Tag Archives: religion

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.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Atheist TV

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 12.01.20 PMI don’t usually do this talk-about-it-before-it-comes-out thing, but AtheistTV is launching on July 29th (on Roku) and they’ve released a promotional video to get people hyped about it. And well, lets just say I have mixed feelings.

Click here to watch the promo!

I am all for people being free to produce whatever content they want (well, within reason of course) and to promote whatever viewpoint they would like. So I am all for AtheistTV from a ‘political’ perspective. I would never censor someone simply because I disagree with them. However, I do have some concerns about AtheistTV, and these concerns were confirmed by this short promotional video.
So if you didn’t watch it yet, do that now. I’ll wait.

If you know me you’ll probably be able to guess where I’m going to go with this. I see a major problem with what has become known as the community of “Internet Atheists“.

A Wild Internet AtheistPoint of note:
I do not think all atheists are ‘internet atheists’. By ‘internet atheism’, I mean the relatively large subgroup of [totally unreasonable] atheists who are loud, obnoxious and almost entirely unable to think critically. They’re the types that retweet memes about how Jesus = Horus and all religies are biased and brainwashed. Internet atheists don’t have beliefs, they just have unbiased facts and “faith” is profanity. Science is the best thing ever and philosophy is not to be considered,  because philosophy is nothing more than dead “word salad” (or #philosowank on twitter). They blame religion for every problem that has ever existed (ever), and claim that all atheists are the pure and unadulterated beacons of #reason, #science and #rationality. The internet atheist will equate studying theology with studying the dietary habits of leprechauns and hermeneutics is just another way to twist the Bible to say whatever you want it to say (you homophobic misogynistic racist bigot). If you’ve ever run into someone who claims that ‘scientist’ & ‘christian’ are contradictory and that a proper understanding of #BASICLOGIC will lead to atheism… congratulations, a wild internet atheist has appeared in your vicinity.
Continue reading

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! 🙂

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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

A Manual for Creating [totally unreasonable] Atheists

This blog post will teach you how to talk people out of their faith. You’ll learn how to ridicule the faithful through mockery, because this kind of behavior will force them to value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their beliefs, and mistrust their faith. I call this activist approach to helping people overcome their faith, “Street Awesomeness”.
The goal of this blog post is to create a generation of Street Awesomes: people equipped with an array of dialectical and clinical tools who actively go into the streets, the prisons, the bars, the churches, the schools, the community, and ESPECIALLY THE INTERNET — into any and every place the faithful reside— and help them abandon their stupid religion and embrace atheism.
Enter the Street Awesome: an inarticulate, unclear, unhelpful voice with an unremitting desire to force people into overcome their faith and to create a better world— a world that uses mockery, memes, logical fallacies, %#$&ING SCIENCE, and awesomeness to build the future; a future full of unreasonable and philosophobic anti-theists who are irrationally obsessed with F&#%ing SCIENCE!!!

I have a whole ton of points to make. Pay attention! Memorize them all!
THERE’S LIKE TEN. AND SOME BONUS PRO-TIPS.

Point #1!
As everyone knows, all atheists always use reason, F&%$ING SCIENCE, logic and awesome when they come to conclusions. And as we also know, all religious people rely upon stupidity when they come to their beliefs. If you use reason, F#&%ing science, logic and awesome… you will be an atheist.
End of story.
If you embrace science, you’re an atheist.
A religious scientist is an oxymoron because all religious people reject science. Continue reading

“… the Christian God almost certainly doesn’t exist” – Debate!

Hello you handful of delightful subscribers and wonderful random visitors!
I have an announcement: I’m going to be debating the topic of God’s existence this upcoming Thursday, Jan. 9th, at 7:30pm (EST).
The debate won’t be a face-to-face; it’ll take place here, a forum called AtheistAndSecularDebate (you can find the details there as well).

The title of the debate is:
“This house believes that the Christian God almost certainly doesn’t exist”
… and I am going to be arguing against the motion (as you can imagine). J. D. Brucker is going to be arguing for the motion, saying that the Christian God almost certainly doesn’t exist.

His information:
@JDBrucker is is twitter handle
JDBrucker.com is his blog
And he wrote a book called, “Improbable: is there any reason to believe in God?” (and yes, I bought it on Kindle)

Similar to my last debate, he seems to have a bit more experience with this kind of stuff than I do, but hey! I just really like having these conversations.

The debate will be moderated by @SkepticismFirst and will last 2 hours.
We’re the only ones who can comment here, but this is where discussion can blossom during and after the debate.

Tune in! Or read it afterwards!
Or both. Yes both.

ElijiahT

Upcoming Debate: Is the Bible God’s Word?

Hey everyone!debate2-1024x711

I have been invited onto the Faith and Skepticism Podcast for a live debate where I will be discussing “Is the Bible God’s Word?” with atheist Kile B. Jones. Kile has a much more impressive resume than I do, having a Bachelors of Theology, a Masters of Sacred Theology and is currently a PhD student in Religion. Kile is the director of a super cool organization called “Interview an Atheist at Church Day“. He’s been published in a bunch of philosophical, religious and secular journals, spoken at conferences in the US and in the UK, as well as being the  Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Claremont Journal of Religion.

As for me, I’m in my final undergrad semester! I almost have a degree in biology (with a minor in philosophy). I’ve also taught/discussed apologetics at a few local events (retreats, conferences and church classes). And I contribute to this blog!

If you’re on facebook, here is the event page.
If not:
The discussion will be on Friday, October 25th, 2013.
It will start around 8pm. We’ll be doing it via google hangout and you can watch it live on YouTube! You can also contribute to the conversation via twitter by tagging your tweet with #fasdebate and we’ll address many of the questions as they come in.

I think it’ll be a lot of fun.
You should join us! Faith and Skepticism will provide a link to the debate the day of.
Set your calendar! Tell your friends! I’m looking forward to it.

Here is the video of the debate

“Zeitgeist” – Pagan Myths and Jesus

Image

Zeitgeist is a documentary that became popular several years ago, and despite being completely false, the ideas that it promoted are still fairly popular on the internet.
Yes. On the internet.
And that’s the only place that it is popular.
You will never find anyone in scholarly circles making these arguments.
Side note: if you are interacting with someone and they point to Zeitgeist as a solid refutation of Christianity, you are most likely dealing with an “Internet Atheist“.

The general idea of this video (part 1) is that the story of Jesus is remarkably similar to the stories of other ancient mythological stories (like Horus and Mithras), and from this we are to conclude that the story of Jesus is nothing but a myth (just like Horus and Mithras).
That is the claim. And if you haven’t seen this part of the internet “documentary”, Zeitgeist… click here.

First off, I’d like to point out what a silly claim that is.
Jesus bears similarities to Mithras and Horus, therefore the story of Jesus is also a myth. Unfortunately for us, Peter Joseph (the man responsible for Zeitgeist) never actually presents an argument. So we can’t dissect an argument. But if this was a formal, deductive argument, it might be something like this:
1. If story X is similar to a mythical story, then story X is mythical.
2. Jesus is similar to the stories of [insert pre-christian deity here, (ex: Mithras)].
3. The story of [pre-christian deity] is a myth.
4. Therefore, the story of Jesus is a myth.
Continue reading