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Robby Hall
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So, looking at everything one by one - Jesus isn't very nice. Need to qualify what they mean by 'nice' - Actual story of Christ. What do they believe is the actual story of Christ. - Jesus is narcissistic. If Jesus is God as He claimed to be, then He actually is worthy of worship and this wouldn't be narcissism. - contradicting honor thy mother and father. This again sets up a false dichotomy. Jesus wasn't actually speaking of abandonment in the actual sense [see 1 Cor. where Paul indicates many of the apostles had their wives as companions when traveling], but rather how their devotion to Him compares to other relationships. These points should be tactically drawn out, however, this is a very poor challenge as it even ultimately comes down to the atheists ideas on morality and its' very basis.
After reading through the rest of the article, it boils down to a lot of question begging. Since the article does not establish good reasons for believing that the book of Mormon is "another testament of Jesus Christ in book form, just like the Bible!", the other statements do not follow until we can establish the truth of statement #3. And that needs to be established by point #2 of which we have historical evidence to the contrary.
So, my initial response to this would be "What do you mean by 'son of God'?" "What do you mean when you say 'He died for our sins?" The use of Christian language here does not really tell me what they believe about those two doctrines.
Question for you all: If there was a pledge similar to a DNR that said you would refuse any kind of medical treatment that had used fetal tissue in its research, would you sign it and abide by it? Would such an agreement change the fact that a baby had been murdered and it's body parts sold to research such treatments?
Well, if they are going to be aborted anyway, shouldn't we try to do some good even if we think abortion is wrong? So, if I have a 2 year old and I decide that she is too much of a burden, I should be able to kill her and sell her body parts for medical research according to your view right? I mean, she's going to die anyway, might as well have some good come out of it right? While this may seem elementary, I believe the tactical approach is still best in that I can demonstrate the absurdity of the view by asking a clarifying question [why do you think abortion is wrong] and then taking the roof off by giving back the view the person has stated.
Even though abortion is wrong, isn’t selling the tissue and organs to further medical research a good thing? Aren’t we at least making something good out of a bad situation? Well, why do you think abortion is wrong? well, abortion is killing babies So, you think abortion is killing babies and we ought to be able to kill babies and sell their body part to further medical research, is that correct? .......
God hasn't revealed himself to me and even if He did, how could I trust it as not being a delusion or my desires or emotions That fails on a couple fronts: 1. you are already saying that you need God to reveal Himself, yet aren't prepared to even accept your own standard [that God would need to reveal Himself in order for you to believe] 2. You haven't applied the same reasoning to your skepticism. How is it your skepticism isn't a delusion or your desires? Finally, as Amy pointed out, this is a very subjective critique of theism in that the atheist is using what THEY think God ought to do to determine whether He does or doesn't exist.
My first reaction to the claim "It's offensive to claim that Jesus is the only way to God" is "you're right!". It is offensive. Paul tells us that the cross is a stumbling block to unbelievers. But Jesus claimed to be the only way to God 100 times. The other issue is the idea of exclusivity being dangerous. Truth by it's very nature is exclusive. When we examine the core tenets of each religion, they are vastly different from one another. Logic tells us that they can't all be true. So the claim that there is something wrong with exclusivity is a claim that there is something wrong with truth. And that in itself is an exclusive claim. So this objection, to me, commits suicide.
Sam Thomas, I understand your hesitation. I have Gay friends/acquaintances on my list and I have posted this being prepared to defend it's position. While I appreciate the danger you may face, I would also encourage you to be confident in the arguments you can present in a graceful manner. As we have seen with Fire church, it's hard to accuse people of hate who have shown you love. But we have to be willing to accept the consequences of Truth.
Is a God who endorses slavery worth following and truly moral? First question "Can you tell me your definition of slavery?" Second Question "Can you tell me what you mean by 'moral'?" The conversation would have to flow from the answers and then, I would point out what the Bible actually says about slavery.
Some of this may be our fault when we do not include the proper qualifiers but when we say "cannot come from nothing", we need to add the qualifier "by natural means". The crux of the argument is that nature left to itself will not create anything out of nothing [ex nihilo]. So the argument is that by natural means, something does not come from nothing. The other issue here is this challenge has confused the super-natural with Magic which is defined as "the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature." The two are not synonymous and this would be my first clarifying question to this challenger.
Obviously, my first question will be "What do you mean by that?" However, the root of the question seems to stem from the idea that if I cannot name a time when I chose heterosexual attractions, then I cannot impose this upon homosexuals. And, they are right. I think it is a mistake to assume someone chooses same sex attraction [I used to think this way]. Sin is part of our make up due to the sin nature we've inherited. So, our viewpoint should be that we each have a different type of temptation and sinful desire than the other person. This issue is not the attraction, but the behavior - that is, I can expect sinners to have sinful desires. The real question is, when did you choose to Act upon this homo or heterosexuality? So, my response after clarification would be, much to their suprise, that "I don't believe anyone chooses a same sex or opposite sex attraction" but rather that they choose to act upon these attractions. And, if Same Sex relationships are morally wrong, then the choice was made to perform the action and that is where you make *The Choice*.
While my above analogy is a little messy, what I attempted to point out is that the first premise given by the objector is wrong. However, it is also a point of view given by many Christians when attempting to explain the Gospel which is still wrong. Once we adjust the first premise to be the correct teaching of scripture, the premises should follow [though, they may need to be cleaned up]
A.) Christianity states the following: 1. God is benevolent, just and fair and is the standard for Goodness 2. All have sinned against God and Are guilty 3. The only way to salvation (i.e. a pardon for your guilt) is thru repentence of sin and trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. One literally has to accept Jesus as ones savior B.) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (better known as just Gandhi) is universally accepted by humanity as a great and decent human being who: 1. Lived for just over 78 years and is now deceased Was a Hindu 2. Was a deeply religious and spiritual man however never accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour in the 78 plus years of his life. 3. Died guilty of his sins before God The three following conclusions can be drawn from the above statements: 1.) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is now in hell as he died guilty before a just and holy God having never accepted the pardon offered by God for his sins through Jesus Christ. Therefore God is benevolent, just and fair. Therefore Christianity is True 2.) Therefore a belief in and acceptance of Jesus Christ as your saviour is necessary to be forgiven for your sins in order to go to heaven Therefore Christianity is True 3.) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was judged by God and his destiny is in the hands of a Benevolent, Just and Fair God Therefore your soul will be judged by a Benevolent, Just and Fair God when you die. Therefore Christianity is True.
This is just one giant genetic fallacy as many have pointed out and is an illogical argument. I think once gently pointing that out, you can begin to build a case for truth.
I could ask "In what way does becoming Human change the nature and character of God?" But I think that is the wrong question here. I think we should define terms and find out what they think it means to be Human and go from there. It's an erroneous assumption that being Human means being flawed when that is now how we were created. Once we can establish that truly being human is not being flawed, we can see that there is no contradiction
This question seems to be attempting to move the goal posts a bit. Let's back up. If we are saying God does not exist [and this is currently an assumption base on the comment], then the alternative explanation is that we are simply a random accident, a clump of cells that through time an chance evolved over eons WITHOUT any design, purpose or meaning. So the very worldview this person is putting forth denies the very existence of meaning in and of itself as such a proposition has an implicit sense of meaninglessness. But the theistic worldview states we were created. Implicit in this is a design, a purpose a meaning. The person making the comment is only proposing a view from their perspective, but the moment they step outside of themselves and say that things have meaning - even if it's in an atheist sense, they have given an objective view that requires a design, a purpose and a meaning that defeats the atheist view. So this statement fails on it's own merits.
It's wrong to use the power of the state to enforce the prejudices of religion on a minority. This seems rife with contradition. On the other hand, if we are claiming the sexual orientation is merely the type of body you are attracted to, then you are opening the doors for a host of so-called "attractions". But, if we are saying this is just a biological function, then we have removed personhood from the equation and have eliminated any argument dealing with with the original objection posed. The argument comes down to definition but in so doing, implies an intrinsic value on a human being. But if we are dismissing an objective standard that says human beings were created in a certain fashion for X purpose, then what the LGBT community is arguing for ceases to be relevant. So, what one may call prejudice [which I believe fails to be justified as such] may simply be an objective definition of human sexuality based upon the standard given by that which endows rights in the first place. This is the point, I think, that is always missed by the LGBT community.
First, I want to know what this person means by sexual orientation? How are they defining that term? And then, how do they claim it is determined? To simply make the claim that because some people leave and return to a gay lifestyle assumes certain things to be true. Need more information on what this person is claiming.
1. Jesus came to live a sinless life and to be a sacrifice. This meant that He was fully human and fully God. This is indeed a mystery, however, if Jesus was God, He would have lived an exemplary life before us - obeying the law of Moses and living according to God's statutes. This would have included worshiping God. The trinity is not an easy thing to understand, but Jesus came to set aside His position to live a life of a servant. God cannot contradict Himself and not live according to His own word. 2. The body Jesus occupied was not eternal in the pre resurrection state. However, His body did not see corruption [decay]. Since He rose from the dead, He conquered death, hell and the grave - proving His eternal presence. And the body He has is eternal bearing the scars He bore for us to His glory for all eternity 3. Again, this refers to the mystery of the hypostatic union. But, $50 theological terms aside, now we come down to the definition of what it means to be human. Human beings were created in God's image to love, serve and worship the creator and be in relationship with Him. In this way, Jesus was more human than any of us. 4. Jesus has said many times that He was indeed God. "Before Abraham, I Am". There are very bad assumptions that Jesus did not claim deity, but scripture is full of these accounts.
Well, let's examine what we are saying here. The notion that if something exists, then it can be scientifically determined or measured is almost a category error. Are we merely speaking about existence or being? We are getting into Ontological territory as to where scientific measurements deal with the epistemology of things in the physical universe. Since theists posit that God is a non-physical, un-caused being, it should be an A-priori argument that scientific measurements would not be able to detect such a being but rather would only be able to detect said being's effects upon the universe - indeed the being's very creation of it. Therefore, the argument fails upon it's very first premise.
First question as always: What do you mean by that?
It would seem to me that the biggest issue here is that the challenge itself is starting from the wrong place - that is that in order to even know that we are our brain, they would need to know that they exist. Descartes said I think, therefore, I am He knew that the ability to think was evidence for his existence beyond just the physical realm. That there was something more to him than just a body. If we really were simply synaptic responses inside of a meat computer, we would have no knowledge of our own existence to even begin to ponder these questions. The mere fact that we are able to ponder means we are aware of our existence within ourselves. So to begin this challenge with the claim of evidence is actually evidence in itself that the soul exists apart from the brain and from the physical and takes on the appearance of a suicidal statement.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Challenge: There Is No Soul at Stand to Reason Blog
The challenge is more insulting to the unbeliever than it is to the Christian as it's dishonest from the outset and plays upon the average person's ignorance of scripture. Nevertheless, it's obvious that 1. It's part of a larger parable 2. The parable actually concerns Christians (or so called Christians) 3. Speaks of judgement at the end of all things. Never Read a Bible verse strikes again!
Don't forget that there's a setting on the page where you can set it to receive updates for new posts
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2014 on News for Facebook Users at Stand to Reason Blog