Debunking Christianity -- And Then Some!
Yes! Hip-hip-horray! That game opening run-back was horrifying, but Tony Dungy, Peyton and the guys didn't let it faze them. Great game! Super show!(Some hilarious commercials too. Loved the gorillas.)
So?Who cares. It's sports. Phooey.
My son, who, being two, didn't get to stay up for the end of the game, spent this morning on the couch, watching the highlights on SportCenter, proudly clutching his Peyton Manning football while eating his ceral.Go Colts!Living in Louisville, we are about the same distance from Cincy and Indy, and so are both Colts and Bengals fans, which is only occasionally a problem. It certainly wasn't a problem last night.
I was cheering for the Colts all that way - and when they won I was happy they finally got the prize - took them a few years but this was a good way to win it. On a funny side note, you catch Dungy's remarks about him and Lovie Smith at the end of that game. Seems to me, according to many a logical atheist's perspective, that two of the most illogical people made it to Super Bowl and out-classed the whole NFL - food for thought.
When I heard Dungy thanking "The Lord" for the victory I immediately imagined some atheist somewhere grumbling about how God had nothing to do with it.I also thought about how his display of faith must have been well received by 95% of his players. Most teams pray together before and after games. You see faith unites people. It unites a team. And Christianity makes people better human beings. Dungy doesn't yell at his players or curse at them BECAUSE of his faith.Atheists often claim the religion makes the world worse. I could never understand that. I could understand someone not accepting Christianity but I could never understanding someone claiming that a religion whose distinguishing symbol is that of someone sacrificing their life for others makes the world worse.Final Score:Christianity 7Atheism 0(joke :) )
Of course, if Christian people were praying for different teams to win (and you know they were), then God couldn't answer all of their prayers, now could he? And if that's the case, then God cannot answer prayers when it's about such things. What about the prayers of mothers for their boys fighting on opposite sides during a Civil War battle? What if two young men are praying for the attentions of the same girl? What if a vacationeer is praying for sunshine and a farmer is praying for rain?Does God answer the prayers of the most people who were praying for their NFL team to win? Then he also gave me, an atheist, what I had wanted! ;-)
If the Colts magically becoming a good defensive team, managing a record breaking comeback to beat the (evil) Patriots AND winning the Superbowl doesn't convince you that there is a God then I don't know what will. :)
Wow! That is one of the best arguments I've heard yet for God's existence! ;-)
"magically becoming a good defensive team"????I doubt very much that any one of those Colt defensive players will tell you it was "magic" that made them play well defensively. Nobody develops skill by magic. It's damn hard work. They, also, had a lot of help from Grossman. His performance during the Super Bowl was disgraceful. Oh, but maybe you believe god had a hand in that too. Tony Dungy's lack of confidence in his own abilities as a coach is really sad. It is such a shame to see men work so hard to accomplish a goal then pathetically hand over some of their justly deserved praise to a non-existent wizard in the sky. I'm still happy for their success, despite Tony's faith, because I know they did it on their own.
Lynda,I must correct you on something. You say that "they did it on their own." That's incorrect.Did they control the weather? A stronger rain may have favored the Bears?When tipped balls fell on the ground instead of within reach of a defensive player is that something that Dungy controlled?Did Dungy prevent Manning or other key players from being injured?You see, even you have to admit that they didn't just do it on their own. I'm sure you would say that some amount of "luck" played a factor, right?. But dungy would say that "God" played a factor.Is God a better explanation than luck? Yes, it is because I don't understand what "luck" or randomness is and if you think deeply about the issue you'll admit that you don't either. It's a vague and confused idea. I roll a dice and it lands on 7. I ask, "Why did it land on 7?" You say, "It happened randomly. It just happened there is no reason." Things just happening without any reason sure sounds like magic to me. But, intention and will is someting I experience and I know exists and therefore it's a better explanation than luck which is something I don't know exists.I often hear atheists advocating a sort of self-reliance. "I did it on my own" and "I don't need God I can do it myself." But in truth you can't achieve anything in life without God's help (or as he is known to atheists Luck--the creator of the universe).
Lory,If you don't believe in luck or randomness, why do you believe in intention and will? How do you know God is not behind every intent, every thought, every decision? Really, if luck or randomness seem vague and confusing to you, in lieu of invoking God, I recommend reading up on probability and statistics.
I play a lot of pool. As one of the best pool shooters in our area I have placed in state tournaments and competed at the national level. But there isn't one single game of pool I won where there wasn't some luck involved. Surely a Christian doesn't really want to say that he finds God in the luck, does he? Surely the Christian doesn't really want to say that God really cares whether I make a ball or miss it, does he? Does God micro-manage this world like that? I didn't believe this even as a Christian. Even if so, why bother praying for any sports contest? If your opponent is also praying to win, God cannot answer both requests.
Benny,Books on probability and statistics don't deal with cause or nature of randomness. Probability says that if I flip a coin there is a 50% chance that I'll get heads. We say the event is random but what really mean is that we do not know the future outcome but have observed that in the past 50% of the time we got heads and 50% of the time we got tails. We don't know why heads or tails is chosen on any given flip. That's what we mean when we say something is "random."When the Colts and Bears captains met at mid field one of them chose heads or tails before the coin flip. Was his choice random? No, he intended to choose heads or tails. Maybe a fortune teller told him to choose it or maybe he had a hunch or maybe he just felt like choosing heads, whatever the case he intended it.. You and I understand intention because we experience it. We don't know how it works but we do know it exists from experience. Now when the referee flips the coin what determines outcome? Dungy would say God but the atheist would say "randomness."I understand what Dungy means whe he says God intended the outcome but I don't understand what the atheist means when he says randomness. The atheist is really saying that the outcome is ULTIMATELY unintended by any being and uncaused by any natural mechanism. But can the atheist prove that unintended events even exist? I know from personal experience that intended events exist but I there is no proof that unintended events even exist. That's why Dungy's belief that God helped him win the Superbowl is more credible than the atheist claim that luck or randomness helped.Can any atheist prove to me that random, uncaused, unintended events exist?John,Why did God answer Dungy's prayer and not Lovie Smith's? God has His reasons just as a father has his reasons for giving the car keys to one son but not the other.The bottom line is that the idea of God and intention as the cause of events (and the universe) makes more sense than the idea of randomness, luck and unintended accidents because we don't know that unintended events even exist.
Lory,You didn't answer my question: How do you know intended events exist? All you have said is personal experience, and all that really says is that you have experienced certain things that you *interpret* to be intended events. Where is your proof?Why do I need to prove to you that random, uncaused, unintended events exist? That's the base case, it's what you get in the absence of causes, thus requiring no proof. On the other hand, you're making the positive claim that God is the cause of all events. But you haven't even bothered to show that God exists. Prove that He does, then I'll consider the possibility that He is the cause of all events.
Lory, How then is it that when we do a scientific experiment on coin tossing that after a thousand tosses or more both heads and tails come up evenly? Maybe God has his reasons here too? In the meantime science proceeds anyway, by making statistical predictions, and there is no evidence otherwise.
"Why did God answer Dungy's prayer and not Lovie Smith's? God has His reasons just as a father has his reasons for giving the car keys to one son but not the other.The bottom line is that the idea of God and intention as the cause of events (and the universe) makes more sense than the idea of randomness, luck and unintended accidents because we don't know that unintended events even exist."Where was the support and help from Tony Dungy's Lord when Tony's son was commiting suicide? I guess a football game has more priority than the life of a kid. Way to go, Jesus!
why did god favor christian dungy over christian lovie?when god helps one team to win...is that...cheating?is that like 12 men on the field? (or 11 men and 1 god?)if god helped the colts to win...does that mean that they were not good enough to win without divine intervention?did the better team lose?because of god?after the game was over and the colts all said "god did it!"were the bookies unhappy to find out that god fixed the game?since god, apparently, affects the outcome of so many games, should the mob/bookies put a contract out on him?
Benny,Asking me to prove that intended events exist is as absurd as asking me to prove that I exist. But I'll play along...A response to your post is an event...I intended to post a reply...I wrote the reply and now you are reading the reply I posted. So, there is your proof.I already know you're not satisfied.Let's say there are no intended events...inteded events are illusions...if they are illusions then they exist in the mind and not in the outside world. Now if a unicorn exists only in the mind or imagination but not in the oustside world then you can say it "doesn't exist." However, intention is something that is defined as only existing in the mind of the being who intends. So, it's impossible for intention to be an "illusion." I intended to reply to you and I replied to you, that's all the proof I need that intended events exist. Now, prove to me that unintended events exist.Yeah, I know, it's impossible to prove that an event was unintended. So, I won't ask you to prove it but then don't ask me to believe it. Why should I believe that unintended events exist?Please explain to me why Dungy's belief that all events are intended is any less reasonable than your belief that all/some events are unintended considering that we have primary experience of intention?I would say that your belief in Luck the cause of unintended random events is more faith than reason. You believe that Luck created the universe and Dungy believes that God created the universe. Why should I believe that Luck exists?
Hey Lory Jean-Baptiste,Answer this: Why did your god not intervene to save Dungy's son's life. I guess he was too busy devising a game plan that would win a Super Bowl for the dolts, I mean Colts.
Lory,The point I've been trying to make is that your evidence for intention is no stronger than the support for unintended events. You believe in the existence of intentions because you experience/observe them in your own mind. I believe in the existence of unintended events because I experience/observe events in the world without experiencing/observing an actor who intended those events.When we say something happens due to randomness or luck, we're not invoking a mystical force or being named Randomness or Luck as the cause (nice try, though). Instead, what we're saying is that those events took place without an actor who "intended" the event. Since we're not claiming the existence of an actor, no proof is required.Again, where is your proof of God?
Once again, probability theory is based upon the odds. If God continually tinkered with the odds then it would destroy scientific investigation and probability theory. Like I said, if we toss a coin a thousand times or more we would get heads as often as we would get tails. This seems to me to be a test as to whether God tinkers with the odds. To say otherwise is to say good riddance to probability theory, unless the theist claims God causes the results to appear to be the same as probability theory predicts. But if this is the case then the God hypothesis is dispensable altogether. What can't be dispensed with is probability theory.
John,That's a great question. Science is only possible because nature follows patterns. We study these patterns and then we are able to make predictions. But the question, "Why does nature have patterns instead of behaving completely chaotically?" Is not a question that science can answer.Why not total choas? Why does the future have to resemble the past? Why isn't the univers just a cloud of inert gas?If "randomness" created the universe then why isn't the universe random just like its unintentional creator?The reason the vast majority of people believe in a god is not because they are gulible it's because God makes more sense than randomness. Atheists are too busy criticizing the idea of God to notice that their God--Luck--makes even less sense than the idea of an omnipotent super being. I'm a being so I can grasp the idea of a super being, but luck and randomness?John, I merely encourage you and other atheists to put as much skepticism and scrutiny to the idea of randomness as creator as you do to the idea of God as creator.Benny,Let's say the first bottle you had ever seen in your life had water in it and every bottle you had ever opened had water in it. What is more reasonable to believe, "All the unopened bottles have water?" or "Some of the unopened bottled do not have water?" Clearly althought you can't prove that "all bottles have water," but it's more reasonable than "some bottles do not have water."Likewise, Dungy believes that all events are intended. You believe that some events, like the outcome of the pre-game coin flip, are unintended. Dungy's belief is more reasonable because you cannot prove even a single instance of an unintended event.The fact that you cannot "see" an actor is not evidence that an event is unintended.You don't have to see an actor to believe an event was intended. If I call you on the phone and we talk you don't see me but you would believe the ringing of the phone and the patterns of sounds you heard on the phone were intended. Where does the idea that actors have to be visible come from? In truth you NEVER "see" me the actor, you see moving arms, limbs and lips but those are only events and not actors.If it pleases you then let nature be the actor. You see the natural world, right?The universe has all sorts of fascinating patterns of events. We can be certain that some events are intended but we cannot be certain that there are any unintended events. We cannot be certain that it's even possible to have an unintended event. Therefore, although I cannot prove that all events are intended believing that is more reasonable and well founded than a belief in unintended events. Believing in Luck or unintended events is really a kind of faith.
Lory,There must be a distinction made between natural cause and randomness. Everything in the universe has a natural cause. In this sense it is not random. We humans do not understand all the natural causes and forces involved, but this does not mean it is okay to just substitute our lack of knowledge with a "god of the gaps". Coin flipping is not as random as many seem to think. Certain physical laws apply to the rotation of a coin in mid-air after a certain amount of force is applied. Those physical laws determine which side of the coin eventually lands up. If one could build a computer robot to flip a coin in exactly the same way every time then the odds would be in favor of the coin always landing with the same side up, given the coin always started in the same position. Humans often interpret events as random when there are plenty of natural causes that have contributed to the event occuring. The Colts won the Super Bowl because they practiced, worked together as a team, were better fit and led by a better quarterback than the Bears. Anonymous mentioned that god's interference in the game could be seen as cheating. And this makes perfect sense. We have been told that god is morally perfect. But cheating is not morally acceptable. Therefore you either have to change your definition of god to allow for a morally imperfect god (and therefore a questionable object of praise and worship), or decide that god does not influence football games. Which will it be for you?
I'm re-writing my previous comment remove the unnecessary angry tone.Lory,My definition of a reasonable belief is a belief based on evidence.We observe that there are events. We observe/experience that some of them seem to be caused by observable actors with intent, but some don't seem to be. To believe that every event is caused by an intent actor requires the existence of unobservable actors, which is unreasonable because by definition there can be no evidence for unobservable actors. The alternative explanation, that some events are not caused by any actors with intent, does not require the existence of unobservable actors. Thus, the latter explanation is more reasonable than the former.You might say, "the evidence for unobservable actors are the events they cause." But that's circular. That explanation pre-supposes that the events are caused by the very actors you're trying to prove.Your key question/point seems to be: If God didn't create/cause the universe, what did? You believe that atheists, not believing in God, must invoke randomness/luck as the creator. Randomness/luck is just an attribute of the universe. I'm not aware of any atheist who believes that randomness or luck is the creator of the universe. Many atheists don't believe the universe has a creator at all. The universe may simply have come into being on its own, with no creator. It's the simplest explanation that fits the evidence we have, and doesn't require the existence of any unobservable beings. I would like to point out that you also believe something can come into being without a creator, because God has no creator, right? So we both believe that something might exist without a creator. Because of this, there's no reason to believe that the universe, the patterns we see in it, or anything else, requires a creator, be it God or something else.You might ask, "how is this reasonable, when we have never observed anything coming into being on its own?" To which I would reply that reasonableness is not a matter of YES/NO, but a matter of degree, and I gravitate towards ideas that are more reasonable than the alternative. Since Christianity has a whole set of unverifiable claims and still ultimately requires that you believe in something coming from nothing, I find it more reasonable to simply believe that the universe is that which came from nothing, and dispense with the rest of the claims.
"We observe that there are events. We observe/experience that some of them seem to be caused by observable actors with intent, but some don't seem to be. To believe that every event is caused by an intent actor requires the existence of unobservable actors, which is unreasonable because by definition there can be no evidence for unobservable actors. The alternative explanation, that some events are not caused by any actors with intent, does not require the existence of unobservable actors. Thus, the latter explanation is more reasonable than the former."Benny,I already proved to you that just because an actor is not observable doesn't mean the event was unintended. When you get a phone call all you see is a phone, you hear some ringing and you hear sounds from the ear piece but you don't see the actor. Your observations of events without actors is not evidence that there is such a thing as unintended events. However, you personally experience your intentions causing events so you do have reliable evidence that intended events exist. So, you know that intended events exist but you're not really sure that unintended events exists.If the creation of this universe is an event then then it's more reasonable to believe that it was intended than to believe that it was unintended because we are not sure that unintended events are even possible.I will concede that God has no creator and so I'll allow you your universe with no creator. Ok we both have a starting point, I have God and you have a universe that came into being on its own. But the problem with your universe is that after it came into being it created beings. Why? Your universe begins without consciousness, will or intention and has to construct these qualities. Is it even possible to construct these qualities?However, if your starting point is God then you're begining with a being. You begin with intention, consciousness, and will and you don't have to construct these things. And the idea of a being creating a world and other beings is more consistent than an unconscious universe unintentionally creating beings. If the starting point of the universe is not a being then why are there beings in the universe now? You see theism is a better explanation because it says simply there have always been beings. In the beginning there was one being. And that just a better explanation than an unconscious universe that comes out of nowhere and accidentally/unintentionally/randomly creates beings for no apparent reason.You may not agree with me but I hope that I have been able to show you that theism is a little more reasonable than you might have first thought.
Lory,You said, "I already proved to you that just because an actor is not observable doesn't mean the event was unintended."No, you didn't. In your phone example, me hearing the voice allows me to observe the actor. And my past experience with phones informs me that the ringing is the result of someone dialing. When I say "observe", I do not merely mean "see with my own eyes". You have not yet proven what you set out to prove.Since you still haven't convinced me that all events are intended, I do not find the intended creation of the universe any more reasonable than the unintended creation of the universe.You asked, how can consciousness, will, or intention come into existence without a creator/initial being? That's an excellent question; I think it's one of the toughest ones that atheists have to deal with. I believe that consciousness, and the other properties you mentioned, are emergent properties of the brain. An emergent property is a complex behavior that arises from nothing more than the interaction between simpler things.A great example is the flocking behavior of birds. If you've spent any time watching birds, you know that flocks of birds execute complicated maneuvers and take on myriad complex shapes, yet birds never fall out of place or formation. For a long time, scientists who studied this behavior believe that it must be governed by a system of rules that's at least as complex as the behavior they saw. But as it turned out, flocking behavior is just the result of birds following a simple system of 3, 4 rules. A perfect example of how something complex can emerge from simple building blocks.Sorry for the detour :) To get back on track, I believe that consciousness is an emergent property, a direct result of neural interactions in the brain. The fact that brain damage can result in personality changes, memory loss, and other significant changes in human consciousness, supports this idea.On the other hand, we have God. If we believe God is the explanation, then we have to believe that there is a being that has always existed. How is this more reasonable than believing that consciousness is an emergent property, when we have observed emergent properties but have never observed a being that has always existed?
Benny,I'm sorry to repeat but I don't think you got my point. I deny that you have ever seen ANY actors. You have only seen events and you inferred that those events must have been caused or intended by actors. If we meet face to face and talk you will observe various events--my mouth moving, sound coming from my mouth, my hands moving, etc--but those are all events. Where is the actor? In the brain, in some small part of the brain, in the pituitary gland? I don't know and neither do you. You have never seen an actor and neither have I.So, the fact that you have seen events without actors proves nothing.The only actor that you are certainly aware of is yourself. You are aware of yourself even though you cannot explain where in space you are or what you really are. But you do know that you intend events. You intended to post a comment on this blog. Your writing was created because you intended it. So you can feel reasonably sure that intended events exist. However, you have no evidence that unintended events exist.The creation of our universe was an event. I believe that event was intended. My belief is far better grounded in fact than your belief that the creation of the universe was unintended. (As to consciousness, I would ask you: can you measure or detect consciousness? No. So what you have is an emergent property of matter that cannot be measured or detected.)
Lory,My goodness, how right "you" are! *I* am the only thing I can be certainly aware of. There are no other actors, because I only infer them without perceiving them. Obviously, you do not exist, since I only infer you without perceiving you. The universe doesn't exist, for the same reason. And "God" certainly doesn't exist. Q.E.D.That sure was fun. Now, are you ready to leave solipsism and join the discussion, and the rest of humanity? Good.I believe in the existence of external actors (such as you) for the same reason you (and I) believe in the universe: Because this idea, unprovable as it is, allows us to best interpret what we perceive. God, on the other hand, is not at all necessary for the interpretation of what we perceive. This is exactly the point we have been arguing about all along. Kindly stop wasting my time trying to argue assumptions we both share (such as the existence of the universe and other actors), and concentrate on convincing me why God is necessary."The creation of our universe was an event. I believe that event was intended. My belief is far better grounded in fact than your belief that the creation of the universe was unintended."Hilarious! Here you are, challenging me to justify my belief in things I can only infer, and then you turn around and state it is *better* to believe in God, who also can only be inferred? How is this *better*, when I have explained the necessity of the things I have inferred, while you have yet to show the necessity of God?How is conciousness measurable or detectable? Easy, by observing the actions of conscious beings. Or are you on your way back to solipsism world?Want to show me that theism is reasonable, and that it's a better explanation for things than the alternatives? First step: show me that God exists. You have singularly failed to do this, and until you do so, God is not a reasonable explanation for anything.
Lory,Just to make it absolutely clear, show me evidence or necessity of not just any creator, but the *Christian God*. This is what you must do before you can claim God as an explanation, let alone claim that it is *the most reasonable* explanation, as you do. You've dodged this question not once, but twice already, and I see no reason to continue answering your questions if you will not respond to mine.I'm also curious to hear what you have to say regarding Anon @ 1:57 pm (02/06/07), Anon @ 2:21 pm (02/06/07), and Lynda @ 7:11 pm (02/06/07).
This all started with Dungy thanking God for his Superbowl victory. Lynda protested that Dungy and his team did it on their own and God had nothing to do with it. I pointed out that there were countless factors (weather, health, trajectories of tipped balls, wind gusts, etc.) that affected the outcome of the game which Dungy and his team did not control. I argued that Dungy attributed all those events which were outside his control to the intent of a being (God) and that his belief was more rational than the atheist belief in something called Luck. Why? Because we have primary, private, first-hand experience of intended events but we have no proof of the existence of unintended events."My goodness, how right "you" are! *I* am the only thing I can be certainly aware of.I know you're being sarcastic but yes, that's true. If you want to know the truth then you should begin with the things you are certain of and then work your way from there. There are no other actors, because I only infer them without perceiving them. Obviously, you do not exist, since I only infer you without perceiving you. The universe doesn't exist, for the same reason. And "God" certainly doesn't exist. Q.E.D."Am I arguing solipsism? No. Solipsism says that we cannot be sure that anything outside our mind exists. I'm not saying that. But I am saying that those things we experience in our minds are more trustworthy that the beliefs we have about things outside of our minds. So, when I say that Dungy's belief that all those events beyond his control were intended is BETTER than the atheists belief that they were unintended it's because the concept of intended events is more trustworthy than the concept of unintended events."I'm also curious to hear what you have to say regarding Anon @ 1:57 pm (02/06/07), Anon @ 2:21 pm (02/06/07), and Lynda @ 7:11 pm (02/06/07)."Lynda claim that the conflip is not "random" but determined by counless hidden variables. This is classical determinism. If she is right then outcome of the coin flip is determined by a causal chain of events that began with the universe. And if that is the case then Dungy had nothing to do with the win. It was merely his "destiny" to win.Is God cheating? That's an amusing topic but it's off topic. Was God cheating when he helped David prevail over Goliath?"Want to show me that theism is reasonable, and that it's a better explanation for things than the alternatives? First step: show me that God exists."I can't even show you that you exist. I infer your existence as an explanation for the behavior I observe. I infer God's existence as an explanation for the behavior of the universe.The universe behaves in such a way as to produce beings of consciousness and intention. Why?Atheist answer: Matter unconsciously and unintentionally arranged instelf into clumps of particles (human beings) which study and perform experiments on matter.So you have matter studying matter? A scientist is a system of particles "studying" a system of particles (and waves)?The thiest answer is very simple: Beings have always existed. In the begining there was one being and from Him came other beings.So, yes, God is a better explanation than the alternative.
Again, no evidence or logical argument for the *Christian God*. So nope, not a better explanation than the alternatives. Ok, I guess we're done here.
Benny,Be fair. We were not talking about the Christian God. We were talking about intended vs. unintended events. You failed to prove that unintended events exist. Even if you claim to have some evidence for unintended events you must admit that its weaker than the first hand knowledge we have of intended events.The problem is you begin with the assumption that all events are unintended and then you ask me to prove that an event was intended. The problem here is that you don't even know that it's even possible to have an unintended event! So, how can you begin with that assumption?Ever hear a movie character say, "I don't believe in luck." Well, that's true of me. I don't believe in Luck. I believe everything happens for a reason. I don't believe that human beings were created by Luck--the creator god of atheism. There is no evidence for the existence of Luck. At the heart of atheism is the unproven idea that things can happen for no reason at all.Until you can prove to me that Luck exists I'll go on believing that the creation of human beings and this universe was intended and if it was intended then the being who intended it is a god.
"I don't believe that human beings were created by Luck--the creator god of atheism."No atheist claims luck as creator. This has been already explained to you. So you either cannot read, or cannot get away from pre-conceived notions."The problem is you begin with the assumption that all events are unintended and then you ask me to prove that an event was intended."Actually, I assume that some events are intended, and some are unintended. While you assume that all events are intended. Either you can't read, or are logically deficient.You have taken the first steps towards justifying Deism, but am nowhere close to justifying Christianity."We were not talking about the Christian God."If only that were true. Unfortunately for you, the comment thread disagrees with you. Let's take it from the top, shall we?Lory @ 3:01 pm, Feb 05:"Christianity 7Atheism 0"Lory @ 4:39 pm, Feb 05:"If the Colts magically becoming a good defensive team, managing a record breaking comeback to beat the (evil) Patriots AND winning the Superbowl doesn't convince you that there is a God then I don't know what will. :)"Lory @ 5:59 pm, Feb 05:"Is God a better explanation than luck? Yes, it is because I don't understand what "luck" or randomness is and if you think deeply about the issue you'll admit that you don't either."The rabbit-trailing into the discussion about intended/unintended events is just your attempt to shift the burden of proof to atheists in light of your inability to supply evidence or argument for your belief in the *Christian God*. Which I note you continue to fail to do. What's so hard about this? I'm guessing it has something to do with the difficulty of justifying the belief in a specific deity described by the faulty records of supernatural claims made by pre-scientific people from thousands of years ago. You are free to believe whatever you feel like believing, just don't try to claim any pretense of rationality if you cannot supply any evidence or logic for your *Christian God*.
Wow, a thread about the Colts well-deserved win (yay Peyton) turns into a question of the hand of God in all events. I didn't expect that, but I haven't been here for long, so maybe I should have.Benny was absolutely right. Lory, by your logic, you should be a solipsist. The only thing you have personal, first-hand experience of is your own existence. Everything else is an inference from that existence. Therefore, until someone else can give you firsthand knowledge that they exist, you should assume that you are the only being in existence. And since everything happens for a reason, and since you are the only being of which you have first-hand knowledge, everything must happen because you will it so. Classic solipsism.
You have taken the first steps towards justifying Deism, but am nowhere close to justifying Christianity.Benny, That was my objective all along. My only intent was to argue for the existence of a being who intentionally created the universe, human beings, you and I. My belief in Christianity is not rational or logical. I just believe that the God of Christianity is the true God. Why? The description of God in Christianity is a man suffering dying on the cross to save humanity. It is the very image of love. Other religions describe a regal God of power. Only Christianity offers such a revolutionary and convincing image of God. And so I'm a Christian.Can I prove to you that "The Christian God" exists? No. I doubt most Christians believe they can "prove" Christianity is true. Furthermore, I doubt any Christian denominations claim that you can become a Christian through reason alone.Christians believe human beings are not just rational creatures but also spiritual creatures. The message of Christianity makes no sense to anyone who doesn't believe they are a sinner in need of forgiveness from their creator.Shygets,If you read this entire thread then you must really be amused. A philosophical argument about the Colts Superbowl victory. I'm pretty sure if we were discussing this in a sports bar we'd get beaten up.You and Benny are right if you claim my argument is similar to that of solipsism. I don't deny that. Solipsim is merely ultra skepticism or skepticism taken to the extreme without falling in the absurdity of denying one's own existence.Like Descartes, I'm using solipsim as a STARTING POINT. Doesn't it make sense start without making any assumptions? You start from solipsism then you begin adding as few assumptions and inferences as needed to explain the world you observe.Ok, so I exist, but how did I come to exist? I didn't always exist. Well, I had to be created by something eternal otherwise I would have to explain how the thing that created me was created. So, this eternal thing that created me, is it like me or is it like some-other-thing-I-have-no-knowledge-of? It makes sense to believe that it is like me because I have no reliable knowledge of anything else.I hope you at least see that a belief in a god is nothing like a belief in Santa Clause. When I say I believe there is a god I'm also saying that the fundamental reality of the universe is beings and not matter. when you throw out all assumptions that is the most rational belief about the nature of our creator.
Lory,While I continue to disagree with you w.r.t. the logical necessity of a Creator, I admire how you have remained consistently polite and patient towards me. Especially since I have shown little of either quality towards you. You have my gratitude and apology.
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