I’m a Christian and I have questions
Posted: 03 October 2008 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello all,

My name is david and I just became a member of this forum yesterday, so obviously this is my first time posting.  As the title of my post indicates, I do consider myself an evangelical Christian. However, the reason I joined this forum is quite simple really, as I will try to briefly explain below.

In short, ever since my senior year in high school (I am 21 years old) I have immersed myself in Christian apologetics.  And, as many on this post are probably expecting me to say, this immersion ultimately led me to become a Christian myself.  And, of course, I believe that the Christian apologetic is extremely powerful and can (or maybe a better word is “should”) hold up to the most critical of scrutiny.

Nevertheless, over the past year or so I came to the realization of something that has bothered me quite intensely I must admit.  Namely, I realized that I have not heard many of the refutations brought forth by skeptics (forgive me if this is the inappropriate label to be using)to the arguments that I have come to find so powerful.  Now, this is not to say I haven’t had personal conversations with skeptics myself, as I have had plenty.  And, there has not yet been a time where I felt my position was comprised in any way.  But even with this being the case, I would really like to have a forum (or relationship) where I can truly learn and understand the naturalistic viewpoint in its entirety—especially from those who seem to be very familiar with the arguments commonly proposed by Christian apologists.

My goal is to understand the refutations, and then to ask questions about them.  Now, I realize that there are thousands upon thousands of issues, and it would take a lifetime to go through them all.  As such, I started reading a book entitled “He Is There and He Is Not Silent”, written by Francis Schaffer.  The book is pretty small and just deals with the main issues of metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology, arguing that only the Christian worldview truly conforms to reality.  My plan is to post his main arguments that I find persuasive, and then hopefully learn from the members of this forum the naturalistic/skeptical response and refutation.

Anyway, if anyone would be willing to help me along in this process I would be very grateful indeed.  I want to, in a way, re-examine those things which provide such security in holding to my Christian worldview, and I am hoping this forum may be able to assist me in doing this.

All the best,

-david

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Posted: 03 October 2008 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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A hearty welcome to you, david!
I’ll do my damndest to dereligify you.

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Posted: 03 October 2008 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Welcome to the forum.  You can expect responses ranging from reasoned analysis and disagreement through flaming abuse.  There are several levels that you can be engaged on.  For example, why Christian rather than, say, Muslim?  Answer: because you have been in a Christian environment.  Had you been similarly immersed (baptized) in Islam, you might well have given the same post with Muslim substituted for Christian.  (Likewise for Judism, Hinduism, and so on.)  This might seem ridiculous to you given your current beliefs, but it is true.  Note, I’m not criticizing your Christianity, only pointing out that it is an accident of birthplace.  Nor am I suggesting that you abandon your religion and become an atheist.  Actually, I commend you for seeking alternate opinions although this may just be trolling for arguments.  Another point is that no religion can be only a matter of intellectual commitment, rational argument always requires an initial assumption and that initial assumption has to be taken on faith.  In science the initial assumption is that the world can be explained on a naturalistic basis and this gets support, in the end, from its success.  In religion, the assumption has to do with the existence of God and various other supernatural assumptions and these can’t be supported by evidence other than by assuming the consequence (i.e., the argument from design turns reason around to rationalize the assumption of a Creator but this is rationalization rather than empirical evidence, it is using observations as instances of the belief rather than as evidence that could count against the belief).

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Posted: 03 October 2008 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Hi Jefe,

My fault on the cross-posting, I did so because I wasn’t sure which forum (Christianity or Philosophy) my post would fall under.  But after reading your remark, I will just keep it in the Christianity section, here since this is where I have gotten all my responses.

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Posted: 11 January 2009 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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dself wrote:
Namely, I realized that I have not heard many of the refutations brought forth by skeptics (forgive me if this is the inappropriate label to be using)to the arguments that I have come to find so powerful.

Of course you haven’t found the arguments of skeptics/atheists to be convincing. Its not that your arguments are so powerful, but you choose them to be so powerful based on your unwavering convictions. Most theist arguments are pretty vague and weak and can be refuted. You’re just so immersed in your delusions that you believe these refutations to be weak, and your arguments so strong.

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The absurd is born out of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

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Posted: 11 January 2009 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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David,

Welcome.  You will be deluged with all sorts of posts. As posted above, be prepared for some to be abusive and sarcastic, others less so.  This is NOT a “warm and fuzzy” forum, though here are some quite sensitive and non-rabid people who post here with considerable talent and provoking ideas.  This may be a somewhat risky forum for you, if you consider at least some fo the responses carefully, they may threaten your intellectual premises, if you have the skeptical intellect to consider them.

Posters here generally seem to respect intellectual honesty and integrity; they do not respect a “blind” expression of belief sans willingness to question those beliefs.

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 12 January 2009 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Hi David, I am reading a book written by a former fundamentalist pastor who learned apologetics under William Lane Craig entitled “Why I Became An Atheist” by John W. Loftus.  He wrote it for Christians. He addresses and refutes every apologetic argument there is.  It’s a good read and I think you will find it very helpful.  He also runs “Debunking Christianity” blog as well.  He’s super nice too.

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Life has the meaning you give it.

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