Posted to The ChristianPost.com Religious leaders are well aware of the vulnerability of the child brain, and the importance of getting the indoctrination in early. The Jesuit boast, ‘Give me the child for his first seven years, and I’ll give you the man,’ is no less accurate (or sinister) for being hackneyed. The above quote …
‘New’ arguments would actually serve to put into doubt humanity’s epistemological foundations. Better- it isn’t a question of ‘new’ evidences or ‘new’ arguments, but a new perspective on what weight we give old evidences and arguments. I think that is a mark of sanity and maturity; I for one would view any ‘new evidence’ or ‘original argument’ or ‘innovative idea’ with great suspicion, especially if it implies we were all off our rockers before it was offered.
I don’t hate atheists. I don’t like arguing for the sake of arguing and don’t have a ‘thing’ about winning a debate. I discourse with atheists because I love them, and because I believe that I am right in my belief that God is going to call this world to account and if we do …
The media knows that they have a significant role in shaping public opinion. They know that if they don’t report the ‘minority’ position you, my dear reader, will likely never hear it. If you are lucky enough to ever hear it, they can count on you to dismiss it without further thought, “If it was a valid viewpoint it would be in the papers” “This flies in the face of the scientific consensus, you idiot! They said RIGHT ON THE BBC that this is the SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS!” or “Why would the governments of the world be pushing this way if it weren’t true?”
But this article allows one to pull back the curtain, just a shade, to see the truth. They are manipulating you. You are being manipulated. You are a regular reader of the news and keep abreast of current affairs by watching the nightly news. You think you are informed. You aren’t. You are a gullible dolt being led by the nose by the powers that be to believe just whatever it is they want you to believe right now. At least, that is what the media thinks, and this article implies. And why would they think that way if it weren’t true?
When a Christian apologist invokes ‘revelation’ it is often understood by atheists and skeptics to refer to the “writings of the flawed goat herders of a bygone era that have been shown by modern science to be outdated, outmoded, and absolutely in error. Certainly not the stuff we can think of as ‘divine revelation.’” This …
It’s easy to be a skeptic because it is much easier to not believe something as to believe it. Skepticism has no non-arbitrary stopping point. That is, full blooded skepticism will naturally morph into cynicism. There is no objective point where any kind of argument, piece of evidence, or logical deduction must coerce belief. This is a point I raise in this post. Many skeptics construe their skepticism as an act of courage, as though being willing to question everything shows a brave streak that others do not have. To a point, there is courage… and in a way, yes, there is something to that.
However, if it is brave to question everything it is braver still to believe anything. Let me illustrate.
if one applies a higher standard of inquiry against claims that they might deem extraordinary, then claims they find to be ordinary will ordinarily be accepted- without demonstration at all. Here again we see skepticism turned on its head: the skeptic is not skeptical about the things he is prepared already to believe. It is only the things he deems unlikely that he is skeptical about- God alone knows how the skeptic determined something was ‘unlikely.’
It is a fact of human nature, I think, to quickly accept things that one is already prepared to accept. If I am told tomorrow that some Democrat in high office has failed to pay his taxes- again- I will pretty much accept it as a fact because I have become accustomed to Democrats doing such things (eg here, here, here, and here). We should expect nothing less from the people who believe that we should all pay higher taxes; by ‘we all’ it is known they mean us all. I am prepared to believe it as a pretty ordinary claim in the realm of things and therefore will demand very little evidence to support it. So you see, I am not exempting myself from this human tendency.
This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy. Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate. Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime. UPDATE: With …
This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy. Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate. Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime. The next …
Over the last three hundred years unbounded skepticism has been applied to religion and Christianity especially. Atheist philosopher David Hume was one of the prominent voices calling for stringent criteria in evaluating miracle claims, and the like. Not everyone thought very highly of this criteria. One such person was the Reverend Richard Whately, who skewers Hume’s reasoning by showing how if it were applied consistently, one could not be reasonably certain that Napoleon existed- a public figure that was said to be alive and roaming Europe even as he spoke!
This playful little book is not a treatise by any means, but it provides a glimpse into the conversations of the 1800s and challenges the ‘enlightened’ skeptics to decide: If they won’t apply their principles thoroughly and consistently, but choose only to apply them to certain claims (and how did they choose which ones?), are those principles worth their salt?
I think it goes to my larger point. Story moves. Yes, Story can move more than evidence. And yet even if that is the case, nowhere do I suggest that I think that is good! Indeed, this whole event illustrates just how unfortunate it can be when evidence is divorced from Story. Oh yes, there is a Story here. There is a Narrative. This Narrative is one that Myers and his many fans are drenched in, so much so none of them actually need evidence to know that me and my stories are [fill in your favorite pejoratives here]. The Narrative fills in the gap. It is the skeptical storyline: Christians, dumb. Christians, blind faith. Skeptics, geniuses. Skeptics, reason and evidence. Nothing more needs to be said because everyone is already agreed on how the story ends, anyway. The ‘evidence’ ends up being just a ‘literary’ flourish that adds little to the accepted Narrative.
This Narrative appears to be driving Dave’s response, though to his credit, he is exceptionally mild and measured compared to many of the other responses I observed.
The brilliant PZ Myers has ‘reviewed’ the second story in my short story collection, “Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew, and Mother Teresa go to Heaven.”
As before, I have no interest in responding in any detail, although I might say some things when he is done. I will say: “PZ, what makes you think Antony awakes in a garden?”
After reading the last review and the comments it spawned it became apparent that a little extra help on my part is needed. There seems to be difficulty understanding the texts in question. Therefore, a reader’s guide for each story has been composed.
Tonight, Feb 22nd, at 9:30 p.m. CST we will host our next semi-regular “Knights of Contention” online discussion using voice, video, and chat.
The topic: The 5 Challenges Apologetics Can’t Answer.
Due to the wide scope, this conversation can go anywhere. I have summarized the 5 challenges below with links to each of the 3 parts in which I have detailed them.
To learn more about the “Knights of Contention” click here.
Direct link to the discussion: http://connectpro58388802.na5.acrobat.com/knightcon/
5 Challenges, with summaries
What they all have in common: the belief, or acting as though one believes, that Christianity isn’t actually real. It’s just one’s private faith. No correspondence to reality exists, or is expected. ‘Apologetics’ can’t answer them because they have more to do with attitude or obedience than facts and evidence.