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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science

Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
Quote:SteveII

Wrote Mere Christianity helps make sense of what a Christian is


Christianity has existed for hundreds of years has been debated fiercely over those hundreds of years has been warred over for hundreds of years and Steve thinks a simple concept written in a book by C.S Lewis, one of the worst apologists in a field ripe with bozos, resolves it all ..... Dodgy
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-07-2024, 10:08 PM)airportkid Wrote:
(07-07-2024, 02:30 AM)SteveII Wrote: ... seems to be a category error ...

"Category error" seems to be a favorite deflection in the OP's posts - I guess the argument is that religion can never be compared to things not within its "category".

A close second:

Quote:"I addressed a lot of this in this post".

Or its many variants: 'Go back an read that post.' 'Addressed in separate thread.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-08-2024, 04:51 PM)SteveII Wrote: I addressed a lot of this in this post.

The concept of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity helps make sense of what a Christian is (and is not).

Thank you for linking it again.  It was thoroughly unconvincing though, as Lewis is not an arbiter of what Christians as a whole feel is orthodox.  Much of Mere Christianity is Lewis declaring himself victorious after winning arguments no one was having with him, and then claiming all Christians believe the same as himself.  For instance, if we're to go to the core of what you seem to feel is orthodoxy and C.S. Lewis defines as the "mere" part of Mere Christianity:

Quote:Core Christian Beliefs: Lewis distilled Christianity down to its fundamental truths, such as the belief in God, the universal need for salvation, the divinity of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection providing a path to redemption, a transformed life, and the promise of eternal life for believers. "Mere Christianity" is about what all Christians can agree upon.
 

While I would agree that would be a good definition of the binding nature of Christianity, not all Christian denominations, let alone Christians, would agree that all Christians can agree on those points, as your own dictionary definition pointed out, "a person or their views, especially religious or political ones, or other beliefs or practices) conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved.".  

Therefore, again, it's not a binding and monolithic lower-case "o" orthodoxy.  Because orthodoxy, as you defined it with the dictionary, includes the, "theological or doctrinal disputes specific to particular denominations" and individuals, as you put it, because even the divinity of Christ, a thing I would find central to Christianity, isn't part of, as you said, "the shared faith that characterizes Christianity as a whole."  The concept of a lower-case "o" orthodoxy that binds all Christians as put forward by C.S. Lewis as the "mere" part of mere Christianity is incompatible with the reality of how people believe and differ in their beliefs.
Sandworm...really needs to check board more. 
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
Lewis was an idiot who thought that if you were an atheist you must think all religions were wrong rather then simply unproven and totally ignored religions that don't have an explicit god .
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-08-2024, 11:24 PM)SaxonX Wrote: Lewis was an idiot who thought that if you were an atheist you must think all religions were wrong rather then simply unproven and totally ignored religions that don't have an explicit god .

I've always felt that CS Lewis did us an enormous favour by unintentionally highlighting the similarities between faith and fiction. A big thanks to him for reducing Christianity to a kid's tale filled with talking animals.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-08-2024, 11:00 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:
(07-08-2024, 04:51 PM)SteveII Wrote: I addressed a lot of this in this post.

The concept of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity helps make sense of what a Christian is (and is not).

Thank you for linking it again.  It was thoroughly unconvincing though, as Lewis is not an arbiter of what Christians as a whole feel is orthodox.  Much of Mere Christianity is Lewis declaring himself victorious after winning arguments no one was having with him, and then claiming all Christians believe the same as himself.  For instance, if we're to go to the core of what you seem to feel is orthodoxy and C.S. Lewis defines as the "mere" part of Mere Christianity:

Quote:Core Christian Beliefs: Lewis distilled Christianity down to its fundamental truths, such as the belief in God, the universal need for salvation, the divinity of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection providing a path to redemption, a transformed life, and the promise of eternal life for believers. "Mere Christianity" is about what all Christians can agree upon.
 

While I would agree that would be a good definition of the binding nature of Christianity, not all Christian denominations, let alone Christians, would agree that all Christians can agree on those points, as your own dictionary definition pointed out, "a person or their views, especially religious or political ones, or other beliefs or practices) conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved.".  

Therefore, again, it's not a binding and monolithic lower-case "o" orthodoxy.  Because orthodoxy, as you defined it with the dictionary, includes the, "theological or doctrinal disputes specific to particular denominations" and individuals, as you put it, because even the divinity of Christ, a thing I would find central to Christianity, isn't part of, as you said, "the shared faith that characterizes Christianity as a whole."  The concept of a lower-case "o" orthodoxy that binds all Christians as put forward by C.S. Lewis as the "mere" part of mere Christianity is incompatible with the reality of how people believe and differ in their beliefs.

It is not that Lewis is the arbiter. He did not make up the basics, he simply put them in a context that helps us understand that they are basics. The list above is directly from the only obvious authority of Christianity (the NT). They are all logically connected and make all the events of the NT into a cohesive whole. Remove one and it leaves a big logical or conceptual hole. I would be glad to explain anyone that you don't feel is necessary.

ETA: It's not just Lewis, I also mentioned the early creeds that sought to do the same thing. This is not a mysterious process.

Regarding the myriads of people who call themselves Christians who don't believe in these basics, well, they are believe things that are contrary to the recognized authority for the basics so call them whatever you want, but their beliefs are incompatible with Christianity. The existence of people who don't believe a standard does not entail their is no standard. In other words, it makes no sense to say that people can redefine a standard and the standard must conform to them. That is postmodern crap.

Regarding theological or doctrinal disputes specific to particular denominations, these are beliefs that are (or must be) compatible with 'mere Christianity'--evidenced by the fact that members of one denomination would not say the other is not a Christian. There is a line when a core tenant of a denomination crossed over to being incompatible and the become definitionally not Christian (like LDS, JW). Of course your point benefits from being vague, so if you have a specific example, we can talk about that.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
That is probably the longest and most convoluted No True Scotsman I've read in the last ten years.
On hiatus.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-08-2024, 04:51 PM)SteveII Wrote: ...The concept of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianityhelps make sense of what a Christian is (and is not).

This predominantly work of fiction was undoubtedly a
literary showpiece;  but so is Beowulf, also a work
of fiction, but eminently more enjoyable as a read.

It was cobbled together more that eighty years ago,
well before we understood the machinations of the
human brain.

It wasn't until the 1970s that functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) was developed as a scanning
tool that showed activity in specific areas of the brain.
Mapping out the areas of the brain based on their blood
flow and activity lets clinicians know what specific parts
of the brain control certain actions and abilities.

Recent studies with fMRI offer an opportunity to study the
underlying brain mechanisms for basic emotions, and these
neuroimaging studies isolated some specific loci in the brain
responsible for basic emotions, while other regions are generally
involved in other emotions, perception and evaluation.

  —Lewis was an excellent writer, but a truly ignorant Christian.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 03:12 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That is probably the longest and most convoluted No True Scotsman I've read in the last ten years.

Exactly...

Quote:Regarding the myriads [myriad ] of people who call themselves Christians who don't believe in these
basics, well, they are believe things that are contrary to the recognized authority for the basics so
call them whatever you want, but their beliefs are incompatible with Christianity.

       Facepalm
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 03:12 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That is probably the longest and most convoluted No True Scotsman I've read in the last ten years.

The bible (specifically, the KJV bible) is cited as the authority for determining membership in a sect.  OK.

But no sect ever takes the bible at its word.  That's because taking the bible at its word is impossible.  It's so dreadfully written it's incomprehensible until interpreted.

That's a problem.  By what authority are any interpretations valid, standing with the same authority as the bible?  There isn't any, nor can there be.

Sects have no choice but to declare themselves having the same authority as the bible.  Right at square one they're cornered into blasphemy.  The sheer act of making an interpretation flat out says the interpreter is a better writer than god.  Their interpretation isn't only as authoritative as god, it supersedes god's authority.

Now, if every sect converged into unanimous uniform consensus in the same way science does then doing so might give that assertion credibility.  But they do the opposite, diverging into innumerable incompatible splinters, each convinced its interpretation is the only possible correct interpretation.

No True Scotsman is the only argument they've got.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 03:12 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That is probably the longest and most convoluted No True Scotsman I've read in the last ten years.

Yup, I give up.  The guy refuses to admit he has his own views on 'orthodoxy' which are unique to him and maybe the church he belongs to, which I'm betting is one of those "non-denominational" ones that's basically Baptist-lite.  His entire point on orthodoxy appears to be, "It is what I say it is, so there!" and that no one else is a True Christian ™. 

The dishonesty of his arguments, goal-post shifting, etc. is astounding, and reminiscent of every apologetics book I've ever read.
Sandworm...really needs to check board more. 
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 06:01 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:
(07-09-2024, 03:12 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That is probably the longest and most convoluted No True Scotsman I've read in the last ten years.

Yup, I give up.  The guy refuses to admit he has his own views on 'orthodoxy' which are unique to him and maybe the church he belongs to, which I'm betting is one of those "non-denominational" ones that's basically Baptist-lite.  His entire point on orthodoxy appears to be, "It is what I say it is, so there!" and that no one else is a True Christian ™. 

The dishonesty of his arguments, goal-post shifting, etc. is astounding, and reminiscent of every apologetics book I've ever read.

I've long since stopped interacting with Steve directly precisely because he's arguing in bad faith.
On hiatus.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 06:01 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:
(07-09-2024, 03:12 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That is probably the longest and most convoluted No True Scotsman I've read in the last ten years.

Yup, I give up.  The guy refuses to admit he has his own views on 'orthodoxy' which are unique to him and maybe the church he belongs to, which I'm betting is one of those "non-denominational" ones that's basically Baptist-lite.  His entire point on orthodoxy appears to be, "It is what I say it is, so there!" and that no one else is a True Christian ™. 

The dishonesty of his arguments, goal-post shifting, etc. is astounding, and reminiscent of every apologetics book I've ever read.

I didn't use the word "orthodoxy" once in my rather thorough reply to what what I thought was an honest attempt at discussion nor did I refer to my own views at all--always anchoring beliefs in historic authority (and even offering to expound if needed) so your dismissal smells more like you finally got a good answer to an argument that worked for you in the past.

Your speed seems more like commenting on people's posts rather engaging them. Noted. However, that field is pretty crowded here already.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 06:37 PM)SteveII Wrote: Your speed seems more like commenting on people's posts rather engaging them. Noted. However, that field is pretty crowded here already.

Aided and abetted, of course, by people who maintain ignore lists of dozens. Pretty hard to engage you under those circumstances.
On hiatus.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
Quote:SteveII Wrote:

Your speed seems more like commenting on people's posts rather engaging them. Noted. However, that field is pretty crowded here already.

Say anything actually worth engaging with and you might not have that problem Steve. Other then the lengthy brain farts you smugly type out.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
So Steve is now—for the purpose of the
argument—effectively proselytising?

He's right; we're wrong; and Christianity
is the only way to go?

Does this not breach the forum's rules?

7) No Deliberately Disruptive Behavior
...Proselytization also falls under disruptive behavior
   and will not be tolerated on this forum.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 08:10 PM)SYZ Wrote: So Steve is now—for the purpose of the
argument—effectively proselytising?

He's right; we're wrong; and Christianity
is the only way to go?

Does this not breach the forum's rules?

7) No Deliberately Disruptive Behavior
...Proselytization also falls under disruptive behavior
   and will not be tolerated on this forum.

I agree this seems to cross the line into Proselytization
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
I remember reading Mere Christianity as a teen and finding it really profound and meaningful, like wow this was an adult talking about serious adult stuff, not the childish "religion" I had gotten in Sunday School and through sermons at church.  And I remember reading it again as a twenty-something agnostic, and just laughing in the remembrance of that first reading.  (What can I say, I was a slow developer)

To be fair to Lewis, basic concepts of evolutionary psychology weren't widely known when he was writing.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-08-2024, 11:00 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote: The concept of a lower-case "o" orthodoxy that binds all Christians as put forward by C.S. Lewis as the "mere" part of mere Christianity is incompatible with the reality of how people believe and differ in their beliefs.
I can testify that when I was a fundamentalist Christian, I believed fundamentalist dogma WAS orthodoxy, and that all others were to some degree either incomplete or outright corrupted. More than one pastor or teacher would refer to other denominations condescendingly as "our weaker brothers in Christ". High church denominations were implicitly not included in that statement for various reasons such as elevating tradition to an equal footing with scripture, idolatry, etc.

I have no doubt that was true of wide swaths of Christian denominations. I'll give credit that the really liberal denominations, like the Episcopalians, had some decent amount of humility on the topic, but most did not, or it only went "so far".
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-07-2024, 10:57 PM)pattylt Wrote: Even if there were an afterlife, no one has a clue what it would be like.  It could turn out to be a Christian’s worst nightmare or reincarnation could be the outcome.  They’re just brainwashed into believing it exists and what it’s like.  They don’t know.  Nobody does…

I have seen several versions on one-panel cartoons where someone/something approaches the Pearly Gates and realizes it is probably in trouble.

A dog seeing that god is a cat. A cat seeing that god is a mouse. A lion seeing an antelope. Same with a human seeing a cockroach or ham sandwich, etc. I love the humor. But I don't expect to see anything.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-10-2024, 01:47 AM)mordant Wrote:
(07-08-2024, 11:00 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote: The concept of a lower-case "o" orthodoxy that binds all Christians as put forward by C.S. Lewis as the "mere" part of mere Christianity is incompatible with the reality of how people believe and differ in their beliefs.
I can testify that when I was a fundamentalist Christian, I believed fundamentalist dogma WAS orthodoxy, and that all others were to some degree either incomplete or outright corrupted. More than one pastor or teacher would refer to other denominations condescendingly as "our weaker brothers in Christ". High church denominations were implicitly not included in that statement for various reasons such as elevating tradition to an equal footing with scripture, idolatry, etc.

I have no doubt that was true of wide swaths of Christian denominations. I'll give credit that the really liberal denominations, like the Episcopalians, had some decent amount of humility on the topic, but most did not, or it only went "so far".

Tolerance is not a religious trait among any of the various versions. They are all taught to hate each other (and atheists). If I could change 2 things, the first would be the very concept of gods, and the second one would be the differences among theisms.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 04:48 PM)airportkid Wrote: But no sect ever takes the bible at its word.  That's because taking the bible at its word is impossible.  It's so dreadfully written it's incomprehensible until interpreted.
I run into this all the time here and elsewhere in talking with Christians. They don't understand that they are spouting interpretations, based on their particular hermeneutical system. Just today someone posted on another forum that "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" is a clear command and anyone denying that is arguing against a command. Yet the same author (Paul) at one point advises, "drink a little wine for your stomach's sake", and no one is claiming THAT's a command. I always read "forsake not assembling" as a word of advice, all things being equal, not a command [shrug]. But if you are motivated to grow your church, or are bothered by rogue practitioners, or have control concerns, you'll see this as a "clear command".

I mean, back in the day, most everything I was taught made sense to me because my teachers did not debate multiple possible meanings, they just taught "the plain truth of scripture" without realizing they were constantly making decisions about how literally or figuratively / symbolically or seriously to take each and every statement, and how exactly to apply it to the modern world.

The notion that life begins at conception was invented in the mid to late 1970s and simply didn't exist before that. Billy Graham's own publication, Christianity Today, prior to that was busy debating whether fetuses are fully human. Jerry Falwell didn't preach his first anti-abortion sermon until 1977, years after Roe v Wade.

It's all interpretations, all the way down, and they aren't even set in stone, not even for fundamentalists.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-10-2024, 08:19 AM)Cavebear Wrote: Tolerance is not a religious trait among any of the various versions.  They are all taught to hate each other (and atheists).
The "Friends" (Quakers) and a few other smaller groups, are the exception that proves the rule. But in the main, yeah, any specific religion is likely to be pretty intolerant, even of other religions.

I even got in trouble with a (Southern) UU minister once ... he was very inclusive and tolerant until I mentioned I was an atheist -- then that was a bridge too far, and he bristled. And this, in a denomination that, on paper, accepts atheists as members.
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
"It is what I say it is, so there!"

At the end of the day, this is really all any "Christian" has in the way of "proof."
Formerly WiCharlie Sun
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Common Atheist Mistakes: Christianity & Science
(07-09-2024, 08:10 PM)SYZ Wrote: So Steve is now—for the purpose of the
argument—effectively proselytising?

He's right; we're wrong; and Christianity
is the only way to go?

Does this not breach the forum's rules?

7) No Deliberately Disruptive Behavior
...Proselytization also falls under disruptive behavior
   and will not be tolerated on this forum.




We're right.  He's a superstitious moron and xhristardism is a big pile of shit.

There!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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