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H.H.

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2015, 12:58:27 am »
Your first sentence doesn't follow from anything I said.

Seriously?
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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2015, 03:36:28 am »
Your first sentence doesn't follow from anything I said.

Seriously?

So much for the "critical thinking" approach.

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ArtD

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2015, 05:53:52 am »
Quote
I was a christian growing up since I live in the Southern part of the "Bible Belt" in Florida. Growing up you really accept whatever your family believes, and you don't do much thinking. You are in a way indoctrinated, and you go to church etc. After I grew up a little more like usual you start questioning things, and at a teenage age you can be defiant, and think its cool and rebellious to reject religion. This was part of why I rejected Christianity, but there were some intellectual reasons as well. One, I watched Stephan Hawking speak in a documentary with my Dad and he talked about the universe, and how it could work perfectly fine without any God necessary. He is the great Stephan Hawking leading physicist he knows what he is talking about! I felt like God was not necessary, and I felt like my Dad should or probably feel the same. Other things included Noah's Ark and how that is possible, and why I can see a rainbow just seeing water and light there is no "God" putting it into the sky! And some other things as well like why does God send people to a fiery hell if they don't believe? I think Pascal's Wager got me thinking, and made me research Christianity more. Now, I don't think it is the most valid or best argument in the world, but it made me think "What if i'm wrong?" I should probably research this more.

Well, that is when I think I really started looking at videos for Christianity. I remember the "Cold Case Christianity" lecture by Jim Warner Wallace, and archeology videos being among my earliest. I came across Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, N.T. Wright, Craig Evans etc. to learn about the Resurrection, and other facts or details about Jesus, and Christianity. I found William Lane Craig and all his arguments most notably "The Kalam Cosmological Argument, I found the fine-tuning argument, and later on people like Alvin Plantinga, J.P. Moreland, John Lennox, Francis Collins etc. and most recently the Blackwell companion which has the best arguments for theism w/ their best defenders. Instead of God being not necessary he now looked required to explain the world around me. I saw there are good reasons to believe in God, and very intelligent people who do believe in God now, and in the past which can be surprising.

To give a list of reasons why I believe in God here:

1. Kalam Cosmological Argument (William Lane Craig, James Sinclair)
2. Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (Alexander Pruss, Inspiring Philosophy (talented christian youtuber)
3. Fine-Tuning Argument (Robin Collins)
4. Resurrection Argument (Gary Habermas, Tim Mcgrew, William Lane Craig, N.T. Wright, Michael Licona)
5. Religious Experience Argument (Craig Keener, Richard Swinburne, Kai-Man Kwan)
6. Consciousness Argument (J.P. Moreland, and some others)
7. Moral Argument (C.S. Lewis, Mark Linville, William Lane Craig)
8. Argument from Reason/EAAN (Alvin Plantinga, C.S. Lewis, Victor Reppert)
9. Ontological Argument (Robert E. Maydole, Alvin Plantinga)
10. Argument from Evil (Stewart Goetz)
11. Mathematics Argument (Eugene Wigner, and some others)
12. Reliability of the Gospels (Inspiring Philosophy, Craig Blomberg, etc.)
13. Prophecy Evidence (Michael Brown)
14. Archeology Evidence (Paul Meier, Sir William Ramsey etc.)
15. Shroud of Turin (& Sudarium) (Barrie Schwartz, Robert Bucklin, John Jackson etc.)
16. Trinity in the OT (Michael Brown, Michael Heiser, Inspiring Philosophy)
17. Historicity of Jesus' Miracles
etc.

Some other things I consider to be possibly pointing to God is the Origin of life, Cambrian Explosion, Digital Physics Argument, NDE's plus some other things.

So if you want to know why I believe in God those are some of the main reasons, and some (Kalam, Resurrection, Fine-tuning etc.) are more compelling to me than others, and I could spend more time understand certain ones a little better (Ontological, Argument from Evil).

This is an interesting account. You're raised Christian, have some brief doubts but Pascal's Wager scares you so you search for material that tells you Christianity is true. I can imagine someone raised Islamic, Buddhist, or whatever going through the same process and ending up Muslim, Buddhist, etc.

It's a natural human tendency to look for evidence that supports our beliefs. But is that the best way to find the truth? Or shouldn't we also consider evidence that disputes and contradicts our beliefs so we know both sides and can make an informed decision?
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kurros

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2015, 06:54:10 am »
...It's a natural human tendency to look for evidence that supports our beliefs. But is that the best way to find the truth? Or shouldn't we also consider evidence that disputes and contradicts our beliefs so we know both sides and can make an informed decision?

Indeed the great revelation of the scientific method is that we should search hardest for evidence that contradicts our beliefs. Evidence which merely confirms what we already know is actually not very informative, and does not lead to much improvement in understanding.

Edit: One of the nicest, and simplest, demonstrations of this I have seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKA4w2O61Xo
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 07:20:04 am by kurros »

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ArtD

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2015, 08:54:37 am »
Good video.
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AnimatedDirt

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2015, 09:39:51 am »
Someone posed me this question:

Quote
I am extremely curious, WHY do you believe in God?  I mean, why really?  What goes through your mind about it?  What are your private thoughts about it like?  Did you have some kind of emotional experience?  Were you raised Christian?  What?

I enjoyed pondering this. But I don't have even the beginnings of an answer I could call comprehensive or accurate.

Some Christians might give glib answers. Please don't be glib.

My most sincere answer is that I believe.

I grew up in an Adventist home, but more importantly, my parents were more Christian than they were Adventists, thank God for that!

I grew up on Christianity, the stories, the rules/laws, etc.  I readily admit that I accepted all I was taught as a youngster.  As a teen and into early adulthood, I remained a Christian, but likely in name only, though I did attend church, but out of more a custom than of loving church.  Long story, short.  I've come to own my Christianity a lot more than in the past.  I'm comfortable in the knowledge I do have and the 'answers' available to me.  Comfortable enough that my confidence level is sky-high on the existence of God...and even higher on the fact that this God loves me so much...I can't help but love Him back.

The unanswered questions I do have, I know I will have answers to one day.  Either in this life, or in the greater life to come.

I choose to believe...and I choose Christ to believe in.
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H.H.

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2015, 10:52:14 am »
I cannot empirically distinguish between psychological/biological and spiritual effects on me.

So I cannot say whether x is psychological/biological, or whether it is spiritual.

I can certainly feel the Holy Spirit, or what I perceive to very likely be the Holy Spirit.

But at the same time, were this feeling to come about in a non religious context I wouldn't hesitate to put it down to a psychological effect. Keep in mind being psychological doesn't rule out spiritual involvement any more than the physical behavior of water rules out the parting of the red Sea.

So that's good reason to doubt the source of your inspiration. The next thing you have to ask yourself is to what extent does your commitment to theist arguments rely on that inspiration? And since there are many within the faith as well as those outside of it that don't find those arguments convincing, the only honest approach is either fideism or deconversion.
Your first sentence doesn't follow from anything I said.
Seriously?
So much for the "critical thinking" approach.

"So I cannot say whether x is psychological/biological, or whether it is spiritual.

I can certainly feel the Holy Spirit, or what I perceive to very likely be the Holy Spirit.

But at the same time, were this feeling to come about in a non religious context I wouldn't hesitate to put it down to a psychological effect."


"So much for the "critical thinking" approach."

"I can't say" means that I don't know\I can't be sure. How is I don't know\I can't be sure anything other than doubt? If grosso acknowledges that for all he knows x may be merely "psychological/biological" then why would he commit to x being spiritual? He admits that he does not know that it is spiritual and that he "wouldn't hesitate to put it down to a psychological effect" if it occurred in a non-religious context. Well those sensations obviously do occur in non-religious contexts unless grosso what's to claim he is some kind of special case who is a prophet of God or something.

But even if they don't occur outside of religion, he still admits he does not know and certainly cannot be sure. If he doesn't take his own legitimate uncertainty to heart then he is either being dishonest or subconsciously deluding himself.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 10:55:52 am by H.H. »
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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: Christians, can you answer this?
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2015, 10:58:17 am »
...It's a natural human tendency to look for evidence that supports our beliefs. But is that the best way to find the truth? Or shouldn't we also consider evidence that disputes and contradicts our beliefs so we know both sides and can make an informed decision?

Indeed the great revelation of the scientific method is that we should search hardest for evidence that contradicts our beliefs. Evidence which merely confirms what we already know is actually not very informative, and does not lead to much improvement in understanding.

Edit: One of the nicest, and simplest, demonstrations of this I have seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKA4w2O61Xo

That is not a revelation of the scientific method, as you yourself will admit.

It is an interpretation, an idiosincratic one, if you asked me.

It would seem that what can be interpreted of our experiences in working with the scientific method is that it is our capacity (and our theories capacity ) to explain further that can provide advances in our understanding, at least, that this is the key element that is at the front sit of our progress in scientific understanding, even before important elements like falsifiability and experimental disconfirmation.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 11:29:08 am by ontologicalme »