If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian?

I have always contended that the primary reason to believe in Christianity is because its true. I have said in prior blogposts that if Christianity were false, we should abandon it. Why? Because Christians, who are followers of the one who identified himself as "the way, and the truth and the life" (John 14:6), should be dedicated to the truth above everything else.

Frank Turek, proud purveyor of Cross-Examined, has posted a video entitled "One Question You Should Always Ask an Unbeliever." It is pretty insightful, and the question that should always be asked really does get to the heart of the earnestness of the unbelievers in their views.

If

If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian? It's a pretty straightforward question. The straightforward answer should be either yes or no. In a sane world, I would expect almost anyone answering the question in an equally straightforward manner would answer yes, but Turek points out that some of the people to whom he asks this question actually answer no. In other words, they are not interested in the truth at all and are honest enough to admit it. (That's pretty ironic if you think about it.)  I expect that if you run into a person like that, Turek's analysis is correct - they are really after what they think makes them happy and not about truth. The approach to take with such a person isn't to contend for the facts of the Christian faith but rather to challenge whether they are truly happy or whether personal happiness should be the end for which we should live our lives.

Having said that, while I love Frank's question when meeting people face-to-face or in a personal way, I don't see the question as being particularly helpful in most Internet discussions about Christianity because I don't think most unbelievers will answer the question no. Instead, I believe that they will respond in one of three ways: answer yes, answer no with a lengthy explanation or dodge the question altogether.

The Dodgers

Some will say something to the effect of, "Christianity isn't true, so it's a nonsense question." This is the exact type of answer I expect from people who cannot think sequentially. The question asks them to put aside their preconceptions and consider what their response would be if it were the case that Christianity is true. What if God really does exist, and God really sent his Son to die for our sins (as millions of Christians already recognize as true)? Would you really be willing to follow the truth?

It is a fair question for both sides. Paul already answered it from the Christian side. In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, Paul basically answers the question, "If Christianity is not true, should you stop being a Christian?" He answered:
"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
In a nutshell, if Jesus did not really rise from the dead, i.e., if Christianity is not true, then we are wrong and we shouldn't follow it. Not only that, Christians should be pitied for following a falsehood. It is a straightforward response that Christians are happy to give because they truly believe (with evidence even if some don't know it) that they have truth on their side. So, if an unbeliever won't even respond to the question with a definitive yes or no, it demonstrates that they are not truly willing to consider truth or they are so uncertain of the truth that they must deflect. If they have any willingness to actually dialog rather than just engaging in a soliloquy against Christianity, you should challenge them on this. Don't let them be a dodger.

Those who deny with an explanation

Another expected tact would be for the unbeliever to say something like, "I wouldn't believe it because...." The explanations will vary. Perhaps it will be, "...because Christianity has resulted in so much evil in the world." Or maybe, "...because Christians are all hypocrites." Given time, I can think of dozens of other explanations/excuses to avoid the effect of answering no.

Again, I think that the unbeliever who says no is, at least, being honest in acknowledging that the truth doesn't matter to her. The explanations accompanying these types of responses are not honest because they are irrelevant to the question. Even if Christianity has resulted in more evil in the world or Christians are hypocrites, if Christianity is true then these are no more than excuses. It is ultimately the case that the person is communicating that they simply are not interested in the truth when it comes to God.

It may be possible to work with the person who says no with some explanation or excuse. Most of the problems that people can point to are answerable in a Christian understanding of the world. Sin, man's fallen nature, separation from God and human imperfection all play into the reasons that Christians have been less than Christlike in our attitudes and actions. If Christianity is true, these things do not deflect from Christianity, but rather are completely consistent with a Christian world view.

Those who say yes.

Ah, here are the most promising ones...at least they might be promising. If the person is truly willing to follow God if Christianity is true, that is the rare unbeliever. If they admit it, you have common ground on which to speak with them. After all, both parties are now agreeing that the basis for the discussion should be the truth or falsity of both the Gospel and their own understanding of the world, and that should create fertile ground for discussion...provided, of course, that the person is not lying.

Lying is the biggest problem that I experience in these discussions, and it is a problem that exists primarily on the Internet among people who engage in religious forums.(You see a lot of it in forums on politics, too, but that is not my focus here.) Outside of the Internet, in a one-on-one conversation with another person, it is easy to read by their attitude and demeanor whether their "yes" is really a yes or whether they are just mouthing something that they don't really believe. And in most cases, when you interact personally with another person (rather than using the handles and pseudonyms of the Internet), they are more likely to be truthful about how they really feel.

On the Internet -- and especially on religious discussion boards or in comments to blogs like this -- too often people are not there to engage in a real conversation. They are there to attack your point of view. They are there to win a debate. They will lie to you about what they think to keep you in the game. That person's "yes" to the question is no more than a way of saying, "I really don't care what you have to say, I am here to pound you with my opinion which I will dress up as fact and pretending to be interested in the truth will keep you involved longer." They may even believe the lie themselves -- but their willingness to follow the truth only extends to the truth that they have falsely convinced themselves is the truth. The sad thing is these are the people who need the truth the most yet they are the hardest to reach of any of the groups.

I really do like Frank's question. In a different forum than the Internet, I will use it. But I don't expect it to be of much use over the Internet. There are just plain too many trolls strolling along the digital highway for conversations of this sort to be productive.

Comments

Gary said…
If traditional Christianity is true, that those who refuse to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will suffer "unspeakable" torment of some kind for all eternity in a dark pit, a person would be a complete moron to refuse to believe if the evidence can be presented demonstrating its validity.

Skeptics such as myself, however, do not believe because we consider the evidence for the Christian claims to be very weak. I would ask Christians to ask themselves this question: "If it could be demonstrated to you that Islam is the true and only Faith and that Allah is the true and only God, would you accept it and become a Muslim?"

I will bet that your answer will be the same as mine: "Yes, but...I don't believe that the evidence for the validity of Islam is good at all so this is a nonsensical question." My answer is the same for Christianity.

As I have demonstrated with my conversation with Joe Hinman under his post regarding the Resurrection on April 10th, there ARE plausible explanations for the early Christian resurrection belief that are much more probable than the Christian supernatural explanation. The reason Christians do not see this is that Christians presume the existence of the ancient Hebrew deity, Yahweh, and presume the existence of prophecies in the Hebrew Bible predicting Jesus as the messiah. Without these presumptions, the evidence for the resurrection itself is really quite poor...just as poor as the evidence for the supernatural claims of Islam.

The debate over the validity of Christianity should really focus on evidence for Yahweh (not a generic Creator).

im-skeptical said…
My response. It's a bit more complicated than "Yes, I accept the truth", or "No, I do not accept the truth".


Joe Hinman said…
As I have demonstrated with my conversation with Joe Hinman under his post regarding the Resurrection on April 10th, there ARE plausible explanations for the early Christian resurrection belief that are much more probable than the Christian supernatural explanation. The reason Christians do not see this is that Christians presume the existence of the ancient Hebrew deity, Yahweh, and presume the existence of prophecies in the Hebrew Bible predicting Jesus as the messiah. Without these presumptions, the evidence for the resurrection itself is really quite poor...just as poor as the evidence for the supernatural claims of Islam.


that is extremely dishonest.you nowhere near proving probability, you predestined ideas that I blew apart because of their improbable nature, basically your ideas assume the Roam soliders were fools
Papalinton said…
The word 'truth' and its underlying concept has been so wantonly cheapened over the centuries by the christian experience as to render it meaningless. The only thing we can say is certain about religion, christianity being no exception, is as Prof David Eller, renowned anthropologist eruditely explains, "Religion is essentially social, in both senses of the word. It is an activity that humans do together; it is created, maintained, and perpetuated by human group behaviour. It is also social in the sense that it extends that sociality beyond the human world, to a (putative) realm of non-human agents who also interact with us socially." Any every religion exhibits the very same pathologies based on superstition and ignorance of how the mind works. Its been a tough nut to crack but thankfully science is slowly but inexorably shining a light into those shadowed recesses.

So the question about the "Trooth™" of christianity as the 'one and only true religion', or any of the thousands of extinct and extant religions that make the identical claim, is simply enculturated mumbo-jumbo.
Papalinton said…
BK, have a READ OF THIS. It really does provide an insight that has broad ramifications for the christian story.
JBsptfn said…
Papalinton, is that all you can contribute? You never share anything of value or truth. You just have one long post that's full of mumbo-jumbo, and you always have a quote from someone (often lifted from Wikipedia, a site that you got caught plagiarizing from).

You, Gary, and Skeppy have this in common: Naturalistic assumption. Just like the preterist tries to put most everything in a 70 AD bubble, you guys try to put everything in a naturalist bubble.
im-skeptical said…
you guys try to put everything in a naturalist bubble

Not that you would ever confine your beliefs to a faith-based bubble. Your mind is wide open, as we can all see.
Joe Hinman said…

Blogger Papalinton said...
The word 'truth' and its underlying concept has been so wantonly cheapened over the centuries by the christian experience as to render it meaningless. The only thing we can say is certain about religion, christianity being no exception, is as Prof David Eller, renowned anthropologist eruditely explains, "Religion is essentially social, in both senses of the word. It is an activity that humans do together; it is created, maintained, and perpetuated by human group behaviour. It is also social in the sense that it extends that sociality beyond the human world, to a (putative) realm of non-human agents who also interact with us socially." Any every religion exhibits the very same pathologies based on superstition and ignorance of how the mind works. Its been a tough nut to crack but thankfully science is slowly but inexorably shining a light into those shadowed recesses.

So the question about the "Trooth™" of christianity as the 'one and only true religion', or any of the thousands of extinct and extant religions that make the identical claim, is simply enculturated mumbo-jumbo.

I believe im the corrospondnece theory of truth, Truth corresponds to that which is.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"First published Fri May 10, 2002; substantive revision Thu May 28, 2015
Narrowly speaking, the correspondence theory of truth is the view that truth is correspondence to, or with, a fact—a view that was advocated by Russell and Moore early in the 20th century. But the label is usually applied much more broadly to any view explicitly embracing the idea that truth consists in a relation to reality, i.e., that truth is a relational property involving a characteristic relation (to be specified) to some portion of reality (to be specified). This basic idea has been expressed in many ways, giving rise to an extended family of theories and, more often, theory sketches. Members of the family employ various concepts for the relevant relation (correspondence, conformity, congruence, agreement, accordance, copying, picturing, signification, representation, reference, satisfaction) and/or various concepts for the relevant portion of reality (facts, states of affairs, conditions, situations, events, objects, sequences of objects, sets, properties, tropes). The resulting multiplicity of versions and reformulations of the theory is due to a blend of substantive and terminological differences."
Gary said…
"that is extremely dishonest.you nowhere near proving probability, you predestined ideas that I blew apart because of their improbable nature, basically your ideas assume the Roam soliders were fools"

I demonstrated on your post that even William Lane Craig admits that there is hardly any scholar on the planet who would be willing to claim that the guards at the tomb is an historical fact. And without any guards at Jesus' tomb, it is very plausible that someone moved/stole the body of Jesus as the cause for the Empty Tomb. The fact that you keep pushing the Guards as if they ARE an accepted historical fact is simply preposterous. You have set yourself up as the final authority. In your world, your opinion is not just an opinion, your opinion is the one and only TRUTH. It is impossible to have a discussion with someone who thinks like that. I certainly hope BK is more rational.
Gary said…
The majority of Christianity's claims are based on appeals to eyewitness testimony. Christians often make the argument that our legal system is based on the principle of accepting eyewitness testimony from people of good character. So if Christians can provide eyewitness testimony from multiple, reliable sources for its supernatural claims, they do not understand why we skeptics still stubbornly refuse to accept this evidence as valid. Here is why:

I am currently reading the second volume of conservative Christian apologist Craig Keener’s work, “Miracles”. Keener spends the entire fourteenth chapter of his book complaining about the bias of science, medicine, and academia against the supernatural, specifically, their bias against divine miracle healings. He asserts that supernatural medical recoveries (healings), multiply attested (witnessed by multiple witnesses) by persons who have otherwise honest reputations, should be accepted as reliable evidence and therefore believed by the public and by professionals in all fields.

But I see a problem in his argument. Humanity already has very strong historical evidence that eyewitness testimony is a miserable predictor of the validity of supernatural claims. What am I referring to? Answer: Christianity’s long, ruthless campaign against women whom they perceive to be practicing witchcraft.

Some estimates are that Christians executed tens of thousands of women beginning in the early Middle Ages to the present for the crime of Witchcraft. How many western Christians living today believe that any of these women really were witches with magical powers to turn children into toads and to cast evil spells on their godly Christian neighbors. I would bet that most modern, western Christians would doubt that any of these women were witches or possessed these magical powers. Yet, the overwhelming majority of these women were convicted of the crime of witchcraft and were then drowned or burned at the stake based on the eyewitness testimony of their honest, upstanding Christian neighbors.

Think about that: Tens of thousands of women executed for a crime they did not commit based on the eyewitness testimony of thousands of otherwise honest, upstanding Christians…no different than the thousands of eyewitness testimonies that fill the pages of Keener’s book, this time in support of miracle healings. So thousands of eyewitness testimonies can be wrong!

Therefore, eyewitness testimony, from biased witnesses, regarding emotionally-charged supernatural claims has NOT proven to be a historically reliable indicator of what is true and what is false. We must demand a higher standard of evidence for these very extraordinary claims.


Joe Hinman said…
"that is extremely dishonest.you nowhere near proving probability, you predestined ideas that I blew apart because of their improbable nature, basically your ideas assume the Roam soliders were fools"

I demonstrated on your post that even William Lane Craig admits that there is hardly any scholar on the planet who would be willing to claim that the guards at the tomb is an historical fact.

that's not exactly what he said, but I don't don't care what he said this one guy;s opinon.'Even so it is also bullshit because Ray Brown who is a much more accomplished scholar than Craig believed they were, tons of evangelical scholars who support historicity of teh rearguards, FF Bruce did, Carl Henry did,

And without any guards at Jesus' tomb, it is very plausible that someone moved/stole the body of Jesus as the cause for the Empty Tomb. The fact that you keep pushing the Guards as if they ARE an accepted historical fact is simply preposterous. You have set yourself up as the final authority.

you have not even acknowledged the argument I've made over and over that there are two sources on the guards,not just Matthew but the Passion narrative which is older than Matthew. In college debate when you don't answer an argument you lose that argumnet,you have not answered this.



In your world, your opinion is not just an opinion, your opinion is the one and only TRUTH. It is impossible to have a discussion with someone who thinks like that. I certainly hope BK is more rational.

BS wake up and realize who you are dealing with, I a college debater fo four years,That means I lost plenty of rounds and got my ass kicked by manor teams from school like univerity of Houston and Harvard. I'm 60, I was a Ph.D candidate I've taught college classes I was a referee for an academic journal, I ran an academic journal,I beat some of the top teams in the country (air force) in my college debate days as well as getting my ass kicked,I was a political activist and got spied on by the FBI.I am not going to curl up in a corner just because you make an argument. but I am far from thinking I know it all.I also judged debate tournaments for may years,I know what makes an argument work. I know when an argumnet wins and when it loses.
JBsptfn said…
IMS Not that you would ever confine your beliefs to a faith-based bubble. Your mind is wide open, as we can all see.

Skeppo, you aren't in a position to label others closed-minded.

GaryTherefore, eyewitness testimony, from biased witnesses, regarding emotionally-charged supernatural claims has NOT proven to be a historically reliable indicator of what is true and what is false. We must demand a higher standard of evidence for these very extraordinary claims.

And again, Gary is holding the Gospels to a double-standard. He would believe it if someone told him that life came from non-life, but with the Gospels (a much more plausible story), he has to make up nonsense to fit his foolish theory. Him, Skep, and PapaPlagiarizer belong to an ideology, and it shows.
Gary said…
"you have not even acknowledged the argument I've made over and over that there are two sources on the guards,not just Matthew but the Passion narrative which is older than Matthew. In college debate when you don't answer an argument you lose that argumnet,you have not answered this."

Here is the problem: You are trying to prove your opinion that Matthew's Guards at the Tomb is an historical fact. That was NOT the topic of the discussion! The topic of the discussion was is it plausible/possible that there are naturalistic explanations for the Resurrection belief, and in this circumstance, the Empty Tomb. I was not trying to prove my position to be an historical fact, only that it is a plausibility. It is plausible that there were not guards therefore it is plausible that the tomb was empty because someone moved/stole the body from an unguarded tomb. That is what you seem to have a hard time understanding.
Gary said…
If eleven fishermen and one tax collector told me that life came from non-life I would not believe them. I would demand better evidence for this extraordinary claim.

And the same should be true for the claim that a first century corpse was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern deity, walked out of its sealed mausoleum, ate a broiled fish lunch with his former fishing buddies, and later flew off into outer space where he now rules the universe on a golden throne at the edge of the Cosmos.

Very extraordinary claims demand very extraordinary evidence. Eyewitness testimony from biased, gullible witnesses for such claims is not sufficient.
Joe Hinman said…
Here is the problem: You are trying to prove your opinion that Matthew's Guards at the Tomb is an historical fact. That was NOT the topic of the discussion! The topic of the discussion was is it plausible/possible that there are naturalistic explanations for the Resurrection belief, and in this circumstance, the Empty Tomb. I was not trying to prove my position to be an historical fact, only that it is a plausibility. It is plausible that there were not guards therefore it is plausible that the tomb was empty because someone moved/stole the body from an unguarded tomb. That is what you seem to have a hard time understandin


cop out! the guards enter into it logically as an extension in answer to your arguments, you have not answered my point. Your plausibility argument falls apart because the guards make it implausible.
Joe Hinman said…
If eleven fishermen and one tax collector told me that life came from non-life I would not believe them. I would demand better evidence for this extraordinary claim.

And the same should be true for the claim that a first century corpse was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern deity, walked out of its sealed mausoleum, ate a broiled fish lunch with his former fishing buddies, and later flew off into outer space where he now rules the universe on a golden throne at the edge of the Cosmos.

Very extraordinary claims demand very extraordinary evidence. Eyewitness testimony from biased, gullible witnesses for such claims is not sufficient.


We have extraordinary evidence, one is the book Medical miracle Doctors, sailboats, and healing, by J.Duffimn,See my review

Lourdes Medical researcher and medical historian examined the Vatican archives,m found 1,400 miracles from throught Christian era and they include about 40 resurrections, she is qualified to evaluate them.
Gary said…
Out of the millions of desperate people who have come to Lourdes begging Jesus to heal them, the Catholic Church has only confirmed 69 healings.

Sixty-nine.

Why is Jesus so stingy with his healing powers?
BK said…
If any reader not familiar with the CADRE and our colorful assortment of individuals commenting on our blog has bothered to read this far down, I want to add a couple of thoughts.

First, I want to thank IMS and Gary for providing outstanding examples of what my post concerned.

TO everyone else, I want you to note that IMS' first comment was a perfect example of the Dodger. He avoids answering the question for himself because he says that it is "a bit more complicated." Actually, it's not. The question is clear and straightforward. I can answer it from my side - no, I would not want to believe something that is untrue. See? Very simple. It is a person who is not really interested in the truth who would try to dodge it.

Gary's first comment serves as an example of my final type - the person who says "yes" but really means "no." I am going to paraphrase what he said to make the point. He basically said, "Yes, I am open to the truth if your evil God exists. But, of course, I have already shown elsewhere that he does not exist. I have already considered the evidence and I, being the judge of all things and indifferent to the fact that millions of people have also examined the evidence for the truth of Christianity and find my position to be intellectually cramped, know that the evidence is very weak. Still, I am open." Obviously, he is not open. He says he would believe, but he has made it clear that nothing could be said that he would be open to hearing.

This is why I don't respond much in comments. First, I think it is the very rare newcomer to the blog that will read down to the bottom of the comments, and there is no reason to debate with the usual people who comment because they are like the people who show up at a trial ready to lynch the defendant because the they have already made their minds up and the truth doesn't matter. That is part and parcel of the Internet. Unfortunate, but the way it is.
Gary said…
BK: Are you open to the truth if Allah, the God of Islam exists and is the one and only God, and, the Koran is his one and only Word to mankind?
Joe Hinman said…
If that were the case I would want to know it,I would not necessarily follow it but I would want to know it was true.
Joe Hinman said…
there's a catch 22 there because to see that there's a problem implies that it's wrong.So if you can't accept it then it's wrong. But the atheists can say that about Christianity. True but I think the answer is that one is mistaken about what is implied by the faith. Atheists are assuming the fundie kind of Christianity necessarily has to be the truth and it does not.

For example my sense of Islam is probably wrong. I think it implies conversion by the sword but Muslim friends tell me it does not. If not well and good. But atheists are probably assuming Christianity means women keep silent or something, I don't believe it means that.
Gary said…
If Yahweh is the Creator God and the only way for me to avoid eternal suffering is to get on my knees and worship him, I would be a moron not to do that. If on the other hand, the only consequence of not worshiping the vindictive, genocidal Yahweh is "eternal separation" from him (void any form of punishment or discomfort) I would not hesitate to select that option.

Joe Hinman said…
you don't have a concept of truth other than just the surface level of existence? Why do you assume that God being real has to entail hell what makes that the case?

God is not merely existent but is truth itself, So God is right, good, and love.Love is the basis of the good. So there's no question of eternal conscious torment.So if you could know God is real and yet there is no eternal punishment, would you just say "tough luck God you should made a hell,?" then to on your way laughing? Or would you care what's right?
im-skeptical said…
I can answer it from my side - no, I would not want to believe something that is untrue. See? Very simple. It is a person who is not really interested in the truth who would try to dodge it.

You completely ignored my response. I agree with you that I wouldn't want to believe something that is not true. But that wasn't the question you proffered. I asked first, how do we know whether something is true? If you simply tell me that Christianity is true, I still don't know that it's the case in reality. There is still plenty of evidence that tell me otherwise. But beyond that, If I actually knew (somehow) that Christianity is true, would I then become a Christian? I gave you the most honest answer I could. It's not an issue of denying the truth. It's an issue of accepting the consequences (both logical and moral) of becoming a Christian. I find considerable fault with following your God. I would be dishonest If I said I would be a follower of that God, despite the problems I see.

Go ahead and call me a dodger. But you are not honestly facing the issues I raised.
Joe Hinman said…
Papalinton

The word 'truth' and its underlying concept has been so wantonly cheapened over the centuries by the christian experience as to render it meaningless. The only thing we can say is certain about religion, christianity being no exception,

It is naturalism that has cheapened the concept of truth. Naturalism redjced trith from timeless realty that can;t be failure cannot cease or fail to be true and taht transcends the mere physical or the mere sense of "how thins are" to the way things should be, replacing it with a concept of streaming data wit hno reality beyond the closed relam of discourse.



is as Prof David Eller, renowned anthropologist eruditely explains, "Religion is essentially social, in both senses of the word. It is an activity that humans do together; it is created, maintained, and perpetuated by human group behavior.

you don't need a great social science guy to say this because its basic, I;ts because social sciences were born out of the Circle of Herbaceous and Marx and their dialectical materialism. These guys really need informing because the realm f dialectical materialism with Heidegger and Marcuse would say your view contribute to one dimensional man,,


It is also social in the sense that it extends that sociality beyond the human world, to a (putative) realm of non-human agents who also interact with us socially." Any every religion exhibits the very same pathologies based on superstition and ignorance of how the mind works. Its been a tough nut to crack but thankfully science is slowly but inexorably shining a light into those shadowed recesses.

truth by stipulation doesn't make it so. that guy is not a theologian all he is capable of seeing is the soical,

So the question about the "Trooth™" of christianity as the 'one and only true religion', or any of the thousands of extinct and extant religions that make the identical claim, is simply enculturated mumbo-jumbo.

this is why i have no respect for you shallow pretender, you call something jumbo jumobo when you have not read and know nothing.Marcuse wrote an essay in his book Negations about how the conceept of essence needs to be kept alive because reducing reaoity to just te physicla dimension is totalizimng,
Joe Hinman said…
tell Papalinton I'll be writing more about his comments on Metacorck's blog tomorrow. hope to see you, Skep, him there.
Gary said…
Who are we talking about? A hypothetical, yet as of this moment unidentified Creator God? Yahweh? Jesus? Please specify?
Anonymous said…
BK: The question is clear and straightforward. I can answer it from my side - no, I would not want to believe something that is untrue. See? Very simple. It is a person who is not really interested in the truth who would try to dodge it.

There is a difference between believing Christianity is true and being a Christian, and it is unfortunate that your post missed this vital point (I note that Joe gets it though).

If I was given evidence that made me think Christiasnity was true, then I would believe it was true. No dodging from me.

But I would not necessarily become a Christian.

Pix
BK said…
And the proof keeps rolling in....
im-skeptical said…
And the proof keeps rolling in....

Sure. You have to believe what I believe, or you're just a stupid dodger. No further discussion necessary.

My question for you: Why did you bother asking this question if you don't want to hear any answer but your own?
BK said…
I didn't ask you. I posted a video that gave a suggestion by Frank Turek and commented on why I didn't think it was a productive question on the Internet. You just jumped in and proved my point.
im-skeptical said…
The point being that you refuse to listen to what atheists say. Just cover your ears ans shout "LA LA LA. YOU DODGER. ME SMART."
Papalinton said…
BK: "Christians, ............... should be dedicated to the truth above everything else."

You're right. The overwhelming evidence suggests an explanation for why christianity [and all religions for that matter] persists is not that its narrative is true per se but that it is an epiphenomenal by-product of our need to make sense of the genetic and evolutionary drivers for human behaviour in the absence of modern scientific knowledge and understanding two thousand years ago that we now are so thankfully privy to.
JBsptfn said…
Yes, Christians should. So should atheists. However, guys like Gary, IMS, and Papa aren't. The crap link that Papalinton posted shows this. It's nothing but fundy atheist drivel.
Joe Hinman said…
Papalinton said...
BK: "Christians, ............... should be dedicated to the truth above everything else."

You're right. The overwhelming evidence suggests an explanation for why christianity [and all religions for that matter] persists is not that its narrative is true per se but that it is an epiphenomenal by-product of our need to make sense of the genetic and evolutionary drivers for human behaviour in the absence of modern scientific knowledge and understanding two thousand years ago that we now are so thankfully privy to.


that's ideological malarkey. Atheist truth regime says the only valid knowledge has to be science and science means supporting atheism over Christianity, so big surprise. That's just ahteist version of scientism.
Anonymous said…
JH: that's ideological malarkey. Atheist truth regime says the only valid knowledge has to be science and science means supporting atheism over Christianity, so big surprise. That's just ahteist version of scientism.

The atheist truth regime says the only valid knowledge has to be evidence-based, which includes science. Personally, I think that that is perfectly reasonable.

We have a legal system that is based on that principle, but for some reason we do not see Christians railing again the courts' version of scientism. Why is that? Well, because the discussions in law courts do not impinge on your precious faith claims.

So no, why would anyone be surprised that people who require good evidence for claims reject Christianity?

And why would anyone be surprised when Christians play the "scientism" card when the paucity of evidence for their faith claims is presented?

Pix
Anonymous said…
Pix: If I was given evidence that made me think Christiasnity was true, then I would believe it was true. No dodging from me.
But I would not necessarily become a Christian.


BK: And the proof keeps rolling in....

What do you think has been proved?

Being a Christian is about accepting Jesus as your saviour, and loving and worshipping God, right?. That is not the same as believing they exist. Your whole post is based on conflating these two different things, and in doing so, you seem to think you have proved something clever.

You haven't. You have only shown us your own short-comings.

Pix
Anonymous said…
An analogy:

If someone proved to you that space aliens exist, would you think that they were here to benefit mankind?

It is a simple yes/no question, and as someone (hypothetically!) who believes in helpful aliens, I can assure you that if someone proved aliens did not exist, then I would stop believing.

Of course, the only reasonable answer is that it would depend. If you had proof aliens existed, it would be reasonable to believe they exist, but not reasonable to automatically assume they were here to benefit mankind. The condition specified in the question (proof of aliens) is not sufficient to answer the question (believe they are here to benefit mankind).

Likewise with this post. The condition specified in the question (proof of Christianity) is not sufficient to answer the question (accept Jesus as your saviour).

And I note BK has ducked Gary's question in the very first comment another whether he would become a Muslim: "If it could be demonstrated to you that Islam is the true and only Faith and that Allah is the true and only God, would you accept it and become a Muslim?" And yet his post is about his claim that atheists dodge just that question! Does that strike anyone else as double standards?

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
here is my thing on Papinton's statement about truth,


Metacrock's blog
Joe Hinman said…
we are all going over to Metarock now
Gary said…
No, we are not all going over to Metarock now. We are waiting for BK to answer the question in the first comment.
Gary said…
And while we are at it, Joe. Why don't you stop the dodging and admit that it is plausible that there were no guards at Jesus' tomb? I have stated that it is plausible that there WERE guards at the tomb, so why don't you be a reasonable, rational person and admit that it is plausible that there were not, especially in view of the fact that most scholars believe there were no guards. Can you do that?
Anonymous said…
Gary: No, we are not all going over to Metarock now. We are waiting for BK to answer the question in the first comment.

I get the feeling it will be a long wait.

That said, the fact that he is ducking the question suggests the answer is that he would not become a Muslim if Islam was proven to be true, and he knows if he admits that, he loses the argument.

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
BK does not enjoy the exchanges on comments. He feels that no one reads it and he.s not into it.He did the message board thing for many years,I think he feels you don't want answers, not to speak for him but these are things I've read from him. I told him I will take his part on these comments he doesn't have to feel obligated.
Joe Hinman said…
none of you guys respect the protocol of comments. It takes effort to write a post and you guys ignore the main post and proceed with your own little bag of tricks you have developed to fall back on so you don't have to think about the message we give in the posts.

from now on we will discuss the posts and not some prearranged message you have waiting to go anytime you need to fight Christians.

Also the perspective here in the posts is that we are helping Christians understand how to do apologetic not that we are trying to convince atheists.
Anonymous said…
JH: none of you guys respect the protocol of comments. It takes effort to write a post and you guys ignore the main post and proceed with your own little bag of tricks you have developed to fall back on so you don't have to think about the message we give in the posts.

The whole point of his post is that atheists are bad because they will not come
out and say they would be Christians if it was proved to be true. That is pretty hypocritical if he is not prepared to say that he would be a Muslim if Islam was proved to him. And Joe, this is right on topic.

JH: Also the perspective here in the posts is that we are helping Christians understand how to do apologetic not that we are trying to convince atheists.

Ah, right. He is trying to convince Christians that Christianity is true. Low hanging fruits....

Pix
im-skeptical said…
from now on we will discuss the posts and not some prearranged message you have waiting to go anytime you need to fight Christians

Joe,

The whole point of having comments is to discuss the topic of the post. If BK doesn't want to discuss it, then he should have closed the comments. Several of us have raised legitimate issues for discussion, and they are relevant to the topic. That is not abuse. It seems that BK simply wants to make assertions, but then refuse to hear any criticism of those assertions, or to discuss the topic with anyone who has a different perspective.



Also the perspective here in the posts is that we are helping Christians understand how to do apologetic not that we are trying to convince atheists.

What a great lesson for aspiring young Christian apologists: make whatever assertion you please about those nasty atheists, and whatever you do, don't listen to listen to what they say. This is the way do apologetic.
BK said…
Just for the record, I leave comments open because it's possible that someone has something serious to say or has a real question rather than a disguised attack. Believe it or not, you do not have to respond to what I write. In fact, I would welcome that.
Anonymous said…
And the proof keeps rolling in....

Pix

Popular posts from this blog

How Many Children in Bethlehem Did Herod Kill?

Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, Jonah and U2’s Pride in the Name of Love

How Should I Be A Sceptic -- belief and reason

Where did Jesus say "It is better to give than receive?"

Kierkegaard's Knights of Faith and the Account of Abraham

Bayes Theorem And Probability of God: No Dice!

The Meaning of the Manger

The Origin of Life and the Fallacy of Composition