Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#101  Postby THWOTH » Sep 02, 2013 12:52 pm

And willhud9's next post comes flying out of the traps. ;)
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#102  Postby THWOTH » Sep 03, 2013 11:51 pm

This one is rollocking alone. Byron posts by return.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#103  Postby THWOTH » Sep 09, 2013 1:15 am

Will's latest is posted here.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#104  Postby hackenslash » Sep 09, 2013 6:04 am

The whole thing seems to rest on this:

Wilhud9 wrote:The Christian believes in the resurrection, yes because of faith, but that faith is one built upon trustworthiness and confidence in the promise of God.


Which is little more than question-begging. It's built upon trustworthiness and confidence in the promise of a merely asserted entity.

A bit of a damp squib, this one. I expected a bit better, though I'm not sure why. Maybe it was faith. :lol:
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#105  Postby Rumraket » Sep 09, 2013 11:17 am

Heh, it's just faith in more faith. Which is still just blind faith.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#106  Postby THWOTH » Sep 12, 2013 10:27 pm

"No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly."
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#107  Postby stevecook172001 » Sep 12, 2013 10:56 pm

Calilasseia wrote:This thread is for comments on the Formal Debate: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?.
No.

No more or less than any non-falsifiable belief system can be rationally defended.

That is to say, a rational defense of a non-falsifiable belief system is a conceptual oxymoron.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#108  Postby THWOTH » Sep 18, 2013 7:01 pm

"No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly."
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#109  Postby THWOTH » Sep 19, 2013 6:22 pm

Roll up, roll up. This debate cracks on a pace.

Byron @ Formal Debate: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#110  Postby THWOTH » Sep 25, 2013 10:58 pm

Am I the only person reading this excellent debate? :D

willhud9 @ Formal Debate: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#111  Postby Moses de la Montagne » Sep 26, 2013 12:51 am

THWOTH wrote:Am I the only person reading this excellent debate?


No, I'm reading it, too—and it is an excellent one.

Byron's last post suffered only from his having to choose which among the countless historical examples of bible-based lunacy to use. I agree with him that witch-hunts seemed to come almost out of nowhere during the Middle Ages, but in the Early Church there was no shortage of similar superstitions, owing much to Paul's claim that the gods of the pagans were actually demons (1Cor. 10:20), a view which Augustine took up with relish in City of God. Everything religious took on a celestial character in a grand war between the darkness and the light. Pagans were considered de facto satanists. Owing to the rise of Islam and the decline of paganism, this sentiment lost popularity but eventually shifted towards viewing Muhammad as a demonic emissary named Mahound. Suspicion and intolerance became more localized again as the Crusades winded down and the Islamic threat subsided; hence the popularity of witch hunts.

But Will would say that this was just the result of having "the wrong kinds of people" leading the flock, raising again the crucial problem of subjective interpretation. Even his own strain of liberal Protestantism is certainly not classical Protestantism in any sense; Luther, Cranmer, Zwingli and a ton of other Reformers would probably not recognize their own religion had they lived in a cave to a ripe old antediluvian age and emerged from it to discuss things with the 20th century liberals. For them, sola scriptura was an honest & workable approach because they believed that scripture had a "plain sense." It meant what it said and it said what it meant. If there was to be any guiding light to the reading of scripture, it was none other than the Holy Spirit (thus making Protestantism a kind of prophetic and visionary strain of Christianity; John Wesley considered Montanus "one of the holiest men of the second century," and sola scriptura sectarianism predictably fractured into thousands of different denominations culminating in a funny Emo Phillips joke). I am unaware that any Early Church Father or Protestant Reformer believed that the reader "should always question the source, the history, and the context of the material." Liberal Christianity is a purely modern novelty; it's a religion without a tradition.

All that said, Will is doing a commendable job as devil's advocate, given his chosen material.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#112  Postby hackenslash » Sep 26, 2013 1:18 am

THWOTH wrote:Am I the only person reading this excellent debate? :D

willhud9 @ Formal Debate: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?


Perhaps I'll give it another look. I'd lost interest about the time of my last post here.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#113  Postby LoneWolfEburg » Sep 27, 2013 5:39 am

Wilhud seems to indeed abandon the "infallibly God-breathed" position on the Bible, though it's unclear whether he downgrades it down to mere "humanly fallible historical source about our faith with some good morals and aphorisms thrown in" or not. Personally, I view that "historical context" argument with a bit of suspicion - is the Bible "infallible" when taking context into account, or not?
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#114  Postby THWOTH » Oct 01, 2013 11:46 pm

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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#115  Postby Moses de la Montagne » Oct 02, 2013 9:34 pm

Byron's third argument, "Critically Uncritical" is probably the best one made in this debate. I appreciate it especially because the "Scripture is the Word of God in the words of men" position is a particularly weaselly one, and one that I sometimes have difficulty responding to. Moderate and liberal Christians are smug in their unwillingness to view the bible as inerrantists do. I hate the whole "well, we don't treat the bible as Muslims do the Qur'an" business. My usual response is to say that at least the Muslims have enough respect for God to figure that his revelatory book is going to have the most sublimely eloquent prose and (naturally) never be wrong. The liberal Christian view raises the obvious question of why an omnipotent god would entrust his revelation to faulty or overly creative writers. But that's only to attack it tangentially. Byron, however, has exposed its inherent weakness, and kicked it square in the groin. Sorry, Will, but—ouch.

I notice that Mick, who lambasted a couple of Byron's opening salvos, has disappeared from this thread. :whistle:
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#116  Postby Rumraket » Oct 02, 2013 9:57 pm

Yeah well, Mick is not in the habit of staying around to defend his views on any subject at much length at all. It's all about posturing, pretending to be really really sophisticated and well read, laughing at the "village atheist" and then just going away.

Such a wonderful example he makes. :lol:
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#117  Postby Mick » Oct 02, 2013 10:22 pm

Moses de la Montagne wrote:Byron's third argument, "Critically Uncritical" is probably the best one made in this debate. I appreciate it especially because the "Scripture is the Word of God in the words of men" position is a particularly weaselly one, and one that I sometimes have difficulty responding to. Moderate and liberal Christians are smug in their unwillingness to view the bible as inerrantists do. I hate the whole "well, we don't treat the bible as Muslims do the Qur'an" business. My usual response is to say that at least the Muslims have enough respect for God to figure that his revelatory book is going to have the most sublimely eloquent prose and (naturally) never be wrong. The liberal Christian view raises the obvious question of why an omnipotent god would entrust his revelation to faulty or overly creative writers. But that's only to attack it tangentially. Byron, however, has exposed its inherent weakness, and kicked it square in the groin. Sorry, Will, but—ouch.

I notice that Mick, who lambasted a couple of Byron's opening salvos, has disappeared from this thread. :whistle:

Well, I have the same reason as hackenslash: interest was lost. Unlike some of you, I do not find the debate interesting, though I gave up on it long ago.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#118  Postby Mick » Oct 02, 2013 10:27 pm

Rumraket wrote:Yeah well, Mick is not in the habit of staying around to defend his views on any subject at much length at all. It's all about posturing, pretending to be really really sophisticated and well read, laughing at the "village atheist" and then just going away.

Such a wonderful example he makes. :lol:


When I engage myself in threads, sometimes several at a time, I have to respond to many different people; and that is something the skeptics here do not need to do. That takes time; and sometimes I don't even bother because, well, outside life calls. No offence, but if I had to choose between even the simplest of life's pleasures and arguing with random dudes on the net, I would choose the former.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#119  Postby Rumraket » Oct 02, 2013 10:41 pm

Mick wrote:
Rumraket wrote:Yeah well, Mick is not in the habit of staying around to defend his views on any subject at much length at all. It's all about posturing, pretending to be really really sophisticated and well read, laughing at the "village atheist" and then just going away.

Such a wonderful example he makes. :lol:


When I engage myself in threads, sometimes several at a time, I have to respond to many different people; and that is something the skeptics here do not need to do. That takes time; and sometimes I don't even bored because, well, outside life calls. No offence, but if I had to choose between even the simplest of life's pleasures and arguing with random dudes on the net, I would choose the former.

I propose a simple solution then: stick to fewer subjects at a time.
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Re: Peanut Gallery: Can Christianity Be Rationally Defended?

#120  Postby Moses de la Montagne » Oct 03, 2013 1:24 am

Mick wrote:
Moses de la Montagne wrote:I notice that Mick, who lambasted a couple of Byron's opening salvos, has disappeared from this thread.


Well, I have the same reason as hackenslash: interest was lost. Unlike some of you, I do not find the debate interesting, though I gave up on it long ago.


Fair enough, Mick. You did, after all, indicate early on that you thought Will had bitten off a bit too much for a single debate.

But interestingly, the discussion hasn't been flying off in all directions. To the credit of both debaters, it's settled into a nicely streamlined and coherent volley, mostly pertaining to the authority of the bible (which was unsurprising, given Will's former Protestantism). I can see how this might not interest you, as you believe the authority of the bible comes from the authority of the Church.

This debate probably appeals to me more than yours with lobawad, because I always find it convenient to grant, for the sake of argument, that "a deity exists." I'm usually willing to take things all the way to Plotinus' conception. Because it's shamefully easy for a theist to rest confidently on the shoulders of the Greeks—but it's far more difficult for them to have to confront the problems of theistic morality, or biblical (or ecclesial) authority. I agree with Christopher Hitchens that you can, if you want, undertake all the philosophical tedium required in order to get to something like deism or monism, but even then, "all your work is still ahead of you" if you want to get from there to the God of Christianity. So (just as a small piece of unsolicited constructive criticism), you may want to consider whether your efforts here to establish an Aristotelian foundation for Christianity are going to be worth it if there's no way you're ever going to be able to construct a church edifice upon that.
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