Author Topic: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?  (Read 5814 times)

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Offline median

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #319 on: November 12, 2013, 12:33:17 AM »
Looking at the original post another way, since religion is an act of faith or belief, why is any theist expected or required to have an irrefutable argument? 

OldChurchGuy

1 Peter 3:15 (Give an answer...), Jude 1 (earnestly contend), 1 Corinthians 2 (demonstrate the "power" not just speak words), Isiah 1 (reason), Acts 17-18 (reason in order to persuade), among others. I know many Christians (if not all) have their spin tactics of theology (the cherry-picking strategy of faith) but the foundation of much Christian apologetics is found in the pages of those 'books' themselves. Paul was the first apologist. If God is "all-powerful" and you truly have 'the spirit of God' within, this OP should be a piece of cake. Just follow Jesus' alleged direction in Mark 16 and John 14 (do the 'greater miracles').
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #320 on: November 12, 2013, 12:52:26 AM »
Looking at the original post another way, since religion is an act of faith or belief, why is any theist expected or required to have an irrefutable argument? 

OldChurchGuy

Well, the OP suggests that lack of any such irrefutable argument is another nail in the "God is imaginary" coffin, as the OP cannot imagine why a God capable of being irrefutably known seemingly isn't.

Actually the Argument from Nonbelief actually speaks to this issue quite significantly as well. If an omnimax deity desires us to know/believe specific things (call that set of things "X") then we, quite simply, should know X - but we don't. And the simplest explanation of why we don't know X things (that it is real, that we have 'sinned', that we need salvation, that Jesus' is the only way, etc) is that Yahweh is imaginary. It is quite inconsistent to claim there exists a loving omnimax being, yet in the same breath claim that such a being will not exercise such power in order that each and every one of it's alleged 'children' are 'saved' by demonstrating itself to each one in their needed way. And yet the rationalizations continue, all in an attempt to continue the "faith" instead of admit that it is clearly irrational and in need of revision and/or an about-face.

Nonbelief is another testimony that the 'Yahweh' is not real.




Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #321 on: November 12, 2013, 01:46:53 AM »
Looking at the original post another way, since religion is an act of faith or belief, why is any theist expected or required to have an irrefutable argument? 

OldChurchGuy

It depends doesn't it?  If you're just sitting around faithing with yourself it impacts none, and has no connection to the real world.
If you're trying to convince others that your particular faith has all the answers, and are going out of your way to indoctrinate others to your particular method of faith then it does matter.

Put a little differently, if you want to pretend that your bed can fly and take you to a magical world where alligators eat clocks and terrorize bad pirates that's fine and dandy.  Heck it even makes for an entertaining childrens' story that can be used to teach moral lessons.

If however your contention is that never never-land is 100% real, then it stops becoming your personal faith and turns into trying to sell me something.

Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #322 on: November 12, 2013, 03:29:43 AM »
Looking at the original post another way, since religion is an act of faith or belief, why is any theist expected or required to have an irrefutable argument? 

OldChurchGuy

Hi OldChurchGuy,

The reason I think it important...actually, no; the reason I think it vitally important Christianity has an irrefutable argument is that if it is true and I and my family don't accept this Jesus as our saviour, then when we die my 3 young daughters, young son, my wife and I will be tortured in the fires of hell for eternity. We could just as well be tortured for eternity for not having faith in any one of thousands of gods.

I have never seen a reasonable explanation for this Bible God not showing himself; he used to and free will wasn't affected. I may not have the free will to think he doesn't exist, but I will have the free will not to worship him. Besides, he supposedly knows my thoughts; he will know if I am sincere.

Bible God used to show us irrefutable proofs of his existence, but science is explaining these more and more; besides there are many gods responsible for creation; which one is correct?
The one that is correct will have an argument for his/her existence so beautiful, so obvious and so irrefutable that it will be as plain as day that this god is the one true god. As far as I can see, Christianity does not have this.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #323 on: November 12, 2013, 05:10:47 AM »
Knowledge is only possible in an orderly universe that was created with a purpose.

This is why many of the great scientists that got the ball rolling were Christians. The Bible teaches an orderly universe so they wanted to get out there and study God's creation and how it ticks.

Thanks for highlighting this, as it shows that God makes no sense and nothing can be known about it. I mean, is God not intelligible enough by himself that he has to create an intelligible universe in order for any sense to be made of anything? Not that we can know that God created an intelligible universe because God is too disorderly and random for us to say anything. Or is he?
If you keep on living your life as though your purpose is to be saved and go to heaven, you are missing the heaven that you are living in right now.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #324 on: November 12, 2013, 05:24:08 AM »
Knowledge is only possible in an orderly universe that was created with a purpose.

This is why many of the great scientists that got the ball rolling were Christians. The Bible teaches an orderly universe so they wanted to get out there and study God's creation and how it ticks.

Thanks for highlighting this, as it shows that God makes no sense and nothing can be known about it. I mean, is God not intelligible enough by himself that he has to create an intelligible universe in order for any sense to be made of anything? Not that we can know that God created an intelligible universe because God is too disorderly and random for us to say anything. Or is he?

That the universe is ordered and has predictable ways of working is probably the only reason we are here but that has no bearing on whether there is a god or not. There are various ideas of how the universe started that require no outside help from a super-being. Moreover, adding a super-being adds to the idea something even more complicated that also has to be explained. Occam would, I think, shave off the super-being.

As to the idea that the ordered universe is by 'design', just think of the puddle that thought to itself (yes, puddels think!) 'how marvelous that the hole just fits me - it must have been designed just for me!'
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #325 on: November 12, 2013, 05:41:56 AM »
The question of rape, or any other harmful action, is well addressed by Magicmiles: it is not a question of an absolute morality but if the action were justifiable at the time.

The question of justifiability rests mainly upon the circumstances and the culture. Just as killing someone is not an absolute affront to morality and can sometimes be seen as justifiable, so rape has also been seen as justifiable from time to time.

From the Bible we can see that rape is both justifiable and non-justifiable. Deuteronomy shows the attitude to civil rape: the punishment is either death or a fine plus a requirement to support the victim for the rest of her life. (This is still an extant rule in various tribal areas of the Middle East as we know from recent news reports.) Military rape is justifiable as can be seen in

Nu:31:18: But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

In OT times, a woman was property. Her father owned her and could expect a “Bride-price” on marriage. The 50 Shekels for rape of a virgin was roughly a fair price for a woman. The military rape was justifiable as the profits from looting were part of a soldier’s reward. The defeated enemy’s property became yours as of right and to do with as you saw fit. In law, there was no difference between a cup, a sheep and a woman.

Magicmiles answer, which if I understand him correctly, is “If you have qualms about it, it is probably wrong.” Thus means that the OT soldier would have had no qualms about "taking women for himself" and it would have been right and moral.

It is a mistake to think that we can judge those of different times and cultures by our own morality – we can’t. It is far too difficult to put yourself in the position of a warrior of 4,000 years ago in another land[1].

We should accept that this is how it was done then, and leave it at that.

What does seem to me to be wrong is involving any gods or other mythical beings in any of this. It would seem obvious that, as usual, no gods were involved in the first decision that gave rise to the laws of any civilisation: it would be self-interest that gave rise to the law.

However, it is equally obvious that “morality does not come from gods” as each god is defined by the civilisation that creates it and is an embodiment of that civilisation. The civilisation must come first, and then god’s follow.
 1. In the UK before “The Married Women’s Property Act 1882” a woman could not own property and upon marriage, anything she owned or later inherited, was her husband’s and not hers. Up until the mid-1960s, a woman could not sign a contract other than with a male who stood guarantor for her.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #326 on: November 12, 2013, 06:03:07 AM »

The Bible teaches an orderly universe so they wanted to get out there and study God's creation and how it ticks.

Yeah, this is why it took 2100 years after the Bible was written, before Galileo bothered to check how rocks dropped, because everyone else was too busy throwing witches off buildings. He was then threatened with execution for doing anything.

Around the same time the Bible was written, the Greeks were progressing pretty awesomely with astronomy and physics, but were stomped on by the Roman Christians.

Meanwhile, the medieval Arabs, with their disordered Quran, suddenly went through an Enlightenment period, where they investigated optics, algebra, physical dynamics, and stole base 10 numbers off the Indians.

During this period, teh advanced Roman Christians were using sticks to write numbers MMXCCVVII

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline relativetruth

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #327 on: November 12, 2013, 06:49:12 AM »

Religion is not the problem in the world. The problem is people doing whatever they want and just using religion as the excuse. This is how we get the Crusades. Atheists would have us think it meant NOTHING except "Convert or die!"

The truth of the matter is that the Crusades were about land and power. They wanted the land so they took it. They wanted power and control over the land. They didn't care what religion the people were. They just wanted them out of there so they can get the land and they used religion as an excuse. And then atheists say, "See! Look what religion does!"

No Bible believing true Christian would ever be caught dead taking land from God's special human creations. This is why Christians such as Dr. Maritn Luther King JR came along to convince a godless nation that we need to revert back to the biblical principle that all men are created equal.

Were the inhabitants of Canaan NOT God's creation or were they just not special enough?

PS my bolding and italics
PPS or do xtians really not believe in the Old Testament?
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Iamrational

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #328 on: November 12, 2013, 07:04:50 AM »
No Bible believing true Christian would ever be caught dead taking land from God's special human creations.

I almost spit the water I was drinking all over my laptop.

Native Americans might take issue with your heartless argument.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #329 on: November 12, 2013, 07:40:45 AM »
Looking at the original post another way, since religion is an act of faith or belief, why is any theist expected or required to have an irrefutable argument? 

OldChurchGuy

It depends doesn't it?  If you're just sitting around faithing with yourself it impacts none, and has no connection to the real world.
If you're trying to convince others that your particular faith has all the answers, and are going out of your way to indoctrinate others to your particular method of faith then it does matter.

Put a little differently, if you want to pretend that your bed can fly and take you to a magical world where alligators eat clocks and terrorize bad pirates that's fine and dandy.  Heck it even makes for an entertaining childrens' story that can be used to teach moral lessons.

If however your contention is that never never-land is 100% real, then it stops becoming your personal faith and turns into trying to sell me something.

I agree and this is an argument I've had with various theists.  Essentially, it is OK to have faith and it is even OK to share your faith (preferably when invited) but it is not OK to treat your faith as though it is irrefutable fact.  While it makes sense to me, no evangelical / literalist theist to date has agreed with me.  If anything, the idea seems to confuse them. 
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #330 on: November 12, 2013, 07:46:19 AM »
To be brutally frank, smug responses that insinuate that atheists are too blinkered, or whatever, don't really cut it for me.  If there is a supreme omnimax deity that created the universe and everything in it, then it should go withour saying that that being could have easily and simply ensured that a genuinely irrefutable argument was available. 
I disagree with this as stated.  If it is purported that there exists an entity that is omnipotent (can actually manifest any outcome in reality) and omniscient (has complete and perfect knowledge of everything), and has some sort of 'will', then it stands to reason that this entity can actively frustrate any argument presented in favor of it's existence, either directly (paradoxically? .....Why is it possible for us to even have arguments over the existence of god?  Because god wants it that way, and it's omnipotence guarantees that outcome.  But it wants to be known?  Mysterious ways...

Yup - I agree entirely.  A GOD could easily ensure there was an irrefutable argument.  The fact that there IS no irrefutable argument either means that god specifically doesn't want there to be one, or that there IS no god at all.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #331 on: November 12, 2013, 07:52:13 AM »
MM sorry for the late repy

 You do bad things( to a degree ) knowing you will be forgiven(in your mind),if there were no forgivness would you still do those bad things??

Of course I would.

I want you to confirm you undersrtand that I do no not ever do something bad because I have forgiveness through Jesus. I don't see it as some sort of get out jail free card.

I'm sure you don't.  But what I would like you to consider is the possibility that you do some things that you might NOT otherwise do, precisely because of the existence of that "safety net"?  Not consciously, perhaps, but certainly its possible?  Like driving faster in a car that you know has better brakes?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #332 on: November 12, 2013, 09:17:51 AM »
  Like driving faster in a car that you know has better brakes?

Like not putting bars on your windows, and security cams in, when your house is insured.

In fact, consider whether you'd ever get into a car, if there was no such thing as insurance.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #333 on: November 12, 2013, 09:25:09 AM »

Thanks for highlighting this, as it shows that God makes no sense and nothing can be known about it. I mean, is God not intelligible enough by himself that he has to create an intelligible universe in order for any sense to be made of anything? Not that we can know that God created an intelligible universe because God is too disorderly and random for us to say anything. Or is he?

That the universe is ordered and has predictable ways of working is probably the only reason we are here but that has no bearing on whether there is a god or not. There are various ideas of how the universe started that require no outside help from a super-being. Moreover, adding a super-being adds to the idea something even more complicated that also has to be explained. Occam would, I think, shave off the super-being.

As to the idea that the ordered universe is by 'design', just think of the puddle that thought to itself (yes, puddels think!) 'how marvelous that the hole just fits me - it must have been designed just for me!'

Quite.

But who needs a puddle when you have Jesus? ;)
If you keep on living your life as though your purpose is to be saved and go to heaven, you are missing the heaven that you are living in right now.

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #334 on: November 12, 2013, 03:16:40 PM »
The reason I think it important...actually, no; the reason I think it vitally important Christianity has an irrefutable argument is that if it is true and I and my family don't accept this Jesus as our saviour, then when we die my 3 young daughters, young son, my wife and I will be tortured in the fires of hell for eternity. We could just as well be tortured for eternity for not having faith in any one of thousands of gods.

I have never seen a reasonable explanation for this Bible God not showing himself; he used to and free will wasn't affected


Ron Jeremy - awesome points.  First let me say I'm a great admirer of your work.  But I digress...to address your points, you nailed it (ok that's the last time I mention your profession).  There's absolutely no reason to think Christianity has any more claim on the truth than any other religion.  I believe you or someone else brought up the point that if Skeptic were born in 900BC in Saudi Arabia, then he would be a Muslim.  Almost certainly true - there are always converts but statistically you're more likely to stay with the religion you grew up with.  It's probably just another "societal meme."  We like to follow the crowd for acceptance.  That's why everyone is getting tattoos these days, or everyone woman their hair like Jennifer Aniston when she was big on Friends.  For the most part, we're followers.  And I believe that's what the apostles were back in the day too - followers of people that seemed like they were in control, and had powerful methods of persuasion.  Was Jesus one of these people?  Probably - or if he wasn't, someone/some people were, and they attributed all their traits to him, and put him in a package of God.

Addressing what you said about God once showing himself in the past, I know you brought that up to point out that, of course, he  NEVER did that.  After all, even when these supposed events were occurring, there were tons of non-believers (like the Saducees and Pharisees).  And it's interesting that a lot of them were the more educated peoples, and many believers were less educated.    So I would make this three-pronged argument for how Bible God was created:

1.   

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #335 on: November 13, 2013, 02:22:13 AM »
Just like if someone says, "nothing is better than x!," they don't mean that literally doing nothing is better than x.

Hang onto that dream, because there have been thousands of startling discoveries that turn creationism on its head, and then pile drive it into the ground, with a pole up its arse, and then pour lighter fluid on it, and bury the rest of it.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #336 on: November 13, 2013, 08:04:52 PM »
There's absolutely no reason to think Christianity has any more claim on the truth than any other religion.  I believe you or someone else brought up the point that if Skeptic were born in 900BC in Saudi Arabia, then he would be a Muslim.  Almost certainly true - there are always converts but statistically you're more likely to stay with the religion you grew up with. 


I am assuming you meant to say 900 CE (or AD), because there was no Islam (or Saudi Arabia for that matter) in 900 BCE (or BC). Islam did not show up until 700 CE or so, and Saudi Arabia is a 20th century invention.

But your point stands. We do crazy-a$$ things because people around us are doing them and that makes it normal. My daughter wants a tattoo because she sees them all around her; When I was her age, the only females who wore tattoos were from exotic foreign tribes, gang girls who had boyfriends in prison, whores, and carny performers.

Religion is not generally about rock-bottom hardcore belief. Most definitely not about reasoned thought. It is about custom, ancestry and tradition--often unexplored and not even understood. Most people practice the religion of their family and/or one that is predominant in their geographical region. That alone should call into question the idea that you have chosen the right god belief. Of course it feels right and makes sense to you. So does the food your family ate when you were a child.[1]

No other way that people would: cut off parts of their babies' genitalia; teach their kids that there is a powerful invisible man who created them, loves them and will send them to a horrible place when they die because they are evil followers of the devil; go off to kill people at least partly because they talk to the powerful invisible man in a different language and on a different day; try to make their brains accept ancient fairy tales as fact, and the real world around them as a fairy tale.  :P
 1. I have found that I can't tolerate the carb-filled soul food I ate growing up, even though I still crave the rice pudding, bread pudding, cakes, pies and cornbread. They always probably made me sick, but I never questioned eating them. :(
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #337 on: November 14, 2013, 03:33:42 AM »
I found this an interesting, but slightly long watch. It answers a lot of questions Christians raise...

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline median

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Re: Christians; Why Don't You Have An irrefutable Argument?
« Reply #338 on: November 14, 2013, 12:04:14 PM »
He has a great new book out:

« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 12:05:56 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan