QMonkey rapidly responded to my astoundingly elegant points yesterday evening so I am going to stun and amaze him by answering back with a witty retort before breakfast is over. Remember, this post is all the more stunning because I am writing it while drinking tea and removing a lost cat from a big tree.
We can certainly find common ground in the notion that internet debates on these issues just leaves both parties looking like boring non thinking idiots who copy and paste other debating points to infinity, and no one’s mind is actually changed. It’s a fact, but it’s a fact that disappoints me. I have engaged you, only because I think you are an interesting writer, I don’t engage the lunatic fringe -- you at least come across as someone who understands why people don’t believe. May I say, I understand, to a point, why you do.
I like to think that I debate so I can refine my position and opinions by testing them against greater minds (and zoomtards 😉 ), and also to try and expose the holes in other peoples arguments, to confirm my doubts. There is of course the tendency to want to win, if either of us want that, then we have lost (someone probably said that once).
If we’re limiting ourselves to 5 posts, then let’s leave the boring debates which we’ve both heard I’m sure. Obviously I think the the term fundamentalist atheist is anoxymoron – buts its a boring debate. And it’s irrelevant that i once belived and now don’t, and that you do now but once didn’t.
You may admit that the difficultly in debating with believers is that you don’t know what kind of believer you are dealing with. I read a concourse between Rick Warren and Sam Harris in Newsweek, and you might have found yourself agreeing more with Harris than Warren… and you might say Warren is deluded to believe in a 6000 year old earth, as I might say you are to believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. I digress.
You say: “We don’t claim Jesus is magic” “Christianity claims that Easter is supra-physics”
Now now, come on. You can’t be happy with that answer. One man’s Supra-physics, is pretty much everybody else’s magic. Can I ask if you have every witnessed a supra-physical event?
Would you not say that it’s reasonable to assume that Mohammad wasn’t personally visited by the angel Gabriel on a mountain top? Or that Joseph Smith received tablets from God or that a statue of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes shed real tears once or indeed that anything Supra-physical happens, without pretty good evidence?
If I assume that you don’t accept a 6 day creation because you don’t think the bible isn’t a history book and you accept the proven science (or whatever is the line you take).But scientists are increasingly massing around the view that it’s impossible to change water to wine or rise from the dead as well. I’m thinking you don’t accept the Jonah or Noah stories as historical… but that Pentecost and Pauls dramatic conversion probably happened. If so what’s your criteria? Is it just that the Noah and Jonah stories seem a smidge more ridiculous?
Fundamentalist + atheist = oxymoron? I’ll tell you what’s an oxymoron, MORON! Oh yes I will. (Fundamentalist + atheist = oxymoron)==Oxymoron. Booh yah! 😉
Fundamentalist doesn’t mean Christian who takes it all very seriously. There is nothing intrinsically difficult with the idea of a fundamentalist atheist. In fact, while I’m on a rant, the worldview of atheism is more prone to fundamentalism than my Christianity. It’s the grand epistemic irony of the inflexibility of relativism against the adaptability of objectionist views of the world.
To the substance of my argument. Tell me more about the fact that “scientists are increasingly massing around the view that it’s impossible to” do anything at all. The one thing that would be impossible for a scientist would be to prove something impossible. My main suggestion to you is that you have placed far too much weight on the empirical method and here we see it collapse. Science is very good at figuring out how things happen but it is uninterested and unable to comment on why things happen, whether they are good or bad or ugly and most pressingly, it can’t comment on things that don’t happen. How are scientists able to deduce something is impossible without stepping outside empiricism and into the land you call faith? I feel that your points thus far have been faith based.
Of all the things scientists will never claim impossible, water turning into wine is a chief one. On every vineyard in the world, this is exactly what happens, season after season, decade after decade and I thank God for that fact. There is nothing whatsoever philosophically incoherent about the Cana Wedding. Water beheld its Creator and did what it should do- blush. Wah-lah! We have 500 litres of the finest red wine!
It’s not going to be interesting if we just engage in a debate where you list a series of “miracles” that you are unable to believe because of the faith based assumptions of your worldview. I have a witty retort for everyone. I’ll end up looking dashing and charming and everyone except you will become a Christian if only because they hope to have my baby. “Can’t we all agree that this is funny and not at all credible” is not an argument.
So let me finish by boring you with with Paxman-lite questions: how do you define faith?
Your Correspondent, They decided in advance to disbelieve the supra-physical things that have happened to him.