Some Questions for the RRS and anyone else who feels up to it - from a theist
Brian, Kelly, since it appears you've completely dodged me on that talk we were supposed to have, I'll take your advice and post some questions here that I would have liked to discuss.
#1 You guys are evolutionists, since that's the only viable option for an atheist. However, creationists are often derided for their lack of credentials, their lack of evidence, their weak arguments, their rejection by the mainstream, etc.
However, pretty much all of this fits the bill of the Christ Mythicist. Its rejected by the mainstream, its not taught as fact in any public school, it relies on outdated, or uncredentialed "scholarship" and the arguments are either ignorant or weak.
Rook Hawkins, for instance, appears to have no foundation upon which to be speaking authoritatively for or against the historical existence of Jesus Christ. It appears that such people (which would include characters like Acharya S as well) are the Kent Hovind of Jesus Mythicism.
That said, here's the question: Don't you think its hypocritical - perhaps even irrational - to hold to evolution for the same reasons that one would then deny the Christ Myth theory?
#2 If you accept mainstream scientific theories, then existence (at least as far as we're concerned) began with the big bang. How can you hold to an infinitely old universe (as a response to God not having to be created), based on this theory?
#3 If time began to exist at the big bang (at least according to Stephen Hawkings if there is something natural beyond the big bang it cannot have affected us, and we can get no information from it), then how do you explain the universe as an atheist? For instance, if there is no space and time (no existence), then why existence? From nothing, nothing comes.
#4 The logic you use to debate is immaterial, is a construct of the mind, transcends space and time, and is absolute. Therefore, how does an atheist explain this without positing some kind of transcendant, absolute mind by which logic is bound?
#5 Why is the argument from evil still used by atheists? It causes a paradox. If evil disproves God, then God does not exist, but then evil cannot exist and you therefore have no evil to put into the argument from evil. Also, this causes you to have to defend the assertion of a universal negative: There is no purpose or reason for evil that can be morally justified by God. <- How can you possibly know this?
#6 If you're an atheist because you lack a belief in God, then what seperates you from an agnostic? If you lack a belief because you think its irrational to believe in God, then what seperates you from a strong (real) atheist?
#7 As an atheist, there are no objective morals. Therefore, how can you ever criticize any occurance in the bible as evil? If its only subjectively evil, then that's no more correct than saying its subjectively good.
I really wish we could have discussed topics like these - and more - over the phone, but what are you gonna do?