More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
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25-02-2013, 10:47 AM
More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
Hi guys, this is my first thread so be gentle.

I've been having some interesting religious discussions with my web programming teacher (yes he is a programming teacher yet he loves to discuss religion) . Although he says he does not want to convert me he seems to love to engage me on conversations about belief. I really don't mind since i enjoy them.

On our last discussion he urged me to read the book "More than a carpenter" by Josh Mcdowell. I decided to go ahead and read it since it was a pretty small book. After finishing i was surprised that he expected this book to change my mind (Assuming that was his expectation).

Anyways, this book is probably going to come up on our next discussion. I already have some examples of mistakes on the book that i wanted to bring up if he wanted to discuss it.

Stuff Like:
1. In the "Science" chapter the author urges you to disregard the scientific evidence since it would be impossible to have scientific evidence of events like the Jesus resurrection.

2.The fact that after explaining how we need external evidence to proof the bible is true he then cites one historian. He then proceeds to explain how the bible is true because an archaeologist found that the bible had a very accurate description of an ancient place or city.

Those are points that i can take on myself. What i wanted to ask you guys (for those who have read the book or know of it) is, Do any of you have any Easily "Debunkable" points that i can bring up? The main criteria is that i want to be able to discuss it without having to search for sources every 2 seconds. After all we are still in a class and we don't really have much time.

So do any of you can come up with other points that i can argue?
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25-02-2013, 01:03 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
(25-02-2013 10:47 AM)Techgorilla Wrote:  Hi guys, this is my first thread so be gentle.

I've been having some interesting religious discussions with my web programming teacher (yes he is a programming teacher yet he loves to discuss religion) . Although he says he does not want to convert me he seems to love to engage me on conversations about belief. I really don't mind since i enjoy them.

On our last discussion he urged me to read the book "More than a carpenter" by Josh Mcdowell. I decided to go ahead and read it since it was a pretty small book. After finishing i was surprised that he expected this book to change my mind (Assuming that was his expectation).

Anyways, this book is probably going to come up on our next discussion. I already have some examples of mistakes on the book that i wanted to bring up if he wanted to discuss it.

Stuff Like:
1. In the "Science" chapter the author urges you to disregard the scientific evidence since it would be impossible to have scientific evidence of events like the Jesus resurrection.

2.The fact that after explaining how we need external evidence to proof the bible is true he then cites one historian. He then proceeds to explain how the bible is true because an archaeologist found that the bible had a very accurate description of an ancient place or city.

Those are points that i can take on myself. What i wanted to ask you guys (for those who have read the book or know of it) is, Do any of you have any Easily "Debunkable" points that i can bring up? The main criteria is that i want to be able to discuss it without having to search for sources every 2 seconds. After all we are still in a class and we don't really have much time.

So do any of you can come up with other points that i can argue?
You've already got some good counters to the provided material. I think it might help to verbalize exactly what sort of evidence you would consider valid and what sort you wouldn't. Not so much a challenge to him, as a "you can show me other stuff but it won't work" warning label.


Common debunking fodder:

Noah's ark, and the logistics thereof.
When did King Herod rule?
Contradictory accounts of Genesis and Jesus's birth.
The Biblical "cure" for leprosy

Note that these will be easily waved aside if he's not a biblical literalist.


Not so much debunking, but strong evidence against. This should be in the "why I don't believe it" when challenged category rather than "Here's why YOU shouldn't believe it" category.

The malleability of the Bible to support a wide variety of contradictory positions. Examples: Pro-slavery versus anti-slavery, pro-round-earth vs pro-flat-earth, pro-heliocentrism vs pro-geocentrism, pro-aristocracy vs pro-democracy...
Treatment of women in the Bible, vs claims to a morally superior position.


Take a look at Evid3nc3's deconversion series, and perhaps show it to him.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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25-02-2013, 01:39 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
Quote: You've already got some good counters to the provided material. I think it might help to verbalize exactly what sort of evidence you would consider valid and what sort you wouldn't. Not so much a challenge to him, as a "you can show me other stuff but it won't work" warning label.
The only criteria i had for evidence is that it was not cumbersome. For Example, in the book the author talks about XX different prophecies that proof that Jesus was the Messiah because only him managed to fulfill every single one. If i try to show him that he does not fulfill one of prophecies my teacher will probably just spend most of time refuting that my translation is incorrect and that i should read the original, or that i need to see this in context. Etc.

Quote: Not so much debunking, but strong evidence against. This should be in the "why I don't believe it" when challenged category rather than "Here's why YOU shouldn't believe it" category.
This is how i always present my arguments. I have taken a position of trying to make him understand how i can be atheist, so i'm mostly on the defensive.

He is a feeler (As Seth described them on one of the episodes). One example, he once told me "That the bible was perfect". I proceeded to give him a simple example of how there is a contradiction when Jesus said he was not here to change the law and then went and changed it anyways. It took 10 minutes of him repeating that "Jesus is not here to change it but to enforce it" (Which i had no idea how that tied up to my argument) before he conceded (More like he agreed there was a perceived contradiction) the point. He then said "The bible is perfect because it's intention is to save us from sin". At that point i just let it go.

I'm trying to find simple stuff that does not need big discussions because he always tends to veer the discussion towards, "Jesus Loved You", "Jesus was a good guy" or "How did this guys die for something that is not true". So i try to keep stuff as simple and direct as possible.
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25-02-2013, 01:43 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
Or you just tell him to shut the fuck up, quit wasting time, and get on with the web programming. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-02-2013, 01:43 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
I can not even discuss how fucking wrong this teacher is. I can't say anymore or I'll turn into a raving bitch. More so than I already am. Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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25-02-2013, 01:49 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
Ok, fuck it. If one has faith, one need neither defend nor hide behind the discrepancies in a book. Faith is faith. End of story.

Don't waste time reading this mixed up propaganda drivel, you need to keep your brain open to the study of reality.... and by the way....
________

This teacher; he's already made his mind up about his beliefs and that should be enough for him. Let him know you've made your mind up for yourself. If you like discussion that's fine but maybe you shouldn't be doing it during class time; you're there to learn web design.

He should just teach his class - if he wants to discuss religion, he needs to do it somewhere else and not on the taxpayer's dime. If this is a private school, you shouldn't need to discuss anything but stuff pertaining to the class.

It's one thing to be accosted in a mall by a Jesus freak but you are in school. Is this a public school? If so, this would be extremely disturbing to me and certainly to any parent! Does this guy teach anything other than web design? He fucking better not be teaching history or science!!

I told you what would happen and I'm turning into a bitch here but this kind thing of pisses me off.

Ok, I'm done. Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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25-02-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
(25-02-2013 01:49 PM)kim Wrote:  Ok, fuck it. If one has faith, one need neither defend nor hide behind the discrepancies in a book. Faith is faith. End of story.

Don't waste time reading this mixed up propaganda drivel, you need to keep your brain open to the study of reality.... and by the way....
________

This teacher; he's already made his mind up about his beliefs and that should be enough for him. Let him know you've made your mind up for yourself. If you like discussion that's fine but maybe you shouldn't be doing it during class time; you're there to learn web design.

He should just teach his class - if he wants to discuss religion, he needs to do it somewhere else and not on the taxpayer's dime. If this is a private school, you shouldn't need to discuss anything but stuff pertaining to the class.

It's one thing to be accosted in a mall by a Jesus freak but you are in school. Is this a public school? If so, this would be extremely disturbing to me and certainly to any parent! Does this guy teach anything other than web design? He fucking better not be teaching history or science!!

I told you what would happen and I'm turning into a bitch here but this kind thing of pisses me off.

Ok, I'm done. Dodgy


You go, girl. Yes

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-02-2013, 02:27 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
I surrendered the idea of learning much in his class already. His teaching method is very ...... "Lax". But i'm used to it since must of my teachers in college are the same (Programming teachers mostly). So i don't see myself disrupting class so much as making it a little lively.

On my defense though i love discussing this topic and i haven't had a lot of places to vent. So when he started the class one day saying "The password to start the online exam is the name of one of Jesus brothers. Oh didn't you know that Jesus has brothers? i have no idea why Catholics say Mary was virgin" I took the bait i guess.

Despite all that you are right, i am part of the problem there. We should be discussing web design not religion.
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25-02-2013, 05:48 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
Oh, it's not you I would be concerned about, Techgorilla - you seem to have a pretty secure and sensible mind. No, my concert is for some other unsuspecting, not skeptical, vulnerable person who could without realizing it, get sucked into his cult.

"... Oh didn't you know that Jesus has brothers? I have no idea why Catholics say Mary was virgin" Well, he is very ignorant about and seems a bit judgemental about other sects of this religion he seems so eager to drag people into.

No - you are not part of the problem Techgorilla - you are the future. Thumbsup

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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25-02-2013, 06:31 PM
RE: More than a Carpenter book - Need some Help
I have read this book or brochure. It has many weak arguments, like the "liar, madman, messiah" false dichotomy. Ultimately, it bets everything on the Book of Luke, its authenticity. I don't know anything about the book of Luke.
And it doesn't matter, there is no real historical evidence for the life of Jesus and a plenty against. The book of Luke probably does nothing about it.


Despite of that, I found the emotional arguments in the book strangely alluring. It must be very convincing stuff for someone who already believes it, even though it has no substance.
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