Highlights from Christian vs. Atheist Debate

doctoro
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Highlights from Christian vs. Atheist Debate

Atheist in Wonderland offered this link:

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2004/10/jason-gastrich-vs-dan-barker.php

Gastritch is a Christian.
Barker is a former Christian minister who is now an atheist.

This discussion is fascinating. I highly recommend it.

And I wanted to give a couple of highlights.

1. Possibly the funniest part of the debate. Jason Gastrich discusses the fact that he believes in the historicity of the BIble based on biblical prophecy. Barker then discusses how all the supposed prophecies are vague and not really worthy of the label as "prophecy". If the prophecies were real, it would say something like "Israel will return in 1948 after World War II," not something vague without dates or historical events. He then illustrates the idiocy of attributing prophecy to the Bible: "Suppose I say, 'One day, the United States will have trouble with its enemies.' Is that a valid prophecy?"

2. If God knows the future and has a divine plan, he is mechanical and deterministic, like a robot or a computer. God could not be a sentient being in any possible way similar to humans. Such a being is not "personal" nor is it admirable and worthy of our respect as "all-loving".

3. Science need not be "directly" observed, for we have indirect evidence of historical human events, earth events, and events in the universe.

4. At one point in the debate, Gastritch claims that he speaks to God. God tells him answers to questions he asks when he prays. Barker then asks, "How does God sound, is he baritone, soprano, what's his voice like?"

Barker's main argument is this: Gastritch would claim that Muslims, Hindus, etc. are NOT hearing God when THEY claim to hear God. How does Gastritch know that the God he thinks he is speaking to is the true God or that he is even speaking to anything other than himself?

(I've met MANY Christians who claim they speak to God one on one, mano y mano.)


American Atheist
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doctoro wrote: (I've met

doctoro wrote:
(I've met MANY Christians who claim they speak to God one on one, mano y mano.)

 

Yeah, they need help.


AModestProposal
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An even briefer

An even briefer summary:

 

"You're going to hell because Jesus loves you."

"There is no Jesus and there is no hell." 

"You're going to hell because Jesus loves you."

"There is no Jesus and there is no hell." 

"You're going to hell because Jesus loves you."

"There is no Jesus and there is no hell." 

 

 

 


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Dan Barker is great. For

Dan Barker is great. For those who don't know, he is copresident along with his Wife of the Freedom From Religion Foundation ( http://www.ffrf.org ) and author of Losing Faith in Faith and Just Pretend (a freethought book for children.)

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Doctoro  That is true that

Doctoro 

That is true that there are some Christians who give a bad name to Christians in general, but I feel that atheists love to exploit them. When you say claim to speak to God, do you mean he answers literally, as in talking, or through the Holy Spirit?

Thanks. I really want to know what you think about it. Please email me.


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christian

 You are all using ad hominem attacks. (An attack on the person) You need to take into account logic and debate this like educated human beings. I want you to define truth for me. If you dare to say "Truth is what is right" then that just tells me that you believe there is a right and a wrong, an absolute standard. Somebody, or something has to set that standard. It can't be the universe, because it isn't alive. Then who else is there? Surely you are not the absolute standard of the universe. And if you say there is no absolute standard (no right and wrong) then doesn't that imply that it is okay to murder? Just something to dwell on.


butterbattle
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Hi, welcome to the

Hi, welcome to the forum.

christian boy wrote:
I want you to define truth for me.

Conformity to reality.

christian boy wrote:
If you dare to say "Truth is what is right" then that just tells me that you believe there is a right and a wrong, an absolute standard.

I think you are equivocating. There is no objective standard for morally right or wrong because those are preferences. However, we can refer to reality to determine whether truth claims are "right" or "wrong" in the sense of whether or not they match reality.

christian boy wrote:
Somebody, or something has to set that standard. It can't be the universe, because it isn't alive.

The universe sets the standard for what is real. It doesn't have to be alive.

christian boy wrote:
And if you say there is no absolute standard (no right and wrong) then doesn't that imply that it is okay to murder? Just something to dwell on.

You can't say anything, objectively, about the "oughtness" of murder, so it is "okay" in that sense. 

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


BobSpence
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"Right" and "wrong" can only

"Right" and "wrong" can only apply in the context of a particular group of interacting individuals.

Is it 'wrong' that the common behaviour of a female praying mantis is to eat the male after fertilization?

Another entity cannot define morality for a different species or culture.

Morality is determined by consensus on, firstly, what actions we would not want inflicted on us, and secondly, what failures to act would lead to significant harm to another, such as passing by someone who has just been assaulted or is otherwise in imminent need of assistance. Beyond such things, it gets more fuzzy.

Lack of absolutes does not imply there is no basis at all for judging an issue.

The Bible is an extremely poor moral guide - women are property, of either their husband or their father, servants are property, ie, owning another person is ok.

And Big Daddy is ok with massive collateral damage in punishing mankind for what are often victimless 'crimes', such as not 'worshipping' him. And rape and torture are not worth mentioning in his core commandments, whereas worshipping some other figure is?

The question should be, how can you call yourself moral while worshipping such an evil monster??

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


redneF
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christian boy wrote: You are

christian boy wrote:
You are all using ad hominem attacks. (An attack on the person)

You need to grab a clue.

Religions are gold medal winners in circumstantial ad hominem attacks on the ideas and actions of individuals who are simply 'different' minded.

So, STFU.

christian boy wrote:
You need to take into account logic and debate this like educated human beings.

There's nothing logical (or sane, for that matter) about attempting to define a being, into reality, and actuality, when you're just making assumptions that can never have better than 50/50 odds of being correct/incorrect, which is what religions do about how the universe was formed.

So, again, STFU.

christian boy wrote:
I want you to define truth for me.

Truth is reality, and actuality.

christian boy wrote:
If you dare to say "Truth is what is right"

'Right' is a 'quality' (in the context that you're using), which is entirely subjective.

christian boy wrote:
... then that just tells me that you believe there is a right and a wrong, an absolute standard.

No.

Determinations vary under the given circumstances.

christian boy wrote:
Somebody, or something has to set that standard.

We have those. There are standards that are set, and altered, and amended to that have evolved over time.

christian boy wrote:
It can't be the universe, because it isn't alive.

That's just stupid. The universe isn't a tribunal.

christian boy wrote:
Then who else is there?

Man.

christian boy wrote:
Surely you are not the absolute standard of the universe.

I don't know where you get the notion that there ever could be a universal standard of subjectivity, and what purpose would it serve?

People die all the time.

When someone dies, not eveyone is going to feel the same way about it, so there's no absolute way to feel about it.

christian boy wrote:
And if you say there is no absolute standard (no right and wrong) then doesn't that imply that it is okay to murder?

Yes.

But people aren't inclined to murder, so I don't know what your point is, unless it's simply to voice your paranoid delusions.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


Sapient
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christian boy wrote: If you

christian boy wrote:

 If you dare to say "Truth is what is right" then that just tells me that you believe there is a right and a wrong, an absolute standard.

 

And if you say there is no absolute standard (no right and wrong) then doesn't that imply that it is okay to murder? Just something to dwell on.

 

These statements make me think that if you didn't have a bible you would think murder is right.  Such statements make me view you as either an evil person, a moronic person, or a liar.   Considering you are interested in the truth we can hope you aren't a liar and therefore might just be moronic or evil.

I don't need a book of lies to teach me that murder is wrong, especially one in which the main God character murders everyone on Earth except for one family.

 

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ProzacDeathWish
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Sapient wrote: I don't need

Sapient wrote:

 

 

I don't need a book of lies to teach me that murder is wrong, especially one in which the main God character murders everyone on Earth except for one family.

 

    Well said, Brian.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.