|January 30, 2009||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, General, philosophy, theism, theology|
We knew it was coming: the accusation that my paraphrase was a strawman.
Indeed, virtually every aspect of my ‘paraphrase’ was reflected in the answers that spewed forth, from the hypersensitivity to perceived insults “lay off the ridicule” “that’s just arrogance” while barbs are flying from their own side “are you just some smart a– 12 year old kid who got a certificate in your local church “Defense of Christianity” Sunday School Class?” to the random ‘catch-all’ argument that proves atheism right, the smug reference to ‘ancient books’ such as “You base your thought process on a 1900+ year old set of desert scribblings.” Throw in the knee jerk attempt to force the theist to argue in the terms that the atheist himself is dictating, not the terms the theist is actually presenting, “what in the world does bible god have to do with the Big Bang?!? It is not in your bible, stop trying to hijack the BB theory and pretend that your god caused it.” Let’s not forget the constant ‘rebuttals’ that in fact we ‘don’t know’ and ‘can’t know’ from people who apparently are atheists, and not agnostics.
All these are variations of my paraphrasing.
|January 29, 2009||Posted by Anthony under abortion, atheism, Blog, General, homosexuality, philosophy, theism, theology|
I recently had a conversation with some gents that I thought I would paraphrase for my blog. I think I’ve had the same kind of conversation a dozen times in the last three months. I have combined all the conversations into one paraphrase. Enjoy.
Them: We believe science is the only way to learn about the world and religion is just faith-mongering superstition. There is no scientific basis for believing in the existence of God. Belief is just irrationalism. I know what you’re going to say. That there had to be something that has always existed. Why not the universe?
Me: Well, science says that the universe had a beginning. So I guess the universe can’t be the thing that has always existed. Surely that means we can explore other options.
|January 22, 2009||Posted by Anthony under abortion, atheism, Blog, General, morality, theism|
The Euthyphro Dilemma returns with a vengeance. Now, instead of the problem being distilled into a single entity, putatively non-contingent, transcendent, immanent, eternal, etc, it is diffused out over the billions of little gods wandering around in their little neck of the wasteland. Here the secular humanist’s attitude becomes twisted and warped. They are the first to make the argument that humans believe that God cares about them out of sheer arrogance, as if God would care about our petty affairs, yet here is an arrogance that far exceeds that, by far. For if there is no God then there is only we ‘gods’ and the Euthyphro Dilemma proves that we don’t exist. I guess.
|January 15, 2009||Posted by Anthony under abortion, Blog, General, morality, politics, spirituality, theism|
The pattern is set in crystal clear clarity in 1 John 3:16 which says “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
True love dies. Or, it is willing to die, and in the meantime expend every ounce of energy available to it.
What does this mean? If World War 2 had its Schindler in response to the German extermination of millions of Jews, do we have tens of thousands ‘Schindlers’ in response to the virtual global extermination of tens and tens of millions of the unborn? The answer, I think, is No.
Response to Online Presentation and Archive Link: Tradition without Empathy, Contemporary without Foundation
|January 10, 2009||Posted by Anthony under Blog, Christianity and Culture, General, morality, spirituality, theism|
I often see two groups of people.
One is are involved in a tradition rich church with head knowledge of rules and dogma. In reality for them, God is not often real in their lives and their rules without empathy or transparency drives people away.
The second could be explained as people involved in a newly created, often emotion driven church, with little foundation or knowledge of how firm the foundation of the bible and the church is. When real questions come up, they topple.
Both are in danger of propagating a fragile view of Christianity to people they know and more importantly, their children.
How can the churches out there tackle these problems effectively.
|December 30, 2008||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, General, original sin, spirituality, theism|
The ruddy fact is that beliefs have consequences and for better or for worse, seeds bear fruit, and the fruit is always determined by the seeds planted. This is reality and while it might be mocked and the connection between seeds and fruit sometimes strained and resisted, ultimately reality makes itself known. It makes itself known at our peril if we defy reality rather than conform ourselves to it.
For all of its faults (and they are many), the Christian Church has been a force for good in the world and the overall tendency is to produce truly liberated individuals. It has this astounding ability: it can liberate even those who remain in physical chains and bondage. Christianity allows one to detach the question of their identity from their circumstances. This is the undeniable trend, exceptions factored in. Parris gets it.
|December 18, 2008||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, General, theism, theology|
I noticed the other day that someone had taken the time to respond at length to my post discussing trancendence, immanence, logic and superlogic. Then I woke up this morning to find out he had posted again on it! Herr Professor, this is just too much! 🙂 Herr Professor, now going by Deacon Duncan, knows that I prefer to have extended discussions on my discussion forum but he has sufficiently stroked my ego that I think a post or two is warranted. It is not every day that I am described as smart and sophisticated and that my arguments are clever. However, since the Professor already is two posts ahead of me he will have to be patient as I catch up. Below is part one. Please read this to the very end, or not at all.
For this entry I am responding mainly to his first article, ‘Can God do Nonsense?’
From the start, I’d like to point out that H. Professor admitted one of my contentions as reasonable. I had argued that an evaluation of God’s ‘omni’ nature doesn’t require that he performs nonsensical demands, like making a rock he cannot lift. I said that even atheists can accept this, and H. Professor did.
|December 11, 2008||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, General, Papers, philosophy, theism, theology|
Christian apologists are constantly asking skeptics and genuine seekers to hold to the question of God and Jesus the same standards of evidence they hold anything else. The question of Jesus being also a question of history, we are satisfied if non-biased standards of historical research were employed. Usually, it is the skeptics employing ad hoc standards based on priorly held beliefs about reality.
On this basis then, we see that one cannot dismiss the idea that there was really a man named St. Nicholas just because 350 years separates him from the (current) best sources. On that reasoning we’d have to ditch much of what we know about a great many historical figures, including big ones like Alexander the Great. So, let it be agreed: Santa Claus existed; it is a fact of history.