Author Topic: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"  (Read 5986 times)

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Offline Obadiah

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10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« on: September 19, 2008, 09:16:38 PM »
I think I’m ready to try my hand at the 10 questions, but as I do, I want to do so formally, one at a time, and give people a chance to accept or reject my answer before moving on to the next one.

In order for this to work I’m depending upon the intellectual honesty of the atheists this board to admit it when I’ve actually resolved one of the 10 questions. This of course will not prove god exists or Christianity is true, just that the 10 questions do not prove it isn’t. Based on what I’ve seen on the board I think it’s safe to expect that.

I’ll also set up a criteria for what we’ll call “answered”. I’m hoping to demonstrate that good Christian theology is internally consistent in these 10 areas, In other words, that even when you consider these questions, Christianity remains viable, or “possible”.

Because this seems to be the goal, most of these answers will incorporate elements of theological teaching. In other words, I believe the same things I teach Jr. Highers in catechism, to make their theology more robust and consistent, will also help you to understand how Christianity can stand.

I can see that it is important to the author of the WWGHA video and website that I do not make excuses for God, so everything I say about Christianity is going to be backed up by the bible, examined under “good exegesis”, which is to say, I will provide a good scholarly argument for any interpretation of scripture that I make, such that it would hold up as reasonable in a discussion with a professional biblical scholar, pastor, or professor.

I want to remind you again that I will be making these interpretations in order to demonstrate that I am not just making excuses for God, and that Christianity is internally consistent, NOT because I expect you to believe it’s true. All I expect is that you understand that it is what Christians believe.

I might also use the bible as a historical document, by which I mean a document from history, not a document that necessarily accurately records history.

Finally, I may make conjectures about what I believe is going on, of what one explanation might be, based upon the evidence. In such cases I’ll try to establish a case that there are no verses that lead to a definite explanation, and that therefore, It’s appropriate to guess. However, It’s very hard to demonstrate the non existence of something, so in these sorts of cases I’ll be subject to any verses you can find to the contrary.

I’ll make a thread for each one of the 10 questions, in backwards order, ending at number 1 (if I get that far)

But before I get started:

Is this criteria fair? Or do I need to tweak it?

Offline john

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 10:38:29 PM »
So far I don't have a very good sense of your "criteria".  All I was really able to extract is that you plan to use the Bible and "elements of theological teaching".  Use anything you want, but expect everything to be subject to inquiry.

I do object to the general concept that truth requires effort to be expended in order to prejudge it.  Perhaps you should begin by establishing your case for prejudice.
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Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 10:57:39 PM »
The criteria is "Internal consistency" And I spelled out how I might need to use the bible and such in order to defend that.

I don't know where I said effort needs to be expended in order to prejudge it... Could you quote me?

Offline john

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 11:40:40 PM »
The criteria is "Internal consistency" And I spelled out how I might need to use the bible and such in order to defend that.

Use whatever you want, with the understanding that nothing is exempted from critical analysis.

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I don't know where I said effort needs to be expended in order to prejudge it... Could you quote me?

Your entire OP consists of a request for prejudice of your methods and sources to the total exclusion of any case you may later wish to make.
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Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 11:47:57 PM »
The criteria is "Internal consistency" And I spelled out how I might need to use the bible and such in order to defend that.

Use whatever you want, with the understanding that nothing is exempted from critical analysis.


Certainly not

You will of course be able to criticize anything you want, I just want a thread up so that when someone says "You are defending the bible with the bible" or "This still doesn't mean Christianity is true" That I can point them back here.

That's why I called it "setting the goalposts" I just want to make sure they don't move after I've already kicked.

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I don't know where I said effort needs to be expended in order to prejudge it... Could you quote me?

Your entire OP consists of a request for prejudice of your methods and sources to the total exclusion of any case you may later wish to make.

Yes....

Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2008, 02:37:45 AM »
Anyone else?

I'm really like to hear for the regulars before I attempt this.

Just "ok" works

Offline bertatberts

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 03:02:34 AM »
Anyone else?

I'm really like to hear for the regulars before I attempt this.

Just "ok" works
Ok! knock yourself out.
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Offline bahramthered

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 04:02:10 AM »
Seems a well thought out "claim", statement of intent, or whatever you want to call it, before actually doing anything on a thread. I already see a couple gaps that might expand into black holes if I'm not reading this as intended. Only way to see is when you start your actual answers.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 04:29:19 AM »
I don't accept the criteria. "Internal consistency", alas, allows for convoluted circular reasoning or extremely unparsimonious sets of premises, which is the essence of the charge that is laid against justifications for god-belief (or specific aspects of it) in a lot of cases. It's precisely the "problem": anything can be rationalized, but the more parsimonious answer is generally that we don't need to assume any of this, that the rationalization is just a piece of mental gymnastics to justify a fixed belief.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 04:37:11 AM by Deus ex Machina »

Offline bahramthered

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 05:01:18 AM »
Which would be the black hole he might be about to open up. (then again I have a bad habit of assuming people are trying to be honest) He might dodge it nicely and hold true to this. we'll know with the answer section.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 05:37:01 AM »
Which would be the black hole he might be about to open up. (then again I have a bad habit of assuming people are trying to be honest) He might dodge it nicely and hold true to this. we'll know with the answer section.

I try not to mistake for malice what can easily be explained by incompetence, as they say, so I wouldn't accuse him of deliberately dodging unless he knew he was doing it. For my part, the problem is that the criteria are unacceptable. If we grant carte blanche to any argument based merely on internal consistency, we're granting the very kinds of rationalizations that the "10 questions" GII video and other material is speaking out against. It's not setting the goalposts, but shifting them so far out that it's no longer the same game.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 05:49:36 AM by Deus ex Machina »

Offline ksm

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 06:39:12 AM »
Anyone else?

I'm really like to hear for the regulars before I attempt this.

Just "ok" works

Remember that with any argument concerning the 10 questions - the ten questions are directed at people who believe in the bible literally - 100% factual no metaphor, myth or allegory.

If you don't believe in the bible literally, then the questions lose some of their impact.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 08:08:18 AM »
I too wonder if you are a biblical literalist(YEC?) and also believe the bible to be inerrant ?

I would loathe to get involved and then realize that you believe in the talking snake of Eden, or virgin births, or that dinosaurs were created 6000 years ago, or there is a literal hell.


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In order for this to work I’m depending upon the intellectual honesty of the atheists this board to admit it when I’ve actually resolved one of the 10 questions. This of course will not prove god exists or Christianity is true, just that the 10 questions do not prove it isn’t. Based on what I’ve seen on the board I think it’s safe to expect that.

I've never thought of the 10 questions as proving that a god does not exist, but that they simply point out that there is no available evidence for belief in a god and therefore a god most certainly only exists in the imaginations of humans. What the questions are trying to accomplish is the exact thing that you want us to do, that being for theists to use intellectual honesty to determine the possibility of the loving, caring, and intervening god to be a fact and not a fiction.

Since we here already know that the ten questions themselves do not prove that a god does not exist, then why would you even bother with this exercise when you have clearly stated that your own  arguments and the usage of the bible will not prove the existence of a god or that christianity is true ? If the questions do not prove it and your arguments and the bible do not prove it, what would be the point of the thread ?

If it is your goal to prove that the ten questions are unacceptable and invalid in their usage, then that's another matter. Carry on and good luck.

One more thing. Please remember that this site is not concerned about the viability of christianity, but with the believability of the god hypothesis. The ten questions are a very good tool to do this.

Cheers
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 08:11:27 AM by gonegolfing »
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Offline john

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2008, 08:38:45 AM »

You will of course be able to criticize anything you want, I just want a thread up so that when someone says "You are defending the bible with the bible" or "This still doesn't mean Christianity is true" That I can point them back here.


Point of order - there is nothing here to which a hypothetical objector could be pointed.  The circular reasoning of authorizing the Bible with itself has not been addressed, nor is there any reason to assume that Christianity is true.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2008, 08:43:25 AM »
I reject the coherence theory of truth due to its denial of the Law of Contradiction between truth-sets.  Therefore I have to object to your OP.
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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2008, 10:40:43 AM »
Quote
I think I’m ready to try my hand at the 10 questions, but as I do, I want to do so formally, one at a time, and give people a chance to accept or reject my answer before moving on to the next one.

In order for this to work I’m depending upon the intellectual honesty of the atheists this board to admit it when I’ve actually resolved one of the 10 questions. This of course will not prove god exists or Christianity is true, just that the 10 questions do not prove it isn’t. Based on what I’ve seen on the board I think it’s safe to expect that.
Red flag.  As soon as I see a theist require "intellectual honesty" I worry.  Define this please.  What if I don't think you have and can show my reasoning?  Am I being intellectually honest? 

Quote
I’ll also set up a criteria for what we’ll call “answered”. I’m hoping to demonstrate that good Christian theology is internally consistent in these 10 areas, In other words, that even when you consider these questions, Christianity remains viable, or “possible”.

Good luck because in thousands of years no one has been able to.  Please define "internal consistency".

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Because this seems to be the goal, most of these answers will incorporate elements of theological teaching. In other words, I believe the same things I teach Jr. Highers in catechism, to make their theology more robust and consistent, will also help you to understand how Christianity can stand.
Been there done that.  I really can't expect any thing better than what I have seen. Have you read the other "answers" to the questions in the Mailbag?  Do you understand the responses to them?

I
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can see that it is important to the author of the WWGHA video and website that I do not make excuses for God, so everything I say about Christianity is going to be backed up by the bible, examined under “good exegesis”, which is to say, I will provide a good scholarly argument for any interpretation of scripture that I make, such that it would hold up as reasonable in a discussion with a professional biblical scholar, pastor, or professor.
I assume this will include how you "interpret" things?  Would this include claims of magical entities helping you? 

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I want to remind you again that I will be making these interpretations in order to demonstrate that I am not just making excuses for God, and that Christianity is internally consistent, NOT because I expect you to believe it’s true. All I expect is that you understand that it is what Christians believe.
Well, there we could have a problem.  Which "Christians" are you speaking for? 

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I might also use the bible as a historical document, by which I mean a document from history, not a document that necessarily accurately records history.

not quite sure what you mean. 

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Finally, I may make conjectures about what I believe is going on, of what one explanation might be, based upon the evidence. In such cases I’ll try to establish a case that there are no verses that lead to a definite explanation, and that therefore, It’s appropriate to guess. However, It’s very hard to demonstrate the non existence of something, so in these sorts of cases I’ll be subject to any verses you can find to the contrary.
Will you allow these "guesses" by others? 

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I’ll make a thread for each one of the 10 questions, in backwards order, ending at number 1 (if I get that far)

But before I get started:

Is this criteria fair? Or do I need to tweak it?


I think some thigns need to be defined.  see above. 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 10:52:29 AM by velkyn »
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Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2008, 06:17:48 PM »
Quote
I think I’m ready to try my hand at the 10 questions, but as I do, I want to do so formally, one at a time, and give people a chance to accept or reject my answer before moving on to the next one.

In order for this to work I’m depending upon the intellectual honesty of the atheists this board to admit it when I’ve actually resolved one of the 10 questions. This of course will not prove god exists or Christianity is true, just that the 10 questions do not prove it isn’t. Based on what I’ve seen on the board I think it’s safe to expect that.
Red flag.  As soon as I see a theist require "intellectual honesty" I worry.  Define this please.  What if I don't think you have and can show my reasoning?  Am I being intellectually honest? 

Yeah that's fair

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I’ll also set up a criteria for what we’ll call “answered”. I’m hoping to demonstrate that good Christian theology is internally consistent in these 10 areas, In other words, that even when you consider these questions, Christianity remains viable, or “possible”.

Good luck because in thousands of years no one has been able to.  Please define "internal consistency".

Hermes has asked a couple of times about presuppositionalism. It’s sort of like that.

That if you accept Christianity as a whole, the problems it comes with are paired with solutions.

If you want me to defend why God doesn’t heal amputees, and you are talking about the god of the bible. You are assuming rhetorically that this god exists, for the purpose of demonstrating that he is problematic, or false by definition. You will of course need to allow me to do the same, rhetorically assume that god exists as described according to the bible, in order to show that this is not the case.

Quote
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Because this seems to be the goal, most of these answers will incorporate elements of theological teaching. In other words, I believe the same things I teach Jr. Highers in catechism, to make their theology more robust and consistent, will also help you to understand how Christianity can stand.
Been there done that.  I really can't expect any thing better than what I have seen. Have you read the other "answers" to the questions in the Mailbag?  Do you understand the responses to them?

the answers in the mailbag are idiotic

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I can see that it is important to the author of the WWGHA video and website that I do not make excuses for God, so everything I say about Christianity is going to be backed up by the bible, examined under “good exegesis”, which is to say, I will provide a good scholarly argument for any interpretation of scripture that I make, such that it would hold up as reasonable in a discussion with a professional biblical scholar, pastor, or professor.
I assume this will include how you "interpret" things?  Would this include claims of magical entities helping you? 

I've done my fair share of study in hermeneutics and exegesis. I'll be using that as a basis.

Not all of Christians will agree with my viewpoints on theology, but they will ultimately either have to respect that I have a decent rationale for my ideas, or pull a Malachi4 and tell me only they know the truth and I should pray more.

If you can think hypothetically I believe you will be able to see where I’m coming from, and that if Christianity were true that my conclusions would be reasonable on that basis.

Quote
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I want to remind you again that I will be making these interpretations in order to demonstrate that I am not just making excuses for God, and that Christianity is internally consistent, NOT because I expect you to believe it’s true. All I expect is that you understand that it is what Christians believe.
Well, there we could have a problem.  Which "Christians" are you speaking for? 

I can only speak for myself. Butin so much as i agree with any recognisible christian group I'll try to point it out.

maybe a better way to word this would be "that this is what christians could believe,justifiably, and without sacrificing their belief in any major tenant of the faith"

But even that's weak. I want to show that these explanations are things that many christians believe anyway(apart from the need to answer the 10 questions), and that they happen to cover the hole that's created.

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I might also use the bible as a historical document, by which I mean a document from history, not a document that necessarily accurately records history.

not quite sure what you mean. 

That it's an old book

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Finally, I may make conjectures about what I believe is going on, of what one explanation might be, based upon the evidence. In such cases I’ll try to establish a case that there are no verses that lead to a definite explanation, and that therefore, It’s appropriate to guess. However, It’s very hard to demonstrate the non existence of something, so in these sorts of cases I’ll be subject to any verses you can find to the contrary.
Will you allow these "guesses" by others? 

Huh?

I'm not sure what you mean. If i understand you correctally then that could only help my case... so, of course!

<snip>

Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2008, 06:24:26 PM »
I don't accept the criteria. "Internal consistency", alas, allows for convoluted circular reasoning or extremely unparsimonious sets of premises, which is the essence of the charge that is laid against justifications for god-belief (or specific aspects of it) in a lot of cases. It's precisely the "problem": anything can be rationalized, but the more parsimonious answer is generally that we don't need to assume any of this, that the rationalization is just a piece of mental gymnastics to justify a fixed belief.

Well the nature of internal consistency is exactly what makes a circular seeming argument into a fair one.

 The argument is not that the Christian theology explains Christianity adequately and therefore Christianity is true.

 Just that Christian theology explains Christianity adequately and therefore Christianity is internally consistent.

This is not the coherence theory of truth. This is just an answer to a claim of incoherence.

Of course you don’t need to believe any of this, but do you honestly think it’s fair to ask me to answer 10 longstanding charges against Christianity on this website and prove it true in the same stroke?

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2008, 06:29:59 PM »
Well the nature of internal consistency is exactly what makes a circular seeming argument into a fair one.

 The argument is not that the Christian theology explains Christianity adequately and therefore Christianity is true.

 Just that Christian theology explains Christianity adequately and therefore Christianity is internally consistent.

This is not the coherence theory of truth. This is just an answer to a claim of incoherence.

Of course you don’t need to believe any of this, but do you honestly think it’s fair to ask me to answer 10 longstanding charges against Christianity on this website and prove it true in the same stroke?

The corollary to the argument posed in the questions, however, is that all that 'Christian theology' is itself just more rationalizations. In attempting to answer the argument based on that methodology, you pretty much establish the argument. ;)

Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2008, 06:38:21 PM »
To KSM and GoneGolfing

Remember that with any argument concerning the 10 questions - the ten questions are directed at people who believe in the bible literally - 100% factual no metaphor, myth or allegory.

If you don't believe in the bible literally, then the questions lose some of their impact.
Sorry that's not me.

I do believe the bible to be the word of god, i believe it's true, i believe it is preserved such that everything necessary for life and faith remains.

But it contains narrative as well as song, record, allegory, and poetry. It's absolutely idiotic to assume it's all literal if you've read it, and not just because of the contradictions that it leads to in the real world, just because otherwise, statements like "I am the door" and "the lord is my shepherd" make no sense prima face.

Also, Mark needs to learn his Galilean geography, and we could use a better copy of 1st Samuel

I do believe in virgin births though... one anyway.

Qs for the 10 questions not proving god exists, first of all, I think I said i'll attempt to show that they don't prove Christianity isn't true. But just for clarity, what is it you believe the 10 questions do GoneGolfing?

Offline bahramthered

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2008, 07:05:56 PM »
Virign Birth is the only really replicatable thing in the bible. And it dosn't involve any mystical things. All you need is a a male to attain orgasm on the female without penetration. The sperm can make the trip and impregnat her without lossing her virginity.

Heck there was a girl a couple years ago who got pregnant locally in a swimming pool like this. She made out with her boyfreind in a pool and he got over excited. They never had an oppertunity to do anything else and boom. Human intrest story of the week (litterally).

So how does a virgin birth matter?

Offline bertatberts

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2008, 03:03:16 AM »
Virign Birth is the only really replicatable thing in the bible. And it dosn't involve any mystical things. All you need is a a male to attain orgasm on the female without penetration. The sperm can make the trip and impregnat her without lossing her virginity.

Heck there was a girl a couple years ago who got pregnant locally in a swimming pool like this. She made out with her boyfreind in a pool and he got over excited. They never had an oppertunity to do anything else and boom. Human intrest story of the week (litterally).
How does the Spermatozoon break through the Hymen, please elaborate, thank you.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2008, 06:34:19 AM »
Bert, the hymen isn't an impenetrable barrier.  It's an incomplete membrane.  Sperm can go past it.
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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2008, 08:41:14 AM »
Obadiah,  I think you are making an honest attempt but there are some basic flaws in what you propose.  I have yet to see how Christianity’s “problems come paired with solutions”.  These “solutions” have always required that the claimant use some “magic decoder ring” to “interpret” some “solution” out of what doesn’t appear to be a solution at all to an outside observer.  We may as well cut to the end where the claimant simply says “God can do it, I have some mystical knowledge that he can and that’s the end of the story.” 

I do agree that 10 questions does posit that a character named God that is described a certain way should act in that way.  I do think it shows that they demonstrate that there is no Bible God as described by Christians. However, there does seem to be a disconnect on how you might think God is described and how I think he is and how another Christian thinks he is.  For example, I find that the Bible and my experience show me a God that is not omni-anything and I assume that you disagree.  There seem to only be a set number of “reasons” theists can give as “answers” as I have gleaned from the mailbag.  I’m not sure why your answers will be any better, being that you have the same source material.  Others have also claimed to be using heremeneutics and exegesis.  They also seemed to fail just as often as those who simply say that they have a directly line to God.  As it stands, it seems I should expect your answers to be from your own version of Christianity and what you think is true, correct?  I’d like to add that I can use hermeneutics too and get a totally different answer than you by considering culture, human psychology, etc.  From what I can gather, theists treat hermeneutics differently than a way to interpret text by the context it was created in.  They have different rules depending on if they think a particular passage is literal or metaphor, which is again up for debate on how to do that. 

I do like your “this is what Christians could believe, justifiably, and without sacrificing their belief in any major tenant of the faith”.  I still think you will have problems in determining what the major tenants really are but this is pretty good. 

What I mean in asking will you allow guesses is basically what makes anyone’s guess better than anyone else’s and what would determine who’s guess is more valid? 
I’m looking forward to this, but honestly I am not expecting anything new.  But good luck!
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2008, 08:45:04 AM »
Bert, the hymen isn't an impenetrable barrier.  It's an incomplete membrane.  Sperm can go past it.
Don't I feel a twat, having never had to break one, (no never been with a girl that had one intact) I always went on the assumption it stopped things entering, I should have studied the subject before I opened my mouth, however I certainly don't believe in virgin births.

If the swimming pool BS "actually happened!" it would be more like artificial insemination. For a virgin to get pregnant it is possible, but very very very unlikely, a few very rare occurrences, that don't involve the male of the species, as the didn't in the biblical event.     
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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2008, 01:07:21 PM »
To KSM and GoneGolfing

Remember that with any argument concerning the 10 questions - the ten questions are directed at people who believe in the bible literally - 100% factual no metaphor, myth or allegory.

If you don't believe in the bible literally, then the questions lose some of their impact.
Sorry that's not me.

I do believe the bible to be the word of god, i believe it's true, i believe it is preserved such that everything necessary for life and faith remains.

But it contains narrative as well as song, record, allegory, and poetry. It's absolutely idiotic to assume it's all literal if you've read it, and not just because of the contradictions that it leads to in the real world, just because otherwise, statements like "I am the door" and "the lord is my shepherd" make no sense prima face.

Also, Mark needs to learn his Galilean geography, and we could use a better copy of 1st Samuel

I do believe in virgin births though... one anyway.

Qs for the 10 questions not proving god exists, first of all, I think I said i'll attempt to show that they don't prove Christianity isn't true. But just for clarity, what is it you believe the 10 questions do GoneGolfing?


As I pointed out in my OP to you, I believe that they are trying to encourage theists to use scrutiny and clear critical thinking to assess whether or not that the supposed loving, intervening, and promise keeping god of the scriptures is indeed a promise keeper and does therefore truly exist. They compel theists to set aside biases and personal experiences, and to search for any current, clear, reliable, unambiguous, and definitive evidence to justify their faith position, and to do so with intellectual honesty and in light of what this god promises in the bible. The questions compel theists to confront the issue of whether or not this god of the scriptures is in fact keeping up it's end of the bargain and fulfilling it's promises as stated. They demand that theists establish whether or not there is any physical current and clear evidence whatsoever for a god outside of their own imaginations. It is not their intent I believe, to try and prove christianity to be untrue, but they do act as a powerful tool to help establish whether or not there is current proof of a loving, intervening, and promise keeping god.

Seeing that you believe in the virgin birth, but at the same time most likely can't imagine it to be true that Jesus cast the demons out of a man and put them into a herd of pigs and run them over a cliff to their deaths, would show me that your not truly serious about your supernatural faith, and are simply using the god hypothesis and cherry picking the scriptures to develop your own personal philosophy of life and a moral compass to guide it. Your just another cog in the Pascal wheel and are using a unique to you rationale while trucking down the intellectual path of least resistance to fulfil the rest of your days hoping that in the end you'll make it to the inside of those pearly gates. You won't mind being a reprimanded temporary puff of smoke inside those gem coated gates, but shudder at the thoughts of being an eternal puff of smoke outside of those gates.

You do understand that it's your mind that's under siege, don't you? Faith is the greatest of all siege weapons and demands complete surrender of the mind. You have a greater weapon however right there at your disposal...the devastating power of a properly used faculty of reason has no equal. 

Most likely the three key things that keeps your mind in the position that it is are..The Wager..The Fear..The Gaps. Given this, you're much closer than you think to breaking free...I've been there. You're just a step away from gaining back control over your mind mate. Have the courage  ;)

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Offline Obadiah

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2008, 11:34:16 PM »
The corollary to the argument posed in the questions, however, is that all that 'Christian theology' is itself just more rationalizations. In attempting to answer the argument based on that methodology, you pretty much establish the argument. ;)
I believe that they are trying to encourage theists to use scrutiny and clear critical thinking to assess whether or not that the supposed loving, intervening, and promise keeping god of the scriptures is indeed a promise keeper and does therefore truly exist. They compel theists to set aside biases and personal experiences, and to search for any current, clear, reliable, unambiguous, and definitive evidence to justify their faith position, and to do so with intellectual honesty and in light of what this god promises in the bible. The questions compel theists to confront the issue of whether or not this god of the scriptures is in fact keeping up it's end of the bargain and fulfilling it's promises as stated. They demand that theists establish whether or not there is any physical current and clear evidence whatsoever for a god outside of their own imaginations. It is not their intent I believe, to try and prove christianity to be untrue, but they do act as a powerful tool to help establish whether or not there is current proof of a loving, intervening, and promise keeping god.

Is there any kind of official thesis to the 10 questions I can refer to from it's author?

The closest thing I can see is "God is imaginary", or maybe "if you are an intelligent person you should believe God is imaginary"

The two goals above seem to be weak and inductive, which is not the sense I got from the video.

I was working with a implication I drew myself, You two seem to be doing the same. Who actually made the video? Is he on this board?

Quote
Seeing that you believe in the virgin birth, but at the same time most likely can't imagine it to be true that Jesus cast the demons out of a man and put them into a herd of pigs and run them over a cliff to their deaths, would show me that your not truly serious about your supernatural faith, and are simply using the god hypothesis and cherry picking the scriptures to develop your own personal philosophy of life and a moral compass to guide it.

No I believe the demon story too. But belief in demons doesn't have to be as spooky as what you see in comic books and on TBN.

Quote
Your just another cog in the Pascal wheel and are using a unique to you rationale while trucking down the intellectual path of least resistance to fulfil the rest of your days hoping that in the end you'll make it to the inside of those pearly gates. You won't mind being a reprimanded temporary puff of smoke inside those gem coated gates, but shudder at the thoughts of being an eternal puff of smoke outside of those gates.

See that's funny. Unlike demons, I'm not at all confident that humans ever go to hell

Quote
You do understand that it's your mind that's under siege, don't you? Faith is the greatest of all siege weapons and demands complete surrender of the mind. You have a greater weapon however right there at your disposal...the devastating power of a properly used faculty of reason has no equal. 

Most likely the three key things that keeps your mind in the position that it is are..The Wager..The Fear..The Gaps. Given this, you're much closer than you think to breaking free...I've been there. You're just a step away from gaining back control over your mind mate. Have the courage  ;)

I'm still aiming to eat my cake and have it.

I don't think faith (pistis in the greek) is the mindless submission some Christians make it out to be.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 06:08:10 PM by Obadiah »

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2008, 03:46:08 AM »
The site owner made them, if I recall correctly - the arguments posited are largely similar to those on the main website.

Offline john

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Re: 10 Questions "Setting the Goalposts"
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2008, 08:35:02 AM »
The closest thing I can see is "God is imaginary", or maybe "if you are an intelligent person you should believe God is imaginary"

"Should" isn't really appropriate there, but I do see why you used it.  I would amend the statement to say "if you are an intelligent person, you will see that God is imaginary."
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