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Richard Dawkins Open to Intelligent Design ::: The God Debates

You should go out and buy “Expelled” on DVD for a nice Christmas present.

If you want to know why even Dawkins can’t keep from postulating intelligence, start listening to Michael Behe.

Or just watch this.

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Shortcut to Converting Atheists to Theism

Vjack at Atheist Revolution gives theists a way to convert atheists to belief in God in his post, How to Make Atheists Believe in God.  Amusing piece worthy of our attention.  Here is an excerpt.  

Let me say at the outset that this is not a challenge, a demand for evidence, a call for miracles, or anything of the sort. I pose no grand test for believers to meet, nor do I intend this as a trap for the dimwitted. There is a very simple way that atheists can be persuaded to believe in god, and I will reveal it in this post. If those who call themselves religious ever want to defeat the big bad atheism once and for all, this is how to do it. Just realize that it will come at a bit of a price.

To persuade an atheist to believe in god, all one has to do is define “god” so broadly that it cannot possibly be doubted. …

The religious could claim every prominent scientist as one of their own if they would merely expand their definition of god and jettison that little matter of the supernatural.

_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_—–____——-__–__-_-_ HT: The Atheist Revolution

@@ Is Evangelicalism Exclusively Exclusive? @@

Here’s a video I found on a link from Mike Fox’s blog. Mike believes this video is part of the evidence that President Bush should not be considered an evangelical, and most consider it proof that he is a universalist. I’m not sure about either one of these claims.

Are inclusivists not evangelical? Most arminians I’ve met are inclusive in some way because they believe that people who have never heard of Christ will be judged according to how they responded to the revelation they did have exposure to.  Other evangelicals are even more inclusive and for different reasons.  So … as far as I can tell, evangelicalism is not exclusively exclusive.  

Is George Bush a Universalist?  Do people who believe Muslims and Jews are going to heaven automatically fit the definition of universalism? I thought universalism was when you believed that all people of all religions (not just Christians, Muslims, and Jews) are going to heaven, and even all non-religious people. Universalism by definition is the belief that all people will ultimately be saved.

Anyway … here’s the clip.

__-__–_-__G O D is D E A D

“God is dead.” -Nietzsche

[ … a hundred years later …]

“Nietzsche is dead.” -God

 

———*———*————-*—————Vivere Christus est, et mori lucrum!

Richard Dawkins FAIL ::: The God Debates

Pay particular attention to the question, and how it’s never answered.  Is he saying that modern animals are no longer evolving?  

::: Proposition 8 = Bigotry & Hate ::: Artistic Rhetoric

If you’ve already seen this video, skip to my brief comments below.  Otherwise, watch the video first, then read my comments.  

Notice this: The substance of the argument featured in this genius media could also be used as a grounds to justify the kind of “love,” that expresses itself through what we normally call statutory rape and child molestation rather than “love.” The Bible condemns it, but then again, the Bible condemns a lot things. Since people pick and choose, choose “love” over hate. Plenty of 50 year old men “love” children under the age of 15, but we usually incriminate them as if it deserved to punished.

Because of my belief in the ultimate authority of scripture and my understanding of basic rules of hermeneutics, I cannot agree with condoning homosexuality (although excluding marriage rights, I would advocate for certain other gay rights).  

However, the rhetoric on this video is impressive.  In spite of the fact that it confuses several issues, caricatures Christians, and indicates an inexcusable unfamiliarity with biblical hermeneutics, its persuasive effect is likely powerful for those who share the common ground of ignorance about Christian beliefs, attitudes, and reasonable hermeneutics, and who wish the Bible would just mind its own business and butt out of the discussion.     

… — … –… –… … … … — … –HT: Vitamin Z

“Don’t Push Your Morality Off On Me” ::: Religious Intolerance

Passionate adherents of the world’s major religions tend to be branded as intolerant on ethical issues; as if they were the only ones “pushing” our morality off on other people.  The below conversation demonstrates that people who makes such accusations against religious people are liable for recrimination.  The excerpt comes from Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998), 148-49.  

Bill was a friendly, tolerant sort, willing to talk with me about Christianity until the question of homosexuality came up.  My apparent lack of tolerance made him uncomfortable, and he said so.  “That’s what bugs me about Christians,” he said.  “You seem nice at first, but then you start getting judgmental.”  

“What’s wrong with that?” I said.  It was a leading question.  

“It’s not right to judge other people.”  

“If it’s wrong to judge people, Bill, then why are you judging me?”  This question stopped him in his tracks.  He’d been impaled on his own principle, and he knew it.  

“You’re right,” he admitted.  “I was judging you.  Kind of hard to avoid it.”  He paused a moment, scratched his head, and regrouped.  “How about this?  It’s okay to judge people, as long as you don’t force your morality on them,” he said, thinking he was on safer ground.  “That’s when you cross the line.”  

“Okay, Bill, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”  

“Is that your morality?”  

“Yes.”  

“Then why are you pushing your morality on me?”  Bill was getting stuck on Plantinga’s tar baby.  He tried a couple more false starts but couldn’t extract himself.  Finally in frustration he said, “This isn’t fair!”  

“Why not?” I asked.  

“I can’t find a way to say it so it sounds right.” He thought I was playing a word trick on him.  

“Bill, it doesn’t sound right because it isn’t right; it’s self-refuting,” I explained.  

At this point in the conversation some people throw up their hands and say, “Now you’ve got me confused.”  In these cases I respond, “No, you were confused when you started.  You just now realized it.”  

Persecution Role Reversal ::: Gay’s Persecuting Non-Supporters of Same-Sex Marriage

Embedded video from CNN Video

Atheism is Not A Religion? • An Atheist Perspective Critiqued

Vjack talks about his trouble with the facebook setup in a post. Here’s an excerpt:

… I was not sure what to make of the “religious views” line on my profile. Coincidentally, a reader e-mailed me and asked my opinion about this very issue just as I was confronting it myself. She did not want to put “atheist” under religion because she recognized that atheism is not a religion and did not want to pretend it was. This led her to think of simply putting “none” in the space. However, she wasn’t sure she liked this idea much better.

You see … vjack does not think of atheism as a religion.  He explains this in another post.

Thus, an atheist is one who does not believe in a god or gods. Note that “one who lacks belief in a god or gods” is not quite the same thing as “one who believes that there are no god or gods.” This distinction may be subtle, but it is important for reasons I will review below. 

As I have stated elsewhere, “Atheism is not a religion, a philosophy, a worldview, or anything similar. It is not the conviction that there are no gods, ghosts, angels, etc.” Rather, atheism simply refers to the lack of theistic belief. A young child or person living in an isolated community who has never heard of any gods is an atheist. In fact, we are all born atheists because we have not encountered any theistic concepts before birth.

… it is critical to recognize that atheism does not involve the assertion of any belief claim. An atheist is simply an individual who do not hold the theistic belief claim (i.e., that god or gods exist). … When the theist says, “God exists,” we are correct to expect evidence in support of this claim. Without such evidence, the claim cannot be accepted on rational grounds. 

But vjack can’t get away that easy.  You don’t escape the worldview nature of atheism just by stating it’s belief negatively as the absence of theism.  I could say that theism is just the absence of belief in atheism.  If vjack is not ready to assert positively that there is no God, god or gods, he is not actually an atheist, but a skeptic—–someone who doesn’t affirm theism but doesn’t leave out the possibility that God, a god, or gods exists either.  Is Vjack really only a skeptic or does he have strong convictions that belief in God, god or gods is irrational, and therefore that God doesn’t exist?  Based on his definition, he only wants to be considered a skeptic.  But if you just read a few posts on his blog, you will see that he thinks people ought to live as if there were no God.  He’s not simply unsure about whether there is or is not a God, he’s working out the implications of hard-atheism.  

Vjack’s way of defining things is not original.  Atheists have long argued for a distinction between hard-atheism and soft-atheism.  Hard-atheism as belief that there is no God, god or gods, and soft-Atheism as belief that there is no apparent rational reason to believe there is a God, god, or gods.  Either way, vjack’s claim that atheism is not a worldview, then, is unfounded.  Atheism actually demands presuppositions about the nature of knowledge (epistemological presuppositions) to even begin to evaluate whether there is or is not any evidence for the existence of God.  Read the last part of that excerpt again.

When the theist says, “God exists,” we are correct to expect evidence in support of this claim. Without such evidence, the claim cannot be accepted on rational grounds. [italics added] 

Epistemological presuppositions about how we ground true knoweledge is at the very heart of worldview theory and determines the outworking of what one accepts as true, false, right or wrong.  It’s the hinge on which one’s worldview turns.   

Therefore, for vjack to claim atheism is not a worldview may be a sly way of dodging theistic rhetoric, but it is also reveals a glaring logical blind spot.  Atheists tend to pride themselves as rational, but as I see it, they make foundational rational mistakes all the time.  This is one of them: Claiming that atheism is not a worldview when in fact, it either demands that one assert there is no God (which results in a different way of viewing the world as not created by God) or that there is no apparent rational reason to believe in God (which demands a non-theistic epistemology, such epistemologies being at the heart of worldview theory).    

———————————–HT: Atheist Revolution——————————–

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