A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
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16-06-2014, 11:46 PM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(16-06-2014 05:10 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(16-06-2014 01:25 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Have you always believed as you do now?

No sir.

You?

Me neither. I was raised as member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or more commonly, The Mormons.

What was your former belief?

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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17-06-2014, 09:14 AM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(16-06-2014 11:46 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(16-06-2014 05:10 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  No sir.

You?

Me neither. I was raised as member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or more commonly, The Mormons.

What was your former belief?

I was an agnostic atheist.
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19-06-2014, 09:42 PM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(17-06-2014 09:14 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I was an agnostic atheist.

Tell you what, since that's the case, you can save us both a lot of time and energy by walking me through what convinced you to change your mind. What arguments or evidence persuaded you and why?

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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20-06-2014, 10:18 AM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2014 11:03 AM by Jeremy E Walker.)
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(19-06-2014 09:42 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 09:14 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I was an agnostic atheist.

Tell you what, since that's the case, you can save us both a lot of time and energy by walking me through what convinced you to change your mind. What arguments or evidence persuaded you and why?

Coming to a point in my life where I was convinced that I could no longer live without having an assurance about the veracity of my worldview.

I realized that each day that was passing was a day that I would never see again. That each moment that passed was irretrievable. Days became weeks and weeks became months and months became years and I searched for truth in many places. I became convinced that my worldview must be based on truth because up to that point I lived solely according to the dictates of my desires. So when my desires changed, I fell in line with them. My desire had now become one of wanting to know what was true. So I ordered my life around this pursuit.



This is how the process began. My mind did not change until I began entertaining the idea that God might actually exist. I assumed that I and the world in which I lived had an explanation. M-Theory, commonly referred to as String Theory was fascinating to me as a possible explanation. I studied the theories of physicists for a while but I noticed they would always say things like "maybe" or "it is possible that" or "if" or "it seems". They never really seemed "sure" of the theories they talked about.

My mind changed when I became convicted of the things I had done in my life and the way I had been living. I became convinced that the way I was living and thinking was not in accordance with truth and it was at this point that I became willing to abandon the way I was living, my views, and even my life so that I could obtain the truth. Only after my will became free was I able to choose to act on what I had already known about what Christ had taught.

So there was no argument or evidence that caused me to change my mind. I went from being an atheist to a Christian after my desires changed. When my desires changed, I simply acted on what I already knew and followed Christ's instructions and received what He promised.

Before knowing Christ, I had experienced and obtained all that I thought would fulfill me, and found myself paradoxically more unfulfilled than ever before. This drove me to search for truth for I determined that having truth would make it possible for me to know if there was that which could truly fulfill me or if I was destined to meander through life seeking fulfillment in mirages and illusions that could never really fulfill.
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24-06-2014, 07:29 PM (This post was last modified: 24-06-2014 07:48 PM by Dark Phoenix.)
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
You and I share some characteristics. It is vital to me that I live my life with as much truthful information as I can. It would be such a shame for me to waste my life on ideas and pursuits that have no basis in fact. My limited time alive is so very precious to me, even more so recently. I share your desire for a sense of purpose and fulfillment in my life.

With so much in common it is almost bizarre that we have such different beliefs and values, but I think I might know why. We both have access to the same information, so this isn't a matter of one of us being more educated and informed than the other. It all comes down to the choices we make. You made the decision to become a Christian without any critical inquiry on the sole basis that it fulfilled your personal quest for emotional fulfillment, purpose, and "the truth". The irony is that the very same inadequacies natural to scientists are also present in religious leaders, preachers, and gurus. This is why there is Epistemology to begin with. We as human beings are only partly rational and have a tendency to make mistakes. Religion is anything but exempt from this. Religion doesn't offer knowledge, it offers belief without knowledge for its own sake. In the end it comes down to the needs and insecurities of the believer. After an early life "lived solely according to the dictates of my desires" I am skeptical that anything has really changed deep down for you personally.

Why does it matter to live based on evidence, logic, and reason? The short answer is that we make real progress as a species. We invent new technologies to improve the quality of our lives. We discover new worlds and satisfy our curiosity about the universe. We learn more about what we value and what makes us happy together. We have an opportunity to experience the journey of this life with at a bare minimum the certainty that comes from evidence and skepticism. What mistakes we do make, we can learn to correct. Others we may yet prevent. We each have to make a private choice. Do we want to be right some of the time and face the unknown with courage, or do we want to be wrong all of the time by believing fables and stories we invent out of fear and a longing to know.

My own experience living without belief in god or religion is very different than what you describe in your early life. I don't simply wander around doing exactly what I please. I have my own personal set of moral values which I use as a tool to help build fulfilling relationships with the people around me. I don't see the lack of evidence for god as a license to ignore the needs of others. It offends me when people ask me why I don't behave immorally or dishonestly without the possibility of a celestial punishment. I think that in order to grow up as a species we need to throw off the suspiciously parental ideas of god by taking independent responsibility for our actions.

Your search for "the truth" is an impossibility. You have expectations of science that are not considerate of the process and that cannot be satisfied. There are still glaring gaps in human knowledge. I think you could safely say that all we have learned is the depth of our current ignorance. The appeal to you of Christianity is a much too obvious emotional solution for your uncomfortable attitude towards the unknown, which all humans share with you. The price we pay for collectively deciding that religion has already provided all the answers we could ever need or want is that we forfeit all progress and discovery from here on out. Perhaps we would regress to a state where once again we believe sickness is due to demonic possession and not to microscopic bacteria. How many such discoveries would not have been possible without further inquiry than the pages of the bible?

The price of converting yourself is a surrender of your unique value. You expressed a willingness to give up your past life, your personal views, even your life in its entirety. For what? For a chance to be a slave to a supernatural being who hasn't even been proven to exist at all. You are so deeply converted in this way that when questioned about it you express only a desire to continue your servitude. You praise your master and his supposed goals and actions as if they are all that truly matter to you. You describe this ultimate surrender as "free will" which literally makes me want to cry. Not for you (I can at least muster the respect necessary not to condescend and pity you), but for those who are indoctrinated to think this way while they are young, who will not be offered the opportunity to choose as you did.

I don't respect your faith. I don't respect why you chose it. The only things I can respect are you as a human being, with everything that entails, and your right to believe whatever you wish. Your freedom to hold faith is my freedom to obstain. However, I respect your efforts of evangelism even less than your beliefs themselves. You have often been accused of approaching the discussion on false premises. I think now I understand why. You often present what you consider evidence and logical argument as a means of vindicating your religion. You know enough about Atheists to know that they respect real evidence and reason, so you don't bother with the emotional angle that is actually the entire reason for your faith to begin with. You present "proofs" and "logic" that defy gravity in their attempt at acrobatic explanation, yet lack the core of facts to really make a difference. After learning more about you, I am inclined to agree with some of my fellows. You are not being honest with us.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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[+] 9 users Like Dark Phoenix's post
25-06-2014, 04:55 PM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You made the decision to become a Christian without any critical inquiry on the sole basis that it fulfilled your personal quest for emotional fulfillment, purpose, and "the truth".

My journey from atheism to Christianity was a long one my friend. On that journey I examined every major world religion, various philosophies and the more popular non-religious worldviews for clues as to which, if any, were true.

So when you say that I became a Christian without any critical inquiry that is simply false.

It is therefore, also false when you say that I became a Christian on the sole basis that it fulfilled my personal quest for emotional fulfillment, purpose, and "the truth".

But even if what you said were true, so what? What if some people do believe in Christ for emotional reasons? What follows? That their belief is therefore false?

Certainly this is to commit the genetic fallacy of trying to show a belief to be false by appealing to how it originated.

If you would like to know about my journey, read the works of C.S. Lewis. Our's were similar.



(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Religion doesn't offer knowledge, it offers belief without knowledge for its own sake.

The above is itself, a claim to knowledge. You claim to know that Christianity does not offer knowledge but belief without knowledge for its own sake.

What evidence do you have for this claim?


(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In the end it comes down to the needs and insecurities of the believer. After an early life "lived solely according to the dictates of my desires" I am skeptical that anything has really changed deep down for you personally.

You can be skeptical. You did not know me when I was an atheist. Nor do you really know me now. So I do not marvel that you are skeptical that anything has really changed for me personally for you are not in a position to really be able to make that determination.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Why does it matter to live based on evidence, logic, and reason? The short answer is that we make real progress as a species. We invent new technologies to improve the quality of our lives. We discover new worlds and satisfy our curiosity about the universe. We learn more about what we value and what makes us happy together. We have an opportunity to experience the journey of this life with at a bare minimum the certainty that comes from evidence and skepticism. What mistakes we do make, we can learn to correct. Others we may yet prevent. We each have to make a private choice. Do we want to be right some of the time and face the unknown with courage, or do we want to be wrong all of the time by believing fables and stories we invent out of fear and a longing to know.

You are pitting Christianity against reason, logic, and evidence but have given no reason to think they are contradictory to one another.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I have my own personal set of moral values which I use as a tool to help build fulfilling relationships with the people around me. ....... I think that in order to grow up as a species we need to throw off the suspiciously parental ideas of god by taking independent responsibility for our actions.

Your set of moral values contains certain assumptions. Among other things, the assumption that people should take personal responsibility for their actions. But if you are right i.e. if morality is nothing more than the opinions of human beings with an evolved sense of what is conducive to the survival and reproduction of their species, then nothing obligates us to do that. Nothing obligates us to prefer your particular set of moral values over the values of lets say, a serial rapist, or child abuser. Thus on such a view, you throw the baby out with the bath water. When you throw out God, you throw out the grounds that would vindicate your particular set of morals when compared to the morals of a serial rapist. You are left adrift in a sea of opinions.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Your search for "the truth" is an impossibility. You have expectations of science that are not considerate of the process and that cannot be satisfied. There are still glaring gaps in human knowledge. I think you could safely say that all we have learned is the depth of our current ignorance. The appeal to you of Christianity is a much too obvious emotional solution for your uncomfortable attitude towards the unknown, which all humans share with you. The price we pay for collectively deciding that religion has already provided all the answers we could ever need or want is that we forfeit all progress and discovery from here on out. Perhaps we would regress to a state where once again we believe sickness is due to demonic possession and not to microscopic bacteria. How many such discoveries would not have been possible without further inquiry than the pages of the bible?

Even if I believed in Christ because this belief satisfied some emotional need of mine, that does not make my belief false. To argue so would be to commit the genetic fallacy.

Human beings are emotional creatures as well as rational creatures. I am not ashamed to say that Christ fulfills all my needs, emotional needs included.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The price of converting yourself is a surrender of your unique value.

What makes you think I converted myself? Even if I did, how does that equate to me surrendering my unique value? What is value anyway? Who determines what is or is not valuable?


(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You expressed a willingness to give up your past life, your personal views, even your life in its entirety. For what?

For truth.


(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  For a chance to be a slave to a supernatural being who hasn't even been proven to exist at all.

God has proven to me that He exists and that He is Good. I cannot speak for you.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You are so deeply converted in this way that when questioned about it you express only a desire to continue your servitude. You praise your master and his supposed goals and actions as if they are all that truly matter to you.

God has proven Himself to me to be worthy of worship. I cannot speak for you.



(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You describe this ultimate surrender as "free will" which literally makes me want to cry. Not for you (I can at least muster the respect necessary not to condescend and pity you), but for those who are indoctrinated to think this way while they are young, who will not be offered the opportunity to choose as you did.

I don't respect your faith. I don't respect why you chose it. The only things I can respect are you as a human being, with everything that entails, and your right to believe whatever you wish. Your freedom to hold faith is my freedom to obstain. However, I respect your efforts of evangelism even less than your beliefs themselves. You have often been accused of approaching the discussion on false premises. I think now I understand why. You often present what you consider evidence and logical argument as a means of vindicating your religion. You know enough about Atheists to know that they respect real evidence and reason, so you don't bother with the emotional angle that is actually the entire reason for your faith to begin with. You present "proofs" and "logic" that defy gravity in their attempt at acrobatic explanation, yet lack the core of facts to really make a difference. After learning more about you, I am inclined to agree with some of my fellows. You are not being honest with us.

I was once an atheist. Now I am a follower of Christ. I once was blind but now I see.

I typically use arguments supported by empirical evidence and philosophical arguments when talking with atheists about the existence of God because they usually place a great emphasis on empirical evidence and logical argumentation.
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26-06-2014, 03:16 AM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  My journey from atheism to Christianity was a long one my friend. On that journey I examined every major world religion, various philosophies and the more popular non-religious worldviews for clues as to which, if any, were true. So when you say that I became a Christian without any critical inquiry that is simply false.

I would not honestly consider myself to be an Agnostic Atheist without at the very least considering every major world religion. I didn't start using the label until I was confident that all of them were not true. Since you went about your investigation while already considering yourself an Agnostic Atheist, and hadn't previously performed any investigation, I seriously doubt you had any good reasons not to believe. You just hadn't considered it yet. When you compare the two situations, they shouldn't honestly fit together under one label. Your change in belief seems far less drastic considering.

You may very well have investigated many religions. However, my charge of a lack in critical inquiry still stands with respect to the details of Christianity in particular. It has too many fatal flaws to stand up to honest criticism.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  It is therefore, also false when you say that I became a Christian on the sole basis that it fulfilled my personal quest for emotional fulfillment, purpose, and "the truth".

You stated yourself that you were actually convinced not by evidence or reasoning, but by your own personal desires. If that is the means by which you are convinced in what way did your study of many different religions matter at all? Any number of them could have appealed to you emotionally, but Christianity was your choice. Unless you want to retract that statement and give an argument or piece of evidence by which you vetted Christianity as compared to all other relevant options, your point means nothing to me.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Religion doesn't offer knowledge, it offers belief without knowledge for its own sake.
(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The above is itself, a claim to knowledge. You claim to know that Christianity does not offer knowledge but belief without knowledge for its own sake. What evidence do you have for this claim?

In my experience when religious people claim to "know" what they really mean is that they choose to believe. The act of belief is enough for them to call it "knowledge".

For example, growing up in Mormonism it was commonplace to hear rehearsed repetitive testimonies from the pulpit. "I know God lives" was a very popular favorite. I heard it countless time from children as young as three years old. They always repeated it at the urging of their whispering mothers who were whispering exactly what to say directly in their tiny ear. I am certain that they were too young to know that nobody really knows if god is real. We can't prove it and we can't disprove it. We just believe it, or not. That didn't stop them from pleasing their mothers with "I KNOW God lives.".

You could make a case about how I can't read minds ,so really I don't know for sure what those children or their parents really knew. Fair enough. I don't, but I have the knowledge that I don't know if a god exists. Unless a believer can explain to my satisfaction how he came to know something that I do not and cannot know for certain, I will continue to take the view that they have nothing better to go on that I do.

I have a feeling you like that answer even less than you liked the lack of "certainty" among the scientists you studied. I don't think anyone but a supernatural being can satisfy your unreasonable expectations.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You are pitting Christianity against reason, logic, and evidence but have given no reason to think they are contradictory to one another.

They are contradictory at nearly every opportunity, which you have been in enough of these debates and discussion to know by now. I can see you like to be as logical as possible when it comes to your quick responses, but the issues are a lot deeper than this little fencing game you're playing. You know the arguments and I know the arguments.

For example, the ever so beaten long ago dead horse, the age of the Earth. Science and Christianity conflict openly on this basic fact. Explain to me how Christianity is right and contemporary science is wrong on this and you will have at least a good start at convincing me Christianity doesn't conflict with reason, logic, or evidence.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Your set of moral values contains certain assumptions. Among other things, the assumption that people should take personal responsibility for their actions. But if you are right i.e. if morality is nothing more than the opinions of human beings with an evolved sense of what is conducive to the survival and reproduction of their species, then nothing obligates us to do that. Nothing obligates us to prefer your particular set of moral values over the values of lets say, a serial rapist, or child abuser. Thus on such a view, you throw the baby out with the bath water. When you throw out God, you throw out the grounds that would vindicate your particular set of morals when compared to the morals of a serial rapist. You are left adrift in a sea of opinions.

It would be correct to say that there is no outside force compelling anyone to adhere to my idea of morality, but you are very wrong when you say that there is no obligation to adhere to some form of moral behavior. As you pointed out, there is the matter of getting on with survival, reproduction, prosperity, life, etc. We have obligations to each other if we wish to live in a community.

I am not setting myself up as a moral exemplar. These are my personal opinions. That's as far as it goes. They work well for me and those I associate with have similar values. My ideas about morality are tools for solidarity, not objective absolutes.

You are correct when you say that there is a sea of possible opinions, but not when you refer to it as being "lost". Not only is an objective standard not necessary to be grounded in workable morality, it doesn't solve moral conflicts any better than the sea of ideas. According to you there is a standard of objective morality in god, and yet we still have serial rapists and child abusers. Free will is the culprit, not a lack of understanding the "objective standard".

It might seem plausible, even convenient and reliable, to follow such an "objective standard" at least on the surface. However, what will you do when the standard conflicts with basic human instincts? What is to be done with the standard is reprehensible to begin with? The Christian god of the Old Testament supported slavery, a trade now indisputably considered immoral by modern Christians. Arguments both for and against it over the years originate from the bible as a source of the "objective standard". If we consider everything god says and does to be the standard for morality, and all that conflicts with him to be immoral, why are we not practicing slavery? It seems a few of the ideas "lost" in the sea managed to whip god out of a job.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Even if I believed in Christ because this belief satisfied some emotional need of mine, that does not make my belief false. To argue so would be to commit the genetic fallacy.

True, which is why your evidence and arguments for your belief have to stand on their own and be judged for their own merits. I don't reject Christianity because its members are converted via their emotions, I reject it because there isn't a single good reason or convincing item of evidence that has ever been presented on its behalf.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  What makes you think I converted myself? Even if I did, how does that equate to me surrendering my unique value? What is value anyway? Who determines what is or is not valuable?

Let's not play immature games. Even the most average lay Christian refers to joining the religion as a "conversion". As I said in the sentences following the one's you quoted, you have surrendered the will to think and act as an independent entity from your god. You are now a slave, as you have admitted several times. Your life experience is now limited to what god wants for you, instead of what you want to experience.

You know full well that this is my subjective opinion verses your subjective opinion and I am explaining why I prefer mine. You have surrendered your freedom, which is something I value. I determine whether or not is valuable to me. Obviously you value your slavery more, even to the point of shifting terms and calling it "free will", which is your right. At the very least we can be grateful that the world is big enough for the two of us to life our own way, provided we don't try to force anything on the other.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  God has proven to me that He exists and that He is Good. I cannot speak for you. God has proven Himself to me to be worthy of worship. I cannot speak for you.

If personal revelation was enough to make it true, I would have to let it cut all possible ways. A Muslim might say the same to me, and if it were true you would be wrong. Should I just believe him? You are going to have to do better than that.

I assume since you have this personal line to god that you can explain how you developed it? If you suggest something I have not already tried in earnest good faith than I am willing to try it now.

(25-06-2014 04:55 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I typically use arguments supported by empirical evidence and philosophical arguments when talking with atheists about the existence of God because they usually place a great emphasis on empirical evidence and logical argumentation.

Rather than feebly trying to manipulate Atheists using fallacious arguments that appeal to their sense of fairness and skepticism, why don't you just lay it out for me honestly? What logical arguments, or items of evidence are utterly convincing of the validity of Christianity? You have my word that if you possess such a thing, I will change my mind right here and right now.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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27-06-2014, 05:29 PM (This post was last modified: 27-06-2014 05:41 PM by Jeremy E Walker.)
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
(26-06-2014 03:16 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You may very well have investigated many religions. However, my charge of a lack in critical inquiry still stands with respect to the details of Christianity in particular. It has too many fatal flaws to stand up to honest criticism.

Your argument can be formulated thus:

1. If there are too many fatal flaws in the details of Christianity to stand up to honest criticism, then you made the decision to become a Christian without any critical inquiry.

2. There are too many fatal flaws in the details of Christianity to stand up to honest criticism.

3. Therefore, you made the decision to become a Christian without any critical inquiry.


Now to spare you the trouble of having to show how your premises are plausibly true, I will inform you that I spent a great deal of time critically examining the truth-claims of Christianity prior to becoming a Christian.

(26-06-2014 03:16 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You stated yourself that you were actually convinced not by evidence or reasoning, but by your own personal desires. If that is the means by which you are convinced in what way did your study of many different religions matter at all?

It mattered because my heart cannot rejoice in what my mind rejects. I came to the point where I was unwilling to believe in and order my life around anything that was not true.


(26-06-2014 03:16 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Any number of them could have appealed to you emotionally, but Christianity was your choice. Unless you want to retract that statement and give an argument or piece of evidence by which you vetted Christianity as compared to all other relevant options, your point means nothing to me.

Any number of them could have appealed to me emotionally. Christianity was my choice because I found through critical inquiry among other things, that it was the best evidenced worldview and thus out of all that existed was best qualified to be believed as true. Reference the works of Paul, John, Bonaventura, Leibniz, Scotus, Descartes, Pascal, C.S. Lewis, Dostoyevksy, Schaeffer, Chesterton, Aquinas, Anselm, Augustine, Polkinghorne, Plantinga, Craig, McGrath, Swinburne, Newton, Kepler, Pasteur, Kirkegaard, Shakespeare, Dante, Solzhenitsyn, Tolstoy, Milton, T.S. Eliot, Michelangelo, Dickens, Tolkein, Bach etc. etc. They can articulate this concept better than I can.



(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In my experience when religious people claim to "know" what they really mean is that they choose to believe. The act of belief is enough for them to call it "knowledge".

And I sympathize with you. I for one, think that most Christians are unable to articulate why they hold to their beliefs. Sadly not every Christian takes seriously the exhortation by the Apostle Peter to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you with gentleness and respect.

So I do sympathize with you. But I am no such Christian, nor were men like C.S. Lewis for I agree with him when he said:

"I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of the evidence is against it. That is not the point at which Faith comes in." http://merelewis.com/CSL.mc.3-11.Faith.htm

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  For example, growing up in Mormonism it was commonplace to hear rehearsed repetitive testimonies from the pulpit. "I know God lives" was a very popular favorite. I heard it countless time from children as young as three years old. They always repeated it at the urging of their whispering mothers who were whispering exactly what to say directly in their tiny ear. I am certain that they were too young to know that nobody really knows if god is real. We can't prove it and we can't disprove it. We just believe it, or not. That didn't stop them from pleasing their mothers with "I KNOW God lives.".

You could make a case about how I can't read minds ,so really I don't know for sure what those children or their parents really knew. Fair enough. I don't, but I have the knowledge that I don't know if a god exists.

Mormonism is a cult. A non-Christian cult at that. So I understand now why you have some of the misgivings you have. You have been exposed to something which claims to be Christianity but really is not. We can talk about Mormonism too at a later date if you desire.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Unless a believer can explain to my satisfaction how he came to know something that I do not and cannot know for certain, I will continue to take the view that they have nothing better to go on that I do.

I do not know God exists for certain. There is very little I do know for certain. And if you are waiting for me or any other Christian to give you something that makes belief in Christ indefeasible, you will be waiting until you die.

I do not know for certain that I am not a brain in a vat or a body lying in the matrix, but this lack of certainty does not trouble me. I wager it does not trouble you either.

Nor are we certain of the veridicality of our five senses, or of the deliverances of reason. None of us are troubled by this and we all put great faith into these things which we hold to be true which cannot be proven with certainty. We trust in these things, we rely on them day in and day out. We take for granted these things, all without being able to prove them with certainty. This is one sense in which I use the word faith.

John Polkinghorne encapsulates my point succinctly. He is an English theoretical physicist, theologian, writer, and Anglican priest. A prominent and leading voice explaining the relationship between science and religion, he was professor of Mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968 to 1979.

He states:

"Neither science nor religion can entertain the hope of establishing logically coercive proof of the kind that only a fool could deny. No one can avoid some degree of intellectual precariousness, and there is a consequent need for a degree of cautious daring in the quest for truth. Experience and interpretation intertwine in an inescapable circularity. Even science cannot wholly escape this dilemma (theory interprets experiments; experiments confirm or disconfirm theories)." John Polkinghorne, Theology in the Context of Science (London: SPCK 2008) 85-86

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I have a feeling you like that answer even less than you liked the lack of "certainty" among the scientists you studied. I don't think anyone but a supernatural being can satisfy your unreasonable expectations.

I am not looking for certainty by no means. I have already stated that such a demand is simply not realistic.

However, one thing I noticed is that when I delved deeply into the evidences and arguments for Christianity, I found that the great Christian philosophers and thinkers who were engaging in and defending the traditional arguments for the existence of God, among other things, had arguments, evidence, and sound reasoning supporting their assertions. They made truth claims and then they backed up the claims using a variety of different resources. In my research, I found that defenders of Christianity have had to consistently defend the truth claims of Christianity from those who sought to disprove it ever since its inception nearly two thousand years ago. Argument after argument has been raised against it, and every argument was met with a worthy response. To this day, you have thousands of men and women in academia who are outspoken Christians and who are evidence in and of themselves that Christianity is not some superstition that only the irrational and ignorant hold to.

One must take all of these things into account.

Science is awesome. It is a wonderful tool for understanding the world we live in. I think that if science was respected and used the way it is supposed to be, people would be less prone to try and abuse it and misuse it by placing upon it the burden of having to explain all there is to know about reality, a burden which science, by its very nature, is simply impotent to bear.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  They are contradictory at nearly every opportunity, which you have been in enough of these debates and discussion to know by now. I can see you like to be as logical as possible when it comes to your quick responses, but the issues are a lot deeper than this little fencing game you're playing. You know the arguments and I know the arguments.

For example, the ever so beaten long ago dead horse, the age of the Earth. Science and Christianity conflict openly on this basic fact. Explain to me how Christianity is right and contemporary science is wrong on this and you will have at least a good start at convincing me Christianity doesn't conflict with reason, logic, or evidence.

I will wait till you demonstrate to me how science and the bible conflict openly on the age of the earth. By the way, I have no reservations about holding to the consensus of the scientific community when they claim that the earth is roughly 15 billion years old.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It would be correct to say that there is no outside force compelling anyone to adhere to my idea of morality, but you are very wrong when you say that there is no obligation to adhere to some form of moral behavior. As you pointed out, there is the matter of getting on with survival, reproduction, prosperity, life, etc. We have obligations to each other if we wish to live in a community.

If a person wishes to live in a community and reproduce and prosper then they may feel obligated to adopt a system of moral values. In this scenario, they act a certain way to achieve a certain end. Thus on your view, obligation stems from people's desires.

Thus if you and I shared similar desires, we would not find it difficult to come to some sort of agreement on what is moral and what is not.

Some people may desire to live in a community where men and women have sex with each other in order to have children so that they can sexually molest the children once they are born, a sort of paedophilian utopia if you will.

According to you, there is nothing that obligates these people NOT to do this if this is what they desire to do, since what is obligatory is determined by people's own desires.

Do you agree?

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am not setting myself up as a moral exemplar. These are my personal opinions. That's as far as it goes. They work well for me and those I associate with have similar values. My ideas about morality are tools for solidarity, not objective absolutes.

On your view, the personal opinions of paedophiles would work well for them and those they associate with. They would be tools for solidarity and not objective absolutes. They would be tools that would help them ensure that their desire for a paedophilian utopia were realized.

Since there is no standard of morality to appeal to that says that they have done something objectively wrong, and since you as you said are no moral exemplar, in your view, these people are obligated to act according to their desires.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You are correct when you say that there is a sea of possible opinions, but not when you refer to it as being "lost". Not only is an objective standard not necessary to be grounded in workable morality,

As long as you claim that what is moral and immoral is determined by people's desires and opinions, you are right, there is no objective standard of morality.



(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  it doesn't solve moral conflicts any better than the sea of ideas.

Sure it does. The same way we can appeal to the original Mona Lisa to judge which copy is most like the original, we could solve moral conflict by simply appealing to the moral standard. If the moral standard says you shall love your neighbor as yourself, and you have people that murder, rape, and steal from their neighbor, VOILA, moral conflict solved. Those guilty of violating the standard are deemed immoral.



(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  According to you there is a standard of objective morality in god, and yet we still have serial rapists and child abusers. Free will is the culprit, not a lack of understanding the "objective standard".

Correct.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It might seem plausible, even convenient and reliable, to follow such an "objective standard" at least on the surface. However, what will you do when the standard conflicts with basic human instincts?

Be moral and follow the standard or be immoral and go against it. See how simple that is?


(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What is to be done with the standard is reprehensible to begin with? The Christian god of the Old Testament supported slavery, a trade now indisputably considered immoral by modern Christians. Arguments both for and against it over the years originate from the bible as a source of the "objective standard". If we consider everything god says and does to be the standard for morality, and all that conflicts with him to be immoral, why are we not practicing slavery? It seems a few of the ideas "lost" in the sea managed to whip god out of a job.

On your view, what is reprehensible is not a matter of fact, but of opinion. You are just like every other atheist who on one hand wants to deny objective moral values and duties and then on the other, say that the ancient Israelites were evil for having slaves.

But you just said earlier that you were no moral exemplar and that what is moral or reprehensible is nothing more than your opinion. You cannot shame someone or make them feel guilty by telling them you think spaghetti is nasty. That is just your opinion. Saying slavery is reprehensible, in your view, is like saying spaghetti is nasty. I can laugh and say ok, so what? I love it!

In your view, people's desires and goals determine what is morally obligatory, not a moral standard that people have to live up to or be deemed immoral.

Thus you can never condemn or judge anyone's acts as immoral in the sense that they are a violation of a moral standard that they are obligated to adhere to.

Your opinion is neither "better" or "worse" than those who support slavery, or child molestation, or theft, or murder.

This was one of the most, if not the most persuasive evidences for the existence of God for me. Because I have a conscience and moral intuition and I KNOW that raping a child for fun is really immoral in the same way that I have senses which tell me that the world of physical objects around me really exists.

As atheist Louise Anthony commented:

“Any argument for moral skepticism will be based upon premises which are less obvious than the existence of objective moral values themselves.”

If it is not obvious to you that raping babies is really, objectively wrong then that is something I suggest you meditate and think on very seriously my friend.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  True, which is why your evidence and arguments for your belief have to stand on their own and be judged for their own merits.


I agree.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I don't reject Christianity because its members are converted via their emotions, I reject it because there isn't a single good reason or convincing item of evidence that has ever been presented on its behalf.

If you have reviewed all of the arguments for the existence of God and refuted them all, could you please send me these refutations via PM? I would like to see them.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Let's not play immature games. Even the most average lay Christian refers to joining the religion as a "conversion". As I said in the sentences following the one's you quoted, you have surrendered the will to think and act as an independent entity from your god. You are now a slave, as you have admitted several times. Your life experience is now limited to what god wants for you, instead of what you want to experience.

This encapsulates your entire perspective of Christianity. You say my life experience is now limited to what God wants for me instead of what I want to experience...

Wow...

Wow...

To think, in any way however small, that my life is limited is indicative of your gross misunderstanding of what it means to be a child of God. With God all things are possible my friend and all that God has is mine. I am doing things, going places, meeting people, experiencing things, understanding things now, that ten years ago if you had told me I would be experiencing, I would have cursed you out and called you a liar and said that it would not be possible.

I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing how limitless and boundless is the Love of God for me and how fulfilling is His will.

As far as what I want to experience, I experience it everyday, for everyday my will becomes more and more aligned with God's.

You have spent far too much time around people who talk about Christianity instead of spending time around those who live day by day as followers of Christ and Children of God. The difference is as wide as the sea.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You know full well that this is my subjective opinion verses your subjective opinion and I am explaining why I prefer mine. You have surrendered your freedom, which is something I value. I determine whether or not is valuable to me. Obviously you value your slavery more, even to the point of shifting terms and calling it "free will", which is your right. At the very least we can be grateful that the world is big enough for the two of us to life our own way, provided we don't try to force anything on the other.

I did not surrender my freedom, I gained my freedom when Christ set me free.

Before Christ came into my life, I was bound by many things. Now I am free. Free to live righteously, and uprightly before God and men. Free to love my fellow man as myself and free to experience all that an infinite God who is Good has for me to experience.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If personal revelation was enough to make it true, I would have to let it cut all possible ways. A Muslim might say the same to me, and if it were true you would be wrong. Should I just believe him? You are going to have to do better than that.

Not really. I am not trying to argue that God exists because I have experiential knowledge of Him, although I do. I just said God has proven Himself trustworthy. I do not care if you believe me or not on this issue because I am not trying to convince you of anything by saying what I said. I said what I said to tell you how I know God is trustworthy.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I assume since you have this personal line to god that you can explain how you developed it? If you suggest something I have not already tried in earnest good faith than I am willing to try it now.

I believe and therefore I receive.

(24-06-2014 07:29 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Rather than feebly trying to manipulate Atheists using fallacious arguments that appeal to their sense of fairness and skepticism, why don't you just lay it out for me honestly? What logical arguments, or items of evidence are utterly convincing of the validity of Christianity? You have my word that if you possess such a thing, I will change my mind right here and right now.

You are looking for a way to circumvent faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

However, I think we can talk a little more about morality. I think like C.S. Lewis, and like myself, that if you sit and meditate on the issue of morality, you will see that it is more plausibly explained by the existence of a transcendent moral law giver.
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29-06-2014, 01:59 AM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
You are adept at shifting The Burden of Proof. I point out that I am unconvinced by Christian claims for the reason that they do not prove or even show good evidence for themselves. I remind you that I will maintain the default position of non-belief until I am given a good reason to change my mind. You slap that concept into a crude three line misrepresentation and call it my argument. Rather than accepting the responsibility of making the claims and then backing them up, your knees grow weak enough to demand that I accept the responsibility instead. This is unacceptable.

By shifting the burden onto me you are missing out on an opportunity to present what you believe and value. Obviously we are having an argument and it feels nice to win some technical point here or there with an eloquent quip, but I think there are some really deep and rich ideas that are more to the core than all that.

As you pointed out, I was raised a Mormon, which you don't consider to be a form of Christianity. I am willing and interested in taking mainstream Christianity without reference to my upbringing. I don't know if you believe that converting others is your responsibility, but at the very least you likely believe that my soul is at stake here. If only for the sake of what you believe, why don't you walk me through Christianity 101. I can present any questions or objections that I may have, and we can have a deeper discussion. I know that is likely a whole lot of typing, so give it to one bite at a time if that makes it easier. You have my word that if you do this, I will give it the fairest consideration I can.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I do not know God exists for certain. There is very little I do know for certain.

If this is the case for you, and for all other believers, I ought to never hear "I know that God lives" or "I KNOW Jesus dies for our sins" etc. Common Christian phrases like this are false and dishonest.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I do not know for certain that I am not a brain in a vat or a body lying in the matrix, but this lack of certainty does not trouble me. I wager it does not trouble you either.

Nor are we certain of the veridicality of our five senses, or of the deliverances of reason. None of us are troubled by this and we all put great faith into these things which we hold to be true which cannot be proven with certainty. We trust in these things, we rely on them day in and day out. We take for granted these things, all without being able to prove them with certainty. This is one sense in which I use the word faith.

Your view of uncertainty and how it relates to acceptable belief is inconsistent. In the case of god you see uncertainty as a license to believe, yet you do not believe that you are nothing more than a brain in a vat. You are uncertain about both, yet believe only one. This is a common Theist form of intellectual dishonesty. You are exaggerating what is uncertain in order to make an unfounded claim sound and feel more reasonable.

When you use faith in the context of senses and reasoning, you are exaggerating the level of trust required. Unlike faith in a deity, our trust in these basic human tools is within the realm of testing and probability. They are with us each day for new experimentation and experience while the supernatural retreats to the distance required to avoid such criticism.

The argument from uncertainty becomes a joke when you understand that it is not merely a 50% chance for or against the existence of god. God is within the realm of probability as well. For example, I do not know for certain of Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Sandman, or any other mythological beings are real. I have no reason to believe they are real, since there is no evidence of them. I take the default position of disbelief. For the sake of technicality someone could argue, as you have done, that since I cannot know for certain it is acceptable to believe in them without evidence. It is easy to see how god is held to a different standard than other claims with an equal lack of evidence. The rules for every other domain of discourse do not apply because the faithful say so. I remain unconvinced.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Science is awesome. It is a wonderful tool for understanding the world we live in. I think that if science was respected and used the way it is supposed to be, people would be less prone to try and abuse it and misuse it by placing upon it the burden of having to explain all there is to know about reality, a burden which science, by its very nature, is simply impotent to bear.

I am not a scientist and even I am painfully aware how non-scientific you sound. You have imaginary concerns about science because you don't understand it.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  If a person wishes to live in a community and reproduce and prosper then they may feel obligated to adopt a system of moral values. In this scenario, they act a certain way to achieve a certain end. Thus on your view, obligation stems from people's desires.

Thus if you and I shared similar desires, we would not find it difficult to come to some sort of agreement on what is moral and what is not.

Some people may desire to live in a community where men and women have sex with each other in order to have children so that they can sexually molest the children once they are born, a sort of paedophilian utopia if you will.

According to you, there is nothing that obligates these people NOT to do this if this is what they desire to do, since what is obligatory is determined by people's own desires.

Do you agree?

No. I do not.

In this scenario you have failed to account for the obligation to and from the molested children, and thus the future of the tribe. By violating their own offspring the abusers endanger the well being of their own future as a community and species. One or more of these victims might turn on their abusers as adults and then break the cycle of abuse with their own children. What reason or obligation would they have? The obligation of a community wherein all members are considered in moral terms. In a situation such as you describe where there are clear violations of the physical and emotional well being of some of the community, the imbalance cannot be maintained forever. Just as in the case of slavery in our world, eventually empathy and the consideration of all members of the community won out.

It is a potent observation that the communities we see today do not fit the profile you describe. With such a diversity of "objective moral standards" and gods to back them up, how ever did we manage? Societies and tribes the world over have managed to develop unsurprisingly similar codes of conduct based on an obligation to community. The evolution of morality is at the least potent enough to make belief in an objective authority unnecessary, and at the most more effective at securing the interests of all members of the community.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  On your view, the personal opinions of paedophiles would work well for them and those they associate with. They would be tools for solidarity and not objective absolutes. They would be tools that would help them ensure that their desire for a paedophilian utopia were realized.

Since there is no standard of morality to appeal to that says that they have done something objectively wrong, and since you as you said are no moral exemplar, in your view, these people are obligated to act according to their desires.

Not only is a religious objective moral standard not necessary, it distracts from where the reference for moral behavior actually comes from. If the reason you need most to prohibit child abuse is that there is a supernatural being who's authority makes it wrong and punishable, you entirely sidestep morality with reference to the actual suffering of human beings, the victims.

This is easy to see in practice. Take for example the rampant institutionalization of child rape that was recently uncovered in the Catholic Church. Many child rapists were actively hidden away from secular justice by the church, while insulting statements of god's and the church's forgiveness towards them were issued by the pope and other church officers. It was easy to see how the church viewed the abuse as wrong first and foremost in the context of god's commandments on the subject, which is the painless explanation for why a mere confession and forgiveness of sin from this "objective standard" was all that was necessary for their crimes to be "washed away". While they busied themselves making things "Okay" with god, secular justice sought them on behalf of the victims who suffered at their hands. In this case, having an objective standard unrelated to the actual human interests of the victims facilitated a wholesale disregard for the human beings who mattered most. It was a license to dehumanize the needs and hurts of the very children they were entrusted to care for.

When an objective standard of morality is as flawed as this it is obvious that it isn't objective at all. It is an invention of imperfect human beings trying to mainstream their idea of moral behavior for the masses. This is the painless explanation for the many conflicting religions and moralities. The "sea of ideas" that was supposedly to be avoided due to confusion is present in the chaos of religious variation.

This whole line of argument is actually a profound insult to our humanity, dignity, and self respect. It is deeply insulting to be told that you can't be trusted to behave in a moral way unless you are coerced into it by the threats and commandments of fictional character. Not only can we do better than that on our own now, many of us already have for a long time.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  This was one of the most, if not the most persuasive evidences for the existence of God for me. Because I have a conscience and moral intuition and I KNOW that raping a child for fun is really immoral in the same way that I have senses which tell me that the world of physical objects around me really exists.

It is obvious that you possess the tool necessary to understand the needs and desires of children, empathy. Your religious standard is merely confirmation of what is innate. If you doubt this, an experiment is simple. Supposing your religious standard mandated the molestation and rape of young children would you obey? Obviously you would not. It is not the standard then, but your empathy that restrains you. It is easy to see how this inborn intuition is then used to help write fictional objective standards. The main annoyance is that religion has decided to go ahead and claim credit for what it relied on humanity for to begin with.

I don't intend to listen to any more whining from you about Israelite morality. Your Christian "Objective Standard" is the same one that mandated slavery for them to begin with. I at least have a footing for moral criticism, while your hands are tied by your own lack of independent moral compass.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  This encapsulates your entire perspective of Christianity. You say my life experience is now limited to what God wants for me instead of what I want to experience...

Wow...

Wow...

To think, in any way however small, that my life is limited is indicative of your gross misunderstanding of what it means to be a child of God. With God all things are possible my friend and all that God has is mine. I am doing things, going places, meeting people, experiencing things, understanding things now, that ten years ago if you had told me I would be experiencing, I would have cursed you out and called you a liar and said that it would not be possible.

I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing how limitless and boundless is the Love of God for me and how fulfilling is His will.

As far as what I want to experience, I experience it everyday, for everyday my will becomes more and more aligned with God's.

You have spent far too much time around people who talk about Christianity instead of spending time around those who live day by day as followers of Christ and Children of God. The difference is as wide as the sea.

It is quite a stretch to say that this is my ENTIRE perspective of Christianity. I have no illusions when it comes to you living your life like anybody else and basically being a good person. I know that your delusions make you happy in several different contexts and I don't actually wish that taken from you.

The only things I actually take issue with are not things you personally are guilty of. I have no issue with individuals such as yourself who live and let live. Living in the United States is nice that way, since there is the freedom to belong to any church you wish, or to abstain from any, without any coercion by the government either way.

When it comes to my life though, I am far happier and fulfilled as an Atheist than I ever was as a believer. I am able to truly enjoy pleasure like never before, without masochistic guilt and self abuse. I have a greater appreciation for relationships with other people. I value my limited time much more. I enjoy the quiet peace and freedom that comes from not being obligated to live any particular way simply to please someone else, even a deity. I allow my curiosity and wonder to flow freely as I read and learn everything I can get my hands on. I can take my life a little less seriously when I ponder on my tiny existence in a massive universe that is without purposeful reference to me at all. I love, live and laugh with more vigor and joy.

I can't honestly say that someone with your beliefs can experience all of that in the context that I do now. What sexual or other gratifications can you partake in without guilt and despair? What sense of freedom and identity do you experience when you are limited to what is required or recommended by god? What fantastic and wonder inducing scientific concepts can you accept without noticing they conflict with a young earth creationist world view? How can you possibly feel humility when you believe you are the center and purpose of such a massive universe?

It doesn't really matter to me if you answer all of that or not because your life isn't about what I think. Is it condescending of me to think that you are missing out somewhat? Yes. Do you think something similar of me? Probably. I don't know.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I did not surrender my freedom, I gained my freedom when Christ set me free.

Before Christ came into my life, I was bound by many things. Now I am free. Free to live righteously, and uprightly before God and men. Free to love my fellow man as myself and free to experience all that an infinite God who is Good has for me to experience.

This is essentially a list of items you are authorized to experience by god. You did not mention any freedom to live unrighteously or to experience what an infinite god does not have in store for you. You are confirming nearly word for word my initial criticism that you are more limited as a Christian, not less.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I believe and therefore I receive.

I will not believe what is without evidence to convince me. That is a line I will not cross.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You are looking for a way to circumvent faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Faith is a failed Epistemology. Believing in something doesn't make it true by default. I require evidence. I leave it up to the faithful to service their deities.

(27-06-2014 05:29 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  However, I think we can talk a little more about morality. I think like C.S. Lewis, and like myself, that if you sit and meditate on the issue of morality, you will see that it is more plausibly explained by the existence of a transcendent moral law giver.

My meditating on the subject isn't going to make me magically agree with you, but the discussion for its own sake is worth consideration.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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29-06-2014, 03:49 AM
RE: A Challenge to Jeremy Walker
Gentlemen, and I make that assumption, please refer to Rule 3.

The merits of or comparison of moral frameworks is obviously relevant to the discussion but please use different examples for your qualification of extremes.

Thank you.

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