Two Signs From Your Opposition Your Argument Is Sound

Those of us who acknowledge the self-evident existence of transcendent, moral truth claims (i.e. “It’s never OK to torture babies for fun”) need to be prepared for opposition from unbelievers who anticipate and reject the implications. If objective, transcendent moral laws exist, the need for an adequate source (a transcendent Moral Law Giver) becomes apparent (more on that in future posts). In order to avoid the need for a transcendent Moral Law Giver, some will do their best to deny the existence of objective laws in the first place. In doing so, they often employ the same tactics used by defense attorneys in criminal trials; tactics that typically signal smart jurors the prosecution’s case is sound. I’ve written an entire chapter about this in my book, but I recently saw two of these tactics used in response to the “baby torturing” claim.

Two Sings Opponent Argument Sound

Distract By Focusing on Minutia

After asking the direct question (“Is it ever OK to torture babies for fun?”) in an effort to provide at least one example of transcendent, objective moral truth, a skeptic responded by arguing I was “equivocating on the word ‘OK’” because “‘OK’ encompasses a dozen denotations that do not include objective morality.” While it’s true I am often philosophically imprecise in an effort to “translate” and communicate complex ideas at a lay-level, I tried to imagine a definition for “OK” that would allow someone to justify torturing babies for fun. Even when I insert a variety of implied definitions for this term, the result seems the same:

“Is it ever morally acceptable to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever legally permissible to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever socially agreeable to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever proper to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever culturally satisfactory to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever emotionally acceptable to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever fair to torture babies for fun?”
“Is it ever just to torture babies for fun?”

See the problem? No matter which definition for “OK” I use, the answer remains the same. To focus on the term “OK” (as if it were some trick I was trying to employ) is merely a tactic offered to distract from the more important over-arching issue raised by the question.

Discredit Your Opponent’s Character

I responded to the skeptic as respectfully as I could: “I’m trying imagine a definition of ‘OK’ that would justify torturing babies for the fun of it. Which definition are you suggesting? Pick any definition you think works, and help me understand. How about this: Is it ever morally acceptable to torture babies for the fun of it?” The skeptic’s response demonstrated an immediate change in character. He became much more accusatory and described my second rendering of the question as a “shameful tactic”. He even claimed I was being dishonest. He began to focus on me rather than my argument.

Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience. Don’t be discouraged and, more importantly, don’t surrender your character. It’s easy to get “sucked in” to aggressive and demeaning exchanges when people start name calling, but there’s nothing more disheartening for me, as a Christian, than to see my fellow brothers and sisters argue for the existence of transcendent, moral truths while simultaneously ignoring the objective truth that we ought not be disrespectful to people who hold a view different from our own. We can reject their view without being obstinate and abusive.

These two tactics actually reveal the weakness of the skeptic’s position. He employed the same strategies defense attorneys use in an effort to obfuscate the important questions evaluated by criminal juries. Rather than have the jury addressing the question, “Is it ever OK to torture babies for fun?” it’s much more advantageous for the defense to have them examine the question, “What is the definition of ‘OK’?” Most jurors are able to see through that approach, however, especially when the first question goes completely unanswered.

 


 

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30 replies
  1. Kyle says:

    There’s more signs than that. Like if your opponent uses unsubstantiated claims in their argument and then just try to hand-wave any objections to them off with absurd arguments. For Example:

    “Premise 1: If objective moral values and duties exist then God exists”

    also-

    “If the universe has a reason for its existence then that reason is God.”

    There is absolutely no connection between the two objects in those premises.

    Reply
    • Vedran Lekić says:

      What on Earth are you going on about?

      First of all, no one will put the conclusion of the argument in the first premise, the way that you do. That would be begging the question. You are straw-manning what is being done in serious arguments which demonstrates that you either do not understand them or that you are being deliberately deceitful. None of which reflect good on you.

      Premises for a syllogistic conclusion formally do not entail objects. They formally entail only subjects and predicates. What objects are you talking about?

      Reply
      • Kyle says:

        See the argument here. http://crossexamined.org/objections-objective-morality/

        I literally copy/pasted Premise 1 from that. As for the objects, I was referring to “objective moral values and duties” and “God” in the first example and “the [universe’s] reason” and “God” in the second. I do not see any connection between these objects. That is why I would reject both of these premises.

        Reply
  2. Andy Ryan says:

    “I tried to imagine a definition for “OK” that would allow someone to justify torturing babies for fun”
    This is backwards. They are saying it is NOT ok, and you are interpreting that ‘not ok’ to mean it’s objectively immoral. This is debunked by showing they mean something else by ‘not ok’, not by finding a definition of ‘it’s ok’ that they’re happy with.
    You’re arguing that it’s ‘objectively immoral’ to torture babies. Getting someone to concede that it’s not legally permissible or culturally acceptable to torture babies doesn’t get you any closer to showing it’s objectively immoral. Neither does getting us both to agree that we REALLY care about babies and REALLY don’t want them tortured. Further, you’ve shown no reason why God existing would make baby torture more immoral.
    To me, saying baby torture is objectively immoral means it’s immoral in any situation or contingency. Are you saying that in a Godless universe baby torture is ok? If so, it sounds like you don’t think it’s objectively immoral, as it’s not immoral in ALL situations. You can’t get me to concede God’s existence because I think baby torture is wrong, because I think it’s wrong regardless of whether a God exists or not. Even if you can convince me that it’s not ‘objectively wrong’, all you’ve successfully done is convince me that it’s not ‘objectively wrong’ whether or not a God exists.

    Reply
    • TGM says:

      Andy, have you noticed that baby torture is the only example of objective morality the fundies ever use? It’s as if they choose the one thing that everyone subjectively agrees is really bad. How curious! So I’ll just wait for the illustration of a moral value that is objective in spite of widespread disagreement. Could be a while though…

      Reply
      • Terry Lewis says:

        >>I’ll just wait for the illustration of a moral value that is objective in spite of widespread disagreement.

        TGM, What would be the purpose of such an example? Why would anyone ever be motivated to use such a thing?

        Reply
    • Terry Lewis says:

      Andy, I think you misunderstood what happened. Frank was accused of equivocation on the word “OK”. This means that the speaker thought that he (Frank) was using two different definitions of the word.

      Frank’s response was intended to point out that, even if the speaker was correct, it makes no practical difference. No reasonable understanding of the meaning of “OK” makes the torture of innocents any more acceptable. If multiple definitions make no difference to the point, then equivocation or not, the point stands as made.

      Doesn’t make it right or wrong… it just means that the charge of equivocation is irrelevant.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        Terry, I think I was paying closer attention than you. For a start it was J Warner Wallace, not Frank. Yes, I got that he was being accused of equivocating on ‘OK’, and my point stands that it does make a difference. The only definition of OK that would prove a point for Wallace is ‘objectively moral’. I can say baby torture is ‘not OK’ in the sense of not legal and Wallace is no closer to demonstrating objective morality exists. So yes, the equivocation charge is entirely relevant.
        And I already explained all that.

        Reply
        • Matt Lowrey says:

          Andy, I think everyone would concede that dithering on the definition of “ok” does not get us any closer (in and of itself) to answering the question of whether or not objective morals and duties really exist. However, in order to even PROCEEED in his argument, he was forced (by design he argues) to first answer a charge of “equivocation,” which is a form of logical fallacy. In short, he was accused of being logically fallacious in ONE of his premises, or socratic questions, that he uses in a more fully developed argument that objective morals and duties exist, and that their existence logically entails the existence of a moral law giver (that would have to be very much like a theistic notion of God). So your quite right, his exercise of examining whether or not different “meanings” of the term “ok” could possibly make a difference does not actually prove anything, EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. It shows that his use of the term “ok” cannot be grounds for refusing to answer the question. So we return to the question at hand: Is it ever “ok” to torture babies for fun? On that, you (or perhaps another poster here) suggested that it wouldn’t be ok with you in ANY situation, including in some theoretical world where God doesn’t exist? Right. That seems to imply that you AGREE that objective morals and duties DO exist. In other words, you aren’t contesting that objective morals and duties don’t exist – you are contesting that the mere existence of objective morals and duties don’t imply or logically necessitate the existence of God. But how else could one explain the existence of objective morals and duties without grounding them in God (or something very like God)?

          In other words, if you agree that torturing babies for fun, is, never “ok,” and in any sense of the word “ok” and you even think that its not “ok” even in a Godless world, then you seem to be ascribing “objective truth” to the statement “it is never ok to torture babies for fun.” But you contend that doesn’t imply Gods existence. So your problem lies with the connection between objective duties and the existence of God. so tell us how objective morals and duties could exist without grounding them in God, or something very much like God? How could it be objectively wrong, to torture a baby for fun in a Godless world. I

          I really hope that your not asserting that its always wrong to torture babies for fun, that this statement holds true for all people in all possible worlds and situations, and that no circumstance or world could attain whereby torturing babies for fun is “ok” and yet refusing to call that an objectively true moral duty. That would be silly. That just is what it means to be objectively true. So, if it is NOT objectively true that torturing babies for fun is allways wrong, you need to be able to describe some circumstance or individual or world that could possibly attain whereby it WAS ok to torture a baby for fun. If you cannot, then I am rational in continuing to believe my moral experience that indicates the objective truth of such a moral duty (abstention from baby torture for fun). And, since this leads me to bleive that objective morals and duties DO exist, at least in one case, then I am faced with a further question: namely, what GROUNDS this duty in objectivity? From where does this objective/universal moral duty arise? even if you believe its not from god, then answer where does it come from?

          In summary: Do you think objective moral duties exist? If not, can you envision a world or circumstance that could even theoretically obtain whereby baby torture is “ok”? If not, then why not concede that at least one objective moral duty exists?

          2. If you think objective morals and duties exist, but refuse to accept this implies the existence of God, then you must describe what grounds objective moral duties such that they are objectively true.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            Like the others you seem to think the problem is that to debunk Wallace his opponent needs to find a definition of ‘OK’ that is sufficient such that he can say ‘Baby torture is OK’. This is wrong. The problem is that his opponent can say ‘Baby torture is not OK’ and not imply that objective morality exists as long as he’s using a definition of ‘OK’ that isn’t ‘objectively moral’. He might just mean it’s illegal.
            ” In short, he was accused of being logically fallacious in ONE of his premises”
            He was being asked to clarify what he means by ‘OK’, which to be fair is a vague term, especially as he appears to be defining it as ‘meets the approval of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-benevolent deity.
            “If you think objective morals and duties exist, but refuse to accept this implies the existence of God”
            I see no connection between the two. If you want to claim moral duties implies a God exists then that’s for you to support.
            “So your problem lies with the connection between objective duties and the existence of God”
            Indeed – please explain why there’s a connection.
            “But how else could one explain the existence of objective morals and duties without grounding them in God”
            I’ve no idea what you mean by ‘grounding them in God’. Again, why would the existence of God mean objective morals exist? If they’re dependent on him then they aren’t objective.
            “you need to be able to describe some circumstance or individual or world that could possibly attain whereby it WAS ok to torture a baby for fun”
            Isn’t it your contention that it would be OK to torture a baby for fun if a God didn’t exist? If so, it doesn’t appear you believe it’s wrong under ALL circumstances and therefore not objectively wrong. I’d be against baby torture regardless of the existence of a God, whereas you and Wallace appear to be saying that if you could be persuaded God didn’t exist then you’d have no problem with baby torture. Or indeed if God told you baby torture was fine then you’d be using the moral nature of baby torture to argue for the existence of God.

    • Vedran Lekić says:

      Its not backwards. The only thing backwards here is atheists thinking that they are right. First of all not one theist should ever have an issue with an atheist claiming that no objective moral values exist. If there are no objective moral values we can marginalize atheists and subject them to inquisitions without any real and objective moral guilt what so ever.

      To claim that something is not objectively wrong but subjectively wrong ( because people say it is, because people made laws like that, because it is culturally accepted.), is to say that moral values are in essence subjective and so that it is “good” or “ok” to torture babies for fun since “good” and “ok” can be reinterpreted, redefined and understood to be just that.

      When JWW asks is it ever ok to torture babies the question necessitates an answer that reveals a persons position on objective and subjective moral values.

      The atheist might say that it is not ok, good to torture babies but his definition of moral values being subjective he implies that it is ok or good to torture babies if the other person ie. another subject, agrees with that. But everybody should see it is wrong to torture babies for fun.

      If you disagree you are either a disturbed person or morally disabled and I do not have to feel obligated in any way to take your position seriously no more than I would of any other disturbed person or a daltonist lets say (a person that does not see colours kind of like you fail to see the moral dimension of the world you inhabit).

      Reply
      • David says:

        Vedran, men, through reason and trial and error, gave the bible its’ truth not the other way around. That’s why you see a progression from the barbaric quality of old testament morality to the more gracious, yet still retrograde, quality of the new. I don’t know why Christians can’t see, or maybe more accurately “admit”, this.

        Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “If you disagree you are either a disturbed person or morally disabled”
        By that logic I can dismiss the opinions of Christians like you and Wallace who say that baby torture is only immoral if a God exists. If you truly believed it was objectively wrong under all circumstances then you’d believe it was wrong whether or not a God exists. You wouldn’t make God’s existence a condition of its wrongness.

        Reply
  3. Tracey. says:

    The key word is, ‘torture,’ not any other padding word to hide, abuse. To torture, by, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual means, is never, ever acceptable, or, ok, or, justifiable, or amusing or fun,ever, period.
    Don’t beat around the bush, question is, as I understand is; examine your own motives,i.e., how will this use of the above, benefit me?, then when you are satisfied, by your own reasoning, go on, albeit on your head; and lets face it, ending up in the courts for charges of, torture, abuse, etc, the, defendant, is their on their, own, not en-mass with, a few mates all answering in the name of, one person, rubbish. You’ll soon find out who your, ‘mates,’ are then, especially, when the dust settles, and the mud, is flung far and wide, what you will be left with, is, hopefully, is your family.
    This is what Jesus, was also, bringing to the attention of, the people around him, that the group who were scheming to kill him, (torture, by, setting him up so he would, fall into their trickery-traps, therefore, bringing upon himself, a charge), use this type of, word-play, to trap one, it’s in action and used every day, but so many, blind are simple unaware, it’s going on.
    God knows, who you are, even if you don’t.
    What I find, amusing, is, the asking of the same question time and time and time again, wanting or hoping to get a different answer, one that you the enquirer wants, leaves many questions to be asked.
    A christian will never conceded to an Atheist, so who is humouring who? Did Jesus give-in to the Sanhedrin? or was it all in the design? hmm
    I enjoy reading the articles always interesting, but, engaging in, mindless, repetitive, ranting, questions of the same, value dressed up in different guises is dull, to say the least.
    Thank you Frank and your fellows, for going out there, and respectfully, and tactfully, engaging with the community, about, God, knowing you will be on the receiving end of, ‘stuff.’

    Reply
  4. jcb says:

    I’m still amazed (and saddened) that people like Andy can make very good points (about how if “Torturing Babies for Fun is Objectively wrong”, and Objective means true for all people at all times, then it is wrong regardless of whether god exists), and yet no one seems to even try to respond to this point, nor acknowledge the truth that Andy conveys.
    For me the problem for theists is that they say that X is wrong for all people at all times, but they don’t define “wrong”, nor do they show that the property exists, not do they show the mechanism for determining that it is true for all people at all times.
    To put it simply: A=A is true for all people at all times. “Cats exist” is not. One is a tautology. One is a contingent statement. Neither type of statement entails anything about god. So in saying “X is wrong”, one is either saying “wrong is wrong” (which says nothing), or “this activity has this other property of being wrong” (and is thus a contingent statement, and thus not true for all people at all times.) Again, neither of these entails anything about god (prima facie).

    Reply
  5. jcb says:

    Here is my quick evaluation of JJW’s article. I sent him a copy of this.

    To summarize:
    JJT is right that some people wrongly focus on character, or minutia.
    “is it ever okay to torture babies for fun” could be a meaningful statement (T)
    The meaning and determination of “okay” is not clear here (to many) (T)
    Until one knows how to determine “okay” is not clear that the question above is meaningful (T)
    JJW does not here define “okay”, nor show how this is determined (T)
    At best, JJW says that knowing whether something is okay is “Self evident” (T)
    Knowing whether something is okay is self evident (F)

    Reply
  6. David says:

    Mr. Warner, I love the section in your piece titled, “Discredit Your Opponents Character” How ironic that you warn against and decry this tactic while at the same time defending the bible which is chocked full of ad hominem attacks on anyone who dares to question it. And Christians very often trot out these biblically sanctioned attacks when they start to lose an argument. These attacks come from the prophets, Paul, the disciples, even Jesus himself. If the writers of the bible have such an iron clad case for the “unassailable” truth found in their arguments why add the character assassination? Maybe the bible’s arguments are not so strong after all?
    I once heard RC Sprowl relating to a radio audience the story of having gone onto a college campus to debate a group of students. He was very proud of the fact that he told them before the discussion even started that he needed them to understand that he believed the reason they would argue against his viewpoint was because their motives were evil and they were under the power of their father the devil. Man, I wished I had been their that night to speak on behalf of those skeptical students to thank him for conceding in advance that the arguments he would be presenting would be inferior to theirs.

    Reply
    • Susan Tan says:

      Oh by the way David. Arguing is adversrial in nature and your own bias may help blind you to seeing God’s perspective. Also arguing can bring out the worst in others who haven’t obtained a certain level of personal maturity.

      But Jesus Christ came to reconcile the world. So he gives his disciples the ministry of reconciliation. You have to be at peace with God before you can minister reconciliation to anyone for God.

      2 Cor. 5

      16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

      20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

      So when you come arguing you came to disrupt the peace people have made with God and unless you have something better to replace it with why do you do that?

      Something new entered the world with Jesus Christ but so much of this world likes to kick up a fuss about him before they even understand God’s perspective. Why is that?

      Why would anyone argue against God without learning His perspective first?

      God’s Word contains God’s perspective, His intentions, His purposes, etc.

      It’s really too bad so many people think they will launch attacks on God without even mastering His,perspective first.

      But overcoming one’s own personal bias to look at something from another person’s point of view isn’t learned that easily.

      If God didn’t love people then there’s no reason for Him to send Christ. He could have left us in our sins to destroy ourselves and serve baser purposes.

      Reply
    • Tracey. says:

      Sproul. Yes his, primer is correct, as he was a Christian so to preface is correct, any other belief is from Satan. Simple really, you’ll not get it any clearer than that.
      Keep this in mind when going to try to argue with a Christian.

      Reply
      • David says:

        Again Susan and Tracey,

        If you have to resort to ad hominem attacks you have a weak argument. If you have to tell me I’m of my father the devil your argument is dung. Saying someone is evil or of the devil is much worse than simply saying they are an idiot, a moron, a liar, etc. If I called the two of you ignorant hay seeds I’m sure you’d object. But, if you or RC can attack my character in an argument, why can’t I attack yours? As I said, those skeptical students must have had a better argument and old RC must have known it because he whipped out the ad hominem before the exchange even started.

        And Susan, Is it possible that you have failed to head your own advice? “But overcoming one’s own personal bias to look at something from another person’s point of view isn’t learned that easily.” You are totally closed to any evidence that might undermine your belief in Jesus. But I get it, I used to be myself.

        Reply
        • Susan says:

          You’re not going to believe me. So write to Sproul.

          As for evidence. No need to rehash it over and over.

          God is the foremost expert on evidence in the world and His case is airtight.

          I believe people don’t have the mental capacity to overrule the Gospel but some choose to for all sorts of reasons. One of them is peer pressure but in my opinion that is the last reason to give in.

          God’s people shouldn’t conform to people because of peer pressure. They conform to God and their minds have been able to make the decision for the Gospel for thousands of years.

          But we have a lot of muddying of the waters these days. It wouldn’t happen if religion would stay in it’s realm and science in it’s realm but there are spiritual, mind and body connections that make it impossible for the clash of worldviews not to happen. Inevitably people are going to walk between both realms and egos come into play and want to control outcomes.

          But I am an independent person. No one is going to force his standards and conclusions or even his evidence onto me. I rely on my perception alot and I perceive the Christian worldview is the best and nobody is going to force me into denying my own intelligence in favor of their’s especially when these people don’t have my best interests at heart.

          Jesus had everyone’s best interest at heart. It is so obvious I can’t understand why anyone would even attempt to deny it.

          Reply
        • Susan Tan says:

          Hopefully, my last post in this thread David. I simply want to be a better person and I don’t let people replace my perception and common sense with biases that they have learned.

          When God works personally with His people why would ai invalidate my own mind and senses in favor of a method determined to rule Him out.

          Common sense worked for thousands of years. It’s when someone teaches you to start denying your gut instincts, your own intelligence and common sense that you had better run because those people might be control freaks and control freaks like to meddle to allay their own fears.

          I simply trust in God sure that He has made a way for everyone.

          But apparently there are so many ways to arrive at a misconclusion about the existence of God that it is unbelievable.

          Since we’re spiritually blind to a certain degree why don’t people lean in even more and depend on God instead of knee jerk back and deny His existence?

          Compared religion is only useful for certain purposes and it derails a lot of people. Some people switch from being genuine spiritual truth seekers to seeking worldly acclaim when they do comparative religion so I no longer advocate that to anyone because I don’t control their minds and I know they can get lost in comparative religion and become worldly experts. Experts on the world’s false belief systems and ways rather than experts on God’s ways.

          The Bible is a book of identity. God sent His son to restore our identities in Him while the world likes to disrupt our identitites and spiritual formation.

          So think about it long and hard. Sometimes the more intelligent a person is the more his mind wanders onto earthly paths that could disrupt his spiritual identity formation. That’s why a Christian knows to stick to Jesus and exalt him. A sheep can get into a lot of trouble wandering away from it’s shepherd. There are a lot of sheep in wolves clothing engaging in spiritual identity theft these days.

          God Bless and Peace Be With You!

          Reply
          • David says:

            Don’t let your mind engage anything that might be contrary to your beliefs. If you do you risk becoming an educated person. Just remain as you are, indoctrinated.

  7. Susan Tan says:

    David, you do understand don’t you that Sproul is a man of God and the Bible is God’s perspective and Satan is perceived as God’s main enemy?

    That Jesus came to bring peace to this world and remove people from Satan’s influence and control and that arguing against that breaks God’s peace.

    Now who would be the worldwide leader determined to oppose God’s peacemaking process towards the world through Jesus Christ?

    I hope you forgive Sproul but he’s just warning you while you still have time and warnings are given from a good motive not a bad one so don’t take things so personally that you get offended.

    Just meditate deeply on the personal love that God offers to everyone. People can have all kinds of issues that keep them from seeing themselves as loved by God.

    A lot of ministers aren’t trained counselors. Theynare trained to deliver the Gospel not to analyze people’s issues with God. You will have to examine yourself like Jesus said to do and don’t over personalize things. Jesus intends to save you, too. You are personally loved by God y’know and that is the knowledge the Devil would like to rob you of so he can keep you under his power.

    Love is the most enabling power of all so if Satan can keep you from receiving God’s love then he can keep you cut off from God’s enabling power.

    God loves everyone FIRST…His people just love Him back in response.

    May God Bless You and Keep You, David!

    Reply
  8. Susan Tan says:

    Sorry David you have too many ad hominem assumptions. I don’t have enough time in the day to correct all those negative stereotypes you are laboring under.

    Just a tip. Before you engage another person with a background in apologetics go skim CARM or some other apologetics website. There is an awful lot of comparative religion being done to debunk false religions on those sites. I have done some debunking myself. I just went round and round with a Jehovah’s Witness for about 6 weeks last year and debunking him inevitably caused me to compare religions and I have attempted to debunk several others.

    Christians don’t live in a bubble y’know. Especially not apologists.

    Since I probably have a broader comparative religion background than you do try reading those sites. If nothing else it might give you some facts explaining why Christianity is the truth.

    But I prefer my Christian background and dwelling on it to dwelling on false religions. Does that make sense?

    Go do your research now and stop assuming that because I prefer Christianity that I haven’t compared or observed other religions.

    You should have picked up on the fact that I already made many comparisons when I mentioned comparative religion has a bad effect on some people. It can engender confusion in some people and possibly promote worldliness.

    I consider myself blessed. I was able to stick to the truth when wading into comparative religious waters many times and debunking false religions. I could have slipped and fell in all the confusion but I didn’t.

    Sorry to disappoint you but some people are able to keep their bearing even in the deep murky seas of comparative religion.

    I understand if you can’t though. Lots of atheists play “lump a religion” and think pretending they can’t spot the truth is a valid objection.

    But how does an atheist’s confusion nullify a Christian’s certainty? That is some strange form of substitution going on there. Your confusion doesn’t deny my certainty.

    It just shows either you can’t distinguish between religions or refuse to.

    But a lot of people don’t have that problem.

    Sorry for being overly anal. It is a fault I know but this is how I sort truth from error.

    Now arguing isn’t so nice is it?

    I would rethink the whole evidence thing because if you need more evidence then God provides in the scriptures and can’t trust your own mind then you will have to develop a scientific methodology to test religious truth claims and then apply that test to every religion on the planet before reaching a conclusion.

    Go read Dean Hamer’s The God Gene if you want to see how hard it is to build such a methodology and Hamer was just screening for one gene but you will need to screen for hundreds of thousands of religions. Maybe more.

    Have a great day!

    Reply
  9. David says:

    The problem Susan is that I have probably read as much apologetic literature as you have. Maybe more. I just think such literature is full of bad arguments and excuse making for god. When it comes to the believability of the bible for instance, the skeptics have the better arguments.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      You may have but a lot of people don’t realize the importance of humility. I know no one is smarter than God and when I read things my mind is sorting through them and usually it finds that the person is partially right and partially wrong but I take the best ideas away and leave the rest though sometimes I try to debunk them like apologists do false religion.

      I debunk false religions to help other people understand but I study the scriptures for myself and to help others understand them.

      Sproul has absorbed God’s perspective. He deliberately set out to learn doctrine which is God’s perspective and Jesus said if you are not with me then you are against me.

      Sprou just gave atheists the strongest debunking that he knew how.

      His view goes all the way back to the Old Testament.

      1 Samuel 2:12, KJV
      12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord

      Who’s Belial?

      The ancient Hebrews were living side by side with the pagans but had a hard time keeping themselves separate. The Law they had was better than anything the pagans had.

      The pagans used to practice Baal worship and the Amalekites used to not bury their dead leaving corpses to rot. They also liked to hit the Hebrews in the rear and kill the weaker women and children. By contrast the Hebrews had a good God that taught them better practices than these.

      The Hebrews used to have a law against touching dead corpses. They were ritually unclean for several days.

      Later on I found out God was right about that, too. Puerperal fever is transferred from dead bodies. Lister figured it out in the 1800s by walking between the morgue and the hospital one day. Doctors didn’t even understand the transmission of bacteria and to wash their hands between patients until Semmelweis and Lister yet there’s God back in the Old Testament telling his people not to touch dead bodies.

      Satan is still trying to be the god of this world even though Christ did win over him on the Cross.

      The whole Christian religion revolves around Jesus Christ. You can inspect him in the scriptures and see he is better than everyone else.

      I used to like Gandhi and loved the movie with Ben Kingsley in it. Did you know Gandhi used Jesus Christ’s pacifism to drive the British out of India?
      He liked Jesus but not Christians that much so even though he liked Jesus he refused to accept him.

      So Gandhi got the British out of India and hundreds of millions of Indians are still chained up in the caste system.

      So was Gandhi a son of Belial?

      Pacifism is from Jesus statements to turn the other cheek.

      Imagine Gandhi had pulled this on someone not Christianized though. This strategy would not have worked.

      Now who is the greater spiritual leader? Gandhi a political freedom fighter or Jesus Christ who brings spiritual birth to the whole world?

      Everyone thinks Gandhi is so spiritual. He loves and tolerates the Muslims, the Jains, the Christians, the Hindus….yet this guy denied people access to true spiritual birth through Jesus Christ. Keeping the caste system in place with one or two hundred million Untouchables still being downtrodden and abused in the caste system.

      The Indians got control ofmtheir country and it’s resources again at the expense of their spiritual birth.

      Gandhi must have thought he was very intelligent to make that choice. He just opposed the British and inadvertently could have screwed up to close to a billion people out of their spiritual births, didn’t he? He did if you are a Christian and believe John 3.

      Yes Gandhi is so popular. He seems to love everybody but did he really do what is right? I don’t thinks so.

      But if you put the carnal ahead of the spiritual and can’t tell religions apart and don’t recognize Christ’s pre-eminence then crazy civil rights abuses like this can occur.

      The most basic and important and first right of every individual is the right to be born again.

      Jesus Christ took a beating and died on the Cross to ensure that this right was delivered to everyone and he only asks for his people to put everyone else on notice of this most basic and important right.

      Now shouldn’t a Christian deny false religions and call a spade a spade. I think so. People are getting denied spiritual birth all over this world and sometimes people have to risk getting hurt to ensure that this rights notice gets delivered. We call it the Gospel.

      Be sure you don’t let carnal people and all kinds of worldly ideas bilk you out of your spiritual treasure which affects your relationships, your beliefs, your words, your actions. Everything that you are personally concerned about.

      Being able to identify spiritual experts in a world that likes to overturn spirituality can becomes a key skill to acquire but I have noticed that there are some comparative religion experts who have lost their faith. Some of these people don’t lose their faith though they become false prophets instead and sometimes form new cults out of religious hybrids. Then there are those that just pick the wrong religion to practice because comparative religion confuses them.

      Not everyone is capable of spiritual critical thinking though in my opinion. God has to teach it to people and He does it through the Bible.

      Gandhi couldn’t even think spiritually critically because after studying Christ and adopting his ideas to use against the British successfully he still refused to dedicate himself to Christ.

      He really had just dedicated himself to the lesser road of tolerance which failed India because they divided into Pakistan and India and it caused millions of deaths.

      Everyone likes Gandhi and Gandhi got himself high in politics and now Gandhi is going to have to explain to God why he helped block the spiritual births of hundreds of millions of people.

      Because God gave the Gospel to set people free yet Gandhi let everyone stay changed in the caste system or anywhere else that they were at in his day.

      Gandhi could have been a disciple of Jesus instead he chose to join the world and lead a political rebellion based on Christ’s ideas.

      Really deceptive and hard to notice that this occurred unless you analyze the whole situation from God’s perspective.

      Peace Be With You, David! I hope you re-think things and don’t let the people who lack spiritual expertise talk you out of your spiritual birth which is the gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

      No wonder everyone is so confused and chases Christians down on message boards. Though a lot of them are too angry to hear or read God’s perspective.

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