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Author Topic:   The God Delusion Debate
anglagard
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From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
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Message 46 of 99 (885951)
04-29-2021 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by jar
04-29-2021 10:12 AM


Re: Disagree = Hate
jar writes:

Well remember that most of the rebellion nonsense is not Biblical but Operatic in origin.

Milton, a play by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Get your overpriced tickets now before everyone sells out.


The problem with knowing everything is learning nothing.

If you don't know what you're doing, find someone who does, and do what they do.

Republican = death


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PaulK
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Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 47 of 99 (885952)
04-29-2021 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by PaulK
04-29-2021 8:54 AM


“Design is dead otherwise one must explain who designed the designer.”
Dawkins still doesn’t manage to support the point this segment is supposed to deal with but he does raise a related point and handles it - just about - adequately,

Fortunately a quote from the book is provided which does support the point. A designer complex enough to design our universe would itself be complex enough that to require an explanation - and if design is automatically be preferred, then design would be the expected answer,

When Dawkins speaks he argues that explaining fine tuning by postulating a designer who just happens to set things the way that they are is a deeply unsatisfactory explanation. He goes on to argue that the multiverse is more satisfactory (and I agree). While I can’t say that I could do a better job on the debating floor I certainly could on a forum like this.

Lennox doesn’t really address either point,

First he argues that Dawkins wrongly assumes that a God must be created and he believes in an eternal God. It’s far from clear that he’s even right about Dawkins - but the point really is irrelevant to the discussion.

Then he claims that Dawkins argues that God would be more complex than the thing God is invoked to explain. Well, Dawkins might argue that but it is not at all clear that is the whole of the argument. And again, this simply isn’t in either of the points Lennox is supposed to be answering.

Lennox finishes with a rather puzzling reference to Hawking which again isn’t relevant (and which he’s probably misunderstood).

Dawkins rebuttal points out some of Lennox’ errors. Lennox responds but still doesn’t address the points. He makes a puzzling claim about DNA (possibly a reference to Werner Gitt’s ideas although I hope Lennox is better informed than that), but he doesn’t support it at all.

This is a clear win for Dawkins. Not because Dawkins did well, but because Lennox simply didn’t answer the points at all. Even when he got a second chance.


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PaulK
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Posts: 16820
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 48 of 99 (885963)
04-30-2021 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by PaulK
04-29-2021 2:53 PM


“Christianity is dangerous.”
This leads with a three quotes from the book (read by the moderator). They deal with Islam as much as Christianity.

Dawkins is not by any means accusing all religious people of carrying out or even supporting atrocities but he regards religion as an enabler, even if not by intention.

Dawkins himself argues that the danger is in uncritically accepting religious views - and not just in the sense of believing them:

An example he has in mind is:

... if you are the kind of person who takes your faith really literally, and who believes that Allah has ordered you or that it be the will of Allah that you go blow somebody up...

The topic is supposedly about Christianity so choosing Islam is a mistake. The point still applies, I think, but he could do with a better example and he could and should have prepared one.

He finishes with the idea that skepticism is a virtue and in this case it certainly is. I’m more impressed with the morals of Christians who say “that’s wrong, so God didn’t do it” then those who say “God did it, so it must be right”.

Lennox goes off on Communist atrocities, trying to link them to atheism in the same way that Christian atrocities are linked to Christianity. The parallels are not exact - atheism would be better compared to monotheism than a specific religion, for one. More importantly he doesn’t show that atheism has anything to do with the problem of unquestioning belief that Dawkins identified. I don’t doubt that it applied, but atheism wasn’t the cause.

He goes on to mention a girl in the DDR who was refused education because she refused to swear allegiance to the state, but it’s not at all clear why he thinks atheism is to blame. I’m brought to mind of the Oarh of Allegiance in US schools.

The discussion continues to occupy most of Dawkins time for the next segment. Dawkins argues that there is no logical path from atheism to atrocities.

Lennox’ reply is:

Well I would want to argue that there is a logical path from any ideology that is fanatical and oppressive to the kind of behaviour you say whether it’s religion or atheistic...

Wouldn’t the problem be the “fanatical and oppressive” ideology? And what happens when Christianity - or a form of it - is that ideology?

After that there’s an argument over whether atheism is a faith, but Lennox doesn’t get beyond assertion while Dawkins makes some argument.

I have to score this as a marginal win for Dawkins. Lennox doesn’t really make a clear case for blaming atheism over communism for Stalin’s or Pol Pot’s atrocities - let alone directly take on Dawkins argument. (I think he could have done, but he didn’t).


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jar
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Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 49 of 99 (885964)
04-30-2021 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by PaulK
04-30-2021 8:59 AM


Re: “Christianity is dangerous.”
That is the SOURCE over content issue in a nutshell.

If someone is taught to follow orders unquestioningly, whether it is God's orders or the President's orders or the General's orders or the Sargent's orders or the Priest's orders or whatever the SOURCE it is a destructive policy & practice.

There are of course examples to be found in the Judaic Based Books, particularly where the God character commands his people to do horrific acts and they simply follow their orders but there are also examples in the same Judaic Based Books where the lesson is to question what is said, even if it is God saying it.

The problem arises in all three of the Abrahamic Religions when the members don't actually read ALL of the content in the basic books and are taught only to obey and not to question.

The issue though is NOT purely or limited to religions as pointed out above.


My Website: My Website

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PaulK
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Posts: 16820
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 50 of 99 (885969)
04-30-2021 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by PaulK
04-30-2021 8:59 AM


“No one needs God to be moral.”
Dawkins actually makes some reasonable arguments here. He points out that the Bible and the Quran have somewhat mixed messages and only by picking out the good from the bad can you derive a reasonable morality from either.

He also points out that being moral from fear of punishment or hope of reward isn’t exactly praiseworthy.

He offers his explanation of morality (which fits the evidence quite well) and points out that morality does change over time. Perhaps not the basics but certainly on issues like slavery. )US readers will be very aware of the terrible conflict that issue provoked and that religion stood on both sides - supporting both the continuation of slavery and it’s abolition.)

Lennox tries to argue that a transcendent morality is needed - Good and Evil as real things - and that a God is needed for that. It’s a poor choice of argument. Both points are contentious at best (I’d say that both are obviously false). He also asserts that any other basis will lead to disaster but that is equally contentious. He doesn’t provide any support for these claims although they sorely need it. To be fair they require much more discussion than is possible in this debate - which is exactly why they are a poor choice.

Dawkins has the better points - it’s certainly not true that Bible and Quran have bad rules and good and that our ideas of morality have shifted without a clear message from religion - and many people would say that some changes are very much for the better. So Dawkins gets a narrow win here.


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Phat
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Posts: 15245
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 51 of 99 (885980)
04-30-2021 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by PaulK
04-30-2021 12:51 PM


Re: “No one needs God to be moral.”
PaulK writes:

Dawkins has the better points - it’s certainly not true that Bible and Quran have bad rules and good and that our ideas of morality have shifted without a clear message from religion - and many people would say that some changes are very much for the better. So Dawkins gets a narrow win here.

Is he essentially saying that though both books are of earlier eras and thus somewhat dated, they are relevant or irrelevant based on cultural interpretation?

Ive been doing other things on my days off and have not kept up. I do, however respect your commentaries and to a large degree trust your impressions. I trust your content but I also give weight to having debated with you for several years.


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


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PaulK
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Posts: 16820
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 52 of 99 (885982)
05-01-2021 1:25 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Phat
04-30-2021 9:31 PM


Re: “No one needs God to be moral.”
quote:
Is he essentially saying that though both books are of earlier eras and thus somewhat dated, they are relevant or irrelevant based on cultural interpretation?

He’s certainly saying that there are rules we should consider bad in both. For instance in the Bible a rake victim could be executed if she was too scared to scream during the attack. And, of course, the Bible has a lot of rules that Christians deem irrelevant based on a classification that is not found in the actual text at all.

The Bible has nothing to say that some rules are simply there to fit into the society of the time, nor any provision to change them. Which is a bit of a problem if you want to say that they are sent from God, but only for a particular time and place.


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Phat
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Posts: 15245
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 53 of 99 (885983)
05-01-2021 2:44 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by dwise1
04-29-2021 2:05 PM


Re: I Will Give My Honest Opinion After Watching
dwise1 writes:

Now, actual creationists (ie, those who believe in the actual Christian god who is Sovereign over Nature, unlike the creationist and ID god, the God of the Gaps, who is destroyed by knowledge and must hide in fear of Nature) would believe that their god did indeed create the universe to function in the way we find it to function. Thus when science discovers how the universe works, then an actual creationist would see that as science discovering what their god had done. And when we discover naturalistic explanations for how something works or originated, then actual creationists would see that as their god working through the very natural processes that He had created.

No conflict between creation and evolution.

But these other creationists do no believe in the Christian god, but rather in the false theology of the God of the Gaps. They see science as the enemy of their religion because their religion demands that reality doesn't exist in order to allow their god to exist. Which means that they believe that science is trying to disprove God -- what foolishness! They believe that their god only works through supernatural acts, so any naturalistic explanation for anything is seen as opposing their god.

It is only when religion opposes reality that there is conflict with science.

I believe that there is One God. Even if we have many religions, there is One God. Even if the entire theory of multiverses were true there would be but One God ruling over all of them.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is God incarnate. After thinking about my chosen beliefs, I will add that there should be little to no conflict between Science and God. (I say God instead of religion on purpose.) I believe that there is a supernatural realm and an overall conflict between Good personified (as Jesus Christ) and Evil personified through human pawns and perhaps later through an antichrist world leader. My theological jury is still deadlocked regarding the actuality of this belief. That all being said, God works in many ways that are not supernatural. He can use a Donkey to speak. He can and does use various humans of various beliefs to teach and encourage.

While I dont agree that all apologists are liars or on par with those other creationists you mention, I will allow for the possibility that many of the goats are Biblical Christians and Creationists. (Not ALL, Jar! )

Edited by Phat, : punctuation


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


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jar
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Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 54 of 99 (885985)
05-01-2021 6:39 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
05-01-2021 2:44 AM


Re: I Will Give My Honest Opinion After Watching
Phat writes:

While I dont agree that all apologists are liars or on par with those other creationists you mention, I will allow for the possibility that many of the goats are Biblical Christians and Creationists. (Not ALL, Jar!

Read what is written Phat.

quote:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


Present a reasoned argument that shows they were NOT Christians?

Edited by jar, : fix quote

Edited by jar, : No reason given.


My Website: My Website

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PaulK
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Posts: 16820
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 55 of 99 (885986)
05-01-2021 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by PaulK
04-30-2021 12:51 PM


“Christian claims about the person of Jesus are not true.”
Dawkins spends all his time on the previous issue, but at least the moderator imdicates that Dawkins rejects the miracle stories and provides two quotes from the book. First, that there is little historical evidence that Jesus ever claimed to be God and second that Jesus was a Jew and not interested in taking his message to the gentiles.

Lennox responds by complaining that the Gospels are no longer accepted as reliable. He quotes the historian Sherwin-White on Luke.

It would be absurd to suggest that Luke’s basic historicity was false even in matters of detail.”

The footnotes tells us that this is from:
A. N. Sherwin-White (1963, p. 189). Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

It appears that this is something of a quote mine. First there’s no context and it could well refer to just “Roman Society and Roman Law”. A little more digging found a review where the review complained (!) that Sherwin-White thought that Jesus was not born during the census of Quirinius as the Gospel claims. So we cannot take it as much of an endorsement of Luke’s account of Jesus.

Lennox also raises the parable of the Good Samaritan. Which really doesn’t address the point - and if it did the Samaritans are very much a special case. The story of the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7) seems more relevant and certainly indicates that Jesus put the Jews first.

On miracles Lennox attacks Hume, seemingly without understanding and asserts that the laws of nature are only God’s usual way of doing things and therefore if God does things differently - a miracle - it doesn’t break them. That seems a semantic game to me.

He tries to support it by citing C S Lewis:

as CS Lewis makes the point, if I put two dollars plus two dollars in my desk tonight, (I have) four dollars. If I find in the morning there is one dollar, I don’t say that the laws of arithmetic have been broken. I say the laws of Alabama have been broken, and I call for a federal judge

How this is meant to help his case I don’t know, Lewis clearly prefers a natural explanation over a supernatural one, and it could even be read as suggesting that apparent miracles are fraudulent.

Again Lennox sabotages himself. His case for the reliability of the Gospels would be an argument from authority at best, and the age of his source would count against him there - as does the fact that it only covers Luke and Acts. But since it appears to be something of a misrepresentation I can’t give it to him.

He doesn’t make any case for Jesus intending that gentiles should be brought into the church or a good defence for miracles. Indeed the Lewis reference seems to be another case of shooting himself in the foot.

So, I count this a marginal win for Dawkins.

That’s the last entry, but we have the concluding statements to go.


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dwise1
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Posts: 4558
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(2)
Message 56 of 99 (885997)
05-01-2021 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
05-01-2021 2:44 AM


Re: I Will Give My Honest Opinion After Watching
I believe that there is One God. Even if we have many religions, there is One God. Even if the entire theory of multiverses were true there would be but One God ruling over all of them.

Could be, but absolutely irrelevant. OK, virtually irrelevant to give you a lot of slack.

Even if there were to exist a supernatural entity that could be deemed "God", it would have virtually nothing to do with any of the very many religions and their very many gods. At the very best, nearly each religion conjectures a "God" to exist and then tries to imagine what it could be like, basically by a process of somebody dreaming something up, then somebody else making their imaginative contribution, et cetera, et cetera until enough such imaginings have accreted to form their "God". And then those members of those religions who actually try to actually give it any thought will themselves create their own personal versions of "God" through their interpretations of their religions' official versions of "God".

A possible exception to that may be Buddhism, in that the Buddha taught that you should not rely on the gods because they would only hinder you from gaining Enlightenment. Not sure how well that squares with some sects' reliance on Bodhisattvas (eg, as presented in class I found Amida Buddhism to be little better than simplistic approaches to Christianity).

My page, Do We Understand What We Think We Believe In?, reposts a 1991 AP article about a survey done by the Barna Research Group, a conservative Christian company that has conducted many polls on religious subjects. This article reports on their poll of what Christians believe. For the most part, many "Christian beliefs" actually ran counter to actual Christian doctrine. Many Christians misidentified quotes for "Poor Richard's Almanack" (Ben Franklin) as coming from the Bible.

But a salient mistaken belief is that Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists "pray to the same God," although by different names. The irony is that Buddhists reject the gods.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is God incarnate.

Of course you do, which is only natural. That is not the "One God" that might actually exist, but rather your personal interpretation (since you have given it some thought as opposed to those who only put in their "pew time") of your particular religion's ideas about a "God". No different from billions of other believers.

As I've quoted from a novel in one of my sets of signatures:

quote:
[When you search for God, y]ou can't go to the people who believe already. They've made up their minds and want to convince you of their own personal heresy.
("The Jehovah Contract", AKA "Der Jehova-Vertrag", by Viktor Koman, 1984)

We are not trying to destroy your faith, but rather we ask for a degree of self-awareness in understanding your own position. That would include realizing that your own particular beliefs are yours, suitable for you and not necessarily for others, even though you are doing the same as so many others whose beliefs you would not agree with completely.

After thinking about my chosen beliefs, I will add that there should be little to no conflict between Science and God. (I say God instead of religion on purpose.)

Science is the study of the natural universe, discovering how it works. "God" is a proposed supernatural entity. We cannot perceive the supernatural, not even to be able to determine whether it even exists let alone determine its characteristics.

Science cannot work with the supernatural, so it doesn't. Science cannot make any use of the supernatural in the scientific method (including the question of accepting supernaturalistic hypotheses), so it doesn't. IDists and creationists mistake this methodological naturalism (only considering naturalistic explanations because that's the only kind it can work with) for philosophical naturalism (that the supernatural doesn't exist) -- we've just seen robertleva repeat that mistake in Message 295. There is an enormous difference between finding something unsuitable to work with and claiming that that unsuitable something doesn't exist.

However, I think that religion can indeed play nice with science, that they do not conflict unless people force them to conflict. Science does not and cannot try to "disprove God", but some religions believe that it does (eg, creationism). Religions do not conflict with science unless they insist on making assertions about the natural world which are contrary to fact (eg, young earth, misrepresenting how evolution works, misrepresenting how leap seconds work, misrepresenting biology, misrepresenting geology, etc).

It can be done. Many scientists are also religious. They see no conflict because they do not try to create such conflict. Religionists such as robertleva seek to create conflict. That has to do with his particular religion, not with any "God".

Though a god who does conflict with science is the creationist and IDist "God of the Gaps". Since the "God of the Gaps" can only exist within human ignorance and science works to lessen our ignorance, science does present a danger to that "God of the Gaps." But the problem there for believers is that they have chosen the wrong god to follow.

That all being said, God works in many ways that are not supernatural. He can use a Donkey to speak. He can and does use various humans of various beliefs to teach and encourage.

Exactly! Those Christians who believe in "God the Sovereign Over Nature" believe in a god who is not limited in what he uses. That would include the very natural processes that he had himself created!

For whatever mistaken reasons, creationists and IDists react against the idea of something coming about by natural processes, misinterpreting that as denying God. They are probably finding themselves hoisted on their own petard of anti-naturalism (ie, their paranoid of their boogeyman of "anti-God Naturalism" such as robertleva has advanced (again, Message 295)).

 
On my cre/ev links page, I've posted links to Dr. Allan H. Harvey's essays. He is a scientist (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering) and a believing, practicing Christian. For his Sunday school, he has written a number essays, including two which discuss the false theology of the "God of the Gaps". Here is the section that link goes to:

quote:
Dr. Allan H. Harvey's Essays.

Dr. Allan H. Harvey is a Christian and a scientist (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering) who had written essays about science and religion. I found them to be of interest mainly because he also recognizes the detrimental effects that "creation science" has on faith and on anyone being able to even consider converting. He also deals with "God of the Gaps" theology and with an infamously bogus creationist claim that in the mid-1960's a NASA computer calculating the positions of the moon ended up finding Joshua's Long Day. That was one of the first creationist claims I had encountered and even in 1970 when computers were mysterious and out of anybody's reach, I immediately realized that it was blatantly bogus. I quote from a couple of his essays on my quotes page.

He lists all his essays at http://steamdoc.itgo.com/writings.htm, but I found these essays to be of particular interest:


His nickname, "SteamDoc", is because most of his research is oriented around thermophysical properties of systems containing water.


Some food for thought. Share and enjoy!

He can use a Donkey to speak.

Yes, Balaam and his ass (donkey), Numbers 22. A friend at work, a fundamentalist Christian but a good guy, told about teaching that story to his son whose concluding comment was, "So God was speaking out of Balaam's ass?"

There was a Warner Brothers western comedy, The Great Bank Robbery (1969) where various thieves gathered to rob an impenetrable bank, and a Texas Ranger (Clint Walker) to stop them. Zero Mostel was posing as a minister. His sermon was on Balaam and his ass with repeated refrains of "And Balaam smote his ass again!". Clint Walker arrived late, didn't understand what was going on, and kept looking around confused that nobody was bothered by what was being said.

While I dont agree that all apologists are liars or on par with those other creationists you mention, I will allow for the possibility that many of the goats are Biblical Christians and Creationists.

Much of my understanding of apologetics comes from an NCSE article, Creationist and Fundamentalist Apologetics: Two Branches of the Same Tree by Robert M. Price (Creation/Evolution Journal, Volume 4 No. 4, pp 19-31, Fall 1984). To get a flavor, here's the conclusion:

quote:
Conclusion

I have attempted to show, both by analogy with evangelistic apologetics and by explicit statements from creationists themselves, that the polemical enterprise of creationism is actually one more strategy of "pre-evangelism." It is intended to persuade unsaved evolutionists to discard faith in evolution and to embrace faith in the Bible, first in the matter of cosmology, then in the matter of faith in Christ to save one's soul. Accepting creationism and rejecting evolution is seen to be a necessary step preliminary to salvation, since fundamentalists do not imagine that one can believe in Jesus Christ as savior without also adhering to biblicism. Whatever the merits or demerits of such a belief theologically, it can hardly be denied that the creationist enterprise must be seen as primarily religious, not scientific, in nature and purpose.


The reason I mention it is because of its description of the two-fold role of apologetics as described by Francis Schaeffer:

quote:
The Apologetical Task

Francis A. Schaeffer, surely one of the most prolific and influential writers on, the contemporary fundamentalist scene, explains the nature and purpose of apologetics: "There are two purposes of Christian apologetics. The first is defense. The second is to communicate Christianity in a way that any given generation can understand. . . . It is unreasonable to expect people of the next generation in any age to continue [to believe] in the historic Christian position, unless they are helped to see where arguments . . . brought against Christianity . . . by their generation are fallacious." (The God Who Is There, p. 139) In other words, the apologist for the faith must seek to soothe the doubts plaguing the faithful and to remove the roadblocks in the path of unbelievers who might otherwise come to faith. The apologist tries to defend the faith by showing that it is reasonable; one need not kiss one's mind goodbye in order to convert.


Price later provides a key word from apologetics: harmonization. Believers need to find ways to harmonize their beliefs with the real world both to assuage their own doubts and to make them seem more reasonable more reasonable to potential converts. That understanding is the main thing I took away from that article.

The problem, as I recall (it's been a few decades) is that instead of harmonizing by showing that there is no conflict between Christianity and reality, fundamentalist and creationist apologetics chooses to deny reality. I believe it was geologist and ex-YEC Glenn R. Morton who emphasized the need for scientifically accurate apologetics while providing personal testimonies by former creationist who had lost or very nearly lost their faith because of the scientifically inaccurate creationist apologetics.

Apologists can be honest (even though creationists are by definition dishonest, most believers in Divine Creation can be and usually are honest). However, there's also the inherent problem that apologists are partisan, are intent on defending and promoting their particular theology. As such, it would be very difficult for them to think critically of their own position while they are so busy defending it. That is what honesty would demand. I'm sure that it can be done, but I'm also sure that it can be very difficult and hence likely quite rare.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16820
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 57 of 99 (886000)
05-01-2021 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by PaulK
05-01-2021 6:40 AM


Concluding statements
Lennox goes first.

He tries to argue by analogy that the universe is like a garden and so must have a gardener. Well, it’s a point of view but it’s very much subjective. Then he makes another mistake of railing against an atheistic universe. He especially dislikes the idea that people can escape justice by dying. That’s really a gift to Dawkins. He finishes by claiming that he’s convinced by the Resurrection. It’s strange then that he didn’t introduce that in the preceding segment - it would have fit perfectly. I doubt he could have made a good case in the time allotted but that consideration obviously didn’t stop him earlier and it couldn’t be much worse than the material he did use.

Dawkins accepts the gift and really nails Lennox on that point. He also points out that evolution really does explain a lot of what we see with no need for a “gardener”.

My own conclusion.

Dawkins did not argue well, but Lennox managed to do worse. Counting the concluding statements only two sections had clear victories and Dawkins won both. But only because Lennox gave him the wins - by failing to address Dawkins’ arguments in the first case, and by setting himself up in the concluding remarks.

This is not an important debate for the argument.

With regard to Robert Leva’s points I note that nobody has expressed high regard for Dawkins’ arguments. This is not an impressive debate and neither side was utterly defeated - at least judged on this basis. Maybe the presentation did make a difference.

I will also note that Dawkins did address the fine tuning that Lennox brought up - and it was Lennox who failed to rebut Dawkins’ arguments. And the debate format did nothing to hinder Lennox in that regard.

There are many points which could do with more detailed discussion and I know that there will be people here who disagree with my assessments. I invite anyone who’s interested to start a new thread to go into more depth on any point.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20050
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


(5)
Message 58 of 99 (886013)
05-02-2021 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by PaulK
05-01-2021 4:14 PM


Re: Concluding statements
My overall impression is that they may as well have been debating the stork. It isn't worth debating anyone who honestly takes up the pro side, and anyone silly enough to think it worth challenging the point isn't worth much, either.

The only things worth saying to Lennox and 90% of the world are all dismissive, like that they're all wrong, mostly for sheer silliness, including that they can't all be right. They often respond that the differences are minor, but classical physics crumbled due to small anomalies like black body radiation. Upon such tiny points is true reality built. There's no reconciliation between Mormonism, Moonies, Heaven's Gate, Jonesboro (to mention a couple cults), Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and all the rest. They all prove only one thing: most human beings have a need to believe in a power greater than ourselves.

What can you really say to people like Mike the Whiz and RobertLeva and Phat, especially Phat whose intensity of belief and inarticulation only increase with increased torture at the hands of his savior? Mike the Whiz does hit and runs (he posted to his There are easy creationist answers to problems evolutionists pose thread six times the day he started it and not once in the month since), so you can't even have a discussion with him. RobertLeva was unsubstantive over five days and then did the "insult everyone and leave" dance we've seen so many times.

If believers said only "I believe" and nothing more they would be far more credible. But to claim evidence for belief and then either become silly or leave the room, well, it doesn't even climb the first stair of persuasion, plus we've seen it too many times.

Dawkins only dignifies Lennox and deprecates himself by serious participation in such debates. Until believers get serious and rigorous in their evidence and argument only a mocking tone and incredulous expression are called for.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8119
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 59 of 99 (886020)
05-02-2021 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Percy
05-02-2021 9:07 AM


I think you just killed your forum Percy

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20050
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 60 of 99 (886023)
05-02-2021 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Tangle
05-02-2021 2:26 PM


I was so naive when I started this website. I thought intelligent and informed discussion between the two sides was possible in the right environment. All that was proved, to paint it in as positive a light as possible, is the degree of self deception engaged in by the religious.

But I left out the flip side before. Sometimes you're forced to respond because, for example, they publish thinly disguised creationism as a textbook called Of Pandas and People and attempt to introduce it into public school curriculums.

Briefly looking back on Dover, I don't think any minds were changed by the lawsuit's outcome, and to creationists discredit you can't find anyone who feels any shame at the attempt to transform a creationist textbook called Creation Biology into a "scientific" intelligent design textbook called Of Pandas and People through simple text substitutions. Many who are not creationists probably still smile when reminded of "cdesign proponentsists". Creationists probably still call it an innocent typo, but that kind of dissembling is on the same level as the child who denies raiding the cookie jar through crumb encrusted lips.

--Percy


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