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1
Given a Christian world view, it would be incredibly more probable that instances of miracles were documented and presented with a reasonable amount of evidence as to make one justified in believing in them. No such miracles have been conjured, therefore it is more probable that Atheism/Deism is true.

Craig's response to this was (in a loose paraphrase) "God has already given us enough evidence to believe in Him, and all sincere seekers will find Him one day, why is this a problem?" But the fact of the matter is that a sound argument is one that sways the probabilistic scales toward or away from a world view, and presupposing Christianity, the hiddenness of God is something that does not give us what we'd expect.

How would one respond to this?

2
From the standpoint of a biblical inerrantist, is it possible to be faithful to the word of God and hold the position that those who haven't heard will go to heaven? I'm not worried about children, because the bible allows for that, but it's strangely silent on making exceptions for those who just simply never hear about Jesus and die. Surely if a child who cannot rationally accept Christ or an aborted baby can be let into heaven, then one who sins but never hears about Jesus would also be, correct? I always hear preachers say "Only people who reject Jesus will go to hell" but I'm never at ease with that, because I don't know where the bible stands on those who aren't saved.

It's been bugging me a lot. It's an emotional objection, sure, but it's still there.

Any Christian brothers and sisters who are biblical inerrantists want to share their view on those who haven't heard the gospel?

3
If you're wondering, this is stemming off of a question in the thread "There HAS to Be a Problem With the Resurrection Argument, What Is It?" That I started a couple days ago. This can be found here:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/choose-your-own-topic/there-has-be-problem-with-resurrection-argument-what-is-it-6031529.0.html

So, me and emuse were talking, and I said that if we have independent evidence that it is more probable than not that God exists, then we are justified in invoking supernatural explanations in our attempt to figure out the best explanation of the facts of Jesus resurrection. But then emuse said (and I'm paraphrasing) "If God can be invoked to raise Jesus from the dead, why can't God be invoked to give the disciples hallucinations?" And I couldn't figure out a way to rebut it.

To summarize the argument and follow the logic, the question goes basically "If God exists, why think that He specifically raised Jesus from the dead, rather than something else? Why couldn't He have given the disciples hallucinations or made everybody believe Jesus had a twin brother?" Basically, if we can invoke God for raising Jesus from the dead, then we can also invoke God to make all the super improbable naturalistic explanations probable, because God would orchestrate them. Why think that God would be biased towards raising Jesus from the dead? If He can do all things, maybe He just made people believe Jesus had a twin or made the disciples have hallucinations, because God can do all things. It's 3:00 A.M. right now, and this might be worded horribly. My apologies.

I thought of two possible rebuttals, neither of which I find convincing, but here they are. They, specifically, are reasons one could postulate to advance the argument that it's more probable that God raised Jesus from the dead than that He sort of "compensated" for a normally improbable naturalistic explanation. Here they are:

1. Occam's Razor: I could say that God raising Jesus from the dead would involve less complexity and cause, and on top of that say that, on average, if there are more natural causes to events than supernatural, then it is more probable that 1 supernatural cause was invoked, favoring the resurrection.

2. Supernatural motive: If supernatural miracles are not something that happen everyday or are observed with evidence strong enough to believe them, then it is rational to think that miracles do not happen often or randomly. The supposed resurrection seems to me to be more probable as a miracle than mass hallucination because if the resurrection happened, then there was a supernatural end in mind with which the Creator intervened in His creation. If there was no supernatural end in mind and miracles are not common, then it seems to me the creator has no motive for performing the miracle, favoring the resurrection. What supernatural end would a random mass hallucination that deceived people and caused them to believe in a risen savior accomplish?

Thoughts? How would you respond to this argument? Why think God would raise Jesus from the dead, rather than orchestrating and helping along a less naturalistically probable explanation that didn't involve raising Him at all? If God can do all things, why assume He would be moved one and not the other?

4
I don't understand...

First, I dismissed it out of ignorance, and out of watching Craig's debates in which his resurrection argument was never challenged. I had some objections to it, and as I've looked at the resurrection argument more and more, I can't help but be amazed by it's soundness. At first, I felt that because of Craig's reformed epistemology, he sort of "had" to offer an argument in support of specifically the Christian faith, but I've been blown away by the utter lack of good objections to it.

Keith Parsons is my favorite atheist, and so far, he's made the best case against the resurrection that I can remember in the Craig-Parsons debate. I remember watching the Craig-Ehrman debate and thinking that Ehrman blew Craig out of the water, but when I watched it again and just listened to Craig's rebuttals and presentations, I was shocked by the soundness of his argument!

Why are there so many generic theists who cower away from accepting the resurrection argument when they have probability on their side and the evidence is so impeccable for the resurrection presupposing the existence of God?

There has to be a catch. Something big and unexpected. What am I missing? What's so bad about the resurrection argument?

5
Can God be a properly basic belief? Why or why not?

I've been an evidentialist for a while now, because I just dismissed Plantinga's Reformed Epistemological views as unsound, but as I read more and more about it, it really seems Plantinga is justified in holding his views. How is the witness of the Holy Spirit, if experienced, any different than the reality of the external world or the existence of moral experience with which we can say that objective moral values exist regardless of our world view? I see no reason not to think that if a maximally great being exists then He can, in fact, reveal Himself in a properly basic way.

Keep in mind the question is not about showing it to be true, but rather the justification of oneself experiencing and believing it.

6
Apologetics and Theology / An Argument Against Metaphysical Intuition
« on: July 25, 2015, 11:51:10 pm »
Keep in mind my lack of experience in formal deductive philosophy as I write this post.

In trying to discern whether God exists or not, many have used metaphysical intuition as a reason for believing premises in philosophical arguments. Craig gives metaphysical intuition as a reason for believing that the great making properties of the maximally great being derived from the Ontological argument, if sound, are that of being maximally powerful, necessarily existent, and wholly good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcklaS61cbk (1:40)

Craig also cites metaphysical intuition in support of premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I have no source for this.

Why should metaphysical intuition mean anything? Isn't metaphysical intuition wholly subjective? Even if every homo sapien on the planet is ingrained with metaphysical intuition that says that something can't come from nothing, it is still conceivable that we could lack this property, and think it perfectly reasonable that something can come from nothing. It just doesn't "feel" right to us, and this, at least in my mind, is not evidence.

Is there a good answer to this objection?

7
I've heard a couple. Forgive me for my ignorance.

1. Metaphysical intuition:

"Metaphysical experience tells us that something that begins to exist needs a cause."

2. Discriminatory universes:

"Why should only universes be able to begin to exist without a cause, why not root beer and Beethoven, or elementary particles?"

In my opinion, number 2 seems sound, but if anything, there may be weak reasons to believe this premise.

What evidence would you put forth as sound for premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

8
Apologetics and Theology / Has Science, Umm, "Discovered" God Again?
« on: July 25, 2015, 11:38:00 pm »
I'm getting really annoyed by a lot of these click-bait links. Does anything this guy says hold any water? He advances an argument saying that because the big bang singularity was formed by laws of nature which pre-date the singularity itself, the laws are therefore God or a creator of some sort.

Any proponents of this theory? It's really annoying when people say things like "any hard-core atheist will now tell you that science has discovered God" and they have doctorates from MIT. Am I the only one?

9
Hey guys!

I've only been active on these boards for a couple weeks but I've made more than my fair share of posts and comments, but I feel as though I need to leave for a little while.

I feel as though my faith in Jesus Christ and the bible is coming under fire, and I need to be able to clear my head of all high level intellectual thinking for a little while to just be with God. I need to figure out whether He exists and, at this point in time, arguments and evidence either way won't persuade me. I've researched too much, and I'll always keep researching, as I believe that critical thinking and self-examination is not something that is learned and done but rather a lifestyle in itself; but for right now, I need to clear my head.

I've been wondering lately if Craig's argument from the self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit is sound. If the Christian God exists, and the Christian God knows exactly how skeptical we are, He can give us a self-authenticating revelation so powerful that the revelation itself will be the basis of faith, rather than the arguments. How I'd love that. I figure that, for the next points in time, if I hold to the words of Jesus which say "seek and you shall find" then God will find some way to reveal Himself to me, if He exists. I hope that one day I have a properly basic understanding of Him that stands sound in the absence of a psychological defeater and any evidence against the Christian faith. I'd love to have the heart that Craig has, one not only of sincerity and gospel-sharing, but also of assuredness that God really exists through this self-authenticating revelation of the Holy Spirit, which is something that I don't have right now.

I know that God is not in as much of a hurry as me, but I sure wish that He was. I remember vividly a debate between Craig and Parsons in which Parsons says "Jesus said "seek and you shall find" so I seeked but I didn't find. That means Jesus was wrong, simple as that." I don't want to be that person. Somebody who closes my mind from the love of God and Christ because I was in a hurry to figure out whether He exists or not. It scares me to think that one should set aside such powerful affirmers of the faith like the possibility of the witness of the Holy Spirit, just because we wanted Jesus to show us whether He exists now. (I say this in respectful disagreement towards Parsons, by the way. He's my second favorite atheist.)

I feel as if Christian apologetic material is almost getting in the way of my relationship with God, and I feel because of this that I need to fast from it. Because arguments and evidence won't persuade me in the frame of mind that I'm in, I feel as though I'm just going to keep on praying and reading the bible (which I'll keep in mind is contingent to the Christian faith) and hoping that God sends this revelation my way. It sounds overly sensationalistic and spiritualistic, but anybody who has read my questions and posts on this forum will know that I'm the polar opposite of sensationalism and spiritualism.

So, it really seems that the proof of the argument is in the witness of the Holy Spirit. If I receive this witness before I die, I will believe in God in a justifiable way. If I do not receive this witness before I die, then it is not rational from a purely properly basic perspective to believe in God. I may come back an agnostic. Who knows. Either way, it's the process of reading and praying and having communion with God which will ultimately lead me to rationally affirm (at this point in time) that He exists. I could use any and all prayer these next couple months as I go back to the groundroots of scripture and start to offer prayers to Jesus the way a child would. As I start to live by nothing except the search for God and His peace, and start doing things purely by faith, as if these beliefs were believed at face value.

I'm spending a couple months at camp being a counselor in which I'll be going out of the way not to read any philosophy, high level theology, or science; and I'll rediscover what it first was that persuaded me to believe. With all my knowledge about psychology and sociology, I still believe that I've seen the Holy Spirit work in myself and others, and know that God will reveal Himself to me if I ask.

And I'll be praying that one day I can talk to people through the eye lens of having absolute certainty that God exists, just like Craig. I'll need prayer, if any of my brothers or sisters are willing to pray for me. God bless. Thanks everybody for all you've done. If anything, you've solidified my faith rather than infringing on it. Pray for me in this new outlook on life.

And I'll be back! Don't forget it! :)

-Noah

10
The Euthyphro Dilemma.

I just can't seem to let my one final objection go:

If something is metaphysically necessary (like God) then it is not arbitrary, because it has to exist in all possible worlds. -Agreed

If something is metaphysically necessary, it provides (in principle) a good meta-ethical foundation with which to ground objective moral values. -Agreed

Then comes the objection:

If something is metaphysically necessary, however, it is that way "by happenstance" or "by accident".

The mere fact that something metaphysically necessary (God's nature, in this instance) means that that is the only way it could have been.

How can I take something that just "is" by happenstance or accident and call it "The Good"?

It might not be arbitrary, but isn't it meaningless to this "The Good"?

11
Apologetics and Theology / r/atheism Is a Joke.
« on: June 20, 2015, 10:45:23 am »
Why are all atheist sites and communities filled with such ignorant remarks?

Am I the only one that thinks this? Has the new atheism really prevailed this much?

12
So, where I stand, I tend to reject the Modal Ontological Argument because these "intuitions" that define God's maximally great properties (perfectly good, all powerful, all knowing) are just based on metaphysical intuition. So is the idea that something can come from nothing.

What does the Christian say to respond to this? Seems like kind of a tight spot to be in.

13
Apologetics and Theology / If God Doesn't Exist, Who Wrote the Bible?
« on: June 20, 2015, 02:16:13 am »
Have you seen it?

I lost it then found it a little while ago:

If God Doesn't Exist, Who Wrote the Bible? Think about that one. Think about that one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpRbtq2e0S0

14
Apologetics and Theology / What Level of Education Do You Have?
« on: June 20, 2015, 02:10:34 am »
So, I was just reading the "Debate Me!" thread and Questions11 mentioned that this guy who wanted others to debate him might possibly have a relevant Ph. D.

Wow! Did I ever forget that people on the internet come from different walks and stages of life for a second... Can anybody that actively engages in discussion please list their level of education?  I'm curious and, obviously, you will not be judged by your level of education but by the soundness of your arguments.

You need not tell which university you graduated from or your year if you don't want to, you need only give the relevant information like your field and certificate/level.


15
Apologetics and Theology / Street Preaching: How Should We Do it?
« on: June 20, 2015, 01:55:26 am »
So, today me and my friend Colton went into Winnipeg, the capital city of Manitoba, Canada and decided that we were going to talk to people about Jesus.

It got me to thinking, do you think there's an "optimal" way to do street preaching. I'm not talking about a one-size-fits-all formula, but rather certain principles and constants that make people more responsive"?

I'm not hating on Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron, but I kind of agree with the logic in this satire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5errnW18f5k

(note that it's SATIRE, which means it argues against the point it's supposedly trying to make!)

Am I alone in thinking that Comfort and Cameron are too aggressive in their methodology? Some of the time they just spout pre-conceived answers (as all do) and it seems like they're too rigidly structured in their methodology. That they aim to come to an end argument quickly, and with minimal objection. They also seem to want to give more of a lecture than have a discussion.

I just said hey and asked if I could pray for them... we had many great discussions.

I'm not trying to be divisive, just lovingly critical. If somebody persuades me that this is the style that Jesus would have used, then by all means it is the right one.

Thoughts?

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