My own criticisms of the quotes (as presented here - perhaps some are less bad in context).
1) Faith can be less than this, so “at least” is misleading at best. Perhaps saying “at least Faith can be” would be fair.
2) I do not accept that definition of ‘God’ and I very much doubt that I am alone in that.
3) As with the comment on Faith, prayer can be far less than this.
4) Sin may be used as a synonym for immorality but if you are excluding the religious dimension why call it ‘sin’? What do you do when religion dictates a violation of consent or forces suffering? Was it a sin or a blessing for Mother Theresa to withhold painkillers from patients?
5) This is about the only one I can agree with, but even then the “unique neurological signature” is pretentious at best (why not say “memories of us”?). Note also that the afterlife is often presented as a case of self-interest which cannot apply if we no longer exist.
I would agree that God isn't "forcefully obvious," but I don't think that this confines God to being a "take-it-or-leave-it" matter of faith. I think it makes more sense to see God as clearly visible, whilst not being forcefully obvious.
If God was “clearly visible” then he need only point out how this is true.
However, all that is said is:
Yet Christians do not claim that God doesn't show himself, but rather that God chooses the means of the showing. And hiddenness may well be necessary to bring focus to the way God declares his existence through Jesus Christ. In fact, divine hiding creates the possibility of a more obvious disclosure or uncovering.
Which doesn’t really make any sense at all. If God is hidden then he isn’t “clearly obvious” and I don’t know what to make of the idea that “God declares his existence through Jesus Christ”. How? And in what way is it “clearly obvious”?
Hiddenness would make no sense if God's aim was simply to relate to us as an object of knowledge that offered no real relational connection or friendship. If this was the divine purpose—that we would simply acknowledge God's existence—then I am sympathetic to Russell's demand for more evidence.
This also makes no sense. Hiddenness makes no sense if God’s purpose IS a “real relational connection or friendship”. You don’t make friends by hiding from people!
Are certainly not unique to Christianity. And some Christians have been pretty dreadful people. Consider Ivan the Terrible (“Terrible” was complimentary in those days - more like “Awesome”. But he was a really terrible person). Or Vlad Tepes - aka Vlad the Impaler.
quote:What was it about early Christians,for instance, that was perceived as a threat, apart from refusing to bow to some egotistical Caesar?
To the extent they were perceived as a threat, their “atheism” (refusing to worship or sacrifice to any of the Roman Gods) possibly their Jewish connections, or trouble-making. It certainly wasn’t because they were seen as wonderfully good people.
quote:Why were Christians used as human candles and burned?
If that story is true, it was for burning down Rome. It seems likely - but not certain - that Nero used Christians (an unpopular cult) as scapegoats. The punishment itself is even more uncertain.
quote:Impact upon History. The fact that so many people throughout time have spent so much energy attempting to discredit and disprove Christian beliefs and dogma. Why the energy against? Do we see as much zeal aginst Buddhism? Judaism? Islam? Now I will grant that some Christians themselves oppose Islam, though by and large seem more favorable towards Judaism. Why is that?
Critiques of Christianity mainly come from places where Christianity is dominant, from people who grew up in a Christian-influenced environment and are reacting against it. That’s not evidence that Christianity is true. Why should people to who. Islam is just another religion with little impact on their lives really care about attacking it?indeed, what do you count as attacks? Exposing the falsehood proclaimed by Christian apologists? I hope not.
Im addition there are adherents of other religions who attack Christianity for the same reasons that Christians attack other religions. That is again no surprise and no reason to think that any of the religions is true.
And of course Christian attacks on Judaism only apply to Judaism after Jesus - or the Christians would be attacking their own beliefs. But they do exist and some are very nasty (see the “Blood Libel” for one - another great example of Christians not being good at all). Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism while Islam is an offshoot off Christianity - that’s the difference,
More importantly are attacks really evidence of truth? There have been a lot of attacks on Communism - should we believe in Marxism because of that?
Should we take the attacks on the Mormons - both written and those involving actual violence - as evidence that Mormonism is true?
Should Protestant attacks on Catholicism be seen as evidence that Catholicism really is the True Church?
I don’t think so. For any of them. And I doubt that you do either.
If people did a survey of religions and decided to attack Christianity solely because of its content that would maybe show something (but even then it might not be that Christianity is true). But in reality the social context is always an important consideration - almost always the most important consideration.
More like confusing the two. It’s fundamental to Presuppositionalism - which claims to be Christian philosophy (to the exclusion of any others). But that’s probably just another of the Relative Truths. Other Christian views are less obvious about it but it’s not rare to see arguments which are only good at establishing “true for me” rather than absolute truth (if that).
quote:The Foundation: God by Definition
More like human assumptions about God, at least as the foundation of thought - at best.
quote:Personal Responsibility: Gods Job vs Our Job
In your case that usually means denying that God should take personal responsibility for anything. Even if He is responsible for it. Which really doesn’t impress me. As I said, I don’t trust negative depictions of God - especially coming from people who claim to worship Him.