A fan of Plantinga has some thoughts/questions about RRS
> Joel sent a message using the contact form at
> The first of this is what I posted on my blog, the end is where my
> questions to you come in. Thanks.
> I recently heard of the rational response squad (RRS) and their blasphemy
> challenge from a friend and decided to look into it. Frankly, I don't care
> much about the whole thing. It is the same debate that has been going on
> for centuries and will continue to go on for centuries. There will always
> be people who believe in God and people who don't.
Do you believe that based on faith? What sort of proof do you have to show that over the next several hundred thousand years we wont all be atheists or even vice versa we wont all be theists? You don't care much about the "debate" about God? Do you recognize at least that someone is either right or wrong? Do you care if you are wrong? I'd love for real answers to these questions as opposed to the usual dodging that we get around here.
> It seems as though many of the arguments (on both sides) are being made
> from empirical data and scientific 'proofs'. However, as far as I
> understand my faith, the presuppositions of Christianity are not
> scientifically or empirically based. Rather, they are faith-based or
I agree, claims of Christianity are faith based.
> Moreover, I don't put much stock in science or many of its presuppositions
> anyway. Things like: the world is orderly, this order can be discovered and
> tested, my senses are reliable, etc., etc. So, to test our arguments
> against the modern canon of science is itself a flaw. (I also have a whole
> post on science to further clarify if need be)
You don't put much stock in science? Do you realize the machine you just corresponded on with me is a result of scientific advancement? The ability to send the message is a result of science? Your ability to post to a blog is the result of science? I wonder, do you go about the rest of your daily life doing all sorts of things that you don't put "much stock in?" If you don't put much stock in science, why trust it at all? Do you turn on the light switch and each time wonder if the light will actually turn on?
> The RRS have a good mode of operation by putting the burden of 'proof' on
> Christians so that they have to come up with an irrefutable case for
> theism. Whether or not such a case exists is the topic of another blog. I
> would submit, though, that even if such a case does/did exist, guys like
> the RRS would not be dissuaded of their current position. Why? Because
> information alone does not cause action or decision, emotion does. (before
> someone starts debating this, it is pretty much the consensus of all
> philosophers, since David Hume first argued for it).
So would you argue that your religious belief is not one based on information but one based on emotion? I disagree with your statement, but I'm curious if you believe it as well.
> Apparently, though, it is more about Christianity than theism. The
> blasphemy challenge is directly associated with belief in Christ, which
> itself shows that there is some sort of emotionally charged bias to attack
> Christianity and not solely theism. This rational response, then, seems
> more closely associated with emotion than with rationality.
It is more about Christianity than other religions simply because Christianity is the most dominant in the English speaking world, the only language we speak fluently. It's not about emotion, it's about what we are familiar with and what our audience is familiar with. Furthermore it has been three months since I received an email from anyone of any other major religious belief (including Islam), the obverse however is that we receive thousands of hits and dozens of emails from Christians everyday. It simply makes very little sense for us to address people who aren't even listening to us. On the show we consistently have stated that we are against all forms of theism, in fact the mantra of the site is one against theism, not any specific sect or version of it (that should tell you something).
> Do I think that Christianity is rational? Absolutely. People like Alvin
> Plantinga have continually demonstrated that belief in God is rational
> (or, at least, that it is not irrational). My concern is for those who
> hold more firmly to atheism because of bad arguments (like one from
> science) or because of the lack of some magical proof that provides a kind
> of Cartesian certainty.
Would you like to come on our radio show and show us how Christianity can be rational? We're all ears.
> The bottom line is that when the atheist has the burden of proof placed
> upon him, he can't come up with any more of a scientific or rationally
> justifiable reason to abandon the faith than the Christian can to prove
> the certainty of God. It is about faith.
Burden of proof of what?
> My questions:
> 1.Other than an emotional testimony or scientific 'fact' what causes
> Christian belief to be Irrational (since you are rational, not scientific
> or emotional, responders)?
Well at it's core, Christianity is an irrational belief because it's not one that has ever been logically defended. However we're willing to change everything we do if someone can prove us wrong. We did a show about this, you're welcome to download it for free:
> 2.Why do you continue to promote richard dawkins book, the God Delusion,
> when Alvin Plantinga has already completely destroyed it? To see his book
> review of the G.D. Look here:
I read it, and wasn't compelled to believe that Plantinga "completely destroyed" it as you have, that's why. The continuous ad hominem attacks from a Philosopher also left a bad taste in my mouth as he claimed Dawkins was sophomoric, he showed his hypocrisy. (and likely his emotion as you pointed out in a previous comment)
> 3.Have any of the rational responders ever read Alvin Plantinga's
> 'Warranted Christian Belief'?
I personally have not, but I believe (without asking them again) that both Kelly and Todangst have read it.
> Best wishes,
Same to you.