The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
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15-04-2015, 01:21 AM
The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
Most theist thinkers assert they have an evidence-based (e.g. John Lennox) faith and that their belief is rational (e.g. William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, any number of other Christian apologists). I’m not denying that they are indeed intelligent people and I don’t want to say anything derogatory about them. Most of them would instantly shatter me in any philosophical discussion or organized debate. They are well-read, well-educated and generally nice people. This is not a hate post.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:” Isaiah 1:18 ESV
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:14 NIV

The thing is; they are mostly right.
- There is a remarkable number of historical evidence for Jesus Christ, the Jesus Christ, concerning his life and crucifixion. Here is a short but interesting video about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9CC7qNZkOE
- There is also a good number of arguments for God’s existence that as of today remain undefeated, although much critiqued. These include the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, the Moral argument, etc.

At first glance (and for me it took three years of study to grasp it fully) it does seem like their position is without any element of blind faith. But there indeed does exist one, a subtle but vitally important presupposition, what I call conditional exclusivistic foundationalism.

1. Most of them would assert that intuition is the highest order of knowledge, more important than empiricism, rationality and emotions. They are somewhat right. Without intuitive trust in, for example, believing that the external world does exist and is not a figment of your imagination, you couldn’t get anywhere in life.
2. They assert that our intuitions, especially our moral intuitions lead to the Christian God e.g. torturing a baby for fun is objectively wrong in any possible world and it is not just a subjective opinion.

My internal defeaters for this are my moral intuitions that directly go against the Bible. For example I think not tolerating gays is immoral. The Bible is pretty clear that it is just and good to do so. Another one is more subtle, but for me even more powerful. I think that in this day and age, killing and eating animals is wrong. The Bible asserts that man has dominion over all animals and it’s perfectly okay to offer them as blood sacrifices (although not encouraged after the Old Testament) or to eat them.

The theist responses to these internal defeater claims are:

- you have to line up your morality with the Bible, if it’s in the Bible, it’s correct, if it’s not in the Bible, it’s incorrect
- bad doctrine (incorrect conclusions based on not understanding something)
- demonic oppression (evil spirits clouding your mind and your moral discernment)
- being handed over to a contorted mind by God himself
“24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1 NIV

My conclusion is that either my moral discernment is flawed and I have been handed over or that my internal defeaters stand and invalidate Christianity. In any case, it makes debates pointless.
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15-04-2015, 02:08 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
Welcome to TTA.

In many places here, you'll find evidence that all those arguments (Kallam, moral etc.) have been well, truly and repeatedly trounced.

So don't give up hope Big Grin

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15-04-2015, 04:13 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
The moral argument is the easiest of all debates to trounce and pounce.

I can beat the moral argument from any apologist in less than 5 minutes. It is quite easy really. Just ask yourself one question. Whats one of the very first command Moses gave after giving out the thou shalt not kill commandment? He has thousands killed.

Yeah, there is thousands of examples of Morality issues in the bible I can point out that are fucked up. Like if I rape a woman, she becomes my propority the moment I pay her father money to purchase her.

In fact, almost everyone on this forum should be put to death for not believing in Jesus. Also, if you have ever worked on a Saturday, or sunday depending on religion and sect of that religion.

You should be put to death like they did in the bible.

Moral argument is retardedly easy to defeat.


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15-04-2015, 04:28 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
That's not the moral argument and those examples do not defeat it...
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15-04-2015, 04:55 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
Debates of what exact nature and of what arguments?

Debates upon moral or typical religious/religious organization failures I have seen definitively alter the thinking of people.

Do you mean just debates concerning the statement of, is there a god?

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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15-04-2015, 05:50 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
I've never seen a good argument "for God". They are all just fallacies dressed up in different ways. I admit that if you haven't seen a particular one before, or they smother you in irrelevant details or start trying to corner you into solipsism, it can seem tough. It's just a matter of practice and research.

Check out ironchariots.org for great counter apologetics.

Apologetics is all about dishonesty. It's just a matter of spotting it.

As for Jesus, it makes no difference if there really was "a man" or not. He didn't do any of the stuff that actually matters in the story (there's no good reason to think he actually did) so he's just a dumbass.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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15-04-2015, 06:06 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
Welcome!

(15-04-2015 01:21 AM)emeraldcrown Wrote:  - There is also a good number of arguments for God’s existence that as of today remain undefeated, although much critiqued. These include the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, the Moral argument, etc.

I disagree. These arguments are presuppositional in nature, and thus, have no reason to be taken seriously. You don't need to refute something that cannot prove itself.

The Kalam Cosmological argument starts out reasonably talking about things that exist having causes. It goes to crazy town when it gets to the point of pure speculation. You can use it to ask the question about "what was the first cause?", but as soon as you have to start asserting eternal/timeless entities to kick the whole thing off, you end up violating causality as we know it to uphold causality as we know it. I'm not saying it's wrong per se, but I will solidly stand by saying that it's not even wrong.

The Teleological argument is relying on induction to draw inferences to things we can't possibly observe or know. It basically takes the form of:
  • A watch has the property of being complex.
  • A watch has the property of being designed.
  • The universe has the property of being complex.
  • Ergo, the universe has the property of being designed.

Note the same structure:
  • Ray Charles plays piano.
  • Ray Charles is blind.
  • My wife plays piano.
  • My wife is blind (hint: she's not actually blind).
If you cannot prove a link between the two properties, there is no reason to assume that the link must be there.

The Ontological argument suffers both from assuming one of the premises (that a maximally perfect X must exist/we cannot conceive of anything greater than what exists) and also by not really defining what it actually means. What does it mean for something to be maximally perfect? Sure, people assert God is like that all the time, but they can't really explain it. The premise is both baseless and incoherent.

The Argument from Morality assumes that objective morality exists, which I feel is putting the cart before the horse. Yes, I agree that I don't see any way objective morality would exist without some source, but assuming it exists to prove the source exists is completely circular.


These arguments remain "undefeated" to people who put stock in them. To people not emotionally attached to them, they're not even wrong.


(15-04-2015 01:21 AM)emeraldcrown Wrote:  The theist responses to these internal defeater claims are:

- you have to line up your morality with the Bible, if it’s in the Bible, it’s correct, if it’s not in the Bible, it’s incorrect
- bad doctrine (incorrect conclusions based on not understanding something)
- demonic oppression (evil spirits clouding your mind and your moral discernment)
- being handed over to a contorted mind by God himself
“24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1 NIV

My conclusion is that either my moral discernment is flawed and I have been handed over or that my internal defeaters stand and invalidate Christianity. In any case, it makes debates pointless.

One thing Christianity is good at is cop-out answers to explain away doubts. If it didn't have those built in, people would have probably stopped believing when Christ didn't return 1,900 years ago, when Paul promised.
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15-04-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
(15-04-2015 01:21 AM)emeraldcrown Wrote:  “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:” Isaiah 1:18 ESV

If they quote that as evidence for Christianity being in favor of reason they are taking it out of context Big Grin:
19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 1:18 isn't advocating reason, it is saying that you'd be smart to accept blind obedience or god will kill you. It is the dictum of a mafia boss, not a call to logic.

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15-04-2015, 07:19 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
(15-04-2015 01:21 AM)emeraldcrown Wrote:  Most theist thinkers assert they have an evidence-based (e.g. John Lennox) faith and that their belief is rational (e.g. William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, any number of other Christian apologists). I’m not denying that they are indeed intelligent people and I don’t want to say anything derogatory about them. Most of them would instantly shatter me in any philosophical discussion or organized debate. They are well-read, well-educated and generally nice people. This is not a hate post.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:” Isaiah 1:18 ESV
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:14 NIV

The thing is; they are mostly right.
- There is a remarkable number of historical evidence for Jesus Christ, the Jesus Christ, concerning his life and crucifixion. Here is a short but interesting video about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9CC7qNZkOE
- There is also a good number of arguments for God’s existence that as of today remain undefeated, although much critiqued. These include the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, the Moral argument, etc.

At first glance (and for me it took three years of study to grasp it fully) it does seem like their position is without any element of blind faith. But there indeed does exist one, a subtle but vitally important presupposition, what I call conditional exclusivistic foundationalism.

1. Most of them would assert that intuition is the highest order of knowledge, more important than empiricism, rationality and emotions. They are somewhat right. Without intuitive trust in, for example, believing that the external world does exist and is not a figment of your imagination, you couldn’t get anywhere in life.
2. They assert that our intuitions, especially our moral intuitions lead to the Christian God e.g. torturing a baby for fun is objectively wrong in any possible world and it is not just a subjective opinion.

My internal defeaters for this are my moral intuitions that directly go against the Bible. For example I think not tolerating gays is immoral. The Bible is pretty clear that it is just and good to do so. Another one is more subtle, but for me even more powerful. I think that in this day and age, killing and eating animals is wrong. The Bible asserts that man has dominion over all animals and it’s perfectly okay to offer them as blood sacrifices (although not encouraged after the Old Testament) or to eat them.

The theist responses to these internal defeater claims are:

- you have to line up your morality with the Bible, if it’s in the Bible, it’s correct, if it’s not in the Bible, it’s incorrect
- bad doctrine (incorrect conclusions based on not understanding something)
- demonic oppression (evil spirits clouding your mind and your moral discernment)
- being handed over to a contorted mind by God himself
“24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1 NIV

My conclusion is that either my moral discernment is flawed and I have been handed over or that my internal defeaters stand and invalidate Christianity. In any case, it makes debates pointless.

I don't think the first part and second part of your OP follows. I don't think folks like Lennox, or Plantinga hold to the same view of the bible as expressed in the second part of the OP, that they hold to the sort of moral deontology, with the bible as the written form of these moral commands. It seems they subscribe to the notion of natural law, the law within our hearts, not a notion of morality that's dependent on the bible to know what's right and wrong, which might be the case for some fundies.

St. Paul made such an observation of the gentiles who knew the moral law, even though they had no book:

"Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right." (Romans 2, NLT)
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15-04-2015, 07:37 AM
RE: The Hidden Blind Faith of Christian Intellectuals that Makes Debates Pointless
(15-04-2015 04:28 AM)emeraldcrown Wrote:  That's not the moral argument and those examples do not defeat it...

Actually, yes, yes it does defeat it. Irrefutably so.

Christians presupposition towards the objective morality of the universe being that god created morality can thus only people who get their morals from the bible and god himself whom created morality can easily be defeated by a simple and very short demonstration of the actual morality presented in the bible itself.

This IS the moral argument. You cannot be good without god is the moral argument.
This is the easiest possible argument to win against even the best of the best Christian apologists. I myself could easily humiliate them in public as so many others have done so in the past. This is why its been years since all the professional apologists have abandoned the moral argument, because they have been beaten at it dozens of times. The only ones who invoke it today in any kind of public setting with spectators are armatures.

This is why most apologists invoke the cosmological argument and other similar ones. The most popular three that I can tell so far is the Cosmological, the prime mover and the solipsistic arguments which have all been beaten before.

If you write a book, make a speech, say something. The very moment you say,write, anything that is untrue or a lie.

Than 100% of everything else immediately becomes discredited regardless of what it is. The bible once said or may still say depending on the sect of Christianity your from that the world is flat, center of the universe, Genesis order of creation is completely out of order etc etc. Therefor, god does not exist and everything in the bible is a lie and discredited because one lie discredits the whole system based on their claims that the book was either written by or divinely inspired by an infinitely powerful, intelligent being.


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