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Old 11-15-2013, 03:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieZ View Post
Look at the Philippines, so many are devout christians and do believe in god! Oh they probably didn't pray hard enough so they got hit with that typhoon. What utter nonsense.
On the News coverage of the Typhoon disaster,the commentator ended up by remarking over an aerial shot of a huge church which seemed to be intact (being solidly built) something about the locals at least have their Faith. "Too dry...need water..."
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:49 AM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
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Ray Comfort seems to get crazier by the day. Next he'll be saying raindrops are god's tears.
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
On the News coverage of the Typhoon disaster,the commentator ended up by remarking over an aerial shot of a huge church which seemed to be intact (being solidly built) something about the locals at least have their Faith. "Too dry...need water..."
Confirmation bias opportunity alert for Christians here ;-)

It was a photo-op that the camera crew took, and showing the 47 destroyed churches in the surrounding area would have ruined the effect.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SeekerSA View Post
Checkmate atheists!
I'm failing to see what relevance the quote from Comfort has to atheists. The quote is consistent with the Christian doctrine that we are fallen beings in a fallen universe -- i.e., a universe gone awry from top to bottom. There is nothing inherently "wild and crazy" in Comfort's statement. Natural disasters, not to mention non-natural ones such as the Holocaust, are certainly accounted for in serious Christian theology; it is not as though they are ignored or trivialized. See, for example, Amidst Mass Atrocity and the Rubble of Theology: Searching for a Viable Theology by Peter Admirand (not that I expect anyone here will). I had never heard of Comfort until about a week ago when happened to hear an extended interview with him, and he actually came across as quite articulate and reasonable for an evangelist of his ilk. He did offer Richard Dawkins $20K to debate him, so he is apparently not afraid to take on the atheist position. In any event, I don't see natural disasters as even vaguely constituting "evidence" that there is or is not a God. They are simply a reality that must be accounted for in any belief system. If an atheist wants to see them as evidence that there is no God, that's fine -- but understand that Christians don't correspondingly see them as evidence of God. Christians see them as challenging, undeniable realities that belie any Pollyanna-ish notion of God as the Big Sweetie in the Sky, but the Big Sweetie in the Sky is not the Christian notion of God. The Big Sweetie in the Sky does, however, seem to me to be the cartoon figure that atheists typically attack when they think they are attacking Christians.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:27 AM
 
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What the atheist beef is, is with any piece of theology that tries to persuade us that natural disasters are anything to do with anything other than nature.

If you want to argue that God is not a Big Sweetie, fine. We have long argued that the god of the Bible is Not Nice. If you want to argue that God does not intervene, fine. That's what we have been saying for centuries.

As for the offer to debate, I think Dawkins could take him, but he has had a taste of the opposition setting up the venue so they could steamroller him without his being able to respond. He is understandably cautious.

Let me give as an example the suggestion that Ray would start from the proposition that God is real unless Dawkins can get Comfort to admit that he wasn't. How could Dawkins win that?

The logical position is that the god - claim needs to be proved by the believers, not disproved by the atheists, but Theists habitually try to reverse the burden of proof. So give Dawkins some credit for not walking into a trap rather than being afraid of a debate.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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If anything, by Comfort's logic the folks in the Philippines, coming from a way more religious culture than our own, oughta be among the LAST ones to be feeling God's "wrath"! Of course we could just as easily blame their fidelity to the RC Church and its aversion to contraception, for the overpopulation that's actually been magnifying their problems...
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:51 PM
 
7,378 posts, read 6,729,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
I'm failing to see what relevance the quote from Comfort has to atheists. The quote is consistent with the Christian doctrine that we are fallen beings in a fallen universe -- i.e., a universe gone awry from top to bottom. There is nothing inherently "wild and crazy" in Comfort's statement. Natural disasters, not to mention non-natural ones such as the Holocaust, are certainly accounted for in serious Christian theology; it is not as though they are ignored or trivialized. See, for example, Amidst Mass Atrocity and the Rubble of Theology: Searching for a Viable Theology by Peter Admirand (not that I expect anyone here will). I had never heard of Comfort until about a week ago when happened to hear an extended interview with him, and he actually came across as quite articulate and reasonable for an evangelist of his ilk. He did offer Richard Dawkins $20K to debate him, so he is apparently not afraid to take on the atheist position. In any event, I don't see natural disasters as even vaguely constituting "evidence" that there is or is not a God. They are simply a reality that must be accounted for in any belief system. If an atheist wants to see them as evidence that there is no God, that's fine -- but understand that Christians don't correspondingly see them as evidence of God. Christians see them as challenging, undeniable realities that belie any Pollyanna-ish notion of God as the Big Sweetie in the Sky, but the Big Sweetie in the Sky is not the Christian notion of God. The Big Sweetie in the Sky does, however, seem to me to be the cartoon figure that atheists typically attack when they think they are attacking Christians.
You are correct that the typhoon in the Philippines cannot prove that Gods do not exist, but it can prove that the attribute that Christian subscribe to their God (God is love or God is good) is not accurate. Since he is supposedly omnipotent then he has the power to stop these disasters. So, either his is not omni-benevolent, he's not omnipotent, or he doesn't exist. Which is it?
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
If an atheist wants to see them as evidence that there is no God, that's fine -- but understand that Christians don't correspondingly see them as evidence of God. Christians see them as challenging, undeniable realities that belie any Pollyanna-ish notion of God as the Big Sweetie in the Sky, but the Big Sweetie in the Sky is not the Christian notion of God.
It is the notion of some Christians -- sometimes across the board, and sometimes when it suits the occasion. I think we're nuanced enough to know that many Christians do not cast god in the role of the slightly absent-minded but genial grandfather who is all warm and fuzzy and indulgent.

On the other hand if you ratchet it down several notches, many, many Christians cast god in the role of protector, counselor, mentor, and friend at least to those whose heart is open to believe in and follow him -- even while having legitimate claims on people's lives. These are benefits that are rewards for faithfulness.

I don't see it as Pollyanna-ish to expect that a significant number of those 10,000 or so dead people were faithful believers whose lives did not deserve to be cut short and in fact deserved to be protected (not even mentioning their orphans and widows here). The maddening thing for me is that the aforementioned promises are meaningless if not fulfilled and you have to resort to "god moves in mysterious ways" or "it will be made up to everyone in the next life" or even merely "it's because it's a sinful world". If I point this out, I can expect to count to 3 and someone will chime in with the claim that I'm demanding that it be a perfect world, as if I could not overlook even a stubbed toe in the interest of cutting god some slack. 'Tain't so.

Speaking more generically, it's hard to get a fix on god. He's a consuming fire, yet meek and gentle and lowly of heart. He's jealous, yet compassionate. He's righteous, but full of grace. In my experience it just ends up being so much cherry-picking of attributes to suit different occasions. And if god is all those things, and if bad things happen sometimes Just Because or it's all our fault somehow, then we quickly have a reductio ad absurdum where all claims about god become meaningless. This is the same thing that happens with prayer, where god can answer "yes", "no", or "not yet" -- in other words his answers are random and can't be distinguished from background noise.

This is the kind of cognitive dissonance that motivated my initial departure from the faith.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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I don't know who Ray Comfort is but why should anyone give a flying one as to what he thinks?
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:38 AM
 
17,853 posts, read 12,218,142 times
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Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
I don't know who Ray Comfort is but why should anyone give a flying one as to what he thinks?
You really need to watch his "Atheists worst nightmare" Banana video earlier in the thread then. It's hilarious.
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