Reasons Why Atheists Disbelieve Vs. Christian Belief

doctoro
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Reasons Why Atheists Disbelieve Vs. Christian Belief

I would like to make a distinction between atheist and theist reasons for believing.

I hear the constant Christian argument that it is best to "accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour" -- when you fall upon hard times or are suffering from depressing problems in your life. In Colorado Springs, where I live, I listen to "Focus on the Family" radio that is headed by "Dr." James Dobson (PhD in Child Psychology). Colorado Springs is a mecca for evangelical Christians. I listen to this station simply to know what religious garbage we are up against.

Many times, I will hear a commentator say something akin to, "It's a good time to meet the Lord when you're depressed."

In addition, I listened to a RRS show reviewing the movie, "Jesus Camp," in which "Pastor Becky" claims that children are the best candidates for indoctrinating Christian beliefs. (Apparently because they are easily influenced by adults and are weak.)

I would cite Dawkin's thought in "The God Delusion," in which he hypothesizes that religion began because there is a survival advantage for children believing all that their parents have to say. If your parents teach you how to hunt for food or build a shelter, they must know what they're talking about when they're filling you with religious delusions.

I would also like to site a book I finished recently called, "Why People Believe What They Believe," by Andrew Newburg, MD. Newburg posits that there are four interdependent mental modules for belief: cognition, emotion, social consensus, and perception.

It would appear to me that -MOST- Christians believe for emotional or social consensus reasons. Social consensus will cut a wide swath of Christians who are indoctrinated as children. The other "born-again" variety invariably "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior" due to "spiritual" or "mystical" experiences.

I've listened to several RRS radio shows in which this is the case. "Kim" is one that comes to mind. The RRS spends maybe an hour with Kim learning about her crystal meth habit and the unfortunate plight of her child who was taken away from her. After "finding Christ," she wised up, kicked the drug habit, and got her child back. She claims she couldn't have done it without Jesus. One of the rational responders rightly pointed out that this was herself, not God, who pulled her out of the quagmire she was in.

Recently, in another forum that I engage in, I was able to tease out a salvation experience from a theist member. She had engaged in the forum trying to defend her faith (citing one biblical quote after another). I pleaded with her to post rational arguments, not regurgitations of scripture, that I obviously don't believe are the word of God. Why do Christians think that citing scripture is going to persuade an atheist? This is beyond me. It's evident after listening to the RRS that the Bible is far more damaging to Christian belief than it is supportive.

Anyway, this woman claimed that she was depressed and "asked God to be her husband." No joke. I asked her what this was supposed to mean, and she never responded. Apparently too personal. I know she's divorced and a single parent, so I'm sure it's tough. So a few days after this prayer, she's digging up soil in her garden and finds a ring. She claims that this ring was a sign from God that "God would be her husband."

Am I incorrect for calling her delusional? And why is it insensitive to call a spade a spade simply because the context is religion? The ring is completely coincidental. One guy on my forum said that he finds objects everywhere with his metal detector, including his own yard, where he has found numerous pieces of jewelry. In addition, I would cite that even if one acknowledges that this is improbable, how many prayers out there are NEVER answered? Wouldn't it be probable that a few prayers are answered in these coincidental ways that seem to be "signs" from God?

I converse with a preacher as well on this other forum. He has revealed to me that he had some kind of salvation experience in college when he had a drug problem.

----

Here is my point:

When people are depressed, ANY comforting belief that fills the void will be accepted whether it is true or false. I would even posit that this is a survival trick in the brain cultivated through evolutionary means.

How many theistic converts do you find who convert from atheism to theism on intellectual grounds?

How many people become atheists due to emotional experiences versus intellectual reasoning?

To go back to Newburgs book...

I would claim that emotion, perception, and social consensus are very poor mechanisms for discerning truth from falsehood. Only cognition -- armed with laws of reason and logic -- is able to TRULY discern fact from fiction.

----

And finally, I give my own experience.

I have personally struggled with some very depressing things in my life. I've even sought counseling. I was a theist before these things happened. And I confess that I succumbed to many delusions that made me feel better during those time periods.

But it was only reason and logic that allowed me to escape from those delusions (some of which were religious in nature) and become more happy and more sane.

A problem for which I struggle with constantly is this:

If a shrink arms a delusional patient with the tools of reason and logic to destroy and undermine his or her delusions, how does such a patient NOT prune away harmful religious delusions and belief in God. How would one fall -- just short -- of disavowing theism in a quest for eliminating delusions? It's not possible.

Once you embrace rationality, it's a slippery slope and there is no going back. Theism, along with all other delusions in such a patient, will succumb to reason.

I have had an experience in which I thought I was recieving "signs" from God -- and of a much grander sort than finding a ring in my front lawn.

But when I look back on this, I can find nothing that could not be attributed to coincidence, wishful thinking, or emotional crisis.

How many theists do you know who have had "salvation experiences" who were not depressed and susceptible to delusion? Also consider the movie, "Jesus Camp," in which the pastor tells the children in her camp that they are all liars and sinners. The children are whipped up into a ridiculous frenzy -- and caused to be artificially depressed in such a way as to mimic the depressing state necessary for a salvation experience.

You make somebody feel bad enough, and ANY emotion, ANY thought will be accepted that offers hope and deliverance from distressing feelings.

So, in conclusion; the only respectable means for becoming a theist or atheist is through reason and logic. There are far fewer theists who become theists based on rationality. And those theists who DO become theists based on rationality may be just as bad or worse than those who accept based on emotion or social acceptance. For they are simply errant in their rational thought processes.

One question I struggle with lately is, considering that many theists base their beliefs on irrationality and emotion, what is the best way to convince them that they are wrong? Is reason the best way? I hope it is for all our sakes.


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Excellent read doctoro, I

Excellent read doctoro, I agree with many of your points. I would just like to comment on your last question. I truly believe the best way to convince them that they are wrong is through reason. All you really have to do is educate them. I'm only 18 years old but I've had many situations where I've attempted to convince believers that they are wrong. I've found the best way is to just constantly throw material at them. Sit down and read verses from the Bible with them, and you can honestly see doubt creep into their minds. Of course you’ll get responses back that reject what you have been trying to show them such as “Well so many people believe in this, why shouldn’t I”, I have even been called the Devil and accused of trying to tempt the believer. In my opinion the only way to defeat Religion is through reason, and I thank God (ahah) for people like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins who have inspired me to do what I can. We have to educate ourseleves and others.


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Before I came to this site,

Before I came to this site, I could understand a theists motivation for forsaking reason for faith. It seems like a pretty nice concept; no matter how bad of a turn you take, there is always that loving, benevolent force watching over you. I never believed that theists were happy, I more thought of them as complacently content. I always thought there was a comfort in that.

Now, I'm not the person who gets approached very often with religious debate. This probably has to do with the fact that I 'look' like an unbeliever. The other part of it probably has to do with the fact that I'm very vocal with what I believe. I think something is stupid or wrong, I will say it loudly so everyone can hear it. I've got quite a rep for calling bullshit on people.

That being said, most religious debates have been iniated by me rather than the other person. They usually revolve around abortion, gay rights or some other human rights issue certain religious types feel compelled to rail against. These "real life" debates rarely revolve around the existance of god. Not having alot of information about a theists relationship with their higher power and never being a theist myself, I figured the idea was that people believe in god because it makes them feel good. Case closed.

After a month on this site, I realized I was wrong about that. They really aren't happy. In fact, they're miserable and have really low opinions of themselves. It seems painfully obvious to me now. A theist's relationship with their higher power is so much like the relationship between abuser and abused. It really isn't healthy.

Well, to wrap it up, I think that deconvertion starts with reason and ends with emotion. First, it is established through reason that god doesn't exist. After that, it's a matter of convincing the theist that they will not be "lost" without faith. So many of them have the idea that we're all suicidal. That is a fallacy that needs to be debunked.

However, I'm not an expert since I don't think I've ever successfully deconverted someone. I know there's a few people around who have...maybe they can lend some input?

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine


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Another awesome read. Well

Another awesome read. Well I can tell people about one failed attempt to convert an individual I knew. This person actually brought up the discussion of religion with me, but I was the one that continued it day, after day. I would constantly ask her questions about her beliefs, and about the God she believes in. She would always get very frustrated with me for challenging her beliefs, which is obvious. As the discussion went on I saw myself getting through to her. I couldn't believe how much progress I had made. Like ImmaculateDeception discussed I began to understand her relationship with "God" and it wasn't one of happiness or her being always content, it was a relationship based off of fear. This I think is a huge reason why Christians believe. They've always been taught that if they're good they get paradise, and if they're bad they get Hell. This of course we know is an easy choice. As I further discussed this topic with her I found the main reason she is a believer is because of her family. The feeling of acceptance motivated her to believe. I managed to get her to skip Church one Sunday, however the following night her mother asked why she didn’t go to church and made her feel guilty. The next day she told me why she had to keep going to church, and why she had to believe. This experience did a lot for me, and helped me learn a whole bunch. I’m not sure how relevant this story was, but I hope it was at least interesting.


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Quote:I’m not sure how

Quote:
I’m not sure how relevant this story was, but I hope it was at least interesting.

22jesus22, that was most definitely relevant and interesting. You're pretty good at getting in people's heads. I enjoyed what you had to say quite a bit.

As far as the whole idea of receiving positive reinforcement in a religious community, it really reminded me of my own family. I come from a catholic family and while I didn't go to church, a fair portion my family went through caticysm and the like. They learned at a very young age that proclaiming a belief in god and the trinity earned you kind words. The opposite had an effect to; questioning god and scripture got you scolded. I believe most of the theism in my family originates from this concept.

Well, times are changing and religion is starting to leave my family, most notably in my mother. I talked about it a bit in this thread.

My mom is very intelligent and very critical. She's not the kind of person to take things at face value; she'll question just about anything. She was raised a catholic and now it seems that her faith is waning. Alot of it has to do with many of the vatican's policy's on human rights issues, but I think that the person my mother grew to be isn't compatible with faith.

Well, to get back on topic, this one time we were talking about nightmares we had when we were kids. It was pretty expectable stuff; monsters in the closet, that kind of thing. Then, she tells me that she had nightmares of the devil dragging her down to hell all the time when she was a kid. She said her two sisters did as well. I was surprised by this and told her I never had nightmares like that. She was surprised as well and told me that she thought all kids had nightmares like that.

So, to go on with what you said, on an emotional level theism is established by a routine of positive and negative reinforcement. That kind of thing is pretty tough to crack. Especially when there's alot of guilt instilled or alternately, when a very positive sense of community is established.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine


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ImmaculateDeception

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
So, to go on with what you said, on an emotional level theism is established by a routine of positive and negative reinforcement. That kind of thing is pretty tough to crack. Especially when there's alot of guilt instilled or alternately, when a very positive sense of community is established.

This perfectly sums up my thoughts on the emotional level of religion.

I recently watched the Beyond Belief sessions, and Mr. Harris among others somewhat discussed this. A lot of Christians aren't so certain about the beliefs they hold, but they continue to believe and go to church because it gives them that comfort mentioned in the first post of this thread. What we have to do his promote other social programs and organizations so we can replace this feeling of acceptance. Its difficult for someone to completely abandon their social life, but if we give them something to turn to, it will make it a lot easier. We have to eliminate the belief that a certain book is the word of “God”, but we don’t have to eliminate the social interactions that come as a result of religion.


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Have to agree with 22jesus22

Have to agree with 22jesus22 that education is the key. I think it's no coincidence that declining education standards in the midwest and south have paralleled the recent huge resurgence in fundamentalism in these areas. Theist after theist reveals on these boards that they lack a basic understanding of science, or even the sort of critical thinking one might develop from studying literature. With these mental tools on hand, I bet a lot fewer people would be inclined towards literalist interpretations of the bible, and would view their faith in the proper perspective as a personal choice that they hold in violation of reason.

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Tilberian wrote:Have to

Tilberian wrote:
Have to agree with 22jesus22 that education is the key. I think it's no coincidence that declining education standards in the midwest and south have paralleled the recent huge resurgence in fundamentalism in these areas. Theist after theist reveals on these boards that they lack a basic understanding of science, or even the sort of critical thinking one might develop from studying literature. With these mental tools on hand, I bet a lot fewer people would be inclined towards literalist interpretations of the bible, and would view their faith in the proper perspective as a personal choice that they hold in violation of reason.

Actually, that brought to mind a link Sapient posted in another thread:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_intelligence

A collection of studies showing a correlation between intellegence and religious devotion. It's pretty interesting stuff, if you haven't looked it over already.

A really easy way of looking at it is that the gaining and acceptance of knowledge in a sense nullifies faith. If you live in a part of the world where you have less access to knowledge, there is never the opportunity to question faith. This can be seem all over the world in the countries where the highest percentages of religious people reside. South America, Africa, South Africa and Southeast Asia all have two things in common; a large religious population and an under-funded education system that's inaccessible to most. In the United states, over the past four years funding to education has dropped while religious participation in the youth has increased.

It gets down to this; education is an important tool for debunking religion. If that tool is inaccessible to the masses, then they are defenseless against religion.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine


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That is exactly that, when

That is exactly that, when other views and information aren't even consider, how would anybody even be able to question their faith. And it isn't just knowledge of science or having critical thinking skills, its the idea that a lot of religious people don't even have knowledge of their own religions. This relates back to the individual I was discussing before. She knew very, very little of Christianity, yet she believed in it without any doubt. (that is of course, until she met me) I would bring up points, such as the how old the earth is according to her church beliefs and compare it to how old science believes it to be. Or that dinosaurs were said to live among men. What I found was that, she, like many others actually found this thought completely ridiculous. I continued to plead with her, to learn more, and I thought I was getting through to her. However, it came down though to her decision. She chose her family’s acceptance over reality. So though I truly believe education is the best way to “fight” religion, I think different social organizations also have to be supported.


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22jesus22 wrote: I think

22jesus22 wrote:
I think different social organizations also have to be supported.

Examples? Are you saying that some secular social institution should replace religion? I might agree, but what?

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Social Consensus

This goes back to what I was saying about "social consensus."

There are 4 mental modules that make up belief.

1. Social Consensus
2. Perception
3. Emotion
4. Cognition

Obviously, the only way to arrive at the TRUTH is through rational thought under the cognition module.

The other three will give you biased information that you have to filter through cognition.

Some people, like this girl you talk about, actively choose NOT to question because of social consensus -- family alienation, friend alienation, and ultimately social suicide.

This is sad.

So as I've said before, belief is not a choice... once you read, study all the information, etc. YOU CANNOT simply choose something that your cognitive powers tell you is false. However, like this girl, you can choose NOT to question, not to read, and not to think about anything that will question your beliefs. Hence, she chooses theism not as a snap judgment in which atheism and theism are two choices that she can choose on a menu; rather it is a choice not to question or study.

I'm a fan of "the matrix" because it is an allegory about philosophical inquiry.

The red and the blue pill is a perfect analogy. And like the red pill in the movie, I'm saying once you make the choice to question, you fall down the rabbit hole and there is NO turning back. Thus, the choice is the process of questioning, not the end result.

Perhaps we should concentrate more of our efforts on showing people that it's OKAY to question.

What did it for me is the idea that I want to know the truth no matter HOW dissatisfying. I would rather be miserable and know the truth than be blissful in a state of ignorance.

Wouldn't you?

Wouldn't everyone?

--Jeremy


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Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." (Of Atheism)

Do a little more deep thinking gang ...........


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Michael H wrote:Sir Francis

Michael H wrote:

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." (Of Atheism)

Do a little more deep thinking gang ...........

 

William A. McDonough (1971-)

McDonough was a reader in an internet forum, who did a bunch of things offline that I'm not going to tell you about. However, on multiple occassions in threads such as Reasons Why Atheists Disbelieve Vs. Christian Belief, when theists attempted to use the views of prominent historical scientists to support their belief, he cited the precedent that being an accomplished scientist granted one no special insight regarding the existence or nonexistence of non-physical entities, stating, "Being right about some things doesn't mean you can't be wrong about other things. Nor does any quote without evidence bear any authority, and those who supply such quotes in lieu of their own evidence or thoughts are, in fact, less credible for doing so."

Do your own thinking.

As you yourself stated, Bacon's goals included "service to the church", making him anything but unbiased.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Michael H wrote:Sir Francis

Michael H wrote:

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." (Of Atheism)

Do a little more deep thinking gang ...........

I agree wholeheartedly with Bacon...given the level of scientific knowledge of his time. As one of the greatest scientists of his era, Bacon would have been acutely aware of how incomplete his picture of the universe was. He could never have imagined or predicted the incredible age of discovery that stood right in front of him, with revelations like evolution, the discoveries of astronomy and cosmology, nuclear and quantum physics and chemistry. It simply would never have occurred to him that we could achieve such a level of understanding about the universe, a level that would seem to him to be Godlike in its own right. Bacon's statement is an argument from wonder that may have held water in his own era, but shouldn't inform us of anything about science or philosophy today.

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Michael H wrote:Sir Francis

Michael H wrote:

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." (Of Atheism)

Do a little more deep thinking gang ...........

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
-Muhammed Ali

What would one say about a society that views the world in 2008 the same way they did in 1627? What would you say about people who view the world the same in 2008 as people did in 1450 BC or in 90AD? 

 

 

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."
- Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning physicist


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Michael H wrote:Do a little

Michael H wrote:

Do a little more deep thinking gang ...........

 

A closed minded uneducation baffoon telling us to think?

 

So many shitheads so little time

 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Hi. Im and a Christian and I

Hi. Im and a Christian and I found your post interesting. Am I allowed to say anything / join the discussion, or is this forum only for atheists?


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Welcome to the forum. Anyone

Welcome to the forum.

Anyone can post as long as they abide by the Rules of Conduct. The only exception is the sub-forum Freethinking Anonymous, where only atheists can post.

Edit: If you continue to post, I also recommend that you register an account. Anonymous posts have to be approved by a moderator before they can be seen.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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When it comes down to it. No

When it comes down to it. No one individual may come to faith without the help of God. I say again, it is impossible for an unbeliever to become a believer without the help of God.

An unbelievers mind is controled by his/her sinful condition. Without the Holy Spirit working in the person through his heart(soul), the things of God are foulish to him. The sinful man is controled or a slave to sin.

A believer uses the Holy Spirit as his/her couselor and guide in reason. An unbeliever will use his sinful minds reason and logic. God gives purpose and meaning to your life which is foulishness to a sinful man.

God uses believers and unbelievers to work out his plan. A believer allows God to work through him/her. An unbeleiver will fight against the work of God either directly or indirectly. He/she effectively is controlled by the prince of this world, the Devil, which unbelievers will deny as well. This is perfectly acceptable to the Devil because he it doesn't matter to him wither you believe or disbelieve , just that you don't give glory to the true God whom I might add does know there is a true God. 

An unbeliever doesn't want to believe their is a God because then he will be accountable to him for his sins. God calls all unbelievers liars. I say agani God! calls unbelievers liars. He has the authority to do so.

He has the authority to put you in hell or heaven. Can anyone deny that he/she will not die just because he doesn't believe in death. We die because we are sinful, and the punishment for sin is death.

You can say all you want about not believing in death, but death will meet you because you have no power over it.

God's bills for you are added up daily, but they come due the day you die, unless you think you can defeat that one. Good Luck!

So how does one become a believer, just ask the true God(Jesus Christ) into your heart. God only wishes to have a personal relationship with you, and in return he gives the gift of life beyond the grave.

The only unforgivable sin is rejecting God's offer of grace(free offering of the forgiveness of sins) by the Holy Spirit.

You can only serve one master, God or the Devil. God allows you to give him the chance to work with him, the Devil asserts control without your permission.

This is why many will say, the Devil made me do it and in some small part, this is true!

The road to heaven is narrow, just like 2+2=4 for the same reason. Their is only one way to truth, the one that comes from God. All other answers are false, just like 2+3=5, not 4,6 or any other number.

Not all religions are truth, but only one. The others are lies through the work of the devil who wishes to decieve you.

Weither you believe for disbelieve, one things is true, we will meet God face to face on the day we die, either to condemnation for the unbeliever or everlasting life for the believer.

I say unto you with the help of the Holy Spirit whom guides me, this is true truth, so help me God.

 

 


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Naughty God

MarkIsSaved wrote:

When it comes down to it. No one individual may come to faith without the help of God.

This God isn't being very helpful to lots and lots of people.

 


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Quote:When it comes down to

Quote:
When it comes down to it. No one individual may come to faith without the help of God. I say again, it is impossible for an unbeliever to become a believer without the help of God.

Interesting. Can't remember a theist ever saying this before. Usually they are claiming we are liars, and do actually believe. A refreshing change.

The next couple paragraphs are mythological, and there's no point in focusing on them. After all, the conclusion is only true if the proposition is true. And since your god hasn't seen fit to make me aware of its existence, I have no reason to believe in it.

So we come to this.

Quote:
An unbeliever doesn't want to believe their is a God because then he will be accountable to him for his sins.

This is a failure of comprehending reality and logic. Everyone is accountable for their actions, if there is no god. But if there is a god, then god is responsible for everything. Period. Noone is accountable, god is the reason for everything.

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I've listened to several RRS

I've listened to several RRS radio shows in which this is the case. "Kim" is one that comes to mind. The RRS spends maybe an hour with Kim learning about her crystal meth habit and the unfortunate plight of her child who was taken away from her. After "finding Christ," she wised up, kicked the drug habit, and got her child back. She claims she couldn't have done it without Jesus. One of the rational responders rightly pointed out that this was herself, not God, who pulled her out of the quagmire she was in.

 

Ok if she did it herself - then why did HERSELF start it in the first place  


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araujo03 wrote:Ok if she did

araujo03 wrote:

Ok if she did it herself - then why did HERSELF start it in the first place  

It doesn't matter the reason does it?  A better question since you believe in God... "why did God make Kim addicted to meth?"   Or "why did God create meth?"
 

 

 

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Hi Opie

Hi Opie,

Are universal negatives valid. Let me check hang on. Still nope.

Quote:
When people are depressed, ANY comforting belief that fills the void will be accepted whether it is true or false.

Really? is this right?

Where's the proof. Also, many satanists find satanism comforting and yet enjoy the depression. These people sometimes go by the name mother-in laws.

But I have studied the occult for over 20 years and your ALL is a profession of ignorance of the all you proclaim.

also, you did not define ALL of your terms. So i have no idea what you're talking about. You could be talking about Jessie Jackson's latest speech. I see a the i a let me ax you something. Or you could be talking about the fact that President Obama, the Communist bastard of a President is going to hell.

Define your terms. If this continues, you will be categorized among the weak.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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araujo03 wrote:I've listened

araujo03 wrote:

I've listened to several RRS radio shows in which this is the case. "Kim" is one that comes to mind. The RRS spends maybe an hour with Kim learning about her crystal meth habit and the unfortunate plight of her child who was taken away from her. After "finding Christ," she wised up, kicked the drug habit, and got her child back. She claims she couldn't have done it without Jesus. One of the rational responders rightly pointed out that this was herself, not God, who pulled her out of the quagmire she was in.

 

Ok if she did it herself - then why did HERSELF start it in the first place  

Ask her.

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araujo03 wrote:Ok if she did

araujo03 wrote:
Ok if she did it herself - then why did HERSELF start it in the first place  

Are you suggesting that either atheism, or Satan are responsible? 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.


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-"I've listened to several RRS radio shows in which this is the case. "Kim" is one that comes to mind. The RRS spends maybe an hour with Kim learning about her crystal meth habit and the unfortunate plight of her child who was taken away from her. After "finding Christ," she wised up, kicked the drug habit, and got her child back. She claims she couldn't have done it without Jesus. One of the rational responders rightly pointed out that this was herself, not God, who pulled her out of the quagmire she was in."

 

Let us say person Dan is in a hole but after a year of two of hard work gives a speech regarding the success found in his recent business endeavors, say at a banquet. He acknowledges his friends and family for their support, dialogue, community, etc because it would not have been possible without them. Was this just Dan’s work alone? Did Dan alone pull himself out of his quagmire?

 

"It's evident after listening to the RRS that the Bible is far more damaging to Christian belief than it is supportive."

Can you provide evidence for this claim?

 

-"Anyway, this woman claimed that she was depressed and "asked God to be her husband." No joke. I asked her what this was supposed to mean, and she never responded. Apparently too personal. I know she's divorced and a single parent, so I'm sure it's tough. So a few days after this prayer, she's digging up soil in her garden and finds a ring. She claims that this ring was a sign from God that "God would be her husband.""

 

On a side note: Christ the husband of His Church (us) is “this woman’s” reference.

5. One of the positive reasons for the validity for God is that He can be immediately known and felt. God will make His existence know to you if you seek Him – a promise

 

This is improbable, how many prayers out there are NEVER answered? Wouldn't it be probable that a few prayers are answered in these coincidental ways that seem to be "signs" from God?

What do you mean by “NEVER answered”? In fact a core belief is that every prayer is answered. However this does not mean the answer is always yes~

 

"How many theistic converts do you find who convert from atheism to theism on intellectual grounds?"

I can only speak for myself, but I don’t believe it is a realistic goal (nor the point) for a person of theistic belief to think that a single dialogue through a computer will convert an atheist on intellectual grounds. As I am sure you’ve found, people have a worldview even before entering into these rational discussions, which is the goal. To engage in rational discussion to exchange ideas.

 

"Once you embrace rationality, it's a slippery slope and there is no going back. Theism, along with all other delusions in such a patient, will succumb to reason."

This begs the question. You assume that religion is irrational, therefore one can not be both rational and religious. Could you please provide evidence for your claims that religion is irrational, a “survival tactic”, “MOSTLY” based on “ANY emotion, ANY thought”?

 

"One question I struggle with lately is, considering that many theists base their beliefs on irrationality and emotion, what is the best way to convince them that they are wrong? Is reason the best way? I hope it is for all our sakes."

 

Regarding why Christians believe.

Five Positive Reasons for the Validity of God

One of Richard Dawkin’s –God Delusion- additional points to the irrationality of religion is that there is no evidence for God. Thus the god of any religion must be a delusion. However, in a debate between atheist Professor Louis Wolberg and Theist Professor Krieg, Professor Krieg postulates five positive reasons for the validity of God that can be used to address Dawkin’s point.

  1. God is the best reason for the creation of the universe. If there is no creator for God, then there must be an infinite flow of causes and effects. However, infinity is an idea that ultimately results in a contradiction in reality. Infinity – infinity = contradiction in reality = finite past. Further God is the best reason for a cosmic beginning.  Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe does exist, thus the universe must have a cause. Professor Krieg asserts that there is a personal creator of the universe who caused it to exist, not an impersonal force which causes existence. In response to who made the designer, or God, Professor Krieg stated the attributes of God, that is, timeless, space less, personal, and im-material. Thus God can be outside of time and His creation.

 

  1. God is the best explanation for fine tuning of the universe. Professor Krieg explains that there are three alternatives or reasons for fine tuning of the universe- physical necessity, chance, and design. The first is that the universe must have fine tuning because of physical necessity. However this can not be because the laws of the universe are independent of mere physical necessity. The second alternative might be chance, however, the odds of it being chance are overwhelming, so much so the universe would be impermissible to life if left to chance. Thus the only reason left is that there must be a designer.

 

  1. God is the best explanation for objective moral values. If God does not exist then object moral values do not exist. Since object (moral) values do exist, God exists.

 

4.                4. Historical facts of life of Jesus as evidence for God.  Professor Krieg cited historical evidence for the claim that once Jesus had risen, the tomb was found empty by his women followers. Also, different individuals saw appearances of Jesus after his death which was also witnessed by unbelievers and skeptics. Thirdly, the significance of the disciple’s belief in God despite their contradicting belief.

 

  1. God can be immediately known and felt. God will make His existence known to you if you seek Him.

 

The Theory of Intelligent Design is a means of verifiable and empirical evidence which points to an intelligent designer, though  the theory does not insinuate an one particular religious god or deity.

"So, in conclusion; the only respectable means for becoming a theist or atheist is through reason and logic. There are far fewer theists who become theists based on rationality. And those theists who DO become theists based on rationality may be just as bad or worse than those who accept based on emotion or social acceptance. For they are simply errant in their rational thought processes."

Would you please provide evidence?

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Hi Opie

Hi Opie,

I never realized that so called "atheists" were fundalmentalists. The lack of notion is only 1 denomination of atheism. I'm curious, are you trying to make this the ONLY definition? It is recent and was invented by George Smith (The Case Against God) in the 70's.

Lack of faith, but you do understand that you need to define faith. If you have a lack of faith and your definition is not Biblical, then is makes no difference that you lack it since it doesn't apply. Please define since it appears that you have a different definition.

Also, faith in Christianity is knowledge. Obviously most atheists are going to approach this subject in a Kantian context, meaning faith/belief and knowledge will be contrary to themselves. This is something I would expect from a liberal and "atheist."

Logically speaking, from a Christian point of view, since faith is knowledge, then to lack faith is to lack knowledge. And from our position, we would agree with you. lol. we would agree that you are ignorant and lack understanding in things (I Corinthains 1:14).

Another notion to consider, is that weak atheism (lack of...) vs. strong atheism is really agnostic. I understand that you refer to yourselves as atheists, but you are not. To lack faith, whatever faith means is to not have "faith." But if faith could be "proven," you would have it, thus you are agnostic.

The atheistic position etymologically speaking was "absolute" that there is no God as understood through the strong atheists like O"Hair

I should also mention that obvious issue here. Since atheism/humanism is full of logical fallacies and is completely absurd as a worldview (even though some deny that it is a worldview), you wish to do this simply to allow the Chrisitan or the "theist," to bear the burden. I have no problem bearing the burden, but don't think you're fooling anyone here. The notion from your position is that atheism has no claims (this is wrong), and that Christianity is full of claims and thus the claimer must bear.

But in argument, one must remember that the burden can and often does switch.

So I suppose that I would enjoy a definition (please don't go to Webster lol) that is universal to the understanding of weak atheism so that we can have an intellectualy understanding of both sides as the issues and arguments come into effect.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Despite what theists like

Despite what theists like the above would have us believe, the terms used in religious discussions do indeed have definitions, and they can be found in your local dictionary; the ONLY relevant authority in discussions of the current definitions of terms in a language.

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Hello

Hello

I am not a theist, I am a Chrisitan Theist. If you wish to discuss truth, then you need to atleast understand your opponets position.

While there are obvious definitions in Webster, they are not always accurate to the subject if the language has a more technical aspect to its meaning.

Also, without placing the definition in the context of the passage and the context to the work as a whole, this could be misleading and actually false to what the actualy undestanding is.

Via the principle of Usus Loquendi in linguistics is also why webster cannot be the end all end all in meaning. 

Webster is only 1 type of definition as well. While there are different KINDS of definition that must also be understood, this weakens your view and argument and leads to the errors such as the individual above.  

So Webster can misleading  if if you are not trained in logic and basic skills in thinking. As a result, the most logical place to get the definitions would be in the actual work under analysis.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Yes and no

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hello

I am not a theist, I am a Chrisitan Theist. If you wish to discuss truth, then you need to atleast understand your opponets position.

While there are obvious definitions in Webster, they are not always accurate to the subject if the language has a more technical aspect to its meaning.

Also, without placing the definition in the context of the passage and the context to the work as a whole, this could be misleading and actually false to what the actualy undestanding is.

Via the principle of Usus Loquendi in linguistics is also why webster cannot be the end all end all in meaning. 

Webster is only 1 type of definition as well. While there are different KINDS of definition that must also be understood, this weakens your view and argument and leads to the errors such as the individual above.  

So Webster can misleading  if if you are not trained in logic and basic skills in thinking. As a result, the most logical place to get the definitions would be in the actual work under analysis.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

You are doing good work as Devil's Advocate Jean and have a point re Usus Loquendi.
People do make up their own meanings for words and words do have many meanings.

However, it is the job of dictionary writers to capture as many of those meanings as possible and a dictionary is generally the best place to start when looking for a definition.

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/Atheism

for example attempts to cover many of the generally used definitions.

 

One often sees pointless arguments where the participants are using different definitions.


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Jean Chauvin

Jean Chauvin wrote:
irrelevant speech

The dictionary is THE authority on how to define terms in contemporary use. Nothing else is relevant.

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Hello

Hello,

Thus the reason why you are all atheists. You are lazy and cannot comprehend and think in the area of definition beyond Webster's Dictionary such as the Encyclopedia of philosophy.

Please define for me the Economical Trinity via webster alone. Webster is no longer Christian and grows weaker by the day but is a good starting point but to stop here will lead many to be the slaves of stupidity.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Snicker...

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hello,

Thus the reason why you are all atheists. You are lazy and cannot comprehend and think in the area of definition beyond Webster's Dictionary such as the Encyclopedia of philosophy.

Please define for me the Economical Trinity via webster alone. Webster is no longer Christian and grows weaker by the day but is a good starting point but to stop here will lead many to be the slaves of stupidity.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

Yes, I can see why a subjective leveraging of the ambiguity of language would serve the purposes of the lord of the gaps. Supernaturalism relies on the inherent 'tolerance' in empirical definitions for its existence. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hi Extreme

Hi,

It is impossible to define empiricially. Though if one were to try, the only possible way would be ostensively.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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I wouldn't agree

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hi,

It is impossible to define empiricially. Though if one were to try, the only possible way would be ostensively.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

its impossible to define empirically - given empiricism does not claim absolute truth allowing room for the apparent nature of human comprehension.

Let's consider the word 'drum'. That's a lovely empirical definition right there. In fact all onomatopoetic definitions are empirical. There are plenty of other sense experience definitions that sound like they feel. Smooth, sharp, chill, warm, burn, rage, cuddle. Of course, when it comes to matters of the supernatural, there are no coherent definitions at all so it's the loose nature of our material labeling systems - their inadequacy - that allows spirituality to claim to exist. 

This is why supernatural creatures are always described in the bible as being weird compilations of things that actually exist. No one can think of anything sufficiently outside human sense experience that can possibly apply. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hi Extreme

Hi,

Part of the problem, is that you are not understanding what empiricism is and the logical implications as a result.

Drum is not an empirical definition. First off, drum is a term, not a definition. Definitions involve conceptional descriptions to relay meaning via the symbolism of language.

Again, you cannot interpret empiricially non empirical data.

Quote:
jonny went to the store

It is impossible to understand this sentence or even know it's a sentence empirically. All you can do empirically is see symbols without knowing their meanings.

Thus with the term drum, if somebody was playing the drums or a drum, ostensively you could simply point at the drum that's being played. You are "experiencing" that drum playing and thus you define as an ape which is convenient since this is where your roots lye.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Yes

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hi,

Part of the problem, is that you are not understanding what empiricism is and the logical implications as a result.

Drum is not an empirical definition. First off, drum is a term, not a definition. Definitions involve conceptional descriptions to relay meaning via the symbolism of language.

Again, you cannot interpret empiricially non empirical data.

Quote:
jonny went to the store

It is impossible to understand this sentence or even know it's a sentence empirically. All you can do empirically is see symbols without knowing their meanings.

Thus with the term drum, if somebody was playing the drums or a drum, ostensively you could simply point at the drum that's being played. You are "experiencing" that drum playing and thus you define as an ape which is convenient since this is where your roots lye.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin

 

I get you but your epistemology is so nebulous as to preclude the accurate definition of anything, leaving open the annoying possibility that there are no possible facts to refute the application of a thick layer of jesus. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote: I

Atheistextremist wrote:


 

I get you but your epistemology is so nebulous as to preclude the accurate definition of anything.....

 

 

 

                       Much like The Theist's lengthy word games relating how to define "God". 

www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misanthropy

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.

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Much like The Theist's lengthy word games relating how to define "God". 
 

God, def. That which empowers the believer to be an ass about his belief in it.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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Hi Extreme

Hi Extreme,

But I am not talking about my epistemology, I'm talking about yours. Just because your epistemology is absurd, does not then make my epistemology rational, that' s a logical fallcy.

It is impossible to be an empiricist and a rationalist at the same time.

1) Rationalism is deductive, Empiricism is Inductive

2) Rationalism starts with universals, empiriciam starts with particulars.

3) Rationalism is a-priori, empiricism is a-posterori.

Rationalism, and when I speak of Rationalism I'm talking about that of the French Revolution during the Romanctic Period.

So you see, you need to pick what one you want. If you dip back and fourth from empiricism to Rationalism in your analysis of argument or everyday practricial life, you end up self refuting both of them via the law of contradiction.

Alot of times, what happens, is they assume the meaning of symbolism via language, grammar via order and syntax Rationally while claming it empiricially not realizing what they're doing.

Regarding the OP, lack of belief is lack of knowing, which is demonstrated through through the absurdity of empiricism and Rationalism (capital R). This is why some atheists (Eddie Tabash) are dabbling with the 3rd epistemology via the New Age known as Mysticism.

Anyway, Extreme, while I get why The Biblical epistemology is "frustrating" for you, atleast I have one that works.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

 

 

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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Yes I do

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hi Extreme,

But I am not talking about my epistemology, I'm talking about yours. Just because your epistemology is absurd, does not then make my epistemology rational, that' s a logical fallcy.

It is impossible to be an empiricist and a rationalist at the same time.

1) Rationalism is deductive, Empiricism is Inductive

2) Rationalism starts with universals, empiriciam starts with particulars.

3) Rationalism is a-priori, empiricism is a-posterori.

Rationalism, and when I speak of Rationalism I'm talking about that of the French Revolution during the Romanctic Period.

So you see, you need to pick what one you want. If you dip back and fourth from empiricism to Rationalism in your analysis of argument or everyday practricial life, you end up self refuting both of them via the law of contradiction.

Alot of times, what happens, is they assume the meaning of symbolism via language, grammar via order and syntax Rationally while claming it empiricially not realizing what they're doing.

Regarding the OP, lack of belief is lack of knowing, which is demonstrated through through the absurdity of empiricism and Rationalism (capital R). This is why some atheists (Eddie Tabash) are dabbling with the 3rd epistemology via the New Age known as Mysticism.

Anyway, Extreme, while I get why The Biblical epistemology is "frustrating" for you, atleast I have one that works.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

Get what you're saying Jean. I have this discussion with my godly brother all the time. Nothing that's possible is impossible so there's a god and it's not an appeal to ignorance or a shift of proof burden cause philosophers say so. Give me a single characteristic of god that can be surely known in the absence of observation. 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hi Extreme

Extreme,

I appreciate that you've had this conversation before, but this is a real problem for atheists alike. How do you solve the problem?

Regarding that which is known about God that is not observable, in the study of the nature and character of God, it would be God Himself which is known but is not observed, but we know of Him by faith/knowledge/belief.

Quote:
II Corinthians 5:17: We Live By Faith, Not By Sight .

Every attribute is known apart from observation.

So then, how do you solve the problem regarding empiricism? I don't mind you shifting the burden, but I'm really curious about the anomoly of your epistemology.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


Atheistextremist
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just a single

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Extreme,

I appreciate that you've had this conversation before, but this is a real problem for atheists alike. How do you solve the problem?

Regarding that which is known about God that is not observable, in the study of the nature and character of God, it would be God Himself which is known but is not observed, but we know of Him by faith/knowledge/belief.

Quote:
II Corinthians 5:17: We Live By Faith, Not By Sight .

Every attribute is known apart from observation.

So then, how do you solve the problem regarding empiricism? I don't mind you shifting the burden, but I'm really curious about the anomoly of your epistemology.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

measurable characteristic...

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Jesusy

Atheistextremist wrote:

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hi,

  ..conceptional descriptions to relay meaning via the symbolism of language.

Jean Chauvin

 

I get you but your epistemology is so nebulous as to preclude the accurate definition of anything, leaving open the annoying possibility that there are no possible facts to refute the APPLICATION OF A THICK LAYER OF JESUS. 


 

  

    Jesusy   See : PIC

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jean Chauvin
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Extreme

Extreme,

Again, if you choose empiricism, then you cannot claim that which is a-priori and call it empricial. Empiricism is never a-prori.

Also, the numeric system is also assumed without experience that it is "true along with the measurement systems. One needs to use a kind of mathematics to measure. Mathematics is Rational both Lower Case and Captial R and starts from the complete opposite direction of the empiriicst.

You need to think about this and show me an example because so far you have made a catelogical fallacy between empiricism and Rationalism/rationalism.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


Atheistextremist
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Jeano

 

 

Are you arguing here that rationalism is the font and measure of all knowledge based on fundamental universal concepts - that human deductive thought can be deployed to comprehend everything, to the exclusion of empiricism? I personally would argue that human material concepts are a product of both our interaction with our environment through our senses and our capacity to reason about them. Knowledge combines sense experience and rational thoughtfulness. It's not possible to contrive a priori concepts and then prove or expand human knowledge using them without empirical inputs. Conversely, empirical data needs to be considered once gathered using a range of means. 

So, I think the 2 things, rationalism and empiricism are variously connected and scientific endeavour depends at times on both. I think there are different types of rationalism and different types of empiricism and that creating a dichotomy between 2 general concepts of each is a mistake. I don't think it's necessary to insist on a choice between rationalism or empiricism to inform all one's views about everything in the world. Epistemologically it's possible to be a psychological rationalist and an epistemological empiricist. Or to be both at once as in the process of measuring the spread of a bat's wings and noting the median measurement. As a rationalist you could not insist it was possible to measure the bat's wingspan without gathering field data. Nor could you establish the expectation of a median without rationalism.  

I generally consider myself a skeptical empiricist and try not to torture myself too much with Plato's Meno, though in the case of that argument for the existence of innate knowledge I believe young human brains are profoundly informed by their early environment, giving them a tool kit of problem solving capabilities they can expand upon as they grow and learn. Adults forget they spent their early years using their bodies to interact in the most basic way with their environment and seem to think intuition - to know without thinking - is something magic when it is actually based in great part on empirical experience gathered at the child-bios level. 

In any case, taken to ultimate conclusions, arguments about the sources of knowledge morph into arguments about the content of thoughts that convey that knowledge and convey impressions of what we perceive as the knowable world. How much can we know? What is the mechanism to know? What is the neurological process of gaining knowledge and considering it against past experiences and our sense of future expectation? What happens when data can only be gathered for the character of a thing empirically yet justification for this belief, its warrant, is supplied rationally? 

I think your strong rationalist position is the product of motivated reasoning. The christian epistemologist is necessarily bound to strong rationalism in order to create space for the existence of god as reason atop some pyramid of platonic forms, asserted to be perfect or eternal in some way that is never and cannot adequately be defined or measured, only labeled so and held to be so on the basis of subjective conviction. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck