Tag Archives: Naturalism

Q&A: How to Dismantle Christianity

A while ago, I wrote a post called “How to Dismantle Christianity” where I explained why I am a Christian and how, if you were so inclined, you would be able to persuade me to abandon my beliefs. Due to the fact that “apologetics” was a central player in my conversion story, the logical and rational defense of the Christian worldview is not something I stumbled upon after being a Christian for several years.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.46.50 PMA little while after I posted it, @ArchAngelMike had some questions for me (those can be found here). Its been a long time coming (life sorta… happened, you know how it is), but here are my brief answers to Mike’s questions.  For the reader, I’m going to try to make it so that you don’t have to jump back and forth between posts. I hope I’m at least partially successful.

Mike asks a LOT of questions. And these questions come with significant philosophical baggage that needs to be sorted out. As an example, imagine a child asking “how does a plant eat?” There is a lot there to unpack, isn’t there? (Also, I’m not calling AAMike a child) For this reason, this post is probably going to be much, much longer than the posts I usually write. Every single one of these questions could easily be a lengthy blog post in itself.
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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
Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 8.03.34 PM

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.
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God of the Gaps? Really?

God of the gaps quote

You’re just shoving your god into the gaps in our knowledge.
They used to do that, you know… about thunder and lightning.
As our knowledge of the world increases, the room for your god decreases.

Yes, people used to marvel at thunder and lightning and come to unreasonable conclusions. They did not know what was going on, and they concluded that god (or gods) must be responsible.
This is a ‘gap reasoning’.

But when a logical argument concludes with “therefore, God exists”, it is not a god-of-the-gaps conclusion.

If someone says, “I don’t know… therefore X”, that is gap-reasoning.
If someone says, “here are several reasons why it is reasonable to conclude that X”, that is not gap reasoning.

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