Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Andrew the Atheist asks: How much do you, Tim, know about apologetics?

Things are really taking off on this blog, and I'm really excited.  But before we go too far, I wanted to ask a question that will bring to the front some background on both the debaters here.  I think introductions are overdue.

Atheists, certainly THIS atheist, are often accused of being angry, arrogant, close-minded people.  I did a blog on this here.  It appears as though the atheist dismisses the argument out-of-hand, without really considering the idea.  I don't think this is what is really happening.  I think that the atheist has heard the argument before but the believer has never heard the rebuttal. 

For example, in a comment, someone said that evolution works like putting parts in a box, shaking it, waiting, and out pops a watch.  This is so common an argument that I should be surprised the poster has never heard why that statement is absurd.  But I doubt that she has.  I would not be surprised if she has no idea.  This is what brings me to the question I've posed.

I am an apostate, not just an atheist.  I attended 12 years of private catholic schools.  I had multiple classes on the old and new testaments.  I even attended something very similar to jesus camp.  I know the bible.  I know the claims of christianity.  I know the arguments for christianity.  These are reasons why I am an atheist today. 

The first-cause argument, the ontological arguement, the argument from design, the cosmological argument, the lord-liar-lunatic argument, Pascal's wager, and a few others the titles of which I forget are all very familiar to me.  I've held classes on them.  I've argued both sides.

There was a Pew study about a year ago that showed that atheists and agnostics are FAR more knowledgable about religion than believers.  I think this is because most atheists have at least heard some of the claims of christianity, and have found them lacking.  However, I have found it is perfectly possible to be a believer, and never know why Pascal's wager fails.  Some don't even know what it is.

So the question here is simple, yet I hope the answer is long.  How familiar are you, Tim, on apologetics?  Why are you a christian?

If you want to read my apostasy story, it's in three parts.
Part1, Jesus Camp
Part 2, Finding my religion
Part 3, Falisfiable Evidence

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