The poster known as "atheist" made a longer and more involved rejoinder. I don't intend to make answering this person my life's work but it does afford an opportunity to clear up some long held atheist ignorance.
You are a typical theist who uses a lot of words to dance around the simple and undeniable facts. Using a lot of words as a smoke screen is really all the theist has to work with in his little arsenal of deceptions.Translation: I have the educational background to really understand Metacrock's arguments but the brain washing tells me I must be right so I"m just going to assert it.
Of course I simply ignore the atheist bashing that is so typical of militant theists. The ad homs just make you look angry. I might be a bit angry too if I didn’t have anything to support my beliefs.
What has she really said so far? The opening gambit about "big words" is a frank admission that she doesn't have my education level and doesn't really understand my arguments. She's trying to use anti-intellectual feelings to cast suspicion upon a fine education and sophisticated thinking. In this comment she's trying to establish atheism (3% of U.S. Pop--and 3% world) as the status quote and portray Christians as some fringe hate group that are always rude. The opposite is the case.
Atheists are the fringe hate group, the overwhelming majority of people around the world the world believe in some notion of God, belief counts in favor of belief. The fact that religious traditions have different concept doesn't not count against Christianity it counts against having no concept.
She quotes me:
metacrock: “Of cousre this is not a guarantee that the particulars of one's beliefs are true, yet no one sets out to believe falsehood.”Then responds:
But it does, in fact, show that they do not know the truth. If you knew the truth you would have no need for the belief/faith.
This is obviously a fallacious line of reasonnig that plays off of literalism. She wants, or the brain washing of the atheist ideology leads her to believe that a strident, arrogant line is a mark of having truth. She wants the brash bully approach "I am right, I hae the truth! my ideas are not mere beliefs they are facts." This is what I call the great atheist fortress of facts. We see it on carm all the time. Our world view is a big pile of facts guaranteed by scinece so therefore everything we say is true and right. Of this is just a ruse, a facade, it's a rhetorical appeal not a fact in itself. The so called "facts" of the fortress is all selective, it excludes tons of facts that disagree with their view. For example it is a fact that 200 empirical studies done by psychologists and published in peer reviewed academic journals say that religion is physiologically very good for you. Of the atheists on carm have creaetd a mythology of lies claiming "they've all been disproved" when in fact ehy have not read a single study. That's the natre of the entire lie about the fortress of facts. there is no fortress of facts, in fact, point of fact, it is not scientific. The concept of the fortress of facts, everything we say is a fact, is not a scientific concept. Science does not believe only things that are proved, if it id it couldn't hypothesize.
Moreover, the pathetic rhetorical appeal she is using (that's just what it is, not logic, not facts, rhetoric) turns on a misuse of the concept of belief.She totally misses the meaning of my argument. I said belief is not used as a euphamism for "made up" it's used as a humble substitute for narrow mindedness. In other words, rather than say "we have the all the truth" (as some theists have been know to say) to say "it is our belief that" is a means of beng humble and giving respect to other ideas. We don't claim to have all the truth,we don't claim we are always right, we don't say we can't learn form other people. She is saying those things of her own group by inditing that 'If you have the truth you would be arrogant in your appeal.'
Atheists complete misconstrue the nature of faith. Faith is placing confidence in a hypothesis. It doesn't mean making stuff up, it doesn't mean believing without evidence or without reasons. No believes anything without a reason. Something leads people to conclusions about religious belief that "something' is a reason. Atheists denude faith and belief of their rational and humble dignity and turn them into dirty words. That's the only way the fortress of facts lie can work is by asserting that he who is not being a bully must be a weakling. This is the philosophy of the fascist. It's part of the Orwellian nature of atheism. Of course there are atheists who don't think this way just as there are Christians who are not followers of Pat Robertson. We need to work with fellow liberal counter parts in atheism to skew extremism rather than joining the extremists in name calling. There are certainly Christians that lean toward the fascistic side of things, but there are such atheists too.
Now she tries to get tricky:
Since you went through all the trouble, I will use some of your post to clarify my position. I will use the three example of belief from Webster Dictionary.these are examples from the Webster definition I used for belief.
1: There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed.she says:
(There would be evidence that the policies will not succeed, perhaps they have failed in the past)no there doesn't need to be evidence, but the statement quoted as an example by dictionary is not excluding the possibility of evidence. The person writing the dictionary article is not aware that this is going to be used by a narrow minded dawkie so the author desn't spell out the possibility of evidence. The point of quoting the definition was that it shows us that anything you think is true is a belief. The idea that you don't believe in god because you see no evidence is a belief. The idea that the Bible is contradictory of itself is a belief, even if you have example, even if you can prove it. Anything you think is the case is a belief. Because doesn't belief does not mean "false." Nor does it mean "to accept something without evidence." notice those two were not in the definition.
2: He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs.
(He likely displayed previous anger when someone challenged his beliefs)
That's a hate group assumption based upon disparaging concepts about religious people and the atheist brain washing that caters to the need to feel superior. Remember the studies I showed that demonstrate the major reason for being an atheist is poor self esteem. Dawkametnalists need to tell themselves constantly that they are superior as a means of feeling better about themselves. Let's remember Atheist opinions are beliefs.
3: We challenged his beliefs about religion.
(His beliefs were of an unbelievable nature so we challenged them)
See that is how belief works. There has to be some evidence to support it.
Of cousre this is ingeniousness because when support is given the atheist throws a tantrum and says "this doesn't fit the atheist template so it can't be a true proof." Then they impose the argument incredulity "I refuse to believe it no matter what."
I went out and got 200 empirical studies from academic journals that say religion is good for you and the atheists refuse to read even one article because they can't understand them and they are afraid to be disproved. That is a fortress of facts. 200 studies is a fortress. I have the fortress of facts atheist do not. Yet of cousre they refuse ever accept a single pro faith fact because they can't. Their ideology is so constructed that if they accepted one fact that would destroy the fortress of fact concept for them.
e.g. I believe my brakes will stop my car because they have stopped me in the past. I believe there is life on other planets because there is life on earth. I believe it will be cold out tomorrow because that is what the weatherman is predicting and he has successfully predicted the weather accurately many times in the past..This is even more disingenuous of course because seems to assert that theists have arguemnts for God, no reason to believe in God. Do we really need to belabor that point? IF this person thinks there are no pro God arguments are facts, and Christians never have any reasons to believe then why does she start out talking about my use of big words and my arguments and so on? This is just another version of atheist incredibility, which actually the only argument they know how to make. The basic incredultiy arguemnt says "I refuse to believe, therefore it can't be true." This one says theists arguemnts are also weak it's like they don't have any so I'll just assert that they believe for no reason. That manifests itself in the atheist bromide "faith is belief without evidence.
See how all of these have a "because" in them? Now lets try it with a god.
I believe Zeus exists because _______
I believe Allah exists because _______
I believe God exists because _______
See, there is nothing tangible to put in the blanks of these statements that is valid. To believe for the sake of belief is invalid. Go ahead, you try to fill in the blanks and see what you come up with.
This is priceless. Seldom have a I seen such brash display of illogical and special pleading. This "person" actually constructs a straw man argument then it dumb enough to think because she didn't fill in the blank in a straw man argument then there is no theist anywhere in the world who has an actual reason to believe. Look at the facts, she's making a straw man argument, why would she put something of good substance in the blank? It's obvious the blanks have nothing in them becuase she doesn't it in there.
Like most bullies she's a coward and thus is afraid to use real arguments.
that defintion again:
be·liefBelief is placing confidence in a hypothesis, the reason for doing so is open ended. It neither rules out nor explicitly acknowledges evidence or logic as a reason for confidence. Of course the fact is, and it is a fact, believers have reasons for belief. Nothing in that definition says anything about being without evidence. The actual empirical fact is people do have reasons for believing. My initial reasons are discussed on my website Doxa, and over time I have developed 42 reasons. In fact there are thousands of reasons. I'm now working on the concept of personal realization of God's reality which invovles thousands of reasons. Atheists need things spelled out concretely especially the Dawkamatnalists, the atheist fundies, becasue they are not subtle people.
Definition of BELIEF
: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
Thus I can say "I believe in Jesus because I have 200 studies, empirical, academic, published in peer reviewed journals, that show that religious belief gives one transformation.*
I have 42 arguments proving that belief in God is rationally warranted.
*watch for my coming book which will discuss these studies at length. The whole book is about the studies and the arguments I construct from them. In the mean time nd read all the links at the top.here's some material that plays off of that body of work. Be sure a
More on the stuides
see also empirical evidence of the Supernatural
Several hundred more studies showing that religious participation is good for the individual and society.