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Old 11-04-2006, 11:14 AM   #166
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Great posts, Quiet1 and BonosSaint. Both made excellent point.

From the perspective of this Christian, I don't think there's much point in trying to "convince" someone to believe.

I don't think that people who choose to embrace faith do so because they were "argued into it."
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:48 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Quoting scripture is meaningless unless basic premises are accepted.

To make a rational nonbeliever see credibility in his interpretation of scripture, he must:

1. Be able to refute alternative scenarios to present God as
the only logical alternative or at least present it as a logically
strong alternative.
2. Convince that his God is the only true God.
3. Convince that Jesus is the Son of God.
4. Convince that the Bible is inerrant.
5. Convince that his interpretation of the scripture is inerrant
due to some intervention of The Holy Spirit.

If he fails at any of these steps, his interpretations will carry little weight with anyone who does not accept any or all of the premises. The burden is on him as he is the one trying to convince. Pushing someone to defend their point of view and claiming victory if they cannot is not successful argument. It may highlight weaknesses in the other's logic, but does not prove strength in his.

The same burden is on the nonbeliever who wishes to convince a believer that there is no God. But frankly, I don't see much energy being expended to CONVINCE there is no God--except as a defensive reaction--therefore no substantial burden exists. A_W has taken on that burden. Others may have, but my head is spinning.

I have consistently used the word "convince" as opposed to "prove" for obvious reasons.
Some great points in here, very lucidly put...you should, like, be writing the Cliffs Notes for Kant or something.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:06 PM   #168
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Having been a huge fan of Cliffs Notes in high school and college, I am highly flattered.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:57 AM   #169
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra


There are times I wonder if some Christians think he commanded them to annoy infidels to death though....

hahahahhaha


oops, sorry ..
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:09 AM   #170
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Originally posted by AEON


Please forgive us "skeptics" that don't want to put all our moral eggs into this wet paper basket.


That's great, no one's asking you to.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:03 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


I don't think that people who choose to embrace faith do so because they were "argued into it."
This is actually not true in my case. I wandered down the path of Philosophy before I was engaged in Theology. It was Plato that opened my mind to God, then Augustine and Aquinas who opened my mind to Christ, and finally the writing of Paul led me to faith.

In order to converse with anyone about any topic, Christian or non-Christian, there simply must be acceptance of the four (non-negotiable) foundations of rational discourse: 1) law of non-contradiction; 2) law of causality; 3) basic reliability of sense perception; and 4) the analogical use of language (you can’t spend hours debating the meaning of the word “is” )

If any of these four principles are ignored – then there is not point in having a discussion. It will either break down into absurdity or simply never leave the starting point (i.e. debating of the meaning of the word “is”). However, as long as these principles are adhered to, then yes, even Christians can have rational discourse with non-believers.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:31 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON

If any of these four principles are ignored – then there is not point in having a discussion. It will either break down into absurdity or simply never leave the starting point (i.e. debating of the meaning of the word “is”). However, as long as these principles are adhered to, then yes, even Christians can have rational discourse with non-believers.
I don't understand why looking specifically at language equates to the impossibility of rational discourse for you.

It seems to me like it would be a rather important point for those who insist on a literal reading of any scripture. With the passage of time and the multiple translations, it stands to reason there are inaccuracies in our present version, not just linguistically referring to specific words, but in terms of context (ie. who was the audience the scripture was written for, why was it written, etc). It certainly implies a purposive approach, and yet you'd completely ignore that by writing it off as semantics.

In that case, I agree there can be no rational discourse; yours would be missing a rather substantive issue.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:33 AM   #173
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basic reliability of sense perception
Perception of reality is maleable, lysergic acid diethylamide teaches us that.
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:13 PM   #174
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Perception of reality is maleable, lysergic acid diethylamide teaches us that.
All this teaches is that you can't rely on what someone is talking about while they are frying on LSD.

Of cource perception isn't perfect. But if two people can't agree that they are both indeed standing on a sidewalk in NYC in the year 2006 and not floating on a Cheezit the size of a galaxy millions of years in the past - there really is no chance for rational discourse.
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:19 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


I don't understand why looking specifically at language equates to the impossibility of rational discourse for you.

It seems to me like it would be a rather important point for those who insist on a literal reading of any scripture. With the passage of time and the multiple translations, it stands to reason there are inaccuracies in our present version, not just linguistically referring to specific words, but in terms of context (ie. who was the audience the scripture was written for, why was it written, etc). It certainly implies a purposive approach, and yet you'd completely ignore that by writing it off as semantics.

In that case, I agree there can be no rational discourse; yours would be missing a rather substantive issue.
The truth is in the axioms, in the ideas, and in the events. The key to studying Scripture is looking at consistency of themes, and not merely one word or one passage. If something in the Bible seems to contradict something else - it is important to look through ALL of Scripture and see how it fits into God's consistent message of Justice and Grace.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:07 PM   #176
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON


This is actually not true in my case. I wandered down the path of Philosophy before I was engaged in Theology. It was Plato that opened my mind to God, then Augustine and Aquinas who opened my mind to Christ, and finally the writing of Paul led me to faith.
But that was your search. The argument was between the philosphers and your own heart (not to mention the Holy Spirit doing His marvelous work). I'm guessing you didnt' have a person trying to "break you down" theologically, logically, philosophically until you were left no choice but to concede they were right and accept Christ into your life. At some point, I know you were captured by the love of Jesus, you were drawn by the Person of Christ. Surely that is what finally drew you over the line to full commitment.

Granted there are a FEW people I've met who seem to have become Christians--or changed denominations-- rooted only on being "convinced it's right" but they are the worst kinds of Christians, IMHO. They hold onto their "belief" because they are certain that makes them unassailably right and able to "break down" any person who opposes them.

I actually met a guy last year who used that exact terminology.
"You gotta break 'em down," he told me, as he bragged about how he could convert any person. He might use different strategies--be kind and gentle with some, logical with others, and in some cases--the really stubborn ones--he'd have to just nail them with unassailable scripture after unassailable scripture until they collapsed in tears and admitted he was right. (As awful as it sounds, I'm not exaggerating).
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:16 PM   #177
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON


The truth is in the axioms, in the ideas, and in the events. The key to studying Scripture is looking at consistency of themes, and not merely one word or one passage.
Interesting, so consistency IS important to you?
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:41 PM   #178
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
I actually met a guy last year who used that exact terminology.
"You gotta break 'em down," he told me, as he bragged about how he could convert any person. He might use different strategies--be kind and gentle with some, logical with others, and in some cases--the really stubborn ones--he'd have to just nail them with unassailable scripture after unassailable scripture until they collapsed in tears and admitted he was right. (As awful as it sounds, I'm not exaggerating).
I suspect he frequently sits by himself on public transportation.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:58 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


But that was your search. The argument was between the philosphers and your own heart (not to mention the Holy Spirit doing His marvelous work). I'm guessing you didnt' have a person trying to "break you down" theologically, logically, philosophically until you were left no choice but to concede they were right and accept Christ into your life. At some point, I know you were captured by the love of Jesus, you were drawn by the Person of Christ. Surely that is what finally drew you over the line to full commitment.

This is true, and I take NO credit of my own. I am just saying, the Holy Spirit had to "break down" a ton of Philosophical barriers in order for me to open my heart. It was nothing short of divine intervention. But God does promise to answer those who GENUINELY seek Truth.

My other point is this - faith does not have to be the enemy of reason. (Kant is very much misinterpreted on this point).
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:02 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean




I actually met a guy last year who used that exact terminology.
"You gotta break 'em down," he told me, as he bragged about how he could convert any person. He might use different strategies--be kind and gentle with some, logical with others, and in some cases--the really stubborn ones--he'd have to just nail them with unassailable scripture after unassailable scripture until they collapsed in tears and admitted he was right. (As awful as it sounds, I'm not exaggerating).
Maycocksean, it certainly sounds like you've run into some "fringe" characters.

I only hope they are not tainting your view of Christianity as a whole. Evangelism is part of your job, please try and remember that before you become too critical of those who genuinely are trying to use the whole arsenal of tools to bring others into the kingdom.
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