Low Hanging Fruit

This overheard from ‘NewEnglandBob’ who posted here until he realized his arguments couldn’t withstand scrutiny:

“How anyone with an IQ over 60 can believe in the sun being stopped, resurrection, walking on water, manna from heaven, one day’s oil lasting 8 days, rising in a chariot to heave, etc. is truly amazing to see how gullible people can be.”

If Scripture is the record of God acting in the world, wouldn’t we expect something miraculous to be recorded there? Bob seems to be saying “I don’t believe in the miraculous because there is no reliable record of miracles occuring, and I don’t believe the Bible is a reliable historical record because it records the occurence of miracles!”

Well, thanks for that Mr. Circularity.

6 Responses to Low Hanging Fruit

  1. Nate says:

    I may disagree with almost everything the guy says but you have to give him credit for being passionate.

  2. jackhudson says:

    Oh, I do; but passion should be coupled with the ability to civilly defend one’s point of view with logic and reason; otherwise it ends up being mere demagoguery.

    I appreciate the fact you do both; hang in there.

  3. Nate says:

    Yes, he does sometimes lack civility but we all do from time to time. He could make more of an effort.

    I think people forget that knowledge is not absolute. What they think and even what they can prove will almost certainly be subject to revision in the future and thus what they know to be true today will not hold true forever.

    Today we know Darwin to be wrong. Gradual change of species is a myth and is not backed up by the fossil record. Instead we know that species change practically overnight, at least in geological terms. Species remain pretty static and meaningful change over perhaps a few thousand years. That is a blink of the geological eye.

    Of course this will be refined and our understanding of evolution will change in the future and today’s truths will become yesterdays misunderstandings. Theology is no different.

    I reconcile evolution with my religion by imagining God to be the creator of the biggest most complex machine ever conceived. A machine designed to refine itself. Just like every other machine its creator cannot be found by examining the machine, only the evidence of the machine being created.

    The creator does not exist inside of his machine but outside of it. No proof obtained from inside the machine that is the universe can be used to prove or disprove that which exists outside of it.

    We will all find out if there is a God but not if there is no God, no afterlife. Only if consciousness continues after death can God be proven.

    Remember all truths are exclusive. I cannot truly believe myself to be right if I believe others with differing views are also correct. Like you say civility can and should be included in discussion. Only through battle can victory be found and I look forward to debating You, Bob and everyone else so we hopefully can expand our personal understanding of every topic we hit on and thus all find victory.

  4. jackhudson says:

    I certainly agree with the notion that human knowledge is not absolute. In fact, I would go farther and say human knowledge is very limited; that with each new discovery we realize how limited our knowledge actually is rather than being more confident that a complete understanding of the universe and reality is being achieved. I am in fact I am a big fan of epistemic humility.

    And I am compelled by logic to agree that contradictory truth claims cannot be simultaneously correct, which is why I spend the time I do pointing out the flaws in claims that contradict the ones I hold to be true.

    I have no problem discussing such differences civilly. What I often find lacking in many of the New Atheist folks is a fundamental inability to carry on such conversations without employing ad hominems, tu quoque, and question begging amongst a myriad of other logical fallacies. What they claim to be ‘passion’ is in fact intellectual retardation. Making an overtly emotional argument doesn’t make an assertion true, it does however reveal how little reason there is to support the argument being made.

    This of course isn’t true of all atheists, and many can sustain a conversation and line of reasoning with some consistency. But many, like Bob, whither when confronted with logic and reason, and run back to a place where their beliefs won’t be questioned.

    So I look forward to such debates when they happen, but I often find it’s just something most of them can’t do.

    What you and I would debate about, I am not certain, but I am glad you stopped by.

  5. Nate says:

    Ha!I’m not certain what we would debate either, but I’m sure something will eventually come up.

    Just the other day I was surprised to see Bob agreeing with me that the death penalty is just. In fact he didn’t even criticize me when I said we should bring back hanging. (studies have shown it may be more humane than the methods we use today. It was a big contrast between him and the blogs owner who spits acid at anything any conservative has even said.

  6. jackhudson says:

    I don’t doubt there are some things we all agree on; and I don’t have a problem with disagreement, but with tactics and the inability of certain persons to address issues without attacking persons. Most atheists (and many on the left) cannot separate the two. For them the politcal (and philosophical) is personal. That in my mind is intellectual weakness – they know their positions are weak, so they never actually defend their positions, they merely shout at others, make false accusations, threaten and bluster.

    A thoughtful Christian can always hold his own against an atheist, and demonstrate the fallacy of the atheist postion. Reasonable arguments will always triumph over unreasonable ones in a discussion where civil rules are followed. I have done it hundreds times. The New Atheists know this, and that is why most of them can’t have a reasonable, civil discussion – they are afraid.

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