologetics book and get this as the result...

Cindy J. said...

and all in all. It's just such a good book :)

If you are looking for great apologetics books I'd recommend Zacharias. He is so good! Anything by him is good :)

perdita said...

O.K. Now I'm re-reading it. :)

The book actually tells you what it is about and it clearly states that it isn't about "apologetics."

Can you tell me where this is?

Like he says it should be read according to its context.

You may be confusing what Lewis said with Norris' forward.

What we think of as the book now was originally speeches given over the air (radio talk) to the Royal Air Force in a time of great mourning.

quibble: His talks to the RAF got him his gig at the BBC. The book is based on talks given over the BBC to a general audience about the nature of Christianity, specifically those parts the different denominations held in common. I get the impression he wasn't speaking to Christians, but rather to non or post-Christians.

Whateverman said...

Am I actually the first person to mention that the word should be tenets and not tenants?

I'm not a grammar nazi, but if you're going to demonize and incorrectly portray a group of people, the very least you should do is try to not look silly in the process...

Cindy Jasmine said...

Well that's not Trisha's fault, it is mine. Personally, I think you got my point ;) and that's all I really care for.

Cindy Jasmine said...

demonize and incorrectly portray a group of people

first of all how am I "demonizing" a group of people? and how am I incorrectly portraying them?
They do hate God, and deny His existence. So what is it that I am saying that's wrong?

Fish with Trish said...

"Well that's not Trisha's fault, it is mine."

Thanks Cindy. You're a blessing. Just shows that we aren't perfect and we need a Savior. :-)

Whateverman said...

Cindy asked me the following: first of all how am I "demonizing" a group of people? and how am I incorrectly portraying them?
They do hate God


First, you can't know that. Second, it makes no sense that they "hate" something which they do not believe exists. For example, I do not hate invisible flying spaghetti monsters.

Neither do you, I assume.

So yes, you've demonized them because they do not agree with you.

---

Cindy also asked the following: and deny His existence. So what is it that I am saying that's wrong?

Not all atheists deny the existence of (your) God. Some to, to be sure, but most simply lack belief. If your God were to appear unambiguously on the White House lawn, most atheists would suddenly stop being atheists, because they would know that God exists.

You're mistaken by claiming they all hate your God, and you're mistaken by claiming that they all deny his existence.

---

Trish wrote the following (more to Cindy than to me): Thanks Cindy. You're a blessing. Just shows that we aren't perfect and we need a Savior. :-)

I'm sorry, but this doesn't make any sense to me. Cindy used a word incorrectly, and this is supposed to be an example of why people need to be saved from their sin?

Sure, you probably left that comment as a harmless joke. However, I've seen you take a seemingly unrelated comment or event as "evidence" that your God exists - and I have a difficult time understanding when you're being serious or not.

In this case, I'm pretty sure you were being serious is a harmless way. Am I correct about this?

Cindy Jasmine said...

I didn’t demonize anyone :) I don’t hate the flying spaghetti monster because it doesn’t exists. If there were thousands of manuscripts and big cosmic duh that said it existed and the manuscripts told me it was going to come back and judge me, and I hated the thought of being judged and thought he was cruel, then I would hate him. Just the way most atheists hate God. They don’t believe in God (better yet they deny his obvious existence) because they think this world is evil, because of a lack of “evidence.” But they have the whole world as evidence…

Psalm 14:1-3 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.

perdita said...

I didn’t demonize anyone :) I don’t hate the flying spaghetti monster because it doesn’t exists.

Exactly. That's why "1. There is no God, 2. I hate him" makes no sense.

If there were thousands of manuscripts and big cosmic duh that said it existed and the manuscripts told me it was going to come back and judge me, and I hated the thought of being judged and thought he was cruel, then I would hate him.

Why? Didn't you just say that you didn't hate the flying spaghetti monster because it doesn't exist? You probably would just think the whole thing (flying spagetti monster coming back to judge you) silly. And it is.

Just the way most atheists hate God.

I can't speak for others, but I don't hate God the same way I don't hate Cthulhu.

They don’t believe in God (better yet they deny his obvious existence) because they think this world is evil,

Lewis said he hated God because the universe seemed cruel and unjust. If that was his only reason for dismissing God, he wasn't a very deep thinker at that time of his life. However, the important thing is that Lewis is speaking for himself only. This is certainly not my position.

because of a lack of “evidence.” But they have the whole world as evidence…

If his existence was so obvious there would be no atheists. The whole world is not evidence of your god any more than it is evidence of Brahma or any other creator god we've dreamed up.

Whateverman said...

Cindy wrote the following to me: I don’t hate the flying spaghetti monster because it doesn’t exists. If there were thousands of manuscripts and big cosmic duh that said it existed and the manuscripts told me it was going to come back and judge me, and I hated the thought of being judged and thought he was cruel, then I would hate him. Just the way most atheists hate God

So, what you've said here is that you think the evidence for tFSM is lacking, while evidence for the Biblical God is convincing. Can you please show why this is valid?

I know plenty of atheists who view the Bible similarly to the way you view information on His Noodliness. They're not convinced by it. And if this is true, then they can't possibly hate the God of the Bible.