Tag Archives: Proof

Christopher Hitchens

Can you dispute the facts/opinions of these two short presentations by Christopher Hitchens?

 

 

 


Ten Things Christians Should Keep in Mind When Debating Atheists – Edited, John Loftus

1. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Consequently, the burden of proof is on the theist rather than the atheist.

2. Science has radically altered how we understand the universe, so theism must grapple with the implications of science before offering prescientific beliefs as truth.

3. There is a gap between natural theology and revealed theology. Arguing for a prime mover is not the same thing as arguing for any faith tradition.

4. An atheist is under no obligation to take your theology seriously. It’s your belief, you need to justify it in secular terms. Just as a Hindu or a Scientologist would.

5. The problem of miracles is a serious challenge that must be overcome for any testimony or private revelation of the divine to be taken as verifiable.

6. Faith is not an [sound] epistemology, and the retreat to faith is a concession of the failure of the belief to be defended on rational grounds.

7. The link between theism and morality has been conceptually (Euthyphro dilemma), empirically (evolutionary ethics), and culturally (morality existing without theism) discredited. Thus coupling God with the notion of Good is not only misleading, but trying to own a fundamental aspect of the human condition.

8. Atheism is not materialism. Materialism is a scientific doctrine, while atheism is a stance on the position of gods. Arguing against materialism is not going to make the case for theism.

9. Atheism is a conclusion, not a worldview. Atheism is not an answer to life, the universe, and everything – just the conclusion that theism isn’t.

10. Attack the arguments for what is said, not what isn’t. Though this should apply to everyone – not just theists. Arguing against interpretations not in the text is setting up a caricature, as is arguing against uncharitable interpretations of what is said.


You Believe What?

The following argument is in response to a person proposing a proof of God he had recently discovered, finding it to be a satisfactory proof. John Loftus responds as follows:

“Is this why you believe? Surely not, because you believed before ever hearing of this argument. So tell me why you first believed. That is much more interesting to me. I want to know what brought you to believe in the first place. Which religious or non-religious options did you consider before choosing Christianity? What program of study did you follow in doing so? What works of a skeptical nature did you consider before making your choice?” – John Loftus

Merely accepting what parents, friends and family believe is not proof of anything, let alone Christianity.