Your Best Shot

Well, after a rather lively, lengthy, but ultimately empty exchange, our recent Anglican Priest visitor has apparently surrendered. Well, he ran away, waving a white flag, proclaiming victory for himself and reveling in my impending damnation. So it looked a lot like a surrender.

Why is it Christians are just so delighted by the thought of others suffering eternal torture at the hands of a loving god?

But I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

As in this last exchange, I have been deeply disappointed by the level of rational engagement I get from theists here and in other social media forums, such as Facebook.

Granted, you do find a few who will wrangle with you and leave you thinking, but they are a true few and they are far between. Worse, you have to wade through a massive cadre of one-liners and uninformed hyperbole from the other 200 folks in the thread to carry on one decent conversation. It drives you to the point of giving up trying to be reasonable and simply trading one-liners for one-liners. Let me tell you, the temptation is strong, and the will of this author, at least, is ofte not up to the task.

I have to acknowledge the perception gap that exists in trying to carry on a rational dialogue. It arises from the schism of authority. The rational skeptic only accepts reasonable evidence. The supernaturalist/theist accepts the bible as evidence and believes in god so deeply that they’re unable to look from another perspective. God is a given to them. (See my recent article on Plato’s Cave.)

But a lot of points can be given for trying, right? Trying would be bringing your best arguments for the existence of god, veracity of the bible, resurrection of Jesus, and so on, and then being able to defend your arguments in rational discussion. This means neither side can claim special acquisition of knowledge outside of our general human ability to perceive the universe around us.

Trust me, we lose a lot of theists right there.

Anyway, I would love my occasional believing readers to put forward their best arguments, or the arguments of others that to them bolster the reasonable conclusion that their faith is true and worthy of adherence.

You trust the work of Lee Strobel? Pick an issue, bring his best argument, and be ready to defend it. William Lane Craig? Norman Geisler? Sye Ten Bruggencate? Yourself? Bring it.

Send your assertion and supporting argument to me at winlb@yahoo.com. As I don’t expect to be inundated with droves of challenging believers, I think I can pretty well promise that any reasonably coherent arguments I receive will become future posts where I’ll address the argument to the best of my ability and invite my readers to weight in, whichever side of the argument they’re on.

I’m no dummy, but neither am I the smartest guy in the room. But let’s dialogue. If god’s word be his own truth, then pursuit of truth can only lead to god, right?

Well, we shall see.

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8 thoughts on “Your Best Shot

  1. I just hit the pastor of the church I used to attend with something along these lines … he mentioned in an online posting that “God is love” and that we should fear God. This makes no logical sense … Last reply to him I gave him the ol’ 1 Corinthians “Love is patient, love is kind …” and compared it to a judgemental God that requires belief.

    I expect he’ll have some sort of workaround for it, some sort of “this doesn’t apply to God” excuse possibly. We shall see.

      • It’s a common tactic – ignore/retreat/retry – Ignore the reason-based argument, retreat to square one, try again as if the previous conversation never happened.

        *Sigh*

  2. Toon, I have to call you on this one.
    Why is it Christians are just so delighted by the thought of others suffering eternal torture at the hands of a loving god?
    That’s a pretty broad brush you are painting with and it covered some facts that aren’t compatible with your opinion. I’m a beloved and I am decidedy NOT happy (let alone “delighted “) that anyone would suffer eternal punishment. I understand you are making a point, but I would urge caution regarding the assumption that all Chistians believe something because of your experiences with some believers.
    Thanks for listening.

    • I confess it is overstated, and was really in response to several individual interactions, most recently with the rather insulting and boorish Anglican Priest who’s been slumming about. His banter devolved to expressing, several times, a delight that this “new atheist” would suffer eternal torment and, indeed, already reeks of brimstone, etc.

      So it was a bit tongue in cheek, but sadly not unique to him. I run across it with some sad frequency.

      That said, you’re right, not all my believing friends feel that way or express that sort of sentiment. But if I overexplain it, the joke goes away too.

      So, I guess I’ll just request a little bit of latitude too, and make sure I grant the same to others 🙂

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