Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Habermas, Flew & Wright Dialogue MP3 Audio

Gary Habermas and N.T. Wright have a dialogue with former atheist Anthony Flew, who now believes There is a God. This audio is from the video available here.

Full MP3 Audio here.

See Douglas Groothuis's review of Flew's book here.

Enjoy.

18 comments :

Lee said...

"former atheist"?

How it is stated here seems it is a badge of honour or something?

Why?

Not believing in gods seems the default position... isn't it?

No matter - does this talk say what evidence/proof was provided to him that made him change his position?

Can anyone share what it is so I don't have to listen to the whole show?

Thanks

Lee

Brian said...

Former atheist is simply a fact. He is known to be one of the foremost atheist philosophers in his lifetime, publishing extensively. To note that he is now not an atheist is the whole point: he has made a significant change in his core beliefs and discusses some of the reasons.

The default position is irrelevant to the truth of the matter one way or another.

If you don't want to listen to the talk or watch the video, then read his book and find out why he changed his mind -- it's all written down right there. That way you don't have to listen to the whole show.

Lee said...

From wiki on Flew...

“However, in 2004 he stated an allegiance to deism

“When asked in December 2004 by Duncan Crary of Humanist Network News if he still stood by the argument presented in The Presumption of Atheism, Flew replied he did but he also restated his position as deist: "I'm quite happy to believe in an inoffensive inactive god".”


Can someone tell me why Christians are jumping up and down about this Flew chap?

There is a big difference between deist and theist in my book

Lee

Lee said...

Hi Brian

Former atheist is simply a fact. He is known to be one of the foremost atheist philosophers in his lifetime, publishing extensively.

Fair enough – I’ve quickly read the wiki page now and understand why it was used in this case.

I’ve just heard it to many times by Christians in debates/discussions “I was an atheist, now I believe”...

My point would be “So what?”

To note that he is now not an atheist is the whole point: he has made a significant change in his core beliefs and discusses some of the reasons.

To a deist... not really that big of a job. Now if he became a Christian I would like to know why.

The only arguments against deism are philologicals ones (i.e. it is a more complex solution, increasing the unknowns)

Deism is a position that cannot be proven or falsified. It makes little or no claims other than “I don’t know how such and such happened – so it must be god (small g) since I can answer with science everything else I observe in the universe"

Not sure than why Flew is the coverboy for the Christians though... it’s the same with Paul Davis – author, theoretical physicist and Templeton prize winner. These guys are not Christians so doesn’t help with their arguments

The default position is irrelevant to the truth of the matter one way or another.

I cannot disagree with that – I am merely explaining my position. A position I think is reasonable for a truth seeker?

If you don't want to listen to the talk or watch the video, then read his book and find out why he changed his mind -- it's all written down right there. That way you don't have to listen to the whole show.

It would be quicker to listen to the mp3 than me to read a book... just tell me the ‘answers’ are in the mp3. Does Flew explain how and why he changed his position? (And I hope it isn’t – well, this didn’t make sense, I wanted an answer – so I chose god)

Thanks

Lee

Brian said...

Lee, thanks for stopping by.

No one here is claiming he is a Christian now. I am not "jumping up and down" as you suggest that Christians are doing.

I agree that there is a significant difference between deism and theism. But that is not the point of his change in position and is a whole different discussion. The focus here is the significant difference between not believing in a creator/designer and saying now that you do believe in a creator/designer. Let's stay on topic here, as I am not interested in all the bunny trails right now.

I find it a little amazing that you don't think that someone's prior beliefs have some part to play in the significance of their change in belief. Does it not seem obvious to you that there is a big difference between, say, an indifferent person coming to belief in God versus a major atheist philosopher changing his mind? To me, this suggests that the arguments that persuaded Flew were weighty enough for him to renounce his previous position of atheism. It would seem to me that atheists and Christian alike would find such a discussion interesting.

Deism is a position that cannot be proven or falsified. It makes little or no claims other than “I don’t know how such and such happened – so it must be god (small g) since I can answer with science everything else I observe in the universe"

Lee, I think you are building a straw man here. You have made a lot of judgments without even having listened to the MP3, Lee. Let's stick to the content of the post.

Leslie said...

Flew may still technically be a deist, but just listening to this among other things, I get the idea he's moving closer to theism.

Also, Lee, there's something else that shows that this change is very important - the fact that several prominent atheists (Richard Carrier being one of them) have attempted to destroy Flew's credibility after the release of his book. They have both attacked his intelligence based on his age, and a number of other things surrounding this book. Why go on the attack if it is of no concern?

Also, just for the record, not believing in some kind of deity is not the default position. Even people who are generally against theism seem to suggest this.

Lee said...

Hi Brian,

You talked me into it – I’m downloading the lecture now, though it will have to wait until Tuesday before I can hear it. For some reason I now have 4 days off work…

Happy Easter
(Erm – is that the right thing to say BTW? Happy? Didn't someone get nailed to a cross or something?)

OK – my comments regarding Flew change in position were merely regarding the emphasis on “former atheist”, but I realise now I am wrong on this point.

I personally do not like to see such ‘arguments from authority’ (if it can be called that) but it is as bad on both sides of the religious debate – just look how Dan Barker sells himself (former preacher etc etc)

So, I retract my earlier comments and stand corrected. Thanks

This is one high horse I will not climb on again. :-)

As for my strawman making with deism – true, I was making a strawman, but I never attacked it did I? I was just explaining my understanding of deism so it can be compared to that of the theist.

Was I wrong in doing so?

I find it a little amazing that you don't think that someone's prior beliefs have some part to play in the significance of their change in belief.

So you are amazed at Dan Barker then for the same reasons?

Actually, I’m only interested in their argument/reason for their change in position.

To me, this suggests that the arguments that persuaded Flew were weighty enough for him to renounce his previous position of atheism. It would seem to me that atheists and Christian alike would find such a discussion interesting.

Hence I am now downloading the discussion.

However, I once thought alone those line of Francis Collins – I thought I wonder how this ‘great’ scientist moved from atheist to Christian. Then I heard his arguments… yuck.

Take care...

Lee

Lee said...

Hi Leslie,

Flew may still technically be a deist, but just listening to this among other things, I get the idea he's moving closer to theism.

And one step closer to the grave or the Templeton prize?

Oops, sorry – personal attack.

Ignore what I just wrote :-)

Also, Lee, there's something else that shows that this change is very important - the fact that several prominent atheists (Richard Carrier being one of them) have attempted to destroy Flew's credibility after the release of his book. They have both attacked his intelligence based on his age, and a number of other things surrounding this book. Why go on the attack if it is of no concern?

Not sure if concern is the right word – but maybe it is because many Christians in debates pull the name Flew out of the hat now as an ‘argument’. It doesn't work on me, but it might help some Christians feel they are in a reasonable position.

Also, just for the record, not believing in some kind of deity is not the default position.

Sorry, I didn’t fully explain myself – I meant it was the reasonable/sceptical default position.

It is clear from looking around the world that people, for some reason, feel the need to believe in gods.

The belief in gods seems rather natural and may have something to do with the human mind always looking for patterns and causes.

Thanks for the link – I will follow it when I have a moment. The wife is calling me now.

Take care, and Happy Easter to you also.

Lee
PS
Anyone now why it is called Good Friday BTW?

Leslie said...

Lee,

Not sure if concern is the right word – but maybe it is because many Christians in debates pull the name Flew out of the hat now as an ‘argument’. It doesn't work on me, but it might help some Christians feel they are in a reasonable position.

I don't think it should be used as an argument. But, I don't think it is by most Christians. An argument to authority would be something like "Person X with degree Y believes P, therefore P." That would be fallacious. If someone said "Anthony Flew now believes in God despite once being an outspoken atheist, therefore God exists" I would definitely raise an eyebrow. But I think what people generally say is that atheists cast the arguments away too quickly. If someone like Anthony Flew, who fought against God's existence for so long, can now be persuaded that there is some type of God, then the arguments should at least be given some serious thought, and not ignored as delusion or wishful thinking. It's not used to give credibility to the proposition but to give credibility to the arguments. And that, I believe, is a legitimate point.

You pointed out a counter example of Dan Barker, which is a good one since he brings it up every time he debates. But I think his point too is not to say "I'm right because I changed my mind." I assume (or at least hope) that his point is just that the arguments shouldn't be ignored. There's something serious to them, enough that he left the faith he grew up with. Although with Barker I'm not sure it's as meaningful, because the faith he had seems to have been more ignorant than well informed, a lot like the arguments he makes now...

Think about it this way - if, a few years from now, Richard Dawkins came out with a book saying that God was not a delusion, what would you think? I wouldn't think "therefore God exists." But I would think, "man, I wonder what arguments changed his mind!!" I would think similarly if William Craig decided to become an atheist. It's not that I would suddenly buy the proposition, but I would at least re-examine the arguments, and think about whether or not I had taken them seriously enough.

Happy Easter to you too, btw. I don't know that it's happy for atheists, but for those of us saved by the blood of the one who died that day, it is indeed happy, though also sobering. :)

Lee said...

Hi Leslie,

I agree with some of what you say regarding it isn’t important that person A believes in Y – it is the arguments, reason and evidence why they hold that position that matters.

Maybe I have read too many Jehovah witnesses’ (JW) booklets whose main argument seem to be “Person A believes in Y, therefore you too should consider it true without looking at the reason, evidence yourself. Stop thinking!”

The JW do use such names as Flew and quotes from scientists out of context as ‘evidence’ for their position.

So I think I agree 100% with you.

I agree also that it would be interesting to know what arguments/evidence made a person change their previously strongly held position (Hence I asked if such points where mentioned in this talk)

On similar grounds, this is why I hunted down Francis Collins for such reasons, about evolution and Original Sin, unfortunately no good arguments were given – what was given was “Here is how I look at science problems and debate evidence before I believe, and now I will ignore all such reasoning and demands for evidence and now believe in Jesus Christ and the resurrection on faith”

It didn’t work for me :(

As for casting away arguments too quickly – can you provide an example?

From my short time discussing such matters (just the last 20 years of my life) I have never avoided an argument that I am aware of and I also freely admit I cannot answer some of these arguments – however my point is normally that neither can the theist.

i.e

# What ‘caused’ the universe/Big Bang?
(I’m not sure this is even a valid question. However why can’t the universe be uncaused if the claim is that God can be?)

# What the purpose of the universe and life?
(I’m not sure anyone can prove that there is a purpose, it certainly never been demonstrated only asked/asserted. Any purpose I see in life is made by myself)

# What ‘caused’ non-life to become life?
(I don’t know – but all the current evidence suggests it is a physical process just that we do not know the small detail yet. A common position for science to be in. Still no evidence for the supernatural...)

# Why is the universe so fined tuned for life?
(Actually, is it really fined tuned? Could it be some other way? Could the ‘universal constants’ be any other value? We are in the realms of “I don’t know, and neither do the theist”)

#If God doesn’t exist, then absolute morals don’t exist!
(Then can someone prove that absolute morals exist... :-) )

Have I missed anything?

My point in raising the above is not to get into a debate about of them here, just to show that I am aware of questions and not knowing the answers does not mean I should jump to God.

Having an unknown is not positive evidence FOR God – it is just an unknown.

IF God existed, as the Christian believes, there should be positive evidence FOR their claims.

Is that reasonable?

As for Happy Easter – so far so good.

When my son woke up this morning we had an Easter Egg hunt. Well, it is Good Friday – I have a day off from work – and what could be nicer than hunter chocolate in the morning?

Am I missing the ‘true meaning’ of Easter... ? Well, I don’t understand Original Sin – but I do understand chocolate eggs

Take care and have a great Easter

Lee

Eric said...

Unfortunately, this recording does little or nothing to explain Flew's reasons for his change of mind. Also, if anything, it harms the case of those who are trying to claim that Flew isn't senile -- he rambles incoherently through much of the talk, with Habermas and Wright working hard to keep him focused.

That said, Flew's state of mind *now* is irrelevant; he became a deist about five years ago. Also, too little attention is paid to the Aristotelian arguments that ultimately persuaded Flew, both in this talk (though Habermas says at the beginning that Aristotle's cosmology was of first importance to Flew's change of mind) and in Flew's most recent book.

Here's a quote from Christianity Today:

"Surprisingly, he gives *first place* to Aristotle in having the *most significant impact* on him. "I was not a specialist on Aristotle, so I was reading parts of his philosophy for the first time." He was aided in this by The Rediscovery of Wisdom, a work on Aristotle by David Conway, one of Flew's former students."

For an excellent introduction to the sorts of Aristotelico-Thomostic arguments that Flew is referring to -- in addition to a fun refutation of the 'New Atheism' -- see Ed Feser's 'The Last Superstition.'

Leslie said...

Lee,

I wasn't trying to say that you personally cast the arguments away too quickly. I don't know whether you do or don't. But I have talked to a number of atheists myself (on blogs or forums) who basically will not listen to any arguments, because in their mind the arguments have absolutely no credibility. They think that only an ignoramus would care about such arguments. There are people like this on both sides of course, and I don't like it either way.

I agree having an unknown is not an argument for God. But this is exactly my point - I think Flew's change has given some credibility to arguments that many, like Dawkins for example, conclude are "god of the gaps" arguments. Incidentally, naturalism of the gaps isn't any better.

I'm curious about one thing - what evidence would work for you? What evidence do you want? I mean that as a rhetorical question - just something to think about. To me, many skeptics today would not accept any evidence for some things, because they cast out the possibility a priori. Thus why no argument has enough credibility. The standards required for evidence to be good enough are impossible to meet. This is why someone like Flew changing his mind about things is important. Perhaps the arguments do carry some weight.

Eric,

Also, if anything, it harms the case of those who are trying to claim that Flew isn't senile -- he rambles incoherently through much of the talk, with Habermas and Wright working hard to keep him focused.

I know a lot of people think this when they hear him talk, but I believe it is because they have not heard him talk in the past. There's a debate between Flew and a guy named Thomas Warren, from back in the 70s ... look it up on google and watch it. If anything, Flew sounds worse back then - he stutters and rambles all throughout that debate. I didn't get through the debate the first time I watched it, because it annoyed me so much. That is just Flew's way of talking, it has nothing to do with his age. The only real difference is that he talks slower now, which is probably part of why he sounds better.

Eric said...

Leslie, I've listened to that (nearly eight hour!) debate, and I must disagree -- while Flew stutters and such, he was very sharply focused on the arguments; in this recent talk, he wasn't, though Habermas and Wright tried repeatedly to keep him on track. Personally, I see a world of difference between the *content and substance* of Flew's remarks against Warren, and what he said recently with Habermas and Wright. For further evidence of what I'm saying, see his debate with Gary Habermas on the resurrection (on the John Ankerberg show). Flew was again quite sharp here, though he wasn't exactly the best speaker. He's not merely speaking more slowly today.

However, as I said earlier, this is largely irrelevant, since Flew changed his mind about god's existence five years ago.

Leslie said...

Eric,

Well, it's fine to disagree. :) I've been around tons of elderly people throughout my life, from the most connected to reality to the most far gone, and I still feel like he doesn't do anything that seems out of place, but that's just my opinion.

I will admit that he didn't deal with many of the arguments, but I didn't feel like it was because he was confused or anything - Habermas did the majority of the talking in general (even Wright didn't say very much). But again, just my opinion so ... there you have it. :)

One thing I did particularly like about this talk is his pointed statements about the book published recently. He was quite firm in saying those were his thoughts and his alone. I think reading the book would probably be better than anything else anyway.

Lee said...

Hi Leslie,

I wasn't trying to say that you personally cast the arguments away too quickly. I don't know whether you do or don't.

If I was to brush away an argument today – one I have heard before - would that be ‘too quickly’ or would 20 years of personal study count? :-)

So to answer a question you never asked me…. Sometimes I brush away an argument quickly based on logic, sometimes I discuss a single point for weeks.

I doubt I am very different from you on this – if someone told you that they saw an alien spaceship, I think you would demand the evidence for the amazing claim.

So, I like to believe that I am open to change when presented with good arguments/reason/evidence that I am wrong.

But I have talked to a number of atheists myself (on blogs or forums) who basically will not listen to any arguments, because in their mind the arguments have absolutely no credibility.

Ah, are these new arguments or already discredited ones?

I’m not defending the atheist here – I seen too many idiot atheists on blogs/forums myself. Those that when challenged cannot answer themselves why something is wrong – that just have faith in what they have been told.

I think we are all guilty of this to some level but it is where we set the bar that is interesting.

I agree having an unknown is not an argument for God.

Excellent – you are then either a non-believer like myself or you have some pretty good arguments/evidence for your beliefs.

But this is exactly my point - I think Flew's change has given some credibility to arguments that many, like Dawkins for example, conclude are "god of the gaps" arguments.

Actually no… giving ‘credibility’ like this would be just an argument from authority – and we have both already agreed this doesn’t count for much when it come to actual truth and reality.

Incidentally, naturalism of the gaps isn't any better.

I’ve heard this before – and you are wrong.
(Though I suppose this might depend on definitions)

Naturalism has been shown hasn’t it (or are you one who denies nature?).

There are well known natural explanations to the vast majority of what we observed in the world today. Can you agree to that?

There are some unknowns as we agree – however, is there ever a need to just jump to an unobserved supernatural event as the solution?

I do not claim here that there isn’t a supernatural – just that it has never been observed and no reason to claim it.

If you feel I am wrong, show me a supernatural event that can only ever be explained by the supernatural.

Of course we might be going full circle here – you point to an unknown and say ‘there is your supernatural event’, and I just say ‘that is just another unknown’

The only difference I see is that I have at least been able to show that natural explanations have and do work – with examples we can agree on I assume.

Not so with the supernatural claim.

Erm…. I have a problem now, well, you have - how am I supposed to observe a supernatural event BTW? Can you explain this first, then explain how I could falsity such an observation so I know I am not just fooling myself?

However, before you do any of this, I will point you to your history books – every generation has pointed to something physical and said “That cannot be explained by anyone, therefore God” (Newton is one of my favourite explains with the solar system and he was a clever man don’t you think?)

So on this naturalism/supernatural debate - I have history on my side as well as well as science :-)

I'm curious about one thing - what evidence would work for you? What evidence do you want?

What’s the claim?

Are we talking about the Christian God of the bible, or the bible itself, or just gods in general, or maybe alien landings?

Pick a claim, any claim you chose to make, and I will outline evidence that will change my mind (assuming I disagree) – the list of possible claims is too long and I want to pick a topic that is of interest to you.

I believe I have reasonable requirements that will make me change my mind – evidence that could reasonable be provided.

Of course, now the question for you – what piece of evidence can I provide to you that would make you change your mind about, say, God and the bible?

I have heard from some Christians things like, “Give me evidence that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead and I will stop being a Christian” which for me is wrong, since after all – the Christian hasn’t proven that Jesus did rise from the dead in the first place so how am I to prove that wrong? It would be like me saying “Prove to me that unicorns don’t have horns”

Anyway, I look forward to answering your question better later.

To me, many skeptics today would not accept any evidence for some things, because they cast out the possibility a priori.

I don’t think you could provide me any evidence for a square-circle, so on some things I hope we agree there isn’t any evidence i.e. the logically impossible.

There are some who (possibly rightly) say that any physical observation could be explained by an advanced race of aliens….

This may be true, but I am more honest to myself than that – I am open to the supernatural, I am open to God and miracles. They have just never been demonstrated.

The standards required for evidence to be good enough are impossible to meet.

I may quote this back to you after you tell me what it would take for you to change your mind about God and the bible…

This is why someone like Flew changing his mind about things is important. Perhaps the arguments do carry some weight.

Maybe, but I still do not know what the arguments are yet :-)

Take care

Lee

Leslie said...

Lee,

I won't address you point by point, so I hope you'll forgive me for that. I don't want to try to deal with too many things at once - it gets too difficult on blogs, for me at least. I'll just give you a general response.

Even if you or I had spent 50 years studying things, that still leaves plenty of room for casting aside good arguments simply because they don't meet a personal criteria that is far too critical.

When I say naturalism, I mean the idea that the natural world is all there is, or even probably all there is. This idea has been thoroughly discredited, because it simply is illogical. It destroys its own epistemic foundation.

As for what evidence would convince me the God of the bible doesn't exist, I think you simply have to prove that Jesus didn't rise from the dead. You say that is wrong, but I don't see how. Whether or not the Christian has proven that Jesus did rise from the dead is irrelevant - you can still provide evidence that he did not, if there is indeed such evidence.

This is, after all, what Darwinists continually ask for from the ID community, is it not? If the ID community said "you haven't proven that Darwinism is true yet, so how can we prove it is wrong?" they would be laughed at and ridiculed. Again, the success or failure of Christians here is irrelevant - to dismantle the Christian God, dismantle the resurrection. You could provide evidence that the gospels are wrong about what they say, you could provide evidence that the Jewish claim was right (i.e. that Jesus' body was stolen). You could provide evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross, or that his body was burned instead of buried. Even providing evidence that the apostles lived frivolous lives and benefited greatly from what they taught - such evidence would be something I would take seriously. Paul says the resurrection is the heart of Christianity. If you want to prove the God of the Bible doesn't exist (which would be a claim) all one would need do is dismantle the resurrection. 2000 years later, this has not been done. All I ever hear are rather lame attempts to cast doubt on the positive arguments for his resurrection. But I'd still be willing to hear the evidence against the resurrection.

Here is all I really am curious of - what would it take for you to believe that God exists? What specific proof or evidence would you come to and say "wow ... that's serious stuff"?

Enjoying the conversation... :)

-Les

Lee said...

Hi Les,

Don’t worry about the point to point – I do that only for ease and to ensure I don’t miss any points. If only works when I have the time. Hope you don't mind?

I take your point about the 50 years of study... to a point, since it is a fact that I could be wrong.

However if nothing new is heard/written/suggested – then why can’t the same old poor ideas that has already been shown wrong be dismissed in the same old way?

I mean, if someone came up with the ‘brilliant’ idea that the Earth is flat, I don’t think either of us will give me much time.

On naturalism – all I will say is that I believe in the natural, I hope we can agree that most physical observations have a natural explanation.

Some physical observations are, as yet, unexplained, this doesn’t mean the supernatural is real though. I will sit on the fence on that one.

Not knowing A doesn’t prove B does it?

Now there are also those that claim miracles... as described these miracles can ‘only’ be explained by the supernatural or that they didn’t happen as described.

So, which is more likely – someone is mistaken about the observation, or it is a miracle? (I think Hume asked something like this)

Again, the reasonable position is that someone is mistaken – wouldn’t you agree?

Of course you do, since I doubt you accept ALL the miracle claims from ALL the different religions of the world.

OK – now I will have to quote you for ease

”As for what evidence would convince me the God of the bible doesn't exist, I think you simply have to prove that Jesus didn't rise from the dead. You say that is wrong, but I don't see how. “

How did I know you would say that? :-)

OK – tell me what precisely I need to provide you to prove that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.

You have given me a subject area only here – not the means of falsification :-)

It is your claim, you need to tell me how I might prove this wrong. I could spend all day providing this and that but I might be missing the point every time.

This is why as evidence to change your opinion you have provided nothing that will do it - this is why I said it is wrong to state what you did.

If I am wrong about this, please tell me and I will change my mind on this.

Though I don’t think I am wrong since I could have replied to your question, for me to change my opinion on the God of the Bible, all I needed was to be shown that Jesus rose from the dead.

So to clearer...

What piece/s of evidence would change your mind about whether Jesus rose from the dead? (And ask yourself, do you think it is reasonable I could provide them)

Whether or not the Christian has proven that Jesus did rise from the dead is irrelevant - you can still provide evidence that he did not, if there is indeed such evidence.

Examples?

You could provide evidence that the gospels are wrong about what they say

Again, these are just another subject areas – not specific piece of evidence for me to provide.

And erm... this has already been done by many a scholar, but I assume you disagree for some reason?

http://atheism.about.com/od/gospelcontradictions/p/EmptyTomb.htm

There’s more out there, this was just a quick search for ease.

Of course, I have heard the reasoning to explain these away.

Some say it isn’t important that the bible disagrees, some say it is right 100% but I just not reading it correctly.

You could provide evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross

Not easy to prove – Did Spartacus die on the cross or not?

I’ve seen the movie, but with so many people claiming to be Spartacus at the end, anything could have happened :-)

What I can say is what the gospels describe when Jesus was on the cross has not been shown by any independent means. And I find that very surprising if the events really happened.

or that his body was burned instead of buried.

How could I prove that – after all, the Christian cannot prove the tomb of the suppose burial or indeed the day it was suppose to have happened?

Even providing evidence that the apostles lived frivolous lives and benefited greatly from what they taught - such evidence would be something I would take seriously.

The Pope is doing OK today on this tale isn’t he?

Have you provide evidence that the apostles were poor and died for their beliefs?

Paul says the resurrection is the heart of Christianity. If you want to prove the God of the Bible doesn't exist (which would be a claim) all one would need do is dismantle the resurrection. 2000 years later, this has not been done.

I don’t think anyone has proven Hara Krishna didn’t do the claims made have they?

All I ever hear are rather lame attempts to cast doubt on the positive arguments for his resurrection.

Exactly ... anything and everything I could provide from 2,000 years on would only be ideas and possible explanations.

All too easy to dismiss.

But I'd still be willing to hear the evidence against the resurrection.

...and I am still willing to hear the evidence FOR the resurrection :-)

Here is all I really am curious of - what would it take for you to believe that God exists? What specific proof or evidence would you come to and say "wow ... that's serious stuff"?

OK, and hear it is...

drum roll...

“A miracle”.

Or should I say evidence of a miracle.

Now I will have to define what I mean by a miracle – or at least, my definition on how I mere human like myself would recognise a miracle if one happened.

“Non-life to life” could be called a miracle by some – but I don’t know enough about what happens when non-life becomes life so it could not be recognise as a miracle, merely an unknown.

For me to recognise a miracle it has to be seen in an area where the science is well understood today.

Hope this makes sense?

So, now we have 3 possible areas we could look into I think for me.

1. You could provide independent historical evidence for some miracles described in the bible – the list of options is long.

How about the hours of darkness, earthquakes and dead saints getting up and making themselves known when Jesus died on the cross for a start :-)

This seems reasonable to expect – however, I don’t know of any.

2. God could provide a demonstration of his powers today... maybe spin up the rotation of the moon so we can see from Earth the far side of the moon. That would be nice :-)

Of course, this would just make 6 billion believers over night – too BIG? Not really, something bigger has already been done according to the bible – just so some little tribe could win a battle God held both the sun and moon still in the sky for 24 hours. THAT’s what I call a miracle (and if you had any independent historical evidence for it, again, I could believe God)

3. How about the power of prayer? Something simple, just for me – I don’t know how to pray correctly this much is clear, so maybe you can? Ask for some divine knowledge of something of no major importance – ask God to tell you something that makes no sense to you, but everything to me – something specific like what my wife’s first words are tomorrow morning. The more specific the better :-)

Have to go

Take care, and I am enjoying this also.

Lee

Lee said...

At last I hear this talk...

What rubbish.

Flew didn't once explain what made him change his mind and sorry, anyone getting confused about Christianity (“The only god in town”) and deism does not hold much weight. I also think it nice that Flew believes he has proven the after life does not exist (but fails to show any proof)

The man has clearly lost his marbles that was shown by going off tangent and not understanding the questions before him

Sad but true.

Lee

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. By posting your comment you are agreeing to the comment policy.

Blog Archive

Amz