My brother and I got together with an atheist friend form the CARM board. We found out that this guy lives in Dallas, so we started talking on the phone, then got together at a restaurant to discuss the existence of God. It was daunting because not being on a message board meant I had to listen to him steak. No, I'm Kidding. It was great because we got a lot further into the discussion than we would have had it been on a board.
The thing is this guy still did the same atheist trick I describe in the post bellow; trying to barrow the area of science as truth finding technique and pretend that it rubs off on atheism via the atheist admiration or science. Everything I would say would be met by "that's not meaningful because you have to assume God to begin with." But of cooers I am assuming God, as the foundation of my belief system, in the expression of any belief that I want to disclose. I can't begin with the cogit and work my way out to God there in causal conversation. I might just as well issue a 1000 page book "how to converse with Metacrock," it could begin with the material in the Russell's Whistehaead's Pinckipa, (which establishes the basis in logic for doing the math problem 1 + 1--said to be the most complex book ever written) and then Wittenstine's Tractatus, which establishes the basis of logic in language, and finally wind up with Descartre's Discourse on the Method which demonstrates how to go from "I think, therefore, I am to the proving the rest of the world. There just might be some who would find it a daunting task to read all these things just to hold a converstaion with me.
In fact the atheist is still doing what I accuse him of doing; setting up a truth regime based upon the presentness ha this world is established because he hitchhikes off the credibility of science. The he accuses me of arguing from incredulity by saying things "that can't be verified." Of course when pressed to verify his own position he resets to his own from of incredulity; dyeing that he has any need to verify the reality of the world or other minds or the meaning of life on the basis that it's not a meaningful question to question these because no one else does. Of course the fact that the majority, the vast majority of world pop accept God as a valid starting point for knowledge isn't enough in his mind to justify assumptions about the divine, but it's far more established because of the larger community that takes these questions seriously.
He would not admit that finding may own experiences significant was enough of a reason to doubt them so, but did admit that a community of believers can't be dismissed merely on the basis of their belief, because they do create a context in which belief is taken seriously. Well, so? Isn't this the same principles? There's nothing to privilege a position on if everything has to have a community of speakers to make meaningful satinets to, then why is my community any worse off than his?
He couldn't answer that that's the way we left it.