Posted: Jun 18, 2010 9:21 am
by Will S
Sophie T wrote:
Will S wrote:
It's hard to be sure, but my impression is that, in general, most individual Christians and most Christian denominations have moved away from the idea that Christianity is something which can be proved.

Will, I'm not sure what most theologians are doing these days, but the apologist I've been reading lately (the one I mentioned in the previous post) is claiming in his book that atheists are deluded because they don't see what is so obvious to most people. He actually claims that atheists have a broken "God-sensor" and view the word through what he calls "paradigm induced blindness" that causes them to willfully reject God. Yet, he's a Calvinist who believes that even our wills are determined by God! He implies (or states outright, I'll have to look back and see) that failure to believe in God is cognitive flaw--a disability like blindness or being deaf, etc., and he says that if one engages in "right living," one can improve one's cognition, which may improve one's ability to "see" God. And again--he's a Calvinist! He says that atheists don't reject God because of lack of evidence but because of immorality and broken God sensors. So--if this is become a prevalent attitude among apologists (and I don't know whether it is or not), then perhaps they don't feel the need to construct rational arguments? I just don't get it. There's something about this approach that strikes me as unbelievably deceptive and almost malicious.

Yes, quite apart from the great paradox at the centre of Calvinism, which you point out, it's ... argumentum ad hominem, par excellence, in excelsis. (Now behold the awful effects of an old-fashioned British education. :( )

Sophie T wrote:
Will S wrote:Of course, the Christian denominations themselves will tell you that the warfare has died down because they have learnt better, and are more charitable these days. Personally, I think that one reason is that they have all, to some extent, lost confidence in the ammunition that they were using on each other; they've lost confidence in the idea that you can use reason to establish the truth in religious matters.

I wonder if another reason for Christian denominations to spend less time attacking one another is because they are now beginning to face what they perceive as a new "enemy" -- vocal atheists. So rather than fight one another, they join forces to fight us?

I agree that's increasingly a factor: a 'backs to the wall' attitude. Note the rise of the inclusive term 'people of faith', that is, everybody except the bloody atheists. It sounds so much better than 'religious people', doesn't it? :dopey: Just as 'faith schools' sounds so much better than 'religious schools' or 'denominational schools'. :dopey:

Did you know that our beloved Prince Charles has announced that when/if he becomes King (and ex officio Supreme Governor of the Church of England), he doesn't want to be titled 'Defender of the Faith' (see current British coins)? Instead he wants to be 'Defender of the Faiths' (plural).

If he means it seriously, then the reaction of the Church of England will be ... interesting! :angel: