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Which Xian Argument Makes The Most Sense


par4dcourse
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We spend a lot of time helping others ditch the dogma, and body-slamming the occasional preachy nutter, but I'm wondering which of the arguments actually makes you think.

 

With me, it's the argument from complexity. I'm not denouncing Charlie D. or his theory, but this one makes me think.

The amount of time and development to go from a single cell organism to say a temp-regulating mammal with a brain and all the interconnected body systems staggers my easily-staggered imagination.

 

So, what is it for you. Which argument makes you think the most?

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For me there is no christian "argument" per se that makes me pause. Rather, it is the experience that happens when some Xtians get "saved". They can be the worst hard-core druggies, perverts, criminals, or whatever, and their lives can be fucked up in so many ways, yet when they finally come to God and spill their guts to him asking for forgiveness and for Jesus to come into their hearts and all that, they are often instantaneously completely free of all that crap in their lives. To me that's stronger than any Xtian argument. Even to Xtians that's stronger than any Xtian argument, which is why it's so hard to get through to them. I've come a long way in distancing myself from Xtianity over the past few month as I've immersed myself in many books and websites that show so very clearly that the bible is not the word of god, but of man, and that Xtianity cannot possibly be true. Yet even after all that I've read, I still can't explain these dramatic conversion experiences, including my own many years ago. All the "it's all in the brain" stuff is interesting, and it partially explains the phenomena, but only partially. It doesn't completely assuge that nagging reminder of the power of conversion in the back of my mind, although I wish it would.

 

But that's just me. I'm just beginning to see the light. A year from now maybe this aspect of the Xtian experience won't faze me in the least.

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I agree with both of you (par, Jds). Our complexity and our uniqueness. Of all the living things in the animal kingdom, we have evolved so radically different from all other animals that it often makes me think. Our social structure, technology and other such advancements are certainly strong arguments for uniqueness. However, I also confidently deny any of man's gods.

 

But in regards to the amount of time it would take to evolve from a single cell to a complex multi-structured system, this may not have been the first time. Perhaps we are not the first planet to have ever supported life as we know it. Our earth may only be 5 billion years old, but our universe is over 20, and there may actually be other universes, dating to many hundreds of billions of years old. I also wonder if it took longer for the first cell to evolve into a multi-celled organism than it did for a species to evolve into another. In other words, evolution may be exponentially getting faster and faster as it gains momentum. Just my uneducated thoughts.

 

But, men, you bring up a good point. However, I clearly see my own Christian experiences as all me and my brain now that I look back. I think we all have a desire to better ourselves, and if we have a placebo, we'll likely accomplish it.

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Guest Valk0010

For me the strongest ones are the arguements for gospel reliability and the historicity of things like the resurrection. I am often not bothered with things like the cosmological arguement or stuff about things like logical absolutes because that would only push me to deism. I have a couple reasons why I don't think deism is true independent of that. But if I was convinced by things like the absolute moral arguement or the cosmological arguement it would only push me to deism.

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There's nothing about Christian arguments that make sense because it's based on pagan religions and mythology. I view the Biblical authors as people who were trying to make sense of God and themselves. But, yes, I think about stuff that the Bible talks about: like creation, where we came from, why we are here, etc.

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I can honestly say that none of the apologists' arguments have bothered me at all, at least not now. I think they are all fatally flawed and all we are left with in the end no matter how much they twist and turn things and try to explain the physics, astronomy, geology, anthropology, archaeology and biology that they don't understand, is that Christianity is untrue, the god of the bible does not exist, and there is insufficient evidence to convince me that there is any other god out there somewhere.

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I honestly can't think of a Xtian specific argument that makes a lot of sense, spirituality in general maybe a few that make me think, but xtianity? Not a chance.

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Guest Valk0010

As far as religious experience and things like appearances of people like Jesus and or whomever, that is a strong theist argument to me.

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Nothing from Christianity specifically makes a good argument for me but fine tuning always seemed like a good argument for a "designer".

 

Pretty much agreed on that one. A number of morontheist arguments do make some sense if you want to argue for a Divine power in general (none of it is totally 100 % convincing but at least they aren't total crap), but "some deity or deities" is a damn long way from "the sadistic monster jehoover (or aloha, to include the other big camp)".

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I guess I should have said "theist argument' rather than xian. Opens up the discussion a little.

 

Ah hehe :)

 

Let me reply with a counterquestion: Who needs arguments anyway?

 

I mean, I don't need any arguments for me personally to believe. If I have some, so much the better, but if I decide that it just "feels right" to believe (like I did, years ago), who's to stop me (unless I start affecting others, possibly in a negative way)?

 

As I see it, you only need arguments if you want to convert others. Which is not a thing I see any need for, so there :)

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Today, I was thinking of this thread and I came to a realization that I've actually come to a number of times before. No argument for a god or a designer is of any relevance, to me anyway. I don't really care how we got here, nor do I care where we're going (sort of). What concerns me is the now. We're here, and that's what's important. Looking to the past to try and answer questions today may be somewhat helpful, but in the end, it's not really all that important, and that goes for any argument, Christian or any other theistic belief. Why is it that theists of any brand point out past "events" to validate their belief? This is not only true of origins, but of the gospel stories. Why can god only be "proven" by looking backward? Seems a little stupid to me. So I'm changing my original answer from post #4....no theistic argument makes me pause and think twice!

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Not really any arguments that make me pause, but more some of the coincedences and life experience of friends that they give as evidence for their belief in god. On friend in particular. She had a gun that had been previously fired held to her head, the trigger was pulled, and even though it was loaded it did not go off. Not a few minutes later, the gun was fired at an inanimate target and it fired like nothing had happened. Coincidents like that make me stop and wonder.

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I have been disappointed over the years that not one of their arguments makes even the hint of sense. It disappoints me because so much of humanity falls for the most flawed reasoning. I realize that reasoning has little to do with their beliefs, but that they can't even grasp poor reasoning when confronted with it is disappointing, bias be damned.

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Nothing, really.

 

When you consider how huge the universe is and what it means in terms of probabilities, the "fine tuning" argument doesn't seem so strong any more in my opinion.

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The only argument that makes sense to me is when they point out that this existence, the universe and human beings must have some reason for being, some purpose. That's about all they say that I agree with. When they start trying to explain it all is when I stop agreeing. No one knows why, and asking too much will just leave you either delusional or feeling empty because there's no answer.

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I cannot think of one argument that would stop me in my tracks and make me reconsider Christian theology and doctrines! I cannot get past the church history and shaking my head in disgust or face-palming myself until I suffocate over modern theology! Christianity perverts human nature into something abominable in order to make its system of make-believe marvels and wonders look legitimate. The only thing that comes to mind is the phrase that got into my thinking and pushed me into deconversion and that was 'be ye therefor transformed by the renewing of your mind.'

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"If there be a skeptical star I was born under it, yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment." W. MacNeile Dixon

 

I guess Par what trips my mental lever--starts the cogs, belts and wheels turning to let the preventable cat out of the bag--is: "Why something and not anything (nothing?)" (Excuse the double negative)

 

Not just the "why or how" as to the physical universe, but the "why or how" as to the (for the lose of better words) "inter-space," psyche, consciousness, personality, affect. Do you know where I'm going?

 

John Gardner said "Wonder is based upon the [subjective] feeling that at the deepest levels the world and humankind's true self are one. This means that the aspirations and ideals, the beauty and goodness,[and the patterns of hideousness and evil] which are natural to the human heart, lie somehow also at the center of the psychical universe; that therefore standards of beauty and goodness [or the criterion for hideousness and evil] are not irrelevant to the realities of an indifferent world, but are quite as pertinent to the study of universal events as are the quantitative standards of physical science." [my words are in brackets]

 

Call me a lost Romantic. Shoot me down for having no basis in fact! I care not! But this skeptic refuses to allow fundamentalism of any brand, scientific or religious to hijack his sense of astonishment and wonder!

 

Saner

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Christians don't have any arguments that convince me their God is the one.

 

There are certainly unanswered questions in nature. I don't think a lot about origins or stuff like that - too busy dealing with everyday life. However, it is very interesting that the human brain 100,000 years ago was basically the same size it is today and how is it that nothing much happened until about 3,000 years ago? What happened in all those thousands of years (not much time on the evolutionary scale) to our brains to make us so unique? To advance so much technologically is far beyond the necessity of mere survival and protection from predators. To want to explore space? Where did that come from? Its amazing to think about.

 

I think there probably is some ground of being, something there, but it isn't Jehovah or Yaweh or whatever you want to call him.

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There's not one apologetic argument that I do not think is rubbish.

 

One idea that gives me pause, sort of, is the following line of reasoning:

 

This thing we might call consciousness or self awareness...I can appreciate it on an abstract level. I don't see any reason for some sort of god to magically exist to create me or set a series of events in motion of which I am a by product. If fact, it's not that at all, if I don't understand from whence comes my consciousness, it would be monumentally more difficult for me to conceive where a god would come from who created that.

 

In an abstract sense, I can even imagine a world of intelligent automatons sans this sense of self awareness.

 

But from a universe that has existed 14 billion years, what accounts for seven billion instances of human "me's" and perhaps many more evolved and sophisticated "me's" in the universe that develop a very personalized, individual, sense of self that just sprang up somewhere, and will presumably just disappear forever upon death? Why is our self awareness personal?

 

Add to that the fact that how bizarrely our human culture conditions and shapes us, and it makes me feel like a bit of a lab rat, or a project in a shoe box in the closet of some kid of some vastly greater alien intelligence, like there's someone or something of superior intelligence or technology that set this up from a realm we cannot fathom. That's about as far as it goes before it starts breaking down: how would they orchestrate us self aware beings, and why would they be necessary for us being conscience (and where would they come from--full circle, these are beginning to resemble the "why does there need to be a god" questions).

 

Ironically, just about any self respecting religionist would consider this to be either sacrilege from a sick mind or direct lies from satan, so I doubt you will ever hear this in an apologetic argument by a xian or any other theist.

 

Heavy, man... Seriously, lest I convey the wrong impression, I am not obsessed with thoughts like this, nor do I think they are anything more than the product of creative musings, but the idea does give me pause in the same sense a thought provoking science fiction story might.

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I'm of course Par, the skeptic's skeptic, so I'm not on the edge of reconverting. The last three responses were kinda what I had in mind, what thoughts even the hardcore non-theist entertains on occasion.

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Guest Xtech

Like many above have responded, the arguments are not convincing at all. I was baffled by the whole apologetics thing, because every argument is so circular, flawed, prejudiced. Once you learn about critical thinking, and have appreciation for other cultures and religions, the Christian religion seems so provincial. I guess apologetics are for Christians with

 

 

1) too much time on their hands

2) like to argue

3) for Christians who are not really 100% convinced and need to constantly refer back to the playbook for advice on how to proceed

4) have little intellectual curiosity, no interest in other cultures and religions, or history, or science.

 

There is simply no 'reason' however for those who want to convert others, going the emotional manipulation route, though unethical, is the way to go, just like with any other cult.

 

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