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5 Greatest Challenges to Christianity that Apologetics Can’t Answer – Part 1

I have been involved in apologetics for more than fifteen years, coming in almost literally the moment after Al Gore invented the Internet.    The following represents some conclusions I’ve drawn during this time.   To be clear, when I say the ‘Five Greatest Challenges to Christianity’ I do not mean it as, ‘here are five great challenges among others.’  What I mean is,  THESE.  ARE.  THE.  FIVE. GREATEST.  CHALLENGES.  I do not suggest that they are all that new.  I do propose, however, that apologetics has no answer to them.  Is that a surrender by a Christian apologist?  Let’s find out.

1.  Ridicule.

Most atheistic arguments are worthless.  If you were to switch out the terms with more neutral ones, this would be seen easily.  Their main power comes from the manner in which they are expressed.

To illustrate:  God is supposed to be good.  I experience pain, which a good God shouldn’t allow.  Therefore there is no God.

That’s an unflattering presentation, but essentially the argument out of many atheist’s mouths.  Let’s swap out the terms:  Ice Cream is supposed to be good.  Ice Cream gives me stomach cramps, which something good shouldn’t allow.  Therefore there is no Ice Cream.  You disagree?  You are a moron.  You are stupid.  Do you have three PhD’s like me?  Are you peer reviewed?  All experts agree there is no Ice Cream.  All scientists know that when examining whether or not there is such a thing as Ice Cream you must first assume there is no Ice Cream.  Are you smarter than all of them?  Idiot.

The power here is not in the argument at all, but in the desire to ‘fit in’ and not appear to be a loser, or stupid, or ‘worse.’ No apologetic in the world can counter the desire to not want to appear to others as a moron, even if it means accepting stupid arguments.  And believe it or not, Ridicule is among the commonest of challenges to the faith.

2.  The ‘Naturalization’ of self-evidently non-natural phenomena.

According to the philosophical naturalists masquerading as methodological naturalists, if one has a truly scientific mind, one will seek naturalistic explanations for everything.  One of my funnest examples is the atheist who argued tooth and nail with me that there was no resurrection finally declaring, “but even if there was, that doesn’t mean God exists.  We should just look for the naturalistic explanation for a dead man rising.”

Indeed, this sort of moving the goal posts lies at the back of much of the atheistic mindset.  They call it a rejection of a ‘God of the Gaps’ mentality.  They feel like Science has continually explained away things previously explained by ‘God.’  This is historically false and theologically ignorant.  The Christian God is not categorically like Zeus on Mt. Olympus or Thor bowling.  But let’s not let the facts get in the way, here.  To the point… studies in America continue to show wide spread skepticism towards evolutionary theory.  Atheists think that this is because people are scientifically illiterate.  Actually, the truth is that many people think that this naturalistic explanatory mechanism fails miserably in explaining things.  According to their own experience of reality, evolution just doesn’t add up.

That is why they have to get people as young as possible and why they will not tolerate anything other than evolution even presented in schools.

But the problem is more pernicious than this.  To go back to the first example, if all the evidence in the world supports a real resurrection and the atheist still says that there is no evidence for God, something else is going on.   What’s going on is most clearly seen in our culture, in our movies and books and the like.  Only to illustrate, not to disparage, consider the Star Gate movie and series.  (I enjoy this series.  :)  )  All the ancient stories of gods and the like turn out to be true… but have entirely naturalistic accounts.  Do you see what I mean?  The disputed facts are suddenly accepted as real but promptly assigned naturalistic explanations.  (I call this the ‘Explanatory Fallacy.’)

It takes a lot of work to get someone to look at Paley’s watch- or their own mind- and say, “Sure looks designed… but it just appears so.  No reason to invoke a designer here!”  This is not ever presented as an argument or given any evidence, therefore it cannot be countered.   The closest you’ll get to it is a discussion of the ‘God of the gaps.’  But most people do not think it through.  It is received.  Thus, to counter it, we must direct our attention to how it is being transmitted.

With the way things are going, when Jesus appears again riding on the clouds at the end of it all, I am convinced that our world’s hardened secular humanists will not (initially) respond with any fear or apprehension.  Instead, they will scratch their heads and say, “Dang.  There are aliens, after all!”  Then they’ll send out a welcoming committee.  In the meantime, hordes of the world’s population will easily leap to the same conclusion.

Obviously, the person drenched in this way of approaching the world will not be moved by arguments and evidence or facts or, well, by anything.  Does that make me a presuppositionalist?  No.  It means that we have to take aim at the ‘drenching.’

I have talked about this often on this blog.  For example, check out all the posts on Philip Pullman, of which this one can illustrate.

In the interests of brevity, and because Stathei will not read anything over 1,000 words, I will give the next three challenges in a later post.

Go on to Part 2

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111 Responses to 5 Greatest Challenges to Christianity that Apologetics Can’t Answer – Part 1

  1. Seems to be a readdressment of the same issue you brought up on the Limited Value of Logical Arguments.

    Also “most commonest”?

  2. ‘commonest.’ Where is ‘most’ ? 😉

    Yes, very similar. The direction I’m going is a little bit different.

  3. Decent point about philosophical naturalism. This is something that bothers me as well. I fail to see what you’re getting at with your first point though. Most arguments fail when you switch out the relevant terms.

  4. Thanks for thinking of me, SJ!

    What are the three other challenges going to be? I hope you will address the main challenge:

    3. Far too many people are thinking for themselves and coming to the conclusion that religion is a complete crock.

    THAT. IS. DEFINITELY. THE. GREATEST. CHALLENGE. (Love the way you did that uppercase/period thing by the way – made it look like you are the person who gets to decide what the greatest challenges are.)

  5. And it doesn’t take Stathei a minute to prove number 1. Hilarious.

  6. You invent several straw men, crush them and then claim that you have proven atheists to be defeated.

    1. You start out with a real complaint against the notion of a benevolent deity and then you fly off the rails into a folly about ice cream. I understand that you are trying to ridicule the atheist position but your blundering attempt fails utterly.

    2. “…self-evidently non-natural phenomena…”
    With this one statement you build the flimsiest of straw men imaginable. You suggest that serious atheists could possibly accept that a human being who was horribly tortured to death and then laid in his grave can come back to life three days later.
    Wrong. No serious atheist can accept that a human brutally murdered could possibly return to life after being dead for three days (dead for three minutes and then resuscitated after heroic medical intervention…maybe).
    This straw man that you invented can’t even stand on its own straw legs.

    “…That is why they have to get people as young as possible and why they will not tolerate anything other than evolution even presented in schools.”
    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
    “Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man” -Jesuit saying
    As for this continuing radical lie that teaching that living things evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years through natural selection is some sort of agenda for controlling minds, science is taught in public school science classes. Religious myth is not taught in public school science classes because it is not science. The study of the foundation of biology – evolution through natural selection – is science. Indoctrination in ancient creation myths is not science. Creationism is not science. It is myth. Science is the exploration of reality. Myth is the repeating of ancient stories that might have made sense, long ago, to farmers and shepherds.

  7. Question begging assertions are always welcomed Bliz.

    “Wrong. No serious atheist can accept that a human brutally murdered could possibly return to life after being dead for three days”

    This is blatantly false. As I’ve persoanlly had plenty of conversations with hardcore atheists that take the tact of Biblical events happening as claimed but envoking naturalistic explanations of ‘magic tricks’ or aliens or other nonsense.

    So next time refrain from speaking for every atheist in the world.

  8. “This is blatantly false. As I’ve persoanlly had plenty of conversations with hardcore atheists that take the tact of Biblical events happening as claimed but envoking naturalistic explanations of ‘magic tricks’ or aliens or other nonsense.”

    I am stunned. I cannot imagine that anybody who uses reason to study the universe can accept that any of the most magical (resurrection, global flood, 6000 years since the beginning of everything, etc.) of the Biblical stories could possibly have happened.
    Are we having a misunderstanding of the word “atheist”?

    Anybody who can believe that a human being can remain dead for three days and then come back to life cannot possibly be an atheist. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to.

  9. Apparently your misunderstanding the words “dogmatic question begging” in regards to philosophical naturalism. Because for all your snarky remarks the historical evidence, when taken under an objective historical standard, that such events actually happened is compelling. So much so that the belief that there MUST be a naturalistic explanation is the only thread atheists have to cling.

    So once again, I’d say it’s just sheer arrogance on your part that has you speaking for every atheist in the world. And an unwillingness to admit there does in fact exist a not insignificant number of atheists that aren’t even remotely motivated by ‘reason’.

  10. Wow.

    I am going to leave you to your little fantasy world. You seem to need very badly to cling to magic to the exclusion of reason.

    My parting statement is that you state that there exist a not insignificant number of atheists who aren’t even remotely motivated by reason, yet you provide zero evidence for the existence of such “atheists”.
    You then say that I am arrogant for “speaking for every atheist in the world”!

    I respond that you have invented fantasy-atheists for the sole purpose of continuing your little games and word-tricks intended to avoid understanding reality.

    Good bye.

  11. Heh. And I’d say the atheistic idea that a car, watch, or computer can create itself through totally random events without any intelligent agency behind them is far removed from the realm of reason. If not sanity.

    Nor do I need to provide any “evidence” from my personal experience which I alone am privy to, especially not for an assertion that is equally lacking any evidence, and tries to make up for it in arrogance born through lack of experience.

  12. Wow. Worst. Comeback. Ever. You have outdone yourself, EB, congratulations!

  13. 1
    I think Jefferson said it best

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them.

    He was speaking about the Trinity specifically, but the concept applies to most religious propositions.

    And, as noted by Blizno, your ice cream analogy is just silly.

    2
    We seek natural explanations because no event has ever been shown to have had a supernatural cause.

    They feel like Science has continually explained away things previously explained by ‘God.’ This is historically false and theologically ignorant.

    Historically false? You’re kidding, right?

    Atheists think that this is because people are scientifically illiterate.

    Childhood indoctrination and lower socio-economic status might also have something to do with it.

    That is why they have to get people as young as possible and why they will not tolerate anything other than evolution even presented in schools.

    Haha… classic!

    Instead, they will scratch their heads and say, “Dang. There are aliens, after all!”

    Yes, that is probably what I will say. Except I would never say “Dang”.

    But why is that unreasonable? I know life exists on earth, I know there are billions of planets out there, so there is a possibility of life besides our own. Meanwhile, it’s amateur hour over at the Biblical Evidence School, and all we have to go on are the third hand, plagiarised accounts of conniving goat herders recorded decades after the fantastical events they supposedly describe.

    Why on earth would anyone believe it was really Jesus coming down in the clouds?

    If I saw a pink elephant in the desert, would I take it as given, and conclude that I had magically teleported into some kind of hybrid Aladdin / Dumbo cartoon? Or that I was hallucinating?

    Obviously, the person drenched in this way of approaching the world will not be moved by arguments and evidence or facts

    Absolutely untrue. Show us the evidence, and we’ll believe it.

  14. “And, as noted by Blizno, your ice cream analogy is just silly.”

    Blizno, like you, didn’t comprehend the point of the illustration.

    “We seek natural explanations because no event has ever been shown to have had a supernatural cause.”

    That’s interesting, but no doubt nothing more than a circular statement. To go back to something Blizno said, “No serious atheist can accept that a human brutally murdered could possibly return to life after being dead for three days (dead for three minutes and then resuscitated after heroic medical intervention…maybe).”

    And yet the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is stronger than the historical evidence for a great many, even most, historical events. However, we note that Blizno rejects the possibility of Jesus rising from the dead because there is no naturalistic explanation for it. Well, duh. That makes a resurrection a pretty good demonstration of supernatural action then, right? And that’s where this atheist found himself forced to give up his argument against the resurrection because the historical evidence for it is on par or surpasses a great many other events he’s willing to concede. So, rather than become a Christian, he punted, and said it didn’t matter if a man rose from the dead anyway.

    Just to note, I never said that this atheist actually believed that a man rose from the dead. I said that the guy dropped the point and said that it wouldn’t matter if he did. That’s what I said, but not what Blizno heard, which again shows a lack of comprehension on his part.

    “Historically false? You’re kidding, right?”

    I’ve been around the block a few times. If you think you can make this argument I’ll be your huckleberry.

    “Childhood indoctrination and lower socio-economic status might also have something to do with it.”

    That sure explains Pascal, Newton, Pasteur, etc, doesn’t it?

    “Yes, that is probably what I will say. Except I would never say “Dang”.”

    Right. So you concede the point. Why argue with me when you admit my point?

    “But why is that unreasonable?”

    First lets talk about how unreasonable it is to belittle the point that I’m making and try to dismiss it and then SIMULTANEOUSLY admit the point, but consider it reasonable?

    That is not rational. It is the sign of a person who will not give in on an argument no matter what. It is exactly the kind of person who, when presented with 100% compelling evidence for Christianity, we can be quite sure will never be convinced. Period.

    “Absolutely untrue. Show us the evidence, and we’ll believe it.”

    But you’ve just shown us exactly the opposite. You’ve just admitted that if Jesus comes down from the clouds, you’ll chalk it up to aliens. You’ve just argued with me tooth and nail over a point that you then turned around and accepted as true, but wondered “why is it unreasonable”?

    In short, you’ve completely proved my point. You relied on ridicule, conceded my point that you will prefer a naturalistic explanation even in the face of an overwhelming demonstration of Jesus’ existence (ie, if he comes to earth in person on the clouds, and plops down in front of you and says, “hey, I’m Jesus!”), but derided that point, even as you admitted it.

    Pure insanity and irrationality and well beyond any help I as an apologist can offer you. 😉

  15. To add on to Anthony’s response to the comment:
    “Absolutely untrue. Show us the evidence, and we’ll believe it.”
    Apologists throughout the centuries have been giving you all sorts of evidence from science, history, and philosophy. We cannot force you to believe the evidence we give you. Genuine belief requires a leap of faith or trust in the available evidence and that is something that people have a problem with. Many are under the assumption that faith is always blind. By definition it’s not and it shouldn’t be, otherwise it’s not genuine faith. The evidence is there. The challenge is the willingness to believe.

    “Pure insanity and irrationality and well beyond any help I as an apologist can offer you.”
    Well said, Anthony. Well said.

  16. I really enjoy pretend arguments with pretend atheists.

    I would like to play too.

    Does Anthony believe in Allah? How about Zeus?

    Most likely not.

    If not, then is Anthony an atheist with respect to Zeus or Allah?

    Not word play, a reality.

    Anthony does not accept the prophesies of Mohammed and neither do I. We are both atheists here. Now my question is: do all those generalizations about atheists hold true for us both?

  17. JR,

    The first sign that you don’t know what you’re talking about is the fact that you think this series were arguments with pretend atheists. This 5 part series isn’t directed at atheists at all. It is directed to Christians. Your failure to recognize this and interpret accordingly gives me a good idea about how much time I should take to invest in a response.

    Thanks for your comment.

  18. Just a quick P.S.

    “…If all the evidence in the world supports a real resurrection and the atheist still says that there is no evidence for God, something else is going on.”

    There is absolutely no physical evidence that a resurrection occurred. Can you provide any evidence?

  19. Does JR believe a being exists who is the supreme judge of truth and right and wrong?

    Yes.

    Does he pay much devotion to this being?

    Yes.

    This being’s name?

    JR.

    So JR is indeed a theist. Believing a god exists whom he worships: himself. Atheism does not exist and has no evidence to positively prove it. 😉

  20. You are equivocating.

    Look at what you said:

    “There is absolutely no physical evidence that a resurrection occurred. Can you provide any evidence?”

    So, from this it is reasonable to believe that by ‘any evidence’ you mean only ‘physical evidence.’ It’s like deja vu all over again. So then I say, “So are you saying that the only things you’ll accept are those things supported by ‘physical evidence’? Cuz that’s what you are implying.” And then YOU say, “yes, that’s exactly what I mean.” And then I say, “Do you believe X, Y, and Z? There is no ‘physical evidence’ for this, either.” And then YOU say, “Of course I do, that’s absurd. I understand evidence is not necessarily ‘physical.'” And then I say, “Great, so on this basis [documenting evidence for X] you believe it, but the evidence for the resurrection is higher [insert documentation for resurrection] then that, but you believe X but reject the resurrection.” And then YOU say, “There is absolutely no physical evidence that a resurrection occurred. Can you provide any evidence?”

    Committing the equivocation yet one more time to bring it full circle. If you think that you can offer something besides this entirely predictable and frankly uninteresting circle of argument, feel free.

    No Christian has ever offered ‘physical evidence that a resurrection occurred.’ No atheist has ever demanded ‘physical evidence’ for Caligula’s sexual escapades but I am unaware of any atheist that doubts that they likely happened. The evidence for the resurrection is stronger than the evidence for Caligula’s sexual badness. (To give one example of what ‘X’ might refer to)

    If you got something new to add to the topic, feel free.

  21. Anthony,

    That is a total cop out. Just to restate my position:

    “Anthony does not accept the prophesies of Mohammed and neither do I. We are both atheists here. Now my question is: do all those generalizations about atheists hold true for us both?”

    If you cannot answer that, can I now blog of my theist conquests?

    You make generalizations about atheists, I pose you are one. I provide a clear line of reasoning. You do not.

    You write avidly of how you defeat atheists in Part 1 of your series right here. When you make assertions against a position I hold, I then have the right to defend my position.

    What better place to have this discussion than right here. I know exactly where I stand. Right here.

    I think you talk to pretend atheists. I know it is directed at Christians, but in this part of your series you falsely represent atheists. For example when you write:

    “One of my funnest examples is the atheist who argued tooth and nail with me that there was no resurrection finally declaring, “but even if there was, that doesn’t mean God exists. We should just look for the naturalistic explanation for a dead man rising.””

    What I’m saying is, that is not a real atheist position. You set it up as a strawman.

    And who would be the atheist with 3 Ph.D.s?? Surely such a great intellect as that – I would at least know her name. Alas, you will only provide straw-men and ad hominem attacks for me.

  22. end bringer,

    Your logic is flawed, please follow

    Does end bringer believe a being exists who is the supreme gaybot?

    Yes.

    Does he pay much devotion to this being?

    Yes.

    This being’s name?

    end bringer.

    So end bringer is indeed a theist. Believing a gaybot exists whom he worships: himself. Atheism does not exist and has no evidence to positively prove it

  23. “You make generalizations about atheists, I pose you are one.”

    I didn’t make generalizations about atheists just as I did not argue against fake atheists.

    “You write avidly of how you defeat atheists in Part 1 of your series right here.”

    I don’t remember doing any such thing.

    “When you make assertions against a position I hold, I then have the right to defend my position.”

    I have no idea what position you hold. “You” are a random person from the internet who evidently has taken the label ‘atheist.’ Contrary to your assertion, I did not generalize about atheists at all.

    “What I’m saying is, that is not a real atheist position. You set it up as a strawman.”

    What is a ‘real atheist position’ except for a position that some atheist holds? I do hope you’re not going to engage in the No True Scotsman fallacy here. That would be tragic. The position I am represented was put forth by a real live atheist. In different words, of course. I summed it up. Unfortunately, you are not in a position to be able to speak authoritatively about all the atheists that I have interacted with over the last 20 years.

    Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that when I say “many atheists” or “most atheistic arguments” this is different than “all atheists” or “all atheistic arguments.” You see, your generalization accusation is not only unfounded, it was preempted.

    “And who would be the atheist with 3 Ph.D.s??”

    Proving only that you have not grasped the point of that section. You are not alone. Evidently not a single atheist has managed to understand that paragraph. But I can’t hold people’s hands. It’s your job before commenting to make sure you have read and understood what you are commenting on.

    Let me try again, briefly. (Though if little words like ‘most’ or ‘many’ are overlooked, I doubt it will have any effect). The ice cream analogy was meant to illustrate the fact that I believe that ‘many atheists’ put forward ‘many arguments’ that suck. Agree or disagree with my opinion there, it doesn’t really matter. It is my belief and experience. But here is the real problem: when I then proceed to explain why their argument sucks, instead of dealing with the particulars of my objections or anything of that sort they simply descend into mockery and ridicule. The ‘rebuttal’ consists mainly- perhaps only- of insults.

    The purpose of the post, point 1, was to point out the fact that this is a common thing and Christians would do well to note that Christians are often falling away because they don’t want to be included among the ‘dumb’ people, rather than because of superior argument or evidence.

    The fact that you or other atheists believe that your insults are not insults but rather are good arguments and solid evidence is really irrelevant; I wasn’t talking to you. Obviously, very few atheists are going to admit that their tactic of choice is just to heap ridicule upon an argument (Timhaay is apparently among the few, given his citation of the Jefferson quote) rather than address the argument. So, we don’t really have to waste time speaking to the wounded egos of atheists who believe they are innocent of the observation I am making. We know they’re going to feel the way they’re going to feel. Which again calls up the fact: I’m not talking to YOU.

    In this particular post, the intended audience must be identified and held in mind in order to interpret it properly. You all may go in for this post-modern crap about the reader making up in his own head what the author ‘really’ means but I don’t. Sorry.

  24. Anthony,

    I didn’t realize the definition of evidence was so difficult, so here is a link for you: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/evidence

    Now to your argument:

    The amount of evidence required to accept that an event/statement is true varies with the claim. For example: the evidence to convince me that you ate an ice cream cone for lunch is far less than the evidence to prove that you took a rocket ship to Mars. Do you agree?

    The evidence to prove Christ was Resurrected is far greater than to prove that a guy was hedonistic.

    Also, I demand evidence for acceptance of any idea/belief… that includes Caligula’s escapades.
    Please cross that off your list things that no atheists doubt.

    Don’t have a pretend argument with a pretend atheist, like here where you creatively write this pretend argument:
    “So, from this it is reasonable to believe that by ‘any evidence’ you mean only ‘physical evidence.’ It’s like deja vu all over again. So then I say, “So are you saying that the only things you’ll accept are those things supported by ‘physical evidence’? Cuz that’s what you are implying.” And then YOU say, “yes, that’s exactly what I mean.” And then I say, “Do you believe X, Y, and Z? There is no ‘physical evidence’ for this, either.” And then YOU say, “Of course I do, that’s absurd. I understand evidence is not necessarily ‘physical.’” And then I say, “Great, so on this basis [documenting evidence for X] you believe it, but the evidence for the resurrection is higher [insert documentation for resurrection] then that, but you believe X but reject the resurrection.” And then YOU say, “There is absolutely no physical evidence that a resurrection occurred. Can you provide any evidence?”

    Have a real argument with a real atheist.

    I wrote that you cannot provide any evidence of a Resurrection. You say yes in Part 1 of your series. Put your money where your mouth, and do it. Discuss with me what would be acceptable evidence for such an event.

    And, while you’re at it:

    “Anthony does not accept the prophecies of Mohammed and neither do I. We are both atheists here. Now my question is: do all those generalizations about atheists hold true for us both?”

    This statement still stands, like a flag of atheism in your yard.

  25. “I didn’t realize the definition of evidence was so difficult, so here is a link for you:”

    Clearly you are new to these debates as otherwise you would know that definitions are important. You are the one that first insisted on ‘physical evidence’ and then merely said ‘evidence.’ That is a good sign to me that you are ready to move the goal posts at the first sign of danger.

    “Do you agree?”

    Standard invocation of Sagan’s Balance. I have spoken to it many times before on this blog. Feel free to use the search feature of the blog to discern my opinion about it.

    “The evidence to prove Christ was Resurrected is far greater than to prove that a guy was hedonistic.”

    You’re basically proving my ‘generalization’ was correct. You have adopted a position of naturalism by default. I don’t share that position, and believe neutrality is the proper starting point. A such, we have no basis for declaring what kinds of claims are more ‘extraordinary’ than others and consequently must evaluate claims based on the strength of the evidence for them- not based on the nature of the claims.

    “Also, I demand evidence for acceptance of any idea/belief… that includes Caligula’s escapades.”

    But my point is that the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is superior to Caligula’s escapades. This is easily demonstrable. When the analysis is complete, there is little doubt that you will accept that his antics likely happened but at the same time, we will discover that no evidence in the world is sufficient for you to accept the resurrection.

    My lowly blog is not the place for you to sort out such things. All I can do is point them out and then you have to decide if you can sleep at night with such views. Nor do you need me to present the historical data for you for the resurrection or Caligula. Carry out the analysis for yourself. I mean, lets be honest, it is clear you have nothing but contempt for me and think I’m an idiot, so whatever I offered you would just mock and ridicule anyway. So you’re really just better off cracking open some books on your own.

    “Have a real argument with a real atheist.”

    I’m sorry, I have no physical evidence that you exist, let alone that you are really an atheist. I do not invest my precious time arguing with putative entities that I have no evidence actually exists. Sorry.

    “I wrote that you cannot provide any evidence of a Resurrection.”

    I’m just quoting that because I mean to use it in a future post. Thanks for the fodder.

    “This statement still stands, like a flag of atheism in your yard.”

    I’ve addressed this on my blog as well. You’ll forgive me if find the argument well… rather weak. Sorry.

  26. “end bringer,

    Your logic is flawed, please follow”

    I’ve got to concur with SJ’s assessment that you’re relatively new to debating theology if you can’t grasp the importance of definitions and how it pertains to the logic of my post.

    Seriously, if you think you’re the first guy to try that “we’re all atheists when it comes to (insert here)” tact, you’re sadly mistaken. And seeing how the claim “we’re all theists when it comes to (insert here)” is built on the same logic you use, if you find it “flawed” then you seriously need to reconsider your debating skills.

  27. “I’m sorry, I have no physical evidence that you exist, let alone that you are really an atheist. I do not invest my precious time arguing with putative entities that I have no evidence actually exists. Sorry”

    Don’t you just hate it when random hallucinations that space aliens planted in our heads from a parellel dimension just pop up without warning? 😉

  28. end bringer,

    Seriously, if you think you’re the first guy to try that “we’re all atheists when it comes to (insert here)” tact, you’re sadly mistaken. And seeing how the claim “we’re all theists when it comes to (insert here)”

    While I’m not the first atheist to make such a claim. The claim stands. While we are all atheists about (insert here), it is not true that we are theists when it comes to(insert here). That line of reasoning is a logical fallacy.

    I am not new when it comes to debating. I thought the standard definition of evidence was pretty clear. It was Anthony that hid behind evocation. Remember:

    You are equivocating.

    Look at what you said:

    “There is absolutely no physical evidence that a resurrection occurred. Can you provide any evidence?”

    That indicated Anthony was struggling with the definition of evidence.

    Finally,
    using your line of reasoning:
    Don’t you just hate it when random hallucinations that space aliens planted in our heads from a parellel dimension just pop up without warning?

    This is equally as true as belief in Christ.

  29. Anthony,

    “You’re basically proving my ‘generalization’ was correct. You have adopted a position of naturalism by default. I don’t share that position, and believe neutrality is the proper starting point. A such, we have no basis for declaring what kinds of claims are more ‘extraordinary’ than others and consequently must evaluate claims based on the strength of the evidence for them- not based on the nature of the claims.”

    What evidence would you need to accept Allah as God? If you start from a neutral place, then there is some evidence that would change your mind. If by your reasoning all claims start with equal validity. Then, cannot Muslim’s lay equal claim to the Quaran using exactly the same level of
    “evidence”.

    When you write this:
    we will discover that no evidence in the world is sufficient for you to accept the resurrection.

    You make two assumptions:
    1. there is legitimate evidence.

    2. I will reject evidence irrationally.

    Both of these are false

    You are admitting by not providing evidence, that there is none. Then every prophecy from Muhammad is also valid by YOUR line of reasoning.

    “My lowly blog is not the place for you to sort out such things. All I can do is point them out and then you have to decide if you can sleep at night with such views”

    Really?? Did I call your blog lowly? Read our little exchange and you first thing you do is insult. If you can dish it, you need to able to take it.

    ” I mean, lets be honest, it is clear you have nothing but contempt for me and think I’m an idiot, so whatever I offered you would just mock and ridicule anyway”

    That is false. I’m challenging you to prove a belief. At this point your position is frustrating for you. There is no evidence to indicate it’s truth. You cannot with any confidence say: here are independent documents that the event occurred….. So, your only defense is an ontological one. These arguments fail to prove/disprove anything. Then, it forces you to faith. Just admit that.

    There is no evidence, you are making a leap of blind faith.

  30. “What evidence would you need to accept Allah as God?”

    You may search the blog. Who knows what you’ll find.

    “If you start from a neutral place, then there is some evidence that would change your mind.”

    Try to keep up. I start from a neutral place with you atheists and others. The idea is to find a bit of common ground to start with. This is usually difficult, if not impossible, especially with atheists, as they have a presumption of atheism- which is not neutral. As a Christian, obviously I have already begun my journey from neutrality and now believe that Christianity is the most reasonable way to go.

    “You make two assumptions:
    1. there is legitimate evidence.”

    Look at you, moving the goal posts! I rest my case.

    “Both of these are false”

    So say you.

    “You are admitting by not providing evidence, that there is none.”

    You’re a hoot. Stathei, is that you?

    “Really?? Did I call your blog lowly?”

    No, you didn’t. I did. Try to keep up.

    “Read our little exchange and you first thing you do is insult. If you can dish it, you need to able to take it.”

    Actually, you started it.

    “I really enjoy pretend arguments with pretend atheists.”

    This is insulting and condescending. My statement that you did not comprehend the post was not an insult. If I say, “Dogs have four legs” and you retort, “But the sky is blue!” it is clear you aren’t responding to what I wrote at all, but rather your knee-jerk impressions of what I wrote.

    “That is false.”

    Doubtful. You reek of arrogance.

    “These arguments fail to prove/disprove anything. Then, it forces you to faith. Just admit that.”

    Are you SURE you aren’t Stathei? I need to check the log.

    “There is no evidence, you are making a leap of blind faith.”

    Stathei, it is you!

    Drat, there I go again, arguing with an entity for which there is no legitimate evidence for. I really must stop that.

  31. here is my question setup:

    Does Anthony believe in Allah? How about Zeus?

    Most likely not.

    If not, then is Anthony an atheist with respect to Zeus or Allah?

    Not word play, a reality.

    Anthony does not accept the prophesies of Mohammed and neither do I. We are both atheists here. Now my question is: do all those generalizations about atheists hold true for us both?

    Why this question?

    Anthony writes about “atheists” as if there is a school of thought….a religion if you will. Literally, an atheist rejects the belief in a deity. It can be all, one, or any number of deities. That rejection can be reasoned or not.

    Anthony is a Muslim atheist.

    So, if Anthony is a Muslim atheist.

    Then, all of Anthony’s arguments validate the Muslim position in the same way he thinks they validate his own; thus,invalidating his own Christian belief. Why? There are no facts that can be provided that Christ is the son of god, or if that there even was a Christ. So, Anthony then falls into an ontological argument. Then around and around he will go.

    P.S.
    When Anthony you write:

    with Christian revelation, you are required to assume, not to demonstrate, the existence of the Christian God.”

    So, my friend Like I’ve stated: In the end your belief in Christ is just a leap of blind faith. Why do you even attempt to rationalize the irrational?

    Just admit: I Anthony have no rational grounds for my belief. I belief in Jesus the same way a Muslim believes in Allah.

    Blindly

    You keep trying to drift from the question.

    Stathei, it is you!

    That is lame, I am not Stathei.

    “I really enjoy pretend arguments with pretend atheists.”

    That was not meant as insult, it meant the same way you used 3 P.H.d.’s.

    You know
    “Proving only that you have not grasped the point of that section. You are not alone. Evidently not a single theist has managed to understand that paragraph. But I can’t hold people’s hands. It’s your job before commenting to make sure you have read and understood what you are commenting on.”

    You just did not understand. I’m sorry for that

  32. To quote you:

    When Anthony you write:

    with Christian revelation, you are required to assume, not to demonstrate, the existence of the Christian God.”

    By putting these words in my mouth, you have brought out ‘discussion’ such as it is to an end. This format requires that people read and comprehend and react to the true substance of what was written. If this is not something someone can do, then obviously the same inability will apply to the comments I might write that follow.

    Fortunately, I don’t think I’m missing much, as there is no physical, legitimate evidence that you exist.

  33. “While I’m not the first atheist to make such a claim. The claim stands. While we are all atheists about (insert here), it is not true that we are theists when it comes to(insert here). That line of reasoning is a logical fallacy.”

    All you show is you have a lack of understadning in how logic works, and a very selective and biased form of reasoning. Not surprising. You ARE an atheist after all. It’s to be expected.

    “That indicated Anthony was struggling with the definition of evidence.”

    *snort* I read what you wrote too. Seeing how the fact is you first said “physical evidence” then simply state “evidence”, and now are on record in saying “legitimate evidence”, the only one who is showing to be equivocating is you.

    “This is equally as true as belief in Christ.”

    Well if this doesn’t prove you are so utterly biased and ignorant that an intelligent conversation is a waste of time, little else will. Clearly you are the same type of atheist we’ve seen who has jumped on the atheistic band-wagon with little forethought, no attempt to fairly investigate competing views, and simply fall back to ridicule others (or simply say ‘nuh-uh’) when confronted. If you aren’t Stathei, you might as well be his clone.

    You don’t really know what you believe or even what other people believe. You simply know you’re right and others are wrong. Pathetic.

  34. end bringer,

    That is exactly the way logic “works”. You can attack me personally all you want. Your reasoning is flawed because it assumes one must be a theist about something. That simply is false my friend.

    I will skip the personal attack rebuttal for brevity.

    You think I’m being vague about evidence. Red herring, why don’t you actually provide some. You provide zero evidence and whine about what I will accept as evidence.

    Just put some out there. That is my challenge to you.

    I’m this, I’m that….blah blah blah….. put your money where you mouth is and put forth some evidence, Stop whining.

  35. Anthony,

    Then prove your point. Stop telling me I’m this…I’m that…blah blah blah….same challenge for you. Put some evidence out there. Then, you can complain about what I consider evidence. Just do it my friend.

    My original statement is still stands untouched:

    Does Anthony believe in Allah? How about Zeus?

    Most likely not.

    If not, then is Anthony an atheist with respect to Zeus or Allah?

    Not word play, a reality.

    Anthony does not accept the prophesies of Mohammed and neither do I. We are both atheists here. Now my question is: do all those generalizations about atheists hold true for us both?

  36. “That is exactly the way logic “works”. You can attack me personally all you want. Your reasoning is flawed because it assumes one must be a theist about something. That simply is false my friend.”

    No more flawed than yours. Your logic is nonexistant since to be a theist means to believe in a deity. If you can get away with claiming one is an”a-theist” simply because they disbelieve in Allah while still believing in Christ, then I stand by my assesment that you are a theist by simply lifting yourself (and human beings in general) to the level of a deity.

    “You think I’m being vague about evidence. Red herring, why don’t you actually provide some. You provide zero evidence and whine about what I will accept as evidence.”

    Like I said you do indeed believe a being exists that is the sole judge and provider of truth: yourself. I’d say that fits the description of a ‘god’ pretty well.

    And I don’t think you’re being “vague” when it comes to your demand for evidence. I think you’re moving the goal post back far enough that no amount of evidence will matter, as you can simply claim them to be “illegitimate” according to your fickle standards. (To say nothing about whether such evidence is accepted in other cases.)

    Contrary to your flase assumptions about only debating “false atheist”, we’ve been around the block a few times, and know when someone is legitmately worth the time to give an indepth argument.

  37. “You are the one that first insisted on ‘physical evidence’ and then merely said ‘evidence.’”

    The two are equivalent.

  38. The two are not equivalent.

    Witness testimony alone has been sufficient to put people in prison. Were they put in prison without any evidence being brought forth? Does witness testimony count as ‘evidence’? If so, is it also ‘physical evidence’?

  39. Of course it’s physical evidence. Unless memories are somehow stored in a vacuum.

  40. Care to tell how much a memory weighs? It’s shape? It’s volume? It’s texture?

  41. No, EB, let’s give this one to him. It’s stooping awful low, I admit. If we rung up a lawyer tomorrow and told him that Tim said that testimony was physical evidence we can guess what he’d say about Tim! But if he’s willing to move the goal posts that far, let’s let him.

    So, Tim, if someone has a direct encounter with God and then bears witness to that encounter, is that now- according to your terms- physical evidence for the existence of God?

    Are we not in possession of numerous accounts of this sort?

  42. dear end bringer,

    2 points:

    1) rejection of a deity does not necessarily elevate you to the level of a deity

    2) Anthony is a Muslim atheist which means that Anthony rejects Allah as God. As such, a Muslim can use Anthony’s same exact generalizations.

    Blah, blah, blah … I am still waiting for evidence.

    You have done anything, but provide any evidence.

    Provide some.

    I am well aware that you dislike me. You may even hate me. That is not the point.

    The point is that you claim there is evidence to the existence of God.

    Just prove it.

  43. “1) rejection of a deity does not necessarily elevate you to the level of a deity”

    I don’t necessarily agree. As God is the supreme authority over mankind, to deny his existance therefore entails the supreme authority over mankind is human beings. Which is pretty much one of the driving forces behind atheism.

    But setting that aside, read what I actually wrote again. I believe I gave specific reasons why it’s so.

    “2) Anthony is a Muslim atheist which means that Anthony rejects Allah as God. As such, a Muslim can use Anthony’s same exact generalizations.”

    Simple denial and repeating assertions means little. You are a self-theist which means you hold yourself up as a ‘god’ to be respected. If this simple statement means little to you, yours means even less to the rest of us.

    “The point is that you claim there is evidence to the existence of God.”

    You’ve been invited numerous times to do your own research on this blog. You are, quite frankly, not worth the time to repeat what has been said to numerous others, and your laziness just shows you truly aren’t interested in searching for any evidence, except perhaps to mock it.

  44. Dear Anthony,

    “… if someone has a direct encounter with God and then bears witness to that encounter, is that now- according to your terms- physical evidence for the existence of God? Are we not in possession of numerous accounts of this sort?”

    I’ve just had an eyewitness account that Allah is God.
    He just came down and told me he is the one.
    It must be true.

    re: physical evidence and evidence
    “The two are not equivalent. Witness testimony alone has been sufficient to put people in prison. Were they put in prison without any evidence being brought forth? Does witness testimony count as ‘evidence’? If so, is it also ‘physical evidence’?”

    Cite one court case where witness testimony alone was the only evidence provided to convict a person of a crime.

  45. Haha, ah EB… you really do remind me of Sisyphus. Except your boulders are much, much smaller. I’ll answer your questions when you tell me the weight, shape, volume and texture of a gluon.

    If we rung up a lawyer tomorrow and told him that Tim said that testimony was physical evidence we can guess what he’d say about Tim!

    Now who’s shifting the goalposts? Context, Anthony… context. “Physical evidence” has a specific meaning in a courtroom, and no, memories would not be included. But we’re not in a courtroom, are we? Aren’t we discussing evidence for god? You shifted the goalposts by invoking the courtroom analogy, thus changing the context.

    Is that now- according to your terms- physical evidence for the existence of God?

    Since the universe is entirely composed of matter and energy, yes, I suppose it is. Do you really expect an atheist to answer otherwise?

    Are we not in possession of numerous accounts of this sort?

    Yes, I suppose we are. But we are also in possession of accounts of the Loch Ness Monster. Just because a memory exists, doesn’t mean it’s reliable.

    It’s evidence. It’s just not very good evidence.

  46. Really must remember to close my HTML tags.

  47. Dear end bringer

    First, let me say that i am glad you are clamoring around your computer waiting for me.

    now,

    “I don’t necessarily agree. As God is the supreme authority over mankind, to deny his existance therefore entails the supreme authority over mankind is human beings. Which is pretty much one of the driving forces behind atheism.”

    “with Christian revelation, you are required to assume, not to demonstrate, the existence of the Christian God.”

    Don’t those two quotes look the same? The basis of your argument “assumes” a Christian God.

    In the end it provides zero evidence. When you set that as your premise … begs the question … you then rely on blind faith.

    “You are a self-theist which means you hold yourself up as a ‘god’ to be respected. If this simple statement means little to you, yours means even less to the rest of us.”

    No, I am an atheist. I reject the existence of a deity. That does not make me a deity. It is exactly what the word means.

    Are you ever going to actually provide any evidence, or are you just going to keep running in circles?

    “You’ve been invited numerous times to do your own research on this blog. You are, quite frankly, not worth the time to repeat what has been said to numerous others, and your laziness just shows you truly aren’t interested in searching for any evidence, except perhaps to mock it.”

    Cop out. I’ve searched this blog. You do not provide any evidence at all. Show me where you provide any evidence.

    So, again, end bringer – provide evidence.

    Your friend,
    JR

  48. “Haha, ah EB… you really do remind me of Sisyphus. Except your boulders are much, much smaller. I’ll answer your questions when you tell me the weight, shape, volume and texture of a gluon.”

    Dodge. And a poor one at that considering your invoking the existance of something that is, by definition, unobserved.

  49. “Now who’s shifting the goalposts? Context, Anthony… context.”

    Nice try. You said that ‘evidence’ is the same as ‘physical evidence.’ The reason why testimony is not considered ‘physical evidence’ is because… it isn’t. Not in any context except the context in which you suddenly realize your position has been revealed to be absurd. :)

    However, accepting your terms once again, you are assuming that inside the courtroom testimony counts as evidence (but not physical evidence) and can be sufficient to lock someone away for a very long time but outside the courtroom testimony does NOT count as evidence because now (abba cadabra!) it is physical evidence, but alas that silly exercise achieved nothing for you because we are still left with people giving testimony to encounters with the supernatural- which is ‘physical’ evidence on your view.

    “Since the universe is entirely composed of matter and energy, yes, I suppose it is. Do you really expect an atheist to answer otherwise?”

    Atheists have diverse viewpoints. I wouldn’t want to pre-judge you. I would love to latch on to this and show you how many things you consider to be real that you would not consider ‘matter and energy’ (eg, any abstraction you like or the rules of logic) but I’m enjoying the fact that you have now conceded that we do have physical evidence for the existence of God. This is quite the change in tune!

    Ironic, because JR above said, “I wrote that you cannot provide any evidence of a Resurrection.”

    And by ‘evidence’ you and he apparently believe is the same as ‘physical evidence’ in this context, and as we have numerous accounts of the resurrection, you cannot now say there is ‘no evidence’ of a resurrection.

    There you go, JR, Tim has given you physical evidence for a resurrection.

    “Just because a memory exists, doesn’t mean it’s reliable.”

    No doubt. No one is saying any such thing. But it doesn’t mean its wholly untrustworthy, either. This is where a look at courtroom ‘context’ becomes relevant again. Remember, you said, “the universe is entirely composed of matter and energy” but we are disputing the existence of an entity that is simultaneously transcendent to the universe and immanent with it. That means that no empirical examination could ever in principle demonstrate or prove God. In sum, the laboratory is not the best ‘context’ for evaluating ‘evidences’ for the existence of God. The courtroom is, because it is in the courtroom where is is known and understood that memories can be unreliable and yet they can also be instrumental in bringing about justice. It is in the courtroom where evidence of various kinds- eyewitness, forensic, confessions, videotape, etc- is weighed carefully and evaluated to try to come to a conclusion.

    You imply that the context of a discussion about the existence of God demands a scientific (ie, physical, empirical) framework, but the very definition of God and the very principles of empiricism make that the last context in the world to put the discussion. The courtroom context is far superior, for reasons I have already alluded to.

    “It’s evidence. It’s just not very good evidence.”

    Right. Back to JR’s ‘legitimate evidence.’ That’s a movement of the goalpost if I have ever seen one.

    I don’t mind having a discussion about what constitutes ‘good evidence.’ But I think we should dispense with this nonsense that there is no evidence at all and that evidence in this ‘context’ must be ‘physical.’

  50. JR, if you put this quote in my mouth one more time, I’m going to ban you.

    You have now said twice that I said: ““with Christian revelation, you are required to assume, not to demonstrate, the existence of the Christian God.””

    I never said any such thing. Assert it again and you’re gone.

  51. “Don’t those two quotes look the same? The basis of your argument “assumes” a Christian God.”

    From what I understand you’ve essentially made the latter quote up.

    “In the end it provides zero evidence. When you set that as your premise … begs the question … you then rely on blind faith.”

    Says the guy who’s provided zero physical, legitimate evidence that he in fact exists. 😉

    “No, I am an atheist. I reject the existence of a deity. That does not make me a deity. It is exactly what the word means.”

    And SJ and I (and every Christian) rejects the nonexistence of a deity. That makes us theists. It’s exactly what the word means.

    “Cop out. I’ve searched this blog. You do not provide any evidence at all. Show me where you provide any evidence.”

    If you’re refering to this specific blog post – Duh. It’s never been about providing evidence for God’s existance when it was intended to be targeted to Christians. If you’re saying you’ve searched this entire site and found no posts containing arguments on the evidence for God’s existance – I say you’re either being dishonest or you didn’t really look hard enough.

  52. Dear End Bringer,
    I have a story to tell you.
    When I was a kid, I was a paper boy and there was a little white dog that was tied to a tree on a front lawn. It would protect the front lawn. When I got close, it would get excited and start running around the tree. As it ran around the tree, its rope got shorter and shorter until finally, it had no rope.
    I would set my bag down and run around the tree in the opposite direction, so it could protect its front lawn again.
    That is what I am doing now.
    I assert to you and Anthony to put forth this evidence that you claim to have but never share.
    If the evidence is valid and true, I will embrace Christianity.
    If the evidence is invalid and false, I will remain an atheist and you will remain a Christian.
    Just show me the evidence.
    Your friend,
    JR

  53. Dear Anthony,
    Jerry McGuire said it best when he said “just show me the money!!!”
    Your friend,
    JR
    P.S. Still waiting on that court case.

  54. “I assert to you and Anthony to put forth this evidence that you claim to have but never share.
    If the evidence is valid and true, I will embrace Christianity.”

    I assert that you have been dishonest and untrustworthy. And therefore do not believe your sincerity. I can already tell any evidence provided will simply be labeled “illegitmate” no matter how valid it actually is.

    I assert you are simply not interested in any evidence at all, and are therfore not worth the time and effort for an in-depth discussion.

  55. Dear Anthony,

    “we are disputing the existence of an entity that is simultaneously transcendent to the universe and immanent with it. That means that no empirical examination could ever in principle demonstrate or prove God.”

    When you write that, you openly admit that there is no evidence.

    You cannot be an “evidentialist” as you claim, who is perfectly happy to engage in a demonstration that the Christian God exists.

    To restate my assertion, Anthony, my friend … Tony, your belief in Christ is based on blind faith.

    Your friend,
    JR

  56. Dear End Bringer,

    Why do you spend so much time talking about evidence if you’re not really going to put any forth?

    Why do you spend so much time talking about evidence and logic if you really never have any intent to provide any?

    You spend all this time worrying about me, my position, what I’ve written … we’ve done this for a day, and now you refuse and back out.

    I accept your defeat.

    Thank you for your time.

    Your friend,
    JR

    P.S. You now go into the list of defeated theists.

  57. Amazing how you’ve whined so much about SJ debating “false atheists” yet turn around and demonstrate his generalizations as true. But then your existance IS in question.

    Though Timmy would seem to assert “physical evidence” does indeed exist for Christianity.

    As you prove, your atheism is largely based on ignorance JR.

  58. “When you write that, you openly admit that there is no evidence.”

    Nonsense. You seem to have failed to grasp that I do not accept your premise that ‘evidence’=’physical evidence.’ I do not accept Tim’s assertion that the two mean the same thing. Therefore, when I say that there isn’t empirical evidence, per se, I do not mean there isn’t evidence. I think there is loads of evidence. In short, I am not equivocating, and you are. I mean, you have a really bad case of it and should probably have someone take a look at it. 😉

    Unless of course Tim is right, and memories and testimonies and logical arguments and rational inferences are all ‘physical.’ In that case, I guess I do have ‘physical’ evidence for God!

    This is probably too much nuance for a guy who quoted some other guy saying we have to assume there is a God and putting it in my mouth, but I think it is safe to say that unless we square away what kinds of evidence we’re going to be looking for, and unless you give up your notion that evidence=physical evidence /else it is not ‘legitimate’, conversation is pointless.

  59. Dear End Bringer,

    Blah, blah, blah… does that mean you’re going to provide evidence?
    Blah, blah, blah.
    One piece of evidence you’re willing to discuss. You pick the evidence. You say there is so much, pick something .
    Blah, blah, blah.
    Your friend,
    JR

  60. Dodge. And a poor one at that considering your invoking the existance of something that is, by definition, unobserved.

    Haha… your obliviousness to irony is matched only by the weakness of your arguments.

    From the Wikipedia page for “gluon”:

    The first direct experimental evidence of gluons was found in 1979 when three-jet events were observed at the electron-positron collider PETRA.

    The point, you muppet, is that just because you can’t describe something’s weight, shape, or texure, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in the physical world. A memory may or may not be a “thing” that you can “look” at (I think the jury’s still out), but there is no doubt that memories exist via a physical medium.

    Do you think memories reside in the soul?

  61. Dear Anthony,
    Last one tonight, I’ve got to work for a living.
    I will make you the same offer I made End Bringer. Pick one piece of evidence you feel is valid, then we will discuss it.
    Your friend,
    JR

  62. “Why do you spend so much time talking about evidence if you’re not really going to put any forth?”

    Because what is being discussed is largely what kind of “evidence” is approriate to prove the nature of the thing in question. As we’ve seen the only “legitmate” evidence you’ll consider has been repeatedly said to be unable to prove God’s existence in principle. Thus other forms of evidence are required. You likely even rely on such evidence yourself in humerous cases, but when it comes to the specific topic of God’s existence you move the goal post as far as you can.

    “Why do you spend so much time talking about evidence and logic if you really never have any intent to provide any?”

    Why do you continue to ask about evidence and logic if you really never intend to accept any?

    “You spend all this time worrying about me, my position, what I’ve written … we’ve done this for a day, and now you refuse and back out.”

    Heh. You REALLY over-estimate yourself if you think these brief exchanges take up even a fraction of my mental faculties. And it’s once again a testimant to your poor reading skills, if you think I ever agreed to indulge your needy requests.

    “P.S. You now go into the list of defeated theists.”

    As SJ pointed out from the beginning, you’ve never been aware of what you’re talking about and have largely just been making things up. But hey, if you need something to help you sleep at night, be my guest.

  63. Just a warning, Tim. Saying we have ‘direct experimental evidence’ of any quantum particle is just not a good idea. Quantum theory is a model and many ‘direct experimental observations’ are nothing more than inferences. I didn’t look up this particle one (you didn’t link to it! I have to get it myself? The indignity) but I would bet that if you press your point with it you’ll end up with egg on your face.

    Just an aside and a friendly warning. Carry on.

  64. “Blah, blah, blah…”

    I think this sums up the essentials of your posts quite nicely JR. 😉

  65. Dear End Bringer,
    Just put the evidence out there. Stop running in circles. Just put it out there.
    What is the worst thing that’s going to happen? I might disagree?
    Your friend,
    JR

  66. “The point, you muppet, is that just because you can’t describe something’s weight, shape, or texure, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in the physical world. A memory may or may not be a “thing” that you can “look” at (I think the jury’s still out), but there is no doubt that memories exist via a physical medium.”

    SJ already beat me to it, but to repeat – quantum theory doesn’t deal with inferences more than physical examination. I’ve got news for you: physical things are physically measurable by the first-person. Memories are revealed by the third-person. If you can’t provide physical measurements that can be directly examined, then by golly, they aren’t physical. All this shows is that you really haven’t thought things threw.

    But it’s essentially irrelevant, as SJ is showing to accept your premises and show it still works for Christianity’s favour.

    “Do you think memories reside in the soul?”

    More like the ‘mind’, but as the two are both immaterial, it’s inter-changible at this point.

  67. See, that’s got to be Stathei. Classic set up. Puts a question out there and acts all friendly like as though he is actually interested to hear what you have to say and then you start talking and he begins mocking, berating, ridiculing, insulting and otherwise showing his true colors. I for one am not going to fall for it again, even if JR isn’t Stathei.

    Of course, EB and I are of the mind that JR doesn’t actually exist. I suppose we could extend it further and admit we don’t have physical evidence of the existence of Stathei, either. Things suddenly make sense.

  68. “Just put the evidence out there. Stop running in circles. Just put it out there.
    What is the worst thing that’s going to happen? I might disagree?”

    I know you’re going to disagree. No matter what. That’s why I don’t give your posts any more effort than they deserve.

  69. “SJ already beat me to it, but to repeat – quantum theory doesn’t deal with inferences more than physical examination.”

    EB, I assume you mean that it DOES deal with inferences?

  70. /bed.

  71. Whoops!

    Yeah that’s what I meant.

  72. I’ve never said there isn’t any evidence for Christianity. It’s just that your trump card is essentially a book you wrote yourself, and therefore not particularly compelling. Also, there’s the small matter of there being just as “much” evidence for Islam, or Judaism, or Scientology, never mind the different flavours of Christianity itself (Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesesses, etc).

    That means that no empirical examination could ever in principle demonstrate or prove God.

    Perhaps not “prove”, in the pure sense, but there are plenty of empirical examinations that would go a long way to at least increasing the probability of his existence.

    But I think we should dispense with this nonsense that there is no evidence at all…

    Fine by me!

    …and that evidence in this ‘context’ must be ‘physical.’

    As an atheist, and, like almost all atheists, a materialist, I can’t see evidence as anything else. Perhaps you could provide some examples of your non-physical evidence…?

  73. End Bringer,
    “I know you’re going to disagree. No matter what. That’s why I don’t give your posts any more effort than they deserve.”
    Just put it out there. If I disagree, it’s okay.
    You seem very sensitive that I’m going to disagree. It’s okay, it’s called a debate. If you put something out there, then we can talk about it.
    You pick what and we’ll discuss it. I promise I won’t ridicule you.
    I will be back tomorrow evening.
    Your friend,
    JR

  74. Just an aside and a friendly warning. Carry on.

    No problem… happy use “dark matter” instead.

  75. heh dark matter is another one of those things that will not be ‘directly observed’ but rather is indirectly inferred. :)

    I didn’t know what you meant by this:

    “It’s just that your trump card is essentially a book you wrote yourself, and therefore not particularly compelling.”

    What book I wrote myself?

    Regarding your other issues, I obviously believe there is a way through them to Christianity, or else I wouldn’t be having this conversation. I’m willing to go into a lengthy conversation with you about it if you’re likewise willing. Except for occasional snarkiness, you seem to argue in good faith. (I’m sure I can be cited for some snarkiness, too). I would only ask 2 things… 1., you understand by ‘lengthy’ I measure it in months and years, and that we both allow that real life will sometimes delay our responses and 2., we move the conversation to my forum. I really don’t like the blog/comment format for long discussions, personally. I assume you’ve seen my forum? I don’t spend as much time there as I’d like but I still think it is a superior format.

    What say you?

  76. Dark matter is another one of those things that will not be ‘directly observed’ but rather is indirectly inferred.

    Exactly. And, much like memories, the fact that they cannot be ‘directly observed’ (yet, I might add) does not mean that they are not manifested in the material world.

    What book I wrote myself?

    The bible, silly! :-) A use of the plural version of “you”, obviously.

    What say you?

    I say… bring it! :-)

    Yes, I do try and argue in good faith, or, at least, I never deliberately argue in bad faith. I don’t recall being snarky with you, nor you with me, but EB is, I’m sure you’ve noticed, a different kettle of Jesus fish.

    By your “forum”, do you mean the Knights of Contention link…?

  77. No, this is it: http://swordoftruth.us/index.php

    Sign up, I’ll start a topic.

    Our mutual snarkiness was mild. Re: EB, I think you will find he is as ready to have a conversation as anyone once the ‘snarkiness’ is removed. Perhaps you might say, “he started it!” or “him first!” but my point is just that he is capable. I have my own buttons that if pressed will send me off the deep end. You already know one of those from after the PZ thing- when people make (usually insulting) comments about something that they themselves haven’t even read, or if they did read it, they failed to grasp even the most basic of points, reducing things to a matter of simple literacy, not substance… from people who are supposed to be smarter than me. But I digress.

    Re: Dark matter… If your point is merely that indirect inferences are not not inconsistent with purely material things, it is worth pointing out that a thing indirectly inferred could also be immaterial, no?

    Sign up for my forum, I’ll start the thread.

  78. In case you couldn’t find the thread I started in that huge tangle of topics, it is here.

  79. “Just put it out there. If I disagree, it’s okay.”

    Just look for it yourself. It can’t take any more time than your constant begging.

    “You seem very sensitive that I’m going to disagree. It’s okay, it’s called a debate. If you put something out there, then we can talk about it.
    You pick what and we’ll discuss it. I promise I won’t ridicule you.”

    *snort* You seem very desprate that we indulge your request. We don’t, because it’s called ‘Not feeding the troll’. If you had any genuine interest you’d do some searching yourself.

  80. End Bringer,
    When a claim is made, the responsibility of the evidence falls on the maker of the claim.
    I originally made this claim:
    Does Anthony believe in Allah? How about Zeus?
    Most likely not.
    If not, then is Anthony an atheist with respect to Zeus or Allah?
    Not word play, a reality.
    Anthony does not accept the prophecies of Mohammed and neither do I. We are both atheists here. Now my question is: do all those generalizations about atheists hold true for us both?
    Anthony could have asked me to provide evidence to support the claim I made. I would then be obligated to provide evidence to support it. In this case, the evidence would not be physical because my claim is that of an idea.
    I then took issue with a claim that Antony made:
    “…If all the evidence in the world supports a real resurrection and the atheist still says that there is no evidence for God, something else is going on.”
    My issue here is that there is no evidence for such an event. I then made the demand for evidence. The resurrection was a physical event that demands physical evidence.
    So, my demand for evidence is valid because I am demanding Tony back his claim.
    “Just look for it yourself. It can’t take any more time than when you write: Just look for it yourself. It can’t take any more time than your constant begging.
    “*snort* You seem very desprate that we indulge your request. We don’t, because it’s called ‘Not feeding the troll’. If you had any genuine interest you’d do some searching yourself.”
    Not desperate, but curious. You claim this knowledge, but refuse to share it. It makes me think you do not have any.
    If I had evidence that a bus crash will happen today at 3 o’clock, I would do everything I could to supply that information. I would be willing share that information to save those people.
    Not tell people I already spoke of that.
    If you have such knowledge, why hide it?
    Your friend,
    JR

  81. Today’s Favorite Quote: “The UN is like GI Joe – an organization with the goal of world peace. Difference being one of them actually achieves their goals.” EndBringer

    Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

    Matthew 5:44

    End Bringer you might want to brush up on that bible sport.

  82. “Not word play, a reality.”

    Pure word play, and a lack of understanding. Simply repeating the same empty asserions over and over again isn’t going to do you any good.

    Again, if you can get away with calling someone an atheist simply by dsbelieveing Zeus, I’m more than certainly entitled to calling you a theist for believing yourself to be some kind of god.

    Difference being my position is a bit more sensical than yours. 😉

    “My issue here is that there is no evidence for such an event.”

    Your issue there is that you can’t grasp the meaning of the word “If…” as it indicates a hypothetical at best. Nor the fact that proving the resurrection was not the point of the post.

    “Not desperate, but curious. You claim this knowledge, but refuse to share it. It makes me think you do not have any.”

    Oh, it’s desperate alright. You claim to be curious, yet refuse to do any research yourself into the numerous posts on this site (or in the internet) that actually addresses the evidence. It makes me think your just looking for more ammo to mock others.

    And that belief is reinforced given your rather irrelevant (and incorrect) post about my summation on the UN’s effectiveness.

  83. atheist simply by dsbelieveing

    Is the definition of what an atheist is. Rejecting a belief in a deity. What my true issue is Anthony’s blanket generalizations of what an atheist is. My argument that Anthony is an Muslim atheist is valid. My point was that writing about atheists in a stereotypical way is no less erroneous then your current concern about Christian generalizations.

    Nor the fact that proving the resurrection was not the point of the post.

    You are right. Follow the comments and you see that Anthony brought it up. He is the one that claimed evidence. If you make a claim. The burden of proof falls on the maker of the claim.

    Oh, it’s desperate alright. You claim to be curious, yet refuse to do any research yourself into the numerous posts on this site (or in the internet) that actually addresses the evidence. It makes me think your just looking for more ammo to mock others.

    I have found nothing in this site that provides compelling evidence for or against a belief in god. You will need to prove this compelling evidence exists if you are claiming evidence resides on this site. You keep wrongly placing the burden of proof on me. If you are refer to this:

    http://sntjohnny.com/front/epistemological-confusion-about-revelation-and-revelation/1517.html/comment-page-1#comment-36453

    I do not consider that evidence, but I can at least work with that.

    And that belief is reinforced given your rather irrelevant (and incorrect) post about my summation on the UN’s effectiveness.

    1.you believe in Christ’s word a higher authority than your own.

    2.You assert that military force(GI joe)is better than mediation by your comparison.

    3.That was a direct quote from Jesus contradicting you

    4.Jesus is a higher authority than your own

    5.Your statement is wrong

    There is my reasoning. Why don’t you try to attack that instead of me. Outside of that, It was really in jest. You have called me all kinds of insults. Have I cried about them?

  84. “atheist simply by dsbelieveing

    Is the definition of what an atheist is. Rejecting a belief in a deity”

    A-theism is actually rejection of ANY deity. Obviously as Christianity claims a diety to exist, a Christian can’t fall into this catagory.

    “My argument that Anthony is an Muslim atheist is valid.”

    And my argument that you are self-worshipping theist is equally (if not more) valid.

    “You are right. Follow the comments and you see that Anthony brought it up. He is the one that claimed evidence. If you make a claim. The burden of proof falls on the maker of the claim.”

    Yeah, he claimed “If…”. Which isn’t a direct claim that needs to be supported when it’s not the topic at hand.

    “I have found nothing in this site that provides compelling evidence for or against a belief in god.”

    Oh, so it’s COMPELLING evidence now, is it? I thought you were looking for ANY evidence at all. Gee, if only Anthony had addressed this method of moving the goal post and where it will end. Wait a minute…

    “2.You assert that military force(GI joe)is better than mediation by your comparison.”

    I assert the UN doesn’t do much of a job on mediation.

    “3.That was a direct quote from Jesus contradicting you”

    I saw nothing in your quote addressing the UN’s job performance.

    Like I said, it’s clear you’re just looking for an argument than genuinely looking for answers, as this rather pathetic attempt shows. I’d rather not believe you think referring to a fictional cartoon series is some kind of call for violence.

  85. Responding to JR commenting on another post, where he, referring to THIS post, said:

    My original point is you generalize atheists as one group. That is simply not true. You use it in the context that one would use a racial slur.

    The accusation of ‘generalization’ stems from this line from my post:

    That’s an unflattering presentation, but essentially the argument out of many atheist’s mouths

    I have bolded the word ‘many’ for good reason. It is apparently a word that JR does not know. My use of the word ‘many’ has exactly the opposite effect from what JR has asserted, insulating me from the charge of ‘generalizing.’ ‘MANY’ DOES NOT EQUAL ‘ALL.’ I’ve been around the block so many times that I already know that atheists will cling to whatever manner of nit picking that they can get to avoid engaging the substance of a thing.

    Even if I had said: “out of atheists’ mouth” it wouldn’t follow that I really meant ALL atheists. If I had really meant ALL, I would have said all. However, knowing how pedantic atheists can get, I went out of my way to include the word ‘many’, and a few statements earlier used the word ‘most’ to counter this phenomena.

    Then comes JR, who after all my work and consideration, manages to do exactly what my statement precluded a reasonable reader from doing.

    You seem to think, JR, that I ‘hate’ atheists (some? most? many? all? maybe just you), but if that were the case I wouldn’t invest so much time trying to explain and defend Christianity and Christ, through whom you will be saved.

    However, this explanation and defense comes through words, and if the words are not grasped the first time, they will not be grasped the second time. (indeed, as I already made this very distinction between ‘many’ and ‘all’ above, we know that it will not be grasped even a third time.)

    A person like this is beyond my help and reach. I need someone literate on the other side of the discussion, and it is quite clear that I cannot count on that with you. You may consult this post for further information.

  86. I would give you examples of were you use atheist as a racial slur, but that will only send you off to cherry pick. Answer my entire post. You pick a small piece, insult me. I respond, you pick a small piece and insult me.

    In our few exchanges you rarely directly answer a claim I made. If I’m so dumb, then do it. You won’t because of Stathei. You engaged him and he shook your illusion that religion is rational. Frankly, he/she totally man handled you.

    from my post,

    This is the basis of blind faith. That is what makes religion so dangerous. When you set the goal post so close you can’t miss. One gets the justification for any level of violence and oppression. The antithesis of libertarian philosophy my friend.

    Directly attacks your goal post argument. One that I’ve heard a thousand times. Best way to get out of providing evidence is to complain the goal post is to far. With that I will leave you be with your converting atheist fantasy.

    p.s. that conversion of tim thread is kind of dragging

  87. that is by far the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Thanks for the laugh. I appreciate it!

  88. Stathei. You engaged him and he shook your illusion that religion is rational. Frankly, he/she totally man handled you.

    I thought that was pretty funny too. That thread was great!!!! The way you cherry picked and cried like a baby. I really liked that. Thanks for comparing me to the person that totally kicked your ass. I would definitely drink a beer with Stathei.

    You and I can have plenty of future laughs together!!!!

    Cheers(side joke)

    jr

  89. lol, alright, Stathei. Whatever you say. lol

  90. JR is not me, SJ – as you well know with your access to our emails and IP addresses. Your pretending that you think he is me is yet another of your tiresome smokescreens to avoid the real issue, which is that you believe what you believe simply because you read it in the Bible. You did not deduce, debate, deny or doubt. You just swallowed every line.

    JR, stop wasting your precious time engaging this relic of the Dark Ages and let’s go for that beer. Ignore him and he’ll be gone by the time we get back.

  91. JR… sorry for dragging the chain on my conversion :-)

    Been busy… will have a response up soon

  92. And welcome back, Stathei! :-)

  93. Exactly what we would expect you to say, Stathei. :)

    Your timing is impeccable. 😉

    The best part is that when you and JR go out for that beer, if you both have one, only one beer will be consumed. :)

    As for your analysis about my beliefs and your basis, I think that you know that I consider excrement to be of higher value. With excrement you can at least make dirt more fertile. More importantly, you have to live with yourself, and you know the real truth, which is that you never, ever, ever, sought out an understanding of my views in good faith of any sort. You don’t know that I ‘believe simply because I read it in the Bible.’ That’s what you believe I believe, and you have to believe that, because the alternative is unbearable to you.

    Oh, and let’s just remember, I’ve got you on record admitting you never engaged me in ‘good faith.’ You explicitly said you didn’t. Remember? And you want me to take you seriously? My one regret in all my years of defending the Christian faith is that I ever did.

    It is a mistake I am keen not to make again.

    Yes, I’m talking about you, JR.

    Your friend
    Sntj

  94. Tim – I’m not back. I was actually going to announce that I have found religion and have become a Pastafarian, but instead had to put the record straight when I saw that SJ was using me as an excuse to avoid answering JRs questions.

    SJ knows that JR is not me, yet he bleats about “good faith”? He never defended his faith (sic) – when the questions got too tough he cried foul, picked up his ball and went home. Every time.

  95. Nice try, Stathei.

    If you’re going to try to push this lie of yours, I’m just going to have to hit you over the head with the evidence. Let’s start with your admission of bad faith, here.

    As you also know, I have no reservations about admitting that I am a bad faith debater when it comes to, well, faith.

    and

    I actually told you very early on that my mind was closed to the supernatural in the absence of any evidence for it

    The real pattern is this: Stathei pretends to ask a question in earnest and then when he gets an answer he can’t handle, begins mocking what was said while donning his Dr. Freud hat, asserting that my whole argument is, and I quote again,

    Your faith is entirely and solely founded on your blind and unreasoning belief in the contents of a book that you implore me to read

    This is the entirety of your argument. You literally have nothing else. Your ‘rebuttal’ to my arguments and submissions of evidence is that you REALLY know what I mean.

    As for picking up the ball and going home, here are five examples that I found without blinking where I was the last one standing.

    This one is the epitome of you picking up your ball and going home. What a joke: Why Christians don’t believe in pixies

    In this example you ask a question, I answer it, and you disappear.

    Where did you go in this one?. This one is a classic example of the way you operate. Indicating we’d officially reached the point where to go further would require actual thinking out of you, you return to your only argument: “Their Faith is just that – faith, based on nothing at all.” And then you disappear.

    In this example, I reply to one of your questions with substance and you deviate from your pattern. You actually credit me with being civil, as though this is out of the ordinary. This blog is chock full of me being civil with people, many of whom don’t deserve it. But I would like to note that in this case I answer you, you make your ‘civil’ comment… and disappear…

    And here is number 5.

    Where did you go here? My last question to you was about your own credentials and…. *silence.* Finally, after leaving me hanging after a lengthy response and also ignoring Jorge so long he finally left, you merely dismiss yourself with, “Bye Jorge – I’m pretty sure you won’t be seeing me in heaven, whichever one of us is right.”

    I basically just went chronologically back through time, looking at every thread where you and I interacted. In only a few cases- in particular during the PZ Myers related comment flood, did I walk away from you or anyone else. (During that, you complained that I didn’t respond to the five hundred people posting comments as though that were ‘dodging’ but I think that just shows how irrational you are. Who has that kind of time?)

    You should really remember, before you begin lying, just how easy it is with google and archival search to expose the lie.

    I would just like to mention one more post, because I think it really shows your true character. On this post here, I say:

    I really don’t know what you’re talking about. This thread was not an argument for theism or against atheism. It was a series of observations and analysis of certain studies and statistics. That you thought it was anything else illustrates precisely why you wouldn’t recognize substance if it smashed you across the face.

    Insofar as it is an argument against atheism at all, it is simply the demonstrable (as demonstrable as statistics can be, I suppose) fact that atheism does not ‘take’ for most people. Maybe all those people are idiots- or maybe they know something you don’t know. If you were paying attention, theism did not come out well at the end of this post.

    Look buddy. Let’s stop dinking around. You keep coming around even though you act as though you think I’m as shallow as a kiddie pool. I reckon you are waiting for me to say something intelligent. How about you and I get together at a bar, cafe, restaurant or something and let’s work out our issues over a beer, coffee, or steak- whatever. My dime.

    What say you.

    So here I reply to your statements and then I offer to come travel to wherever you happen to be living these days and treat you to a nice meal, and you say….

    you say….

    what do you say?

    Timaay says he’s in. But he is in Australia. What do you say?

    Hmmmmmm. Nothing from Stathei there. Not a peep. No response at all. And we know from your comment to “JR” above that you surely saw this, what with the reference to having a beer. What’s the matter, Stathei? You afraid that in a sit down face to face you won’t be able to run and hide when pressed on a point or you will discover that your sole argument has no basis?

    I thought I really put myself out there in a grand gesture of good will. I tried not to read into your silence, but perhaps your silence really does speak volumes about who you are and what you are like.

    My offer, by the way, still stands. This may be foolish of me, but I have the persistent belief that you aren’t nearly the cretin in real life that you appear to be when you interact with me. Maybe you’ll discover the same about me.

    What say you, Stathei?

  96. Wow, looks like I touched a nerve there, didn’t I?

    As far as my disappearances go, they are usually because you bore me into submission with your absurd verbosity and I lose interest in the subject entirely.

    When it comes to meeting with you, I have no interest to begin with. It’s nothing personal. I wouldn’t want to meet with John Travolta or Tom Cruise to discuss Scientoloy, why would I want to meet with you do discuss your cult? I’m just not that interested.

  97. Don’t worry, no nerves touched. I don’t give folks like you that kind of power over me.

    But here we see the typical Stathei method, and now the record is straight. He said that I am the one who takes his ball and goes home, but in fact he admits that it is he who does this. That he has an excuse for doing it is really irrelevant.

    I’m sorry to hear that you don’t want a free meal. Don’t worry, I don’t and won’t take it personally. I consider the source.

    Tim, I hope you’re still game :)

  98. I have never once in the years we have “debated” refused to answer a question. Not once. You make it a regular habit, and have ignored my pleas for a simple answer to a simple question on numerous occasions – why? Because you fear ridicule? Or because you fear the truth?

  99. lol nice try. I just gave a link to 5 examples where you bailed. That was just in the last 4 months. You’d best be careful, my friend. If anyone is in this ‘regular habit,’ it’s you, not me. I’ve given sufficient evidence of this for any lurkers to check my claim. What did you give? Nothing, just your assertion. Seeing how your last assertion fared when it was fact checked, they may guess how this one will fare, too. But I’ll leave it to them.

    The notion that I’m afraid to answer questions for any reason whatsoever is so stupid it doesn’t even deserve answering, but I will, because it again shows your mind at work. Just as you tried to say that I’m the one who cuts and runs even as you admitted that in fact you left because you were bored, you now say that I have ignored your questions WHILE AT THE SAME TIME you say I am ‘verbose’ and ‘boring.’

    Dude, you can’t simultaneously say that I am verbose and afraid of criticism while saying I don’t answer your questions. The two statements are darn near mutually exclusive.

    You will say anything to try to pin this problem on me, even if it means you descend into meaningless gibberish, lies, and contradictions. The personal failings are on your end, and you know it. I’ve bent over backwards to answer your questions and I bet you have never had another person on the Internet offer to meet you face to face to give you the ‘simple answers’ you desire, and treat you to dinner, to boot. I’m exuding good faith out my ears. You’re exuding bad faith out your… well, we’ll leave it to your imagination. 😉

  100. Again, you intentionally try to mislead. There is a difference between drifting away from a post out of boredom/frustration and directly refusing to answer a simple question because it would expose the weakness of your position. The fact that you hide your inability to answer a question with layers of verbosity does not change that fact.

    To say that you have bent over backward to answer my questions is a lie. You remember as well as I do the many times you have been cornered into ignoring or directly refusing to answer the simplest of questions. If any lurkers really care here’s an example of you refusing to answer a simple question five times, while maintaining a smokescreen of verbosity:

    http://sntjohnny.com/front/tips-for-atheistsunderstanding-the-bible/1264.html#more-1264

    Can you give one example of a case in which I refused to answer a simple question – or is that just your assertion?

  101. Tony,
    Simple end to this:
    Lay that evidence out in your next blog post:

    I claim you cannot. I claim to be a Christian you must accept the bible as the word of god without evidence; blind faith.

  102. JR,

    Simple to satisfy you.

    Use the Search feature and go through the archives.

    I claim you really aren’t interested in any evidence. Just more ammo to keep shooting out hot air.

  103. Of course he can’t – don’t you think that if he could he would have by now? Ironic that he is denying that he dodges questions in a post in which he and his little minion, EB, try to make question dodging an art form.

    Anyway, JR, I strongly suggest that you stop wasting time here and give yourself, as I have, to the glory of Pastafarianism http://www.venganza.org .

  104. \Of course he can’t – don’t you think that if he could he would have by now?\

    Not unless he’s \bored and drifts away.\ 😉

    You, Stathei, have been the poster boy for SJ’s assessment in the topic of this blog, and simply demonstrate why guys like you and JR aren’t worth being taken seriously or wasting all that much time on.

  105. Yeah I’m in… but you’re paying for flights! First Class would be best, but I’ll take Business Class if I have to.

    I don’t know if this applies to Stathei, but I often just forget about threads. I’ve done it a couple of times… you have put up a long response, I’ve intended to go back to it, but then get caught up in subsequent posts, and after a while I just forget.

    So it is possible to leave a thread without having taken your ball and gone home. :-)

  106. Just as it is possible to stay in a thread and not let anyone play with your ball unless they play by your rules and don’t ask awkward questions.

    SJ, I’m reconsidering. Since Tim is from Oz, if you’ll fly me half way (coach would do) we could meet somewhere exotic. I’m thinking Cook Islands.

  107. Looks like SJ has picked up his ball and gone home again…

  108. By the way, JR, just looking back at your posts and your plea for evidence – I actually was successful in obtaining what Tony thinks is evidence a few years ago!

    Turns out it was a single biblical prophesy (of many, many, many prophesies) that might – or, in all probability, might not – have correctly predicted a future occurrence. I can’t remember exactly what it was because, well, because it was absolutely nothing at all.

    The reason why you are not getting an answer is not because you don’t deserve one, not because you might laugh and mock, not because you wouldn’t understand – it’s because there isn’t one. Except, of course, “because the bible tells me so”. That’s all they’ve got, and they know it.

  109. Stathei,

    I know there is no evidence that the bible is the word of god. Just as there is no evidence for the Quran.

    I press the argument for precisely that reason. When someone is pressed for evidence they do a few different things:

    1. reverse the demand for evidence.

    2. The goal post is too far complaint.

    3. Simply pretend that the evidence is there. The go find it non-sense.

    4. Develop absurdly overly complicated methods to justify that belief. The old violation of occam’s razor.

    If the bible could withstand scrutiny, by that I mean it is perfectly accurate, moral, and consistent; 100% correct. Then, I would not fight this fight. The bible would be the evidence that could make the case for Christianity. I do not deny the bible simply to deny it. I deny the bible because it is far from perfectly accurate, moral, and consistent.

    Now, why put so much time into this? I’ll share a little college story. I went to the University of Georgia. While I was there, a family pulled the their child out of the hospital. He had bacterial meningitis. I remembered the father made this quote:

    (7:7-8) Ask, and it shall be given you … For every one that asketh receiveth.”

    They prayed, their whole community prayed. Now, this is not a story about what I think or don’t think what a parent’s rights are. It is one solely of blind faith. In my hart I know they were/are true believers. Jesus himself according to the bible made this statement. That child like some many others, died from the bacterial meningitis.

    Tell me that faith does not have dire consequences. Tell me that the bible is the word of god. Tell me that it is an infallible document. By all accounts from the evidence I see tell ME that not only is the bible fallible, immoral, inaccurate, but it’s blind faith is dangerous. To accept an irrational belief trying to appear rational is an absurdity on the level of a snake oil salesmen. One absurdity I feel the need to stand against.

    JR

  110. “By all accounts from the evidence I see tell ME that not only is the bible fallible, immoral, inaccurate, but it’s blind faith is dangerous.”

    By all accounts the only thing you show and prove to be dangerous is ignorance.

  111. Do you really want to go here End Bringer. I can provide evidence of the bible’s fallibility, immorality, and inaccuracy. I think you need to ask yourself two questions.

    1. Do you really want to have this discussion?

    2. Can you honestly have this discussion?

    For now, I’ll just leave it as a personal attack against me. I am aware that the bible is at the core of your faith. I don’t think you can go into biblical errancy without flipping out.

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