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Author Topic:   Rationalising The Irrational - Hardcore Theists Apply Within
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 1 of 277 (497101)
02-01-2009 7:15 PM


Over at the “Why so friggin confident?” thread there became apparent a superficial but nevertheless significant split in the hardcore Christian position.

There were those that considered their theistic beliefs to be ultimately founded in objective, physical, empirical evidence (Bertot, Buzsaw?)

And there were those who considered internal, subjective “God has revealed himself to me personally” type “evidence” to be at the root of their faith (John 10.10, ICANT).

Each side claimed that there was no conflict between the two positions and that any differentiation was irrelevant because the objective evidence supported their internal “knowledge” (or vice versa).

But this split in claimed starting position and emphasis between the two camps was undeniably present.

The aim of this thread is to provide an opportunity for that discussion to continue but with slightly more focus on this (perceived?) split in the theistic perspective.

So I ask of our hardcore theistic contingent: (ICANT, Bertot, Bailey, Iano, Buz, John 10:10, Jaywill? Etc. etc. etc.)

QUESTIONS
1) Which came first for you personally (honestly) - Belief in God/Jesus/Bible or knowledge of the empirical evidence that you consider to support this position?

2) Are your beliefs the result of rational and objective conclusions based on physical evidence which have been confirmed by your relationship with God OR are your beliefs based on your relationship with God which you deem to have been confirmed by the objective physical evidence available? Which way round is it?

3) Could you maintain your faith in the absence of any objective empirical evidence that supports this position? (I.e. how faithful are you?)

4) If the objective empirical evidence which you deem to support your beliefs were present but the relationship with God side of your faith was absent would you still believe as you do? (I.e. is the empirical evidence alone enough to maintain your position?)

5) Is empirical evidence or subjective knowledge of God's presence the root basis of your beliefs?
END QUESTIONS

SUMMARY
Ultimately I am trying to determine whether those advocating the more extreme Christian position think that it is possible for anyone who does not, and never will have, a personal and subjective relationship with God to draw the same conclusions that they have from the empirical evidence alone? Or is a degree of irrational belief essential?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


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Message 2 of 277 (497166)
02-02-2009 8:41 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Straggler
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Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 3 of 277 (497218)
02-02-2009 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-01-2009 7:15 PM


Bump
So any "hardcore" theists willing to take part?

Are your beliefs empirically confirmed? Or is the empirical evidence confirmed by your relationship with God?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 02-01-2009 7:15 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 623 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 4 of 277 (497232)
02-02-2009 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-01-2009 7:15 PM


Hi Straggler. Sorry for my tardiness in replying in our other discussion. I'll do a drive-by on this if you don't mind. Hope it helps kickstart it for you

-

1) Which came first for you personally (honestly) - Belief in God/Jesus/Bible or knowledge of the empirical evidence that you consider to support this position?

Honestly?

Firstly there was the firm belief that I was rotten (effectively, in salvation terms, I believed God's statement about me - even if I didn't believe in God at that point). Once the criterion of salvation was met, once the barrier was ripped down between me and God, the rest followed. God turned up and I believed he existed, that Christ is my saviour, that the Bible is his word etc.

Effortlesss.

-

2) Are your beliefs the result of rational and objective conclusions based on physical evidence which have been confirmed by your relationship with God OR are your beliefs based on your relationship with God which you deem to have been confirmed by the objective physical evidence available? Which way round is it?

Neither really. My believing that I was rotten arose out of;

a) my being rotten

b) my being convinced of that fact

My belief as to Gods existance arose out of God turning up - no confirmation was necessary outside that. That said, there were the initial mindblowing realisations that flowed from knowing God actually exists. For example; the reason why the world is the way it is isn't about capitalism vs. socialism, it's not about Catholic vs. Protestant. Nor is it about a school bully bullying because of a poor teacher/pupil ratio. It's about all of these things on the surface but the core reason is because of sin. The world is the way it is because it couldn't be any different given that it's populated by sinners.

Only a week ago I heard a talk show host indignantly query whether Israel/Gaza really could be contenanced in the "21st century". He was implying that man has risen above such savagery and that such things should be impossible. I didn't see any problem at all. The world is working precisely as expected.

My faith isn't increased or diminished by empirical evidence posited to support or detract from his existing. It's enjoyable to make connections but it's not at all essential.

-

3) Could you maintain your faith in the absence of any objective empirical evidence that supports this position? (I.e. how faithful are you?)

See above. Knowing God is means you see everything through those spectacles. There is empirical evidence everywhere (in the sense that God's hand is to be seen working). But "proving" it against a view looking through a different set of spectacles? Nigh on pointless - given that the other view doesn't suppose itself to be looking through heavily tinted spectacles in the first place.

-

4) If the objective empirical evidence which you deem to support your beliefs were present but the relationship with God side of your faith was absent would you still believe as you do? (I.e. is the empirical evidence alone enough to maintain your position?)

As above. Empirical evidence is a side issue to belief to my mind - although I could see why folk would attempt to deliver an apologetic to unbelievers based on such foundations. If faith disappeared (faith being described as evidence of a non-empirical nature) then of course I'd have a hard time believing. That's why David prayed Lord don't take your spirit from me. If he did then we would return to the position that you currently occupy. It would be far worse coming down of such a high than never having had that high in the first place. I've done drugs - I know...

-

5) Is empirical evidence or subjective knowledge of God's presence the root basis of your beliefs?

I wouldn't frame it that way - as you know. Belief, if stemming from Gods actions us-ward would be anything but subjective. It'd be as objective as the nose in front of your face - even if viewed by folk from slightly different angles.

-

END QUESTIONS

Remember to look me up if ever the light goes on for you. I'd be thrilled to hear of it.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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ICANT
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Posts: 5595
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 5 of 277 (497239)
02-02-2009 7:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-01-2009 7:15 PM


Re Faith
Hi Straggler,

Straaggler writes:

1) Which came first for you personally (honestly) - Belief in God/Jesus/Bible or knowledge of the empirical evidence that you consider to support this position?

I had read the Bible once and was almost finished the second time when I came under conviction. The things I had read convinced me I needed God in my life. Then upon hearing an old farmer, preacher in a revival service I came under severe conviction but refused to do anything.

That night after going to sleep I woke up sometime during the night and the words of John 3:16, 17 and 18 kept going through my mind.

They said God loved me.

Enough He gave His only begotten Son that I could have eternal life.

They told me I did not have to do anything to be condemned as I was already condemned.

Because I had not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I at that moment trusted God to give me eternal life as I committed my spirit to His keeping.

Upon my acceptance of God's offer I received the Holy Spirit.

This came first.

Straggler writes:

2) Are your beliefs the result of rational and objective conclusions based on physical evidence which have been confirmed by your relationship with God OR are your beliefs based on your relationship with God which you deem to have been confirmed by the objective physical evidence available? Which way round is it?

Well when presented with the option of spending eternity in a lake of fire with the devil or walking down streets paved with pure gold and living with God, I think it was a rational objective decision to make.

To me at the time those two places were just as real to me as downtown Miami.

But my decision was based upon the conviction of the Word of God.

As I said above when I accepted God's offer He sent the Holy Spirit to seal my spirit until the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit is there to guide me in all truth. John 16:13

God at that time imparted to me all the faith I ever needed. Romans 12:3

That faith that God gave me contained within it all the evidence I have ever needed or will ever need.

Because of that faith I need no physical evidence of any kind. But looking at the universe through the eyes of that faith I see God.

So my belief came first from hearing the word of God then God gave me the faith I need to never doubt Him.

Straggler writes:

3) Could you maintain your faith in the absence of any objective empirical evidence that supports this position? (I.e. how faithful are you?)

If it was my belief system NO.

But since my faith is provided by God I need nothing else.

Straggler writes:

4) If the objective empirical evidence which you deem to support your beliefs were present but the relationship with God side of your faith was absent would you still believe as you do? (I.e. is the empirical evidence alone enough to maintain your position?)

Without the faith and the Holy Spirit God gave to me I would be just as full of questions as you are.

Straggler writes:

5) Is empirical evidence or subjective knowledge of God's presence the root basis of your beliefs?

From the moment the Holy Spirit entered and sealed my spirit until the day of redemption I have had empirical evidence that God is real.

He lives within me.

Straggler writes:

SUMMARY
Ultimately I am trying to determine whether those advocating the more extreme Christian position think that it is possible for anyone who does not, and never will have, a personal and subjective relationship with God to draw the same conclusions that they have from the empirical evidence alone? Or is a degree of irrational belief essential?

NO.

The reason being:

quote:
for anyone who does not, and never will have,

Well if a person does not even entertain the idea that God exists there could never be enough empirical evidence to satisfy that person.

If God were to come to their house and knock on the door they would turn Him away.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 02-01-2009 7:15 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 6 of 277 (497267)
02-03-2009 7:51 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by ICANT
02-02-2009 7:51 PM


2-0 To The "Internals"
Straggler writes:

SUMMARY
Ultimately I am trying to determine whether those advocating the more extreme Christian position think that it is possible for anyone who does not, and never will have, a personal and subjective relationship with God to draw the same conclusions that they have from the empirical evidence alone? Or is a degree of irrational belief essential?

NO.

The reason being:

quote:"for anyone who does not, and never will have, a personal and subjective relationship with God"

Well if a person does not even entertain the idea that God exists there could never be enough empirical evidence to satisfy that person.

It is quite possible to entertain the idea that God exists but to not have a subjective personal relationship with him. Surely this would be the position of anyone who considers themself to be an agnostic?

Do you think that the empirical evidence available alone is enough to convince an agnostic?
Or can only one who first has a subjective relationship with God be convinced that the empirical evidence also points in this same theistic direction?

That is the question.
We are not talking about those who would deny God under all circumstances. We are considering those who do not have a personal relationship with God but who find empirical evidence convincing. Wherever that empirical evidence may lead.

If God were to come to their house and knock on the door they would turn Him away.

Let's assume that we are talking about those who are uninterested in having a personal relationship with God but who nevertheless are open to the idea of his existence if the objective facts point in this direction.

Do you think that the objective evidence available is sufficient to convince these people that God does indeed exist?
Or must the empirical evidence be viewed through the eyes of one who already knows that God exists in order to make sense in this context?

Which is it?

So far we have ICANT and Iano essentially advocating that the subjective personal relationship with God is the starting point and focus of their faith.

2 - 0 to the "internals" so far then.
Any out there who consider objective empirical evidence as the starting point and/or basis for their theistic beliefs? Bertot? Buz?


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Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4566
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 7 of 277 (497272)
02-03-2009 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-01-2009 7:15 PM


Hi Straggler.

Ultimately I am trying to determine whether those advocating the more extreme Christian position think that it is possible for anyone who does not, and never will have, a personal and subjective relationship with God to draw the same conclusions that they have from the empirical evidence alone? Or is a degree of irrational belief essential?

I do not think irrational belief is essential.

I do not see that the assumption that the belief is irrational, is based on logic, but infact based on opinion.

Belief is essentially rational. There can be no position more rational than concluding that a designer produced DNA. there can be no position more rational that concluding that the facts only show natural selection continiously killing off information, rather than asuming transitionals.

Spontaneous generation not only requires a lot of imagination, but infact it is completely belief-based, as there is no evidence whatsoever of the impossible task of abiogenesis. It requires a LOT of faith in natural processes!

So there is no dichotomy. Certainly those of strong belief are generally rational, although I admitt that many make mistakes in their thinking, when it comes to prayer, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc invokations.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Straggler, posted 02-03-2009 9:35 AM mike the wiz has responded
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9426
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 8 of 277 (497276)
02-03-2009 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
02-03-2009 7:51 AM


Re: 2-0 To The "Internals"
quote:
We are not talking about those who would deny God under all circumstances. We are considering those who do not have a personal relationship with God but who find empirical evidence convincing. Wherever that empirical evidence may lead.

Good point!

Here is my 2 cents:

QUESTIONS
1) Which came first for you personally (honestly) - Belief in God/Jesus/Bible or knowledge of the empirical evidence that you consider to support this position?---Growing up in a Christian environment, I was always aware of the basic beliefs and stories surrounding Jesus. My actual belief, however, was kindled through quite an unusual experience that changed me to the core. Like Iano, I had done drugs before, so I knew what to expect from a chemically altered experience. One could also make the argument that I wanted a change in my life and thus my "born-again experience" was simply a confirmation bias with perhaps a dose of desire for acceptance thrown in. To the best of my awareness and sensitivity to my own internal state, I believe to this day that something definitely changed for good that day in January of 1993. My perceived awareness of a living Spirit and an incredible emotional high that simply would not go away increased several orders of magnitude that day.

2) Are your beliefs the result of rational and objective conclusions based on physical evidence which have been confirmed by your relationship with God OR are your beliefs based on your relationship with God which you deem to have been confirmed by the objective physical evidence available? Which way round is it?My beliefs are confirmed primarily through several experiences which I believed were with God or the Holy Spirit, although I cannot honestly say that they were objective or verifiable apart from my own experience. Being around others who claim similar experiences only makes the test biased. The internal belief, however, has remained quite strong and is acceptable to me.

3) Could you maintain your faith in the absence of any objective empirical evidence that supports this position? (I.e. how faithful are you?) Yes. I believe that I could. It would certainly be a lot harder without the confirmations which I believe that I have received from the Holy Spirit.(Again, a personal belief.) On a side note, one of the reasons that I continue to hang out here is because I prefer folks who disagree with and challenge me rather than sheep of a similar persuasion who question nothing. I would, however, feel uncomfortable at a militant atheist website where my beliefs were openly ridiculed and where I had no allies such as the hardcore theists we have here. (Internet Infidels comes to mind.)

4) If the objective empirical evidence which you deem to support your beliefs were present but the relationship with God side of your faith was absent would you still believe as you do? (I.e. is the empirical evidence alone enough to maintain your position?) No! Emphatically no! Were it not for my perceived relationship with God, I would have no use for any sort of evidence or lack of same. My belief is maintained entirely through my perceived relationship and occasional confirmations to my own satisfaction.(Either that, or I could mention that I also believe that He sustains my belief. How do you like them apples? )

5) Is empirical evidence or subjective knowledge of God's presence the root basis of your beliefs?
subjective knowledge of God's presence . As I mentioned already. END QUESTIONS

I might add that at this stage of my faith/belief, even if the Bible were totally discredited and thrown away, I would still believe strongly in a personal relationship with a living God. The only thing that would shake that at all would be if my subjective perceptions of such a relationship ceased.

Edited by Phat, : fixed a wee error

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 9 of 277 (497284)
02-03-2009 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by mike the wiz
02-03-2009 8:45 AM


What Are You Saying?
Are you saying that God's presence can be deduced from empirical evidence alone?

Or are you saying that belief in God is first required in order to deduce that the empirical evidence confirms God's existence?

Which way round is it?

Maybe if you answered the questions in the OP your position would be clearer.

As things stand it justs seems that you are evading the question at hand.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9426
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 10 of 277 (497287)
02-03-2009 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by iano
02-02-2009 5:32 PM


My experience, IIRC
Iano writes:

God turned up and I believed he existed, that Christ is my saviour, that the Bible is his word etc.

See...for me it happened a bit differently. Something supernatural (or at least unexplainable) happened and I then assumed that it was God and that the whole story was basically real. To this day I cannot prove that it was God who showed up, but I have a high degree of confidence that it was. There is no real way that I can ever prove that it was and is God, although I am confidant in my belief that He lives.(and lives within me.)


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 Message 4 by iano, posted 02-02-2009 5:32 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 11 of 277 (497289)
02-03-2009 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Phat
02-03-2009 9:09 AM


Re: 2-0 To The "Internals"
Yourself and Iano are at least consistent in that neither of you are particularly concerned as to whether empirical evidence confirms your beliefs or even exists at all.

There are undeniably weaknesses regarding conclusions derived exclusively from subjective experience. The massively increased possibility and potential for delusion in the case of all subjective non-verifiable conclusions as compared to their objective empirical equivalent being the obvious point to make.

But both yourself and Iano both have a much more considered approach to faith than say Buz or Bertot who will claim empirical evidence as the basis of their beliefs in one breath whilst stating that you can only see the "truth" that this evidence points to if you already believe in God in their next breath.

Bertot's claim in the "Friggin Confident" thread that theistic conclusions and scientific conclusions are both based on exactly the same forms of evidence would seem to have been largely refuted by most of the comments by theists in this thread so far.


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Percy
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Posts: 15645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 12 of 277 (497291)
02-03-2009 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Straggler
02-03-2009 9:53 AM


Re: 2-0 To The "Internals"
Straggler writes:

Bertot's claim in the "Friggin Confident" thread that theistic conclusions and scientific conclusions are both based on exactly the same forms of evidence would seem to have been largely refuted by most of the comments by theists in this thread so far.

It became painfully evident in the Friggin' Confident thread that Bertot and John 10:10 share both this viewpoint and its opposite, and I honestly believe they just don't see the contradiction. It's often been called cognitive dissonance, but whatever the cause, it feels to me like they put issues like this into a "don't think about these" fog of ambiguity. This fog consists of a bunch of mutually contradictory axioms that must never be examined closely because they are irresolvable. The two major axioms in this drama are, as you've already described:

  • The evidence for God is clear and obvious.
  • You must believe in God before you can see the evidence.

They probably consider the contradictory nature of these axioms to be one of God's mysteries, but since one of the axioms is that the evidence is clear and obvious they're forced to insist that their evidence is as good as any scientific evidence, thereby putting the irrationality and illogic of their position on display for all to see.

--Percy


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bluegenes
Member
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 13 of 277 (497317)
02-03-2009 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by mike the wiz
02-03-2009 8:45 AM


mike the wiz writes:

There can be no position more rational than concluding that a designer produced DNA.

Even if that were true, it still doesn't get you any nearer to believing in the Christian God. You still require blind faith for the equation "intelligent designer = Christian God".


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ICANT
Member
Posts: 5595
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


(1)
Message 14 of 277 (497318)
02-03-2009 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
02-03-2009 7:51 AM


Re: 2-0 To The "Internals"
Hi Straggler,

Straggler writes:

It is quite possible to entertain the idea that God exists but to not have a subjective personal relationship with him. Surely this would be the position of anyone who considers themself to be an agnostic?

I thought the agnostic view was that he/she believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

How could someone believe in and trust in something they do not believe it is possible to know if it exists or not.

That is approaching the subject with a closed mind.

To entertain the idea of God is to approach the subject with an open mind.

If you have a file on your computer that is locked, (read only) you can not add any information to that file.

On the other hand if you have an open file you can add information.

The same applies to the mind.

Straggler writes:

Do you think that the empirical evidence available alone is enough to convince an agnostic?

No.

Straggler writes:

Or can only one who first has a subjective relationship with God be convinced that the empirical evidence also points in this same theistic direction?

No relationship is necessary.

An open mind is necessary.

A desire to find the truth is necessary.

We have an example in the Bible of a man who had a desire, no relationship, but was searching for the truth.

Acts Act And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

If you go back to verse 27 you find this man was from Ethiopia, and had been up to Jerusalem to worship, and was on his way home.

He was reading from Isaiah but did not understand it. When Philip explained it to him he received the word, believed and was saved.

This man had a desire for the truth and when he heard the word of God he accepted it.

I believe that anyone who is searching for the truth about

God can find it. Just as this man was searching and God sent a man to explain to him what he needed to do.

God nor Philip had any control over whether this man would accept the word or reject it. That was entirely up to him.

So it is with anyone. When I heard the word I could have rejected it and went on my merry way. I could have later reconsidered and decided I needed to join the church, be batized, and do a lot of good works for God. But without accepting the Word of God and receiving the full free pardon still been unsaved but called a christian by most people.

I really believe that a person that thought they had a personal relationship with God would not see their need of salvation.

Straggler writes:

We are considering those who do not have a personal relationship with God but who find empirical evidence convincing. Wherever that empirical evidence may lead.

Without a belief in God or a desire to know God there would never be enough empirical evidence to convince anyone.

Salvation is based on the grace of God by faith when we take God at His word.

Straggler writes:

Let's assume that we are talking about those who are uninterested in having a personal relationship with God but who nevertheless are open to the idea of his existence if the objective facts point in this direction.

If a person is truly interested and is open to the idea of the existence of God, I believe God will provide a messenger to them just as He provided one for the Ethiopian eunuch.

Straggler writes:

Do you think that the objective evidence available is sufficient to convince these people that God does indeed exist?

No.

Straggler writes:

Or must the empirical evidence be viewed through the eyes of one who already knows that God exists in order to make sense in this context?

Yes.


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 02-03-2009 7:51 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Rahvin, posted 02-03-2009 1:41 PM ICANT has responded
 Message 16 by Straggler, posted 02-03-2009 1:42 PM ICANT has responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 627 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 15 of 277 (497320)
02-03-2009 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by ICANT
02-03-2009 1:16 PM


Re: 2-0 To The "Internals"
Without a belief in God or a desire to know God there would never be enough empirical evidence to convince anyone.

If this is true, then belief in God depends on wholly subjective reasoning. It cannot ever be described as objective. You're acknowledging that the evidence that supports the existence of God requires a pre-existing belief that God exists - that the reasoning behind faith requires putting the conclusion before the evidence and interpreting the evidence in such a way that it supports the pre-existing conclusion.

I don't think I've ever seen a Christian actually admit that before.

This then raises the question, however, of why one should believe in God at all.

I don't have to believe that the sky is blue before examining the evidence to conclude that the sky is, in fact blue. I can go outside and see for myself, and following the evidence with no pre-existing bias will cause me to conclude that the sky is blue. It's objective, independent of my pre-existing bias or belief.

If the evidence for God is wholly subjective, meaning there is no evidence that will lead me to conclude that God exists unless I actively make a biased interpretation of the evidence by assuming that the evidence supports the existence of God before beginning, then there really isn't any reason to believe in God at all.

After all, I can just as easily claim that dragons exist, but that the evidence in dinosaur bones only supports the existence of dragons if you interpret that evidence through the lens of a pre-existing belief in dragons.

It's circular reasoning - your conclusion is contained in your premise:

"Assuming that God exists, how does this evidence support the existence of God?"

It's amazing to me that this blatantly obvious break in logic is so widely held.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ICANT, posted 02-03-2009 1:16 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by ICANT, posted 02-04-2009 3:34 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
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