Tag Archives: faith

How to Dismantle Christianity

Recently, I was invited onto Chris Webber’s “C-Webb’s Sunday School” podcast to discuss the topic, “Changing Your Mind About God”. You can find the link to that here!
The discussion includes input from both atheists and theists:
– Chris Webb himself (@cwebb619) of C-Webb’s Sunday School
– Me! (@ElijiahT) of both this blog and ThinkLearnLive
– Adam Reakes (@AdamReakes) of The Herd Mentality Podcast
– A Matter of Doubt (@AMatterOfDoubt) of A Matter of Doubt
– Conversion Points Radio (@ConversionRadio) of Conversion Points Radio
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I encourage you to listen to this discussion. I really enjoyed contributing to it, and I enjoyed listening to the contributions of the others. The podcast came out a little while ago, but this is ‘evergreen content’, if you want to use marketing terminology 🙂

That being said, I wrote out my contribution here! Its not verbatim, but its close.
A lot of people ask me why I believe in God, and this explains why.
Enjoy! 🙂

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When Chris first proposed the question, “what would it take to get me to change my belief about god”, I thought it would be a little too much fun to talk about it. After all, epistemology (the study of knowledge) and God are two of my favorite topics to discuss.

However, the more I thought about it… and the more research I did… the more I realized that I’m not entirely sure what would cause me, personally, to change my belief about God.

In general, if someone believes something (lets call it X)… and a defeater is presented for X, there are two options.
They either give up the belief, or provide a defeater for that defeater and maintain the belief. Well, I guess you could ignore the defeater, but lets imagine there is no deliberate cognitive dissonance going on here.
Continue reading

Consider the Following – Ham Vs Nye Debate

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis) and Bill Nye (the ‘Science Guy’) debated whether or not creation is a viable model when it comes to the question of origins. The debate happened last night (Feb. 4th, 2014) and the blog-o-sphere is erupting with people tossing their opinions in.
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I’ve read a lot of these blog posts and I’m going to point you to several that I think are quite good. However, you should watch the debate first.
You can find it here.

Why are they debating? Great question.
It is because Bill Nye said some stuff about creationism that Ken Ham didn’t agree with, and the stork came and delivered a debate.
The debate was announced on Ken Ham’s Facebook page on Jan. 1st.

My first impression was that this debate was going to be rather silly, because neither Ham nor Nye are known for their good debating skills. Ham is an unwavering young earth creationist whose approach is unapologetically presuppositional. Nye was the frontman for a kids’ science show and is currently a science popularizer.
– I would have rather had people a little more qualified talking about this topic.
– I was afraid that people might assume all Christians agree with Ken Ham’s approach.
– I was concerned that this would continue the false “science vs god” dichotomy.
But! The world doesn’t revolve around me, so the debate happened anyway. Continue reading

Please Stop Arguing Definitions, Thanks

Ok, everyone. Lend me your ears!

Many atheists want to define atheism as “lack of belief in god(s)” and faith as “believing without evidence”.
Many theists want to define atheism as “the belief that god does not exist” and faith as “confident trust based on knowledge”.

Definitions-demotivator

… aaaand the conversation starts and stops there.

The goal of a conversations is NOT to strong-arm the other person into accepting your definition of a word. The goal of conversations is to discuss the issues reasonably and ultimately… discover the truth.

Stop it.
Stop this senseless bickering over definitions.

I can’t imagine someone thinking, “faith is belief without evidence? Christianity is a lie!” or “atheism is the belief that god doesn’t exist? Christianity must be true!”

If someone says they have faith, ask, “what do you mean by faith?”
If someone says they’re an atheist, ask “what do you mean by atheist?”

Accept their definition and move forward.

In this particular instance, suspend your inner analytic philosopher and channel your inner pragmatist.

This is a plea to everyone.
Let’s all work to move the conversation forward. Stop getting stuck arguing definitions. And stop defining your opponents position into irrationality.

– ElijiahT

Ps. This is not some kind of post-modern “words don’t have definitions” appeal. Words do have meaning. But we want to continue the conversation, not stop it because we can’t agree on the basics.

Defining Faith

How often I have run into internet atheists trying to tell me that the definition of faith is “belief despite the evidence”. Now I’m not surprised that they would try and redefine a word that would make things easier for them, like the definition of atheism, but this one is perhaps the most laughable.

So how should a Christian define faith? Well they should go to the Bible, of course and what better passage to go to then Hebrews 11: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” it also goes on to say that “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (NKJV) Now does that sound like the ridiculous caricature presented in the opening paragraph? No. It is the hope and trust that we put in the Lord God Almighty.

So what’s wrong with defining faith as mentioned in the opening paragraph? Well for starters it’s a clear cut case of the strawman fallacy. Not only that, but how many times in your life do you tell people that you have faith in them? If you mean “I believe you despite the evidence”, then I think you should tell them that, and watch their reaction.

The fact is, faith is trust and we Christians put their trust in God. Whether you think that is silly or not is of no consequence. Seeing as how it is us who have faith in God, it is up to us to tell you what we mean when we say it, and not your place to tell us what how we define faith.

 

Phil Lost