Sunday, January 29, 2012

Response to Atheist "Articulett" From "Debunking Christianity"

I have responded to a post by "articulett" at "Debunking Christianity"

I think lots of believers in "woo" think that their assorted faith passes the OTF... the Mormons will say that they got a personal sign from god (a burning in the bosom, etc.) confirming that the Book of Mormon is true... Pentacostals will point out speaking in tongues as "proof"... Catholics will point to stigmata, official "miracles" and such
>> No. The only Catholic I can speak for (that is, myself) accepted the Catholic Faith on rational grounds long before supernatural Faith was infused, sufficient to allow me to request, and receive, baptism.
... Muslims will point to all the Muslims willing to die for their faith as proof of it's truth... reincarnationists point out that their religion makes more sense and they have "evidence" like this: Scientologists will point to the seeming unnatural success of Tom Cruise, John Travolta and other Scientologists... 

>> But all of this is irrelevant, since it is a matter of basic logic that either all religions are false, or else all but one are.
The Catholic proposes that all but one are.
If you ever believed in some brand of Christianity or any other "woo"-- you can probably remember doing the same.
>> Nope. Never had any stigmata, never experienced any official miracles. But yet, I am Catholic by the grace of God this day.
Your argument fails to account for this.
I remember having different ways of confirming to myself that my assorted supernatural beliefs were true back when I had them. I guess that it hadn't occurred to me that real things should be distinguishable from a delusion when scientifically tested back then; I thought it was good just to have faith.
>> Either all religions are false, or else all but one are. You apparently chose to base your faith on sand; that is, upon subjective thrills up the leg.
I hadn't yet realize how very prone humans were to confusing correlation with causation and confirming their biases.
>> Obviously you have not spent much time in the company of cosmologists and Darwinists.
I've since become quite an expert on the subject and I'm convinced that all believers in all supernatural things are engaging in these sorts of logical fallacies
>> Since you are presently being answered by a believer in supernatural things who has managed to escape your own self-admitted logical fallacies, I would say you are less expert than you imagine.
But this sort of "confirmation bias" doesn't work on most outsiders... which is why the OTF has a chance of breaking through to many delusional people. 
>> The first delusion at issue here is your logical fallacy:
Since people subscribe to false religions on irrational grounds- just like you admit that you did- therefore all religions are false and irrational.
The logical fallacy could not be more obvious.
The technical term is “circulus in probando”, or “petitio principii”; that is, the conclusion is present in the premise.
The Christian would demand a much higher standard of evidence to believe in Islam or Scientology than the type of "evidence" a Muslim or Scientologist uses to confirm theirs.
>>False. This Christian applies the same standard of evidence to all three.
As would a someone who truly interested in what is true.
>> The above sentence is apparently mistyped. I have no idea what it is you intend to assert here.
 Confirmation bias type evidence tends to only work on people who want to believe or those who imagine that they are special or "saved" for believing a certain unbelievable story or damned for doubt.
>> Confirmation bias is especially present, for example, in the Darwinist who ascribes the presence of collagen, blood cells, and soft tissue in Cretaceous T Rex bones to......what? Magical collagen- preserving, Second Law of Thermodyanics-suspending Fairies?
It works on those who are indoctrinated. And those who who believe that faith and feelings are methods of finding out what is true. 
>> Exactly so. Faith in magical collagen fairies seems a fairly widespread form of confirmation bias among Darwinists, for example.
The Christian has a low standard when it comes to their own religions' supernatural or far fetched claims and a different standard for conflicting beliefs and other unfalsifiable or far-fetched claims. 
>> Not this Christian. You apparently have less expertise in handling Catholics than you have in handling others.
Just as delusional people do not ever recognize themselves as delusional people, I think there are those who take the OTF (or think they did) and really believe that their particular supernatural beliefs pass better than the supernatural beliefs they reject even though there is no scientific evidence that any supernatural claim is true or that any invisible/divine/supernatural beings exist.
>> This is hilariously false. The evidence, for example, of the existence of a physical universe, combined with the logical certainty that no thing can be its own cause, renders your above argument thoroughly falsified in one simple sentence.
There is no valid reason to believe that humans are conscious after they are dead any more than other animals are--
>> This is also false. We have excellent evidence that human beings remain conscious after death, since we have objective evidence of a Resurrected Christ telling us so.
or what it even means to exist but have no material properties whatsoever. 
>> Oh, you mean like Hawking’s "nothing" that produces universes? I agree. To exist with no material properties whatsoever is not a proposition proveable from within the domain of science.
It is, however, proveable on grounds of the reliable testimony of One Who has risen from the dead, and Who therefore provides us motives of credibility sufficient to warrant credence to testimony not otherwise proveable through material experiment.
Invisible beings are indistinguishable from imaginary beings as far as the evidence is concerned.  
>> Circulus in probando. Your assertion presupposes that only material evidence is evidence. This is false even in science itself.  Invisible beings are quite obviously proveable from evidence; for example, the existence of sub quantum particles can be mathematically established to a scientific certainty, although these particles are utterly invisible to us.
Invisible *rational* beings’ existence can only be established on the basis of the credibility of the One who reports their existence, and so our position concerning the existence or non-existence of such beings depends upon the motives of credibility supplied by the One reporting on the matter.
But I'd say religionists are not really seeing their faith as an outsider does even though they may truly believe that they are. 
>> This has nothing at all to do with whether the faith in question is true or false. The mere fact that false religions exist, does not establish that all religions are false.
In fact, it is a matter of basic logic that either all religions are false, or else all but one are.
Your arguments are completely unequipped to handle the proposition that all but one are.
If the Scientologist or Muslim saw themselves as we or the Christian sees them and their supernatural beliefs, they would have a hard time hanging on to those beliefs-- and this would be obviously true of the many brands of Christians if they could actually view their faith as an outsider does.
>> This is of course utterly irrelevant to the question of the truth or falsehood of any of the specified religions.
All we can know about them objectively is that either all of them are false, or all but one are.
Most of us understand this because we were once insiders to Christianity and we now see it as an outsider.
>> This proves nothing. Many people once believed a true thing, and later rejected it in favor of a false thing in direct contradiction to the true thing.
This says nothing at all about the truth of the true thing, or the falsity of the false thing.
These remain true, or false, entirely apart from the question of whether anyone believed, or ceased to belive, in them.
Hell is clearly a very strong incentive for a Christian (or Muslim) to never "really" examine their faith as an outsider does.
>> Quite to the contrary. Hell is instead a very strong incentive for atheism. It is much more comforting to believe that such a terrible judgement is a fiction. Therefore the strong incentive is in the other direction. 
We can recognize how religionists use different standards for assessing their own magical beliefs versus the supernatural/superstitious beliefs of others, but I really don't think many of them can.
>> Irrelevant. If even one can, your argument is falsified.
In their mind a 3-in-1 god who becomes his own son is more sensible than Xenu... 
>> But of course. No comparable motives of credibility exist for the report of Xenu, as exist for the report of the Triune and Thrice Holy God. L. Ron Hubbard’s disciples do not report his resurrection from the dead.
a resurrecting man-god who temporarily dies to save his imperfect creations from the hell he created makes more sense
>> It makes profound and, indeed, irrefutable sense, given the existence of both Hell and a loving Triune God, whose attributes include both Justice and Mercy.
 than Mohummed flying on a horse.
>> Flying on a horse ( a preternatural, but not necessarily supernatural, event) is not a sufficient motive of credibility to assent to one or another position on Hell.
Since Hell is asserted to occur after biological death, any credible report of its existence and conditions must include evidence of having both experienced, and conquered, biological death.
No such claim is advanced for Mohammed.
A talking snake and a floating Zoo make more sense than myths past.
>> The correct hermeneutic of all such religious texts can be provided only by One Who establishes motives of credibility more powerful than the motives of credibility of those who deny the possibility of such texts reporting Truth.
In other words, Jesus Christ must be more credible than articulett.
I argue that Jesus Christ is much more credible than articulett, on entirely objective grounds.
An immaterial god that is indistinguishable from a delusion makes more sense than Zeus or Ra or Fairies.
>> “Circulus in probando” again. The conclusion is implicit in the premise.
An immaterial God is quite distinguishable from an illusion, since anything material cannot be God; anything material must proceed from a prior cause, and therefore cannot be God.
Although the evidence would put these sorts of beliefs on the same plane, their belief that their own particular "woo" is true makes it "feel" more obviously true in their heads. Religion encourages people to confuse feelings for facts.
>> “Feel” has nothing to do with it. That was your problem from the beginning- you situated your faith in feelings.
In other words, you built your house on shifting sands, and unsurprisingly, it fell.
Another thing religionists do is they keep their beliefs nebulous-- they avoid saying what exactly it is they believe so that any things that they don't understand can be "interpreted" by them as "evidence" for their faith. I don't think most religionists know exactly WHAT they believe or why-- but they are afraid NOT to believe. They've learned to associate good things with having faith.
>> Your arguments are clearly not well-equipped to deal with the truth claims of a Catholic who knows his Faith.
All of Catholicism’s dogmas proceed from an objective, historical Fact, which supplies the necessary motives of credibility upon which to conclude a reasonable basis for Faith.
Ultimately it's arrogant, because each religionist is believes that they think that THEY can't be fooled like all those others all those others of the wrong faiths-- but this is understandable when it comes to religions like Islam or many of the branches of Christianity-- because faith (in the right unbelievable story) is said to bring the utmost in rewards... and lack of faith is said to bring ETERNAL torment (at the hands of a "loving" god--ha!). Plus they have a god who tests people in vile ways (asking Abraham to kill his kid) and a devil that plants fossils or tries to garner souls or whatever.
>> Again, utterly irrelevant. The mere fact that one or two or seventy six religions are false, proves nothing at all with respect to whether all religions are false.
In fact, it is a matter of basic logic- which you have repeatedly failed to grasp- that either all religions are false, or all but one are.
The Catholic proposes that all but one are.
So when people like Harold tell me their faith passes... then I assume that he really believes it does... just like a Mormon might think so about his faith... and a Muslim... and a Jehovah's Witness... and those who are sure they've been probed by aliens-- 
>> What motives of credibility do they supply? Feelings, or even merely preternatural (as opposed to supernatural) miracles will not suffice.
Resurrection from the dead will do nicely, however.
But of course I think they are as delusional as they think all those of the wrong faiths are... and for pretty much the same reasons.   
>> Irrelevant. What you think is not dispositive of what is objectively true.
The OTF is not a miracle worker.
>> You can say that again :-)
 But I think it's the best tool around for unbrainwashing people. If a believer tells me their supernatural beliefs pass-- I believe that THEY really think so.
>> Let them provide motives of credibility comparable to those of the Catholic Faith. If they cannot, then they can safely be ignored.
That will quickly get us down to either Catholicism, or atheism.
I will be happy to defend Catholicism.
And I believe that there are people who really think they've been probed by aliens or seen a chupacabra or are possessed by demons. But I don't believe in any of these things, and I don't really think believers in such things have the type of evidence that would convince most outsiders-- at least not the skeptical ones. Nor do I think they have the kind of evidence THEY themselves would require to believe in some conflicting faith.
>> Let us see their motives of credibility. If they are not comparable to the motives of credibility supplied by the Catholic Church, we can leave them aside and get to the meat.

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