Does Satan Exist?: A Nightline Face-Off

Link. Ohhhh, the ignorance, the ignorance, the ignorance. Just look at the confident disposition of Pastor Driscoll and Annie, the former hooker. I don't see any doubt on their faces at all. I can imagine such confident people running the Inquisition or owning slaves, or believing in the ancient Delphic Oracles. Sheesh. As I've said, skepticism is a virtue.

10 comments:

TKD said...

Watching this video feels like pulling teeth. On one hand you have the typical Joe Smith Christian, and on the other you have Deepak Chopra! There might be some points to be made here, but its hard to take talk about 'The Shadow' seriously any more than 'Satan', lol.

Paddy Jive said...

What a terrible line up. This was worse then the Rational Reasponse Kids VS Comfort and Cameron.

Dave Huntsman said...

The thing is, if anything 'exists', that's a scientific question; just as with the existence of a god. Something a RIchard Dawkins would have pointed out. Having theists of different flavors - 3 of whom were 'christians' of one sort or another - was hardly meant to be a real discussion.

The closest to an intelligent secular argument here came from Chopra, interestingly. I'd never heard him before. Compared to those other on the stage he was positively sane. I liked his summary of what their satan is; ie that they were 'creating a boogey man...a mythical being..."

btw...was anybody physically able to play back this whole thing? I gave up after half a dozen times; it would get through each segment, only to recycle, give another commercial, and then restart at the beginning.

David said...

Driscoll was the last pastor I listened to for awhile before I finally came to my senses.

Matt McCormick said...

skepticism is indeed a virtue. And it is one that has to be actively cultivated. Believing is easy, finding phenomena that seems to be consistent with some outrageous view is easy if the view is cleverly constructed enough. But knowing what disconfirming evidence would look like for a view, actively looking for it, and then being prepared to accept it if you find it are all very hard. Lots of psych research demonstrates how easy the former is for us and how hard the latter are. So people have to be convinced that cultivating skepticism skills is important.

The irony is that if the view is one that they dislike or that runs contrary to some heartfelt conviction, people readily apply the scalpel and magnifying glass so they can discount the view. Look at the remarkable analytic scrutiny that so many global warming deniers will bring out to argue against warming while they simultaneously accept the slimmest thread of sketchy, unreliable evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Double standard.

Thanks JL.

Matt McCormick
www.atheismblog.blogspot.com

JMS said...

Watching this "discussion" was one big "bless their hearts" moment. Driscoll for some reason so popular among my fellow Evangelicals, but I just can't understand why. (I have my hunches though)

What frustrated me most is that the entire concept of Satan is rooted in the Hebrew Bible...yet 90% of what most Christians believe about this enigmatic figure comes from Milton or Dante rather than Job or Zechariah.

Watching this was like getting ready to watch the NBA Finals only to show up and it's actually a 7th Grade Rec League exhibition.

JMS said...

Dave Huntsman, you said:
"The thing is, if anything 'exists', that's a scientific question; just as with the existence of a god. Something a RIchard Dawkins would have pointed out."

Dawkins might have pointed this out...but he would be quite wrong. The question of existence is not a scientific one. It's a philosophical/epistemological one. Scientific inquiry rests upon prior philosophical worldviews about the nature of existence, truth, knowledge, etc. Dawkins is great in his area of expertise, but, as his colleague Alister McGrath has pointed out, is extremely lacking in the areas he tries to commandeer--philosophy, religious studies, theology, text criticism, etc.

Dave Huntsman said...

The question of existence is not a scientific one. It's a philosophical/epistemological one. Scientific inquiry rests upon prior philosophical worldviews about the nature of existence, truth, knowledge, etc.

I think that's silly myself. Existence is not a 'worldview'; it is measurable. I write, therefore, I am..........

JMS said...

Dave, I'm afraid you're assuming rather than demonstrating your point. Existence is a philosophical concept. Measurability is a scientific one. Many things that are not measurable have existence (your love for your family, laws of logic, the concept of justice, etc.). It's not a silly distinction; it's philosophy 101. Your entire concept of measurability rests on assumptions about the world and how it works (aka. your worldview). But it's an assumption nonetheless, no matter how well-founded. Because at the end of the day, no one can 'prove' that we're not just a brain in a vat being stimulated by electrodes in order to think all this around us is real. Nor can we prove that the universe wasn't created 2 minutes ago with all memories in place. As crazy as those may sound, they are still technically unfalsifiable and therefore axioms we take on faith.

Dave Huntsman said...

Dave, I'm afraid you're assuming rather than demonstrating your point. Existence is a philosophical concept. Measurability is a scientific one. Many things that are not measurable have existence (your love for your family, laws of logic, the concept of justice, etc.).

None of that is true. We're able to measure emotions now in ways we never were before...as well as indirect and direct indicators of thought, etc. And we'll be able to do more ten years from now; and ten years after that. You may have a high degree of uncertainty about your own existence; mine seems fairly well established. And it's testable by all sorts of means.

If supreme beings exist, then there is evidence - somehow, somewhere - for them. That's why it's a scientific question.

Hell, for all I know, we as a species may well be 'designed'. I had a fun time thinking about the Star Trek: Next Generation episode that came to that conclusion. They discovered in that episode that the reason there were so many humanoid species in the galaxy was that an original master race - of humanoids - had grown up, and found themselves alone, in the galaxy, billions of years ago. They ended up seeding their DNA across the galaxy, so that many similar species would come into existence over millions of years. But the evidence could not even be discerned, until the various humanoid species emerged into space, and met each other.

I have a simple aerospace engineer's view of philosophers. Philosophers to me have been people who sit, and think; but mostly sits; feeling it's all only a point of view. Kind of like the difference between Zen Buddhism in Japan - the sit-and-thinks school; vs. the yamabushi. The yamabushi believed instead in the experiental; that the radius of our wisdom is in direct proportion to the radius of our action.

I side with the latter.

It's not a silly distinction; it's philosophy 101. Your entire concept of measurability rests on assumptions about the world and how it works (aka. your worldview). But it's an assumption nonetheless, no matter how well-founded. Because at the end of the day, no one can 'prove' that we're not just a brain in a vat being stimulated by electrodes in order to think all this around us is real. Nor can we prove that the universe wasn't created 2 minutes ago with all memories in place. As crazy as those may sound, they are still technically unfalsifiable and therefore axioms we take on faith.