9 thoughts on “AS144: Atheists Say the Darnedest Things, Part 2”

  1. Generally speaking the guests points may have had a grain of truth but were on the whole unsupported. For example his claim about scientism. Sure everyone has heard an atheist make bold overreaching claims about science but if you consider that there was at one time no distinction between science and philosophy and that part of the science “tool box” is logic and reasoning, there isn’t much left to use to determine truth or knowledge.
    Also I liked Thomas’s definition of faith, roughly, trust in something while fearing the possibility of it being not true.

  2. Thomas, you touched on something about faith the Elijah T was, I believe, was simply being disingenuous about. Faith IS a leap. It’s a risk; a “hope for things not seen…”.
    C’mon!! You let him off too easy regarding faith. His “definitions” were clearly in the slippery apologetic model of rationalizing.

  3. With regards to faith in a historical christian sense I think John 20:29 is applicable”Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”. Seems to me like Jesus himself endorses the belief without evidence definition of faith.

  4. You may want to read your guests positions before you interview them because it sounded like you agreed with him on so many points which were entirely unsubstantiated. He speaks well but his arguments are terrible. He discounts Islam because he isn’t convinced by the evidence which he admits he hasn’t entirely became familiar with because he believes his evidence is overwhelming but then never presents it entirely and cannot be certain that Islamic evidence may be greater than Christian evidence because he has never weighed the two. But if we discount Christianity for the same reason then we are wrong because some arguments used by atheists aren’t the best although the burden of proof is actually on the person claiming the supernatural. Sometimes we grant too much to an apologist and by the time the argument is done, many theist and non-theist listeners have disregarded the granted arguments so that the conversation could be continued. I don’t see how productive a conversation like this can be if you have to presume that we are living in Fantasy Land which is ruled by a magical dragon before we are made to defend the position that I don’t believe the world was made from pixie dust.

  5. Hi,

    I’d like to offer my 2 cents on the usage of faith. I think to say that ‘I have faith in my wife’ is a cultural and linguistic artefact. I think it’s fair to say that it’s a near universal concept when used in the religious concept. My first language is French. Faith, in French, is “foi”. I have faith, j’ai la foi. They mean the exact same thing.

    No one would ever say, in French, ‘j’ai la foi que ma femme ne me trompe pas’ – I have faith that my wife does not cheat on me. The term used will always be ‘confiance’ – trust.

    I suspect that in English, faith took on a second meaning – to trust – and now some believers merge the definition and use them interchangeably.

  6. On his points about scientism and that science or the scientific method is not the only way to know

    Well there are two ways to know.

    1. The scientific method
    2. Using your senses ( which are sometimes wrong)

    So science has an extremely good way of determining facts about reality. We know this due to the results of the technology and medicine of today that we discovered using the scientific method.

    We also know our senses are pretty good at determining facts about reality because we would get hurt or die by accident much more often than we do if they weren’t accurate.

    So what method is there to determine if our scientific findings are correct?

    More Science, that’s right science is the only option to increase our understanding of scientific facts.

    You should have asked him to name something better than science as an epistemology.

    And our senses are awesome but they are often wrong. Ask 10 people at the scene of a crime, the description of the criminal and you can see how inaccurate they can be.

    So can you think of a process we could use to determine if our senses were accurate?

    Yep, that’s right its science again.

    He argued that scientism or using science isn’t the only way to know things.

    Ok sure it isnt.

    But what process do we use to determine if those other methods are accurate?

    Science again

    It’s so easy to demonstrate that to them.

    Ask them what process is best in determining if their process is accurate.

  7. He probably would not speak honestly about Islam and why its not the right religion because he knows all the reasons he denies Islam are the exact same ones he should use to deny Christianity.

    We are humans with incredibly good thinking brains. We use logic and reason so well and religious people know they don’t use reason and logic for their religion

    When it comes down to it most know they are dishonestly arguing for the existence of their god.

    The dragon in the garage is a great analogy of dishonesty.

  8. At first blush, Twain’s humorous aphorism: “faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”, is remarkably astute.
    Language is a malleable thing, for sure, but sometimes we have to insist to some consistency and honesty in applying our terms. Faith, in the religious context, is traditionally AND consistently used to describe a “state of knowing” that is based on believing despite any relevant evidence to the contrary—or in spite of no evidence at all.

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