Here's an email exchange I recently had with a Christian. It's typical of many others. I said:
Although both of us could be wrong, at least one of us is wrong. How do you propose deciding which one of us is right, if one of us is?His response:
I agree that at least one of us is wrong. Unless one of sees evidence or has an experience to convince us otherwise, neither of us will change our minds. No matter how much you and others want to paint it otherwise, atheism is not a purely scientific conclusion.My response:
It's the method of science that shows your faith to be wrong. There is no other way but to assume a natural explanation for everything. That method has no need of a god. Historians cannot approach the past any other way, nor can scientists. If we cannot know something by the method of naturalism as applied in science and history then we cannot know something at all.
When you say, “It's the method of science that shows your faith to be wrong,“ that’s just simply not true, no matter how much you want it to be true. There is not a single branch of science that has concluded that there is no god.
Yes, correct. But here's what science does: It offers natural explanations that better explains the phenomena than your theistic explanations, which are no explanations at all (see my next comment below).Him:
All science does is attempt to explain via natural means how physical events occur. Just because botany explain how plants grow or because geology explains rock formations, that does not exclude the activity of a god.Me:
This god of yours ends up being nothing more than the god of the gaps. And at that point any god will do.Him:
The scientific METHOD has no need of a god, and its conclusions are not dependent on a god.Me:
Then your specific conclusions could be derived no matter what method we use and so could any other god explanation.Him regarding a natural explanation of the Bible:
Using simple logic, if you look at the Bible as a whole (in addition to its parts individually), you have to ask certain questions about continuity and about why it reads so much differently than other ancient texts. That’s where a purely natural explanation falls even more into what’s merely possibly rather than what’s probable.Me:
Did you say you read Hector Avalos's chapter on Yahweh in The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails? Did you really read it? Say it isn't so, for if you did I'm at a loss for words here. I really think you are ignorant about the Bible and the results of Biblical criticism. That's right, ignorant. Sorry. There is nothing in the Bible nor in how it was written or compiled or canonozied that reveals any divine mind behind this process in whole or in part. There is no statment or series of statements, no book, no prediction, no moral teaching, no lesson of hygene, nothing, that cannot be more credibly explained as the musings of an ancient suprestitious barbaric people living in a high context society. Nothing.Him:
John, be consistent here. Are you willing to apply that standard to every single aspect of human existence? If so, you have lost a lot!! (Including love and all other emotions, beauty and all aesthetics, and most other phenomena that make human life enjoyable.)Me:
Humans evolved from the lower primates so one would expect that with our common ancestors we share with them these emotions. It's NOT HARD TO EXPLAIN AT ALL! There is brain research and psychological studies all showing this is who we are and it can be explained by our cobbled together brain (in three layers, the lowest of which is the reptilian brain) and socializing tendencies discovered by psychology.
I really think that given the way you are forced to argue your case above (very lame) that you are blind. The reason we cannot agree is because you are not willing to be consistent nor cn you allow yourself to even consider that you are living in a cult group surrounded on every side by many other Moonies in a much bigger commune that includes people who have doctorates in Moonieism in a culture that is largely Christian where you speak Christianeze that has a history stretching down two millenia. That's all you are. That's why you believe. That's why you cannot even consider for one minute you are wrong. That's why you must offer one non-sequitur after another and why you fail to understand the implications of what you accept in other areas of life.