Compelling evidence for Christianity
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12-08-2012, 05:40 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
I think Christianity can be compelling if you take away inerrancy and throw in classical theism. What the Catholics were working towards for ages before the rise of the bible worshiping crowd certainly paints a nice picture (minus the weird obsession with gays and contraception).

The gist of it is in this first cause, ultimate being for which there are arguments and the tradition and additional metaphysics are laid down on that. I of course reject the metaphysical conclusions of the Kalam or the Teleological arguments but they are way trickier for Atheism than New Atheists would have you believe. That and while false, God as a grounding for objective morality is a stronger argument than any Atheistic one we've come up with yet.

If you look at Christianity like Don Cupitt does than yeah for sure I think it's a lovely worldview. It would really be a shame if the PZ Myers of the world ruined everyone's image of Christianity by putting way too much attention on the fundamentalists. The biggest positive growth I've had in my atheism came from when I actually listened to rational theists and their arguments. You can rationally believe in God, atheists do not have the monopoly on rationality (though we sure love to think it! Big Grin).

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

--Stephen Jay Gould
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12-08-2012, 06:02 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
(12-08-2012 05:40 PM)scientician Wrote:  I think Christianity can be compelling if you take away inerrancy and throw in classical theism. What the Catholics were working towards for ages before the rise of the bible worshiping crowd certainly paints a nice picture (minus the weird obsession with gays and contraception).

The gist of it is in this first cause, ultimate being for which there are arguments and the tradition and additional metaphysics are laid down on that. I of course reject the metaphysical conclusions of the Kalam or the Teleological arguments but they are way trickier for Atheism than New Atheists would have you believe. That and while false, God as a grounding for objective morality is a stronger argument than any Atheistic one we've come up with yet.

If you look at Christianity like Don Cupitt does than yeah for sure I think it's a lovely worldview. It would really be a shame if the PZ Myers of the world ruined everyone's image of Christianity by putting way too much attention on the fundamentalists. The biggest positive growth I've had in my atheism came from when I actually listened to rational theists and their arguments. You can rationally believe in God, atheists do not have the monopoly on rationality (though we sure love to think it! Big Grin).

There is no compelling first cause argument for the existence4 of God; it always devolves to either infinite regress.

We don't know whether we have a universe from nothing (Krauss, et al.) or mass/energy has always existed.

There is good neo-Darwinist evidence for the evolution of morality.

Nope, still nothing compelling here.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-08-2012, 06:58 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
(12-08-2012 02:03 PM)Vosur Wrote:  It's purpose is to debate whether or not Christianity is based on compelling evidence.

Vosur, putting aside the issue of whether or not it is compelling, can we agree that the only evidence is what's contained in the New Testament?
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12-08-2012, 07:35 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
Ideas - try this - invent a religion. Make up your own god or gods and write down every aspect of the rituals you perform in your religion, the holy days, the holidays, who is allowed to be the head of your church, what groups you may not like and official places of worship. Write down the properties of your god or gods and instead of talking about Christianity in this thread, let's discuss the evidence of whether or not your god exists.

It will be the same conversation.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-08-2012, 07:48 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
Before we can discuss the evidence for anything, we have to agree what we're talking about. If we are talking about the Apocalypticism which was likely what was preached by Yeshua bar Josef, that is one thing, as the apocalyptic predictions made by Yeshua did not come true, and thus were debunked twice : first when the Temple was destroyed in 72 CE, and again around 135 CE, during and after the bar Kokhba revolt, when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem. If we are talking about the later development of the cult of the "Way", the sub-sect of Judaism, which came to eventually be called Christianity, that is a completely different matter, as it has almost nothing to do with what Yeshua actually said. So, what are we arguing here, the preaching of Yeshua, the Apocalyptic, or the "salvation paradigm", which was grafted later onto the cult ?

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12-08-2012, 07:48 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
Gotta agree there, Rahn.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...
There are 4 kinds of evidence / argument for a theistic god ...
Proof by Faith
Proof by Authority
Proof by Revelation
Proof by Tradition
(aka FART or proof by hot air).


I would seriously love to see well-argued additions to the above so I hope this thread does not deteriorate into a yah boo sucks debate.

Let battle commence...

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12-08-2012, 09:21 PM
Compelling evidence for Christianity
(12-08-2012 07:48 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Before we can discuss the evidence for anything, we have to agree what we're talking about. If we are talking about the Apocalypticism which was likely what was preached by Yeshua bar Josef, that is one thing, as the apocalyptic predictions made by Yeshua did not come true, and thus were debunked twice : first when the Temple was destroyed in 72 CE, and again around 135 CE, during and after the bar Kokhba revolt, when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem. If we are talking about the later development of the cult of the "Way", the sub-sect of Judaism, which came to eventually be called Christianity, that is a completely different matter, as it has almost nothing to do with what Yeshua actually said. So, what are we arguing here, the preaching of Yeshua, the Apocalyptic, or the "salvation paradigm", which was grafted later onto the cult ?

There goes Bucky being all precise and stuff again. Dodgy



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12-08-2012, 09:36 PM (This post was last modified: 12-08-2012 09:47 PM by scientician.)
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
There is no compelling first cause argument for the existence of God; it always devolves to either infinite regress.

Ignoring that versions of the cosmological argument bypass this objection by taking "universe" to mean the sum of all physical reality (including such an infinite regress) there are serious objections to the possibility that such an infinite state could actually exist.

For instance, if an infinite series of events continues from here backwards in time than it follows that it would have taken an infinite amount of time to proceed forward through that infinite series of events. Therefore it's the equivalent of saying these events never got through; you can't add consecutive series and reach infinity. Consider adding 1 to a series of numbers and trying to get to infinity.


We don't know whether we have a universe from nothing (Krauss, et al.) or mass/energy has always existed.


Don't get me started on that book, haha!


There is good neo-Darwinist evidence for the evolution of morality.


That, my friend, commits the genetic fallacy. Evolving to become agents that are subject to morality doesn't at all speak to the existence or the objectivity of moral facts. An objective morality could exist independent of our perception of it even if we did evolve to respond to it. Perhaps our evolution was perfectly tailored to suit an objective morality. Then your argument would suit a theist as well.


Nope, still nothing compelling here.


Compelling to you or not, people much smarter than I have been compelled by things like that...

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

--Stephen Jay Gould
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12-08-2012, 10:16 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
If I really take this question seriously, let's start with a few things that we can agree on.

Can we agree that the universe began it's expansion many billions of years ago and is still expanding today ?
Can we agree on how a solar system forms from a dust cloud and gravity ?
Life on our planets exists. I'm sure we all agree on that.
(There is some room to debate exactly how life started with Abiogenesis, but we have shown that the building blocks of life can be made from inorganic materials all on their own)

Can we agree on evolution ? Lot's of evidence there. So much in fact that we have a theory that describes what we observe in nature.
This process explains where we, as moderns humans, came from biologically and where all other creatures on this planet, large and small, come from, including viruses, etc
Can we agree that modern humans have been around for roughly 200,000 years (give or take) ? - We don't have to harp on this exact figure. It's a fairly long time.
Can we agree that modern humans became more intelligent over time, learned how to use tools, painted on walls, told stories and eventually wrote these stories down ?
Can we agree that human beings wrote, edited and published the stories that are contained in all of the versions of the current day bible and bibles in the past ?
(There is some room to debate if these stories were divinely inspired, but we'll get to that part as long as you agree that we as humans actually working in a printing press or a monastery as a scribe, are the ones who physically produce the physical book) Can we agree on that ?

So far we have observations of an expanding universe. We have knowledge on how solar systems are formed. We have a working theory on how life changes over time and we know that human beings, are responsible for the things that we physically make.

Did a god ever physically produce a bible, a church, a cross or anything associated with the religion ?
I would contend that every physical thing associated with a religion is a product of a human beings' hard work and effort. I think I can provide evidence for that. Do we agree ?

People attribute many great creative works of arts and or accomplishments to a god that helped them create the work or find the focus to complete it.
Some people also attribute miracles to a god when some very rare event happens that people didn't think would happen.
People often gives thanks to a god for waking up each day or for getting that raise at work or for helping them find their car keys.

Can we agree that people make assertions about a god and people attribute things to a god and it's people who say what the properties of a god are.

All of this is something that a human being is doing. A human being is saying these things.
There are no gods jumping up and saying "Hey, I did that. What do you think ? Pretty cool huh"

As a religion, Christianity creates it's own rules. People decide what time to hold mass, where to have it, how much money you should give and a host of other bylaws.
It's an organization, an institution that preaches from a book that other human beings physically made and edited and translated.
It's preachers tell the masses what is "meant" by this particular passage in the bible. The preacher has to decode the words of it's god.

The people going to church, I am told, have an enjoyable time. They feel the warmth of the loving spirit and in turn pay for this feeling.

Every aspect of this religion and all religions are man made.
Every assertion of divinity is merely an assertion. Nothing more.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-08-2012, 10:24 PM
RE: Compelling evidence for Christianity
Unsure

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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