A book that could change your mind?

skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
A book that could change your mind?

Over the past 4 1/2 years I've gone through a slow process of converting to Christianity. One of the things I've come to realize is that atheists and Christians alike share very common misconceptions of one another.

Atheists have usually taken the position that Christians have no basis for belief in God, and that any belief in God is, ultimately, a willingness to shun and downright ignore evidence that shines light on the fact that God does not exist. Atheists justifiably believe this because they look at a plain reading of a text such as the Bible, read the claims it makes about reality, then look outside the Bible into the real world and see contradictions.

Christians, on the other hand, often believe that atheists are close-minded and aggressively ignorant. They can often view atheists as simply people to be put up with until Jesus Christ returns and sets the world anew. Because of this, Christians will often blow off the questions and doubts that atheists put forward as if they were unimportant and of no value, instead of carefully and seriously considering them and showing them the respect they deserve.

One of, if not, the greatest influence in my life during my conversion towards and adoption into Christianity was and is a man named Dr. Timothy J. Keller. Dr. Keller is the Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York City, and has been since its founding in 1989. Dr. Keller has, for over almost two decades now, taken the major objections to Christianity and belief in God and responded to them on their own terms. That is why I am so excited to be posting this message today!

If you are an atheist, if you are an agnostic, if you aren't sure what you are or what you believe, then I invite you to visit www.thereasonforgod.com and check out Dr. Keller's new book titled, "The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism".

If you are honestly seeking answers to so many of the hard questions put forward by many atheists on these message boards, I would invite you to check out the website and consider picking up a copy of this book. It confronts, head on, many of modern peoples objections to belief in God such as:

- Why does God allow suffering in the world?

- How could a loving God send people to Hell?

- Why isn't Christianity more inclusive?

- How can one religion be "right" and others be "wrong"?

- Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God?

- You can't take the Bible literally.

- Science has Disproved Christianity.

 And many, many, many more objections. I apologize, this isn't exactly a post for discussion, and I hope that doesn't get me into trouble or anything. A lot of you are asking for Christians to put up or shut up, well, if that is what you are really after - here's your chance to actually get what you want!

 

Sincerely,

- Nick 


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote: - Why does God

Quote:

- Why does God allow suffering in the world?

- How could a loving God send people to Hell?

- Why isn't Christianity more inclusive?

- How can one religion be "right" and others be "wrong"?

- Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God?

- You can't take the Bible literally.

- Science has Disproved Christianity.

These objections are rather dull and poor anyway. I prefer my own list:

 

1. Supervenience (the necessity of certain beings and properties to generate higher-order beings and properties and the associated relationship, such as that, for example, atoms can exist without human society, but not human society without atoms). The conclusion which I still retain, to this day, is that such principles necessarily eviscerate the concept of a conscious, intelligent being with control over the physical world yet without constituting a physical being itself).This is a fortiori for #2, discussed below.

2. Monism (The concept in philosophy of mind and neuroscience that the mind, the source of a conscious, intelligent being, does not have a component of a non-physical ontology, so eviscerating the assertion that such a being could be intelligent)

3. Ex Nihilo (the coherency of the theistic suggestion that an eternally existing being is ontologically seperate from the physical universe, such that because it was the entity that created the universe in the first place). My eventual resolution was that the theistic assertion pertaining to the creation of a seperate ontology of physical beings and things, of which this being is not of the same substance with, is an impossible contradiction, and is an assertion that requires the propogation of ex nihilo creation by God, which is impossible. I also used this suggestion to propogate the idea within ontology that existence of some form, bare-order properties of being, are uncaused. On the other hand, it is possible to argue that ex nihilo is not a necessary precondition for the existence of God, but in classical theism, it is, being that the assertion in question is that it is the source of all other things, and no things can exist without this being as their antecedant. This primarily targets the Cosmological Argument, which makes an untenable assertion regarding ex nihilo. 

4. Infinity (the coherency or lack thereof of suggesting the actual infinite nature of this being while at the same time maintaining that it was an entity and being unto itself, with providence and control, hence ontologically discrete from other discrete beings such as the physical universe) (the conclusion which I still retain in this matter is that there is an internal contradiction between the two). In this regard, there needs to be a distinction between pantheism and panentheism, the latter being untenable as a position, since the theistic assertion entails an extrinsic being (which necessarily follows from the assertion that it created the universe).

5. Bare-order property (the question of what substance or property describes a discrete conscious being and agent if it is asserted that such a being has no physical body, and what bundles of properties constituted this being). I eventually resolved that no description was being given, and that the theistic assertion was not giving any ontological properties describing precisely of what this entity is comprised, hence the theistic school of thought is overly vague regarding the assertion that some "intelligent agent" exists, and this is not acceptable in proper philosophical discourse. During this process, I also argued for the philosophical school called reism, which I still hold to.

6. Universe of discourse (The necessity of descriptors of property of an ontology, ie, that the theistic assertion regarding "supernaturalism" was/is untenable because it is ruled from a universe of discouse, and is defined solely by virtue of negation to the physical. If I can prove this (and I did) it strengthens the idea of #5. My resolution is that I still hold to this today.

7. Causality (The coherency of arguing that God is an immutable, unchanging being with the suggestion that it is a conscious agent with a mind with thoughts that acts upon whims and has causal powers over the physical universe). I worked on this one for qa very long time. I eventually argued there was an internal contradiction present in the doctrine.

8. Termination (Self-refuting arguments that rely on special pleading fallacies to bolster the thesis that existence of God is valid by the assignation of ad hoc special characteristics that refute the premise of the argument that establishes them. The Cosmological Argument is especially guilty). My current stand on this is that there is an internal contradiction present in arguments that operate in a similar fashion.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
skeptnick wrote: I would

skeptnick wrote:
I would invite you to check out the website and consider picking up a copy of this book. It confronts, head on, many of modern peoples objections to belief in God such as:

- Why does God allow suffering in the world?

- How could a loving God send people to Hell?

- Why isn't Christianity more inclusive?

- How can one religion be "right" and others be "wrong"?

- Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God?

- You can't take the Bible literally.

- Science has Disproved Christianity.

 And many, many, many more objections.

I'm sure you, and the book's author, are sincere, but I have to ask what new ideas does this book bring to the table? These topics have been discussed over and over for hundreds of years with no clear resolution in favor of Christianity. What makes this book different from any other apologetics book?


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
delludedgod: great

delludedgod: great stuff.

Mr.Rage: exactly.

 

I find it also odd that he says he wrote the book for Xians who don't understand their Faith.

 

Wow. I know some Xians are arrogant, but here is one admitting that he is going to tell other Xians how they should view their beliefs.

 

The self-righteous presumptiveness aside, one has to wonder why someone would believe in something they don't understand?

 

It seems this is just another case of a guy willing to take advantage of the poor Xian sheep to make a buck.  The arguments are always the same but they just keep using different stories to explain them. Dressing a pig in Vera Wang, doesn't make a beautiful woman.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
These responses are fair, I

These responses are fair, I can understand why daedalus would anticipate that someone might want to "make a buck" and bring in more "sheep", but I have to say, speaking as a New Yorker, I have never seen a group of people in my life act towards me the same way Christians did when I first moved here.

One of the most convincing proofs to me that these people were not into converting me to Christianity to further their cause was specifically because they used their time, their money, their resources, their power to solidify my dreams and aspirations - before I ever believed a word of the Christian faith. Not only that, but it didn't stop when I eventually converted. The Christians that brought me to faith continually sacrificed everything they had for me and the people around me. Some of them refuse to live in places like Manhattan or nicer places in Brooklyn because they'd rather live somewhere less nice and safe and give away the extra money they'd spend on a nicer place to people like me. Furthermore, they weren't doing it out of fear. None of them ever said anything like, "I have to live poor or God will punish me. I have to give my stuff away so God will bless me!" Nope. It struck me as odd initially, but the response from virtually all of them was more along the lines of, "I'm loved by God, He offers that love freely and accepts me, today, blemish free, through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, I no longer need a nicer place to live, or a fancier set of dishes or whatever. My heart is full, I have everything I want - so what do you lack? And how can I use what I have to help you get it?" Or another way they would put it when I asked them, "How can you give your belongings away so easily? So carefree? It's almost as if you don't care if I ever pay you back! And yet you're one of the happiest people I know! Your content in almost every situation, regardless of the circumstance...wtf!?!" They would often respond, "I already have Christ, who cannot be taken away from me by anyone, and because this is a reality, and because Christ was God, and because I find myself complete in him alone, I no longer worry about giving this away or giving that away, it's all yours, take it my friend! My pleasure is not to take pleasure from someone else, but rather, to give it."

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there aren't Christians out there eager to convert you to help fill their pockets, I'm just saying, first hand, this man, Dr. Keller, and those that attend Redeemer and virtually every Christian I've met in New York City are not among them. You could accuse them of a whole host of things, for sure, but never of taking advantage of a "poor Xian sheep to make a buck", I'm sorry, I'm not attacking you, I'm just telling you first hand that when you experience first hand people giving away virtually everything they have to help you fulfill your dreams, you don't suspect them of trying to cow and dominate you.

Now onto the question of what is different about this apologetic book, and great question indeed! unfortunately, for my sake, it is very hard to articulate other than to say that every single atheist I know loves to listen to Dr. Keller talk. The man is incredibly polite and respectful, he doesn't shy around questions, he makes sure that he understands the questions and objections people have about God and Christianity, and he phrases he responses in a way that, so far as I can tell, everyone understands.

 Am I being to vague? I can never really tell - but I'll tell you what, to the first three people that responded to me, I will, personally, buy you each a copy of this book if you want, I'll mail it to a P.O. Box, or I can e-mail a gift certificate for the amount from a barnes and noble or something if that's cool.

I hope I haven't turned you off, and I understand if you say, ""Ya know what, it sounds good but no thanks." There are more than enough reasons to be skeptical of God, of Christianity, and esp. of the intentions of those who claim to believe in God. But, having said that - if you really are interested in throwing that all aside for the moment and just having a good time listening to perfectly sober answers you the main objections of Christianity, please, by all means, take me up on my offer!

Oh, and one more thing, someone mentioned "Thos topics have been touched on a million times, what's so different this time? They all sound the same to me..."  -  Honestly, pleeeeaase, just take this one more chance, please, I'm not an articulate person, and anything I try to say in terms of how this book and this guys Sermons (available for free on www.thereasonforgod.com) are different will not do it justice, but please don't let that stop you from not giving it at least one shot!

 Okay, that's it, I'm done - thanks for listening to my rant!

Sincerely,

 

- Skeptnick 


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
skeptnick wrote: ...this

skeptnick wrote:
...this isn't exactly a post for discussion...

Does the site look like a christian billboard advertisement to you? 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
Can you link to anything

Can you link to anything compelling this guy has written, without us having to purchase his book?

 Someone being nice to you is no reason to believe anything and you're certainly not giving us any substance to work with here. 


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
Third grade book report

Third grade book report post.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
  to the OP person, go to

  to the OP person, go to India and say hi to the loving Buddhists, they are atheists.

 


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
stuntgibbon - here you go,

stuntgibbon - here you go, this is a site someone has dedicated to Dr. Keller. A lot of what this guy has to say on this site has been aimed for already beliving Christians, BUT, there is a section if you scroll down just a little with the heading "The Trouble with Christianity: Why it's so Hard to Believe it" Below it there are links to a series of sermons he gave aimed specifically towards atheists and agnostics. They are each about 30-40mins long, and I know it's a real pain to be like, "I don't want to listen to sermons." But do me a favor? Just try one out? A lot of atheists end up, in the worst case senario, telling me that, while they do not believe what Dr. Keller puts forward can possibly be true, they admit that he does lay plausible groundwork for his beliefs. Here's the site:

http://www.stevekmccoy.com/reformissionary/2005/07/tim_keller_arti.html

 there is also this one which I think might be aimed more for Christians, but you can check it out if you want:

http://www.djchuang.com/keller/

 

And on one more note, I couldn't agree more with you. Plenty of people are nice, from all over the world. Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Shintos. So far as I know there's nothing in the Bible that would suggest otherwise, or say that only Christians were capable of kindness. I appreciate the compliment, and I understand that the mere act of being nice doesn't give anyone reason to believe anything, but perhaps this illustration can help?

If I have heard a really great song, or seen a really great movie, or gone to a museum and seen an awesome piece of artwork, the first thing I do is run out and tell a friend, "Ah man, you gotta hear this song! It's amazing!" or, "Dude, did you see that movie, holy crap - that part with the guns and explosions was ccrrraaazzzyyyy" In other words, when you find something really great - you want to share the experience.

Well as a former agnostic (more apathetic, actually) I found something really great. A church that doesn't talk down to me or other people who don't believe me. But, instead, gives my doubts the time and attention they deserve, and answers them in ways that don't send me flaming out of the room screaming, "You people are idiots, how can you believe such nonsense!?!?!?!?!"

 Let me know if there's anything else ya need. Sorry that some of you feel this is a "third grade report card", I've come to the realization that, as a Christian, you can't escape these types of assumptions by people, but it's cool - I understand why you think that, frankly, because it's true of so many people who go to church and call themselves Christians, so I don't really blame you. But I do hope you give those sites and that book a shot, they actually might give you some things to consider that you didn't before.

Sincerely,

- Nick 


daretoknow
Superfan
daretoknow's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-12-09
User is offlineOffline
Why have you ignored

Why have you ignored Deludedgod's post? It's pretty annoying when someone takes the time to write a well thought out and articulated post just to have it blown off.

Thats cute.


daretoknow
Superfan
daretoknow's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-12-09
User is offlineOffline
better yet, why don't you

better yet, why don't you forward DG's post to "Dr." keller and have him give us his sobering answers to these questions?

Thats cute.


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Am I being to vague?

Quote:
Am I being to vague? I can never really tell - but I'll tell you what, to the first three people that responded to me, I will, personally, buy you each a copy of this book if you want, I'll mail it to a P.O. Box, or I can e-mail a gift certificate for the amount from a barnes and noble or something if that's cool.

 

Is this a serious offer?  I suggest we all take him up on it. 

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
skeptnick

skeptnick wrote:

stuntgibbon - here you go, this is a site someone has dedicated to Dr. Keller. A lot of what this guy has to say on this site has been aimed for already beliving Christians, BUT, there is a section if you scroll down just a little with the heading "The Trouble with Christianity: Why it's so Hard to Believe it" Below it there are links to a series of sermons he gave aimed specifically towards atheists and agnostics. They are each about 30-40mins long, and I know it's a real pain to be like, "I don't want to listen to sermons." But do me a favor? Just try one out? A lot of atheists end up, in the worst case senario, telling me that, while they do not believe what Dr. Keller puts forward can possibly be true, they admit that he does lay plausible groundwork for his beliefs. Here's the site:

http://www.stevekmccoy.com/reformissionary/2005/07/tim_keller_arti.html

there is also this one which I think might be aimed more for Christians, but you can check it out if you want:

http://www.djchuang.com/keller/

 

And on one more note, I couldn't agree more with you. Plenty of people are nice, from all over the world. Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Shintos. So far as I know there's nothing in the Bible that would suggest otherwise, or say that only Christians were capable of kindness. I appreciate the compliment, and I understand that the mere act of being nice doesn't give anyone reason to believe anything, but perhaps this illustration can help?

If I have heard a really great song, or seen a really great movie, or gone to a museum and seen an awesome piece of artwork, the first thing I do is run out and tell a friend, "Ah man, you gotta hear this song! It's amazing!" or, "Dude, did you see that movie, holy crap - that part with the guns and explosions was ccrrraaazzzyyyy" In other words, when you find something really great - you want to share the experience.

Well as a former agnostic (more apathetic, actually) I found something really great. A church that doesn't talk down to me or other people who don't believe me. But, instead, gives my doubts the time and attention they deserve, and answers them in ways that don't send me flaming out of the room screaming, "You people are idiots, how can you believe such nonsense!?!?!?!?!"


 

I've gone through three stories, and don't think this guy's made any more progress (or sense) than anyone else. In each of them, so far, he assumes that god is already a given and writes about how to spruce up the message.

http://www.redeemer2.com/themovement/issues/2004/oct/deconstructing.html

http://docs.google.com/View?docID=dwh8457_4dq8mc5&revision=_latest

http://www.dbu.edu/jeanhumphreys/DeathDying/preachinghell.htm

I'm curious to learn, since you called yourself agnostic before, how any of this convinced you? Furthermore, could you share with me the reasons you were agnostic in the first place and how this sort of thing served as adequate response to those points?

 

skeptnick wrote:
but perhaps this illustration can help?

If I have heard a really great song, or seen a really great movie, or gone to a museum and seen an awesome piece of artwork, the first thing I do is run out and tell a friend, "Ah man, you gotta hear this song! It's amazing!" or, "Dude, did you see that movie, holy crap - that part with the guns and explosions was ccrrraaazzzyyyy" In other words, when you find something really great - you want to share the experience.

Well first, yes... it DID help a little, but not how you might have envisioned. All of the things you've mentioned are positive experiences related to forms of entertainment. To you, I suspect, it wouldn't matter if any part of what the church was saying was true as long as it makes you feel good. I feel great when I hear a song I like or see a thrilling film. By equating your christianity with this kind of experience is telling. And here, it seems that some combination of the nice pastor, the welcoming people, singing the songs, eating their cookies, etc. is giving you that pleasurable total experience. (which your brain is rewarding you with chemicals that make you feel good, possibly causing a partial addiction to this experience.)

Also, Next time you're at a museum, check out the fossils too!! Smiling

 


AmericanIdle
Posts: 414
Joined: 2007-03-16
User is offlineOffline
Quote:If I have heard a

Quote:

If I have heard a really great song, or seen a really great movie, or gone to a museum and seen an awesome piece of artwork, the first thing I do is run out and tell a friend, "Ah man, you gotta hear this song! It's amazing!" or, "Dude, did you see that movie, holy crap - that part with the guns and explosions was ccrrraaazzzyyyy" In other words, when you find something really great - you want to share the experience.

YOU GOT TO TELL SOMEBODYYYY !!  I know what you mean.. I had that feeling after Scott Stapp's solo CD.

But here's the thing, skeptnick !!  (Have you considered notsoskeptnick ?)

- If the ideology completely fails from a logical standpoint.

- If the ideology runs contrary to everything we can study about the world.

- If the sacred scriptures of said ideology can be shown to be inaccurate, contradictory and of mythical origin.

- If the sacred scriptures of said ideology are full of and has in the past (& now in the present are) been used to divide people, promote intolerance, hatred and horrible acts of violence...

It really doesn't matter how many flowery words or "new approaches" you give to this ideology now does it ?  If all the books, tapes, CD's, Accordion solos and gospel tracts are based on the same faulty premises, it still adds up to zero doesn't it ? 

Now I just read up on Keller.  You can read one of his lessons at the link. It's called "leading the secular to christ".

As I mentioned above, he begins w/ inaccuracies and a faulty premise and never relents.  He has absolutely nothing to say.  Who woulda thought ?

http://www.redeemer2.com/themovement/issues/2004/oct/deconstructing.html

 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
Whew, okay guys - so wow,

Whew, okay guys - so wow, thanks for all the feedback! I hope you can appreciate that I am a little overwhelmed, there's just so much to respond to a only a certain amount of time to do it! So here we go, as an overview:

 So #1 – Yes, daedalus, that was a serious offer, I’d be more than happy to buy you or the other two people who responded to my initial post a copy of Dr. Keller’s book. You’d just have to let me know how you’d want to go about making the exchange.

       #2 – To Daretoknow, I have no ignorerd Deludedgod’s post, sorry if I gave that impression, I should have mentioned earlier that I am working through each point he has made on that list in a word document here at home so I can better articulate my responses to his questions by giving myself the time those questions deserve. In all honesty, Deludedgod’s post, as you can see for yourself, was extremely dense and well thought out, and requires a bit of time to unpack, dissect and respond to, I would only hope that you have a little patience with me in the processJ To answer your next question, I would love to forward his post to Dr. Keller (by the way, I only say “Dr.” as a sign of respect because I’ve never met the man and were not on a first name basis. Redeemer is a big church of almost 6,000 regular attendees (mostly agnostic) and Dr. Keller’s time is, for this reason, in high demand))

       #3 – Stuntgibbon, thanks man! Honestly, whether or not you think Dr. Keller is right or no on the assertions he is making, it’s good to find someone who actually took the time to follow up and make sure they knew why they disagreed with a Christian, rather than just blowing them off! To answer your question, I use the term “agnostic” to describe this, I was raised in a Methodist church, never became a member, didn’t really care who the people were, didn’t know anything about God or Jesus, and honestly, I didn’t really think anything about them was relevant. It’s not that I didn’t care about them, it was just that, in my opinion at the time, if it worked for you, great! If you weren’t into it, great! I wasn’t really all that excited, I admit, when my friends invited me to a church here in New York my freshman year at college, but there was nothing else to do and I didn’t want to hang out in the city by myself, you know? How this stuff served as an adequate response to my initially…apathy? That’s a great point – it wasn’t one specific thing, and it wasn’t one slamdunk argument, though there were those. It was a slow series of questions I was posed, a slow series of questions I posed Christians, small debate, little tidbits, stuff like that. Oh, wait, I’ve suddenly realized I’m not directly answer the question, I’ve been giving you white-noise. Ah, okay, well there was this, for example: One question that was posed was, “How could the early Christian church have arisen in a culture of Jewish people living in 1st Century Palestine, keeping in mind that this was a culture that had the commandment “Worship no Gods before me” beaten into them for 2,000 years. How do people like this, suddenly, and without explaination, begin to worship a peasant as if he were God?” Now look, automatically by saying that I’ve opened a can of worms that has been debated through the centuries, and even though I’ve had 4 1/2 of studying this concept and the history that surrounds it, I’m in no way an expert. The only point I’m making here is providing a small example of one of the many many arguments that eventually convinced me that events like the resurrection were not a hoax, were not legends, but rather, were true. And as truth, gave weight and credit to the Christian world-view and the correct one. Please, please, please – I’ve heard many valid arguments attacking this claim, and I’m not opposed to them, I didn’t bring it up to spark a debate, but rather, simply to answer your question. If you’re more interested in this subject, we can start another message board with that as the topic.

       #4 – AmericanIdle – Skeptnick was a name that was directly related to my first post here on these boards, entitled “Skeptical of my Skepticism” Haha, I like your suggestion though, and it is probably more accurate if what you mean to say is that I am not as skeptical about God as my name implies, but that would be because it was assumed I was referring to being skeptical of God in the first place. Now onto your point for point:

       If the ideology fails completely from a logical standpoint, I would agree – don’t believe it. Who’s logical standpoint are we using to asses whether it passes or fails? One of the most startling things I found during my conversion to Christianity was that the Bible did not actually teach or say what I had assumed it did. For that reason, I’ve actually come to learn that what I initially thought were utter contradictions were actually deeper consistencies than I first realized.

       If the ideology runs contradictory to everything we can study about the world,I would say this is good reason to start being skeptical, however, what if it’s not the ideology that is mistaken, but rather, our interpretation of it? What if a deeper and truer understanding of it actually revealed its consistency with everything we can study about the world?

       If the sacred scriptures of said ideology can be shown to be inaccurate, contradictory and of mythical origin, I would say sure – absolutely, if it’s proven 100% that yes all of this is true, then there is no reason to take said ideology seriously, but this point carries with it an underlying assumption, namely, that the tools and processes we use at this pint and time can and do show the inaccuracy, contradictory and mythology of the sacred texts. Now if we’re using our current tools and processes to judge that this is true, what tool or process are we using to judge that our tools and processes are giving us an “accurate reading”?

 

       More to say, but I don’t want to loose track of the initial subject of this post, which was to provide for you a book and series of talks, sermons and lectures that might possibly help to answer some of your questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

       - Skeptnick


triften
Silver Member
triften's picture
Posts: 591
Joined: 2007-01-01
User is offlineOffline
Sorry to give a blip of a

Sorry to give a blip of a response to your compositions, but... 

Can't the "misinterpretation" argument be applied to any claim? If so, something that can prove anything can prove nothing.

-Triften 


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote: #2 – To

Quote:

#2 – To Daretoknow, I have no ignorerd Deludedgod’s post, sorry if I gave that impression, I should have mentioned earlier that I am working through each point he has made on that list in a word document here at home so I can better articulate my responses to his questions by giving myself the time those questions deserve. In all honesty, Deludedgod’s post, as you can see for yourself, was extremely dense and well thought out, and requires a bit of time to unpack, dissect and respond to, I would only hope that you have a little patience with me in the processJ To answer your next question, I would love to forward his post to Dr. Keller (by the way, I only say “Dr.” as a sign of respect because I’ve never met the man and were not on a first name basis. Redeemer is a big church of almost 6,000 regular attendees (mostly agnostic) and Dr. Keller’s time is, for this reason, in high demand))

Huh?

My post did not even constitute a set of arguments! It merely represents a set of current philosophical positions I hold to an an extremely summarized format. I don't understand precisely what you are going to "unpack", since I haven't actually argued for any of those points within that summary. The summary is just a summary, not an argument. As for the thesis that supports those points, I'm not finished. But its at 100 pages and counting.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
Does any one else get the

Does any one else get the impression that it is, in fact, Dr. Keller, or one of the people involved in the sale of his book, that is posting? That we are part of a little viral marketing?

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


Rev_Devilin
Rev_Devilin's picture
Posts: 485
Joined: 2007-05-16
User is offlineOffline
daedalus wrote:

daedalus wrote:
Does any one else get the impression that it is, in fact, Dr. Keller, or one of the people involved in the sale of his book, that is posting? That we are part of a little viral marketing?

Ohooooooooyes

Yet another life-changing book unlike all the thousands of life-changing books before it that claimed to be the real deal but weren't, this one is the real deal honest Indian trust me (cough) buy it today,

Although of course if it was the real deal, it would be a available for free online, ie a free ebook

Is it ?

let me guess

No

Then I can only surmise this is another snake oil salesman

 


daretoknow
Superfan
daretoknow's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: 2007-12-09
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

#2 – To Daretoknow, I have no ignorerd Deludedgod’s post, sorry if I gave that impression, I should have mentioned earlier that I am working through each point he has made on that list in a word document here at home so I can better articulate my responses to his questions by giving myself the time those questions deserve. In all honesty, Deludedgod’s post, as you can see for yourself, was extremely dense and well thought out, and requires a bit of time to unpack, dissect and respond to, I would only hope that you have a little patience with me in the processJ To answer your next question, I would love to forward his post to Dr. Keller (by the way, I only say “Dr.” as a sign of respect because I’ve never met the man and were not on a first name basis. Redeemer is a big church of almost 6,000 regular attendees (mostly agnostic) and Dr. Keller’s time is, for this reason, in high demand))

Huh?

My post did not even constitute a set of arguments! It merely represents a set of current philosophical positions I hold to an an extremely summarized format. I don't understand precisely what you are going to "unpack", since I haven't actually argued for any of those points within that summary. The summary is just a summary, not an argument. As for the thesis that supports those points, I'm not finished. But its at 100 pages and counting.

 

Lol, you put your tag to shame. Words cannot express how much you overdo it. I must say I look forward to the thesis, although you write more than I can read. 

Thats cute.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
      and so few

    Cry  and so few understood Jesus/Buddha Cry

Understanding takes caring and devotion ....

Scratch on wood ? Okay , did that , now what?

SHIT, I can't get enough of DG word assembly ..... 


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
Daedalus - wow, seriously

Daedalus - wow, seriously man. I don't get it. Where's the love, bro? I'm not the author of the book, nor am I in any way a part of it's sales or marketing. I'm a 22-year-old kid from New York who happened to be converted to Christianity through rational thought, and arguments based on reason. Now, as a 22-year-old who's converted to Christianity over 4 1/2 years, I'm in no shape to start teaching the arguments for God any more than someone studying medicine for that long is ready to become a doctor - I've still got a ways to go, man.

Hahah - what else do you need? Seriously? I'm not kidding - that was a legidimate question. Atheists ask for rational debate, I'm here offering you access to a man who does that for a living. People accuse me of trying to sheep-herd  them into my religion for money, so I offer them a free copy of the book at my expense. You accuse me of being either the author or someone involved in a viral marketing scheme? Come on, dude! What options are you giving me? Is it really that hard to believe that I'm honestly just looking to find some common ground - which is the thing atheists have been claiming they want? Here's your chance man!

In all honesty, it doesn't affect me a bit whether or not you think that I somehow stand to profit from the sales of this book. But if that's what you think, it proves you've been missing the point all along. The aim of this board was not to sell books, it was to present to atheists the very thing they've been claiming they want - rational debate. I'm not learned enough to do it on every subject, but I can do my part by pointing you to people who are. I can point you to people who, after reading and scrolling through countless posts on these forums, have the answers to questions so many people are asking.

Take the opportunity or don't, man - but there's nothing else I can do for you on this end, is there? I mean, if there is, let me know.

Sincerely,

- Skeptnick 


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
  

  


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
skeptnick wrote:

skeptnick wrote:

Daedalus - wow, seriously man. I don't get it. Where's the love, bro? I'm not the author of the book, nor am I in any way a part of it's sales or marketing. I'm a 22-year-old kid from New York who happened to be converted to Christianity through rational thought, and arguments based on reason. Now, as a 22-year-old who's converted to Christianity over 4 1/2 years, I'm in no shape to start teaching the arguments for God any more than someone studying medicine for that long is ready to become a doctor - I've still got a ways to go, man.

Hahah - what else do you need? Seriously? I'm not kidding - that was a legidimate question. Atheists ask for rational debate, I'm here offering you access to a man who does that for a living. People accuse me of trying to sheep-herd them into my religion for money, so I offer them a free copy of the book at my expense. You accuse me of being either the author or someone involved in a viral marketing scheme? Come on, dude! What options are you giving me? Is it really that hard to believe that I'm honestly just looking to find some common ground - which is the thing atheists have been claiming they want? Here's your chance man!

In all honesty, it doesn't affect me a bit whether or not you think that I somehow stand to profit from the sales of this book. But if that's what you think, it proves you've been missing the point all along. The aim of this board was not to sell books, it was to present to atheists the very thing they've been claiming they want - rational debate. I'm not learned enough to do it on every subject, but I can do my part by pointing you to people who are. I can point you to people who, after reading and scrolling through countless posts on these forums, have the answers to questions so many people are asking.

Take the opportunity or don't, man - but there's nothing else I can do for you on this end, is there? I mean, if there is, let me know.

Sincerely,

- Skeptnick

I'm in NYC, maybe we can meet.

The problem is, if you aren't familiar with all the arguments, then a lot of this McDowell/Strobell/Lewis kind of stuff can seem reasonable, but there have really not been any new arguments in years, and they have all been countered. Whether one accepts the counter-arguments seems to be where the Faith issue is raised, since no one obviously knows the truth.

 

Having been a Xian (and stopped at about your age now) I see the other side of what you are going through. It seems wonderful to think you have rationally come to a conclusion about a matter of Faith, but you are really simply excited that you may actually have found the key to immortality and God's Love and all that. It's not that you have used reason, or have come to a true conclusion, you have just come to one that you prefer. Its an emotional response.

And before you ask me how I would know, let me say that it is ALWAYS the case. There is nothing rational in religions. They ask you to accept irrational premises in order to "feel the love". Then, they make you feel good about being irrational and distrusting rational people. Especially the Bible, Koran and BoM.

 

If you are in NYC, lets meet for a coffee. And bring the book. We can discuss parts of it and I might not even ask for the copy.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13594
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
To the OP, There is nothing

To the OP,

There is nothing arrogent about saying, "No, you got that wrong". Just like when you tell a kid, "I'm sorry, but the answer to that math problem is 4, not 3".

Apologetics, btw, is not exclusive to Christianity. I've run into muslims attempting to explain the same things expressed in your OP in an attempt to gain favor to the position that Allah exists.

You are not bringing anything to the table that is new or remotely decisive. You have merely baught into an old add campain and in turn have become a salesman of that same product.

Here is what you dont have. You dont have any demonstrable way of showing me HOW, not who, but how a disimbodied being gets a girl pregnant other than the claim "God did it". You aso have no way of demonstrating HOW, not who, but how a dead body survives rigor mortis after 3 days other than the claim, "God did it".

The problem with "God did it" is simple.

"God did it"

"Allah did it"

"Yahwey did it"

"Vishnu did it"

"Thor did it"

"Isis did it"

Can you see the pattern? Making a cliam is merely making a claim and has no validity untill it is backed up by evidence. Backing up a claim like |"God did it" with "God can do what he wants" is not evidence, but backing up a claim with a claim.

So my concern is not your claim. But HOW you or "it" can demonstrate in a clear way HOW it does what it does.

You rightfully reject the claim Thor makes lighting" because humans now know that the cause is not a magical being, but positive and negitive charges in the atmosphere. I hope you can eventally see how important it is to YOU, to aim that same critical thought that you use to reject Thor, to your own deity claims as well. I think once you do that, if you are intellectually brave enough to do that, you will eventually see that we are not arrogent, but merely right.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Rev_Devilin
Rev_Devilin's picture
Posts: 485
Joined: 2007-05-16
User is offlineOffline
Hi skeptnick, ? why is

Hi skeptnick,


? why is this book not a free online ebook 


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
There's tons of money to be

There's tons of money to be made selling stuff to christians, just look at the Living Waters clowns.


Rev_Devilin
Rev_Devilin's picture
Posts: 485
Joined: 2007-05-16
User is offlineOffline
skeptnick wrote:

skeptnick wrote:

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there aren't Christians out there eager to convert you to help fill their pockets, I'm just saying, first hand, this man, Dr. Keller, and those that attend Redeemer and virtually every Christian I've met in New York City are not among them. You could accuse them of a whole host of things, for sure, but never of taking advantage of a "poor Xian sheep to make a buck", I'm sorry, I'm not attacking you, I'm just telling you first hand that when you experience first hand people giving away virtually everything they have to help you fulfill your dreams, you don't suspect them of trying to cow and dominate you.

? no reply skeptnick, hardly surprising when I asked ? why isn't this book a free online e-book, you wouldn't be in a position to answer this question without contradicting your-self from your earlier posts, one can surmise that this is an attempt to fleece those poor Xian sheep for everything they have ? are you sure you're not a salesman


metaloz
Posts: 24
Joined: 2007-05-30
User is offlineOffline
Hi skeptnick I dont know

Hi skeptnick I dont know much about the Christian faith so have listened to a couple of those mp3s and found them  very interesting and thought provoking.

Will give the others a listen also when I get time.


Rev_Devilin
Rev_Devilin's picture
Posts: 485
Joined: 2007-05-16
User is offlineOffline
metaloz wrote:Hi skeptnick I

metaloz wrote:

Hi skeptnick I dont know much about the Christian faith so have listened to a couple of those mp3s and found them very interesting and thought provoking.

Will give the others a listen also when I get time.

The mp3's

Doubt_What_should_I_do_AM,

A very long and drawn out, doubt should be met with Pascal's wager, that's new,...........  not

Exclusivity_How_can_there_be

The Bible says, and then a chapter and verse, blar blar blar, Jesus is god blar blar blar, Nothing new

Wow this is a new spin on the same old tied arguments, buy the book today I'm convinced........ not


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
   From the OP,

   From the OP, "Christians to put up or shut up" 

They can't hear me or see me, they are blind and deaf, but they do yell HELL ..... sorry I AM only GOD


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
Why isn't this a free online eBook?

 Someone asked why this wasn't a free online eBook. Hah, I guess the most obvious answer would be, because religious people need to eat too! Will there be any other brain stumpers? Seriously, that one took time.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
   AMAZING it IS 

   AMAZING it IS  ......  hey, let's invent religion 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
skeptnick wrote: Atheists

skeptnick wrote:
 Atheists ask for rational debate, I'm here offering you access to a man who does that for a living.

He sure does do it for a living. Also, his main messages on the site (for doubters) are:

1) All problems and doubts with Christianity are based on contrasting beliefs, so doubters really need to apply the same critical eye to their beliefs.

Um, like critical analyisis and empirical evidence? Check. That was tough. What about Christianity? Still the same? Yeah.

2) When you look at the positive aspects of Christianity, it makes more sense of the life we see around us than anything else.

Could I learn special OR general relativity from the bible? What about any of the medical advances, like germ theory and antibiotics? No? Wow, lots of things making more sense than Christianity so far. Did Jesus come up with quantum physics? No? Huh.

 

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


skeptnick
Theist
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
 Hey HisWillness,I'm not

 Hey HisWillness,

I'm not entirely sure what your point was - your last paragraph there, that was more of a sneer than an argument.

Let's apply your logic to the vast array of books that do not touch on special OR general relativity, medical advances, germ theory and antibiotics. Let's apply that logic to books from which (by their content) we do not learn anything about those things you've listed. (I think by this time you see where we're going) The question, then, is simple - Are there books that do not touch on special or general relativity, but whose content is no less true because of this?

Your last paragraph illustrates a simple presupposition that perhaps is so obvious it's flown under the radar. "If there were a God who communicated to us through inspired text, that text would include content from which we would derive special or general relativity, medical advances, germ theory and antibiotics. Since we do not learn special or general relativity, medical advances, germ theory and antibiotics from the Bible, it cannot be the inspired text of a living God, and suggests that, in fact, God probably does not exist." But then, there is another, probably more obvious (and therefore more hidden) presupposition in that series of logic - namely, that my individual reading of the text (of the Bible) is completely accurate. There are a number of people who would, respectfully, disagree that the Bible has taught nothing on the subject of germ theory and medical advances to the human race.

Your last question is actually the easiest to answer. "Did Jesus come up with quantum physics?" I suppose that would depend on who Jesus is, is he the unique Son of God, "Through whom all things were made," as the beginning of the Gospel of John posits? If so, then actually, the answer to your question is riveting - Yes, Jesus did come up with quantum physics (provided that what we perceive to be 'quantum physics' is in fact that actual thing itself in reality)! However, if Jesus was simply a man, or, as some people suggest, a completely fictional character, then the answer is - No, Jesus did not come up with quantum physics.

One thing we do agree on, though - the person Jesus Christ forces you into an all or nothing position. Either he is the inventor and author of quantum physics, or he is not - there's no grey area.

I'm glad we could agree on that, at leastSmiling

Sincerely,

    - Skeptnick