By Jon Kauffman
I follow the blog of an atheist. I and the atheist have attempted to hold on-line conversations from time to time.
I think this atheist blog is wonderful.2 I like to read the writing of those with whom I disagree from time to time. It helps sharpen my thinking and sometimes I find holes in my own logic.
Recently I told this young lady that I had read some Bertrand Russell about 40 years ago and at that time I had found him quite persuasive. She shared Russell’s analogy of the teapot.
“If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.” Bertrand Russell
I admit, that when I was young and naive, I found this analogy somewhat persuasive. But when I read it now it seems almost silly.
According to many scholars, the Hyksos seized power in Egypt around 1638 BC without war.1
David Rohl has written an excellent book suggesting that Egypt’s timeline as understood by most archeologists today should be moved forward 200 years and Israel’s timeline should be moved back to match the Bible.
The current paradigm in Archeology is against Rohl’s timeline. Sometimes it takes a many years for scientific paradigms to shift even when the evidence is irrefutable. Rohl has some very strong evidence. I will be watching with great interest as other archeologists analyze his theories.
God is dripping out of Russell’s teapot.
Until 5 years ago I thought that no evidence existed in Egypt to support the story of Moses. I was pleasantly surprised to find Patterns of Evidence, The Exodus by Tim Mahoney.
The dripping of God from Russell’s teapot has quickened.
Lee Strobel tells us that many people have experienced miracles and life changing experiences as a result of their faith in God. “Among well-educated medical doctors 75% believe miracles are possible. 55% of US physicians have seen results in their patients that they would consider miraculous.” Page 31. See my review of Strobel’s book, The Case for Miracles.
God is pouring from Russell’s teapot.
We have a strong argument for the existence of God with the Kalam cosmological argument. William Lane Craig is an able defender of this argument. The leak in Russell’s teapot is becoming a strong steady stream.
Many scholars have written of the excellent evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.
God is flooding from Russell’s teapot.
Bertrand Russell was once asked why he did not believe in God. He said, “Not enough evidence.” I wonder, is there any evidence that could have convinced Russell?
In addition to logical reasoning, I have sometimes heard atheists arguing using methods of argumentation such as 1. Ad Hominem. 2. Contradiction. 3. Ridicule. 4. Diversion.
When someone argues with me using these logical fallacies, my first thought is what are they afraid of? Then I think, are their arguments so weak that they cannot stand on the facts?
One atheist used the red herring argument. He suggested that one should not be a Christian or believe in God because Christians were involved in the Crusades against the Middle East. I told him that Lenin and Mao both atheists, killed more people.
Because Lenin and Mao killed many people does not prove atheists are killers and because some Christians participated in the crusades does not prove Christians killers.
Another atheist uses the ad hominem logical fallacy and often calls anyone disagreeing with the atheist position a liar.
The Creationist Argues
Unfortunately sometimes Christians use some of the same logical fallacies.
One time I contacted a gentleman who held to the theory of creation occurring 6,000 year ago. I was curious to learn the scientific basis for his position. I asked him why it appears that we can see stars more than 6,000 light years away if the earth was created 6,000 years ago. The gentleman used an ad hominem argument and told me that I had no faith. He did not give me an answer to my question. I saw no reason to question him further.
Using logical fallacies by Christians to put others in their place seems contrary to the love of Jesus to me. If the creationist gentleman had given me reasons for his belief instead of only attacking me, then I would have had some facts to consider.
I find intelligent design theories intriguing. I am not an expert in biology or paleontology. The current paradigm among scientists does not accept intelligent design. I have done some reading and the intelligent design theories appear to me to have merit.
J.P. Moreland tells us about a time when he was giving lectures at UCLA:
“William Dembski had given a lecture defending intelligent design theory. The biology faculty of the university instructed their students to boycott Dembski’s lecture. There was a lot of mocking and ridicule of him among the biologists—despite the fact that Dembski has a master’s degree in science, a master’s degree in statistics, a master’s degree in divinity, a PhD in philosophy, and a PhD in mathematics—along with postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton. But if Dembski is so stupid and his proposals on intelligent design are so patently ridiculous, why wouldn’t the professors simply send their students to the lecture and have them tear his arguments apart? That should be easy. Of what were the biology faculty afraid?
Around that time, while giving some lectures at UCLA, I met a doctoral student in microbiology. He pulled me aside and said that his dissertation supervisor admitted to him in confidence that his dissertation proposal was excellent. It was a proposal to provide empirical verification or falsification for intelligent design theory. But the supervisor told him to stay far away from intelligent design. If he insisted on this topic for his dissertation, he would not only flunk, but he would have his funding withdrawn and would be kicked out of the doctoral program.” Moreland, J. P. Scientism and Secularism (pp. 192-193). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
I too question the fear of professors of Biology at ULCA. Perhaps they cannot argue conclusively against intelligent design? Certainly, intelligent design does not conform to their paradigm.
As the debate among biologists continues, I will watch with great interest to see if the paradigm changes.
The Love of Jesus
Love is action. When asked about the most important commandment Jesus said, 29 “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31.
How do we show the love of Jesus when we debate with those with whom we disagree?
How do we show love to the homeless man on the street?
How do we show love to the student experiencing transgender feelings?
How do we love the poor, the helpless and the prisoner?
How do we love Muslims from the Middle East? How do we love our enemies? Jesus and the Roman Centurion, Matthew 8:5-13
I plan to write more posts about my conversation with the atheist young lady.
- New Research Reveals Surprising Origins of Egypt’s Hyksos Dynasty, by Theresa Machemer
- Club Schadenfreude
Reasons Christians Give to Say Violence by Christians is Legitimate
Copyright © 2021 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.
30 thoughts on “Debate, Atheism and Love”
How many Israelites do you believe were involved in the Exodus?
I do not know how many Israelites were involved in the Exodus. I have heard estimates as low as 30,000 and high as 3 million people including men, women and children.
What evidence can you present to demonstrate the veracity of such a claim (regarding evidence for Israelites in Egypt)?
My Opinion of Vel’s blog post: “thou shalt lie, as long as we can get our claws in kids” I will copy the complete post at the bottom of this comment.
My comment on Vel’s blog:
Is it true?
You have, in the past asked me to provide you with examples of your use of logical fallacies.
If I understand your post correctly, you are arguing that Therapist, Erica Komisar has reached conclusions that do not logically follow from the study funded by the Templeton Foundation.
I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution.
Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.
With abductive reasoning, a person ascertains the known facts to determine the most probable conclusion.
1. You strongly feel that Komisar is in error in her conclusions.
2. You did not demonstrate that the Templeton financed study was incorrectly conducted. For example, was the correct sample size used? Where the question in the study leading questions? Etc.
3. You did not demonstrate that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the results of the Templeton financed study.
4. You use the ad hominem logical fallacy argument and the red herring logical fallacy argument to defend your position and make your arguments.
I think that it is highly probable that Komisar’s conclusions do logically follow from the results of the study,
I do not know if your assertion about Komisar is correct. But, I think that if Komisar’s conclusion did not logically follow from the study, you would have shown the inconsistency if it existed. I think if the study had been improperly conducted you would have demonstrated that fact. When someone uses logical fallacies it immediately raises a red flag in my mind about the truthfulness of their conclusions.
If later, I want to determine with a higher probability if Komisar’s conclusions are true, I will need to listen to the video and read the study and then logically analyze them. I do not find your conclusions convincing.
Ad Hominem Logical Fallacy Argument
You gave me a definition of ad hominem logical fallacy. http://nizkor.com/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
I agree with that definition.
Example of your use of the ad hominin logical fallacy.
“Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.”
Does nihilism equal non belief? You argue that Komisar is wrong because she is trying to lie.
I am unconvinced. Based on my knowledge of the writings of philosophers such as Jean Paul Sarte, I am forced to conclude that there may be some truth in Komisar’s claim.
Red Herring Logical Fallacy Argument:
Red Herring logical fallacy: A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion.
Example of your use of the Red Herring logical fallacy.
“Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted.”
Instead of demonstrating that the study was improperly conducted you seem to be saying it is obvious the study was improper because the Templeton Foundation promotes religion.
Where am I wrong?
Vel’s blog post:
“thou shalt lie, as long as we can get our claws in kids”
Wow, one of the more unpleasant videos by conservative Christian liars I’ve seen in a while. https://www.prageru.com/video/why-even-atheists-should-teach-their-children-about-god/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_2683793 I found this on a Christian blog by a Dr. Bob. It’s about how even atheists really need to teach their kids about the Christian god. For their good, of course. It’s a few years old but still a lovely sample of how much some Christian rely on deceit to spread their false claims. Just like ol’ C.S. Lewis in his encouragement to lie to potential Christians about the contradictions between Christians and their hate for one another.
No need to tell children about an imaginary being who damns people to eternal torture for no fault of their own. A vicious god that kills children for no fault of their own.
I do love the video since it shows just how vile conservative Christians can be. It shows that Komisar (evidently a jewish believer), and christians, have no problem with making false claims about religion and misrepresenting that Harvard study. The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor. Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted.
So any religion is fine, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. Christianty, Judaism: nothing special.
Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god. Alas, that is not the case at all. Komisar says to lie to your children aka “Fake it”. She excuses her lying by saying that all parents falsely promise their children that nothing bad will ever happen to them. Hmm, this is rather close to this god saying that it will take care of every believer like the lilies. It doesn’t do as promised and all believers have is blaming victims to excuse their god e.g. You didn’t pray enough, etc.
Amazing how that works when this god of Komisar’s says never to lie, not even if you think you are lying *for* it, Romans 3, or if she is jewish “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” Psalm 101 and “11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19. She also claims that the only way for a child to be taught gratitude and empathy is by organized religion. Of course, she means her version of Christianity, no other. Alas, we have millions of people, who needed no religion to be humane humans. Observation outweighs her lies.
In conclusion, all she has is “think of the children” as a basis for her attempts at recruitment for religion. It’s so sweet to see her false concern for free choice of religion offered as a reason why parents should bother their kids with baseless myths. Ah, the pure hypocrisy there.
“prager u” is not a university at all, just a conservative media company known for its false claims.
quite an amazing list of nonsense, but thanks for the compliment. There is nothing to show that Rohl is right, other than the presupposition that some magical nonsense has to be shoehorned in. Funny how not one latrine or trash pit full of quail bones has been found for 600,000+ people who wandered around in an area half the size of Pennsylvania for 40 years.
“Lee Strobel tells us that many people have experienced miracles and life changing experiences as a result of their faith in God. “Among well-educated medical doctors 75% believe miracles are possible. 55% of US physicians have seen results in their patients that they would consider miraculous.”
an appeal to popularity fallacy. Funny how Hindus also believe in such nonsense. By your argument, those gods have to be true too.
“We have a strong argument for the existence of God with the Kalam cosmological argument. William Lane Craig is an able defender of this argument. The leak in Russell’s teapot is becoming a strong steady stream.”
at best you have an argument for a “force”. You have no argument that this force if your version of the Christian god. You also have the problem that your argument is based on a presupposition that has no evidence supporting it.
“Many scholars have written of the excellent evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. ”
the logical fallacy of appeal to popularity and appeal to authority.
“I wonder, is there any evidence that could have convinced Russell?” the lie told by a Christian who has no evidence.
“It appears to me that the young lady with the atheist blog sometimes uses 4 methods of argumentation. 1. Ad Hominem. 2. Contradiction. 3. Ridicule. 4. Diversion.”
and no surprise that our author cannot show examples of any of these things.
“I have done some reading and the intelligent design theories appear to me to have merit.” an argument from your personal ignorance is less than impressive.
Do explain why they have “merit”.
” But if Dembski is so stupid and his proposals on intelligent design are so patently ridiculous, why wouldn’t the professors simply send their students to the lecture and have them tear his arguments apart? That should be easy. Of what were the biology faculty afraid?”
They do, but nice to see again that a Christian apologist has no problem in lying.
“How do we show the love of Jesus when we debate with those with whom we disagree?”
by not trying to lie to people who have access to the internet and who generally know your religion better than you do. As for JC being love, do explain how love is in anyway involved with a being that has to murder everyone who disagrees with it? (revelation 19-21)
I will give you an example of your use of ad hominem arguments. Because you disagree with me, you said to me: “You find baseless claims convincing since your self-worth requires you to try to find anything at all to support your beliefs.” You also called me a “fool.” These are ad hominem arguments.
I think the arguments that I use to support my beliefs are very strong. I do not consider myself a fool. If you want to make ad hominem attacks against me you may do that.
You also pointed out that many Christians have called you a fool which is I think very unfortunate. I am aware of atheists who felt they had to hide their non-belief because of the way some claiming to be Christian treated them. I find it disheartening that anyone would feel so threatened by Christians that they cannot express their true beliefs. I have noticed that you appear to be extremely knowledgeable and intelligent and I would not characterize you as a fool.
You disagree with me. You do not believe Jesus rose from the dead. I am convinced that he did.
You certainly have some very valid questions.
I am not sure what your motives are for asking these questions. Perhaps you are trying to convince Christians that they should follow you in your unbelief?
Perhaps you are trying to change society to be more receptive to your ideas and to lessen the likelihood of Christians calling you a fool. I would find that a very acceptable motive. However, your ad hominem attacks against me suggest that you are not trying to convince me. I do not know your motives.
If as you claim, materialism is true and nothing exists besides matter, then when we die we will be gone. Why would you care what I believe?
If my understanding of the teaching of Jesus and his command to preach the gospel to the world is correct, then I believe that as a follower of Jesus it is my duty to answer your questions to the best of my abilities.
Concerning Revelation 19-21 please see https://nonviolentchristians.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/does-revelation-19-justify-violence-by-christians/ This does not completely answer your question about Revelation 19, but perhaps it is a start.
I plan to touch on some of your other questions in future blog posts.
unsurprisingly, you have no idea what an ad hominem argument is: http://nizkor.com/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
I was an agnostic-atheist for much of my life. With my 156 Mensa IQ, I thought I was much too intelligent to believe in ‘God and other fairy tales.’
Eighteen years ago, in the year I turned 50, I made the decision to believe in Christ Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. Why? Because the preponderance of the evidence compels me to believe.
LikeLiked by 3 people
so, what is this evidence you think supports your argument, Linda. How is it different than the evidence for any other god?
I would postulate that you returned to Christianity since you have realized you won’t live forever and want your foot inside those pearly gates. I’ve seen that happen more than once.
In March of 2020, I served as a juror on a trial. Based on the evidence that was presented by the prosecution and the defense, my eleven fellow jurors and I unanimously agreed that the defendant was guilty of the lesser charge, and not guilty of the far more serious charge. I feel confident that our verdict was correct. But there is no way that I could adequately explain all the evidence, and our reasoning, in a comment on a blog.
When it comes to the question of ultimate reality, the evidence and my reasoning are far more complex. But it all begins with answering the jury summons. 😀
nice excuse, Linda, but that is all you have. You may be unable to do so, but it is not impossible at all.
per your bible, not everyone gets the “jury summons”. your analogy fails.
I’m not going to argue with you. I know what I know.
No, Linda. You want to believe nonsense that makes you feel special.
you have no evidence for your claims, just like every other theist in the world. You know you can’t argue with me.
You sound so much like me, during my agnostic/atheist years. I did not want to believe in God. I have witnessed miracles, one in particular was amazing, an immediate, direct, humanly impossible answer to prayer. This miracle was undeniable. I saw it with my own two eyes, as did the three people that were with me. Yet I still chose not to believe in God!
Why didn’t I want to believe? For many reasons. One: all the suffering and injustice in the world. Babies born horribly disabled and deformed, children with cancer, wars, abuses, thousands of civilians of all ages killed in a single moment by an earthquake, a tsunami, an atomic bomb. How could an all-powerful, all-knowing, righteousness God of LOVE allow these evil things? Another big reason for my unbelief: hypocritical, abusive people who claimed to be Christians, beginning with my father, a church pastor who was arrested when I was 12 years old for nearly murdering my mother, and then my bible -thumping mother reacted to that trauma by trying to gas herself and the five of us kids to death, a few weeks later. And the hypocrisy and abuses continued, from both of my so-called Christian parents, and — as years passed — by several others.
Then there is the Bible itself. Some parts of the Bible, particularly in the old testament, are horrifying, as I discovered when I read the entire Bible from cover to cover.
Last but not least, I did not want to believe in God because I wanted to live my life my way, thank you very much. I wanted to be able to have sex outside of marriage, for one thing. Who did it hurt? Whose business was it, but mine and the other consenting adult?
No amount of debate, no evidence pro or con, and no big blazing miracle happening right in front of my face, could change my mind.
What changed my mind? I met a group of Christians who were genuinely loving, compassionate, respectful, and empathetic. Then I prayed and asked God to please show me if He exists and if Christianity is true. The answers did not happen overnight, but they did happen.
I still don’t understand a lot of things, like why my baby grandson died and why my firstborn grandson was born so severely and permanently impaired. I still don’t understand a lot of the Bible. But… for me, personally, the Bible is NOT my God. Still, I do believe in Christ Jesus. He is my Savior and the Lord of my life. Why? Because the preponderance of the evidence that I have personally witnessed and experienced in my life, compels me to believe.
By the way, I have had two near death experiences. One happened when I was 15, the other when I was 39. My soul left my body, both times. The first time this happened, at age 15, as my body collapsed on the floor, I kept standing there, wondering how this could be? Two nurses saw me collapse, ran over, and knelt down beside my body. I was floating above their heads when I heard one nurse say “I can’t find a pulse.” The other nurse said “Her lips are blue.” And then, BOOM, I went back inside my body.
My second near death, at age 39, happened because I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I did not know I had that, it was discovered as a result of tests that a cardiologist prescribed, to determine why my heart was beating so erratically. That second near death was AWESOME. I was in a hallway or tunnel between here and heaven, and the overwhelming LOVE and PEACE and JOY I experienced in that place, was indescribable. The experience was more vivid and real than anything I have ever experienced here on earth!
And yet, I continued to call myself an agnostic/atheist, because I still did not want to believe. I told myself that I must have dreamed what happened during my out of body experiences.
This is how I know that debate is useless with you. I used to be right where you are.
The mind-blowing miracle I witnessed… Wow Wow WOW. I was 27 years old when that happened. But I did not become a true, believing Christian until shortly before I turned 50. I don’t even know how I could have been so stubborn and stupid for so long.
God’s grace is truly amazing. I know that He is love and so I trust Him — even when I do not understand.
LikeLiked by 1 person
So, what and where and when were these supposed “miracles”, Lisa? It’s no surprise you want to make the claim, but offer no details. Who are these other three people?
Yep, there are all sorts of reasons not to believe in an omnibenevolent omnipotent god. You have decided to make up excuses for it, so you can pretend you are special. You are one of those hypocritical abusive people who calls themselves a Christian. And no surprise that your god didn’t do a damn thing about your abusive parents. That’s because it never has existed.
The bible is indeed horrifying and unsurprisingly again, you make excuses for it.
you wanted to have sex. So? It is always entertaining to think that some infinite god cares about who is screwing who.
You met some nice humans and decided some magical being cause them to be that way, not wanting to admit that some humans are simply nice. It is no surprise that your prayers were not answered, but you made believe they were. Per the bible, prayers are answered quickly. You waited until you got the answer you wanted.
You cling to your faith so you must imaging that there must be “some” reason for things to happen like people dying. But per the bible, no one has to die from sickness since Christians can heal. Per James, healing is no problem at all. But you must ignore that and come up with a reason why your grandchild died for *your* need to feel special.
You, like every other Christian, picks and chooses what you want to claim is true and what is not. Nothing new or different here at all. You’ve not witnessed evidence, you’ve invented excuses for yourself.
Plenty of people have had NDEs and no evidence a soul exists or leaves your body. People of all religions have it and surprise, they all want to claim that their version is the right one.
You did have hallucinations. As do we all when we are anoxic.
Debate is not “useless” with me. But that’s a nice lie to tell yourself since you have nothing else. You must insist that I would not accept facts, facts that unsurprisingly you cannot present.
More vague claims, Lisa. You keep insisting how great and important you are to be granted such “miracles” but when it comes to what happened, you won’t say. How convenient. Interesting that such lies can’t stand the light of day.
all you have is you stroking yourself off by trying to convince me how special you are to get soooo many miracles. I’ve seen more than a few Christians pull the same nonsense.
1) My name is not Lisa.
2) Your snarky, condescending, know-it-all tone is very unattractive. You obviously do not know it all, otherwise you would have noticed that my name is Linda.
3) Calling me a liar is abusive. I suspect that it is also a case of projection on your part.
4) I never said or implied that I experienced a miracle because I am in any way special or deserving. On the contrary, I know for a fact that I am 100% unworthy.
5) I will not read or respond to anything you write again. I will not be abused in this way. Have a nice life.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Sorry, Linda. But it seems that my making a mistake in your name is all you have. How unsurprising.
I know far more than you, Linda. And I call a liar a liar. It is not abusive, it is true. And nice attempt to claim projection. Do show where I’ve lied, Linda.
Now, let’s look at where you’ve claimed to have experienced a miracle:
“I have witnessed miracles, one in particular was amazing, an immediate, direct, humanly impossible answer to prayer. This miracle was undeniable. I saw it with my own two eyes, as did the three people that were with me. Yet I still chose not to believe in God!….The mind-blowing miracle I witnessed… Wow Wow WOW. I was 27 years old when that happened.’
Hmm, funny how you are either lying then or now, Linda “I never said or implied that I experienced a miracle because I am in any way special or deserving. ”
You see, Linda, you now try to move the goalposts. I only asked where are the miracles, dear. “So, what and where and when were these supposed “miracles”, Lisa? It’s no surprise you want to make the claim, but offer no details”
and now Linda runs away since she knows I can, and have, shown her to make false claims.
Linda, Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring testimony.
LikeLiked by 1 person
You have provided another example of your use of the ad hominem logical fallacy.
Definition Ad Hominem: Name-calling or attacking a person for characteristics about that person. Examples: Someone is a fool because he is a Christian. Someone is a liar because he believes the resurrection of Jesus occurred. Ad Hominem can attack the authority of a person instead of providing substantial logical arguments for a position. For example, accusing someone of ignorance about Christianity because they do not have a doctoral degree in Theology. Ad Hominem is saying the argument the person is making is bad because the person is bad.
Definition Liar: Someone who says something that they believe is not true.
You call Linda a Liar because she said she experienced a miracle, but she did not provide you with all the details.
You also called me a liar because I said that I believe the resurrection of Jesus occurred. You also said many others were liars because they believed the resurrection of Jesus occurred. You are saying the resurrection did not occur because I am a liar?
Let us use the resurrection of Jesus as an example.
It is possible for someone to be telling the truth and say that they do not believe that the resurrection of Jesus occurred. It is also possible for someone to be telling the truth and say they believe that the resurrection of Jesus did occur.
Many books presenting logical arguments in favor of miracles and the resurrection have been written.
Why I believe the resurrection occurred is based on evidence, personal experience, and personal motives. It is complicated, but I believe in the resurrection of Jesus because it best explains to me the facts I know based on my knowledge of science, history, philosophy, theology, and personal experience concerning the resurrection of Jesus. I am a Christian because it is a philosophy, religion, and relationship most consistent with what I know about the world around me. I could write a book about why I believe.
It is difficult to condense into a comment or blog post why I believe in the resurrection of Jesus. In the same way, it would be impossible for you to make a good case for atheism in a comment or blog post.
You have insinuated several times that if we do not have time or motivation, or if we decide we do not want to be treated badly by you and decide not to share our reasons, we are hiding from you or the evidence for our claims does not exist or we are liars.
If you do not believe the evidence that I provide, that does not make me a liar. In the same way, if I do not believe the evidence you provide, that does not make you a liar. It simply means we disagree.
You claimed that Linda called you a liar. I do not see anywhere in her writing where she calls you a liar.
Unfortunately for me, when someone uses ad hominem arguments, abusive language, and other logical fallacies against me, I tend to question the motivation, logic, and truth of all that person’s arguments. If such a person later makes good logical arguments, it becomes difficult for me to notice those arguments or recognize the value of those arguments.
I think it would be very interesting if we could engage without the logical fallacies. Most likely, I could learn a thing or two. Certainly, such a conversation could be interesting. I think we might even find that we agree on certain things.
In the past, I have watched YouTube videos of Sam Harris and found myself agreeing with him on certain points. However, I heard many, many points with which I disagreed. I know for a fact that I am not a liar because I disagree with Sam Harris. I also do not believe that Sam Harris is a lair.
I am hoping that someday you can treat me as well as I saw Sam treat the people with whom he was debating.
LikeLiked by 1 person
you’ve already failed, Jon.
Ad hominem: “Ad hominem (Latin for ‘to the person’), short for argumentum ad hominem, refers to several types of arguments, some but not all of which are fallacious. Typically this term refers to a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”
Show where I’ve done the above.
As I mentioned before, you’ve yet to show that I’ve used an ad hominem fallacy.
You’ve done a great job in trying to lie about what I think. I have not said this at all “Someone is a fool because he is a Christian. Someone is a liar because he believes the resurrection of Jesus occurred.”
Why do you choose to try to lie, Jon? You have created strawmen to attack. I’ve gone into detail on why your claims do not work.
I called Linda a liar because she made a claim and now refuses to provide evidence. Now, why would someone refuse to give evidence if what she says is true, Jon?
I called you a liar since you made false claims, not simply because you “said that I believe the resurrection of Jesus occurred”. Where did I say anything like this, Jon: “You also called me a liar because I said that I believe the resurrection of Jesus occurred”? You seem to again need to attack a strawman since you cannot address my points.
Where is this “excellent evidence” that “many scholars” have written about, Jon? You have none and I am calling you a liar because of this. And this claim of yours “” But if Dembski is so stupid and his proposals on intelligent design are so patently ridiculous, why wouldn’t the professors simply send their students to the lecture and have them tear his arguments apart? That should be easy. Of what were the biology faculty afraid?””
they have torn them apart. But you find you must claim they haven’t, a lie.
The resurrection didn’t occur since there is no evidence for it, not because you may or may not be a liar.
Yep, if someone says they believe in something, they are certainly telling the truth. That doesn’t make what they believe in true. If you are willfully ignorant and repeat a false claim, you are a liar.
“Many books presenting logical arguments in favor of miracles and the resurrection have been written.”
and many books have been written that show the same arguments but used to claim that Allah is the real god and Mohammed is his prophet. As for logical arguments, nope, there are none to support the claims of miracles. Miracles, by their nature, aren’t logical and none have ever been shown to have happened.
Yep, you believe because you want to. That’s it, that’s what this “evidence, personal experience, and personal motives.” Boils down to. You have no evidence for the resurrection. You have stories. Christians have asked me how dare I ask for evidence for an event that would not leave any. They know it didn’t leave any evidence at all, Jon. Your ignorance about science history, philosophy, theology, religion and relationships is what informs you. Any theist can make the exact same claims as you and have just the same evidence: none.
I’ve had no problem at all in making a good case for atheism in a comment of blog post. Just because you can’t doesn’t mean I haven’t. But nice try with that false claim too.
I’ve not insinuated at all, Jon. I’ve told you why you will not address my points and you’ve yet to refute me. That you’ve presented no evidence but have claimed you have does make you a liar. You’ve presented baseless claims, stories with nothing to support them. Would you accept such things as “evidence” from a theist you did not agree with?
“You claimed that Linda called you a liar. I do not see anywhere in her writing where she calls you a liar.”
This is what Linda claimed “3) Calling me a liar is abusive. I suspect that it is also a case of projection on your part.”
you’ve still to produce these ad hominem arguments, Jon. You’ve also yet to show “abusive language” (you seem to think anyone showing you are wrong to be “abusive) or logical fallacies I’ve used. It takes a simple cut and past, Jon. Why haven’t you done that to show how wrong I am? And nice excuse for your inability to answer my points, claiming that you are ever so distracted by something you cannot show me doing.
You also seem to think that if you invoke some famous atheist, I’ll swoon. I don’t give a fig for what some other atheist does.
A capricious decision you made without a scintilla of evidence. Nothing many others with greater minds than ours have concluded, all without evidence.
The proof is all around us, and within us, in the form of intelligent design. But during my years as a determined agnostic/atheist, I refused to see this proof, too.
Indeed, an amazing, supernatural miracle happened right in front of my eyes one day as an immediate and direct answer to prayer, and yet I still managed to deny the existence of God for years. Looking back, I have no explanation for my stubborn refusal to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ after witnessing this astonishing miracle, other than the fact that I did not want to believe. The miracle was witnessed by three other people, so I could not convince myself that I dreamed or hallucinated this experience. I just simply stopped thinking about it. The way I did not think about the evidence of intelligent design.
I will tell you what my miracle was, although I know it won’t convince you of anything. You will assume that I am lying, or that I hallucinated this experience. Certainly, if anyone else were to tell me this story before I experienced it, that’s what I would have assumed.
This happened when I was in my late twenties. A violent, mentally ill man threatened to kill my three children and me. My oldest son was almost ten years old. My daughter was six and a half. The youngest, a baby boy, was just a few months old.
I was in the baby’s room at the top of a staircase that led from our living room to the top floor of a tri-level house. I was changing the baby’s diaper. My daughter and my older son were down on the second level of the house. The man was staying down on the lowest level of the house. Suddenly I heard the man yelling, screaming, and saying words that did not make any sense. Worried for my children, I called my older son and daughter to come upstairs to the baby’s room. They promptly did so. I quickly finished getting the baby’s diaper on him.
Just then, the man — a homeless, 19 year old relative that we had taken into our home several months earlier, with no knowledge that he had a tendency to be violent — came up to the second floor. He began shouting “You’re all going to die! You’re all going to die!”
I handed the baby to my oldest son, and told him and my daughter to stay behind me. Then I walked out of the room to the top of the stairs, thinking that I would reason with the man, talk gently to him, ask him what was wrong, what did he need, what could I do to help him? But he was in a full-blown rage and he would not listen to me. “You’re all going to die!” he screamed, as he started walking up the stairs toward me, with his hands raised. He was much taller and stronger than me. What was I going to do?
The only thing I could think of to do in that moment was to pray! Just in case there was a God. When death is staring you in the rage, you get desperate.
As soon as I began to pray aloud, asking God for help, I saw something that looked like a glowing, pulsating force field come down from the tall ceiling in the middle of the staircase. The crazed man, still screaming that we were all going to die, walked right into the force field. He smacked into it, as though he had just walked into a wall. But instead of falling backwards, he flew up into the air, and then he fell down onto the floor of the living room.
As soon as he landed on the floor, he had what looked like a grand mal seizure. To my knowledge, he had never had seizures before. He shook so hard that the change in his pants pockets scattered from one end of the long living room to the other. When he finally stopped shaking, he sat up and said “What happened?”
My son, holding the baby, and my daughter were a few feet behind me, and they saw this happen, too. I did not dream it, I did not hallucinate it. It really, truly happened. Dear Lord, I don’t know how I was able to call myself agnostic-almost-atheist for years after that! It’s embarrassing to admit that! How could I doubt God’s existence and goodness after that? I mean, how stupid can a person get?! But here is what I did: I just did not allow myself to think about the amazing miracle that saved my children and me. Whew. Stupid, that was me. Mensa IQ and all.
God’s grace and love are beyond amazing. But until you are ready to believe in a Lord and a Savior, and until you are willing to submit your life to Him, no amount of proof will suffice.
I know. Because I have been there.
“Many scholars have written of the ‘excellent evidence’ of the Resurrection of Jesus.” This is exactly why it doesn’t pay to debate with believers! There are no “scholars” that have presented ANY evidence; good, bad or in between, for the resurrection of anyone, ever. There isn’t a scintilla of evidence for any of it. Why bother debating when someone tells you they believe things based on nothing? The absolute absence of any evidence or even enough anecdotal evidence for even the possibility makes it pretty clear to most, reasonable people. It’s mythology. Stop doing apologetic gymnastics trying to make it real; it isn’t.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I disagree with you, RaPar. There is evidence all around you that tells of a Creator, and a resurrection. The trees and flowers budding out in spring, after being dormant, is one very good example of the resurrection. Who but a Great Creator – God – could have fashioned your body to work and sustain you like it does.
Nothing from nothing, yields NOTHING. We just didn’t happen, and we are not without a wonderful end to physical life…meaning the reality of the resurrection. I don’t see the wind, but I know it’s there! I feel it!
There is no argument with you either, if you deny what is before your eyes and deny the pondering and wonder that God has put in your heart and mind to believe in Him. I suspect that He (God) probably has called you a thousand times, because He loves you. There’s no gymnastics about God or the resurrection. The fact that you live and breathe is enough evidence. And believe me, God knew you while you were being knit together in your mother’s womb. Believe. Let Him live in you!
Again, no evidence at all. All of the things you point out are truly beautiful; they fill me with joy, happiness, and wonder. And, yes, we didn’t “just happen,” we were created over millions of years of trial and error, mutation and survival, and all of the other miracle of evolution. the Earth made us, you can say in a very real way. that’s what I believe because there is a substantial body of evidence that points to that conclusion. You have to make huge leaps of faith – blind faith, even – to meet your conclusion.
Sorry, Mary Cates (great name, by the way!) but that’s you inserting your very active imagination (and, more than likely, years and years of rote learning, force-feeding, and brainwashing) and portraying nature as “god.” It’s not a completely specious idea, I grant you since one may accept nature in fact, as “god” and nature did create us. Of course it took a couple of billion years of trial and error, survival and extinction, many, many mistakes (if you’d like to call it that) and much more. However, roughly 4-1/2 BILLION years after the earth formulated here we are! Well done Mother Nature!
We have wonderful, rational & reasonable scientific evidence for how these things in nature happen; your ideas are childish and simplistic and simply do not stand up to scrutiny. I had all the same nonsense stuffed into my head in Catholic school, Christian churches, Bible study, etc. Once you pull your head out of that silliness and really start to look at the world, it’s a wonderful story and much more incredible than any ancient ignorant nonsense can ever explain. All the “god loves you” nonsense is just that, nonsense. The fact is you have ZERO evidence for any of your mythology. Much, much greater minds than your have tried – and failed – to substantiate these ridiculous claims.
Consider: If just 1/1,000,000th of the brain power put into trying to prove this nonsense were applied to science, we’d have cured cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cold-fusion, and achieved peace on Earth!
We hopefully can agree to disagree and still be able to debate with appropriate discipline in the manner in which we talk to one another. I like a good debate, but I found you getting rude and abrasive as you kept carrying on to make your point to me. The nicest thing you said was “Mary Cates – great name by the way!” Thank you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Jon, a very interesting post, but the argument you make could be more powerful by simply talking saying that “nothing begets nothing”. God must exist in order to have something tangible. The fact is that it is impossible to argue or debate unreasonable people. The true fact about disbelief in God is stated in Romans 1:20: “For ever since the world began, God’s invisible nature and His eternal power have BEEN MADE INTELIGIBLE AND CLEARLY DISCERNABLE. . . So people are without excuse. . . “. Your atheist friend is without excuse because God is discernable in all she knows. Read on through Romans chapter one. It’s quite profound. The main point is that you cannot use mortal science to argue with a person who does not believe in God. You must use THE WORD OF GOD, which cuts sharper than a two-edged sword.
LikeLiked by 2 people