Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fun Time With Atheists

I don't know either Evan May or Paul Manata on a personal level. More than likely, I may never meet them in this life. I have only met them in a peripheral manner from reading some of their posts on the Triablogue web site. I can say this about them: I truly envy their ability to squash anti-theistic arguments and speculations that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. I also envy their ability to write long, intelligent, wit-filled posts on a daily basis and still enjoy their families, be able to work for a living, and catch a little TV before turning in for the evening. It truly is amazing. How Paul and Evan are able to long suffer interacting with the so-called "free thinking" know-it-alls is a wonder. But, I guess they could say the same about me and my long suffering with KJV onlyists.

None the less, I hoped to introduce some of my visiting readers to their material, if you all haven't read any, because these guys have provided an important service for the Christian community by demonstrating how to engage anti-theists in an apologetic encounter.

You see, most Christians are like I used to be years ago as a wet behind the ears, greenhorn believer. I would encounter a smart mouthed skeptic and would challenge him or her by saying something like, "Have you consider my evidence A?" Normally, the person would respond by saying something like, "Yes, and it is refuted by my evidence B and arguments C,D, and E." I, in response, would say, "Oh Yeah? What about my evidence X?" And the skeptic would say, "It doesn't stand up to my evidence Y and Z." So the encounter would generally end in a stale-mate of ideas, because the smart mouthed skeptic had his worldview through which he interprets the meaning of life and I had mine.

The key to getting past the "my evidence can kick your evidence's rear end" dialogue is to focus upon foundational starting points in the person's worldview. Ultimately, a person who is saying your beliefs are stupid is asserting his beliefs are the only way to believe. If that is not the case, then what is the point of going around and telling other people their beliefs are stupid? In a nutshell, smart mouthed skeptic is claiming his way of looking at reality, or the world hence the term "worldview," is better than mine. OK then, if smart mouthed skeptic is convinced his way of looking at reality is the only way to think, well then, we need to put his claim to the test. Does his beliefs play out in a logical, coherent fashion in the real world? Does it adequately explain the big questions in life that all humanity shares in common such as, "Why are we here?" Where did man come from?" What is the meaning of life?" "What is truth?" Where are we going as humanity?" and "What happens after we die?" In order to demonstrate the veracity of any worldview belief, the proponent of the worldview under scrutiny needs to show that it is rational and can answer those basic questions of life. In other words, he needs to justify his basic beliefs.

Now, what Evan and Paul have done is through an ongoing debate with a self-proclaimed apostate from the Christian faith, John Loftus of debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com, is to show how to press a smart mouthed skeptic and his pals into the corner to make them face the cruel truth of the illogical and unjustifiable nature of their skepticism.

To get those of you fresh to this discussion started, I have linked to some fun articles to read from both Evan and Paul and one from Steve. I would also encourage you to read through the comments as well, because you can actually see how the skeptics respond to being challenged. It ain't pretty, by the way.

Evan May:

Crayon Theology

The Logic of Apples and Oranges

Objective Morality and Punishment

Paul Manata

Lampooning, Puncturing and Deflating the Self-debunking Debunkers of Christianity

And a good one from Steve Hays

Sean is for Suckers


Blogger evanmay said...

Hello, Frank.

Thanks for the Hat-tip. Your words are very kind and encouraging, and they are very much appreciated.

Readers can also check out these articles I have made in response to the Self-Debunkers:

Forgiveness Through Propitiation: Answering Loftus’ Question
Is Forensic Justification “Poppycock”?
Listen Up!
“The Outsider Test” Coming from *Inside* Your Worldview
Their Policy There…
Exbeliever: Our Knight in Shining Armor
Boy, That Was Easy!
The “Inspiring Story” of Induction into the Loser’s Club
A Fourth Midnight Run
Self-Serving Atheistic “Evangelism”
“Free Thinkers” Never Think For Themselves
Free Thoughts for the Enslaved Mind
Thank God That God Is Not the God Who Is Not!
A God Inspired Apostate?
You’re Not My Daddy!
The Anti-Humanitarianism of Humanistic Individualism


11:11 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger evanmay said...

Oh my. I called you "Frank."

I'm terribly sorry, Fred. Please forgive me.

11:13 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Oh my. I called you "Frank."

That is quite alright. I knew a gal in my church while in college who called me Frank until the day I graduated and moved to California. I tried to correct her, but for some reason it never clicked with her. I even went into the college year book photo place twice one year: once as myself, and then a few days later as "Frank" my twin brother.

You guys keep writing the good material. I am learning a ton and I enjoy passing it along to readers of my blog who are not necessarily exposed to thoughtful Christian writing.


6:13 AM, March 16, 2006  

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