Month: November 2015

Deconversion: A Response (Part 1)

About a month ago, Nan shared the video below in a comment.  The video is the first in a series by YouTuber Evid3nc3, where he explores his prior belief in Christianity and examines the various components of his deconversion.

I had seen this video and a few others in the series before, and I remember being impressed — it is, in my opinion, a very well-done series.  However, I think some of the points the gentleman makes warrant response.  So, I would like to begin a series of my own in response to each video in Evid3nc3’s “Deconversion” series — not to attack the author in any way, merely to respond to his points from my perspective.  The author’s main motivation in this series seems to be sharing his own personal story, and I highly respect that approach (more on that later) — I’m certainly not interested in undermining the author’s personal experience, or minimizing the impact of certain events in his life that led him to adopt his current beliefs.  I shall try my best to approach this series as though I were discussing with the author face-to-face, rather than attacking him or sniping his ideas from the security of my computer chair. (more…)

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Objections to Christianity: Who Created God?

I’m going to borrow an illustration I heard John Bevere use once (which he probably borrowed from someone else — there is, after all, nothing new under the sun, is there?).  I’ll be paraphrasing, of course 🙂

Have you ever watched a particularly poignant, well-crafted movie?  One that methodically and artfully sets you up with an hour and fifteen minutes of pathos for that one heart-wrenching moment at the plot’s climactic moment?  When that moment comes, your eyes start welling up, your breathing becomes a little shallower, you move to the edge of your seat — you feel the strong empathetic connection to the characters in the movie.  You almost can’t help it.  Unless you’re a sociopath — c’mon, would it kill you to show a little human emotion now and then… dad…?

Just kidding, my dad’s great.  Anyway, imagine your roommate walking in right when the big climactic moment occurs — he’s never seen the movie before, and so he’s missed out on all the exposition and buildup.  He looks at the characters on the screen, looks over to you bawling your eyes out on the couch (mostly obscured by your tissue-box fort), and scoffs, “What’s with you?  It’s just a stupid movie.”

First of all, your roommate’s kind of a jerk and you should probably consider moving.  (Then again, he does pay the rent on time, and his mom is friends with your boss… I guess he’s not all that bad.)  But, really, the illustrative detail is the difference in how the two of you view the movie in that moment:  You have been taken on this hour-long journey preparing you for this scene; you connect with the characters, their stories touch you, you empathize with their plight and take on some of their pain upon yourself; your roommate, on the other hand, couldn’t give two figs about the characters, doesn’t connect with the moment, isn’t compelled in the least by the scene unfolding on the screen.  Why?  Because he’s missing the context of the scene. (more…)

Microscopic Machines

It used to be that one could look at something that had the appearance of design and reasonably infer that it was probably designed. Now, it seems more in vogue to look at something that has the appearence of design and vehemently deny that it was designed at all. I’m as open-minded as the next guy, but I’m not so sure this new approach to inference is superior to the previous one.

Let’s look to biology, as a case in point. The appearence of design is apparent even to someone as metaphysically skeptical as Richard Dawkins, who wrote in The Blind Watchmaker:

Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.

That’s all well and good, but I’m a visual person — so to illustrate this point further, I’ve corralled a couple of videos that illustrate just two of the functions our cells carry out every day: (more…)