Posted: Aug 13, 2013 11:40 pm
by willhud9
Can the Christian faith be rationally defended? I chose this topic because I feel that oftentimes the concept of faith and rationality are forced into opposite sides of the room and a false dichotomy between the two is raised. I fear this stems from the understanding of faith which has become common in everyday usage of the word: a belief not based in proof. Without some sort of evidence, or reason to hold the belief, the belief is considered illogical, or irrational and for good measure. But is the Christian faith a belief not based in proof? I will argue the negative of that statement.

First of all, faith in the Greek is πίστις (pistis) and it literally means a confidence or trust in something. In Greek mythology Pistis was the embodiment/personification of trust. In Latin, the word fidem is used and was a value of high importance to Roman society. All of which mean faith. Now the etymology of a word is not as important as its use so what is the point? In Hebrews 11:1 it reads: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Much like a friend who makes a promise and you have no direct evidence of whether or not he or she will keep the promise, faith in the Biblical understanding and usage is defined in a similar manner. It is an assurance.

So okay we get that faith means a trust in something, but that still leaves the entire notion of a supernatural God, miracles, and other extraordinary things within the Christian faith which are not based around any evidence and therefore require an abandonment of reason to justify the belief in it. It is a belief without proof. The focus of this debate is on what my opponent and I have agreed are key components of the Christian faith: The existence of God, the possibility of miracles, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the reliability of the Bible, and the concept of heaven, hell, and salvation. The defense of these key components are essential to determining whether or not the Christian faith can be rationally defended.

By showing the high probability of an existence of a "god" through examples of quantum mechanics, and cosmology, laws of order and chaos, we can establish a foundation for deism.

By showing the possibility of miracles and understanding what a miracle is we can understand that the "god" is capable of intervening.

By showing the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus we can close the gap onto Christianity.

By showing the reliability of the Bible we can be reassured about the contents of the book.

By discussing the concept of salvation we can understand the drive behind the Church.

All of these things are to be defended. I wish my opponent the best of luck and I hope this will be fun!