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julia goolia

Holman Quicksource Guide to Christian Apologetics By Doug Powell - 4 views

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Bakari Chavanu - 4 views

  • Here Richard argues that Metaphysical Naturalism is better than any religion, because if society were to adopt his view, there would be no religious conflict.
    • Bakari Chavanu
      I have to agree with this point. Richard in his presentation sounded very naive as to think enough people who accept "Metaphysical Naturalism" as a dominate worldview, when in actuality no particular worldview is dominate.
  • This seems pretty straightforward, but there is a gaping problem. Richard claims that the adoption of his view by society would bring an end to religious conflict. But what does he mean by “adoption”? He can’t be referring to a simple adoption of his view by a government, for this would not put an end to religious conflicts, whether internal or external.
  • For instance, if Congress suddenly voted in favor of a Metaphysical Naturalism Amendment to the Constitution, there would still be Christians, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, and others contending for their faiths. Thus, there would still be conflict. 
  • ...29 more annotations...
  • His argument, then, amounts to this: “If we all believed in Metaphysical Naturalism, then there would be no disagreements about the truth of Metaphysical Naturalism.” If my point isn’t clear yet, just compare Richard’s reasoning with the following arguments, which are based on similar logic: 
  • If Christianity were adopted by everyone, then no one would disagree about whether or not Christianity is true. We wouldn’t have to worry about Muslim extremists anymore, for Islam would be a thing of the past. The war in Iraq would be over! Thus, everyone should adopt Christianity.
  • But this logic could be used to justify any policy change: 

    If we just made it a law that immigrants could come to the U.S. at will, then we wouldn’t have to worry about patrolling our borders or making immigration policies. We could then take those resources and use them elsewhere. Thus, U.S. borders should be open to everyone. 

    If people would simply agree that abortion is wrong, the abortion controversy would be over. This would allow officials to spend their time debating other issues, such as health care. Thus, people should agree that abortion is wrong. 

  • Needless to say, the Song of Solomon isn’t about the joys of child-rearing. I’m sure Richard is familiar with this part of the Bible, so I still don’t understand why he would say that the Bible teaches that sex is only for procreation.
  • Richard is also wrong when he says that the Bible lacks a mature view of sexuality. According to the Bible, God created sex. He could just as easily have given us the ability to reproduce asexually, but he didn’t. He wanted man and woman to be together, and he made sex pleasurable. When he finished creating us this way, he called everything “very good.”[23] And contrary to what Richard says, sex has purposes other than procreation. 
    • Bakari Chavanu
      But how do you know this? Plus, sex like other behaviors in life is extremely problematic for human societies. It represents the best and the worst about our nature. What type of god would allow that to occur in humans?
  • “[A]s atheists know better than anyone else on the planet, if you say you don’t believe you often become a social outcast.”[24]  

    This is the epitome of egocentrism. Around the world, people have been shunned, oppressed, tortured, and killed for their beliefs, yet Richard thinks that he’s got it worse than all of them. He even shares with his readers the suffering that resulted from his stand against theism: “For the first time, rather than being merely constantly pestered, I was being called names, and having hellfire wished upon me.”[25] If

  • Even more interesting is that Richard inadvertently implicates a number of his atheist colleagues in his crimes against reason: 

    The Internet Infidels were also instrumental in helping to complete the latest phase of my intellectual development, especially Jeff Lowder and many affiliated colleagues: Evan Fales, Victor Stenger, Keith Augustine, Dan Barker, just to name a few, who also gave advice about improving this work specifically.[31] 

    Shame on all of them! Either they lacked the reasoning ability to see the flaws in Richard’s arguments from breasts and blue monkeys (in which case they should all stop writing), or they don’t care that atheism is based on ridiculous arguments (in which case they should stop trying to persuade the world that their beliefs are important). Either way, they are guilty along with Richard. Aristotle would not be pleased.

  • On the last page of his book, Richard says that atheists “gain a sense of community and conviction through fighting together against our common enemies—the foes of reason, truth, and liberty.”[32] He then pleads for his readers to join him in his battle against Christianity. Remarkably, half way down the page he adds, “Failing that, if you’d rather pass, then I would like to extend another plea: for tolerance, acceptance, and understanding.” Thus, Richard’s message at the conclusion of his book seems to be: “Let’s all join together and destroy Christianity, our greatest enemy, until it is gone from the earth! But for those of you who don’t agree with me, let’s all be tolerant and understanding toward one another.”
  • Indeed, Christianity has enslaved the minds of billions of people: 

    The fact is that we believe in God and an immortal soul because of the missionary zeal and religious intolerance intrinsic to the Christian religion. We owe our superstitious ideas to sword and gun and flame. In this corner of the globe, the Christian church was the victor, and our minds were the spoil.[39] 

  • Richard calls for war, a battle “to defeat the nonsense and lies” that Christians have spread.[40] He even refers to his campaign against Christianity as a “crusade” and says that “it would be immoral not to fight it.”[41] 
  • In the first passage, Jesus is addressing the idea that he had come to usher in a golden age of peace. Contrary to Jewish expectations, the purpose of Jesus’ first coming was to die on the cross for the sins of the world and to tear down the barrier of separation between God and man.
  • That Jesus here uses the word “sword” figuratively to represent the division brought by the Gospel is obvious to anyone whose last name isn’t Carrier.
  • From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”[47] 
  • All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.
  • The story is meant to illustrate Jesus’ immanent departure. Jesus was leaving, but he would one day return. In the meantime, people can either serve Christ or they can rebel against him. We can do as we like, but we mustn’t forget that one day Jesus will return, and that we will all be judged. That’s the obvious meaning of the passage
  • In the other passage, Richard calls Paul an advocate of slavery. But notice what Paul says. He tells his readers that slaves shouldn’t rebel against their masters “so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.”
  • f Richard had been writing the letters, slaves would have rebelled, and Christianity wouldn’t have lasted very long.
  • Besides, in his letter to Philemon, Paul does ask a slave-owner to free his slave.[49] 
  • For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.[50] 
  • not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.[51] 
  • Paul says that we are all one. He tells slaves to render service with good will, then turns around and says that masters should do the same things for their slaves. He adds that our true Master is in heaven, and that there is no favoritism with God.
  • In other words, we are all equal in God’s sight. This idea ultimately resulted in the Founding Fathers’ declaration that “All men are created equal,” which in turn gave birth to democracy in America and to the eventual abolition of slavery.
  • As we investigate Richard’s claims, a pattern should be coming into view. Richard goes to the Bible searching for the most unfavorable interpretation he can find. It’s fine if that’s his method, but remember that he demands that the principle of interpretive charity be applied to his writings.
  • Are these really contradictions? I’m not so sure. Consider the following statements: 

    1. Yesterday morning, Aunt Ginger came to my house to visit me.

    2. Last night, Aunt Ginger and Uncle Tony came to Virginia to visit my father.

    3. Yesterday afternoon, my aunt came to town to go to the beach.

    4. Yesterday, my aunt and uncle came to my house to get a dog. 

    Believe it or not, these four statements are all true. 

  • Atheists are free to accuse me (or the Bible) of gross contradiction, and in fact this is a very common approach in atheist apologetics. But for Richard to interpret obviously reconcilable statements (i.e. one passage mentions two women at the tomb, while another mentions three women, etc.) as horrible contradictions and then to demand that the principle of interpretive charity be applied to all of his writings would require a completely different type of charity. It would require us to say,
  • Since some Christians have done bad things, Christianity must be bad. For Richard, any bad deed that a Christian does is evidence against Christianity, even if the deed is contrary to Jesus’ teachings. 
  • Yet, strangely, nothing an atheist does counts against atheism. Stalin killed millions of people because he had no respect for the sanctity of life, but should this affect our opinion of atheism?  Hitler tried to apply atheistic evolution to society, concluded that the Jews needed to be removed from the gene pool because they were interfering with human evolution, and killed millions of people.
  • Second, Richard says that the Bible is useless, childish, and boring, for it contains “extensive genealogies of no relevance to the meaning of life . . ., long digressions on barbaric rituals . . ., lengthy diatribes against long-dead nations and constant harping on doom and gloom.”[56] 
  • Obviously, very few people lay awake at night tormented by the question “What do words mean?” Nor do they care about analyzing normative propositions or studying the differences between reducible and irreducible sensations. I’m sure Richard would respond by saying, “But these topics are important! If someone finds them unimportant, then something must be wrong with him!”
Kylyssa Shay

If You Can't Explain the Origin of Life and the Universe Then Why Don't You Just Believ... - 2 views

    An Atheist answers the strange question of if you can't explain the origin of life and the universe totally and completely then why don't you just believe in God because the Bible explains it all?
Kylyssa Shay

Atheists Don't Believe in God - 0 views

    I've heard it far too many times, I think, the assertion that to be an atheist a person must first think God is real and then hate, or deny God.

    By the logic that a person must first believe in something to think it isn't real every fundamentalist Christian believed evolution occurred before they denied it.
Dripa B

10 reasons to doubt christian beliefs - 0 views

    10 more reasons why religion doesn't make sense
Dripa B

Least Religious Countries - 0 views

    high levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low homicide rates, low poverty rates, low infant mortality rates, and low illiteracy rates, as well as high levels of educational attainment, per capita i
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