Response to Comment

The Wrap Up – Part 2

My last post was five months ago.  You know, the one that I called “Part 1” and promised a “Part 2” follow-up post?

So, Seth, what gives?

Well… ever feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?  Or that you have so much to say about something, but don’t want to publish a novel on your blog since no one would probably read it?  Yeah, I know the feeling.

So, check this out:  I make a promise to my readers to compile and discuss (in a single post, mind you) all the evidences that I believe exist for the Christian faith.  Yeah yeah, I hear you skeptics chuckling out there — I can hear you thinking, “Well, that should be a short article!”  Go ahead, have your moment… I’ll give you a minute or two to enjoy your cleverness…. (more…)

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The Wrap Up – Part 1

So much to say, and hundreds of ways to say it.  I must have tackled this post a dozen times, only to leave it unfinished to go and sleep on it, so to speak.

What I’ve decided to do is to make a wrap-up post in two parts, concerning my exchange with the folks at Roll to Disbelieve (which started here and, by way of here, here, here and here, left off here).  Throughout the course of the discussion, several people weighed in, many of whom brought up some really good points that I’m anxious to discuss further.  Alas, though, my free time to write is sporadic at best these days, and facing an army of opposition single-handedly only compounds and exacerbates this predicament.  I hope those who engaged do not begrudge me the delay — after I finish these two posts, my goal is to have responded directly to those comments that I found the most relevant and engaging.  Thank you for your patience!

To preface this wrap-up, my nutshell assessment of how the discussion went down is something like this:  In essence, the entire discussion comes down to evidence — whether or not the Christian claims have the evidential legs to be taken seriously as a feasible (or even likely) model to explain the reality of our world.  This comprised perhaps 3% of the discussion.  The other 97% or so was a kitchen sink of statements and accusations concerning topics such as my discussion tactics, my motivation in becoming a Christian, my motivation in sharing my faith, my sub-par mental faculties, my flawed character, my failure to apply the teachings of Jesus in my own life, my vile hatred of those who oppose Christianity and the various ways I have threatened and insulted them, my inability to understand the points being presented to me, my failure at presenting good arguments in favor of my worldview, my poor logic skills, my inability to think for myself, my penchant for parroting other peoples’ opinions without understanding or questioning them, and my general depravity as a human being.

Pretty par for the course, I’d say, when it comes to typical discussions of this nature. (more…)

Ahoy Mateys! A Response to the Captain and Her Crew

Boy, I’ve sure stuck a stick in the hornet’s nest now, haven’t I? 🙂

My thanks to all who engaged in this discussion so far, both on my blog and on Captain Cassidy’s.  The situation in a nutshell:  The Captain wrote an article about Christian rebirth, I wrote a response, she and some of her readers responded in kind… and then I left to go visit my in-laws for the weekend, so I couldn’t respond with the promptness that I would have liked.  In a way, though, it was nice to have a break — allowed me to slow-cook some of the important issues that were brought up.

I will respond, in brief, to some of these specific topics in this response, but this will mostly be a meta-discussion so that everyone know where I’m coming from. (more…)

What Has Convinced Me?

One of my favorite people with whom to discuss, hero4thought, recently asked me a question:

What are two or three top factors in your mind that convince you that a God in fact exists?

It’s such a great question that I wanted to expand my answer into a separate post.  As always, comments and thoughts are welcome 🙂 As I said in my original response, I’ll arrange these talking points in a somewhat logical order, rather than anything reflecting any chronology of my particular faith journey. (more…)

God’s Immateriality: Necessary Truth, or Rhetorical Device?

I’m in the middle of a discussion with hero4thought on his blog (go check it out, he has some good observations, and he seems like a really nice guy) where we are talking about the veracity of equating religion with relationship. I recommend reading his post (and the subsequent discussions that follow) in full, but the nutshell argument seems to be: Since we can’t really verify that God really exists, then any alleged “interactions” with Him wouldn’t really qualify as a relationship in the traditional sense — for relationships, as we are wont to think of them, don’t usually involve ambiguous or elusive parties. We know precisely who the parties are in most relationships, and there’s no question to a third-party observer that such a relationship, in fact, exists. This lack of corroboration when it comes to God, Hero says, makes the relationship claim dubious at best.

I can appreciate his reasoning, and I actually mostly agree — but I disagree that the difficulties presented by the situation are insurmountable or fatally flawed such that we should feel justified in shutting down the God-relationship hypothesis out of hand.  In any case, we have just gotten to the point on our discussion where we’re unpacking the question of whether or not a relationship is predicated upon both parties in the relationship existing in the material sphere. I would argue not, and my argument is based on the logical necessity that God be immaterial — and so following is my response to Hero: (more…)

Belief vs. Knowledge

Ah, tildeb, you’ve done it again — you’ve raised such an incisive point that I have no choice but to devote an entire post to my reply 🙂 Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

Now, I for one highly recommend my readers to take the time to go through the entire discussion (it actually starts back here, then jumps to here) — but, since this may be a tall order for people who already live rich and busy lives, I’ll set the stage by saying, simply, that the discussion thus far has been characterized by tildeb offering critique of my methods in arriving at the truth about God.  I have provided evidence of both subjective and substantive natures, but all were rejected because, at the end of the day, my metaphysical worldview boils down to faith — I cannot know definitively that what I believe is the truth, because none of my conclusions can be independently verified in ways consistent with the naturalistic method of attaining knowledge.  (I think this is an accurate picture of our discussion thus far, tildeb, but I am of course open to correction.)

So, now the rest of this post will be a direct response to tildeb: (more…)

Response to Comment: Are we SURE naturalism could find God’s fingerprints?

I have been incredibly pleased and delighted at the discussions that spun off from my last post about naturalism — in fact, my involvement therein can serve as a kind of explanation for my recent absence from writing, for the discussions have been engaging and taxing (in a good way!).  Deep thanks to both tildeb and Gino for raising the quality of this blog by weighing in with such incisive and insightful discussion!

And I’m not just blowing smoke, either — I am always most thrilled when met with individuals who are both capable and willing to engage in civil, rational discussion about something as divisive and provocative as religion — such individuals, in my experience, are rare, and I’ve has the immense privilege and honor to have engaged with several such individuals during my short course as a blogger.  My hat’s off to all of you!

I found these discussions and points about naturalism especially fruitful, so I thought I’d devote another post to summing up the results of these discussions.  I shall try to be as fair as possible when representing my opponents’ positions, and I give either of you full permission to castigate me vehemently if I misrepresent you 😉 (more…)