Monday, February 13, 2012

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: David Marshall "Knows" God is Not Silent!

pics on Sodahead
I always find the argument that God does not exist because he's hidden to be such a failure, I'm surprised unbelievers can raise it with a straight face. It seems to take try to make two points: 1. God is hidden because Atheists don't detect him. or 2. Too many people have different ideas of who God is so they can't possibly experiencing anything real.  Let's examine one of John Loftus' recent posts to see just how bad this fails.

One of the arguments why Richard Carrier is not a Christian is that God is silent. David Marshall, author of several Christian apologetic books, says instead that he knows God is not silent. He said of Carrier and me that our claim is one we "cannot possibly know to be true. " Really?

Is it that God is silent or is it that Loftus and others are not listening?  I'd like to know why the fault has to lie either in God or in everyone else and not themselves? Why are we deluded and he isn't?

Marshall, do you mean that we cannot PROVE God is silent? Is that the standard here? Such a standard is utterly unreasonable. That Which Disconfirms UFOs From Mars Also Disconfirms God’s Existence.

Oh okay, John Lofus admits that he can't prove that God is silent. 

John: It's not a matter of proving it, it's a matter of knowing it. You can't even know it. And given that the language of nature is "read" similiarly by so many billions, and given the other ways that God speaks, you should be more skeptical of your own, perhaps unduly biased, intuitions.
David Marshall makes a point that seems obvious. He's not saying that he knows God is not silent he is saying that Loftus and Carrier can't demonstrate that God have never spoken to anyone. Again we find Loftus skeptical of everything and everyone but himself -- that is what being truly deluded is. 

David, seriously, what are you talking about? Are you saying there is objective evidence coming from the subjective experiences of people around the world that all point to YOUR particular God concept or theology? If so, then tell us what all of them agree about after having these experiences. The lowest common denominator is that there is a supernatural force out there. But even then you must explain the numbers of people who have not had any such experiences, such as atheists and agnostics. To see some atheist demographics check this out.

So an Atheist or Agnostics lack of experiencing a relationship with God is not a subjective experience? Hint: Yes it is. 

Do atheists count? If so, there is no common denominator at all.
Yes, they do. The fact that they do not experience God is explained in the Bible itself. Ever read:

You also have to explain why you thin4k a majority of people in any given time period are correct. Popular opinions of one time period have given way to the advances of science. Just think the geocentric universe as but one of many examples. You would probably be the first person on some issues to say the majority opinion is not necessarily correct.

Geocentricism is a horrible example because the Bible does not tell us that the earth the center of the Universe. That was something people did. It did not come from God. 

And you also need to explain why religious people disagree about the content of said experiences. Your theory must be able to explain any disagreements. My theory is that religious experiences are subjective and therefore all in the brain, and that religious people interpret their experiences through the lens of their religious culture. Religious people have experiences and the brain interprets them within the confines of what categories they have been taught in their respective religious cultures.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.- Romans 1:28-32

There is no need to posit a God who provides these experiences, especially the one you believe in, since your concept of God is a very specific one unlike other concepts. Your God is sending mixed messages to religious people around the world, some of which are misogynist, warlike, extremely ascetic, hateful, homophobic, racist, and so forth.
I extremely disagree. The Bible is no where near that convoluted or unclear that we can't know what God is like or what He expects from us. The reason why people come to different conclusions is because we don't always just obey the Bible. We try to tack on our own spins. When we do that of course there is going to be disagreement and confusion. We need to get self out of the way and just listen to God. Jesus tells us how to answer the question for why people seem to be getting mixed messages.

1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
   11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
   14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
 19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
 21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” - John 10:1-21

If you are getting mixed messages - you are not one of His Sheep.

Think he'll have more to say? ;-)

I think so. I mean it's like shooting fish in a barrel. It's been answered 2000 years ago!

Debunking Christianity: David Marshall "Knows" God is Not Silent!
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