A letter to Erichttps://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2770-q-a-page-for-atheists#6595
When i called the show, the first time, Eric, you said that
1. The laws of physics break down at the beginning of the Big Bang, and that we cannot look further back, and as such, don't know what happened before. And
2. " We don't know how life began "
So i asked: What is your show all about if you just express your ignorance?
So, you said: Oh, LETS FIND OUT TOGETHER ( about origins).
you said you are you HONESTLY open to change your mind upon new evidence, and permit the evidence to lead wherever it is. Even, if leading back from where you came from, a Christian faith? I confirmed that I was open and willing to permit the evidence to lead wherever it is. And I am. I am aware that bias should be removed as much as possible being part of solid epistemology. There are many issues in a " grey zone ", where I do not hold a consolidated position. Whenever I interact with others, I learn new things. And I am open to learn from anyone. And I am open to admit when I am wrong, and then a change my views. And in the last three weeks, I learned a LOT by interacting with you, and your audience. Thank you for giving me the opportunity for that. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to expose my views. But I did not clarify what the burden of proof would be to seriously challenge my faith and worldview. That is an entirely different issue.
My position is straightforward and directly opposed to yours: I do not believe what we can exist without a creator.
That is my null position. No atheist has been able in 34 years, as long as I am Christian, to meet that challenge and demonstrate, that we CAN exist without a Creator. Why is it that only theists have to meet the burden of proof, and atheists think they have not to provide an alternative if they do not agree with believers in God?
I truly believe, no atheist will ever be able to meet my burden of proof. Of course, in the same sense, as it can theoretically be, that this afternoon is the end of the universe, and the sun does not rise tomorrow morning, which is extremely unlikely, it is extremely unlikely that the bones of Jesus in the grave will be found, or science will find out how life started without a guiding hand, or how consciousness and intelligence can arise from matter. That is my burden of proof. Theortically it can happen, but its extremely unlikely. Am I dishonest? I don't think so. Do you think I was? If so, I kindly ask you to revise your view. Had you asked me at the show, I would have given that answer, as I have done so previously. I even wrote an article on precisely that issue. I have nothing to hide. Look it up:Atheists & wasting timehttps://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2814-atheists-wasting-time
Which is yours? How can someone convince you that God exists? I don't know, but Matt said that he doesn't know. And he hides even further and claims that the believer has besides demonstrating God, the burden of proof to show that the existence of God is even POSSIBLE. Is that an honest position? Why should the POSSIBLE existence of God be an issue of doubt, if Aquinas gives a succinct answer? There are necessary, and contingent beings. If the universe had a beginning, which it most probably had upon inference of the most modern cosmological research, then there must exist a necessary uncaused cause. So that is in my view a no brainer. But for who seems to try to obfuscate and hide wherever opportunities arise, that seems one more point to create ( unnecessary) obstacles and justify unbelief. " We can't know if the God hypothesis is even possible". The burden of proof lies on the believer. Poppycock.
My aim at my first call was to establish a framework of inquiry. Your objection of farting pixies did not withstand scrutiny. In the end, you had to admit that either there is a God, or there is not. That's what it is all about.
So, once this was established, the second point was to establish, how can we detect design in nature? How can we make sense about the world around us, and understand it?
I was working precisely on that. I called two times into the show, to demonstrate, that design can be inferred in nature. First, by contrast, the random chaotic structure of sand on the beach, to a Sandcastle which was obviously made by someone. Were the attempts of Jamie to try to refute my example by claiming that everything was created, the sand on the beach, and the sand that makes the sandcastle, which consumed the time of the show honest curiosity, or just a lame desperate attempt to poke holes in my argument ( we want to be right at all costs, the caller and his claims must be refuted? we cannot permit the shoes of God into the door of our house? ) At the third show, I gave the example with the Argument of analogy. One car of known origin, comparing to a second car parked next, very similar or better built, without known origin, and which manufacturing company is not known, if someone had to answer the question: What makes more sense, to infer that a car company made the car, or natural forces, it is very obvious that we can infer with high security that an unknown carmaker made the car, and not random forces. Both are very clear examples of detection of design, and nobody would make much fuzz about it. But Jamie did. At the end of the third show, i said to Jamie that i would send him some material to read, and he said he would, despite this, he did never return one word on messenger. Why?????!
In both episodes, Jamie did NOT grant that these are sound methods to detect and recognize design. In fact, Eric, you did as well, at no moment agree, that the contrast of a sand beach and a sandcastle are obvious. It's obvious that the Sandcastle is the product of an intelligence, as surely such orderly structure points to a designer. Anyone would agree that it would be pure nonsense to argue that the structure is the result of a series of unexplained, chaotic random events by chance to be there. Of course, any contention seems right to justify the "no-God hypothesis", so Jamie began squabbling about if someone had never seen a sandcastle, that person would not be able to recognize it as made. Not only does that not matter, but we are "pattern recognizing machines", so we would most certainly be able to recognize it.
Also, when I spoke about cells and the impossibility that they could emerge randomly, you invoked hastily Dawkins The blind watchmaker and accused me of incredulity. INCREDULITY, ERIC ??!!! When you blame others, you give up your power to change !!
The opposite of incredulity is being credulous. Incredulity, doubt and scepticism about God and special creation, are implicit in every naturalistic explanation about abiogenesis and many other facets of the unbeliever's viewpoints. Isn't it a bit disingenuous to accuse me to be incredule? - and why should I be credulous?Yes, I am incredulous.That is the THING that I am incredulous about - a *certain scenario* ( naturalism, cosmological, chemical, and biological evolution, abiogenesis and Neo-Darwinism, and that irreducibly complex biological system, coded, instructed or specified complex information, and entire factory complexes composed of myriads of interconnected factories, full of computers and robotic production lines could emerge naturally ) that's only *imagined* about how various amazing abilities of animals and plants happened all by themselves, defying known and reasonable principles of the limited range of chance, physical necessity, mutations and Natural selection. The proponent of naturalism is "incredulous" that an intelligent creator/designer could exist, beyond and behind our entire space-time continuum, who is our Creator. But there is nothing ridiculous about that - especially if you can't personally examine reality to that depth - how do you know nature is all that exists? What IS ridiculous (IMO) is trying to imagine a *naturalistic origin* of these things. What we need, is giving a *plausible* account of how it came about to be in the first place, and the " No-God hypothesis" simply doesn't cut the cake.
So you talk about honesty. You talk about "let's find out together, and do honest research together", but are unwilling to grant agreement of such obvious examples, that a child can understand? Why are you expressing skepticism about such obvious issues and how does that modus operandi give credence to your claimed honesty?
You said at my first call at the show - that you were open of seeking together. But if you CAN know how to detect design in nature, and come to sound conclusions about where the evidence leads, but nonetheless go with the philosophy of ignorance expressed by Matt Dillahunty, and willingly stick to the " I don't know how I could recognize evidence of Gods existence", and " God knows what would convince me, why does he not meet the burden of proof ' ?" , then let me ask you: How is this an honest, unbiased approach? Who is wasting the time of whom, here, Eric?
So let me ask you. If a believer calls into your show, but with the burden of proof set as high as I do, why is such a person not worth your time? If my faith is unjustified, then, no matter if at the end of the journey, i will be convinced or not by your arguments, Eric, how does that matter? You showed to your audience your standpoint. The contrast has been made, people will decide who is more compelling. That's it. I have SET A CLEAR STANDARD OF PROOF. You won't be able to meet it. BUT YOU DID NOT EVEN DO THAT. How is your modus operandi superior to mine? Why is mine dishonest, yours is not? You hide behind your freely chosen ignorance. That makes it far more difficult for a believer because I do not know what territory I am stepping in. But: Matt, to which team you belong, did not move closer one jota from his atheism of weak atheism, rather, upon the experience he gained through his show, he actually REFINED his arguments in order to be able to hide better behind his unbelief, making it harder for believers to make their case. He has clearly demonstrated that he is not willing to move towards faith in God, and even more, he claims to be morally superior to the God of the Bible, and if God would show up, he would not worship him, because, in his view, the God of the old testament is a moral monster. At the end of my first call, you had also the audacity to criticise God as a bad designer. And when I said: " Ho do you dare ", you said that was not a good argument out of my toolbox. Are you a misotheist, or a weak atheist, Eric ?!! Oh, of course. Someone cannot hate an entity, in which he does not believe. true.
I don't know how long your show is in the air. What arguments have theists in this time brought forward, that you did consider as convincing, and worthy of consideration? You said you learn with callers that do not bring forward good arguments. So do you learn to strengthen your power of argumentation to make your weak atheist position stronger, or are you seeking to disprove what you want to be true? I was honest about how I came to my worldview. I first believed, and afterwards looked for reasons to give justification to my worldview. And here I am. I have no interest AT ALL to deconvert. none. nada. Because I have tasted the goodness of the God I serve. I am an intellectually fulfilled Christian.
When I asked you if it is your goal to change the minds of theists, Eric, why did you not answer? So when someone has a firm position and calls your show, to expose it, you call that preaching? You call it " attempt to transform my show into a soap opera" ? I did REFUSE to talk about the Bible, what you and the other interlocutors like Hector did, only to find grounds to be able to do what you commonly do. Criticise the Bible. Find easy terrain to bolster your views against theism, the Bible & Christianity. Move away from the issue of scrutinizing naturalism. Common modus operandi. Attempts to drag believers down to ignorance and not providing any alternative, and label it as " honest". For sake, NO !!! If you are incorrect, you make yourself an actor to promote people to run towards being eternally lost. Are you comfortable with that responsibility? If you actively drive people away from God, and God exists, then you do considerable harm to Gods cause. I don't believe that is what you want. But think about it.
How do you think, will you appear in front of the great judge ?!!
Luke 11.52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
You call your show "an honest place for open discussion". But a believer that holds a firm belief is holding a dishonest position and is not welcome. Wow !!!
So who is welcome? You said callers called which were not firm in their beliefs. How have you treated them? To Jamies plus, I saw an episode, where he did not recommend to stop visiting the church. Nice.
So, Eric, are you open to moving forward, and give honest consideration to differing views to your position? OR CAN’T YOU ACCEPT THAT PHILOSOPHY BECAUSE YOU DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE IN GOD? The Bible presupposes God’s existence. To deny God’s existence is to deny the obvious. God made Himself known. When he says that the universe is designed, but it’s not.” the unbeliever is rejecting the obvious. To deny God’s existence means to reject that the evidence points evidently to God.Creation is evidence of a Creator. But not everybody ( is willing ) to see it.Romans 1.19 - 23 What may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.